Story by Liesel Schmidt
After serving the federal government for almost 25 years, Vicki Vasques began her own entrepreneurial journey in 2010 by starting Tribal Tech, LLC. Then in 2019, she also acquired Cowan & Associates. Together both companies, American Indian and women-owned, provide management and technical services to federal, tribal, state, local and private sector clients.
“I thought it was a good time to step out and do something different,” Vasques says of the journey that took her to her current path. “My first step was not starting my own business, but running for office here in northern Virginia. I ran for the 45th delegate seat and, although I lost the race, all the hard work and lessons learned prompted me to take the first steps toward entrepreneurship. If I could work that hard to win your vote, I knew I could work just as hard to serve our federal agencies.”
As the owner of a local Alexandria business, Vasques knows she impacts many facets of the community, and also feels the responsibility of philanthropy. “As a company, we support our local community. I am also fortunate to be able to give back through the RMP Foundation, which I founded in memory of my father, who served as tribal chairman of our tribe, the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians in San Diego County,” she says. “He started the first education program on the reservation long before gaming and casinos. My father also taught me the importance of giving back and investing in your community.”
“I am not only passionate about empowering native women, but all women who are interested in taking that entrepreneurial journey. However, we need more native women business owners to mentor other native women and show them that it’s possible to start and grow thriving businesses. We need to share our stories and our resources and bring employment opportunities to our communities, creating partnerships and relationships with other native women."
Likewise, she knows the importance of heart health. “GO RED is not only important to me, but for all women,” she says. “As I get older, I continue to worry about my slow heart rate (bradycardia); being informed and knowing my risk of heart disease. As a woman, it’s crucial for all of us to be proactive about our health.”
Join the movement. Raise Awareness. Go red.