Sault Tribe, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of a new Chief Operating Officer for Government Contracting and Subsidiary Development, Rachel Heckel. Her work will focus on developing STI’s various subsidiaries through government contract acquisition strategies available to tribally owned enterprises.
Heckel says that STI's commitment to a long-term growth strategy influenced her decision to join the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians' Section 17 Corporation over other employment opportunities.
"I wanted to work with STI after seeing how committed they are to building a successful, long-term government contracting enterprise," said Heckel. "It takes time and dedication to see returns on investments, but I've seen firsthand the benefits a thriving government contracting division can bring to a Tribe. I'm thrilled to be a part of STI’s journey toward success in building sustainable revenues and job creation."
Heckel has nearly a decade of experience developing Tribally owned companies through 8(a), HubZone, and government contracting vehicles. Before joining STI, she served as President/Operations General Manager for a portfolio of six tribal subsidiaries, generating over $65 million in annual revenues.
"There's so much opportunity out there for STI to grow significantly faster than a standard 8(a) government contractor," said Heckel. "Thanks to Joel Schultz and the board, STI's subsidiaries and joint ventures are in an excellent position. With my experience and strong relationships, we expect sustainable growth in multiple business verticals."
Heckel has a reputation for her ability to set up and manage complex contracts of all sizes. In 2021, she ran operations to establish a 2,500-bed emergency shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children and was responsible for hiring and training 3,000 staff and reuniting 8,000 children with their families, all in a 6-month period. Her work received recognition from the Cherokee Nation, the Los Angeles County Supervisor's Office, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
"I am a very mission-focused person," said Heckel. "I appreciate the opportunity to serve the missions of the federal and Tribal governments. I love seeing the benefits that result from our work."