Business Beat: Native-owned Melvin Consulting provides tribes with community-based solutions
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. —Melvin Consulting is a Native American owned company, based in Flagstaff, providing engineering and management consulting, founded in 2016 by owner Daryl Melvin. The firm has grown to five employees and continues to expand.
Melvin, who is Hopi, said the company is positioned to serve in rural communities along the Colorado Plateau and beyond with clients ranging from tribes and tribal programs to health care centers and nonprofit organizations. Services are also provided to private businesses, foundations and various state and local government agencies in the region and nationally.
As a Native American-owned firm, Melvin Consulting seeks to celebrate Native American talent while assisting tribes and tribal communities as they develop community-based solutions in support of local asset control and management of their resources.
"We believe in capacity building and often offer training as part of our services. Through life experiences, our staff inform our community-centered approach to implementing place-based solutions to address the unique needs of each client," he said. "In supporting Native American communities and initiatives, Melvin Consulting has collaborated with many tribes, nonprofits and businesses locally, regionally and nationally."
Melvin said notable projects include contracts for construction of an apartment project for IHS staff in Keams Canyon; a design project for a critical access hospital emergency department renovation in Polacca; strategic planning and business plans for enterprises and programs such as Jemez Pueblo and Zuni Youth Enrichment Project along with projects with First Nations Development Institute, the California Tribal Fund, the Wheelwright Museum, the Hopi School, Diné Bi’ Iina and the Native American Business Incubator Network.
Services include strategic planning, facilitation, board training, philanthropic advisory services, marketing and business planning.
"We believe that solutions come from the communities themselves and they are best suited to implement these solutions. We provide a values-based approach and structure for critical conversations that lead to clarity and action," he said.
Like many small businesses and start-up companies, the pandemic has had a fundamental and lasting impact on Melvin Consulting.
"As a professional services firm, our work typically involves direct interaction with clients to develop programming and to implement those plans. As the first wave of COVID was peaking, we experienced an interruption of business with clients putting contracts on pause or deferring work by pushing out their timelines. In response, Melvin Consulting invested significantly in upgrading technology, software and application of web-based tools that allowed for engaging online group sessions, meetings and trainings while meeting client needs without requiring in-person meetings," he said.
Melvin said the move to a 100 percent digital presence was a significant undertaking requiring all of Melvin Consulting to tap into their superpower as Native people — adaptation.
"Also, the digital divide is, and has always been, a significant barrier in the communities we serve. So we have developed processes to ensure that no one is left behind in this digital world. That means going the extra mile when planning and being intentional with each and every online interaction. It’s important to us that our facilitation process ensures that all voices are valued and heard," he said.
Melvin said they are pleased to share that they are all learning and growing together while adapting and acquiring new skills.
"While we would all like to see each other in person, we’ve also learned that in some cases the transition to online platforms has made trainings and gatherings more affordable. People are connecting with others in their fields nationally and around the world. What we are reminded of again and again is that we need each other, and we are more effective when we connect, in-person or virtual, and take a collaborative approach to problem solving. Innovation is truly a team sport," he said.
The Melvin Consulting team also provided pro bono services through June for the Hopi Tribe drawing on Melvin's background in public health and hospital administration along with the communications and data analysis expertise on their team. This included creating public services announcements, analyzing state health data and advising on public health matters. For the PSAs, Melvin Consulting was able to partner with the Hopi Tribe and the Hopi Education Endowment Fund to create and distribute the PSAs to every post office box at Hopi.
"I love to see public-private-social sector collaborations. Overall, it was important for our team to find ways to contribute in some small way. My mom even posed for a photo for a public service announcement — we got the whole family involved," he said.
Melvin said a dream and goal of Melvin Consulting is to have a formalized program for native youth and emerging leaders.
"Right now, we have work for certified building inspectors, office manager and facilitators experienced in partnering with tribal communities. As our company grows, we hope to establish relationships with colleges and trade schools on a job program and internships," he said. "Members of our team enjoy meeting community members and offer complimentary 30-minute calls to discuss ideas and issues with potential clients who want to learn more about our services."
Melvin has over two decades of experience working with tribal nations, private entities and the public sector in health care, engineering, strategy, leadership, and infrastructure development. Melvin is passionate about perpetuating tribal sovereignty and providing tribes with the tools and expertise necessary to develop and implement initiatives that are in alignment with their values resulting in stronger economies.
Prior to establishing Melvin Consulting PLLC, Melvin held the position of Chief Executive Officer for numerous tribal hospitals and health centers with a focus on elevating the work of critical access hospitals and expanding the services of ambulatory centers. Additionally, he worked with the city of Flagstaff in Governmental Affairs and Community Development providing him with a deep understanding of how tribes can work across city, county and state legislative bodies to advance tribal interests.
In leading diverse and complex organizations, Melvin was responsible for organizational budgets of over $38 million and for capital projects valued at $160 million. Melvin currently serves on the boards of the St. Mary’s Food Bank and Hopivewat — A Hopi Cultural Resource Center.
Melvin previously served on the board for the Hopi Economic Development Corporation, Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards, Hopi Education Endowment Fund, Hopi Arts and Education Non-profit and Native Americans for Community Action.
Melvin presents on topics such as budgeting, creating strong vision and mission statements,leadership, board governance, strategic planning and entrepreneurship.
Eileen Egan, who is also Hopi, is a partner at Melvin Consulting. For nearly 20 years, Egan has partnered with executives, boards and staff to empower them and their organizations to reach their goals through the effective use of resources, strategies and the facilitation of vital conversations. Egan brings a breadth of experience in resource development, program management, facilitation, strategic planning and board governance.
She has insights into a wide array of organizations at the national, regional and local levels spanning higher education, hospital foundations, grantmakers and rural nonprofits.
Egan previously served as the fundraising director at the American Indian College Fund for 11 years to support the nation’s tribal colleges and universities with her expertise in major gifts, planned giving, corporate relations, foundation relations, annual giving and prospect research.
Egan also worked at the Harvard University Native American Program focusing on student affairs, recruitment and advocacy. She served on the board of directors for the Hopi Education Endowment Fund, Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards andn Stories on Stage. She presents and trains on topics such as diversifying fundraising revenue streams, grant writing, building individual giving programs, major gifts —“Making the Ask,” board governance, planned giving, prospect research and strategic planning.
As a PLLC, Melvin Consulting does not directly apply to grants, or directly apply for federal/state or tribal funding.
More information is available at Melvin Consulting PLLC, 2532 N 4th Street, 127, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004 or phone: (928) 380-1807 or by email at email@example.com or at www.Melvinconsultingpllc.com.