Tom St. Dennis is an attorney working for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians developing the laws and business infrastructure required to support the growth of tribally-owned businesses. Tom has had the opportunity to work directly with Ogema Romanelli and the Band’s Tribal Council to write the laws which have recently been adopted to form the Tribe’s first economic development holding company and subsidiary entities. These companies possess ownership of patented intellectual property relating to protein formulations for military and commercial applications, nutraceuticals for medical, commercial, and military applications, and a potential new pharmaceutical application that is in the third and fourth stages of scientific testing supported by Central Michigan University relating to solving issues surrounding Alzheimers. Additionally, one of the Tribe’s companies has recently finished developing Phase I of a market-based, 281 unit residential subdivision located between Muskegon and Grand Rapids and is currently building and offering homes for sale to the general public. The EDC also manages various commercial and residential rentals.
Tom has had a significant career in banking formerly serving in the roles of President, CEO, and Chairman. He has also been a life-long entrepreneur, working with his wife Julie to develop residential real estate projects, which often included building single-family homes. Tom has completed his Masters certification in Native American studies as is mostly through his Ph.D. course of study focusing on tribal economic development issues.