Gary “Litefoot” Davis is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He is the Executive Director of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA), Publisher of Native Business Magazine, CEO of Davis Strategy Group and a member of the Forbes Finance Council.
Gary, and his wife Carmen Davis, own and operate, Native Business, LLC, a multimedia company aimed at promoting and advancing Native American business, entrepreneurship and economic development. Native Business publishes both digital and print publications, produces video content, the Native Business Podcast and presents the annual Native Business Summit.
Before being appointed as Executive Director of NAFSA, Mr. Davis served as President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) and was a member of the NCAIED’s Board of Directors. He has served as Vice-President of Native Affairs for the Triple Five Group, owners of the world’s largest retail shopping malls; the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall and he previously served as co-chair of the National Indian Gaming Association’s, American Indian Business Network.
Mr. Davis owns and operates the Davis Strategy Group and has facilitated an array of cross sector business opportunities in Indian Country ranging from energy, acquisitions, casino gaming, hospitality, land development, health and pharmaceutical initiatives.
Mr. Davis is a successful musician and feature film and television actor with eight award winning albums and starring roles in such films as, The Indian in The Cupboard and television programs such as, House of Cards.
He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Seattle International Film Festival. Philanthropically, he has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles throughout the United States bringing hope and empowerment to over 450 American Indian communities. As the spokesperson of the “Reach the Rez Project”, he helped raise nearly $1.5 million to ensure the success of the effort.
Mr. Davis has provided keynotes and business trainings for corporations and tribes and served as a distinguished lecturer at colleges and universities across North America.
Mr. Davis is a recipient of the prestigious Sevenstar Award from the Cherokee Nation Historical Society, presented to a Cherokee who is accomplished in a chosen field, brought honor to the Cherokee people and serves as an inspiration to others. He has received the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency National Director Special Recognition Award, was appointed as an Ambassador of the Department of Energy’s, Minorities in Energy initiative and was also appointed to the United States Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities.
Most recently, Mr. Davis was recognized by Scholastic Books as a Native American hero and is featured alongside other fellow Cherokees, Sequoyah, Wilma Mankiller and several other Native Americans in their new book “Native American Heroes”, which will be distributed to elementary schools across the United States in the Fall of 2019.
For nearly three decades, Mr. Davis has meshed his success as an entrepreneur and public figure, with his passion to better the future of Indian Country and serve as a source of inspiration.