South Dakota District Office’s Small Business Champion of the Year for 2023
Dew Bad Warrior Ganje and her husband, Ben Ganje, moved their family back to Rapid City after more than a decade of living East River, where she saw an opportunity to share her expertise and make a difference. At the time, Dew had been working remotely as a consultant for the Population Change Institute – Change Well where they had a contract with the state of California to provide technical assistance to counties to address homelessness. Ben was working as the city engineer.
However, the two, who grew up on the Cheyenne River Reservation, quit their jobs to start Zuya Sica Consulting, LLC, an organization specializing in community enrichment, event planning and project support services. The company specializes in community enrichment and event planning while also providing a multitude of project support services. Together Dew and Benn have over twenty years of experience leading community projects, event planning, and business development initiatives. Creating opportunities for celebration and community togetherness is at the heart of Zuya Sica’s work.
Dew was named the SBA South Dakota District Office’s Small Business Champion of the Year for 2023 for her service to other and her advocacy through volunteering. Dew spends countless hours each year as the program coordinator for the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance as well as volunteering across many other organizations to grow awareness of the Native American culture. In her work with the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance, Black Hills Pow Wow, Elevate Rapid City, Native American Food Sovereignty, and other organizations, Dew consistently builds a bridge that fosters South Dakota Native American cultural and historical awareness, interest, and global connections, all propelling the South Dakota economy forward. Some of the impact from her work included:
- Successful launch of SD Native Tourism Alliance website
- Coordination across SD’s Tribal Communities to develop a SD Native American Engagement Etiquette Guide to enrich the tourism experience
- Launched the virtual coffee hour series showcasing Native American small business owners and communities across SD
- Selected to be a keynote speaker / storyteller during the SD CEO West’s Women’s History Month event in March 2023
- Her work has connected Native Americans more closely to federal, state, and local resources that can help businesses started and growing, reduce food insecurity, increase the arts and cultural/historical awareness, increase economy through tourism
- She has been instrumental in shaping the first international tour groups to SD’s Tribal lands – the first tour bus arrives in Mid-May – this has taken an immense amount of coordination with the Tribes, tourism facilitators and points of destination, George Washington University, SD Dept. of Tourism, and many other organizations – including SBA.
- Assisting Elevate Rapid City, as a board member, to shape the future for the economy of western SD and foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.