Dennis Johnson named Economic Development Professional of the Year


June 20, 2023


HoChunk Capital CEO honored for advancing economic development in Native communities

HoChunk Capital CEO Dennis Johnson was recently honored for his ongoing efforts to grow economic development in Native communities.

Johnson, an enrolled citizen of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, was named Economic Development Professional of the Year at the Travois Superhero Awards ceremony during the 23rd Annual Travois Indian Country Affordable Housing and Economic Development Conference in Washington, D.C. The award is given to a professional who has sparked positive economic change through infrastructure, health care, education, business or
other community projects.

I am honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award, Johnson said. HoChunk Capital has been at the cuttingedge of real estate development since its inception, and Im thankful for the support of our entire team and trusted partners. I feel blessed to be able to be a part of adding
quality jobs, impactful community improvements and quality housing in our Native communities.

HoChunk Capital began as the investment and real estate development division of HoChunk, Inc., which was formed by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska to create jobs and diversify its economy. Under Johnsons leadership, HoChunk Capital has expanded to offer other Tribal organizations the expertise needed to create successful developments in their own communities.

Dennis doesn’t just work tirelessly to see his own Tribe succeed, Travois President Phil Glynn said. He shares his knowledge and experience because he wants to see all Tribes to succeed in creating jobs, homes and opportunities for people.

Additionally, Johnson is an entrepreneur in his own right. In January, he opened a Pizza Ranch restaurant in Bemidji, Minnesota, creating quality and accessible jobs in an economically distressed, nonmetropolitan community. Travois helped finance the project using the New Markets Tax Credit program.

This honoring raises the bar for all of us, Glynn said. Dennis brings vision, tenacity, and high expectations to everything that he does.

Travois, a Certified B Corporation focused exclusively on promoting housing and economic development with American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities, presents Superhero Awards in seven categories: Housing Professional of the Year, Economic Development Professional of the Year, Pillar of the Year, Haven of the Year, Project Team of the Year, Groundbreaking Team of the Year and Transformative Initiative of the Year.

Its a pleasure to recognize the hard work of our colleagues each year. Each award highlights the incredible persistence and creativity needed to make a difference in a community, Travois

CEO Elizabeth Glynn said. Im so happy to share their stories and hope it inspires others in Indian Country to pursue their big plans, too.

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