Native Resource Development Company is a local success story that was started from scratch on the Navajo Nation in 1990 by a Navajo woman, Ms. “Penny” Emerson.
Penny grew up on the Navajo Reservation and was encouraged by her mother and father to pursue a college education. Her parents both worked for the Indian Health Service, as a nurse and facilities engineer. After graduating with a degree in Hospital Administration, Penny spent 15 years administering health and human service-oriented programs for the Navajo Nation and for other Native American Tribes in the western US.
Then, in 1990, she recognized a huge unmet need in the Navajo Nation – the problem of transporting elderly and disabled patients to their medical appointments. To address this need, Penny put her education, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit to work. She incorporated “Native Resource Development,” opened an office in the Navajo Nation Capital in Window Rock, Arizona, and started providing non-emergency medical transport services to her first patients.
In 1997, Penny moved her business headquarters to Gallup, New Mexico and was soon approached by a local business person who wanted to sell a small business that provided housekeeping services for a dozen homes in Gallup. Penny acquired the company and soon added various commercial accounts, and changed the name to “Reliable Janitorial Services.” Today RJS has evolved into Integrated Facilities Services and operates a robust portfolio of custodial and food service contracts from coast to coast, including hospitals/medical clinics, professional office buildings, commercial/industrial sites, and military/government facilities.
In 2003 Penny opened a home care division, known as “Quality Home Care” that provides in-home living assistance to low-income, medically-fragile elderly and disabled individuals, a service that enables them to remain in their own homes and avoid the trauma and high cost of placement outside the home.
NRDCI is certified by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) as Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), HUBZone, Native American, and Woman owned. In 2007, the company was recognized by the SBA with the award for Service Company of the Year. During the 2013 New Mexico Small Business Week, Penny was awarded the Women in Business Champion of the Year award!
Ms. Emerson is a role model and source of inspiration to young Native women and men who seek to pursue a life in business. She is a regular speaker at conferences and workshops, and she has received numerous awards and recognitions, including Girls Scouts of America, “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
She dedicates her time to service on the Board of Directors for education, non-profit and community organizations and has initiated and funded scholarship programs to support the education of Native women in health professions.
Strategic partnerships combine experience and fresh energy to deliver quality service at a competitive rate.
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