Leadership

Joe Valandra

Adam Geisler

Scott Dinsmore

Tom Valandra

Joe Valandra

(Sicangu Lakota)

CEO & Chairman

Before leading Tribal Ready, Joe served as the executive director of the Native American Contractors Association (NACA). He also served as the managing director of VAdvisors, LLC, a specialty advisory firm in Washington, DC, and as the chief of staff for the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), a federal regulatory agency with Indian gaming oversight responsibilities. Joe has served in senior executive roles in private and public sectors, including as a board member of numerous companies in multiple industries. Using his collective experiences in government, business, and gaming, Joe has launched ventures uniquely focused on the technological development, marketing, and deployment of products and services designed to benefit Native Nations.

Email: joe@tribalready.com

Adam Geisler

(La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians)

President & Chief Operating Officer

Adam Geisler is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Tribal Ready Inc., a Tribally owned and governed Public Benefit Corporation. Tribal Ready’s mission is advancing Tribal Sovereignty to unleash the full power and potential of Native communities.

Adam worked at the US Department of Commerce for 8 years and formally served as the Division Chief for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, deploying nearly 2 billion in funding to connect 158,000 tribal households. Adam also served as the Department of Commerce’s broadband Tribal subject matter expert for the White House Council for Native American Affairs Economic Development, Energy, and Infrastructure Committee. Adam is formally the National Tribal Government Liaison for FirstNet, a sister bureau within the Department of Commerce focused on building a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.

Adam is a former Tribal Leader, serving 3 terms as elected Tribal Council Secretary for the La Jolla Tribal Council, a federally recognized Tribal Government. During his time in and out of elected office, Adam has shaped national, state, and local policy and deployed infrastructure projects surrounding transportation, public health, gaming, economic development, energy, housing, emergency management and communications, and broadband.

Adam holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from San Diego State University and is a recipient of the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) under 35 Young Achievers Award for his work in bringing public safety broadband access to Native communities.

 

Scott Dinsmore

(Pakan’yani Maidu of Strawberry Valley Rancheria)

Vice President, Tribal Relations 

Calling upon over 20 years of award-winning experience in network, sales, and marketing, Scott has been able to bridge the divide for large and small organizations looking to expand their footprint and forge a path into the future. In addition to supporting his Tribe (the Pakan’yani Maidu of Strawberry Valley Rancheria) and their initiatives as co-chair, he founded The One Native Nation Foundation, Inc., a 501c3, non-profit, aimed at providing scholarships for Native American youth from both federally recognized and unrecognized Tribes.

Scott believes connecting Native communities to the highest quality broadband service available is fundamental to Tribal Data Sovereignty and self-determination. Concerning our Native communities, it is now time to ensure not only this generation but all future generations have the same meaningful access to healthcare, economic opportunities, and education as most of the United States currently enjoys. 

He resides north of Boston with his wife, two daughters, two rescue dogs, and a leopard-spotted gecko named Edward. In his downtime, he likes watching his kids play their respective sports, playing soccer, boating, snowboarding, working out, and enjoying a great meal with family and friends.

Lastly, some words that serve as his guide post: Do not stop watering the corn while you count on the clouds to bring rain.” — Chief Dan George, Coast Salish

Tom Valandra

(Sicangu Lakota)

Chief of Staff

A member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. Prior to his role at Tribal Ready, Mr. Valandra has worked as marketing coordinator and project manager, where he developed, planned, budgeted, oversaw, and executed all aspects of policy and project affairs. Valandra, acted as a liaison between clients and professional service providers and researched, developed, and executed innovative strategic methods to maintain the highest standard of service. Tom has also held the position of Director of Communications at Middleburg Academy. Where he spearheaded the strategic media plan, press outreach, campaign events, all written and multimedia communications.

Key Staff

Hallie Bissett

Druce Dooley

Gerad Godfrey

Michael “Manny” Manuelito

Emily Mayer

Keely M. Purcell

Katrina Tysinger

John Vetter

Chris Wohlsclagel

Nikki Drag-Kposowa

Hallie Bissett

(Knik Tribe)

Director, Network Services

Hallie Bissett (Dena’ina Athabascan from the Matanuska Valley of Alaska). Hallie is the great-great granddaughter of the last Traditional Chief of Talkeetna Chief Nicoli. Bissett has over two decades of advanced executive experience in various roles throughout Alaska including but not limited to: Logistics and International Trade Director for the Anchorage, Economic Development Corp. and Team Leader of Procurement and Supply Chain Management (PSCM) at BP Exploration. Most recently, Bissett was Executive Director for Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA) a nonprofit that represented 177 Alaska native entities that Ms. Bissett led to both enormous financial growth but more importantly made a visible and respected statewide organization recognized nationally and internationally. She holds a BA in Global Logistics Supply Chain Management and a Masters in Business Administration. Bissett is a proven strategist and accomplished business development and community/external and governments affairs executive.

Druce Dooley

Manager, Wireless Design

Druce Dooley is Manager of Wireless Design at Tribal Ready, a Native-owned and controlled company focused on providing expertise and resources enabling the Native communities to take charge of their destiny. Druce believes a step towards equality and inclusion is closing the digital divide in Native communities to enrich opportunities for all Natives allowing their history, character, strength, and inherent values to be exhibited while maintaining Sovereignty.

With over 25 years of experience as an Engineer, Druce has worked in various technology ranging from embedded systems to WAN networks. After receiving a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, Druce entered the Technology Sector as Firmware Engineer developing cutting-edge PC/Server based solutions. Moving forward in his career, as a System Administrator, he oversaw a network for distributing video content across North America by planning network deployments (terrestrial and extra-terrestrial), developing new solutions, and maintaining servers and edge devices.

In his previous position, Druce was an Application Engineer, responsible for developing, improving, and supporting cell-based IOT solutions in the Transportation Industry with regard to safety. He was also changed to Product Manager for Cell Connectivity and Video Solutions, responsible for addressing and resolving cell-related issues for the companies 34,000+ devices across the US.

Gerad Godfrey

(Alutiiq)

Business Development Specialist

Gerad Godfrey former director of corporate affairs for the Afognak Native Corp., a former senior adviser to Alaska Governor Bill Walker on intergovernmental and rural business affairs, and current President of Alutiiq Consulting; He is of Alutiiq descent and has held several board positions with Alaska Native and business groups.

Michael “Manny” Manuelito

(Pueblo of Laguna)

Director, Project Management for Broadband and Energy Programs

Manny has more than 20 years of experience in the utility, broadband, energy, and Tribal government spaces, leading cross-functional teams on projects and programs. He has consulted with some of the largest utility companies throughout the world, working to better community infrastructures, streamline processes, and assess needs.  Manny has helped Tribes build their own utility companies and secure funding for those efforts.

Manny currently serves his tribe as an elected official and sits on the Tribal Council for the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. As the elected senior official for the Village of Encinal — one of the six villages that make up the Pueblo of Laguna — he carries the additional responsibility of serving as he second Fiscale for the Pueblo. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Boise State University as well as a project management professional license from the Project Management Institute.

In his role, Manny will work with business units within Tribal Ready to ensure process and governance on all client engagements.  He will also work closely with Tribal leadership, communities, technical teams, and regulatory authorities for project implementation.

During his off time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, camping, and going on trips to explore all that mother nature has to offer. Manny is also heavily involved with his Tribe and their cultural activities.

Emily Mayer

(Curyung Tribe)

Grant Writer
Emily is Yup’ik from the Curyung Tribe of the Bristol Bay region in Alaska. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics and is a certified Grant Writer. Her previous work experience consists of Tribal community engagement and marketing. Currently, Emily is pursuing an AA degree in Alaska Native Studies to gain a better understanding of her Alaska Native culture.
Emily is passionate about preserving her Alaska Native traditions through utilizing land resources, keeping the subsistence lifestyle, and teaching it to younger generations. Emily enjoys spending time with family, hiking, fishing, and any other activity that is outdoors.

Keely M. Purcell

(Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska)

Director of Sales (lower 48)

Before joining Tribal Ready, Keely managed external partnerships for the National Congress of American Indians. For three decades, she has worked with tribes as a  grant manager, advocate, health educator, and tribal college instructor, and has contributed her skills to a major political campaign. Keely holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, emphasizing corporate, community, and public relations. She likes to tell people she majored in talking.

Keely and her family live on the Winnebago Reservation in Winnebago, Nebraska. She enjoys reading, working in her flower garden, and learning about the traditional uses of plants. Keely loves spending time with her family, especially supporting her youngest daughter and grandchildren during pow-wows and sporting events.

Katrina Tysinger

(Curyung Tribe)

Director, Grant Services

Specializing in state and federal grant writing, consulting, and project management, Katrina “Saraalaq” Tysinger is Yup’ik Eskimo from the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Previously, she worked at Alaska Native 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations in grant coordination and empowering Indigenous and disadvantaged students towards career success.

Katrina is passionate about serving underserved communities. She has successfully secured over $25 million in broadband funding for her clients since 2022. She has also developed culturally driven learning circle sessions to assist tribes in expanding broadband infrastructure on tribal land.

John Vetter

Director, Network Design & Technical Strategies

John is a seasoned professional with 27 years of experience in telecommunications network design,
construction, integration, launch, operations, and performance optimization. His leadership extends
to senior management positions within the engineering and operations divisions of MetroPCS/T-
Mobile, Clearwire, and NRTC. John has also contributed his expertise to major infrastructure
vendors like Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia.

In recent years, John has channeled his expertise towards fixed wireless access and fiber-to-the-
home design and deployment, primarily targeting the rural broadband sector. His contributions to
projects for independent school districts, rural electric cooperatives, and Tribal broadband have
provided him with a profound understanding of the specific challenges inherent to rural deployments.

John’s professional portfolio includes significant achievements, such as spearheading large-scale
cellular infrastructure deployments, which included overseeing 2.5GHz network rollout with a
substantial Microwave backhaul network and directing RF engineering design and optimization
efforts for multiple wireless carrier markets in the US and internationally. He has also played pivotal
roles in major projects such as a submarine fiber station installation for Telmex, satellite gateway
integration projects for Globalstar, and pioneering the use of antenna alignment technology and
patents for the wireless industry with Sunsight Instruments.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Christian Brothers University and an MBA from the
University of Miami. Outside of his professional pursuits, he enjoys quality time with his two
daughters and seeks adventure through mountaineering and scuba diving.

Chris Wohlsclagel

Director, Network Services 

Before joining Tribal Ready, Chris was the manager of broadband and access operations at C Spire, where he led a team that successfully migrated the State of Mississippi’s broadband network. In his over 35 years of experience in telecommunications, Chris worked with major private data networks within the USA, Canada, and Europe, gaining skills in data network design/engineering, sales engineering, project management, planning, implementation, operations, and network management. He has worked with AT&T, Cingular Wireless, the government of Bermuda, EDS, and others.

Chris is an avid “car guy,” having owned and driven many high-horsepower vehicles. Currently, he’s slowed down (a little) and has taken on a new challenge of “going slow, but anywhere” in his Jeep Wrangler. 

Email:chris@tribalready.com

Nikki Drag-Kposowa

Senior Executive Administrator

Nikki Drag-Kposowa is the Senior Executive Administrator at Tribal Ready. She currently manages business operations including onboarding, tool implementation, event logistics, and is a strategic business partner to the Chairman and President. With more than a decade of experience in back-office operations, Nikki understands the inner workings of today’s fast-paced broadband industry.

Previously, Nikki worked in the media at CNN’s Washington Bureau, and provided direct support to senior-level executives while managing bureau-wide projects, and supporting broadcast production. Additionally, Nikki has worked in the Tech Industry supporting leadership at Oracle Utilities (R&D division).

Nikki earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Buffalo State College. She is also a Certified Meeting Planner.