Cheryl Crazy Bull, serves as President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, a non profit organization that supports American Indian and Alaska Native Colleges and universite. Her 35 year career included serving as a faculty member, dean, development officer and Vice President of Administration at Sinte Gleska University and as Chief Educational Officer of St. Francis Indian School both on her home reservation in South Dakota. She served ten years as the President of Northwest Indian College headquartered at the Lummi Nation in Washington. Cheryl has extensive leadership experience with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the membership association of the tribal colleges, and through service on various national and regional boards. She frequently serves as a speaker or panelist exploring educational issues, indigenous knowledge, and tribal life. Cheryl has published articles and chapters about tribally controlled education, research, tribal colleges, and community development as well as leadership. She is a citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, from the Rosebud Reservation, and her Lakota name is Wacinyanpi Win which means “they depend on her”.
In 2015 Cheryl was named to the inaugural list of 50 Faces to Know in Indian Country established by Indian Country Today Media Network, the largest indigenous media source in the world. She is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from Sinte Gleska University and Seattle University. Among her honors are a 2011 Enduring Spirit Award from Native Action Network, recognition as one of three finalists for Whatcom County Business Person of the Year in 2012, and keynote speaker at the 2015 National Conference on Race and Equity in Higher Education (NCORE) and the 2015 Association for the Study Higher Education (ASHE) conference.
Cheryl currently serves on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Higher Education Access & Scholarship Task Force, the Programs and Practice Committee of Independent Sector, and as an Advisory Board member of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions..
Miko Branch is the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s LLC, the company behind the premium hair care product line, Miss Jessie’s, that exclusively caters to the diverse spectrum of all curly hair types. Miko founded the company with her sister, Titi, and they named it after their beloved and fiercely independent “do-it-for-yourself,” and “tell-it-like-it-is” paternal grandmother – Jessie Mae Branch.
As the visionary behind the Miss Jessie’s brand, Miko revolutionized the hair care industry and became a leading pioneer of the natural hair movement by creating and marketing high performance and high quality hair care products. Miko quickly changed the conversation about hair and hair care by declaring that Miss Jessie’s products were not exclusively for a specific ethnic group but rather were for all types of textures and curls regardless of ethnicity. As a result, the Miss Jessie’s product line includes a variety of products for every type of texture and curl from wavy to coily.
Miko’s finger print is evident in every aspect of the Miss Jessie’s brand from the packaging and marketing to the colors and smells of the award winning products, including favorites like Baby Buttercreme, Pillow Soft Curls, Curly Pudding, Quick Curls, Leave In Condish and MultiCultural Curls.
Miko continues to develop innovative, original and effective solutions for curly hair needs and she has acquired numerous accolades such as becoming a best selling author of business memoir, Miss Jessie’s: Creating A Successful Business from Scratch -Naturally (Harper Collins), WWD Most Influential Women in Business, Ebony 100, Centric 16/16 (16 Women To Watch in 2016), and she has graced the March 2016 cover of Black Enterprise Magazine as a result of her remarkable tenacity.
Although grateful to receive such recognition, Miko prefers to give, particularly to organizations that encourage the advancement and education of minority youth. Miko has partnered with the New York Urban League and the United Negro College Fund in support of their scholarship programs, and has made charitable donations to the Doe Foundation, NAACP, and Morehouse College.