Family man Devron Ross, is trying to build something for not only his family, but also for his community.
Ross began his career 25 years ago at companies owned by others as a federal mechanic contractor specializing in HVAC, plumbing, process piping, medical gas and hydronic systems.
After more than two decades working for others, Ross decided to set out on his own and founded Mustang Group LLC. Centrally located in Oklahoma City, the firm serves the numerous federal facilities located in the state. Mustang Group LLC’s largest project is worth more than $925,000.
Under Ross’ leadership, Mustang LLC has increased its growth by 314 percent, an impressive figure given the sluggish global economy. Despite this though, Mustang Group LLC has faced tough times.
“The economy has increased my competitors as private projects were slow,” said Ross. “Many of them have moved to federal contracts, therefore our profit margins have decreased.”
With this in mind, Ross came across an article in the Hownikan about the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Community Development Corporation (CPCDC). Partially funded by a Treasury
Department grant, the CPCDC’s aim is to promote community development and job creation through business counseling and funding for Native American-owned enterprises in Oklahoma and across the country. As one of the largest Native American Community Development Financial Institutions in the country, the CPCDC lends money to Native American owned business regardless of tribal affiliation in Okla.
“My business would absolutely not exist today without the Community Development Corporation,” said Ross. “(Senior Commercial Lender) Bob Crothers was and still is one of the three people I consult concerning financial decisions. Felecia Freeman, our commercial loan associate is a wizard with improving your credit history, and Shane Jett is the best cheerleader I’ve ever known as an executive director. Everyone in CPN should call our CDC first if they have a business idea they are passionate about, of any kind or size.”
For those outside of the state, the CPCDC will also assess and fund business loans, though that funding is solely for CPN tribal members. The CPNCDC provides Native American business owners with access to funding opportunities, but also strategic counseling to ensure the firm has a sustainable and profitable business plan. It has helped a number of firms; both based in Oklahoma and throughout the country develop their business models, regardless of sector.
“They are lenient, inspirational and supportive,” said Ross, “and continue to help and advise you after you start up. In my experience, the CDC is both inspirational and patient, which is helpful to a new business owner.”
Mustang Group LLC’s success at navigating an increasingly competitive sector with the help of the CPCDC goes to show that starting your own business is possible. If you would like to learn more about the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, please visit www.cpcdc.org. If you are interested in speaking with someone directly, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-878-4697.