Over the past several months, Osage Nation business entities have undergone significant changes as Osage LLC expanded its role as a parent company to encompass new business endeavors and brought two existing entities under its holdings as subsidiaries.
In October 2021, the Osage Nation Congress passed resolution ONCR 21-15, which designated Osage Nation Ranch LLC as a subsidiary of Osage LLC. Shortly thereafter, both the Ranch and ONES LLC (Osage Nation Environmental Solutions) boards were dissolved.
Osage LLC now serves as the parent company to five limited liability companies (LLCs) and manages Skyway36. Osage LLC and all subsidiary LLCs are wholly owned by the Osage Nation with the Nation as the sole member.
According to a press release issued by Osage LLC, “The Osage LLC is on solid financial footing.” The Osage LLC with Osage Pinnacle Design Group and OIS “currently has $1.6 million in the bank due to prudent and forward-thinking decisions by the board of directors.”
Chairman Frank Freeman chairs the Osage LLC board of directors with Richard Perrier, Danny Sadler, and Nancy Trumbly Benthien serving as members. Patti L. Ripple and Art Laszlo hold advisory roles. Osage LLC provides administrative support and oversees the activities of the following entities:
Osage Innovative Solutions, LLC (OIS)
Dr. James (Jim) Trumbly is the Director of OIS, which is currently working to provide broadband internet service to the three Osage Villages. In February, OIS partnered with AtLink, an internet company based in Oklahoma City, to create “Osage Broadband powered by @AtLink,” with the long-term goal of providing high-speed broadband internet throughout Osage County.
In November 2021, broadband was brought from Pawhuska to the Grayhorse area providing residents with high-speed internet services. As part of this effort, OIS established the George W. Pease Technology Center in Grayhorse. The Technology Center provides computers and computer training for the Osage people. The next phase for the broadband installation, from Pawhuska to Bowring in northeast Osage County, is due to be complete this summer.
The broadband project is funded through a $3 million Community Connect Grant from the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and $450,000 of Osage Nation funds.
OIS’s contract with Fort Leonard Wood ended last year, from which $330,000 was retained to provide resources to help in other areas.
Osage Pinnacle Design Group, LLC (OPDG)
Troy Earhart leads OPDG, managing Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP) and Jefferson Proving Grounds (JPG) contracts with the Louisville Corps of Engineers District. According to an Osage LLC press release: “These contracts are projected to generate $1.3 million gross revenue and $345,000 net revenue by the end of the first quarter.”
OPDG is pursuing additional contracts and expects to add projects over the course of 2022.
Osage Government Services, LLC (OGS)
Kurt Walters leads OGS as a consultant. OGS, a new entity under Osage LLC, was established to enter the SBA’s 8(a) development program and will seek information technology and professional support government contracts. The SBA’s 8(a) program is a nine-year business development and certification program that positions small, disadvantaged businesses for federal contracts.
Osage Nation Environmental Solutions, LLC (ONES)
The Osage LLC board of directors recently completed a 90-day discovery and evaluation period, after which the board took steps to reduce overhead by $235,000. In an effort to keep ONES afloat without financial aid from Congress, Osage LLC financed $340,000 towards ONES payroll and the purchase of four vehicles and equipment for job sites. According to the press release issued by Osage LLC, ONES is projected to be in a profitable net position by July 31, 2022.
Osage Nation Ranch, LLC (ONR)
Former Ranch board members, Galen Crum, Hank Hainzinger and Ladd Oldfield have agreed to stay on in advisory positions through the first year of transition. The Osage LLC board plans to review the Ranch’s business operations, breeding program and coordination with the Osage Nation Butcher House. According to the Osage LLC press release, the Ranch has $1.4 million in the bank and approximately $4 million in fixed assets.
Skyway36 encompasses approximately 100 acres northeast of the Tulsa Osage Casino & Hotel. The property includes over 80,000 square feet of office space, a hangar, and a paved 3000 ft. runway. A $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will fund the renovation of the hangar, bringing it up to current aviation standards. The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance has provided an engineering assessment which will enable the facility to qualify for usage. Osage LLC is working to attract companies in the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) field.
According to the Osage LLC press release, the lease between Osage LLC and the Osage Nation to manage and oversee Skyway36 will soon be signed.