SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Swarm Co-Owner & Vice President Andy Arlotta was recently selected to the Board of Directors for the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce (MAICC).
“We are excited and honored to have Andy as a member of our Board. His passion and commitment to the advancement of American Indian Business is inspiring,” said Jon Otto, Chairman of the Board for the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce. “Andy has worked tirelessly to make a difference within Indian Country and he is an active member of the Minnesota business scene. That’s the reason we recruited him…because we know he will bring this passion, commitment and inspiration to the MAICC Board of Directors.”
MAICC is a non-profit organization that promotes, advocates, and creates economic prosperity on behalf of American Indian businesses, organizations, professionals and Tribal enterprises. It is one of the oldest continuously running American Indian Chambers of Commerce in the US and the oldest ethnic Chamber in Minnesota.
This past December, at the MAICC Annual Awards Banquet, Arlotta was also recognized by receiving the “Spirit of the People Award”. This award recognizes one recipient who brought people together to promote and utilize the gifts of individuals and organizations to enhance, heal and strengthen American Indian Communities in Minnesota.
“It’s a real honor to be selected to the board of directors for the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce and to continue working with the Native American communities,” Minnesota Swarm Co-Owner & Vice President Andy Arlotta said. “I feel it’s important to give back, and I hope that I can use my network and the things that I’ve learned to help further benefit and increase business in these communities. I look forward to continuing to learn from the American Indian communities and to contributing in any way that I can.”
Since becoming co-owner of the Swarm in 2008, Arlotta has worked closely with local Tribal Leaders to develop youth lacrosse programs in effort to help restore the tradition of the sport to American Indian Communities in Minnesota. His work with local Native Communities earned national recognition at the White House this past July during First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! In Indian Country initiative.
Programs that Arlotta has helped establish include a year-round youth lacrosse program in the Prairie Island Indian Community and Lax-4-Life, a weeklong summer lacrosse camp designed specifically for boys and girls from American Indian Communities in Minnesota that is held on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Because of Arlotta’s efforts in the Prairie Island Indian Community, a competitive youth team now participates year-round in multiple lacrosse leagues in the Twin Cities, and became the only Native American team to compete on the youth level in lacrosse in Minnesota. Tribal Communities that have attended Lax-4-Life at no cost the past two years include: Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Prairie Island Indian Community, Little Earth of United Tribes, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Red Lake Band of Chippewa, and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. These two programs not only teach the tradition and game play of lacrosse, but also teach life skills, such as the importance of education, healthy living and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and violence.
In addition, Arlotta and the Swarm have established a Native American Heritage Night, which is held annually during the Swarm’s home opener to recognize the history and tradition of the game. It also honors local tribal communities and features a traditional American Indian lacrosse match at halftime. Minnesota hosted this year’s Native American Heritage Night during its home opener against the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday, Jan. 28 on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center.
The Chamber works at a statewide level building mutually beneficial partnerships by facilitating a network of resources for American Indian business, non-profits, professionals and Tribal communities. MAICC is designed to provide significant change and growth within the Public and Private sector, including governments, Tribal Nations, and corporate communities by providing networking and information opportunities to its members. The Chamber has approximately 160 member businesses.