The 2010 Inc. 5000: Top 10 American Indian Entrepreneurs

Courtesy Company
8 of 10

Vickie Wessel, President

Spirit Electronics

No. 1880
2009 Revenue: $32.7 million
Three-Year Growth: 144.56%

Despite having Cherokee, Choctaw and Jicarilla Apache roots, Wessel was not raised to have a strong connection to her American Indian heritage. "When I was growing up, it wasn't cool to be Indian," she says. "My parents' goal was to fold us into a 'normal, white family' style of living." As an adult, however, Wessel says she has researched her family history a "tremendous amount" and has worked to make her own kids aware of their heritage.