Clarence O'Berry

State SBA Recognizes Tribal CEO for Entrepreneurial Success


Mandaree Enterprises, LLC opened for business in 1990 with little capital, a total of five employees, and a single customer. Since assuming leadership as president and CEO in 1993, Clarence O’Berry has helped transform the Fort Berthold Reservation-based manufacturing outfit into a dynamic family of companies with over 450 employees, operations in 26 U.S. states and overseas, and a deep customer base.

Recently, the North Dakota district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) honored O’Berry with its Entrepreneurial Success Award for 2016.  Mandaree Enterprises is wholly owned and operated by the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations).

The Entrepreneurial Success Award recognizes businesses that have demonstrated exceptional and sustained success by several metrics, including growth, innovation, and community engagement. The criteria for the award are stringent, and, as a result, it is not conferred on an annual basis by all district offices.

"We do not often find an individual and business that has used SBA assistance as effectively as Clarence and [Mandaree Enterprises] and with such a significant growth in sales," Director of the SBA North Dakota District office Mike Gallagher said. "Clarence has been innovative in both product offerings and approaches to meeting the needs of his customer base which is primarily the federal government. Clarence has made a significant contribution to the MHA community through the development and expansion of not just one, but several successful businesses. This is often difficult and challenging with [t]ribally owned and [re]servation based businesses."

Mandaree serves over a dozen federal agencies and installations, and all four uniformed services. In the commercial marketplace, Mandaree offers real estate and franchise sales, business marketing services, and an e-commerce and branding platform for the products of independent artisans, including those belonging to historically disadvantaged groups. 2015 marked its sensational reentry into the manufacturing arena with a line of military- and commercial-grade tactical gear and accessories. Its signature product is a light-weight, customizable ballistic vest. The Mandaree vest has attracted a wide commercial, municipal, and federal customer base.

Mandaree’s expertise with hook and loop technology secured a coveted contract with the new "Stop the Bleed" initiative through the Department of Homeland Security. Mandaree supplies "Stop the Bleed" with custom-designed bleeding control kits for a blanket distribution to educational institutions and local governments nationwide.

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JDCol's picture
Submitted by JDCol on
As someone who knows the company and its CEO, I can say with certainty: this is an honor well-deserved!