A video tribute to Travois’ founders, my parents

Last week in Austin, we celebrated and thanked my parents, David Bland and Marianne Roos, for their dedication to developing affordable housing in Indian Country over the last two decades.

If you couldn’t join us at our conference, we thought you might want to watch the video below. There were lots of hugs, laughs and a few tears. I’d also like to especially thank Linda McGraw-Adams of Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority and Bobby Hall of Pacific Growth Associates for sharing their heartfelt wishes as David and Marianne enjoy retirement.

I introduced the video with these words:

Travois began like so many other successful small businesses do. It began in the passionate imagination of its founder David Bland. It relied on advice from Marianne Roos. It incubated in the basement of our family home in Minnesota. Every entrepreneur who founds a business dreams of it outgrowing that basement and outlasting the founders’ own careers.

Many of the people in this room are meeting David and Marianne for the first time this year. Many of you have known them since those early days over 20 years ago. But for all of us, it is sometimes easy to forget why Travois was founded.

Travois began because of the shared belief between David, Marianne and tribal housing leaders that we could all do better. They shared the belief that a few homes, small grants and a narrow vision would never be good enough.

And 22 years later, we stay true to that feeling that we can always do better. And even though we are now dealing in the millions of dollars and hundreds of units per year, we follow David’s example of knowing that even this is not good enough.

Dad: we would not be here without your vision. Mom: we would not be here without the way you have handled Travois’ good and bad times over the years. We put together a tribute to you and all that you have built over the years.

Once again, thank you, mom and dad!

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