Seneca earns national honors as businessman
IRVING –Seneca Nation businessman, J C Seneca, has spent the past year celebrating the 25th Anniversary of his Native Pride Travel Plaza with a focus on his Tallchief heritage and ancestry.
This month, however, his attention will be refocused on national recognition of his own accomplishments, as he receives the Native Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The honor was presented to Seneca at the Native Business Virtual Summit last week.
According to Carmen Davis, Founder, Publisher, and Executive Editor of Native Business Magazine, the award recognizes Native businesses and individuals who are rising above challenges and circumstances to advance business and protect sovereignty, and also celebrates Natives who demonstrate courage, innovation and commitment to economic self-sufficiency and prosperity.
“JC Seneca has mastered the vertical integration of businesses. His operations are completely self-sufficient, and revenue from one is funneled to capitalize the next. Mr. Seneca’s businesses experienced an uptick amid the pandemic, and he increased pay for his employees at Native Pride Travel Plaza, who have worked diligently and longer hours to protect the health of customers while adhering to social distancing measures. Mr. Seneca’s successful execution of his entrepreneurial vision and strategic leadership make him the perfect candidate to receive our Entrepreneur of the Year Award.”
In 2019, Native Business honored Seneca as an inaugural member of their class of Top 50 Entrepreneurs, recognizing Native leaders making an impact across 13 business sectors. At that time, the magazine noted Seneca’s achievements as the Founder of Six Nations Manufacturing, Native Pride Travel Plaza and BUFFALO Cigarettes, as well as the JC Seneca Foundation, a nonprofit committed to advancing healthy living in body, mind and spirit for the people of the Seneca Nation and surrounding communities.
Since then, the Western New York businessman has celebrated the 25th anniversary of his business by rebranding it with the Tallchief name of his ancestors, undertaking a full renovation of the Tallchief Diner, developing the Tallchief Outdoor Event Center, securing a $114,000 National Fuel Grant that will extend natural gas lines to his business operations, and beginning installation of a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel station to supplement the travel plaza’s gasoline, diesel, and propane fuel services. Seneca notes his business plan is based on a long-held vision.
“Twenty-five years ago, I began selling cigarettes from a small construction trailer on the land where Native Pride now stands. Since then I have continued to develop and evolve my business plan to offer increased employment opportunities to our people, serving travelers and professional truck drivers from Western New York, across the United States,, and throughout Canada, and giving back to the community. I want to thank Native Business Magazine Founders, Publishers and Executive Editors, Carmen and Gary Davis for this tremendous honor and recognition in being selected and presented with the 2020 Native Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award. It is such a meaningful way to conclude Native Pride’s 25th anniversary year and to celebrate November as National Native Heritage Month.”
Seneca is a member of the Seneca Nation and owner of Native Pride Travel Plaza, located on the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation in Irving. Starting out in 1987 as a young entrepreneur with big dreams, by 1995 Seneca had developed his own truck stop business and spent the next 25 years building a highly successful 22-pump gas and diesel service area complimented by a diner, a 24/7 convenience store and shower and lounge services for professional truck drivers. In 2019, Seneca was recognized as a Top 50 Native Business Entrepreneur by Native Business Magazine, a national publication out of Bellevue, WA.
While focused on business development, Seneca has also broadened his community reach as a private citizen, stepping forward repeatedly in negotiations during contentious sales tax disputes between the Seneca Nation and the New York State Government and as a public servant, in his role as an elected representative to The Seneca Nation Tribal Council and elected Treasurer of The Seneca Nation. Seneca’s civic leadership is further reflected in the creation of the J C Seneca Foundation, a nonprofit corporation with a mission to advance healthy living in body, mind, and spirit for the people of the Seneca Nation and surrounding communities.
Backed by a quarter century of goals and achievement, in 2020 Seneca made the decision to reformat his Native Pride Brand by incorporating it with his family’s Seneca Nation Heritage. It is a heritage tied to his great, great, great grandfather, Tallchief, who claimed the land where Seneca began his entrepreneurial journey and today continues to grow his business, now known as Tallchief Territory, Home of Native Pride. https://www.tallchiefterritory.com/
ABOUT NATIVE BUSINESS MAGAZINE: Native Business Magazine was launched by Gary and Carmen Davis to promote and advance Native American business, entrepreneurship, and economic development. Native Business accomplishes this through digital platforms (online and mobile app) that feature news and success stories, promotes best practices, and informs readers about the latest business innovation and trends. Native Business also empowers enterprises and entrepreneurs across Indian Country by providing video and podcast tools to motivate and inspire new generations of Native entrepreneurs by sharing the wisdom of various business thought leaders. In addition to engaging readers and creating new conversations with its content, Native Business presents the annual Native Business Virtual Summit, with the goal of catalyzing Tribal economic development and business growth across Indian Country. Business Magazine’s state-of-the-art virtual broadcast facility delivers live streamed, network-news-caliber coverage to viewers across North America and around the world.? Through its various platforms, Native Business shines a spotlight on the best that Indian Country has to offer and assists Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations and Native business leaders with growing opportunity for future generations of Native people. https://www.nativebusinessmag.com/