Seven Generations Group, the Michigan-based, tribally-owned professional services portfolio of companies, is rebranding as Bodwé Professional Services Group (Bodwé). Along with the new name, Bodwé is expanding its portfolio through the creation of a new firm, The Steelhead Engineering Co., and the formation of Blue Star Integrative Studio LLC, an Indigenous American planning and architecture firm in Tulsa, OK.
Bodwé is part of Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. In addition to the newly formed Blue Star Integrative Studio LLC and Steelhead Engineering, the Bodwé Group is comprised of Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering and WBK Engineering. The firms work independently and collaboratively to support public and private clients nationwide across sectors, including tribal, municipal, federal, healthcare, and community.
“I am thrilled to lead Bodwé during this exciting time,” says Jeremy Berg, president of Bodwé. “By rebranding, we are signaling that our professional services group is poised for continued growth in support of Mno-Bmadsen and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Adding the Steelhead Engineering Co. and Blue Star Integrative Studio will enable us to serve more clients in a variety of disciplines, often with the opportunity to work cooperatively for increased efficiency.”
The name Bodwé comes from the group’s ties to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The Bodewéwadmik (Potawatomi) people have long been identified as the keepers of the fire. Bodwé means to light a fire for someone, to meaningfully serve another: an apt name for a professional services group. Bodwé is committed to serving indigenous communities and creating new opportunities for Native Americans across the country.
The Steelhead Engineering Co. (Steelhead) is led by President Ryan Wielenga, PE, a citizen of the Pokagon Band. Steelhead provides mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services and is located in downtown Kalamazoo, MI. The new engineering firm’s team has already successfully completed a number of MEP projects including the renovation of Radiant Church, the renovation of the surveillance room at Firekeepers Casino, and designing building systems for the Bay Mills Indian Community Elder Housing Development. Steelhead seeks to achieve balance between economic interests and environmental sustainability through research-driven practices.
“Our responsibility at Steelhead and our connection to the values of Bodwé means we always keep in mind the three customers we serve – the people who live, work, and play in the building every day, the owners who must care for and pay for the building, and the planet from which we source and use resources,” says Wielenga.
Prior to the creation of Steelhead, Wielenga was the vice president of Engineering at Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, where he led and oversaw the growth of MEP engineering services for the company. Previously, Wielenga worked at BP as a maintenance and reliability engineer. Wielenga earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Purdue University Northwest.
Blue Star Integrative Studio (BSIS) is an Indigenous American (Native & Latino) multi-disciplinary creative firm based in Tulsa, OK. Founded on the belief in the power of place that comes from a long-term relationship between people and the land, BSIS delivers quality design, environmental excellence, and smart community building. The multi-faceted firm celebrates clients and collaborations within tribal, public, and private sectors, engaging in architectural and interior design, strategic planning, fund-sourcing, sustainable development consulting, and master planning. BSIS extends the footprint of Bodwé into Oklahoma, home to 39 unique tribal nations, as well as the Southern Plains, Southwest and Pacific Coast, broadening the group’s geographic reach as well as its relationships with communities of culture.
“Joining Bodwé is like being welcomed by family,” says Scott Moore y Medina, founder and president of BSIS. “Blue Star Integrative Studio has collaborated with Bodwé firms often in the past, and there is natural alignment of our visions, values, and practice. Our teams are built on hard work, fairness, honesty, cultural expression, and community empowerment.”
Moore y Medina founded BSIS in 2012 and has served as the firm’s principal architect, lead designer, and managing director since. Prior to founding BSIS, Moore y Medina worked at the Thunder Valley Community Development Corp. on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as a project coordinator, grant writer, and architect. He earned his five-year Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas.