David Bland is the chairman of the board of directors of Travois, Inc., the company he founded in 1995. Though retired as the CEO, leaving the management of his company in the capable hands of his daughter and son-in-law, he remains committed to the work Travois continues to do in Indian Country. Prior to forming Travois, he was the manager of community affairs for the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, where he learned about Indian Country. What he learned both inspired and saddened him. Travois, now a Certified B-Corporation, was his response to the critical scarcity of decent, safe, and affordable housing and the absence of critical infrastructure (roads, water and waste water treatment facilities, schools, medical facilities) on America’s many Indian reservations. He was recruited to work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis because of the success of the groundbreaking affordable housing development corporation, City Light Development Corporation, he founded in Winchester, VA in 1988. City Light was the first significant effort to improve housing conditions in the minority communities of this historic Virginia town, home to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, the Byrd family, and lamentably, the virtual birthplace of Massive Resistance to school desegregation.
His first book, Slings & Arrows: How Toxic Narratives Perpetuate Poverty in Indian Country, was published by Vellum, an imprint of New Academia Press, and received rave reviews. He has two more books in the works, one on his great grandfather seven generations back and unsung Colonial patriot, Richard Bland, and another on the pioneering social justice and chocolate-factory owner, Seebohm Rountree. Stay tuned for the release of these upcoming books.
David was given the 2011 HOPE Award from the Asian Real Estate Association America, Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Association, Chinese Real Estate Association of America, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, and the National Association of Realtors. See the video for the award here:
David lives with his wife, Marianne Roos, in Washington, DC.