Direct Expressions Inc.
Formed by myself, David Tilsen and my brother Mark Tilsen
We were eventually joined in management with Kathleen Donahue and Karlene Hunter.
We were a direct mail, phone banking, polling, political strategy, press relations, and concert and event promotion organization. We were very successful, always profitable, and award winning.
Our major work was raising funds for organizations on the Pine Ridge Reservation, working to bring self-determination and independence to the Lakota People. We successfully worked on
Oglala Lakota College
Sinte Gileska college
Wounded Knee district school
We also created and staffed the Prairie Island Coalition against Nuclear Storage
Our division Direct Events
Worked on most of the early Farm Aid concerts
Honor the Earth with the Indigo Girls and Winona LaDuke
Women’s Professional Softball League.
We helped John Marty get the DFL endorsement for Governor
And were part of Paul Wellstone’s election to the Senate.
When we dissolved, the marketing division was converted to a Native-owned organization on Pine Ridge and is still operating as Lakota Direct. This organization has spawned Native American Natural Foods, which Mark Tilsen works for, a healthy snack food company owned and controlled by Native People.
The database management division became the Databank Inc., an organization serving progressive non-profits and political campaigns. I have worked for both organizations.