PhoebeSuina-Header

Phoebe Suina

Pueblo de Cochiti, NM

INDUSTRY: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
BUSINESS: HIGH WATER MARK, LLC
YEAR FOUNDED: 2013
PROGRAM: 2016 EMERGING LEADERS ALBUQUERQUE
“I’m encouraging the growth of the company but also looking at the individuals as well. What are their goals and how can their goals help the company and, in a sense, help them too.”
BUSINESS OVERVIEW
High Water Mark, LLC was founded in 2013 by Phoebe and her then business partner Ryan Weiss. With background in flood prevention infrastructure, the two saw a need in northern New Mexico for their expertise after major fires and subsequent floods swept across the region. High Water Mark is an environmental consulting and project management firm that helps secure, manage, and implement funds “to protect, recover, and mitigate impacts from flooding and other natural hazards.” While doing this, they facilitate cooperation between local, state, and federal actors. During its first year, all of High Water Mark’s contracts were in tribal communities, including Phoebe’s tribe of the Cochiti Pubelo, but it has since expanded to work on projects in non-tribal communities. While in 2013, revenue was around $50,000, Phoebe projects revenue will reach $900,000 in 2017.

MEET CLIENTS WHERE THEY'RE AT
High Water Mark distinguishes itself through its inclusive approach to developing and implementing projects. High Water Mark engages all stakeholders, whether they are tribal, non-tribal, state, or federal actors. One way High Water does this is by being transparent at every step. “A level of understanding, and making an effort to work with everyone, actually reduces conflict down the line. Conflict is very expensive, in both time and money.” High Water also hires from the communities served: “It provides us with perspective when we’re implementing projects across different jurisdictional boundaries or different communities.”

In 2015, Phoebe was confronted by a particularly challenging situation between tribal and non-tribal stakeholders in a project concerning the Nambe Reservoir. “We found that there was a lot of politics that surfaced during the collaboration, but we got to work for the betterment of everyone.” High Water Mark found a sustainable solution by facilitating conversations between the two sides. When they worked together and with Phoebe’s help, the community was able to secure $4.5M in state and federal funding. These outcomes show High Water Mark’s deep understanding and commitment to both their clients and the communities they live in.

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