Season 4, Episode 3: “Three Cheers for the Yurok Tribe’s Linda Cooley, CEO of Mad River Brewing Company!”

Meet Linda Cooley (Yurok tribe), CEO of Mad River Brewing Company in beautiful Blue Lake, California!

And look out, world – because this American Indian CEO is out to help her tribe and the planet too.

After profitability, Linda set out to put a portion of Mad River Brewing funds to good use by helping her Yurok Nation and the land in the area. For instance, their Undammed Seltzer promotes the removal of dams in Native country. This effort resulted in the largest undamming in history, with hopes of restoring the salmon spawning grounds back to their original glory. Mad River also partners with California State Parks for good causes so take a listen to hear more!

We all know there is great sensitivity around substance abuse in our Native American population, and I took this factor into consideration when contemplating this episode. Linda herself experienced the detrimental effects of her father’s addiction, and she determined to utilize her work in the beverage industry to bring awareness to the topic, while also doing good for her tribe and community.

In this episode, you’ll also hear about:

  • Linda’s family and ancestral stories
  • How Linda got started in the industry
  • Tourism being an economic driver in Native country
  • The Yurok tribe and the challenges the brewery is trying to help solve
  • Mad River Brewing’s intertribal partnerships
  • Linda’s first pitch with Mad River Brewery’s partner, the San Francisco Giants
  • The brewery’s gold-winning brews

Mad River Brewing is family and dog-friendly (yay!), has live music and some of the best BBQ on the planet!

Linda is on a mission to do good in an unexpected way, with results that are actually working. Her strong leadership skills, determination to make change, and care for her tribe and surroundings is a legacy many can only hope to leave behind.

Yakoke, Linda for all you’re doing and for making Indian country proud – cheers to you!

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