Sydney Mills Farhang

(Oglala Sioux Tribe)

Executive Director

Sydney Mills Farhang is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and grew up in Sacramento, California. She received bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has over 10 years’ experience in domestic and international non-profit management, program development, and fundraising. She is dedicated community-led development and maintaining organizational transparency, and her passion for her Lakota culture and creating an equitable, inclusive society for Native Americans is reflected in her work. Sydney oversees the development and strategic implementation of Running Strong’s programs across the country and works to meet Running Strong’s communications and funding goals. 


Rose Fraser

(Oglala Sioux Tribe)

Field Coordinator

Rose is a community leader who has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years. As Field Coordinator, she runs the Oyate Teca Project in Kyle, SD and works to create food access and entrepreneurial opportunities for families on the Pine Ridge Reservation through the Medicine Root Gardening program. She studied Computer Science at Oglala Lakota College, and has extensive training in business management, financial management, human resources, and grant writing. She was also one of six inaugural MIT Oceti Sakowin Solve Fellows in 2018 for her gardening work. Rose directs Running Strong’s Oyate Ta Kola Ku community center on Pine Ridge, and oversees the  Medicine Root Gardening program. 


Karen Lone Elk

(Oglala Sioux Tribe)

Program Assistant

Karen was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is passionate about giving back to her community. She received her Associate’s in Accounting and Business, and supports our field operations on Pine Ridge. She works closely with our Field Coordinators to connect families to clear running water and get the heating assistance they need in the winter.


Dave Lone Elk

(Oglala Sioux Tribe)

Field Coordinator

Dave was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and oversees Running Strong’s food and critical heat assistance programs on Pine Ridge. He has been with Running Strong for nearly a decade, and is a rising leader in his community.

Macey Michaelson

Program Manager

Macey was born and raised in Northern California. She is an avid advocate, philanthropist, and art lover. She attended San Francisco State University, obtained a B.A. in Philosophy, and now has over 7 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She is passionate about creating community and feels most rewarded when she is of service. She is dedicated to supporting and expanding all of Running Strong’s programs.


Joshua Smith

(Osage nation)

Microenterprise Development Program Coordinator

Josh, a member of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, graduated with his BS in Theology, his Master of Divinity, and his Masters in Business Administration. He has many years experience working in the non-profit sector, in strategic relations, and is the owner and operator of Ekowah Coffee. Josh is a skilled entrepreneur who uses his talents to oversee and run Running Strong’s new Microenterprise Development Program to help support Native entrepreneurs and small businesses through loans and hands-on mentorship.

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Amy Ellingson

(Walker River Paiute Tribe)

Administrative Assistant

Amy Ellingson is an enrolled member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, of Schurz NV, with descendancy to Mono, Tsimshian, and Washoe.

Growing up in Sacramento, CA Amy is very connected to the local Native community, attending Powwows, beading class, and making family trips to NV. She loves her family and has always been proud of her heritage and culture. She is an experienced administrator with skills in accounting, human resources, research and skip tracing. Her true passion is to work with Native communities to give the love and support back. She is excited to be a part of the Running Strong team in California.


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Stacie Lee

(Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe)

Summer Youth Food Program Coordinator

Stacie has spent her career serving the youth on the Cheyenne River Reservation, where she was born and raised. She is passionate about securing food for families on the reservation, both through her work at Running Strong and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School where she is the Food Service Manager. Stacie oversees the Summer Youth Feeding Program on Cheyenne River Reservation, ensuring over 10,000 children receive lunch during the week each summer.