Erika J. Seneca-Hastie has distinguished herself quickly in her career with every expectation to continue after recently receiving back-to-back high honors — in 2022 with the coveted 30 Under 30 Award from the Buffalo Business First publication and in 2023 with the University at Buffalo Distinguished Indigenous Alumni Award from the school’s department of indigenous studies. As the director of marketing and special events and assistant to the owner of Tallchief Territory-Home of Native Pride, Mrs. Seneca-Hastie’s multiple areas of expertise and responsibility include leadership, customer service, sales, developing and executing strategic marketing plans, brand management, public relations, advertising, special events, promotions, maintaining an internet and social media presence, and graphic design.
Mrs. Seneca-Hastie carries out her varied, vital, and valued roles by helping to oversee and ensure the positive productivity of nearly 100 employees and working closely with management staff. She regularly conducts research to find new ways to enhance the offerings of the travel plaza in addition to hosting outdoor music celebrations, a monthly Rock’n’Blues Bike Night throughout the summer, smoke dance competitions, and other key events. Furthermore, she works to promote the on-site factory, Six Nations Manufacturing, which is a tobacco manufacturing company that carries excellent brands that are offered within the Native Pride store and at gas station locations exclusively in Native territories.
Laying a solid foundation for her career by earning a Bachelor in communications degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Mrs. Seneca-Hastie also interned for two consecutive summers at WGWE 105.9 FM radio station. She attributes her success to continuing to strive toward her goals, many of which she says she already has achieved, thus motivating her to continually grow as a person. She is proud of her parents, including her mother, Nikki Seneca, a talent outreach and hiring manager at Seneca Casinos, and father, Steven Seneca, a maintenance worker for the New York State Thruway Authority and is honored to be a role model in her communities, to her three younger sisters, and to Native students to show them that they, too, can accomplish anything they seek to do.
In the coming years, Mrs. Seneca-Hastie hopes to own a cannabis business, yet not necessarily to sell the plant, she says. Rather, she wants to focus on branding, marketing, and producing labels and packaging for her own company and multiple businesses, such as indigenous and Native brands. Newlywed to William Hastie, in her spare time, she enjoys attending Buffalo Bills football, Buffalo Sabres hockey, and Buffalo Bandits lacrosse games and spending time with her dog, Rihanna.