Storytelling About PropulsionAI With Scott Morris
Have you ever wondered why people end up in jobs that are 100 percent not the right fit for them? Scott Morris, founder of PropulsionAI, has the answer to this conundrum! With his extensive experience in HR, Scott realized that many tools in the HR industry were built by engineers, not practitioners. This led him to found PropulsionAI, a company focused on creating a solution centered around what HR people and leaders actually need to get their work done.
Scott shares his journey and insights on why it is crucial for leaders to change their mindset when it comes to hiring. He emphasizes the importance of focusing on the fit for a role rather than just the tasks that need to be done. Scott introduces PropulsionAI’s product: Spark, an AI-powered conversational platform that acts as a digital HR partner. This interactive tool guides users in scoping job roles, creating job postings, and writing job descriptions that attract the right candidates while deterring the wrong ones.
Scott and William also tackle the challenge of reconciling differences between recruiters and hiring managers when it comes to fitability. They discuss how Spark facilitates collaboration and aligns expectations by involving the hiring manager in the process of crafting job descriptions. Additionally, Scott highlights Propulsion AI’s unique solution of value added scales, which allow users to balance different dimensions of a role’s requirements, ensuring a more accurate representation of the position.
If you’re tired of hiring mismatches and want to attract remarkable candidates, make sure to tune in and check out how much of a game changer Propulsion AI is.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 29 minutes
Enjoy the podcast?
Be sure to check out all our episodes! Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the Use Case Podcast!
Storytelling About PropulsionAI With Scott Morris
William Tincup: [00:00:00] This is William Tincup, and you’re listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today we have Scott Owen from Propulsion AI, and we’ll be learning about the business case, the cost benefit analysis, or the use case for why customers pick Propulsion AI. Scott, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and Propulsion AI?
Scott Morriss: Absolutely, William. And first of all, thanks for having me on. I’m happy to be here with you. So I have, I have about 20 years worth of experience across almost every discipline of HR. I’ve been a chief HR officer, chief people officer for organizations as large as [00:01:00] 15, 000. And as small as 150. And believe me, in the smaller organizations, I’ve been a hands on leader.
Right. And, um, and, and dug in deep, elbow deep, shoulder deep, I think in a lot of cases to every single discipline of HR, whether that’s compensation and actually doing frontline comp analysis, or whether it’s recruiting at the executive level or recruiting at the technical level. Um, learning and development is where I started and, and obviously steering the function.
Uh, and after 20 years, you know, I realized that a lot of the tools that I was struggling with. We’re built by really smart engineers, but they weren’t built by practitioners.
William Tincup: I like how you said really smart engineers, rather than just saying engineers.
Scott Morriss: I’m careful with that because as a founder, I’m learning about how hard it is to build intelligent apps.
Good point. And I don’t want to be overly critical, but there are so many apps that they work for the IT [00:02:00] folks. Right. Don’t work for the HR folks. And it’s silly. And it causes these struggles. And, and in a lot of cases, I think, honestly, if you ask the HR people what they needed, they would tell you the things that their managers and that their employees needed.
Right. And, and it doesn’t feel like anybody listened to that. So I said, you know what, I’m not doing this anymore. I quit my job and I founded a company and we are committed to building company. That is, you know, centered around what HR people and leaders need in order to get the work done that they’re doing.
And that’s, that’s the genesis of Propulsion AI.
William Tincup: And so where do we, uh, first of all, I love the story and I love HR leaders, recruiting leaders that kind of come out and then go, if they find a problem and then they basically say, there’s got to be a better way and they can’t find it on the open market.
And then they say, you know what, I’ll just build it. I’ll build it myself. And uh, so I, first of all, I love those origin stories. Um, where did you start? So what was the, where was the kind of the [00:03:00] first impetus or where you were thinking that you knew, okay, we got to change this. This is not just, it’s not being done well.
Let’s go fix this.
Scott Morriss: So, so, so I like how you framed that, William, because there is a foothold that we’re working on right now. Right. But it is just the tip of the iceberg to what we think the larger problem is. And the larger problem is just simply this. Every year in the United States alone, tens of millions of people go to work in jobs where they are just not a fit.
Right. And that doesn’t mean that, like, they’re bad employees. There are, I mean, I, I’ve been around a bunch of people that I thought were great employees, and they were not a fit for the company or for the role because somebody hadn’t taken the time or been thoughtful enough to really figure that out.
And unfortunately, individuals don’t have much opportunity to interview companies and figure out that, that fit for themselves. So the problem that we’re really focused on. And it’s a 1. 1 trillion problem in the United States alone. It’s a 7. 8 trillion problem [00:04:00] worldwide. That lack of fit, which is not the same as fitting in.
And a guy named Andre Martin just wrote a great book called Wrong Fit, Right Fit. And that, that’s the focus of, of the book. And Andre and I have talked about this a couple of different times. Fitting in is. You know, it doesn’t feel great, but a lack of fit is a lot deeper than just that sentiment. And so that’s the problem that we’re, that we’re focused on solving.
William Tincup: And do we fix it? And do we fix fit all the way from recruiting, uh, through promoting through succession? If we actually do succession planning, et cetera, like where do we, where’s the start and stop or lines of demarcation, or where do you want to focus
Scott Morriss: fit? Well, I, I think the easiest place, and especially for us, because it’s what we’re working on right now to release, is the very beginning.
You know, it’s critical for a, for a leader. If you’re a leader working in an organization, here’s what you [00:05:00] know, without a doubt, you’ve got fires that are burning. You’ve got people that are coming into your office and saying, this is not done. And you have got to hire, and you’ve got to hire quickly. And the longer it takes you to hire, the more opportunity you have to miss.
Top candidates. And the reality is that, you know, sitting down and scoping a role takes time. And on the other side of that, you know, it’s, it’s critical that you think through things and not only for the bottom line, although the bottom line is the easiest place to touch this, but you want to talk about candidate.
Experience. If you want to talk about employee engagement, like, you know, the employee engagement survey market is projected by, I think the end of, of 26 to be like 326 million, William, but you know what? You can’t have employee engagement. If you haven’t taken the thought before you even post or haven’t taken the time before you posted the role to think through how that job is going to fit into your company strategy.[00:06:00]
To figure out what the return on that job is, right, if you haven’t taken the time to do that, you are not setting yourself up for either a good candidate experience or for employee engagement. So, I think leaders right now today, they’re focused on the symptoms, they’re not focused on the root cause. And for us, the root cause is, can you sit down and balance these two things?
You’ve got to fill the role quickly and you’ve got to take the time to think through how the, the, the particular job fits the organizational strategy.
William Tincup: You know, I love this on so many levels, but, you know, the thing about kind of, uh, employer brand, because I know you’ve studied this stuff as well, is I’ve always said that employer brand has to repulse as much as it retracts, uh, attracts, right?
So, So if we’re, if we’re talking about fit, like, as you said, some, some, sometimes you just don’t fit that manager or that job, or maybe you’ve grown out of it and you don’t fit it any longer, or, uh, on the front end, as you’ve described, you know, hiring managers have an [00:07:00] idea of what they think will fit, uh, and candidates have an idea of what they think they fit and those two don’t really sync in any way, shape or form.
So how do you. How do you get everybody on the same page around fitability? So candidates, recruiters, hiring managers, HR, like you got a different, you got like six different contingencies here and they all probably look at fit a little bit differently.
Scott Morriss: You know, the, the easiest way to do it, it’s the obvious way to do it, but it’s not the way that a lot of organizations are going to do it.
And that is have a great HR business partner or great senior recruiter experienced enough to push back on you as a senior manager, especially, and drive the conversation and the thinking into some of these other areas and get beyond like, what are the tasks that I want this person to do? And the reason, like organizations do that, right?
But that doesn’t scale. That model doesn’t scale. And, and I think we’re in an era now, especially with what’s [00:08:00] happening with artificial intelligence and the subset of AI called machine learning, that we can create, we can, we can take a different approach and we can scale a whole lot easier, but the simple answer to your question is we got to get leaders to change their mindset.
about what’s really important, and it starts with, I think, a simple question. Do you want people, are you going to hire somebody who’s going to do tasks, or are you going to hire somebody who’s going to be an owner? And listen, we could be talking about, like, a person that stands at the, at the counter at Chipotle.
You still want them to own a piece of that, that organization, of the interactions that they have with their customer. But if you start thinking about, like, your job is to punch buttons on a cash register, that’s a, that, you’re, you’re dead from the very beginning. Right. Right.
William Tincup: And so No, go
Scott Morriss: ahead. Go ahead.
Well, so, so, so, but, but having an unscalable model, like we’ll just add more HR business partners. We’ll just add more recruiters. That’s not working either. And you know what? I don’t think the recruiters want that because that’s not the work the recruiter wants to do. The recruiter wants to work with [00:09:00] candidates and wants to apply their unique expertise that we need because it’s something humans do best to really sussing out, is that the right person for us?
Are they going to fit us in different ways and can I reveal to them? The fit that we could have for them. So I forgot
William Tincup: to ask you, and uh, I should, I, I would be remiss if we get through the whole podcast and I didn’t ask you about propulsion, like what do you, what does the technology or what does the company
Scott Morriss: do?
Well, so here’s what we’ve created. We’ve, we have, uh, designed a conversational. AI product, which is like working. It’s like having a senior recruiter or an HR business partner at your side when and where you want. It is an interactive product, which means that this isn’t, this isn’t a form filler. If you look at the market today and, and particularly for, you know, tools and platforms that create job descriptions, you’re, you’re basically looking at form fillers.
[00:10:00] And if it’s not a form filler, it’s usually somebody that’s tried to tack on some form of what they’re calling AI to an existing product and, and, and sort of hide their, their tech debt, you know, which is basically a form filler. What we’ve built is an AI first product, which is interactive. This product engages the user in a conversation.
It’s called Spark, the smart platform for attracting remarkable candidates. S P A R C. It’s guided by a digital human, and we’ve named her Athena. And what Athena does is basically interviews you and, and challenges in some cases, choices that the user wants to make. The user’s always in command, always responsible for the final decision.
But what Athena is doing is what a senior HR business partner or senior recruiter is going to do. She’s also adaptive. She learns the organization. Each time you come through to sit down and scope a [00:11:00] job, she’s learning about the organization, not only about what you want in roles, but about the tone and voice that you use.
In fact, she’s consuming those from what you’ve got already published on your website, your corporate career site, your Glassdoor page, and other pieces of information that are out on the web. And then she takes that understanding that she builds out of the conversation she’s having with the user, and she writes the job posting, she writes the job description, and she writes SEO optimized social media posts.
And William, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t make the point quickly for the audience that the job description is not the job posting. They have different purposes and different functions in so many organizations. And it’s back to the speed argument, right? They’re erring on the side of, I’ve got to get this done quickly.
So they either cut and paste, or they write something that they’re going to call a job description and they put it on the web. And that’s just, it’s, it’s wrong headed. But it’s [00:12:00] done for speed. And what Athena does is she gets in the middle of that and says, Look, you can have both of these. You don’t have to pick one or the other.
We’ll have a conversation. And by the way, that conversation, for most organizations, this process that I’m talking about takes days in the best cases and months in the worst cases. And she turns this activity into something you fit into a coffee break. And so she conducts this interview, leverages that information, writes the job posting, which is a marketing document.
And going back to what you said, and I think you’re spot on, it is designed to attract in the right people and scare the heck out of the wrong ones so that you don’t go blind reading resumes. She also writes the job description, which has an audience of exactly one person, and it’s the person in that job.
And its purpose is to take the ambiguity out of how we are agreeing. That the one, the results that should get accomplished and two, how the job should have done. And she writes all of that for you. And then she stores [00:13:00] everything in a library. And so it’s integrated, flows into your HR tech stack, flows to job boards with a single click, flows to social media, if you’ve connected your accounts and becomes a place where individuals can collaborate around this question of what is this job?
How does it fit the strategy? And, and how are we going to measure its success? So.
William Tincup: Uh, an age old problem that you deal with, uh, as a, as a former practitioner is how do you, how do you reconcile the differences between kind of the sourcer, uh, uh, the recruiter and the hiring manager? So we’ll just deal with the recruiter and hiring manager.
And so Athena can interview, okay, that’s great, but if, if she’s interviewing two people, she’s going to potentially, uh, get two different responses. How does that get reconciled in terms of what actually are we going to go with?
Scott Morriss: So, let me be clear about functionality. Our, our sort of view of the world is the hiring manager is [00:14:00] simultaneously the best person to have involved and the absolute worst.
They are the best person because they know the work, right? And I know, I look, I know as a recruiter, when I’ve functioned at either as an executive recruiter or as a frontline recruiter. When I’ve come in, I am a second best solution. That hiring manager knows the work. They know the profile. What they’re not good at is getting all of that out.
What I’m not good at is knowing the work and I may know how to get it out. And that’s where Athena comes in because Athena creates this with the hiring manager. And then that hiring manager can send it to the sourcer, can send it to the recruiter, can send it to their team. And say, what do you think about this?
Yeah, this is
William Tincup: the
Scott Morriss: job. That’s right. And what you’re really saying is not just like, here are the tasks, but here is like, this is an investment. Salary is an investment. And we have to be concerned about what the return is. So it’s like, here are the job [00:15:00] responsibilities. And by the way, there are multiple, we, the way that Athena writes these, she is writing them in such a way that you could fit a whole host of tactics.
Under each one without losing the heart of what the responsibility is. And this is something that most hiring managers don’t do well. They go down to a tactic, which can only be done one way. Right, right, right. Athena writes very openly to the heart of what you’re trying to get as an outcome.
William Tincup: Oh, I love this.
I love this one. So many levels. Let me ask you some by, by side question, if you don’t mind. When you, uh, get to show, uh, Propulsion AI to a prospect for the first time, what do they fall in
Scott Morriss: love with? Okay, can I, let me tell you my, my absolute favorite comment that I’ve gotten back from someone and then I’ll answer your question directly.
Sure. So I, I did a demo recently, um, for an individual who’s accountable to, for buying all HR technology for the organization. And I got to the end of the demo, he’s got a big smile on his face and I said like, [00:16:00] what I like, what kind of egg do I have on me? Like, what have I done to screw this up? And he goes, I just bought a product from, and it was a.
I can’t even call them a competitor because I just don’t, I think they’re so old and, and the focus is just different for them. But he said, I just bought this competitor’s product. And he said, I feel like. I bought a horse and you just showed me a car and we’re working really hard to unwind that deal and try and get them to come in and, and, and test drive, um, with their work population, um, spark.
But you know, I think people react, um, there’s, there’s a huge feature that gets a lot of attention and we call it value added scales. And it came out of, out of sort of this logic that, I mean, personally, and I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience, I’ve operated, I’ve been a part of two different organizations.
And in each of these organizations, I had the exact same title and I had a very [00:17:00] similar job description. Like indistinguishably similar. And yet in organization one, the need was for me to perform the job in a way that was very connected to building vision and building a team and looking down the road and those kinds of things.
And in organization number two, I needed to be very execution focused and very now focused. And yet the job description for those two was indistinguishable. So we said, look, it can’t just be. The, the job responsibilities, every chief people officer is accountable to build a healthy culture. How you do that matters.
And so we created this feature called Value Added Scales. There are 12 of them. They have between seven and eight dimensions in each. And what we’re asking the user to do is to balance across these dimensions. Where does this aspect like bias for action or strategy versus execution? or the way that you organize tasks or, you know, any dimension that you can think of [00:18:00] within and we’re hard pressed to find a job that doesn’t fit into these 12.
Right. Um, and, and by, by, by adjusting these dimensions, you effectively create a profile that says to your applicants, it’s not just And I’ll use myself as an example. It’s, it’s not just a chief people officer job. It is a chief people officer job that needs to be done like this. And that is key to getting the right people to go, Oh, I’m built like that.
And I love to deliver value like that. And the wrong people, even if they are top performers to look at that and go, I think I need to
William Tincup: think carefully. Right. Which is the whole idea. Someone can see themselves in that job and thriving or they see themselves not in that job. Which is, both are important.
Both are absolutely important. Um, I forgot to ask you in terms of market. Is there any particular industries or markets or size of [00:19:00] companies or anything like that that Propulsion AI is focused on these days?
Scott Morriss: You know, we’re, we are a young company. We are, um, focused as, as such on a more narrow, um, segment of the market, but, but that’s because that’s where we need to focus.
Right. These are human problems. Yeah. Good point. And we think that these problems transcend industry. There are some cases where they’re obviously, you know, they either by virtue of you are a more distributed organization, you need to balance control at a couple of different levels while maintaining consistency in your employment brand.
Or in the voice that you use and those kinds of things, or you’re doing an inordinate amount of hiring, like, like tech companies, um, do during, during certain periods. Um, so we think, we think there are certain organizations that are going to grab on faster than others, but they’re human problems. They’re not, they’re not limited.
William Tincup: Yeah. And I think it’s important for a startup to do that. Uh, I’ve seen a lot of startups fail where they try to be all things to all people, which is great, [00:20:00] of course, but it’s, it’s like, you know what, let’s just go solve this problem with law firms and, uh, go, go do that and let’s just solve it there. And then once we do that, we feel pretty comfortable.
They then let’s go solve it for another area or whatever. So enterprise is the same way. It’s like, well, you know what, we’re going to go do large cap or even small cap firms, and this is what we’re going to focus on. And all of a sudden their customers start pulling them prospects are pulling them up market.
So I think it’s, I think it’s good, especially as a startup. I think it’s really great to have a focus ultimately. Your customers are going to tell you where,
Scott Morriss: if we,
William Tincup: if we listen, you know, at one point the customers say, let me see over here. Okay, great. Um, the next question I have is, is if someone’s not bought something like this, so go back to your practitioner days.
If you’ve never bought something like this, the guidance that you give practitioners that are thinking about buying Propulsion HR, like what would you [00:21:00] script? Here’s the questions you should be
Scott Morriss: asking us. Uh, let me start with this. We’re trying to make it super easy for any, anybody can have marketing speak and every company wants to still do everything.
William Tincup: It’s funny that you said that because I just came back from HR tech a couple of weeks ago and it’s like, you talk about marketing speak, you walk through the expo hall and there’s 500 vendors and it’s very hard not to like get things confused. So I could, and that, and, and I’ve been studying this stuff for a long time, so it’s like, it’s okay.
So like I get it. But for a practitioner to walk through that thing, I can’t imagine them being able to discern what’s reality like Hmm. That actually exists and that’s real, or Yeah. You know, something that’s marketing speak. So I, that, that
Scott Morriss: resonates and, and I’m sure, I’m sure when you walked through that hall you were like, oh my God, this group is the best.
And that group is the best. That group is the Oh, right. Everybody’s the best. It’s
William Tincup: hundred percent. 100 percent from [00:22:00] boof to boof, you’re like, Oh my God, this is the most amazing thing. Next thing, Oh my God, this is the most amazing. Yeah, I can see that also. Being a problem for practice
Scott Morriss: shoes. So, so we’re not, we, we decided early on, we’re not going to play that game, right?
We’re not, I don’t, I’m not going to tell you how great the company is, but I’m going to make it really easy and really simple for you to figure that out for yourself. And that starts with. You know, this is a cloud based product that is zero install, zero maintenance. You can turn it on, turn it off. You want to get in and, and, and we do a seven day free trial.
So you can come in and there are no limits on it. There is no, I mean, we, you know, the only thing we need is to just validate your account, right? But beyond that, we don’t put any limits on what you can create. We don’t limit any of the features for you. Go use the whole thing because we are so convinced that when you use it once, you are going to want to use it writ large.
The, the solution scales, so [00:23:00] it is cloud based. It’s got nothing to, to install. You can go from a few users to the entire enterprise with integrations with very little, very little problem. There’s no PII to what we’ve created. So that isn’t a concern. I think, you know, people legitimately right now, I think people should be thinking deeply about AI and bias.
And, you know, what we’ve, what we’ve created, um, there are products on the market that will scan for biased language. We use 26 different characteristics to evaluate what gets created and, um, edit language, suggest edits to you around biased language because our goal is, is to have these things attract in the right individuals and the right individuals should be attracted.
Not the language shouldn’t get in the way what they should be attracted by is like I want those [00:24:00] challenges and we don’t want anything to get in the way of that. But I think that’s a legitimate question that buyers should be asking is what have you done around bias and and and how deeply are you thinking about that, and I think they should ask questions about like what’s my, what’s my commitment and how hard is it to.
To, you know, put in, um, and what kind of support do I get? And, and actually what we’ve tried to build here, because when we do it, you and I know because we’re in the business, but it’s not just the act of like going and working with a hiring manager to create something. You’re going and working with that hiring manager and you’re, you’re creating, but you’re trying to teach them along the way.
And we’ve built a teaching tool. This is, this is not just a content creator. It’s not just a digital human that is working with you like a human. It is a, it’s a teacher. I love this.
William Tincup: Okay. Last question. And I think you touched on it just a little bit earlier, but we were talking about workflow and you were talking about connecting to your, uh, tech stack and things like that.
So I’m assuming [00:25:00] that this is tied into maybe the CRM or the ATS, but I don’t want to assume too much. Where, where would people, when they’re listening to this, where would they think about, uh, Propulsion AI being in their workflow?
Scott Morriss: So I think at the very beginning, and let me, let me tell you, I’ll paint what I think is a very common story for people to show you where we think this product fits in the world of today.
Like if I, if I report to you, William, and I need to hire, right, I got a bunch of fires and I’m like, Oh my God, I’ve like, I got to get, I got to get people in here because my team is going crazy. So I come to you and I come empty handed. And I say to you, William, I’ve got to hire. And you say to me, what’s the job do?
And I’m like, oh, God,
William Tincup: and how many do you need?
Scott Morriss: Right. And what’s it going to cost me? Right. And maybe I get past you, but if I get past you, it’s because you and I have a relationship of trust and I’ve proven myself to be worthy [00:26:00] of your trust. Right. And yada, yada, right? But now I’ve got to go on and I have to get budget for this because maybe we don’t have budget.
So I’m going to have to get past the CFO if I’m in a smaller organization or my finance leader or someone, right? The business unit leader who’s thinking about all of the varied choices that they have to make with money. And so I’m going to go to that person empty handed too. In the world of, and the reason, by the way, that I go empty handed is If you’re going to tell me no, why do I want to sink a bunch of effort into anything and then just get told no, right?
I’ll sort it out later becomes the mentality. What we think is that this spark gets utilized at the very beginning of the journey because again, we’ve made it so easy to interact with and so fast. So rather than coming to you, I go to Athena. She and I have a conversation. She helps me scope the role. It ends up with a job description in my hand and I come to you and I say, William, I want to hire.
And you say, what do you want to hire? And I say this. [00:27:00] And this now contains, here’s what the job does. Here are the KPIs and the results that we get out of this. And when I go to finance, by the way, the job posting also has in it something different. The job description has KPIs. The job posting has first year results.
So if I’m hiring a vice president of marketing, right? I want to be saying to that person, by the end of your first year, here’s what you’re going to have accomplished. And here’s what we’re going to celebrate you for. You’ve created a 15 percent increase in customer lifetime value. You’ve moved NPS from 50 to 75, done X, Y, and Z.
And when I go to the CFO or my finance leader or the business unit leader, I say, look, here’s the return on that. This is, I’m going to hire this role, I’m going to pay this much for it, but here’s what I’m getting back for it. That’s a very different proposition, and the reason I can do that is because it takes me 20 minutes.
To sort this out with Athena and to get to this level of specificity and concreteness. And so now my path to yes is a lot faster. [00:28:00] My ability to outcompete others who have their handout for the same resources is a lot stronger. And we’re all lined up on the same page. So now I’ve got all of the heavy work done.
I just got my yeses. And so now we talk integrations and where does that information flow? The job posting flows into my ATS and out to job boards. The job description flows into my HRMS, ultimately, and, and to be paired with an employee record when I hire somebody, and my social media posts, which are SEO optimized, if I’ve connected my personal or my corporate accounts, gets posted to social media.
William Tincup: Drops mic, walks off stage. Scott, thank you so much for coming on the Use Case Podcast. It’s been amazing.
Scott Morriss: I appreciate the interest in us, William, and thanks for the opportunity to talk about it. We’re, we’re really committed to making the world better on, on this front, and we think this is the right spot to start.
So thanks for the opportunity
William Tincup: to talk about it. [00:29:00] Absolutely. And thanks everyone for listening. Until next time.
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.