Creating a new tribe with a new team

As a new employee, Snake shares his Native American culture with his new team, whom he refers to as his “new tribe.”


December 13, 2021  | 2 min read

By Chelsey Sleator, Senior Manager, Communications

Snake knows he has an interesting name. Yes, it is his legal name, and it comes from his Native American heritage. “The symbolism of the snake is strong with the Apache tribe,” explains Snake. “As the snake sheds its skin in the wild it never looks back. When it sheds it gets better and stronger. It speaks of the journey of mankind to always search for improvement and never look at the old.”

In truth to his name, Snake is embarking on a new journey. Having recently retired from the Navy Reserves after 20 years of service, Snake is now finishing a degree in Business Management from Colorado Technical University and recently joined Schwab as an Associate Brokerage Service Representative in Client Service and Support (CS&S) in Lone Tree, CO.

For Snake, a new job and new team means a new tribe. “To me, my tribe is not just my bloodlines. I’m in a new environment and I have new teammates; we will go through struggles together, and we will have fun together. I’m their tribe and they are my tribe.”

To celebrate Native American Heritage month in November, Snake wanted to share a part of his culture with his team and gave everyone an Apache Teardrop – a black obsidian stone with a deeply symbolic meaning. The legend of the Apache Teardrop tells a story of Apache warriors who were ambushed and sacrificed themselves instead of submitting to their enemy. When the women of the tribe realized what happened, they cried for days and their tears turned to black volcanic stone.

“I wanted to share the stones with my team because they are a good luck charm. The stones absorb emotion, so when my teammate is in a stressful situation, they can hold the stone and know that they are not alone.”

Snake celebrates and shares his heritage whenever he can. He speaks at elementary schools, pow wows, and martial arts events. He’s also a historian and teacher of Native American battle tactics. “I believe that you need to share and expand your culture or else it dies,” explains Snake.

Along with embarking on a new career, Snake is continuing his passion for martial arts and is a second-generation Bruce Lee student, which means his instructors were students of the famed martial artist. He also keeps busing raising a growing family of four children ranging in ages from 1 to 7, whom he has given unique names full of symbolism that continue to honor his Native American heritage.

Photo Caption:
Snake, Associate Brokerage Service Representative in CS&S, holds an Apache Teardrop. The stone has a deep symbolic meaning in Native American culture, which Snake chose to share with his teammates.


Interested in a career at Schwab?

Schwab is proud to support a culture that allows employees to bring their best selves to work—whether that’s in the office or remote.  

Recommended Stories:

  • Culture

    Building a community of belonging

    As an immigrant from Cameroon, Igxtelle understands the hardships faced when learning a new culture and dedicates time to helping others like herself.

    Read article >

  • Culture, Viewpoints

    What it takes to become a leader

    Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger gives advice to the next generation of talent on how to develop and advance in their careers. 

    Read article >


    To Chris Simcho, service is an essential value

    Before joining finance, Chris served in the Marines and says he aims to instill the values he learned during that time in the teams he leads today. 

    Read article >