Native CDFI Network seats first Board of Directors
Submitted by Heidi Cuny, Cuny Communications
First Board of Directors left to right: (top row) Marvin Ginn, Cindy Middlestadt, Pete Upton, Gerald Sherman, Rosalee Puaoi, and David Fleming Sr.; (bottom row) Chrystel Cornelius, Jennifer Vasiloff, Tanya Fiddler, and Tawney Brunsch.
On October 15, 2012, the Native CDFI Network, a national coalition dedicated to uniting Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and advancing policy priorities that support economic development in Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities, seated its first Board of Directors during its 4th Annual Member Gathering in San Antonio, Texas. The Native CDFI Network’s Board of Directors is comprised of nine upper management professionals from Native CDFIs across the country and two ex-officio board members from national partner organizations.
“The election of a national Native CDFI Network Board of Directors is a significant milestone in the development of a unified policy voice for tribal and Native CDFIs. We are better positioned than we have ever been to inform tribal, state, and federal government officials about what works for our communities across the country,” states Robin Puanani Danner who was a founding Co-Chair of the Network. This development comes just two years after the Native CDFI Network formed a steering committee. “Our steering committee has worked diligently, especially over the past year, to bring the Native CDFI Network to the next level, and now our Board of Directors will continue along that trajectory,” says Tanya Fiddler who was also a founding Co-Chair of the Network.
Board members include: Tawney Brunsch of Lakota Funds in Kyle, SD; Chrystel Cornelius of First Nations Oweesta Corporation in Longmont, CO; Tanya Fiddler of Four Bands Community Fund in Eagle Butte, SD; David Fleming Sr. of LaPointe Financial in Odanah, WI; Marvin Ginn of Native Community Finance in Laguna, NM; Cindy L. Middlestadt of Cook Inlet Lending Center in Anchorage, AK; Rosalee M. Puaoi of Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement in Honolulu, HI; Gerald Sherman of Indian Land Capital Company in Roscoe, MT; and Pete Upton of First Ponca Financial in Lincoln, NE. Ex-officio board members include: Kim Pate of Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C.; and Jennifer Vasiloff of Opportunity Finance Network in Philadelphia, PA.
The Network’s Annual Member Gathering was attended by over 60 Native CDFI practitioners and partners, and was held in conjunction with the Opportunity Finance Network Annual Conference, the premier event for community development professionals throughout the nation.