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Board Chair / Loan Committee

​Rex Rhoades, BA

Quinault Tribal Member, Commercial Fisherman

Former LIBC Economic Development Director

Mr. Rhoades is a member of the Quinault Indian Tribe, in Washington State. He was previously employed by the Small Businesses Assistance Center operated by Western Washington University. Previously, Mr. Rhoades was employed as the Economic Development Director of the Lummi Nation and lives proximate to the reservation in Bellingham. He has served in various capacities in Lummi Nation's Economic Development, working for the former Lummi Development Authority (in the early 2000's). He has been with the organization, since its inception and is committed to working with the target market, as an active board, loan committee member, and often finds time working for Pacific Northwest Tribal Lending clients that need his technical assistance, within his expertise in building boats and fisheries.

He currently exercises his Quinault (Chinook) treaty rights through fisheries, where he owns and operates his own per-sane vessel. He harvests crab and fish from the area.


Vice Chair

Cindy Cultee, PhD in Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge, Awanuiarangi Indigenous University, New Zealand

Lummi Nation Member, Entrepreneur

Owner of Salish Solutions

Her experience with program development along with education and training in research and evaluation methodologies prepared her to contribute to Pacific Northwest Tribal Lending's journey toward achieving their mission of improved prosperity and well-being of Native families. 

As a new entrepreneur focused on developing expertise, while building her own business as a consultant for program development and training, she brings a personal understanding of the challenges faced when trying to create a firm foundation for a resilient small business structure. This experience has been elevated by drawing on her values of hard work, endurance, and honoring relationships. Being accountable and responsible to the people and the communities the business serves has contributed to establishing a firm footing for her business secured by confidence in her capabilities.

Her years of experience with the Lummi Indian Business Council and the Northwest Indian College establishes her ability to contribute to the PNTL team, develop relationships, and facilitate strategies that support goal attainment. She is exceptionally skilled with data analysis, outcome measurements, and understands our community’s cultural strengths as well as our need for education to inform our options for self-determined economic growth. 

She is committed to educating herself about responsible fiscal management for small business and in the area of investments. It is important to her to utilize her knowledge to serve our Lummi community. These personal goals will contribute to PNTL's dedication to ensuring a prosperous future for this and our next generations.




Joseph D. Bowen, B.A., J.D.

Upper Skagit Tribe, Attorney in Private Practice


Mr. Bowen is a graduate of Harvard University (BA) and the University of Washington School of Law (JD) who has operated his own practice in Mount Vernon, since 1991. He is experienced in commercial practice, litigation, and Indian Law and has organized, advised, and has led a number of non-profit agencies in this area. Mr. Bowen lives in Mount Vernon with his wife, Lindsey and daughters Adia and Alexandra.

A Few Highlighted Community Civic Activities:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Skagit County, founding Board President

  • United Way of Skagit County, Board

  • Skagit Community Arts Theater, Board President and performer

  • HonorWorks, Board Member, Vice-President (10-12)

  • I Can Fly Productions – President (11-12)

  • META – performer, Director, Producer, Vice president/Secretary, President (09 to present)

  • Washington State Human Rights Commission, (96-00)


John Michener, BA, CEcD

Economic Development Project Manager, Port of Bellingham

John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Washington and is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). As an Economic Development Project Manager with the Port of Bellingham, John’s responsibilities include: Retention and Expansion, Recruitment/Attraction and working with local jurisdictions to ensure Whatcom County has the assets and capacity needed to meet its strategic goals. John also administers a federal loan program and the “Whatcom Prospector” real estate and demographic informational website.

Prior to joining the Port, John held the position of Programs Manager at the Northwest Economic Council.

Board Member

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Board Member

Debra Lekanoff

Washington State Representative, 40th District

Effective Legislator, Governmental Affairs Director and team leader offering 25 years of success in tribal and state government. A strategic thinker with governmental affairs experience at the tribal, local, state, federal, and international levels. Offers proven ability to build effective teams and partnerships on policy platforms that include policy, law, and science support. Committed to identifying and leveraging opportunities for protection of tribal treaty rights, inherit rights, and ensuring governmental services are fully implemented and funded, as agreed between two sovereigns. Negotiated agreements and found common positions that support all parties. Engaged in conflict resolution on many issues ranging from harvesting to hunting, from dental health therapy to Medicaid and between governing bodies on taxation.

Prior to being elected as Representative, Ms. Lekanoff was Governmental Affairs Director / Swinomish Tribe - La Conner, WA.


Wade Stringfield

VP, SBA Business Development Officer, Mountain Pacific Bank


Wade holds an MBA from the University of Oklahoma, and a BBA from Oklahoma Baptist University.  He’s a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School and a 20-year banking veteran.  He currently serves as a VP, SBA Business Development Officer for Mountain Pacific Bank.  As a former small business owner and Certified Business Advisor for the Washington Small Business Development Center, he has a passion for financial literacy and improving access to capital for underserved markets.  His civic activities include serving on the board of Ameritrust CDC and Roosevelt Community Church. 

Board Member

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