BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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 Lummi CDFI, 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 Lummi CDFI 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.
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 LCDFI’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 LCDFI 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 LCDFI’s dedication to ensuring a prosperous future for this and our next generations.
Nome Eskimo Community, Enrolled Tribal Member
BFET Director, Northwest Indian College
Mr. Eningowuk is a tribal member of The Nome Eskimo Community (NEC), in the State of Alaska. His experience includes Non-Profit Credit Union and Commercial Bank Branch Manager, Secondary Marketing Manager in Mortgage Lending, Mortgage Foreclosure and Collections Representative,
Previous NEC Housing Committee Chairman, Kawerak, Inc. (Regional Non-Profit Agency) Bering Strait Development Organization, Banking & Finance Industry representative, Nome Native Community Enterprise, (Subsidiary of Sitnasuak Native Corporation) Bonanza Fuel, Inc. Committee Member, Northwest Indian College Native Connections Coalition Member, Suicide prevention Advocate & healthy Lifestyle Advocate on local, Regional & Political Advocate level. He lives in Ferndale, WA and has three daughters, Melissa, Chelbi and Tamara.
Treasurer / Loan Committee Chair
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.
Loan Committe member
Elden Hillaire ("Mr. Ventures")
Lummi Nation, Lummi Fishman
Former Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC) Treasurer
Mr. Hillaire has worked for the Lummi Nation for many years representing the people on many platforms. He has worked in the following capacities, as in the following: Lummi Nation Service Organization (LNSO) Board Member, CDFI Board Member, LIBC Treasurer, and also 15+ years on the Lummi Fisheries Commission as the Chair. During his work at LNSO, he was also a board member of the Lummi Venture's Program, a 10 year strategy funded by the Northwest Area Foundation ($1.5M allocated to LCDFI and $4.5M to the other 5 strategies). Through his advocacy with the Venture's work, he is known as "Mr. Venture's" because of his dedication to see these strategies through.
He has advocated for tribal businesses and tribal fisheries most his life to ensure that Lummi people continue to create a sustainable way of life.