BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board 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)

Vice Chairman

Lexie Tom, MPA, Ph.D

Lummi Nation, NWIC Department Chair of Native Studies

 

Lexie Tom is a member of the Lummi Nation. She is currently working at Northwest Indian College as the Department Chair of the Native Studies Leadership program. After attaining an Associate’s degree in Native Studies from Northwest Indian College, she went on to Western Washington University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. She most recently graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in Tribal Government. Now she is currently attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the Indigenous Studies PhD program.

 

Lexie’s interest has always been the revitalization of Lummi language and culture. It is her passion and love for the history and culture of the Lummi people. Lexie also believes in the importance of creating strategies that contribute to community wellness and empowerment.

 

 

 

Fred Eningowuk

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

Board Member

Secretary

​Steve Price, BA Urban & Regional Planning, MA Environmental Planning

Whatcom County Community Member, Principal of the Front Street Partnership LLC (03 - Present)

Director of the Office of Neighborhoods and Community Development (00-03)

Former Experience Includes:

  • $2.5M budget for low-income housing projects, economic development, tourism development, human services funding, neighborhood enhancement projects and was liaison with state and federal agencies; and on Community Development Advisory Board, and the Business Loan Review Board.

  • Planning and Community Development Department, primary manager responsible for writing and supervising city contracts for Whatcom County Economic Development Council, Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, Bellingham Whatcom Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, and WWU’s Small Business Development Center.

  • Providing services in housing development and renovation, downtown parking services, economic development, human services funding, tourism development, historic preservation and special capital project management.  

Currently with Front Street Partnership specializes in coalition creation, strategic planning, consent building, action planning/implementation, funding strategy development and project management. Also, Mr. Price lives with his wife Kay in Lynden Washington. Steve has been a resident of Whatcom County for over fifty years. 

Board Member

​Rita Jefferson

Lummi Nation, COO for Silver Reef Casino

Former LIBC Tresurer, Member, EDTF Project Manager

 

​Mrs. Jefferson is a member of the Lummi Nation with significant work experience in business development and operations. Currently, Ms. Jefferson works as the Chief Operating Officer of the Silver Reef Casino, in Lummi, WA. Formerly, she was elected as the Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC) Treasurer, in 2014/2015, and also is currently a LIBC Council Member and the Treasurer for LCDFI. Also, Ms. Jefferson formerly served as the LIBC Economic Development Task Force (EDTF) Project Manager, in Economic Development for the Lummi Nation. Mr Jefferson has significant experience in an executive capacity with LIBC. Ms. Jefferson also has served as the former Director of Lummi CDFI. Currently, Ms. Jefferson is part of the Board and Loan Committee of the Lummi CDFI, since 2011.

Ellie Wilbur, Lummi Fish Commission Treasurer/Secretary

Lummi Nation, Fisherwoman

Patient Benefit Supervisor & Lead Tribal Assister at Lummi Tribal Health Clinic

Mrs. Wilbur is currently a Lummi Nation Fisheries Commissioner, as the Treasurer/Secretary. She also is a Lummi Fisherwoman that harvests fish, crab, and other types of natural resources. She's been with the CDFI as a Board Members, since 2016.

Formerly, Mrs. Wilbur has experience working as a supervisor for the Lummi Health Clinic helping people access medical benefits, while increasing the revenue for the Lummi Tribe.

Board Member

Board Member

Loan Committee Member

Cindy Cultee, PhD in Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge, Awanuiarangi Indigenous University, New Zealand (graduate by 19/20)

Lummi Nation Member, Entrepreneur

Owner of Salish Solutions

Her experience with program development along with my 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 alleviated 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 myself 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.

Board Member

​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.

Loan Committee Member

Loan Committee Member

Becky Kinley

Lummi Nation, University of Arizona Student (current)

Current Lhaq'temish Foundation Special Projects Coordinator & Former LIBC Special Projects Coordinator for 2019 Paddle To Lummi

  

For 10 years, Mrs. Kinley has had the honor and privilege of serving my (Lummi) people. She has served as the Youth Leadership Manager with Lummi Behavioral Health Division and recently finished serving the Lummi Indian Business Council as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Paddle to Lummi. Each job with its ups and downs led me to establishing roots, and witnessing growth, and embracing love & transformation; not only in her life, but she also saw it in those around me. It was a journey of understanding worth and wealth. Her career has led her to serving 180 youth between the ages of 13-24. Raising over $650,000 over the years, working with our elders and families, and it has given her opportunities to travel the world, which she's have grown to love. It was from many influencers, people who believed in her, but also her late father who showed her what unconditional love was and the many mentors she has had who help guide the way for her. Today, she can say, "I know who I am, where I come from, and where I am going."

 

She believes that we pass our teachings on by encouraging our families to be engaged, dream big, pursue higher education, experience the world, and define our own success. Because of these experiences, she has demonstrated the values and mission of Lummi CDFI. 

Board Member Experiences:

LhaqTemish Foundation (former), Whatcom Community and Family Network(December 2016 - June 2017), Serve Washington State of Washington Tribal Liaison/Board Member(December 2016 – Present, 2 terms) 

Loan Committee Member

Loan Committee 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.