WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Native CDFI Network (NCN) celebrated and acknowledged Natalie Charley’s service to the NCN as a Board Director and accepted her resignation as her career progresses. NCN also welcomed Dave Tovey, the Executive Director of the Nixyaawii Community Financial Services, and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation to serve the remainder of Ms. Charley’s board term.
Ms. Charley is stepping down to pursue additional growth opportunities and will remain affiliated with the Taala Fund and will support other Native CDFIs in the Northwest. “Natalie has served the NCN members admirably for several years and we will miss her strong voice of reason,” stated NCN Board Chairman Pete Upton. “Natalie proudly volunteered her service to the Native CDFI Network. We say ahxé’ee’ – thank you for your service, Natalie. We look forward to your continued leadership for economic and financial justice for Indian Country” added NCN Executive Director, Jackson Brossy.
Like Natalie, Dave has a wealth of experience in tribal economic development and is also the former executive director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in northeast Oregon. He has also served in top executive roles with the Siletz Tribal Business Corporation, Cayuse Technologies, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation (ATNI-EDC). He was named Economic Development Leader of the Year for the State of Oregon by former Governor John Kitzhaber in 2001 and currently serves on the boards of two CDFI’s—the President of the ATNI-EDC and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Indian Land Capital Company. Pete Upton noted, “Dave has so much experience in economic development in Indian Country and we are looking forward working closely with him.” Jackson Brossy added, “we have been blessed with many great leaders in the Native CDFI movement and we are fortunate to welcome Dave to the Board.”
Tovey launched Nixyaawii Community Financial Services as a nonprofit, one-stop financial services source for the Umatilla Reservation’s residents during the pandemic. Nixyaawii Community Financial Services provides loans, home ownership assistance, business development services, and youth and adult financial education to members of the Umatilla Tribes and reservation residents.
As envisioned in 2009, the Native CDFI Network is led by a Board of Directors which 100% comprised of executives of member Native CDFIs from across the country.
More information on the Taala Fund can be found at:
More information on Nixyaawii Community Financial Services can be found at:
PDF version here.
Contact: Jackson Brossy
Executive Director, Native CDFI Network
For Immediate Release
July 21, 2021
LAS VEGAS—Today, the Native CDFI Network (NCN) released its impact report, “Native CDFI’s: Stepping up to Serve Indian Country through the Pandemic and Beyond.” In the early days of the pandemic last year, the organization realized the effects of the crisis went beyond the health and safety of tribal citizens. NCN recognized that it would need to play a significant role in helping ease the economic pain in Indian Country due to the pandemic and shut down. NCN leaders sprang into action to deal with the unprecedented financial challenges for tribal business enterprises’ survival.
Pete Upton, board chair of the Native CDFI Network, said, “For NCN, the immediate mission focused on helping members deal with the crisis and share best practices.” Upton credits NCN Executive Director Jackson Brossy for taking the lead in finding members the resources they needed to help their clients survive and for bringing a sense of calm to a chaotic situation. “I remember Jackson and I just having a conversation and saying that we need to take a deep breath and step up and bring the resources to the table for everyone. A lot of times, resources might not necessarily be financial resources,” Upton said. “Everybody was in the forest, and they couldn’t see outside the forest. What we wanted to do was create a path outside of all the chaos.”
Native CDFI team members put in long hours to work with customers and clients left economically vulnerable by business closures, stay-at-home mandates, layoffs, added costs and supply chain pressures — even the virus itself. Native CDFIs are built on community relationships. So when the community was hurting, staff at Native CDFIs across Indian Country needed to find ways to step up and help. And they did, piloting new programs, connecting clients to various resources and working with them creatively to make their financial commitments less burdensome as they focused on healing — economically, physically, and spiritually.
NCN began regular communications with its members and financial experts to address the problems. In mid-March 2020, the Native CDFI Network launched a weekly series of web calls for its members. Participants included Congressional representatives and committee staffers, federal government policymakers and experts. NCN also partnered with and sought commitment and advice from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Northwest Area Foundation, Wells Fargo, Citibank, the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Treasury, NeighborWorks America, National Congress of American Indians, Native American Finance Officers Association, Opportunity Finance Network, and the Oweesta Corporation amongst others.
“We took a positive approach to work through the pandemic,” Brossy said. “We brought in to the conversation folks that could help us navigate different federal programs set up to assist not only the small businesses but also Native CDFIs. Our primary focus was giving the CDFIs the resources to help their customers and small business clients, whether it be through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, the SBA offered, or state programs that were being offered.”
NCN members needed increased access to capital for home loans, small business loans, consumer loans and agriculture loans. Each CDFI may focus on one or two of those products, but NCN focused on all of these loan instruments instead of one. By bringing all the resources to those Native CDFIs, they could walk through the tough times they were having and weather through the pandemic.
Above all, they stayed open and responded to client needs with loan forbearance, new products and new service levels. Now, they are poised to serve their communities in more significant ways than ever before.
NCN and its members will convene for the first time in person since the pandemic hit at its Annual Policy and Capacity Building Summit Sept. 14-15 in Washington, DC. The event could go virtual if necessary, depending upon COVID-19 guidelines.
For more information on the Native CDFI Network, visit www.nativecdfi.net or at Facebook at facebook.com/nativecdfinetwork/
About the NCN
The Native CDFI Network was formed in 2009 to unify Native CDFIs serving Native trust land communities, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. The Native CDFI Network seeks to create opportunities to share our stories, identify our collective priorities and strengthen our industry. In addition, the Native CDFI Network works to ensure that Native peoples are represented in the national policy dialogue, and innovative solutions created by CDFIs are spread throughout our Native communities. As a strong national network, the Native CDFI Network empowers its members to engage our best ideas, connect to one another, and collectively advance policy priorities that foster systemic and sustainable Native community and economic development.
Washington, DC (April 20, 2021) – Today, the Native CDFI Network announced the reappointment of one existing and the addition of one new proven Native CDFI executive to its Board of Directors: Natalie Charley, Executive Director of Taala Fund who will continue to represent the NCN Northwest Region; and Russ Seagle, Executive Director of the Sequoyah Fund who will represent the Eastern Region.
“We are excited to have the expertise and vision of Natalie Charley and Russ Seagle on our Board of Directors,” said Jackson Brossy, Executive Director of the Native CDFI Network. “As the Native CDFI movement continues its growth and resilience in the face of Covid, it is a great blessing that Ms. Charley will continue her service with NCN. Likewise, we welcome Mr. Seagle’s voice and expertise to our board discussions and strategy. Native CDFIs have stepped up remarkably in the face of the pandemic, have taken on additional challenges, and responsibilities, and now our members are poised to continue their great work as the country recovers together.”
About the Board Members
Natalie Charley, Taala Fund – Northwest Region
Natalie is the founding Executive Director of Taala Fund, located in Pacific Beach, WA, and a Native CDFI since 2009. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was the lead in Taala Fund’s start-up. She has prior experience as an education manager, seafood plant general manager, policy advisor, marketing director, and business consultant. Ms. Charley also served as a member on the Quinault Tribal Council. She was co-founder of a regional nonprofit organization,Potlatch Fund,” and was also on their board.
Russ Seagle, Sequoyah Fund – Eastern Region
Russ is the Executive Director of The Sequoyah Fund, Inc., located in Cherokee, NC. The Sequoyah Fund offers commercial loans, training, consulting, and coaching to small businesses located on the Qualla Boundary and the seven westernmost counties of North Carolina. In addition to lending and training, The Sequoyah Fund provides support services for Cherokee artists, fundraising programs for nonprofits and youth organizations, shared office space to local businesses, a savings program and financial literacy education for local children, and youth entrepreneurship education and summer camp.
The Native CDFI Network (NCN) was formed in 2009 to unify Native CDFIs serving Native trust land communities, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. NCN seeks to create opportunities to share our stories, identify our collective priorities, and strengthen our industry. In addition, the Native CDFI Network works to ensure that Native peoples are represented in the national policy dialogue and innovative solutions created by CDFIs are spread throughout our Native communities.
Save the date!
NCN Annual Policy & Capacity Building Summit will be held September 14-15, 2021.
The event will take place in Washington, D.C. (but could go virtual, depending upon Covid-19 guidelines).
Stay tuned for registration information.
For information about this event, or sponsorship opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.