Difference Makers

for Indian Country – NCN Interview Series

The Native CDFI Network (NCN) developed the “Native CDFIs: Difference Makers for Indian Country” interview series to cast a much-needed spotlight on the many positive benefits that Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) create for tribal communities and the leaders who help make Native CDFIs the transformational success stories they are.
Interview #5 Jeff Johnson | Wisconsin Native Loan Fund

Interview #5 Jeff Johnson | Wisconsin Native Loan Fund

In this latest edition of “Difference Makers,” NCN sits down with Jeff Johnson, who serves as Interim CEO and Board Chairman of the Wisconsin Native Loan Fund (WINLF), a Native CDFI located in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin that serves Native people statewide. WINLF is a revolving loan fund that supports the renovations of distressed homes for people in need, provides down-payment assistance and debt consolidation loans for its clients, and offers small business loans to area Native entrepreneurs.

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Interview #4 Jonelle Yearout | Nimiipuu Fund

Interview #4 Jonelle Yearout | Nimiipuu Fund

In this latest edition of “Difference Makers,” NCN sits down with Jonelle Yearout, who is Executive Director of Nimiipuu Fund, a federally certified Native CDFI that serves the Nez Perce Reservation and traditional territories of Nez Perce in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Jonelle also was recently appointed Northwest Regional Delegate on NCN’s Policy Committee.

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Interview #3 Russ Seagle | CEO of The Sequoyah Fund, Inc.

Interview #3 Russ Seagle | CEO of The Sequoyah Fund, Inc.

In this latest edition of “Difference Makers,” NCN sits down with Russ Seagle, who has served since 2013 as CEO of The Sequoyah Fund, Inc., a Native CDFI serving the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and surrounding rural communities in Western North Carolina. The Sequoyah Fund provides small business start-up and expansion capital, housing rehab loans, credit builder loans, and training and consulting services to small businesses, nonprofits, and tribal departments.

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Interview #1 Christopher Coburn | Mvskoke Fund

Interview #1 Christopher Coburn | Mvskoke Fund

In this first edition of “Difference Makers,” NCN sits down with Christopher Coburn (Muscogee Creek and Cherokee), who has served as CEO of the Mvskoke Fund since 2017. Christopher has spearheaded the Mvskoke Fund’s rapid growth over the past five years as this federally certified Native CDFI has expanded beyond small business lending to now offer agribusiness and consumer loans to Native clients across an 11-county service area in Oklahoma.

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