Fund Staff, Board
Sequoyah Fund Staff
As Sr. Loan Officer, Russ works with clients to construct the best loan package for their needs. In his role as Manager of Client Development, he coordinates and leads seminars, courses and workshops for small business owners and prospective owners, including the nine-week Indianpreneurship class. He also works with the Business Development staff in a consulting role with clients who need more hands-on assistance.
Russ has eighteen years of experience as a business leader, entrepreneur, and consultant, including ten years as Small Business Center Director at Southwestern Community College. He is an expert in positioning organizations for growth. Russ is an accomplished consultant, acknowledged for improving clients' conditions by increasing revenues, improving communications, boosting team performance, and creating an environment of success for management and staff.
Hope joined Cherokee Enterprise Development in 2004. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Hope has a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature from the University of North Carolina Asheville, and a Masters in Project Management from Western Carolina University. Hope has worked for a mortgage company, EBCI’s office of budget and finance, and EBCI’s former business development center in Asheville. Hope is responsible for providing business counseling and coaching services. She also facilitates training classes, helps small businesses identify federal procurement opportunities, and supports business owners in completing business plans and other information needed to submit a loan application to the Sequoyah Fund.
* Enrolled Member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Enterprise Development Staff
Gloria joined Cherokee Enterprise Development in 2002 starting as a Business Development Specialist. In 2006 she became the Director. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Gloria has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Montreat College. She was instrumental in helping establish Sequoyah Fund as an independent Native CDFI and works closely with the Fund’s Executive Director to ensure an effective partnership between the two operations. Gloria is responsible for managing all staff and operations for Cherokee Enterprise Development.
Jacob joined the Cherokee Enterprise Development in July of 2007; prior to which he worked in the Regulatory Compliance Department at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel, where his duties included ensuring that the Casino operated in accordance with Federal, State, and Indian Gaming Laws. He is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Jacob has a B.S.B.A. in Business Administration from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Jacob has experience assisting clients with procurement contracts and opportunities, contract, budget, and database management, writing, and training. His administrative duties include the management of confidential client records, entry of client information into the departmental database, the preparation of activity reports and the development of resources and relationships to support the mission of the Business Development Center. He also assists in the planning of training opportunities for the department and members of the Tribe. Jacob has an intimate knowledge of business requirements and resources, as well as excellent communication and personal skills.
Kimberly joined Cherokee Enterprise Development in 2008. She has been working for the tribe since 2006. As Resource Coordinator, Kimberly helps clients with the application forms necessary to start a business, enters client information into the departmental database, and schedules business classes and seminars for the public. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She is a full-time student at Southwestern Community College, working towards an AA/Business Administration. She plans to attend Western Carolina University to earn a degree in business administration.