Sequoyah Fund Staff, Board
of Directors & Cherokee Enterprise Development Staff


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Ginger L. Welch Complex
810 Acquoni Road
Cherokee, NC 28719

Ph 828-554-6720
Fax 828-359-5007

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Sequoyah Fund Events

includes events, classes and seminars


Sequoyah Fund Staff

Russ Seagle
Executive Director
Email Russ

As Sr. Loan Officer, Russ works with clients to construct the best loan package for their needs. Russ coordinates andleads 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.

Sherrene Swayney
Portfolio & Finance Manager
Email Sherrene

Sherrene joined Sequoyah Fund in July of 2006. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Sherrene has an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Systems Technology and a Bachelor's Degree in Business in Information Systems. She worked the previous two years as a Business Resource Coordinator for Cherokee Enterprise Development, which managed the Tribal Revolving Loan Fund before it was transferred to Sequoyah Fund. Sherrene is responsible for managing accounts payable and receivable for the loan fund products, tracking the loan portfolio performance and preparing reports for the Executive Director, the loan committee, and the Board of Directors.

Hope Huskey
Business Development Specialist
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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 Hope HuskeyCarolina 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.

Back (l-r) Nathan Robinson, Jerry Boone, Carolyn Rice, J.L. Burgess. Front (l-r) Richard Sneed, Ellison Rudd, Ray Rose.


Jerry Boone

Mountain Credit Union

J.L. Burgess
Fort Tomahawk Gift Shop

Ellison Rudd

First Citizens Bank

Richard Sneed
Cool Valley Motel

Carolyn Rice
Discount Cigarettes

Nathan Robinson*
El Camino Motel

Ray Rose*
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino

* Enrolled Member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cherokee Enterprise Development Staff

Gloria Griffin
Email Gloria

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 Reed
Business Development Specialist
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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 Winchester
Business Development
Resource Coordinator
Email Kim

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.




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