About Our Staff

Russ Seagle, Executive Director

Russ began his work with Sequoyah Fund in 2009 as a loan officer and client consultant. Prior to that he served as Director of the Small Business Center at Southwestern Community College for over 11 years. He has owned several small businesses and has been a professional speaker since 2000 on topics of small business success and leadership. He has served as Executive Director since 2013. He holds a BSBA degree in Marketing from Appalachian State University and a MBA from Western Carolina University.

He can be reached at 828-359-5003 or at russseagle@sequoyahfund.org.

Hope Huskey, Associate Director

Hope has been with Sequoyah Fund since 2013 where she oversees our numerous non-lending programs, including Authentically Cherokee, the Youth Entrepreneurship Camp, and others. She is a trained and certified credit counselor, and she works one-on-one with clients to help them improve their financial condition. Prior to Sequoyah Fund, she held the position of Business Development Specialist with the EBCI. She holds a BS degree in Literature from UNC-Asheville and a Masters Degree in Project Management (MPM) from Western Carolina University. Hope is an enrolled member of the EBCI

She can be reached at 828-359-5005 or at hopehuskey@sequoyahfund.org.

Michael Bruce, Controller

Michael came to Sequoyah Fund in 2015 from the EBCI where he served as a Lead Accountant. Michael is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (with 14 years’ experience. His expertise is in not-for-profit financial and tax reporting. He holds a BSBA in Accounting from Louisiana Tech University and is currently pursuing his Master of Accountancy (MA) degree at Western Carolina University.

He can be reached at 828-359-5002 or michaelbruce@sequoyahfund.org.

John Ross, Risk Manager

John began his work with Sequoyah Fund as an intern in 2012. He was soon made a full-time staff member charged with oversight of a number of loan- and program-related tasks, including client financial statement reporting, collateral monitoring and recovery, and acting as liaison to credit reporting agencies. A graduate of the University of Chicago, John now works remotely, part-time, from his home in Chapel Hill, NC where he is pursuing his MBA from UNC-CH. John is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.

He can be reached at johnross@sequoyahfund.org.

Board of Directors

Ellison Rudd, Chairman
JL Burgess, Vice Chairman
Richard Sneed, Secretary
Emily Breedlove, Treasurer
Nathan RobinsonRay Rose
Yona Wade