Kim Trujillo started Bow-K’s with the help of Lakota Funds and now provides sweet treats and floral arrangements to help the residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation celebrate special occasions.
LaVonne Randall has a total of 19 years of business and accounting experience, including ten years as an award-winning account manager for Black Hills Corporation. She successfully handled all aspects of accounting, payroll, and tax records for her own private entrepreneurial business for ten years before returning to the reservation and joining the Lakota Funds staff in 2004. As Financial Manager at Lakota Funds, LaVonne is responsible for day-to-day accounting activities and federal programs financial reporting. She prepares all monthly financial statements and reports on all financial activity to the Board of Directors. LaVonne has led Lakota Funds through three A-133 audits with zero negative findings. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from National College and has also completed national certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.
Darrel Twiss is the Housing/Facility Manager for Lakota Funds. He is responsible for the management of the Lakota Trade Center facility and thirty tax credit rental units in Wanblee, South Dakota. Mr. Twiss has eighteen years of experience in Tribal Housing Management in addition to thirty-five years of experience with the Indian Health Service, Tribal economic development programs, and youth development programs. He is a graduate from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1961. Darrel presently lives on a ranch north of Manderson, South Dakota where he has resided and ranched for thirty-eight years. He is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Success Coach/Loan Officer
Tony Taylor, Success Coach/Loan Officer for Lakota Funds, is a certified Economic Development Financial Professional and a certified VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Professional) preparer. Prior to joining Lakota Funds, Tony operated the Security First Bank’s mobile bank that traveled to various communities on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation offering basic banking services. Tony has also been employed as a Housing Counselor for a Community Development Corporation in Chadron, Nebraska. Tony graduated from Gordon High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Chadron State College. Tony is married with four daughters and a stepdaughter and resides in Gordon, Nebraska. He collects rare books and enjoys weight lifting and golf.
Douglas Patton Jr.
Business Success Coach/Youth Involvement Specialist
Douglas Patton Jr. currently serves as the Business Success Coach/Youth Involvement Specialist at Lakota Funds. In this capacity, he works with clients and teaches financial literacy, business, and homebuyer education classes. He is certified in Core Four, Building Native Communities, Indianprenuership, and Pathways Home curricula. Doug was born and raised in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and graduated from Red Cloud High School in 1992. After graduating high school, he moved forty miles north east of Pine Ridge on the southern edge of Badlands National Park, where he currently lives on family land. He graduated from Oglala Lakota College in 2007 with Bachelor’s Degree in Lakota Studies and a teaching certification in Lakota Language. Prior to coming to Lakota Funds, he worked as a GED tutor and as an alcohol/drug counselor. Doug currently sits on the Board of Directors for Tusweca Tiospaye Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes Lakota language and cultural revitalization on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Success Coach/Loan Officer
Kadem Fisher is a Success Coach/Loan Officer for Lakota Funds. He has certificates of completion in Weaving Your Financial Future through South Dakota State University, Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families through First Nations Oweesta Corporation, and credit coaching. Currently, Kadem is taking an on-line class called “Native American Credit Counseling Certification” through Association for Financial Counseling Planning Education to become an accredited financial counselor.
Prior to coming to Lakota Funds, Kadem was a General Contractor remodeling and rebuilding reservation housing on various reservations. He also has worked as a Sales Representative/Market Promotions Coordinator for U.S.S.T.C and hopes this will give him a creative edge in assisting local commerce. Business has always been an interest for Kadem and is excited to be working for Lakota Funds. Kadem is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and has lived in this area the majority of his whole life. In his spare time he enjoys outdoor activities.
Success Coach/Loan Officer
Yolanda was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and resides near Kyle, South Dakota. During her senior year in high school, she participated in the early-entry program at Oglala Lakota College where she earned her very first college credits.
Yolanda obtained her one-year certificate in Office Technology in the Spring of 2008 and later earned an Associate's Degree in the Spring of 2010 from Oglala Lakota College. Yolanda is currently a full-time student at Oglala Lakota College, working towards a Bachelor's Degree in Management/Accounting.
With over 17 years of experience in the information technology field, Corinn has had the opportunity to work with and provide technical support to residents and businesses across the state of South Dakota. Corinn has a certification in Supervisory Training and has completed the two-year Cisco Networking Academy program. In addition, Corinn has a certification in Networking Essential with main study on major structuring of Local Area Networks, Wide Area Networks, and systems needed to implement them. In her current position as Training Specialist with the Lakota Funds team, Corinn is responsible for producing, facilitating, and evaluating business training courses.
Project Assistant, Building Native Industry Institute
With a strong background in administrative services, Inez Spencer serves as the Project Assistant/Registrar for Lakota Funds' Building Native Industry Institute program. She performs day-to-day clerical duties essential to program flow and creating a positive customer experience. She provides administrative support to Lakota Funds' programs and trainings. Inez completed the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) certification and has completed the Credit When Credit is Due course. Inez also has experience working within the tribal legal system, and provides collections support in handling delinquencies.
Custodial and Maintenance Specialist
Marlon Featherman worked at Our Lady of Lourdes and the Little Wound School before coming to Lakota Funds. He's been married for 17 years and has four daughters who attend Little Wound School. His work with Lakota Funds involves maintenance and repair work of the Lakota Funds building and Eagle Nest Housing, which Lakota Funds manages. Marlon enjoys playing basketball and fishing in his spare time.