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Board & Staff

Applications Are Open!

MNIBA is now accepting applications for our Board of Directors. Download the information and application here!

MNIBA Board Application & Information

Our Board

Wayne L. Ducheneaux, II - Chair

Wayne Leo Ducheneaux II, is enrolled with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and is currently the Executive Director of the Native Governance Center (NGC) in St. Paul, MN., a nonprofit organization that assists Tribal nations in strengthening their systems of governance and capacity to exercise sovereignty. Prior to coming to NGC, he served on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council as a Representative from District 4, with two of those years as Vice-Chairman. Wayne is a member of the Four Band Community Fund's Board of Directors and through that work has developed a passion for economic development and entrepreneurship in Indian Country. Wayne is married to Megan Swan and they have two children Veda and Aiden.

"MNIBA's mission, spelled out in three letters ACT, aligns with my thoughts on moving forward improvements for Indian Country. I am proud to be associated with a progressive organization that aligns partners and connects resources to transform Native economies. It is my hope that through our work the economies for our people on reservations and the fortunes for all native entrepreneurs can grow and be prosperous on our own terms." – Wayne Ducheneaux, II

Shanne Soulier - Vice Chair

Shanne Soulier founded Big Spirit, Inc., as a premier full-service marketing consulting firm and advertising products supplier. The mission of Big Spirit, Inc., is to help individuals, small businesses, and non-profits succeed by utilizing strategic marketing strategies and unique promotional products that build brand awareness to maximize their goals.

Shanne has over twenty years of experience working in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He has consulted on marketing initiatives for numerous companies including North Memorial Medical Center, Nestle, YWCA, Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, Minneapolis and St. Paul International Film Festival, Compass Group NAD, and Target.

He has experience building brand initiatives, coordinating multi-channel marketing programs, developing communications strategies, and evolving public relations campaigns. He has also been a key player in the development of merchandise and retail lines that have helped create unique revenue streams for his clients.

Shanne is a Citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

“A large part of my personal and business mission is to foster and promote the growth and prosperity of our people and the communities we live in. Serving as a board member, I can be part of key initiatives that make a real impact. It also allows me to connect, partner and build alliances with other visionaries, entrepreneurs, key partners and leaders in the Native community who share similar goals.” – Shanne Soulier

Elaine Hansen - Treasurer 

Elaine S. Hansen has been at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) since August 1999 and has served as the Director for the UMD Center for Economic Development (CED) since 2003. In her role she is also the Regional Director of both the Northeast and Northwest Minnesota Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) covering the top third of the State’s geography.   From February 2015 until November 2015 she also served as the Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations, Interim Director of Finance and co-director of Human Resources at UMD.   Her contribution is felt each year, by the 800 entrepreneurs and business owners that the CED serves. 

Other public service positions Elaine has held include serving as:

  • Commissioner of Administration for the State of Minnesota;
  • Finance Director for the City of Duluth;
  • Director of Audits for the Office of the State Auditor; and
  • Controller/Treasurer at Great Minnesota Corporation/Minnesota Technology.

She is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA), has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Minnesota, is an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) through the National Development Council, a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), a Certified Global Management Accountant (CGMA), and has worked with several non-profit organizations on financial management initiatives. 

Elaine is very active in community, state-wide and national organizations serving on numerous boards and committees.

“I support MNIBA because helping all entrepreneurs grow their business ideas is a passion of mine and working with an organization such as MNIBA helps target a specific audience and provides a greater reach.” – Elaine S. Hansen

LeAnn Littlewolf - Secretary

LeAnn Littlewolf (Anishinaabe/Gaa-zagaskwaajimekaag Band of Ojibwe) is Economic Development Director at the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO). LeAnn has worked in both the nonprofit and policy advocacy sectors for over 25 years and carries a deep commitment to community leadership. She has worked as an executive director, provided direct services and program development. LeAnn has developed and designed a nonprofit organization focused on Native youth leadership and has assisted in the development of a startup focusing on Indigenous and rural women's leadership. Leanne is also a part of a leadership team for the Food Sovereignty initiative and development of Indigenous social enterprises at AICHO. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Education, a Master's degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership, and a Master's degree in Education. 

“The Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance has that Indigenous industriousness to create a new kind of economy that is driven by Native entrepreneurs and community. I am excited to join the Board of Directors to be one of many who work together to make a new kind of future for our people.” – LeAnn Littlewolf

Jesse Sixkiller - Member

Jesse Sixkiller is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an attorney at the law firm Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis, where he advises entrepreneurs in various corporate and transactional matters. Jesse is heavily involved with the local startup community. He has judged for the High Tech Division of MN Cup, an annual competition put on by a community-led, public-private partnership that reaches emerging entrepreneurs from across Minnesota and connects them with tools, resources, and support to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures. He also serves as a Lunar Services “expert” for the cohort of startups at Lunar Startups, an incubator dedicated to scaling and supporting women, people of color, and other high potential entrepreneurs.

Prior to private practice, Jesse was a law clerk at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota, and prior to law school, Jesse worked on federal policy matters in Washington, DC, for the executive branch of the Cherokee Nation. Jesse received his law degree at the University of Arizona and his undergraduate degree in both Government and Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. Jesse and his family live in Minneapolis.

“I am proud to be a part of MNIBA where I can help empower indigenous entrepreneurs, improve tribal economies through entrepreneurship, and enrich non-tribal communities by increasing exposure to indigenous-run businesses and indigenous cultures.” – Jesse Sixkiller

Bruce Corrie, PhD. ~ Honorary Advisor

Dr. Bruce Corrie is a leading Twin Cities-based economist, business expert, cultural entrepreneur, and longtime member of the Concordia University, St. Paul faculty. With specific focus on minority businesses and the growing impact minority communities have on the broader economy, Dr. Corrie brings unique perspective and insight relating to the Minnesota business landscape.

Dr. Corrie’s work has garnered deep media coverage across local, ethinic, national, and international media. He has also published numerous academic articles and has written extensively for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Business Magazine. 

Our Staff

Pamela Standing ~ Executive Director
Email: info@mniba.org  Phone: 218.850.8364