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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 Staff

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

Pamela Standing left a 16-year international business career in 1991 to return home and immerse herself in grass roots organizing and rural tribal community wealth building. It was during this time she was able to draw upon her unique and diverse experiences from business and international travel to move into rural tribal business and nonprofit development. Standing’s passion is organizational transformation—serving as a catalyst to help organizations and businesses reach their potential, especially those that are restructuring. She brings with her well-rounded experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. 

Standing specializes in culturally-based business and strategic planning. Her experience has shown her that Indigenous-run organizations and owned-businesses can be healthy, enjoy financial growth, and succeed within the dominant business system without compromising cultural values. She endeavors to close the disparity gap through cooperative work, collaboration and forming partnerships and alliances that ultimately result in the sharing of resources.

In 2007, she helped co-found the Minnesota Indian Business Alliance (MNIBA) in response to the limited native-owned business and development occurring throughout the state.  Standing holds a BA in Education from the University of Washington and an MBA in International Business and Law. She is a Citizen of Cherokee Nation.

"Being involved in MNIBA has been a great source of personal learning and growth.  It is with deep pride that we can showcase the “indigenuity” of our native entrepreneurs and our relationship in trade and commerce, with its deep roots in our culture, history, trade routes, language and practices.  It is an honor to serve, learn and work with native businesses, tribal communities and native leaders” -Pamela Standing

Chalsey Snyder ~ Engagement Coordinator
Email: engagement@mniba.org  Phone: 701.421.5082

Chalsey Snyder is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. As the Engagement Coordinator with the Minnesota Indian Business Alliance, Chalsey's role is to help generate successful native trade and commerce through partnerships, collaborations and connections with native entrepreneurs and businesses both within and outside of the indigenous community. Her goal is to influence positive change in Native Country by encouraging, helping and supporting new and innovative ways to strengthen native entrepreneurs and indigenous owned businesses. To contact Chalsey about the many ways MNIBA can help your business or community, call 701.421.5082 or email engagement@mniba.org.

"Working with MNIBA has been one of the greatest experiences of my career.  The resources and information available through our organization for indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses, and tribal communities are unparalleled and the people and organizations I have worked with have truly changed my life. I am so excited to share the knowledge and resources with others on their entrepreneurial journey to success and sustainability!"

 

Our Board

Madonna Peltier-Yawakie

Madonna co-founded Turtle Island Communications, Inc. (TICOM) to provide telecommunication engineering and consulting services to Tribal Nations.  TICOM works with their clients to develop and implement broadband systems that meet National Broadband Plan Standards for rural and remote high cost service areas.  TICOM’s accomplishments include engineering, project management, construction management to implement the following:

  • The first 100% tribally owned and ETC Designated Commercial Wireless System in the Nation
  • The first 100% tribally owned Fiber to the Home Network which provides 1 gigabit capacity to all residents and businesses within its tribal lands.

TICOM’s work contributes to closing the digital divide in Indian Country, and increasing broadband access to enhance economic, education, public safety, and healthcare opportunities for those living and working on tribal lands. 

Madonna’s career in the Telecommunication Industry spans many years. She has contributed to the FCC’s Telecom/Broadband Policies for Tribal Nations.  She holds a B.S. in Business Administration, and a Masters in Community & Regional Planning from NDSU.  Madonna is Citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

“I have been involved with MNIBA since its inception, and I remain involved with MNIBA because of its focus on business development issues that are relevant to American Indian business owners.” – Madonna Peltier Yawakie

Shanne Soulier

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

Dani Pieratos

Dani is an Anishinabe Ikwe (Indigenous woman), a mother, a hockey player, and a social entrepreneur. Dani served as the tribal housing Office Manager for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. She recently left her position, to focus full-time on building her family’s start-up, Harvest Nation, an aeroponic farm to bring fresh, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to her region.   

She graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a B.A. degree in Native Studies with an honor’s thesis on asset building for Indian Country. Dani is a Citizen of Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.

“MNIBA is where we got our start in small business development, when we attended the Indianpreneurship business plan training. It gave us the confidence to push harder for Harvest Nation. In being a direct beneficiary of MNIBA’s great mission, I am grateful for the opportunity to give back by being a member of its Board of Directors as its Secretary.” -Dani Pieratos

Kim Strand

Kim Strand is an entrepreneur, she currently owns a vacation rental company and has owned multiple business over the years. She has a strong business and accounting background and assists in economic empowerment for Natives and other diverse communities.  She has been a business consultant for multiple non-profits and managed the Tribal business portfolio at Lac Courte Orielles Chippewa Tribe.

She was awarded the Bush Leadership fellowship in 2008 and received her graduate degree from the University of Minnesota.  She received her undergraduate degree from Crown College in business and ethics.  Kim is a descendant of Lac Courte Oreilles and St Croix Tribes.

“Being a part of Native American entrepreneurship through the MNIBA is important to strengthen our voice in industry, and to encourage others in our community to consider business ownership as a means of self-reliance.” -Kim Strand

Elaine Hansen

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

Bruce Corrie, PhD. ~ Honorary Advisor

Director, Planning & Economic Development  

City Government: St. Paul