Shane D. Jett, CEO of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, recently received the 2019 Visionary Leader Award in recognition for his contributions to the Native community development financial institutions industry.
“It is an honor to be a part of the Native CDFI industry, where every day I get to put my greatest passion to work building up and supporting Indian Country,” Jett said. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing fellow Natives and Native communities thriving in the business world.”
Native CDFIs provide access to capital and create economic opportunity for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, and provide development services and financial products to Indigenous communities across the United States. Everything from loan funds, banks, credit unions and venture capital funds are provided through Native CDFIs, which are powerful tools to advance the economic development of the Native communities they serve.
A Cherokee Nation citizen and CEO of the CPCDC since 2011, Jett’s team has raised more than $77.6 million dollars for lending in Indian Country and lent over $79.9 million to Native entrepreneurs, creating or sustaining over 1,675 jobs. The Citizen Potawatomi-based institution is the only Native American CDFI to participate in the U.S. Treasury Guarantee Bond Program. In 2016, it was awarded $25 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, Community Facilities for re-lending — another first in Indian Country. Jett was recognized by the Native American Finance Officers Association as executive of the year in 2018. He recently concluded his second term on the OFN’s board, having been the first Native American to serve on the body. He continues to serve as the presidential appointee of the U. S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Advisory Board and is the first Native American to chair that board.
Established in 2003, the CPCDC has grown into an important financial institution, serving rural Oklahoma and Indian Country. The $25 million award from the USDA comes on the heels of a separate $1 million in funding it recently received through the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Program to provide small business lending.