Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation Director Cindy Logsdon began 2022 with a new three-year appointment as a member of the Community Development Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The regional section of the Federal Reserve serves seven states — Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and portions of Missouri and New Mexico.
According to the CDAC website, the board serves to provide “insights on community and economic development challenges faced by low to moderate-income communities.”
As the leader of Pottawatomie County’s only Native Community Development Financial Institution, Logsdon hears the daily financial concerns of CPN’s larger community. This appointment allows her to take that knowledge to a regional scale.
“I think I’m excited because Native CDFIs are at the table, and the Native world is where you can influence policy. You can influence what’s going on or even the priorities of the Federal Reserve branch and just have some input there,” Logsdon said.
Board members from three Native CDFIs across the country now serve on Community Development Advisory Committees in Federal Reserve districts following the 2022 appointments. Logsdon feels encouraged by the inclusion she strives for as a leader.
“I think that having a Native voice at the table is very valuable for our community. I’m honored that trust has been put upon me to represent our Native community,” Logsdon said.
“It is beneficial, and it’s intentional because if your voice isn’t at the table, you’re not going to be heard. So hopefully, that will be a real benefit (of my appointment).”
Logsdon serves on financial boards at every level, from local to national. She finds collaboration and a constant expansion of knowledge help the entire group. Often, she advises her colleagues on ways to approach and work with tribes.
“I think a lot of times tribes are misunderstood and kind of unknown. If you haven’t grown up in a community that has local tribes, I would hope that I would be able to convey that some tribes are very progressive and good stewards of the knowledge that we’re given and looking out for generations to come,” Logsdon said.
The advisory committee meets twice a year in person and each quarter online. They discuss similarities and differences in what they witness happening in their local areas, both financially and otherwise. The group includes professionals from banks and CDFIs as well as nonprofits, businesses and community services.
“It strengthens my network and takes it past my normal circles. But also, if there’s a voice or there’s an issue that I’m aware of with other boards that I sit on, I think there’s a lot of synergy there. And if there’s funding opportunities, if there is influence, if there’s regulations that need to be changed that benefit the community, hopefully, that’s why I’m there,” Logsdon said.
Throughout her time with the CPCDC, she has noticed two significant issues that affect many of the clients she and the rest of the staff assist — lack of financial education and predatory lending. Logsdon hopes to discuss these issues and more with the greater region on the Federal Reserve board.
“I think (a lack of) financial education in the school systems is a real problem. We need to have more financial education and a requirement from the state. And what about on the federal level? How can we use the connections that we have to flow down, I think, to put pressure on both sides of state government, if you will, to do what’s right for Native Americans and low-income individuals?” she asked.
Other CPN leaders previously served on the board, including Vice-Chairman Linda Capps, and Logsdon considers her nomination to the same committee an honor. More than anything, she looks forward to learning from her peers’ experiences and applying those lessons at the CPCDC.
“I want to leave this place at a better spot than when I found it,” Logsdon said.
She began working with the CPCDC as its second employee in 2003. She oversees the organization’s services, including credit counseling, assistance buying a home, financing a business and providing access to federal CDFI programs.