Tawney Brunsch, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is the Executive Director of Lakota Funds, a Native community development financial institution (CDFI) serving the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Prior to joining Lakota Funds in 2008, Tawney worked with the Black Hills Federal Credit Union for eight years as a Branch Manager/Lead Lender. At Lakota Funds, Tawney has successfully led the organization’s achievement of key organizational benchmarks, including the chartering of the Lakota Federal Credit Union, expanding Lakota Funds’ lending area to the Rosebud Reservation, efforts to become an FSA-Guaranteed ag lender, and launching the Child Development Account (CDA) program, one of the first such programs in Indian Country. Nationally known for her community development efforts, Tawney serves on a number of boards and advisory committees including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Advisory Council, the Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board, and the Native CDFI Network’s Policy Committee.
Tawney remains committed to economic development on the Pine Ridge Reservation in her roles as Lakota Federal Credit Union Board Chairman, and the Board Treasurer of Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, a fellow CDFI focused on homeownership lending. She has been a leader of the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition since its creation in 2013, and currently serves on the Executive Committee, Policy Committee, and Veteran’s Committee and chairs the Physical Issues Committee.