Bartee to lead Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s new economic entity

BLYN — Looking to promote economic vitalization and community development, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has created a Native Community Development Financial Institution.

And they have a homegrown resident to lead it.

Johanna Bartee, a former investment banker, commercial loan officer and project manager with a background in technology solutions servicing government clients, was selected by the tribe’s Economic Development Authority to lead the new Jamestown entity as its executive director, tribal officials announced in September.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are financial intermediaries that provide credit and financial services to under-served markets and populations, Bartee said.

In addition to promoting the area’s economy and community, Jamestown’s CDFI is designed to support the tribe’s overall economic development strategy by creating and supporting business opportunities that benefit the Jamestown people as well as the Olympic Peninsula as a whole, the tribe said.

Bartee grew up in Sequim and graduated from Port Angeles High School. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington in Seattle and Stockholm University in Sweden, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University in New York City.

Bartee has more than 14 years of professional experience in project management, investment banking and most recently institutional banking.

Her banking career focus has been serving non-banking financial institutions such as broker dealers, insurance companies, registered independent advisors, hedge funds and private equity firms, with alternative asset lending products and high value commercial loan requests.

Bartee will work closely with the Economic Development Authority’s board of directors: Jack Grinnell (chair), Matthew C. Adams (secretary/treasurer), Celeste Dybeck, Louis Kardonsky and LaTrisha Suggs.

“I’m proud to join them,” Bartee said.

Incentive for investing locally increased recently, tribe officials noted, when Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a large part of the Olympic Peninsula is eligible for Opportunity Zone investment.

“Certain census tracts of low-to median income people qualify for special tax advantages to individuals who invest in them,” Bartee said — making the Peninsula a more enticing place for investors.

Bartee is responsible for establishing and developing the Tribe’s Native CDFI; the first step, tribal officials said, is to work with the Economic Development Authority board and tribal council about what form the institution will take, before seeking certification with the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The CDFI can begin serving communities with services before being certified by Treasury, Bartee noted. With certification — a process that could take three to four years, Treasury officials said — Jamestown’s CDFI would be eligible for various avenues of funding. That funding includes not only federal grants but also investment capital, including Community Reinvestment Act funding, tribe officials said. That funding encourages commercial banks to invest within the local communities where their customers hold bank accounts.

For more information about the NCDFI, contact Bartee at jbartee@ jamestowntribe.org or 360-681-4650.

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Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

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