Maria Cullooyah

Maria is a Spokane Tribal member working in the Economic Development Department of the Spokane Tribe of Indians as Planning Manager, TERO Commissioner, & Spokane Tribal Board member. She lives in the Wellpinit, leading community projects there & fostering a local sustainable economy. She is also a Fellow in the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) program. Maria loves rooting for her 5 wonderful kids at sporting events and enjoys numerous fruits of the seasons, but has never turned down a deliciously grilled asparagus.

Bob Stilger

Bob Stilger, PhD, is an activist-scholar who explores social change, leadership and community building. Bob has worked extensively with communities in Japan where people are creating a “new normal” after the devastating Triple Disasters – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear explosions – of March 11, 2011. He’s carried this work into Northern California, after the fires and now his nonprofit, NewStories, has launched a regional initiative in the Northwest called Preparing for the Possible. He is the author of the book AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin? Bob co-founded and directed Northwest Regional Facilitators for 25 years. – an early community development corporation in Spokane, Washington. He later partnered with Margaret Wheatley at The Berkana Institute where he served as Co-President in 2004. Bob has taught leadership at the graduate level at Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, St. Mary’s College of California and the Union Institute.  He’s the Founder and President of NewStories, a US-based nonprofit which works globally with people who are intent on co-creating collective impacts that make our lives better.

Kathlyn Kinney

Kathlyn Kinney, founder and owner of member business Biomethane LLC, works with municipal wastewater plants looking for alternatives to biogas flaring at their facilities and other ways to reduce maintenance costs. Her clients receive expert guidance on how to recycle biogas to renewable natural gas with a 40% better ROI than combined heat and power and at a 70% lower operating cost. Kathlyn helps her clients achieve capital costs that are 60% lower and maintenance costs that are 80% lower than at comparable facilities. With 10 years of green energy industry experience and metrics like these, we are very fortunate to have Kathlyn on board as our new Treasurer! Kathlyn graduated with an environmental science degree from Western and then went on to earn her MBA in Sustainable Business at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in 2014. This combination of experience brings a lot to the green wing of our butterfly! She is also an avid bike commuter as well as a professional harp player. Recently Kathlyn has been organizing secret concerts at industrial sites around the city. Don’t be surprised if you meet Kathlyn behind one of her beautiful harps at a SIMBA event sometime this year. 

Ed Reese

Ed has helped companies improve their digital marketing efforts for the past decade through his company, Sixth Man Marketing. He’s advised brands, agencies, universities, non-profits, and e-commerce companies on how to better understand their clients and improve outcomes. He’s a Faculty Member at LocalU, an Adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing at Gonzaga University, and is a frequent speaker on the topics of analytics, usability, and careers in marketing.

Ed plans to conduct a usability survey of SIMBA’s website and is looking for volunteer business owners and consumers who are not familiar with our organization to take 15-20 minutes to answer a few questions about our home page. If you know someone who is willing to share their impressions, please connect them with Ed at Outside of digital marketing, you’ll likely find Ed spending time with his family, playing disc golf, or working on his tennis game.

Latesha Woods

SIMBA is honored to have contracted with new board member Latesha Wood in an outreach drive to connect multi-ethnic business owners impacted by COVID with free legal consultation offered by Communities Rise. Tesha is a certified teacher and founder of Legacy Learners LLC, a project-based unschooling program for 5-18 year olds who are looking for immersion-based educational opportunities. She is currently enrolling new students. “SIMBA represents the values that I see missing in education today. If we are able to educate our community about how to have a stable local economy then we will have done a great service to the next generation.” Tesha is a proud wife, mother of three, and resident in the historic East Central Neighborhood. She is also vegan and her favorite vegetable is celery.

Mark Pond

Since 2006 Mark Pond has been the Business Research Librarian with the Spokane Public Library. Before then Mark worked in similar capacities for the Seattle Public Library as well as the University of Washington Libraries. During Mark’s tenure with the Spokane Public Library, he has led the effort to develop Spokane Public Library into a nationally recognized leader in the field of business research. During the summer months, he can be found tending to his tomato beds in Spokane’s Cliff Cannon Neighborhood. To Mark, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes make the world go ’round.

Julie Watts

Julie was raised in North Dakota before moving to Spokane to attend Whitworth University. At Whitworth, she obtained her bachelor’s degree and confirmed her total lack of natural ability for snow sports. She graduated with honors in 2003 before following her love of debate to its logical conclusion at Gonzaga University School of Law, where she received the school’s Thomas More Scholarship and the WSBA Hanel Memorial Scholarship.

Since that time, she has spent most of her years in private practice running her own law office, focused primarily on family law issues and appeals of all kinds. Julie recently expanded her staff to include two associate attorneys and a paralegal. She appreciates bad puns and good jokes, and, to her chagrin, she has been known to accidentally snort in response to both. Julie is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Washington State Supreme Court, the United States District Court, and Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

Melinda Manning

Melinda is a former Diplomat and Congressional staffer to Speaker Thomas S. Foley. She is very excited to get to know the Inland Northwest community and advance progressive causes. In addition to working with SIMBA, she is involved with local stakeholders to support students in the Perry District and Every Student Counts.

Melinda has spent her entire career being a practitioner of empowerment and leveraging opportunities for underserved communities and looks forward to continuing to pursue that goal in Spokane. She grew up in Spokane and recently returned. Her husband is currently living in Uganda to complete projects, but the family chose to move back to the States to be near older children, and to settle their youngest daughter into school after moving every couple of years. In addition to her work in international development and philanthropy, Melinda enjoys gardening, working out, reading, travel, volunteering, paddle boarding on the Spokane River, biking on the area’s awesome trails and entertaining with her family. Her favorite vegetable is Brussels sprouts.

Teddy Benson

Teddy is an educator who enjoys teaching people about the connections between living things. His local “Aha!” moment came to him while visiting business partner Don Scheuerman’s family farm in the Palouse. He saw the great need and opportunity for developing a regenerative local economy, starting with our own bioregion, in the soils that grow the grains and hops he uses in his brewing practice. Teddy is excited to learn from other local business owners and share insights he has gained from being a founding member of one of our region’s most innovative cooperative businesses. He lives with his wife Alicia in the Cliff Cannon Neighborhood in a home they just purchased. His favorite vegetables are carrots and broccoli.