SIMBA’s board serves as a vital conduit for our organizational direction and purpose.

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, and Spokane Tribal Board member. She lives in the Wellpinit, Washington, leading community projects there and 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 five 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 2011 Triple Disasters – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear explosions. 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. 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.

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

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 co-housing development Haystack Heights. 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. Julie recently expanded her staff to include two associate attorneys and a paralegal. She appreciates bad puns and good jokes, and, to her chagrin, 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.

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