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

David Borrelli

David was born and raised in Rhode Island before moving to Spokane in 2021 with his partner. David currently works full time as the Director of Franchise Locations at a family entertainment company based on the East coast with over 30+ locations. Showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for investing in his local community, David and his partner opened and operate Mountain Top Mentality out of Spokane where they both currently reside. Their mission with Mountain Top Mentality is to help others reach their full potential, which is why they pride themselves on using local vendors as much as possible to create their branded products.

Throughout most of his professional career, David has had the opportunity to work with some of the most diverse, knowledgeable, and skilled individuals who helped teach him how to be an effective leader, entrepreneur, and small business owner. These leaders and mentors helped David find his love and passion for operations, system processes, training & development, sales/financial among other professional skills.

Beyond his business endeavors, David ingratiates himself into the community by trying new restaurants, checking out other small businesses, working in as many markets as possible, attending local events, being out in nature, traveling, and meeting new people with a great back story to share.

Jeff Ferguson

Jeff Ferguson is a Spokane Tribal member full-time freelance photo and videographer
who grew up in Spokane WA and holds an A.A.S. in Photography from Spokane Falls
Community College, a B.A. in Communications from Whitworth University and an
M.B.A. from Gonzaga University. He has over 20 years experience owning and
operating small businesses ranging from sales and marketing to traditional brick and
mortar and online retail sales to marketing and multimedia, photo and video production.
Although most of his work is documentary video and cultural preservation,
he has also found time to serve on various boards and panels across the state. Over
the years he has found that raising awareness to current and ongoing issues facing
Indian Country and climate change, educating Native youth both on and off the
reservation, is where his true passions lie.

Chrystal Gonzalez

Chrystal currently works as a public health Registered Dental Hygienist and has 18 years experience in Dentistry. As a community advocate, she is committed to improvement of oral & systemic health and promotion of diversity and inclusion. Her experience as an oral health advocate includes: community outreach, promotion of oral health, curriculum development of oral health programs for indigenous populations, and community outreach within the BIPOC and LatinX communities. She has a commitment to supporting community and engagement with the local community.

Juan A. Mas

Juan A Mas is a Colombian/Cuban Producer, and Director entrenched in the indie world. He worked as an AD and UPM in Los Angeles; then, job opportunities allowed him to work as a producer and director for several years abroad. Juan has also worked all over the United States in varied budget sizes as a member of the DGA for features, mini-series, and television. He is a passionate storyteller who loves to combine a kinetic visual style with vibrant characters and the gritty truth of real life. When not on set, Juan directs and produces theater in Spokane and Seattle. He also volunteers on boards that focus on the growth of the art community and creative economy locally and across the state of Washington. But he is most proud of being a dad of 3 amazing young adults.

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 ed@sixthmanmarketing.com.

Outside of digital marketing, you’ll likely find Ed spending time with his family, playing disc golf, or working on his tennis game.

Kathy Thamm

Kathy is the retired Executive Director of Community-Minded Enterprises. Her passion is improving the quality of child care in Eastern Washington and bringing focus to the child care industry as a business. She was one of several leaders who built the statewide Early Achievers program that uses a star rating so parents know if the center or family child care is engaged in continuous quality improvement validated by the University of Washington. She helped the family child care providers join together under SEIU to make sure they were receiving fair reimbursements for low income children enrolled in their care from the State of Washington. She also helped to form the statewide Child Care Center Association to pool resources for better health care and reimbursement rates.

Kathy believes in the power of the entrepreneur and the power of art. She currently manages Shotgun Studios Spokane that features area artists whose work speaks to contemporary issues. Her background is in photography. She studied at the School for Visual Arts and Portraiture under Philippe Halsman. She operated a photo business in Key West Florida before moving out to Idaho with her husband. Kathy is married to local artist, John Thamm, and started several art galleries including the Art Spirit Gallery in CDA. They have one daughter who resides in Seward, Alaska.

Emeritus Board Members

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.

Past Board Members

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.

Jason Scully

Meet Jason Scully, an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Eastern Washington University and researcher dedicated to unraveling the complex interplay between human mobility and the influences of the built environment on behavior, health, well-being, and social capital. Proficient in ArcGIS, PostGIS, SQL, and R, Jason navigates intricate spatial data landscapes, providing meticulous analysis that sheds light on the intricate connections between individuals and their built environments.

Beyond technical expertise, Jason’s collaborative skills shine. Jason is experienced in intentionally bring together diverse perspectives, synthesizing viewpoints from individuals with varied backgrounds into a coherent message. An efficient and organized project leader, Jason also excels in writing, editing, and conducting research, with a strong analytical ability to analyze and interpret data. Through his work, Jason educates and encourages awareness of our environments and the movements dictated thereof.

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.

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.

Looking for our current job openings? Visit our Job Listing page here: https://spokaneindependent.org/job-listings/