Management Team & Board of Directors

Meet our Management Team

Jason Palmer
Jason M. Palmer, Executive Director

Jason currently serves as the Executive Director for the National Native American Supplier Council (NNASC). Jason has been working in Indian Country since 2004. Over the past two decades, he has led diverse teams from various leadership positions in tribal gaming, gaming regulatory, and tribal government. Jason has served on multiple tribal boards, where he focused on good governance and strategic planning. He's been a passionate advocate for tribal diversification and volunteered countless hours to convert NNASC from a thought exercise to a reality. Jason is a Citizen of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians. He is a lifelong Kalamazoo County resident, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and their two teenage boys.

Meet our Board of Directors

Julio Martinez, Chairman

Julio serves as CEO for Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. Mno-Bmadsen is an independently managed instrumentality of the Tribe launched in 2012 with the mandate to diversify the Pokagon Band’s business interests, revenue streams and wealth for future generations. In his position, Julio develops, leads, and executes the overall investment strategy. Currently, Mno-Bmadsen has holdings in 4 distinct sectors. Professional Services, Construction, Manufacturing, and Real Estate. Prior to joining Mno-Bmadsen in 2016, Julio successfully served as the CFO of tribes in Florida and in Oregon. With a track record of proven business success in a variety of business settings, Julio dedicates those skills to support the continued growth and success of Mno-Bmadsen.

Monica King, Secretary

Monica is the CEO of Gun Lake Investments. With an extensive operations and finance background, Monica has over 20 years of experience with companies of various size and industry, particularly with business acquisitions, integrations, and infrastructure development. It was through leadership of the Tribal consulting practice at DWH that led Monica to a strong relationship with GLI as a consultant for three years prior to joining the team as interim CEO in July of 2021, and permanently in January of 2022. Monica is passionate about advancing Tribal sovereignty and sustainability through economic development and loves serving amongst the people first culture of GLI. 

Paul Bussey
Paul Bussey, Treasurer

Paul is the President and CEO of the Grand Traverse Engineering & Construction (GTEC). The company was founded as R. Clark & Associates in 1979 and focused on land planning and landscape architecture services. The Grand Traverse Economic Development purchased the company in 2014. Headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, GTEC continues to build on their more than 40 years of experience, providing excellence in customer relationships, project delivery and risk management. Paul is a Citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Belinda Bardwell
Belinda Bardwell, Board Member

Lin is Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) at Grand Valley State University. The mission of OMA is to support efforts in recruiting and retaining diverse students; to educate, engage and empower all students to live in a multicultural world; and to advocate for a socially just campus environment. Belinda is a Citizen of The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She serves on Board of the Odawa Economic Development Management Inc., which is a Tribally Chartered Corporation. 

Jeffery Johnson, Board Member

Jeff is an enrolled Forest County Potawatomi tribal member and serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) overseeing the commercial businesses at Potawatomi Ventures. Jeff previously served as the Vice-chair on the Potawatomi Ventures Board of Directors.

Jeff has owned and operated J.W. Johnson & Associates, Inc., a certified small professional services business offering civil engineering and construction management services in DeForest, WI. Jeff serves on the boards of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) and Wisconsin Native Loan Fund, Inc. (WINLF).

Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with emphases in environmental and construction management from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville. He also has a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Most recently, he earned a Corporate Board Certificate and graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

John McClellan, Board Member

John is the Economic Development Director for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing and implementing strategies and programs to foster economic growth and sustainability within the community. The Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, located in Northern Arizona, focuses on a diverse range of economic development initiatives, including land management, business development, and community partnerships. As a Citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, John brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in tribal governance and economic development, aiming to leverage these skills to support the prosperity of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians through innovative and culturally sensitive economic strategies.

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