Our Team

Staff


Black Hills Community Loan Fund was established as the Teton Coalition nearly 30 years ago. The organization originally focused on delivering financial literacy and homebuyer education services to the Native American community of Rapid City, South Dakota. Since then, we have grown and evolved into a Native community development financial institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Native CDFIs are nonprofit loan funds that help Native communities thrive and grow by increasing access to credit, capital, and financial services.

Dr. Barbara Schmitt

Executive Director

Dr. Barbara Schmitt is the Executive Director for the Black Hills Community Loan Fund in Rapid City, South Dakota, a certified Native community development financial institution (CDFI). She is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and has worked in the economic development field for over 35 years. Dr. Schmitt is a strong advocate for working with and for Native Americans and has worked with tribal organizations throughout the nation. Dr. Schmitt earned her Ph.D. in Education from North Dakota State University. She also has an MBA from the University of Mary.


Gerri LeBeau

Director of Operations

Gerri LeBeau is the Director of Operations at the Black Hills Community Loan Fund (BHCLF) in Rapid City, South Dakota. She started at BHCLF in September 2022. Among other duties, Gerri oversees the management of and reporting on the organization’s grants to funders. Ms. LeBeau is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Two Kettle Band. Her Lakota name given to her by her mother is Laughing Woman (Eha Pi Win). Gerri is a member of the National North American Indian Women’s Association, Carole Anne Heart Cancer Coalition, Katala Okolakiciye Winyan Society (a Lakota women’s society), founding member of NARP, and Advancing Contextual Analysis and Methods of Participatory Engagement Community Advisory Board. Gerri graduated from Black Hills State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. In her free time, Gerri enjoys creating jewelry, baking, hiking, reading, traveling, and playing card and board games.

In January 2022, Gerri along with five family members and an attorney worked on an international repatriation plan to request the return twenty-five cultural and sacred artifacts from Glasgow Life/Glasgow Museums in Scotland. The repatriation effort was successfully approved by the Glasgow City Council in March 2022. The anticipated return of the artifacts is June 2023. The international repatriation effort is in honor of the late Marcella LeBeau who assisted with the repatriation of the Sacred Wounded Knee Ghost Dance shirt in 1999 from the Kelvingrove Museum (now known as Glasgow Life/Glasgow Museum).


Taffy Lafferty

Loan Fund Director

Eileen “Taffy” Lafferty grew up in He Dog Community on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Taffy is the Loan Specialist at Black Hills Community Loan Fund in Rapid City, South Dakota.  She has worked with Native CDFI’s in the Northern Plains Region. Taffy is a consultant, trainer, and grant writer for American Indian tribes and organizations.  She has worked with 19 tribes and numerous organizations/programs on economic development, housing, funding, and training. She studied Business Administration at National American University and Fine Arts at Sinte Gleska University.  She enjoys traveling, art, cooking, sewing, and sports when she is not working.


Brandon Jossart

Loan Officer

Brandon Jossart is the Loan Officer at Black Hills Community Loan Fund in Rapid City, South Dakota.  He began this role in June of 2023.  Brandon comes to our team with over a decade of experience in the finance world, working for two other financial institutions.  He has a background in Branch Management, Learning and Performance, and Retail Banking Operations.  Throughout his career, Brandon developed a passion for financial education and helping people understand their individual financial situation, developing goals, and realizing a plan to achieve those goals.  Brandon grew up in Minnesota and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Outside of work, Brandon enjoys spending time with his dog (Sponge), fishing, playing games, and creative activities.  He plays music, builds puzzles, and enjoys cooking.


Ginna Arguello

Development Coordinator

Ginna Arguello-Hager was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Services with a minor in Chemical Dependency Counseling from Oglala Lakota College in 2004. After graduation she began her employment at Oglala Lakota College as an Academic Counselor from 2004 to 2010 and then moved into the Assistant Director Position from 2010 to April 2023. She joined our team as the Developmental Coordinator in May 2023 and looks forward to helping individuals and making positive changes within her community.

Ginna has been married to her soul mate for the past seven years. She has three children, two bonus kids, and seven grandchildren.  She enjoys hiking, spending time with her family, going to the lake, and camping in the summer.


Sammie Crawford

Programs Coordinator

Samantha “Sammie” Crawford is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is also Oglala Sioux on her mother’s side. Born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, Sammie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science in December 2020 from Oglala Lakota College (OLC). Shortly after graduating, she began employment at OLC as a Student Support Services (SSS) Counselor. She served as an SSS Counselor from March of 2021 to August of 2023. Sammie joined our team in October of 2023. She is grateful to be working at a Native CDFI and is enthusiastic about helping her relatives within the community improve their financial wellness.

Sammie is happily married and has one son. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time and creating memories with her family. Her hobbies include DIY arts or crafts and cooking. Sammie is always eager to engage in activities that allow her creativity to soar.


Amanda Standing Bear

Small Business Advisor

Amanda Standing Bear, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a BA in Native American Studies. After graduation, she returned home and joined Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, a Native American community development financial institution that specializes in homeownership on the Pine Ridge Reservation, as an AmeriCorps VISTA worker. In 2018, she moved into the Education & Housing Specialist role at Mazaska until January 2024, when she joined Black Hills Community Loan Fund as the Small Business Advisor. Through her work in the Native CDFI field, she developed a passion for financial literacy, homebuyer education, and helping others with their finances. Outside of work, Amanda likes to spend time with her three dogs and two cats. She also loves to travel, hike, and cook and bake.

Board of Directors


Tanya Fiddler (Cheyenne River Sioux), Chairman

Cassandra Palmier (Oglala Sioux), Treasurer

Bonnie Le Beau (Cheyenne River Sioux), Secretary

Karissa Loewen, Member

Ramona Herrington, Member

Yolanda Garcia (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Member