Payton Batliner, Board Treasurer

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma


Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs, Economic Development Specialist

Payton was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and today, his whole family is proud to serve patients at Sage Dental Care for six years and counting. He earned his MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Payton has a daughter named Shea, who was born in 2016. His hobbies outside of the office include running, playing guitar, and keeping up-to-date with American Indian issues.

Thomas Talache, Board Secretary

Pueblo of Nambé, New Mexico


Thomas is part of the Summer Clan, and his Indian name is Ohkuwa Tsideh, which means Cloud Bird. Thomas served ten years in the United States Armed Forces  from 12/1988 - 1/1999. He is also a former Governor/Chief Appellate Judge of the Nambé Pueblo where he served four years from 1/2002 - 12/2005. He was appointed by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to Chair the Commission on Indian Affairs for the State of New Mexico. Since he moved from Nambé, he has worked for the State of Colorado –  and is now the Senior Analyst in the Legal Department of Connect for Health Colorado.


In June of 1999 he founded Rez Entertainment. His work with youth in performing arts is showcased in an award- winning documentary film called, “When Your Hands Are Tied”. Through Rez Entertainment Thomas has become one of the premier suppliers of professional Michael Jackson replica clothing and accessories around the world. 

Joel Smith, Board Member

Caddo Nation of Oklahoma

Joel Smith has served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Native American Bank since 2013. He has worked in financing for 14 years. He holds a M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Colorado Denver, and a dual B.B.A in Finance and Accounting from the University of Oklahoma. Joel is also an alumnus of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, and holds a RMA Credit Risk Certification designation. 


Named "40 Under 40" Native Business Lenders in 2015 by National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development

Rose McGuire, Board Chair

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, formerly Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe/Dakota Nation .



She also serves on the:

American Indian Education Advisory Council, Denver Public Schools, Member (1992 – present)

National Indian Educational Association, Member (1990-present)

African American Task Force, Denver Public Schools (2016-Present)

Culturally Responsive Educator, Denver Public Schools (2017-Present)

GPS Through Adolescence Advisory Committee, (2016-Present)

John Lukavic, Board Member

Curator of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum where he conducts and presents scholarly research, develops exhibitions, collects Native arts, disseminates knowledge of the Denver Art Museum’s American Indian, African, and Oceanic collections, and is also responsible for DAM’s collaboration with Native American communities and the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). 

Dr. Lukavic has presented academic and public lectures internationally and across the U.S.

Harold White, Board Member

Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Self-Employed , Basketball Coach and Referee