Akiptan had a chance to sit down to visit with retiring Board Member Mr. James McCuen as he moves into retiring from his work within the Native Agriculture Industry. As long as there has been an Akiptan, Mr. McCuen has been a board member and we are thankful for his work within the Native Ag Finance Industry.
“Akiptan continues to be progressive, innovative and is making sure we’re getting it done. Akiptan is forward looking.” says James McCuen.
James was raised on a cattle ranch/ farm that his dad owned in Washington. He worked on the ranch/farm, then went to college, he eventually returned home and decided to maintain his own ranch/farm for several years. He then began work for The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in the natural resources department and then he worked in the land service. Since then, he has been a farmer, a cattleman, and an advisor to lessees. James has served as a board member with Akiptan since 2018 and has been impressed by how well agriculture producers have been supported through the Native CDFI.
“The one on one visits with borrower’s is important, it helps to build a client’s confidence” says James
James hopes that in the future, that Akiptan is able to expand to be able to offer full service banking, and to also be able to offer additional products. He believes that growth as a lender is key, and he understands that it will take a whole set of rules, but his hopes are that Akiptan grows to offer additional services to producers. He believes that this is possible, because Akiptan has already proven to be successful.
“When things get rough, it's hard to go to the banker and to let them know that you're not gonna be able to make the payment. Akiptan’s priority is to say we're here to help you, if you're in trouble call us, we will help you. The more financial literacy education offered, the better. We're in the business to make sure they succeed and make money.” says James
Akiptan would like to acknowledge James for his hard work and thank him for his leadership while serving those in Indian Agriculture across the nation.