Maria Valandra has 20-plus years’ experience in banking and community development. Currently, as the business development officer at Island Mountain Development Group, she works on special projects ranging from procedure development to community master planning. Previously, she managed the Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Indian Country Economic Development. In this position, she oversaw a variety of technical assistance and grant programs that target projects aimed at strengthening the economy and building strong communities of tribal nations in Montana by developing and enhancing business opportunities, creating access to capital, and creating jobs.
Prior to this, Valandra worked at a regional bank headquartered in Billings, MT, where she held positions as a senior vice president and chief synergy officer, senior vice president of talent management and organization development, and vice president of community development.
Her past board service is extensive and includes cofounding the Montana Indian Business Alliance and the Montana Financial Education Coalition.
Valandra holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Montana State University in Bozeman. She has dual enrollment—as a member of the Nekaneet Band of the Cree First Nation of Saskatchewan and as a member of the Chippewa Cree on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in north central Montana. Originally from Great Falls, MT, Valandra now resides in Billings, MT. She has three adult sons and two grandchildren.