Maria Valandra has 24 years’ experience in the banking industry and community development. Currently, she works as a program manager for the Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Indian Country Economic Development. In this position, she oversees a variety of technical assistance and grant programs that target projects aimed at strengthening the economy and languages of tribal nations in Montana by developing and enhancing business opportunities and tribal languages on reservations, in tribal communities, and for Native American businesses.
Prior to this, Valandra worked with Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to help them execute their goals. She also 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 co-founding 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 is a member of the Nekaneet Band of the Cree First Nation of Saskatchewan. Originally from Great Falls, MT, Valandra now resides in Helena, MT. She has three adult sons and two grandchildren.