Potawatomi Business Development Corporation: Names Jeff Johnson as COO of Commercial Operations

Milwaukee, Jan. 17, 2024– ThePotawatomi Business Development Corporation (PBDC), announced today Jeff Johnson was named the company’s chief operating officer for the commercial group. Johnson is a member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community and was previously vice-chairman of the PBDC Board of Directors. In his new role, he serves as a member of the executive leadership team and is a chief change agent, directing operations and driving growth related to commercial operations for the PBDC.  

“I am deeply honored to join PBDC, a dynamic and forward-thinking organization owned by the Forest County Potawatomi Community,” said Johnson. “As a proud tribal member, I am committed to leveraging my skills and experience to enhance the economic growth and prosperity of our community. I look forward to contributing to the evolving business landscape, to fostering innovation, and building sustainable partnerships that contribute to the success of our subsidiary companies and the continued advancement of PBDC.

”Johnson owns and operated J.W. Johnson & Associates, Inc., a certified small business offering civil engineering and construction management services. With nearly three decades in the industry, he managed construction for a variety of land development and heavy civil projects across the country valued at more than $1.5B. Johnson is also committed to advancing the success of business ventures throughout Indian Country, serving as a board member of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) and the Wisconsin Native Loan Fund, Inc. (WINLF) a Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). During his tenure at WINLF, he served as Board Chair and Interim CEO. He also provided small business technical assistance and agency capacity building for native-owned construction firms registered with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 

“It is with great enthusiasm and pride that I welcome Jeff as our Chief Operating Officer of Commercial Operations,” said Kip Ritchie, Chief Executive Officer, PBDC. “As a fellow tribal member with a distinguished background in engineering and construction management, Jeff brings invaluable expertise to our team. With his experience serving on our board of directors, he has a deep understanding of our organization’s mission and values. I am confident that under Jeff’s leadership, we will further strengthen our commitment to excellence and drive sustainable growth for the benefit of PBDC and the Forest County Potawatomi Community. ”Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with emphases in environmental and construction management from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and earned a Corporate Board Certificate and graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. 

PBDC was established in 2002 as the economic development and income diversification business of the Forest County Potawatomi Community. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, subsidiary companies and investments provide financial diversification for shareholders and investment partners. Resources generated by PBDC and its holdings help diversify the tribal economy that supports Forest County Potawatomi’s tribal government and helps improve the lives of tribal members.