About Us

Sage Business Advisors is the world leader in the marketing and sale of a wide variety of businesses to Tribal Nations. Our mergers and acquisition services between privately held businesses and Tribal Nations maximizes wealth for the seller and creates compelling new market opportunities for the business under a Tribal flag. At Sage we are uniquely qualified to successfully market and sell your business to a Tribal Nation. Each of the three Founding Partners of Sage are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe and each have extensive experience and expertise in executive level positions in private business as well as years of experience in working with Tribal Nations. Please see our bios below. For more detailed information about Sage please click the "Services" tab above. 

Senior Executive Principals

J.D. Colbert

Mr. Colbert (Muscogee-Creek/Chickasaw) is the nation’s most recognized and foremost expert on matters related to commercial banking and Indian tribes. Since 1987 he has assisted Indian tribes in starting or acquiring various types of banks and financial institutions.

 

During his 30+ year career, Mr. Colbert has served as president/CEO of three different banks; a board member of five banks; Founding Executive Director of the North American Native Bankers Association (an association of Native-owned banks in the US and Canada). He has assisted over a dozen Indian tribes in acquiring or starting commercial banks.

Mr. Colbert served a White House appointment to the Board of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at the U.S. Treasury and he has actively assisted many Indian tribes and Native groups to start Community Development Financial Institutions.

Colbert has managed over $22 billion under the US Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (a/k/a the Bank Bailout Bill) and was a board member of a $13 billion pension fund and formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary – Bureau of Indian Affairs for Economic Development where his duties included overseeing the $3 billion Indian Trust Fund and the BIA Loan Guaranty Fund.

Mr. Colbert began his career as a Bank Examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. As such, he was the first Native American federal bank examiner in the history of the U.S. bank regulation system.

Mr. Colbert is active in legal, regulatory and policy formulation in the areas of banking, community development, economic development and Federal-Indian policy. He is a widely published author of op-ed pieces on subject matters related to banking as well as issues in Indian Country.

He holds an undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Oklahoma as well as masters degrees from both Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. 

Kenny Tolbert

Mr. Tolbert (Choctaw) worked as a consultant with the US Chamber of Commerce Native American Business Development Center for nine years. During that time, he worked with 30+ Native American Nations. He has extensive experience working in Business Development, Marketing, Sales and Business Operations. He has consulted with and assisted many Native American entrepreneurs and business owners across Indian Country.

Mr. Tolbert’s company The Tolbert Company was awarded the National Chamber of Commerce Minority Service Business of the Year for its efforts supporting Native American Businesses and Tribal Nations.

During his 35+ year career, Mr. Tolbert has served as president/co-founder of two publicly traded companies. Mr. Tolbert was the co-founder of a gourmet food manufacturing and distribution company. He has been involved with numerous startup businesses with a focus on the hospitality industries. Mr. Tolbert was the Founder and President of TwoRows Restaurant and Brewery with multiple locations in Texas.

Mr. Tolbert is an expert on higher education for Native Americans. He is passionate against the acceptance of lower educational standards and expectations for Native American Students.  He has spoken across Indian Country to students, parents and tribal leaders concerning the educational opportunities available to Native American Students. He spearheaded the founding and development Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Scholarship Advisement Program. The Scholarship Advisement Program has served over 5000 high potential Choctaw Students.

Mr. Tolbert earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of Oklahoma in 1979.

John Killingsworth

Mr. Killingsworth (Muscogee-Creek/Cherokee) has spent the last 25+ years working in the Oil & Gas / Energy Industry.  He has a high degree of Business Acumen with extensive experience in Project Management, Business Development, Marketing, Sales and Business Operations.

During his 25+ year career, Mr. Killingsworth has served as Vice President, Director and Manager in Business Development and Operations roles at several of the largest pipeline and facilities engineering and consulting firms in North America.

As a Business Consultant, Mr. Killingsworth will focus on assisting small, mid-size and enterprise level businesses in strategic growth, establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), identifying operational inefficiencies and providing solutions that provide an increase in profitability.  He considers himself a client advocate and is passionate about helping others succeed by providing niche expertise that has been honed by years of education, experience and skill development.

He holds an undergraduate degree (BSB) in marketing from Oklahoma City University and obtained his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2004 through the Project Management Institute (PMI).  Mr. Killingsworth is passionate about continuous improvement in both his personal and professional life and continues to pursue development opportunities as they pertain to Project Management, Leadership and Personal Growth.

Mr. Killingsworth has been an active member of the Tulsa community through his involvement with various non-profit organizations, youth sports, mentoring and church. 

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