Event Details

Midwest Native American Economic Development & Diversification Conference Alt Text

Native American Economic Development & Diversification Conference

September 19-20, 2022

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel – Prior Lake, MN
Midwest Native American Economic Development & Diversification Conference Alt Text

Event Details

The Native American Economic Development & Diversification Conference will be held on September 19-20, 2022 at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, MN.

Through a variety of panels and interactive discussions, attendees will engage with experts focusing on economic diversification. Tribal leaders will come together to discover new ways to diversify their Tribe’s economic ventures and focus on building resilient and sustainable communities that thrive. You’ll hear success stories, case studies and dig deeper into new ways to generate revenue beyond gaming. You’ll also discuss with experts what the economic future may look like in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and how your economy can come back strong. By networking with other Tribal leaders, decision makers and industry professionals you can exchange tangible ideas on how to maximize your respective economies.

We ensure our attendees get to know their peers and interact with one another throughout the event by providing a variety of engaging sessions, numerous networking opportunities, and impressive business solutions.

Who Should Attend:

  • Architect Firms
  • CEO’s and CFO’s of Renewable Energy Companies
  • Construction Companies
  • Economic Development Professionals
  • Energy Generators
  • Engineers
  • Environmental Assessment Companies
  • Feasibility Study Companies
  • Finance and Legal Professionals
  • Government and Other Professional Service Firms
  • Investors in Renewable Energy Projects
  • Technology Developers
  • Tribal Leaders

Register Now To Attend

Use code MYSTIC200 to unlock $200 in instant savings. Code expires Friday, 8/12.

For Professionals, Executives & Leaders from Tribal Government or Tribal-Owned Enterprises

Tribal Super Early Bird

$695

Expires 08/19

Tribal Early Bird

$795

Tribal Standard Rate

$895

Group Rate (4 or more paid from same tribe or entity)

Group Super Early Bird

$595

Expires 08/19

Group Early Bird

$695

Group Standard Rate

$795

For Other Industry Professionals

Pro Super Early Bird

$795

Expires 08/19

Pro Early Bird

$895

Pro Standard Rate

$995

HOTEL INFORMATION

MYSTIC LAKE CASINO HOTEL

2400 Mystic Lake Blvd NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372

(800) 262-7799

Room Rate: $159 per night

The group cutoff date is August 17, 2022

In addition to booking online, you may also call the hotel’s Reservation Center 24/7 at 952-445-9000. Please mention the Midwest Native American Economic Develop Block.

Book Your Room Now

Native American Economic Development And Diversification Conference

September 19-20, 2022

Agenda at a Glance

Monday, September 19

7:30-8:30 AM

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30-8:45 AM

Welcoming Remarks

Justin O'Connor

President | Native Nation Events

8:45-9:00 AM

Conference Co-Chair Remarks

James Klas - Founder & Principal of KlasRobinson Q.E.D

James Klas

Founder & Principal | KlasRobinson, Q.E.D

9:00-10:15 AM

Tribal Leaders Roundtable: Creating Opportunities for Tribal Members With a Goal of Self-Preservation for Tribes

Melanie Benjamin

Chief Executive | Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians

Tehassi Hill

Chairman | Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

Ned Daniels, Jr.

Chairman | Forest County Potawatomi Community

Marlon WhiteEagle

President | Ho-Chunk Nation

  • During the height of Covid, the Native American unemployment rate soared to 26%. What measures can be put in place to alleviate such a decline in the event of another pandemic?
  • What can be done to prevent Native Americans from being forced to leave reservations to find suitable work?
  • What socioeconomic hurdles prevent Native communities from expanding?
  • What strategies can be implemented to attract more private investments?

10:15 - 10:45 AM

Morning Networking Break

Paradigm Shift Logo Alt TExt

10:45 - 11:45 AM

8-Track to Emoji

Jerrod Murr - Founder & CEO of Paradigm Shift

Jerrod Murr

Founder & CEO | Paradigm Shift

• Cross Generational Leadership
• Discover the answer for retention in the 21st century
• Understand the three major trends of upcoming generations
• Identify three common biases in the workplace

11:45-12:30 PM

How Can Tribes Find Capital To Pay for Diversification Projects With Rising Costs, Inflation, and Interest Rates in Today’s Economy?

Adam Rose

Director of Partnerships & Growth | Travois

Steven Leash

Secretary of Council | Cahuilla Band of Indians

  • Examine the effects rising costs, inflation, and interest rates have on financing for diversification and expansion projects?
  • How can tribes gain access to funding for diversification projects, and what strategies can be used to attract more private investments?
  • What grants are available to support tribal projects? How can those grants help finance future economic development and diversification projects?
  • Discuss the recently announced New Market Tax Credit Allocations and how to ensure you get your fair share.

12:30-1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

Travois Logo Alt Text

1:30-2:30 PM

Non-Gaming Amenities With a Proven Track Record For Tribal Casinos

James Klas - Founder & Principal of KlasRobinson Q.E.D

James Klas

Founder & Principal | KlasRobinson, Q.E.D

Laura Penney

CEO | Coeur D'Alene Casino Resort

Marshall Pierite

Chairman & CEO | Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana

Alexander Baird

Founder and CEO | Beacon

  • What are some successful up-and-coming non-gaming amenities that can be incorporated into tribal casinos to enhance the property?
  • How can tribes craft and capture one-of-a-kind multi-level enhancements from more significant properties and bring those unique experiences to smaller venues?
  • What simple makeovers can capture customer excitement for Native American casinos?
  • How does tapping into the five senses with sensory-formed design help create a nostalgic gaming environment without disturbing the original flow and footprint of the property?
  • What economic development practices could help move the needle forward in gaming business expansions?

2:30-3:15 PM

Diversification by Investing What You Know: How Tribes Are Creating Opportunities by Investing Off-Reservation Within the Hospitality Industry

Dennis Johnson - Chief Investment Officer at Ho-Chunk, Inc.

Dennis Johnson

Chief Investment Officer | Ho-Chunk, Inc.

Joseph Nayquonabe

CEO | Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures

  • What are the pros and cons of tribal indirect investments, co-investments, and direct investments?
  • Discuss post-pandemic success stories with off-reservation investing, specifically in the hospitality
    industry?
  • How can investing in the hospitality industry increase tribal profiles while increasing diversification?
  • Are there any foreseeable pitfalls for tribal communities to delve into off-reservation investing?

3:15-3:45 PM

Afternoon Networking Break

3:45-5:00 PM

Mystic Lake Case Study

James Perry

Vice President of Client Services | Imagine This

Angela Heikes

President & CEO | SMSC Gaming Enterprise

Mike Lane

Vice President of Sales-North America | SageGlass Saint-Gobain

Robert Blankmeyer

Construction Manager | PCL Construction Services

Bryan Hamlin

Partner/CDO | The Worth Group

5:00 PM

Monday's Sessions Conclude

5:30 - 6:30 PM

Monday Night Reception: Sponsored by ImagineThis

Imagine This Logo Alt Text

Tuesday, September 20

7:30-8:30 AM

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Are Labor Shortages Within the Hospitality Industry Here To Stay?

Jerrod Murr

Founder & CEO | Paradigm Shift

James Klas - Founder & Principal of KlasRobinson Q.E.D

James Klas

Founder & Principal | KlasRobinson, Q.E.D

Ronald Vargas

VP Human Resources | Cache Creek Casino Resort

  • How can tribes overcome the hurdle of labor shortages while trying to diversify their portfolios?
  • At peak seasons throughout the country, an estimated one million plus, primarily college-aged, Western and Eastern Europeans, came to work in the US during the pandemic. However, with staffing programs drying up, how can tribal communities create other avenues to include them?
  • Discuss how government administrative policies play a role in current tribal labor shortages and if there are measures to prevent a significant decline moving forward.
  • What opportunities can companies create to maintain employee engagement?
  • Discuss practices put in place or considered which promote loyalty and longevity while reducing high turnover rates.
  • In what ways are tribal enterprises getting creative to solve staffing issues?
  • What role does new technology play in bridging the divide?

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Inter-Tribal Project Development: Diversification While Paying It Forward

Ron Allen

Tribal Chair/CEO | Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

  • Elaborate on 25 U.S. Code 4305—Intertribal Tourism Demonstration Projects— which is a program to facilitate the development and conduct of tourism demonstration projects by Indian tribes on a tribal, inter-tribal, or regional basis.
  • Discuss ways to assist in the development and promotion of tourism in and in the vicinity of Indian lands to keep money from leaving communities sooner than what is optimal.
  • How can tribal leaders sustain their reservations and help prevent what proportion of the marginal dollar of income goes into taxes, savings, and imports, also known as the “leakage and multiplier effect”?
  • What systemic inequities continue to this day in Native communities that can be addressed and used to bridge the gap between the rest of the world?

10:30 - 11:00 AM

Morning Networking Break

11:00 - 12:00 PM

Opportunities for Tribal Communities To Diversify With Cannabis and Hemp

Seth Pearman - Attorney General for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Seth Pearman

Attorney General | Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Earl Pendleton

Treasurer | Lower Sioux Indian Community

Toby Vanlandingham

President | Yurok Agricultural Corporation

W. Joe Allen

Executive Director | Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

  • How should tribal leaders approach welcoming cannabis into their communities?
  • What opportunities for monetary benefit exist when cannabis dispensaries enter tribal communities?
  • What role do regulatory requirements such as federal legislation, lobbying, legalities, and risk management play in allowing these opportunities for tribes?
  • In what ways can cannabis and healthcare work together?
  • How does getting into the cannabis and hemp industry help tribes diversify their enterprise portfolios? Are there still opportunities for other tribes to follow?

12:00-12:45 PM

Are There Benefits for Tribes To Invest in Energy?

Zachary Atherton-Ely

VP of Strategic Growth Initiatives | Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures

  • With the Biden Administration pushing for green energy, what opportunities remain for tribes to look to diversify into the energy sector?
  • What can be learned from tribes that have already made investments in the energy sector?
  • How can tribes start investing in energy? What are the steps?

12:45 PM

Conference Concludes

W. Joe Allen

Executive Director | Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
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W. Ron Allen

Chairman/CEO | Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Ron Allen is the Chairman/CEO with Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and…
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Zachary Atherton-Ely

VP of Strategic Growth Initiatives | Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures   Zach Atherton-Ely is VP…
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Alexander Baird

Founder and CEO | Beacon Alexander Baird is the Founder and CEO of Beacon. Alex…
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Melanie Benjamin

Chief Executive | Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians    Melanie Benjamin was first elected…
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Ned Daniels, Jr.

Chairman | Forest County Potawatomi Community
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Tehassi Hill

Chairman | Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
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Dennis Johnson

Chief Investment Office | Ho-Chunk, Inc Dennis Johnson is Chief Investment Officer with Ho-Chunk, Inc.…
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James Klas

Founder & Principal | Klas Robinson, Q.E.D James Klas is the Co-Founder and Principal of…
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Steven Leash

Secretary of Council | Cahuilla Band of Indians
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Jerrod Murr

Founder & CEO | Paradigm Shift  Jerrod Murr is Co-Founder and CEO of Paradigm Shift,…
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Seth Pearman

Attorney General | Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Seth Pearman is an enrolled member of the…
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Earl Pendleton

Treasurer | Lower Sioux Indian Community Earl Pendleton is an elected member of the Lower…
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Laura Penney

Chief Executive Officer | Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Laura Penney is the chief executive officer…
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Marshall Pierite

Chairman & CEO | Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Marshall Pierite is Chairman of the…
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Adam Rose

Director of Partnerships and Growth | Travois Adam Rose is the Director of Partnerships and…
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Toby Vanlandingham

President | Yurok Tribal Council   Toby Vanlandingham is serving his 2nd term on the…
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Ronald Vargas

Vice President of Human Resources | Cache Creek Casino Resort   Ronald Vargas is currently…
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Marlon WhiteEagle

President | Ho-Chunk Nation
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Conference Co-Chair

Klas Robinson Logo Alt Text

Gold Sponsors

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Imagine This Logo Alt Text
Paradigm Shift Logo Alt TExt
Travois Logo Alt Text

Monday Night Reception Sponsor

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Tribal Government & Enterprise Representatives

Sponsors & Exhibitors