The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has expanded its board of directors and elected Martha L. King as chairperson by unanimous vote.
Tamarah Begay, Quincy Natay, Leah Claw and Kristina Haskell were nominated by Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and confirmed by the tribal council, according to a Navajo Gaming press release. Already serving on the board were King, Martin Lieberman and Vice Chairperson Danielle Her Many Horses. Together they are responsible for “establishing overall policies and objectives for the management of the affairs and assets of Navajo Gaming and for periodic review and evaluation of management results,” the press statement said. Secretary/Treasurer Kristina Haskell is also part of the team.
“The depth of experience and caliber of individuals serving on our expanded board will greatly benefit Navajo Gaming’s future growth,” said Derrick Watchman, CEO of Navajo Gaming, in the statement. “The board is critical to moving our mission forward as we work to provide more jobs for Navajos, return additional revenue to the Nation and further strengthen our Navajo Gaming and Hospitality brand.”
“As Navajo Gaming advances, we as the board of directors remain steadfast in our desire to build upon the foundation that is already in place, said King, a partner with Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP who specializes in federal Indian law, gaming, civil litigation, real property, contracts, economic development, business site leasing, municipal law, sovereignty law, local governance, capital improvement and land use planning, and transportation law.
“As a board we are dedicated to improving the Navajo economy by providing competitive job and educational opportunities to all Navajo Gaming employees,” King said in the statement. “A healthy Navajo economy is a win-win situation for Navajo people, the Navajo Nation, the states and local communities.”
The enterprise involves operating three casinos in New Mexico and a four-diamond resort casino in Flagstaff. It currently employs 1,400 people, 85 percent of them Navajo. The Navajo Nation created the business entity in 2006, and the first casino, Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, New Mexico, opened in 2008.