Israel Stone, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the Tribal Development Director for Little River Casino Resort (LRCR) in Manistee, Michigan was recently honored with a prestigious professional distinction. He was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 to watch for Global Gaming Expo’s emerging leaders program. This international program recognizes the influence on the gaming industry by key leaders of the future.
“It still seems very surreal, being from a town the size of Manistee, Michigan, and being recognized for an international award such as this. I am honored to receive such a prestigious award and at the same time humbled,” Stone said in a press release.
Israel began working with Little River when he was an elected member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Council and worked on the casino enterprise business board. In 2011, he joined the LRCR team as Security Manager, and in 2013 was named the first Tribal Development Director for the casino resort. In his role as director, he has designed and established the Sevens program to incorporate the traditional ‘Seven Grandfathers’ wisdoms and teachings of the Tribe into a professional development plan for tribal citizen employees to enhance and maintain the casino resort for years to come.
“The Sevens program is a holistic approach combining core competencies and core values to improve individuals quality of life and every aspect of it to make them effective team members at work, productive in their communities and stronger leaders in their organization,” Stone said. “Although the core values are tribal cultural values, we believe they are values that apply to all people and this will be a model used not only in Indian Country, but corporate America.”
“This is a tremendous honor for both Israel and the property,” said LRCR General Manager Wendell Long. “The strategies incorporated in the Sevens program will help strengthen the enterprise for the tribe.”