I’m reporting to you from the road in Eastern Oregon.
You can say, I’ve went back in time a quarter of a century.
See, over 25 years ago, I met Al Tovey.
I had just started working in marketing for the Coquille Indian Tribe at the Mill Casino Resort (my husband Brady’s Tribe). Al was in marketing for his Tribe at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton, OR owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Back then we shared our visions and hopes, so full of optimism for our children, our elders, and our communities.
Al is now the General Manager and it’s incredible how much has been realized during the last 25 years. In our chat, he talks about the community transformation and how their organization is something for the Tribe to be proud of and to enjoy. Not only is Wildhorse Resort & Casino the largest employer in the county but they were leaders in the industry when Covid struck.
He tells the interesting story that they had just formed an incident command team prior to the pandemic; that team made the right decisions (and continues to do so) to protect their communities even as the “goal posts kept on changing.”
It was so great to reflect with Al how much has transpired the last 25 years and the impact Tribal gaming has had on these two Oregonians. Please listen to our conversation here.