Board of Directors
Frank Tecumseh · Jona Rupnicki · Hattie Mitchell · Corey Mzhickteno · Chago Hale
During the separation with Harrah’s in 2006-2007 the Nation decided to create a Corporation to ensure effective management of Gaming Operations on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation. To establish a Corporation the Tribal Council was required to petition the Secretary of the Interior to issue a Federal Charter under the provisions of Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Tribal Council Resolution No. 2006-208 formally approved the Federal Charter of Incorporation on November 07, 2006 creating the Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation (PBPEC). From time to time the Charter has needed modification and has experienced several evolutionary changes since it was created. The most current version of the Charter is dated March 11, 2011.
The Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation currently has a total of 5 Board members and are commonly referred to as the Board of Directors (BOD). All positions on the BOD are appointed positions serving staggered terms of various length (typically 4 years). The Board is structured with a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Member, each fulfilling a unique role for the Corporation. Of the 5 Board members, the Federal Charter requires the majority of the Board to be members of federally-recognized Indian Tribes (3 of the 5 total members). Board members must have a reputation of integrity & honesty, along with identifiable experience and qualifications to be selected. Board members are not hired in a full-time capacity. By Charter, they are required to be part-time and are independently responsible for managing their time to meet their various obligations and responsibilities. The Tribal Council also appoints a 6th member to the Board as a “Tribal Council Liaison.” This liaison is a non-voting member of the Board who attends Board meetings, provides insight and recommendations for decision making, communicates performance expectations from Tribal Council to the Board members, and relays information related to BOD activity to the other members of the Tribal Council when required.
There BOD has numerous roles and responsibilities. The BOD is responsible for compliance with the State Gaming Compact, the Federal Charter of Incorporation, the Memorandum of Agreement (between the Corporation and the Tribal Government), applicable Tribal Law, Supervision of the General Manager (GM) at the gaming facility, Strategic Planning for the business, promotion of economic development for the Nation (job creation), and to provide a method of financing Tribal Government services and projects. Members of the BOD by Charter are not allowed to interfere with the “daily operation of the business” at the gaming facility. Daily operation of the business is carried out by the GM of the gaming facility and the BOD selects, hires and supervises the GM. The BOD is also responsible for numerous annual requirements associated with gaming operation such as approving annual budgets, insurance & compensation plans for employees, contracts related to business operations, various reporting to the Tribal Council and obtaining approvals from the General Council membership when required by Tribal Law.
The Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation (PBPEC) financially operates in a non-traditional fashion from other business Corporations outside of Indian Country. The PBPEC is solely owned by the Tribal Government and is not a publicly traded Corporation. Each month casino profitability (bottom line) is determined and 100% of the profits are sent to the Tribal Government in the form of a “Tribal Cash Distribution” payment. Once this payment reaches the Tribal Government the Nation uses this money for payment of Per Capita to tribal membership, funding of various government programs, and for charitable contributions made by the Nation. The Corporation does not pay taxes based on operating revenues to the Federal Government or the State of Kansas (as agreed upon in the State Gaming Compact). However, employment and insurance taxes are still paid by the Corporation when required by Federal Law. The Corporation does go through an annual audit by an outside agency.