CNIGA Elects New Chairman and Executive Board Members, Pechanga Re-Joins Organization

The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, which operates the largest and most expansive resort/casino in the western United States, rejoined the largest association of gaming Tribes in California after several years absence. They had previously been members from 1995 to 2012.

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) recently elected a new chairman and executive committee members. 

James Siva, who is also the vice-chairperson for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, was named as the new CNIGA chairman. “I am deeply honored to be elected chairman of CNIGA and am proud to lead an organization with such a robust history and am deeply grateful to have this position,” said Chairman Siva, who previously served on the CNIGA executive board as vice-chairman. “I am fortunate to have great leaders to work with and learn from.” 

Mike Lopez and Isaiah Vivanco were appointed to the positions of vice-chairman and treasurer, respectively. “It’s an honor and privilege to be elected vice chairman of CNIGA,” said Vice Chairman Lopez, who was previously the Central District at-large representative. “As the largest regional gaming organization in the United States, CNIGA is a leading voice and forum on gaming issues, and I am proud to serve the organization.”  

Lopez serves on the business committee of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Vivanco serves as vice-chairman on the Tribal Council of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians.

In other news, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, which operates the largest and most expansive resort/casino in the western United States, rejoined the largest association of gaming Tribes in California after several years absence. They had previously been members from 1995 to 2012. 

“We’re excited and pleased to again be part of CNIGA and clearly we have big, impactful and consequential issues to address collectively,” Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said. 

Meanwhile, Joshua Muse was re-elected Southern District at-large representative, Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock and Butch Murphy were also elected, respectively, as the Eastern District At-Large Representative and Central District At-Large Representative. Hitchcock serves as the chairman of the Wilton Rancheria in the Sacramento area, and Murphy serves on the Tribal Council of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. 

The executive board holds, in addition to four officers, representatives from Tribes in each of the four federal court districts in California. 

Additionally, Russell Witt of Incredible Technologies was elected as the associate member representative position on the executive committee. 

Three long-time CNIGA executive committee members had previously announced their retirement, including Chairman Steve Stallings, Treasurer Dennis Hendricks and Eastern District at-large Representative Leon Benner. 

Continuing their terms on the executive board are CNIGA Secretary Daniel Salgado and Dale Miller (Northern Representative). 

CNIGA’s Western Indian Gaming Conference & Trade Show, taking place February 10th-13th, 2020, at Sycuan Casino Resort, will celebrate the event’s quarter century of innovation. The conference, extended to three days, will feature cutting edge issues facing Tribes and their gaming operations. 

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