Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort CEO Francis SiJohn Announces Departure

Former CEO of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, Francis SiJohn (left) and Laura Stensgar (right), acting director of the casino

The  CEO of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, Francis SiJohn, is retiring for “personal reasons,” and Laura Stensgar, longtime marketing director for the resort, will step in as acting director of the casino while the Tribe searches to secure SiJohn’s replacement. Since 1993, Stensgar has worked to promote and market the resort and its Circling Raven Golf Club. Over those 27 years, the resort has undergone six expansions. 

A long-time leader within Coeur d’Alene Tribal Government, SiJohn was in his third year as CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel prior to announcing his departure, citing a desire to spend more time with family. In his role as CEO, he oversaw multiple successful initiatives, including a major 68,000-square-foot renovation to the casino, completed in March 2019. 

The announcement of SiJohn’s retirement comes on the heels of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort receiving the “Tribal Destination of the Year” recognition for its cultural tourism program by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), and just a month after SiJohn was named a winner of Spokane Coeur d’ Alene Living magazine’s 2019 Power 50 Awards, recognizing his efforts to improve and expand the Tribal attraction. 

Bozzi Media, the magazine’s publisher, states that the list represents “our region’s most influential professionals — in time, presence and money — who have been shaping, and continue to shape, our community in positive ways.” Award recipients were feted at the Power 50 Awards on September 18th, 2019 in Spokane.

“I am humbled to receive the Power 50 Award,” SiJohn previously said. “When I am honored, so is the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and that pleases me more than anything. It’s an acknowledgement that our efforts, in the local economy and community have not gone unnoticed. There are more great things to come,” he said in early September. 

In celebration of SiJohn’s inclusion in the 2019 Power 50 Award, the Tribe commemorated SiJohn’s “stalwart commitment to both responsible environmental stewardship and support of education” — an extension of traditional Native American hospitality, the Tribe said. Five percent of all gaming profits from the property go to public schools and education programs. 

Mark Makley, CFO 

In July 2019, Mark Makley, CPA, CGMA, MAcc, was named the new Chief Financial Officer at Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort. With 19 years of experience in the casino industry, primarily in financial roles for notable companies such as Pinnacle Entertainment, El Dorado Resorts and Penn National Gaming, he is putting the popular resort on an even greater, financially stable trajectory. “I believe the keys to success and generating as much profitability as possible is through financial discipline, taking care of our guests and taking care of our employees who are truly the heart of the business,” Makley said in July.  

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