Meet the Power Players Participating in Our CEO Roundtable at the Native Business Virtual Summit

CEO Roundtable participants Chuck Garrett (left), CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, and Derek Valdo, CEO of AMERIND Risk (Not pictured: Troy Clay, CEO of Mno-Bmadsen)

Strong leadership Is the ultimate strategic advantage in business. And true leaders innovate and inspire their teams to greatness during times of challenge and uncertainty, more so than ever. 

That’s the kind of mentality and commitment that Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses; Troy Clay, CEO of Mno-Bmadsen; and Derek Valdo, CEO of AMERIND Risk bring to their Tribally owned enterprises consistently. 

The three chief executives will share the leadership strategies that they have deployed to adapt, streamline communications, manage risk, and continually uplevel business operations at their businesses in our “CEO Roundtable: Gain Knowledge & Insights From Successful CEOs Across Indian Country,” live broadcasting on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 12:35 pm CST during the Native Business Virtual Summit. The Native Business Virtual Summit 2020 broadcast will be live streamed November 17-20, 2020, from noon to 3:30 pm CST, from the Native Business production studios. 

READ MORE: From the Editor: Why ‘Embracing Innovation to Empower Indian Country’ Inspired the 2020 Native Business Summit 

Their conversations will evaluate pandemic response and organizational shifts — including changes that will continue long after the coronavirus crisis and associated economic fallout subside. The CEO Roundtable will dive into Tribal businesses’ calibrated goals and milestones for the years ahead, and reflect on leadership tools and advice for future leaders in Indian Country.  

Meet the power players partaking in our CEO Roundtable:

Chuck Garrett – CEO, Cherokee Nation Businesses

Chuck Garrett (Cherokee Nation) oversees what is often referred to as the economic engine of Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) employs 11,000 people in 49 states and posts annual revenues over $1 billion. A recent report by economists at Oklahoma City University shows the Tribe has an economic impact of approximately $2.2 billion across Eastern Oklahoma.

“You can imagine how that filters through the economy and really does change lives,” Garrett told Native Business.

Garrett leads a team of professionals to manage CNB’s diversified business interests — including gaming and hospitality, as well as government contracting in the information technology, security and defense, real estate, manufacturing, construction and health care industries. “Throughout all of our business units, our employees prove to be our greatest asset,” he said.

READ MORE: Chuck Garrett, CEO, Cherokee Nation Businesses: Becoming the Best Employer 

During the CEO Roundtable at the Native Business Virtual Summit, Garrett will shed light on how CNB has innovated to weather the pandemic to protect and preserve its greatest asset, its workforce, and the leadership approaches that have fortified CNB now and for years to come.  

Troy Clay – CEO, MNO-Bmadsen

Is humility a powerful leadership tool? Troy Clay (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi), President and CEO of Mno-Bmadsen, thinks so. 

“I don’t have all the answers and I am not bashful about that,” he told Native Business. But it’s that kind of openness that allows Clay to see the bigger picture, and to take in diverse opinions and perspectives. 

Troy Clay, CEO of Mno-Bmadsen

“I know that the quality of leadership is directly proportional to the level of talent that I lead,” he explained. 

READ MORE: Leading Like A Native: Troy Clay Leverages Pokagon Band Strength 

A Potawatomi word, Mno-Bmadsen translates to “The Good Path.” It’s an apt name for the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band’s business operations. 

As an instrumentality of the Tribe, Mno-Bmadsen is afforded the same rights and privileges as a sovereign Nation, yet it operates and makes investment decisions independent of the Tribe. A seventh generation philosophy informs its strategy of buy, hold and grow. 

READ MORE: Mno-Bmadsen Leverages an Innovative Investment Strategy

Employing 315 individuals in 13 locations throughout Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, Mno-Bmadsen maintains four direct-investment portfolios: professional services, manufacturing services, construction services, and real estate investments and services.

“I know in the future, after I am gone, those leading and working for Mno-Bmadsen and our family of companies will be thankful for the diversified wealth and careers that we are building today,” Clay told Native Business. 

Derek Valdo – CEO, AMERIND

Since Derek Valdo (Acoma Pueblo) started leading AMERIND Risk as its CEO in 2012, the insurance company has almost doubled in annual revenue. Meanwhile the company’s Tribes, their people and their businesses have seen more than $4 million annually in savings on the cost of insurance.

READ MORE: AMERIND Risk: Native Led (by CEO Derek Valdo) and Native Owned 

With 54 employees, Valdo says “managing a workforce requires constant attention to your work culture, future plans, and critical operational systems.”

He’ll take us inside his approach to performance management at the nation’s only insurance company 100% Tribally owned with 100% Tribal clients. Breaking down business goals into a series of actionable steps can amount to sizable impact. The proof is in AMERIND.  

The CEO Roundtable goes live on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 12:35 pm CST during the Native Business Virtual Summit, live streamed November 17-20, 2020, from noon to 3:30 pm CST, from the Native Business production studios. Register for the Native Business Virtual Summit 2020 now at




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