Executive Committee Members
Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians
STEVE STALLINGS, CHAIRMAN
CNIGA Chairman Steve Stallings is an elected tribal council member of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians near Valley Center in San Diego County. Stallings is the tribal council delegate to the Rincon Tribal Enterprise Board, which oversees the tribe’s gaming business, Harrah’s Southern California Resort, the largest tribal resort hotel in California. Stallings serves on the tribe’s investment committee and its private equity investments.
Stallings is a former senior vice president and director of Native American Banking Services at Wells Fargo, where for twenty years he provided financial services to Indian tribes in gaming, commercial banking and community and government relations. Prior to his tenure at Wells Fargo, Stallings served for 20 years as president of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED).
Stallings is a board member for the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) where he was recently honored for his contributions to Native American Higher Education. Additionally, Stallings has received lifetime achievement awards from the Phoenix Indian Community, the California Native American Chamber of Commerce and the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA).
Morongo Band of Mission Indians
DAMON SANDOVAL, VICE CHAIRMAN
CNIGA Vice Chairman, Damon Sandoval, a member of the Morongo Tribal Council has served on the CNIGA executive committee for nine years. A stanch supporter of tribal sovereign rights, Sandoval served as a spokesperson for the Prop 5 campaign, touring the State and educating voters on tribal government gaming.
Sandoval has a professional background in sales and is regarded as an expert in Tribal Government Gaming, and slot machine technology. Sandoval is a former Executive of the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa.
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians
DENNIS HENDRICKS, TREASURER
CNIGA Treasurer Dennis Hendricks is a member of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, where he has previously served as tribal chairman. He was first elected to the treasurer’s position in 2005 and has served in that capacity ever since.
Hendricks previously worked at PG&E and has been involved with California tribal issues from a number of perspectives. In addition to his services as tribal chairman, Hendricks was also the chairman of the Tuolumne Economic Development Committee and has served on the board of directors for the California Rural Indian Health Board and the National Indian Health Board. Tuolumne operates the Black Oak casino, not far from Yosemite National Park.
United Auburn Indian Community
John “Will” Williams, Executive Secretary
John Williams was elected to serve as CNIGA’s Executive Secretary in December of 2014.
Williams also serves as the Vice Chairman of the United Auburn Indian Community and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thunder Valley Casino Resort as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chapa-De Indian Health Program.
During his tenure in tribal leadership, Williams has worked to promote constructive government-to-government relationships and has testified before the California State Legislature on numerous occasions.
As a member of the United Auburn Indian Community Development Corporation, Williams has helped diversify the tribe’s investments beyond casino gaming in order to protect the long-term interests of the tribal members.
Williams has been actively involved in advancing youth education at the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal School and has worked to preserve his tribe’s cultural heritage during and after his four-year tenure on the Preservation Committee of the United Auburn Indian Community.
Williams lives in Auburn, California, not far from the ancestral home of his tribe.
Chairman Dale Miller
Elk Valley Rancheria
DALE MILLER, NORTHERN-AT-LARGE MEMBER
Northern-at Large representative Dale Miller also serves as chairman of the Elk Valley Rancheria, a position he has held for fourteen years. Prior to becoming Chairman, Miller served his tribe as a gaming commissioner.
Miller is also a member of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Fee-to-Trust Consortium and served as the Fee To Trust Consortium Chairman for 10 years; is a member of the North Coast Tribal Chairman’s Association; is Vice-Chairman for the Border Coast Regional Airport Association; and serves as the Chairman of the 1999 Compact Tribes Steering Committee.
As Chairman, Miller has been deeply involved in, and shares the success of bringing the Tribe’s fee land into trust status for purposes of building a new casino/destination resort. Miller works diligently to foster positive liaisons with local, state and national governments. Miller has been widely recognized for his leadership, including being named “Tribal Leader of the Year” by the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA).
Miller served in the Navy and performed two tours in Vietnam. He is a Graduate of Tuck School of Business – MBEP and attended CSU Long Beach and Santa Rosa J.C. Miller has two grown children, a son and a daughter, and has been married to his lovely wife Paula for over 40 years.
Council Member James Siva
Morongo Band of Mission Indians
JAMES SIVA, CENTRAL-AT-LARGE MEMBER
James Siva, CNIGA’s central district at-large member, serves as an elected tribal council member for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in Cabazon, Calif. where he helps advance new economic development opportunities for the tribe and implements tribal policies that guide the 35,000-acre Morongo Indian Reservation.
Born and raised on the Morongo reservation, he credits his family for instilling within him a deep commitment to serving his tribe and preserving its rich culture. His mother served on the Tribal Council in the 1990s.
Dedicated to the ideal that the tribe’s core values should guide its business activities, Siva has played key roles in Morongo’s pursuit and establishment of new economic development projects that align with the tribe’s principles of self-reliance and self-determination. Siva helped create Tribal Capital Markets, LLC, a New York-based financial services firm formed by Morongo in 2015 to assist tribes and other clients in achieving economic growth while also developing future generations of tribal financial professionals. Siva is also active in efforts to expand Morongo’s retail, service, hospitality and dining offerings along Interstate 10 as part of a master-planned development that will further diversify and strengthen the tribe’s portfolio of business enterprises.
Siva graduated cum laude from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in Ethnicity and Race Studies. He was the inaugural recipient of Columbia’s Native Alumni Seven Generation Award for Outstanding Community Service.
Siva and his wife, Christina, have a young son, Jack, and a second child due in September 2016. He volunteers at First Congregational Church of Fullerton, where his wife serves as pastor, and he is active in the church’s Crop Walk and Hot Meals Ministry, which both provide food to those in need.
Council Person Leon Benner
LEON BENNER, EASTERN-AT-LARGE
Leon Benner has served on the executive board since 2003 and is the current Eastern-at-Large representative. A member of the Redding Rancheria, Leon has served in tribal government since that tribe’s federal recognition in 1983.
A veteran of the United States Army, Benner worked for 30 years at a Redding paper mill as a packaging crew leader. He served on Redding Rancheria’s first tribal council from 1983 to 1988 and again from 1998 until 2015, where he served on the council as treasurer and most recently as vice-chairman. He was the chairman of the tribe when it signed its compact with the State of California.
During Benner’s tenure on council, he helped oversee not only the tribe’s casino but also the various ventures they maintain in the Redding area, including a Hilton hotel, golf club, market and tribal health clinic and a health clinic that serves the general public.
Benner resides with his wife in Redding.
Vice Chairman Henry Murphy
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
HENRY MURPHY, SOUTHERN-AT-LARGE
Henry R. Murphy serves as the elected Vice Chairman for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. The Vice Chairman is one of seven directly elected officials comprising the Tribal Council, each serving a four-year term. The Tribal Council reviews and manages all business operations of the Tribe, including the Sycuan Casino, Sycuan Resort, US Grant Hotel, the Sycuan Tribal Development Corporation, and a third party insurance program.
Vice Chairman Murphy also served as Tribal Councilmember from 2010-2014. In this capacity, he demonstrated a quick grasp of the nuances of budgeting and the need for a balanced approach to ensuring costs and revenues meet. His primary goal is to protect the sovereignty of the Tribe through its business dealings and management practices while at the same time looking for opportunities to increase efficiencies and grow revenue for the betterment of the Tribe and surrounding community.
Currently Vice Chairman Murphy serves on the Executive Board as an At Large Member of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) and is a member of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). In addition, he serves as a delegate to National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) overseeing legislative issues for Indian Country.
Murphy’ s passion for traveling is driven by his desire to learn about different cultures. He has visited 15 countries on his quest to see firsthand how people’s values and ways of life differ from place to place. Vice Chairman Murphy places a high value on human relations and believes it is important to understand each other and the world around us.
Murphy is a graduate of Valhalla High School and is also a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT). He resides on the Sycuan Indian Reservation.
ASSOCIATE MEMBER REPRESENTATIVE
KARI MCCORMICK, ASSOCIATE MEMBER REPRESENTATIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Kari McCormick is the National Market Sector Leader for Kitchell Contractor’s Native American Markets. She is deeply honored to be serving as the first associate member representative to the CNIGA board. She has served as past Chair for the Tribal Economic Development Committee of AAED, served two terms on the National Indian Gaming Association board among many other appointments and leadership roles including the Commission of Indian Affairs, Indian Town Hall, AZ American Indian Chamber of Commerce and AZ American Indian Tourism board. She has been a panelist at OIGA, NMNIGA, Great Plains, RES, NIGA, WIGA, Valley Partnership, and ULI and many other conferences throughout the U.S. sharing her knowledge in construction and economic development in Indian Country. She is currently serving at Arizona State University on the advisory board to Del E Webb School of Construction for the Construction in Indian Country Program.
Kari has been working in Indian Country for over twelve years in the A/E/C industry and is driven by her commitment to advancing the lives of Native peoples through economic and community development by helping facilitate the connections of tribal practitioners to the best resources and practices in the industry.
She is a proud graduate of Arizona State University with her undergraduate and MBA. Early in her career she also served as youth pastor, educator and worked on the majority staff at the state legislature. She was recognized in 2012 as a Great Women in Gaming, received the 2013 Economic Development Distinguished Excellence Tribal Practitioner of the Year award, the 2014 NCAIED 1st American Corporate Leader Award, 2014 NIGA Associate Member of the Year and the AAICC Corporate Leadership award.
She is able to fulfill her passion of working with Tribes helping to build better communities because of the true commitment of Kitchell Contractors. Founded over 65 years ago, they formalized their commitment to the Native American communities with the formation of the Native American Division in 1999. Bringing best practices from the construction industry to build gaming, hospitality, office/industrial, correctional, schools, healthcare on sovereign land supporting the economic growth of the Native American communities throughout the country. Kitchell has 15 offices nationwide with 6 office in California.