CNIGA Appoints New Deputy Director of Public Affairs

Press Release
For Immediate Release


CNIGA Appoints New Deputy Director of Public Affairs

April 6, 2016

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association is pleased to announce new personnel changes, the addition of Carlos Valdez as the new Deputy Director of Public Affairs. Mr. Valdez brings over a decade of political and advocacy experience in Indian country. For nearly 13 years, Mr. Valdez represented the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians at state, federal and local levels working to advance sound public policy that protected tribal sovereignty, tribal gaming and cultural resources. Mr. Valdez managed their political program and several independent expenditure campaigns supporting candidates who fought for tribal sovereignty. Prior to his tenure in Indian Country Mr. Valdez worked for Manning Selvage and Lee one of the nation’s top public relations firms and began his career with one of Los Angeles’ premier public affairs firms, The Englander Group working on political campaigns, community affairs and media relations. “Mr. Valdez’s political and policy experience will bring a fresh perspective to CNIGA and its member tribes to make CNIGA a force in the Capitol as we enter the next phase of Tribal Government Gaming in the State of California”, said Steve Stallings, CNIGA Chairman. “Mr. Valdez has a strong understanding of local politics, trying to balance tribal sovereignty and local control which will be key to helping educate local government officials as tribal government gaming continues to grow in the State”, Stallings added. Mr. Valdez earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge, attended Political Science Graduate School at California State University, Northridge and received a certificate in Public Policy from University of California, Davis. CNIGA is also pleased to announce the promotion of longtime employee Susan Jensen as the new Deputy Director of Operations. Ms. Jensen served as the Association’s Director of Communications for the past 18 years. Ms. Jensen will oversee member development and retention, special programs and events. “Ms. Jensen has been a vital part of this organization for nearly two decades and will now focus on servicing members and taking the Western Indian Gaming Conference to the next level”, said Lee Acebedo, CNIGA Executive Director. About CNIGA: The California Nations Indian Gaming Association is a non-profit association comprised of federally recognized tribal governments dedicated to the protection of tribal sovereignty and the right of tribes to have gaming on Indian lands.

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