Washington, D.C. – May 06, 2023 – The Tribal Gaming Protection Network (TGPN) hosted its sixth annual Women in Tribal Gaming Conference last week at the Wild Horse Pass Casino Resort in Chandler, Arizona, on May 2 – 3, 2023.
The TGPN was initially founded in 2002 by Indian Gaming Association, established a national Tribal association that would promote sharing of information among tribes on impacting the Tribal gaming industry to ensure the integrity and protection of gaming operations and regulations. Today, the organization empowers gaming professionals, regulators, and tribal governments to ensure the integrity and professionalism of gaming and the prosperity of tribes. One of the critical events of the TGPN is the Women in Tribal Gaming confab.
IGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., shared, “It is great to see the tremendous growth of the TGPN throughout the years. It is a formative organization that strengthens the integrity of tribal government gaming by empowering those serving on the frontlines protecting our industry. I commend the TGPN for creating and presenting the Women in Tribal Gaming Conference. It is such an outstanding event highlighting the women involved in tribal gaming to promote diversity within tribal gaming and celebrate the Warrior Women of our industry and the essential contributions and leadership in our industry.”
Indian Gaming Association Board member Denise Harvey represented the gaming organization at the conference. She shared, “It was such an inspiration not only to attend but to speak and also to be an inspiration to all the women working on behalf of tribal gaming at the Women in Tribal Gaming conference.”
This year’s theme, Enrich, Empower, and Embrace, included an impressive panel of speakers whose focus was on education, diversity, and elevating women’s roles in the industry for the development of a robust corporate culture.
TGPN Chairwoman Frances Alvarez said, "The most successful event is the one that achieves your goals and exceeds your expectations. That's exactly what we accomplished in the two days at Gila River." She further describes the event as "empowering" and "enriching."
The TGPN Women in Tribal Gaming event brought together more than 250 attendees representing over 30 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations.
Presented by Aristocrat Gaming, the symposium launched the inaugural Women in Tribal Gaming Ambassador cohort. This ambassador program comprised six emerging leaders who were empowered to learn, share, and grow as active participants in the symposium. Each ambassador received a complimentary registration and was paired with industry leaders in their areas of aligned interest and expertise.
Additionally, ambassadors were given an opportunity to meet with TGPN board members for a mentorship session as a benefit to their role. They were given the opportunity to share their insights during a talking circle on day two of the symposium, which a representative of Aristocrat Gaming moderated.
Highlights of the conference included the Warrior Women recognition, presented to DeJuana McDonald of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, a keynote address by Jeanne Hovland, Vice Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission, and empowering highlighted panel entitled Tribal Leadership: Voices and Inter-generational Point of View, which included, Monica Antone, Lt. Governor of the Gila River Indian Community, Rebecca Richards, Chairwoman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Victoria Diaz, Vice Chairwoman of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians and Hermina Frias, Council Member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
The conference also included workshop topics such as IT, legal, regulatory finance, compliance, human trafficking, safety and security, human resources, responsible gaming, youth development and leadership, and pathways to learning. Featured panels included a tribal leadership “Voice of Wisdom” session and a Global Gaming Women co-hosted session featuring C-Suite Executive Women and TGPN’s next generation of gaming professionals.