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Tribal Operations Banquet 1-24-15

Joseph V. Sowmick - January 26, 2015

In an effort to provide bonus coverage, Team Observer joins with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council and the SCIT Human Resources Department as we recognize service award recipients and special honorees at the annual Tribal Operations Employee Appreciation Banquet on January 24 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Ballroom. 

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police K-9 Officer Neil Schiefer and fellow  Officer Trent Vatter received a special award for meritorious service in finding a lost 5 year old girl on January 4, 2014.  “She was found ok after 45 minutes of being missing in a wooded area.  Sgt. Craig Wilson also received one for having these officers go to the area where she was last seen,” Tribal Police Captain Jim Cates informs.   “Sgt. Wilson did so before receiving any request for help from Isabella County 911 dispatch.  It was a great job done by these fine officers!”

Behavioral Health Substance Abuse Counselor Robert Storrer also received a special recognition of a Pendleton blanket for his service to our community by Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Chief Steve Pego and the Tribal Council.


Anishinabe Workforce Developer Louanna Bruner introduced the employees receiving their 25 years of service (Genevieve Chippeway, Angel Jackson, Matthew Sprague, Sandra Stevens, Lindy Hunt and Julius Peters) and 35 year recipients Timothy Davis and Delmar Jackson, Sr.

Louanna Bruner’s remarks from the Employee Appreciation Banquet 1-24-15 

Matthew Sprague -- Matt started his employment with the Tribe in 1982 as a Bingo worker. He has worked in several departments including maintenance at Tribal operations and as a Maintenance Manager at SECR. He’s been a security officer at Andahwod, Housing and Security Supervisor at SEWP. Currently he is a security officer for our Housing department. April Borton, Director of Housing states, “He is a very dedicated employee who enjoys his job and he works well with everyone. He takes great pride knowing that he is helping to make our residents feel safe.

Both of Matt’s sons also work for the Tribe. His son Cubby says, “What makes me proud of our dad is the fact that he has always worked hard for our Tribe, has always provided for and raised us the way a father should. He taught us the values of hard work. Luke also shared; “my dad was always supportive with my activities and has played a big part in all of my accomplishments. I couldn’t have done it without him. He’s a great father, and a wonderful grandfather to my daughter.”


 Sandra Stevens -- Sandi began her employment with the Tribe in 1988. Her professional career has been dedicated to the children. She worked as a Head Start Teacher’s Aid and as a Head start teacher for 20 years. In 2010 she became the Child Welfare Prevention Specialist where she is able to continue to service our children and families.    

Judy Pamp says, “Sandi has a heart of gold; she goes out of her way to help others. Her students excelled under her guidance and learned the love of learning. April also adds, “that Sandi has always been an inspiration to me as my big sister for so many reasons and when it comes to work ethic she is a model employee, she has incredible dedication and commitment to our community. Her niece, Renata says, “Growing up with her as an auntie is such a blessing, she carries herself in a most beautiful way, remembering daily to be mindful to use the 7 grandfather teachings. Gegek Pamp said “she was my teacher when I was really young; she never gave up on me, she always made learning fun and believed in me even when I gave up on myself.


Angel Jackson -- Angel began her career with the Tribe in 1983. She held several positions including, receptionist, cashier Community Health Representative, Accounting clerk, Vault supervisor, Cage Manager. In 1995 she became a Gaming Commissioner. In 1999 she decided it was time for a change and left gaming to become a pharmacy technician at Nimkee Clinic. Well, you know the saying, “you can take the girl out of gaming, but not the gaming out of the girl. Angel quickly returned to gaming in 2000 as the Director of Licensing and Compliance. Today she has resumed her position as a Gaming Commissioner.

Not only has Angel insured the integrity of gaming, but she has been a strong influence on several people. Her brother Darryl says, “What makes me proud of my sister Angel is that she is a stand up take charge woman. She works hard, loves her family and community. She taught me the importance of caring for one another even in the most difficult situations. Her sister Tonya tells me, “I look up to my sister as a role model for all of the things she has accomplished over the years, including her pursuit of a graduate degree and hope to someday be as great as she is!” 

Genevieve Chippeway -- Gen began her employment in 1984 as a bingo worker. Gen has worked in the accounting and finance department. In 1996 she transferred to the Slot department as a slot supervisor. Within 7 months she became a Slot Manager She was always well-liked by all of her employees. She displayed dedication and excellent leadership abilities which earned her the position of Senior Shift manager for the Slot department. In 2003 Gen crossed over to the Tribal Government, working in the accounting department as a per capita assistant. Gen continues to bring joy to her work environment. Her co-worker and friend Presanna shares, “Gen’s qualities are something one has to emulate; she is hard working, sweet, happy, kind to others, intelligent, trustworthy, good listener and a good person not ever expecting anything in return. We in the accounting department just love her. She is an amazing friend! But, Lady Luck is her BEST friend!     

And yes, I believe that…if you’re in the bingo hall, chances are you will see Gen there…dressed in purple…and more than likely, yelling BINGO!


Linda Hunt -- Let’s see…What hasn’t Linda done? She started working for the Tribe in 1987 as a card dealer. She’s been a waitress, cashier, crew leader, slot attendant, slot manager, receptionist at 7th Gen, maintenance worker and almost every position in Enrollment, including Director. She has served on four different Tribal Councils, where she is today. 

 I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to serve on council with Linda for four years. Linda definitely has passion for the membership and cares deeply for them. She takes great pride in our community and participates in many community events.

When I asked her sister Louise for a statement regarding Linda, it took her just minutes to reply. She sent me an email stating; Linda is a great person, she is always there when you need a shoulder to cry on, a good listener, always ready to give advice and always willing to help out and do what she can for her people. Linda is a hard worker, she worked at 7th Generation for some years and she had it looking pretty good, in fact that’s where she got her green thumb. She is my best friend and I’m glad the creator chose her to be my sister!

Julius Peters -- Julius started working for the Tribal community in the 70’s.In 1976 he was elected to Tribal Council, which was not a fulltime position at the time. He worked for the Indian Action Team for years before entering the maintenance department in 1978. In 1988 he became a supervisor. He spent 14 yrs. as a supervisor before being elected to Tribal Council full-time.  He served as the Tribal Sub-Chief from 2011-2013. He is currently serving his third consecutive Tribal Council term. 

I must share some comments about Julius. To look at him he seems like a distinguished, kind, quiet Elder….well, he may be just that, but he’s quite a prankster…maybe more a joker than a prankster…Delmar’s the prankster (but we will get to Del in a bit). Julius on the other hand gets pure joy out of teasing people, in a good way…a way that makes EVERYONE laugh, even who he’s teasing. Well sometimes the joke is on him…like the time he accidentally got locked in the bathroom and we had to call maintenance, who had to call GILBOES…to remove a lock? Too funny.  Julius definitely knows how to lighten the mood and create an enjoyable work environment. 

His daughter Teresa had some special thoughts to share about how proud she is of her father. My dad designed the Tribal logo; it is a representation of the beauty of our culture and the people, teaching us to be proud of ourselves and the Tribe. He has always taught us to do things right the first time, or else we would have to do it again. Always be ready on time! When he told us the car was leaving at a certain time, you would be sitting in the car ready to go or you would be left behind. Lastly, to always remember and enjoy your family!

Timothy Davis -- Tim also started serving his community through the Indian Action Team in the 70’s. In 1982 he started his career as a Tribal Police Officer and in 1995 was promoted to Sergeant. He served his first term on Tribal Council in 1987 as the Sgt. of Arms. He has since then been on Council several times. On December 3, 2013 he was elected to Tribal Council once again.

Our Tribal Administrator, who also happens to be Tim’s eldest son, shared these comments, “I have always admired his dedication to Sovereignty, his thoughts that we create our own destiny and his willingness to make decisions based on his beliefs. He shared with me his thoughts about the Tribe when I became employed her and inspired me to work hard at improving the Tribe and to create opportunity that allows others to become part of the team. Personally, I am thankful for his support and willingness to listen as a mentor.

Delmar Jackson -- In 1855 Delmar signed the Treaty with the Chippewa of Saginaw Indians…Ok, so he hasn’t worked that long for the Tribe.

He too started with the Indian Action Team in 1978 and never stopped working! He’s worked as a bingo janitor and spent 13 years as a supervisor. Delmar served on Council for several years before being elected to Tribal Council, full-time in 2001. He is currently the longest serving Council member. In fact, based on the information that I had available, it appears that Delmar was first elected on Tribal Council in 1979.

As I mentioned earlier Delmar was a bit of prankster. This is what Angel shared about working with her dad during the “old card room” days. There was a time when my dad and Duane Pelcher (sorry, but this part may incriminate others) played a trick on Ida Ruth by dropping a rubber glove on the ground and stood upstairs and watched her look at it…hesitating to pick it up because she thought it was a condom…or putting black ink on a pair of binoculars and telling George Slater that someone had wrote something foul on the water tower, Yep! George fell for it and ended up with black circles around his eyes. Then there was the time when right before we were about to open the doors and Larry Pelcher handcuffed George Slater to the women’s bathroom door!  

Wow this will be good stuff for when we honor George! Wait a minute…they handcuffed George to the bathroom door? Makes me wonder if Julius really “accidentally” got locked in the bathroom…if I remember correctly, I think it was Delmar that told us he was locked in there….hhmmm.  Delmar!


On a serious note Angel also wanted us to know that “my dad taught us to be responsible, to stand on our own two feet, if we truly want something bad enough we need to work towards it and make it happen.” Darryl says, “What makes me proud of my dad is his endurance, as we pull from his strength to overcome our own trials and tests in life.” Delmar’s youngest daughter Tonya shares, the most important thing my dad had taught me is ‘it is not our place to judge people for the things they do…just be the person they need you to be when needed.” Delmar grandson Zack says, “Just the fact that he’s my grandpa makes me proud. 

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