AGENDA

Date

Time

Event

Sunday, October 06 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Registration

Sunday, October 06 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Member Tribe Reception/Meeting

Date

Time

Event

Monday, October 07 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet

Monday, October 07 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

General Session

Opening Prayer and Cultural Sharing


Host Tribe Welcome


NAFOA Welcome Remarks


Conference Co-Chair Welcome Remarks

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Wells Fargo

President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Economic Development & Planning

Neel Kashkari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will discuss his bank’s efforts to grow the economy and create jobs in a region that includes very economically diverse Indian tribes and states. The Minneapolis Federal Reserve has a 30-year legacy of working in Indian Country to promote access to capital and financial services, tribal commercial laws, and Native American entrepreneurship. The bank is also home to the Center for Indian Country Development, a nationally recognized thought leader and clearinghouse for resources and initiatives concerning Native economic development.

Moderators:

Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Cristina Danforth, President, NAFOA Board of Directors

Speaker:

Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis


Innovative School Financing for Bureau of Indian Education Schools

Financial Management

The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is experiencing endemic school construction replacement backlogs that would take generations to fix. However, an innovative solution to build and fund Indian schools offers a possible way forward. Last July, the Gila River Indian Community and the U.S. Department of the Interior entered into a first-of-its-kind lease agreement for the construction and operation of the Gila Crossing Community School. Under this lease arrangement, the Gila River Indian Community financed and built a school and then leased it back to the BIE. Our panelists will discuss this leading-edge idea to address the BIE school construction replacement backlog across Indian Country.  

Moderator:

Dante Desiderio, Executive Director, NAFOA

Speakers:

Stephen Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community

Donald Pongrace, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP


Rich in Culture: Identifying Cultural Wealth and Assets

Governance

Can you put a value on your culture? Equating culture and traditions with economic value doesn’t seem to match up, and yet, it is critically important that tribal governments consider how they value and care for their traditional assets. For tribal governments, asset management goes beyond what typically comes to mind in the financial sector. Cultural items and practices, lands, and ceremonies need to be cared for and managed as inter-generational responsibilities. Panelists in this session will discuss how to value, position, and preserve this unique class of assets, as well as highlight some of the distinctive conversations surrounding cultural assets and tribal obligations in Indian Country.  

Speakers:

Larry Wright Jr., Chairman, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska

Patrice Kunesh, Assistant Vice-President and Director, Center for Indian Country Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Lance Morgan, CEO, Ho-Chunk, Inc.


Monday, October 07 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Alliant Underwriting Solutions/Tribal First
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
BKD CPAs & Advisors
BOK Financial
Center for Indian Country Developement
CLA
Monday, October 07 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

General Welfare as an Alternative to Per Capita Payments

Governance

Unlike per capita payments, which are taxed as income at a high rate, general welfare exclusion (GWE) benefits are excluded from income, making them a more efficient tax strategy for tribal governments and their citizens. Tribal governments are currently offering benefits to members, spouses, and dependents in the form of education, housing, cultural, and other programs that are excluded from taxation under the General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014. This session will highlight what tribes need to know when it comes to GWE and how tribes are using it in place of per capita payments to benefit their communities.

Moderator: 

Mary Streitz, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Speakers:

Tom McAndrews, CFO/CIO, Acting Tribal Administrator, Pauma & Yuima Indian Reservation

Kenneth Parsons, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Julie Wilkerson, Tribal Attorney, Jena Band of Choctaw Indians


Growing Our Own Capital: The Positive Impacts of Native CDFIs & Native-Owned Banks

Economic Development & Planning

Indian Country is significantly disadvantaged by limited access to capital and credit, particularly in comparison to non-Native communities. This lack of access continues to negatively affect tribal development and economic growth. Addressing this gap in Indian Country are Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), non-profit lenders that make business and housing loans and Native-owned banks serving Native communities and beyond. Native CDFIs and banks have been instrumental in addressing the lack of access to capital and credit in Indian Country over the last two decades, but challenges persist. Our panelists will provide an overview of their mission, discuss their changing role in their respective communities, and offer pathways forward for sustained growth.

Moderator:

Becky Albert-Breed, Executive Director, First Nations Community Financial

Speakers:

Jackson Brossy, Executive Director, National CDFI Network

David Burrell, Chairman/CEO, Pinnacle Bank/Meskwaki Nation

Jeff Merkowitz, Senior Advisor to CDFI Director, CDFI Fund


New to the World of Tribal Finance and Accounting? Time to Get Up to Speed

Finance & Capital

Tribal finance, investing, and accounting are necessary skills to understand for effective leaders, however, not everyone in Indian Country has a robust background in finance and accounting. This session is geared towards those who want to know more when it comes to numbers. Our crash course in finance and accounting in a tribal context is the best place to start. The session will include primers on basic knowledge of financial information, understanding a budget, or learning how outside influences can affect one’s financial decisions. Experts on this panel will give attendees a solid base to jump off from when tackling this complex information at your tribe.

Moderator:

Lee Kolodny, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Speakers:

Kristi Jackson, Chairman, TFA Capital Partners

Hattie Mitchell, Tribal Controller, Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians

Xochitl Ramos, Chief Financial Officer, Tule River Tribe of California



Monday, October 07 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Luncheon

Sponsored by:

AMERIND Risk
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
KeyBank Native American Financial Services
Macias Gini & O'Connell LLP
Moss Adams LLP
Mutual of America
PNC Bank
RSM US LLP
Wipfli/JOSEPH EVE
Monday, October 07 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Mobile Payment Services in Indian Country: Rethinking Government & Citizen Payments

Finance & Capital

Everyone seems to have a peer-to-peer payment service like CashApp or Venmo on their phones, used Square for business purchases, or purchased a gift card that can be used almost anywhere. But, can these adopted payment services be used in a tribal setting to increase access to financial services, lower tribal costs, decrease fraud, and increase tribal services? Our panel will discuss how new technologies can reduce government and banking costs associated with distributing services and member payments. The panelists will also talk through creative financial technologies already being adopted and some of the challenges they might pose.  

Moderator:

Aaron Klein, Economic Advisor, NAFOA

Speakers:

Nancy Lowrey, President & CEO, FS Advisors Inc.

Christopher McLee, Assistant Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Courtney Robinson, Financial Inclusion Lead, Square, Inc.


Room to Grow: Economic Opportunities in Hemp

Economic Development & Planning

By 2022, the hemp-derived Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, market is expected to reach $7 billion in sales. However, with most corner stores and big box retailers already in the market, will there be room for tribes to participate, or are alternatives a better option for tribes? And what are alternative considerations for the versatile crop? This session will discuss the existing markets, how tribes can position themselves to participate, as well as provide an open discussion for approaches to the growing season and to developing tribal plans needed for USDA. The first growing season is around the corner, so join the discussion.

Moderator:

Colby Duren, Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative

Speakers:

Andy Jacobs, Managing Director, Access Unlimited USA

Aaron LaPointe, Agriculture Business Manager, Ho-Chunk Farms Inc.

Bill Richmond, Chief, Hemp Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture


Branding Through Storytelling: The Value of Telling Your Tribe's Story

Governance

Storytelling has become one of the most powerful tools for marketing today. A good story can make a brand more personal and help you connect with your audience. Should your brand focus on the story of your tribe and separate the products and businesses? Or should the story include all aspects? This session features tribal official and tribal product innovators who will share best practices for determining the most impactful stories to enhance the image of your tribe and the products produced by your tribe. Learn when to utilize effective methods of multimedia storytelling to leverage your community's stories into strong tools for marketing your tribal products.

Moderator:

Tracy Stanhoff, President & Creative Director, AD PRO

Speakers:

Joe Nayquonabe, Commissioner of Corporate Affairs, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Shanne Soulier, President, and CEO of Big Spirit Inc.

Derek Valdo, CEO, AMERIND Risk


Monday, October 07 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

FEG Investment Advisors
Fifth Third Bank
FS Advisors, Inc.
Holland & Knight LLP
Institutional Cash Distributors - ICD
Lincoln Financial Group
Monday, October 07 3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Breakout Sessions

Medicine for the Trojan Horse: Protecting Tribal Governments from Ransomware

Governance

Hackers are always looking for new and vulnerable targets and they are becoming more sophisticated every day. In the last few years entire cities and small-town information technology systems were compromised and ransomed. These governments had to face a grave question: do I pay the extortion and hope to get their systems back or try to resurrect an entirely new system. For tribal governments similar dangers lurk in plain sight and the stakes are even higher with sensitive historic, member, and business data all at risk. This session will provide an overview of ransomware, strategies to prevent attacks, and how to protect yourself – including taking a hard look at your current insurance protections which are often wholly inadequate.

Speakers:

Pam Everitt, Senior Security Consultant, Soteria

Troy Hawes, Senior Director, Moss Adams LLP

Jeff Olejnik, Partner, Wipfli/JOSEPH EVE

Glenn Starkman, Co-founder, Soteria


Defining Opportunities for Opportunity Zones

Economic Development & Planning

The Opportunity Zones tax incentive will go into full swing in the coming year and tribal governments will want to be at the forefront of this potential economic boost. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool that tribes in designated census tracts can leverage to capitalize projects. Impacted tribes need to be aware of the potential positive impact Opportunity Zones can have on their economic development plans and specifically, what makes sense for tribes and investors when considering an investment. The ability to use other economic incentives alongside Opportunity Zones is an important consideration as well and may be the difference in getting a project funded or sidelined. Our speakers will review Opportunity Zones, examples of suitable projects, and how to pair incentives.

Moderator:

Bo Kemp, Senior Director, Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting

Speakers:

Phil Glynn, President, TRAVOIS 

Christie Jacobs, Director, Indian Tribal Governments Office, IRS

Telly Meier, Field Operations Manager for the Office of Indian Tribal Governments and Tax Exempt Bonds, IRS

Geoff Urbina, Managing Director, Western Regional Manager, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.



Monday, October 07 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

President's Reception

Date

Time

Event

Tuesday, October 08 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet

Tuesday, October 08 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

General Session

Opening Prayer and Cultural Sharing


It's the Longest Economic Expansion in History – How Much Longer Will It Last?

Financial Management

We are currently in the longest economic expansion in American history, but how long will the good times roll? With tariffs impacting growth, Brexit on the horizon, and global growth slowing, it is time we examined what late stage economic expansions look like and the likelihood that this growth will continue, as well as steps that can be taken when the expansion ends. The discussion will also include commentary on taking advantage of a low long-term interest rate environment that seems likely to continue especially if a downturn occurs.

Speakers:

Charles Dougherty, Vice President and Economist, Wells Fargo Securities

Aaron Klein, Economic Advisor, NAFOA

Mark Wright, Senior Vice President and Research Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis


TFMC Milestone Video

Finance & Capital

The Tribal Financial Managers Certificate Program (TFMC) continues to set the bar for tribal financial management capacity building across Indian Country. Now in its tenth year, the TFMC has provided robust financial management capacity building to over 1,000 tribal and non-tribal professionals. Since its inception, the program has transformed into a strong partnership between NAFOA, the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University (ASU), and more recently ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management. This brief video and presentation will highlight the success of the TFMC with perspectives from instructors, participants, and representatives from the partner organizations.

Speakers:

Traci Morris, Director, ASU American Indian Policy Institute

Emery Real Bird, Financial Management Policy Specialist, NAFOA



U.S. Department of the Treasury Update

Governance

The Department of Treasury has been active in Indian Country recently. The agency has promulgated rules for Indian Country’s participation in Opportunity Zones, began the organization and implementation of the Treasury-Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC), and is hosting a consultation on the taxation of tribally-owned entities. The main contact to fulfill the government-to-government obligation for Treasury is Michael Faulkander, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy. Deputy Assistant Secretary Faulkander will discuss Treasury’s plans and initiatives for Indian Country underscoring how consultation and the TTAC will be important in Treasury decisions and policy making.

Speakers:

Michael Faulkender, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury


New Leadership, New Direction: NIGC & NCAI Leadership Interview

Governance

Sequoyah Simermeyer, recently confirmed to lead the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), will highlight the future of the gaming industry and outline his vision for his role as NIGC's new commissioner. Simermeyer has served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and he brings a strong background in tribal economic development to the Commission. Meanwhile, the nation’s oldest inter-tribal organization, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), also underwent a leadership change. Kevin Allis who directed a policy firm and an economic organization for tribes and Alaska Natives recently assumed the lead role at NCAI. He is currently laying out his vision of success for the organization and Indian Country. Join us as we explore what is in store for the lead regulator of Indian Country’s largest economic sector and what is in the works for Indian Country’s largest organization.

Speakers:

Kevin Allis, Chief Executive Officer, NCAI


Tuesday, October 08 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

Northern Trust
Orrick
Payden & Rygel Investment Management
REDW LLC | CPAs | Business & Financial Advisors
Robert W. Baird & Co.
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Tuesday, October 08 11:15 AM - 12:30 AM

Breakout Sessions

Need A Bigger Mattress? The Challenges of Managing a Cash Heavy Cannabis Operation

Finance & Capital

The cannabis industry in America is developing and growing every day, but the reality of managing a cannabis operation is much more complicated and uncertain – especially in Indian Country. With more questions than answers, tribes are having to figure out best practices for structures, cash management, and compliance as they go. This session will offer insights on what operating structures may provide the best protections for tribal operations and what to do with all that cash, including how to avoid co-mingling funds and how to pay employees. Our expert panelists will help attendees make sense of starting a tribal cannabis business operation, as well as examine whether the current legislative strategies will work to address the unique issues facing the tribal cannabis industry.

Moderator:

Whitney Hodges, Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Speakers:

Jerry Henke, Chief Investment Officer, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Vicki Kruger, Treasurer, Squaxin Island Tribe

Rodrigo Macias, Partner, Tribal Services Leader  MGO


Is Your Accounting Software Lazy?

Finance & Capital

Accounting software has come a long way in recent years with some expanding across tribal platforms and functions. If your software is simply putting together debits and credits and creating financial statements, you may want to find a more energetic system. Identifying an effective financial information management system (FIMS) to guide your reports, information input, and other important aspects of your accounting environment across platforms is fundamental to the success of your tribe's financial health. Understanding your needs as a tribe when it comes to FIMS will depend on your situation with types of funds, grants, and other tribal functions that may need to be integrated. Hear from noted auditors, tribal officers, and financial professionals about the key aspects to look for in software to satisfy federal agency and most important your own tribe’s growing requirements.

Speakers:

Jim Erenzo, Sr. MIP Consultant Developer, Software Simplified

Mustafa Kamal, Principal, Software Solutions Practice Leader, REDW

Dan McCue, Chief Financial Officer, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Samuel Owl, Manager, CLA


Is Your Tribe Set Up to Make Good Investment Decisions?

Financial Management

Investing to deliver solid returns consistently is difficult. Planning and due diligence are the foundation for making good investment decisions. The same due diligence should be conducted whether investing in the stock and real estate markets or investing in a private business start-up or acquisition. This is especially true today when the economy has performed well and prices for all potential investments have risen. Our panelists will discuss due diligence and governance and talk through investing in the stock and real estate market. Learn how you can set your tribe up to make informed investment decisions.

Moderator:

Clayton Vanderpool, Managing Director, Tribal Economic Development Practice Leader, DWH, LLC

Speakers:

Thomas C. Knight, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Institutional Cash Distributors - ICD

Jerry Sais, SVP, Senior Institutional Advisor, BOK Financial

Jamie Stuck, Chairman, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

Gerard Tamparong, Senior Vice President, Payden & Rygel Investment Management


Tuesday, October 08 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

12th Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon

Please join us as we honor strong Native American leaders who have brought about positive economic change for both their communities and Indian Country throughout the course of their career.

Tuesday, October 08 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Anti-Money Laundering Confusion in Indian Country

Governance

Wonder why banks are now requesting tribal leaders’ SSNs and home addresses? New rules to prevent money laundering have been issued with little or no input from tribal governments. As a result, the rules have tribal governments and tribal enterprises struggling to comply. Tribes are left without certainty about which of the recently implemented anti-money laundering rules apply to Indian Country and which do not. Adding to the compliance difficulties are banking requirements that don’t seem to consider the unique characteristics of tribes and tribally-owned enterprises. This session will address the confusion surrounding the new rules and help tribes and banks understand what current compliance means.

Moderator:

Alan Gordon, Senior Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Speakers:

Brian Lonigan, Due Diligence Consultant, Wells Fargo




Utilizing Innovation to Control Tribal Energy Costs

Economic Development & Planning

Energy costs are a huge expense for tribal governments and business operations. Innovation has made it possible for tribal governments and businesses to significantly reduce energy costs and reliance on the grid. This innovation can lead to greater efficiency and self-sufficiency. There are plenty of options and, at times, it may be confusing to choose between which types of energy programs are best for your goals, location, and structures. This session will provide an overview of innovative options for reducing energy costs and the financing available to help tribes take control of their energy future.

Moderator: 

John Lushetsky, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director, Loan Programs Office, U.S. Department of Energy

Speakers:

Scott Layton, Director of Finance, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians

Travis Lowder, Project Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Bonnie Pullen, CFO, Colusa Indian Community


Tribal Treasury Advisory Committee & Tax Update

Governance

The Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee is a resource on taxation in Indian Country. Since its inaugural meeting this past June, the TTAC has committed to addressing key Indian Country issues like dual taxation, New Markets Tax Credits, General Welfare Exclusion rules, and more. This facilitated discussion will present an opportunity for the TTAC members to share their views about the Committee’s work and hear any concerns that should be included for TTAC consideration.  

Speakers:

Lacey Horn, Chairwoman of TTAC, Cherokee Nation

Sharon Edenfield, Council Member, Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians

Eugene Magnuson, Vice-Chairman of TTAC, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

Lynn Malerba, Lifetime Chief, Mohegan Tribe

Patricia "Trish" King, Treasurer, Oneida Nation (Wisconsin)


Tuesday, October 08 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

Stearns Bank
swiftfinance.cloud
TFA Capital Partners
The Mahoney Group
Travois New Markets
Waseyabek Development Company/DWH, LLC
Tuesday, October 08 3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Breakout Sessions

Protecting Against Active Shooters and Other Disasters

Governance

The sad reality is that an active shooter or a catastrophic weather event are more likely these days but knowing how to prevent and react in such a situation is key to minimizing harm. A safe workplace that protects employees starts with foresight and thorough planning. Understanding how to manage the risk of an event Our panelists will discuss managing risk and review real situations faced by tribes, businesses, and governments.

Speakers:

Al Shenouda, Managing Partner, Founder Managing Partner, The Power of Preparedness, LLC

Lucy Straker, War, Terrorism and Political Violence Underwriter, Beazley Group


IRS Consultation and Listening Session: Enhancing Tribally Chartered Corporations (Conference registration not required)

Governance

The Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service will be conducting a tribal consultation to examine the taxation of tribally-chartered entities. While Section 17 entities are considered broadly exempt, the rules around tribally-chartered entities are less certain. Treasury and the IRS will be facilitating discussion and taking comments from tribal leaders and officials on proposed guidelines that may be suitable for wholly-owned and partially-owned entities.

Speakers:

Christie Jacobs, Director, Indian Tribal Governments Office, IRS

Telly Meier, Field Operations Manager for the Office of Indian Tribal Governments and Tax Exempt Bonds, IRS



Tuesday, October 08 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Closing Reception

Unwind after a productive conference at NAFOA's Closing Reception with networking, fun and great entertainment. Experience a performance by the Sampson Brothers, a Minneapolis-based duo who bring the traditional hoop dance to contemporary places in order to demonstrate the connection between the past and the present.

After the performance, try your hand at NAFOA Blackjack.  Never played Blackjack or need a refresher on your strategy?  Don't worry, we have you covered with Blackjack University. Throughout the evening, enjoy the magic of David Farr as he wanders the audience and entertains your group.

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM - Blackjack University (learn strategies and tips of the game)

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Performance by the Sampson Brothers

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM -Blackjack Tournament - Join a table and see if you come out the winner of your round!