Holly Cook Macarro
(Red Lake Band of Ojibwe)
Ms. Cook Macarro is a partner at Spirit Rock Consulting LLC. Holly has served as the Director of the Office of Native American Affairs at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (Clinton Administration). While at the White House, Holly focused specifically on tribal intergovernmental affairs matters and coordinated the first-ever tribal economic development conference hosted by the White House and several federal agencies in 1998. During her time at the DNC, Ms. Cook Macarro coordinated the national tribal outreach and organizing efforts on behalf of the Democratic Party. Holly has served as the national co-chair of the Native Vote initiative at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and in GOTV and strategic capacities for several Congressional and Senate candidates. Holly has also played a key tribal role in advising Democratic Presidential campaigns – helping to develop candidate policies on Indian Country issues, providing guidance regarding tribal outreach, and assisting in various organizing efforts.
Ms. Cook Macarro has significant political and legislative experience in Indian affairs matters, having served as a federal lobbyist and advocate on behalf of many tribal clients since 2001. Holly has successfully secured client appropriations tribal-specific projects, secured legislation protecting culturally significant tribal lands from development by a major energy company, secured legislation transferring BLM lands to tribal trust lands, and played a key role in the landmark reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Recently, Holly was successful in navigating through the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate the first Indian water settlement under the guidelines of the newly created legislative and Administration review process for all Indian water settlements.
In addition to the above, Holly has represented clients on such lobbying matters as tribal gaming issues, self-governance, law enforcement, and several client-specific legislative initiatives.
Ms. Cook Macarro is a frequent speaker and presenter at tribal conferences and events, including the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Gaming Association, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations, Native America Calling, the Tribal Association of Sovereign Indian Nations, United National Indian Tribal Youth, and has been an invited contributor to Indian Country Today.
Ms. Cook Macarro is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe and a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a BBA and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) with an MBA. Holly is married and has two sons.
Joel M. Frank Sr.
(Seminole Tribe of Florida)
Joel M. Frank, Sr. has committed his career to the furtherance of tribal self-determination, economic prosperity and community development for all of Native American Tribes. Mr. Frank’s distinguished leadership positions include serving as president of the National Indian Gaming Association, president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. and a member of the Florida Civil Right Commission to name a few.
(Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians)
Steve Stallings is an elected Tribal Council Member of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, where he serves on the Tribe’s Investment Committee. Mr. Stallings is the Council Delegate to the Tribal Enterprise Board overseeing Harrah’s Southern California Resort, the largest tribal resort hotel in California with 1064 rooms. He also represents the Tribal Council on the Tribe’s private equity fund, First Nations Capital Partners, the nation’s only tribally controlled intertribal fund.
For nearly 45 years, Mr. Stallings has served Indian Country in banking, developing Indian businesses and expanding economic development opportunities for Indian people. He is the former Director of Native American Banking Services at Wells Fargo, where for the last 20 years he pioneered the expansion of financial services to Indian Country making Wells Fargo the leading provider to tribal governments.
Additionally, Mr. Stallings was president of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and its predecessor organization, the United Indian Development Association (UIDA). During his 20 year tenure, he helped hundreds of emerging Indian entrepreneurs.
(Blackfeet / Wichita)
Walter Lamar is a former FBI special agent, deputy director of BIA law enforcement and senior advisor to the Department of Interior’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security. In his 19 years as an FBI agent, Mr. Lamar received the FBI Shield of Bravery twice, and worked on high profile cases.
Currently, Mr. Lamar is president of Lamar Associates. Lamar Associates’ Indian Country Training Division offers culturally appropriate training for Indian country law enforcement and service professionals with both on-site and online courses.
Stacy L. Leeds currently serves as Dean and Professor of Law and Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Arkansas. She joined the University of Arkansas School of Law as dean of law in 2011 and was reappointed as dean for a second term as dean in 2016. She holds law degrees from the University of Wisconsin (LL.M.) and the University of Tulsa (J.D.). She is also a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (B.A.) and the University of Tennessee (M.B.A).
Ms. Leeds is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award (2013), an elected member of the American Law Institute (2011), and a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow affiliated with the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University (2008-2009). From 2015-2017, she was affiliated with Northeastern State University as the Sequoyah Fellow. She received the Cherokee National Statesmanship Award (2014) to honor her service as a Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court (2002-2006), Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission (2013-2016) and other service to Indian country.
A former athlete and life-long sports enthusiasts, she was inducted into the Muskogee Athletic Hall of Fame in her hometown in Oklahoma (2015). A two-sport college athlete, she received the W. Alfred Hayes Award for Outstanding Student-Athlete at Washington University in St. Louis in 1994. In the summer of 2016, she completed a 950-mile cycling journey as a Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal rider.
Aurene M. Martin
(Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)
Aurene Martin is the President of Spirit Rock Consulting, Incorporated, and a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. She has extensive experience in federal Indian Law and Policy, having served in several Tribal and Federal key government positions.
At Spirit Rock Consulting, Ms. Martin represents Indian tribes on Federal law and policy issues. She specializes in the areas of Tribal land acquisition and the fee to trust process, Tribal gaming and general Tribal government issues. She also handles a significant number of legislative policy issues, and has recently successfully advocated on behalf of her clients on issues relating the Federal land transfers and Federal tax issues.
Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Martin had a lengthy career in public service. As a high level political appointee at the Department of the Interior, she originally served as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. She was elevated to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and served for over a year as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs before leaving the Department.
Before joining the Department of the Interior, she was Senior Counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chaired by U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), where she had a key role in developing legislation involving tribes, particularly in the areas of gaming and health care.
Ms. Martin came to the Committee from the position of Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington, D.C. Aurene began her career as Senior Staff Attorney of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, where she worked for over five years. As in-house counsel to the Tribe, she was responsible for Indian Child Welfare Act litigation, state legislative affairs and gaming matters, and served on the Tribe’s compact negotiation team in 1998. While at the Oneida Tribe, Aurene was responsible for the day to day litigation of Indian Child Welfare Act cases for the tribe, and also developed legislative testimony provided by the Tribe before Congress regarding the Act.
Ms. Martin attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Università di Bologna in Bologna, Italy. She majored in History, Italian and History of Culture and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1993. She is a member of the District of Columbia and Wisconsin State Bar. Aurene has been active in the Wisconsin State Bar Indian law section, having served as an officer of the section.
Executive Director – Potlatch Fund
Dana Arviso earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, in child development and earned a master’s degree in education in 2006 from the University of Washington with an emphasis on language, literacy, and culture. She has been a past scholarship recipient of the American Indian Graduate Center, including being selected as a 2006 Accenture fellow.
Ms. Arviso has been with the Potlatch Fund since 2007 and serving as the Executive Director since 2011. Potlatch Fund is a Native-led nonprofit that provides grants and leadership development in Tribal communities throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana.
Ms. Arviso has dedicated her life to combating the social and economic disparities that affect all communities of color in the Pacific Northwest. She represents the needs of Native peoples and communities within the Pacific Northwest by serving on regional and national boards.
Ernie Stevens, Jr.
(Oneida Nation of Wisconsin)
Chairman, National Indian Gaming Association
Ernie Stevens, Jr. is the Chairman and national spokesperson for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) in Washington, D.C. Stevens is currently in his eighth two-year term as the organization’s leader, which is a position elected by the member tribes of the National Indian Gaming Association.
As Chairman of NIGA, Stevens represents the Indian gaming industry. In this role, he has worked to educate Congress, the media and the public about the positive impacts of Indian gaming on tribal and nearby communities. Stevens is also responsible for shaping policy initiatives that have the potential to impact the industry. Stevens has led the Association and worked to protect Tribal Sovereignty and strengthen the Indian gaming industry. During his tenure, Indian gaming revenues have risen from $11 billion in 2000 to over $31 billion in 2016.
From 1993 to 1999 Stevens served as an elected councilman for the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. He is a former First Vice-President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). As a respected leader in Indian Country, Stevens also serves as a long-standing board member on the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAID), the Nike N7 Foundation Board, the Executive Board of the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) and the Native American Advisory Board for the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA).
Chairman Stevens received an Associate’s degree from Haskell Indian Nations University in 1983. Stevens also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Scenario College in Ladysmith, Wisconsin (1986.)