John L. Shagonaby is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Gun Lake Tribe Gaming Authority, having started in this role in March 2004. Previously, John served as the Executive Director of the Tribe’s administrative office. John has also served on the Tribal Council for 12 years as a Council Member, Treasurer and Vice-Chairman.
John graduate from Western Michigan Universities Haworth College of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a Minor in General Business. John has also had extensive trainings in the tribal economic development and has advocated for tribal diversification within his tribe.
John has served Indian Country for the past 15 years in various capacities such as the Midwest Region representative to the National Indian Gaming Association Board of Directors and a Minneapolis Area Vice President to the National Congress of American Indians. John is currently serving on the Board of Trustees to the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
Tomie Williamson was appointed to the Gun Lake Investment Board in 2015. Tomie has worked for over twenty years in Indian gaming with the majority of her career focused in regulation. She worked as a Compliance Officer for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Gaming Commission before becoming the first Chairperson of the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission. After working to establish the Gaming Commission, Tomie left to pursue her higher education goals. She will finish her Associate’s Degree from Grand Rapids Community College in the fall of 2016 in Business Administration. Tomie has been on the Dean’s list every semester and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Tomie plans to transfer to Western Michigan University, to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. In the fall of 2014 Tomie returned to the Gun Lake Tribe’s Gaming Commission in a part-time capacity working in the Licensing Department.
Tomie is an enrolled member of the Gun Lake Tribe and descendant of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. She is the granddaughter of the late Reverend Joseph and Sarah Sprague and the daughter of Andy and Marian Falcon. Tomie is active in the community and enjoys serving her tribal community in various capacities. She and is the mother of four: Emily (21), Emmit (19), Elizabeth (17), and Elliot (14), and she is married to her husband, Todd.
Bob Peters was elected to the Gun Lake Tribal Council in September 2014; he represents the Bradley Voting District. Bob is the Gun Lake Tribal Council treasurer and Gun Lake Investments Council liaison. He has nearly 20 years of combined casino operations, tribal gaming regulatory, and tribal government employment experience. Bob is responsible for administering and monitoring all fiscal matters of the tribe, and is responsible for the oversight of the tribal government and all tribal entities. Bob has shown a strong commitment and dedication to the Gun Lake Tribe in all aspects of his career.
He is also the treasurer for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority board of directors, the vice chairman of the Gun Lake Development Authority, the Tribal Council liaison for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission (GLTGC), past vice chairman of the GLTGC, and the current chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe’s finance committee. In 2015, Bob became a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
In keeping with his elders’ vision, Bob is passionate about offering his knowledge and experience to younger generations, in order to improve the future of the tribe. In his efforts to expand and share his knowledge, Bob is enrolled at Western Michigan University, where he will complete his bachelor’s degree in business. He plans to continue with his education and will work on finishing it with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
In addition to his council and academic duties, Bob is also very involved within his tribal community. He is always eager to learn more about his Pottawatomi culture, and fully embraces his identity as well as his current professional standing.
Jason Palmer was appointed to the Gun Lake Investments board of directors in 2018, and currently serves as both the treasurer and business expert for the board. Jason has a unique professional background, which includes several cross-functional and leadership positions within tribal government and tribal gaming operations. Jason graduated from Western Michigan University, Haworth College of Business, with a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a master’s degree in 2012. He is currently employed as the housing director for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, Gun Lake Tribe, and also serves on the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission.
Jason is committed to building a robust economy for the Gun Lake Tribe and is focused on diversifying the tribe’s investment portfolio to ensure financial strength is maintained for the next seven generations. He has actively promoted the importance of building businesses that go beyond gaming and is delighted to play an active role in ensuring these goals are accomplished.
Jason is a lifelong resident of Portage, Michigan. He is happily married to his wife, Amy, and they have two boys, Andrew and Benjamin.
Melissa Brown was appointed to the Gun Lake Investments board of directors in 2018 and serves as secretary of the board. The majority of her professional career, nearly 20 years, has been spent as an employee of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians. During her tenure, Melissa administered a capacity-building grant, served as housing director, and led efforts as the project coordinator during the planning and construction of the tribe’s government campus. She currently serves as tribal administrator, with responsibility for oversight of several of the tribe’s government programs. Melissa was also elected to a term on the Tribal Council, serving as the Tribal Council treasurer.
These opportunities afforded her experience with strategic planning, program establishment, budget development and compliance, securing of funding, and construction management. Melissa graduated from Cornerstone University with a bachelor’s degree in business management and participated in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Course on Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities.
Melissa looks forward to working alongside fellow board members to diversify the tribe’s portfolio and create additional opportunities for citizens that support financial prosperity. Melissa is an enrolled citizen of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians. In addition to her work with the tribe and Gun Lake Investments, Melissa enjoys participating in tribal activities along with her two sons, Ethan and Carter.
As a director for Gun Lake Investments, it is June’s role to assist in the enhancement of the financial status for the Gun Lake Tribe. June’s educational background includes an MBA from Grand Valley State University and degrees from Western Michigan University and Grand Rapids Community College.
Her previous positions and responsibilities include the planning and implementation of program goals, budgets, and evaluations, which depend on organizational skills, strong analytical skills, creative abilities, and sound interpersonal skills, as well as researching, reviewing contracts, and focusing on leadership communication and team building.
Professionally, is dedicated to community concerns and the task at hand. She’s worked with United Way of Kent County, Rural Development Council of Michigan, Michigan IETS, Michigan Indian Education Council, Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, Grand Rapids Public Schools Strategic Planning, NAHE Consortium, Coalition of Indian Programs and Services of Greater Grand Rapids Area, and State of Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs.
June loves her family and has always strived to help them be the best they could be, starting with her spouse. She encouraged him to start a carpenter apprenticeship; he retired as a construction project manager. She encouraged her sons to do the best they could in high school and continue their education beyond high school. They are both attorneys — one is in private practice (plus serves as a youth coach) and one is a tribal judge, professor and writer. She has also assisted her extended family members in continuing their education in many ways, including filling out applications, filing financial aid forms, and advising them on majors and course studies.
Angie Pigeon was appointed to the Gun Lake Investment’s board of directors in March of 2015. Angie graduated cum laude from Western Michigan University in 2005. Angie has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a major in management and a minor in general business. Angie is currently the Director of Development for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority; a role she has held since April 2009. Angie was instrumental in the development, construction, financing and opening of the Gun Lake Casino. Since the opening of the casino, Angie continues to work closely with the operations team and serves as a liaison between casino management and the Authority board. Angie’s job duties involve working closely with the Authority board, Tribal Council, the casino’s development board and business board, attorneys, financial advisors, auditors and consultants.
Forest County Potawatomi tribal member, Kip Ritchie, serves as President of Greenfire Management Services, LLC—a subsidiary of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation (“PBDC”). PBDC is the diversification arm of the Forest County Potawatomi Community. Prior to his appointment as Greenfire President in 2014, Ritchie served as PBDC COO since 2009. Ritchie joined PBDC full time in 2006 as Senior Vice President and served on its Board of Directors from 2003-2007. Through the organization, Ritchie promotes the importance of investing in the tribe’s future by diversifying resources beyond gaming.
Ritchie’s career in Indian Country began in 1997 when he joined Potawatomi Hotel Casino (formerly known as Potawatomi Bingo Casino) as Director of Marketing. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2002.
Ritchie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts. In addition to serving on the Gun Lake Investments Board, Kip serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Children’s Health Alliance, Froedtert Hospital Foundation, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, New Mexico Community Capital, Tribal Business Journal and Mno-Bmadsen Corporation—the economic development arm of the Pokagon Potawatomi Tribe. Kip served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Contractors Association from 2008-2015. Since 1999, Kip has served as the Chairman of the Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Kip resides in Pewaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and two children.
Kurtis Trevan has leveraged his experience with financing commercial real estate, technology, and life science companies to provide guidance to his Native American tribe, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, currently serving as the Tribal Council Treasurer.
After serving as a Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank, in 2011, he followed his passion to assist his Tribe’s opening of the Gun Lake Casino, leading various operational and analytical functions. Since 2012, he has served on the Tribal Council and the casino’s Board of Directors, providing focus on the Tribe’s investment and business affairs to ensure financial strength for the next seven generations.
Today, Kurtis is enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In between studying and Tribal activities, he enjoys reading business and strategy books, staying up-to-date with the Wall Street Journal, and enjoying his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI.