The economic health of the Osage Nation is, and will continue to be, a top priority for six-year Osage Congressman and candidate Mark J. Simms. “The way the Osage people will prosper is to make Osage businesses profitable,” Simms says. “I believe that the businesses of the Osage Nation must thrive in order to ensure services and benefits to the Osage people wherever they may live,” he adds. “Strong businesses will be the pillars that uphold the Osage Nation.
Simms says, “We need to look at the business entities of the Osage Nation and help them to focus more on business strategy. Specifically, the Osage Casinos and the Osage LLC need to develop sound business strategies and improve communication with Congress,” Simms explains. Such communication comes from the Osage Gaming Enterprise Board and the Osage LLC Board, which report both to the Commerce and Economic Development Committee and to the Osage Congress.
Simms has been a member of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee throughout his six-year term. He also serves on the Appropriations Committee, which works to ensure that expenditures stay within the Osage Nation’s projected annual budget. In addition, Simms serves on the Cultural Committee to preserve the Osage language and traditions.
With regard to the Osage Casinos, Simms believes that expansion is good, as long as the expansion is purposeful. “We need to have a plan which ensures that as expansion occurs, the business remains profitable. For example, new construction at the Osage Casinos is already underway. This needs to be done in a fiscally responsible manner in order to preserve profits as these projects progress. There has to be accountability at each step and I will work to ensure that this takes place.”
Mark Simms has a proven track record in building profitable businesses. Simms founded Accent Pest Control, Inc. in 1980, which has grown to be the largest independently owned company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He is also the found of Bartlesville Properties, Inc. established in 1989, which has grown to provide housing to 52 families.
Because of his business acumen, Simms was appointed as a member of the President’s Business Commission during the administration of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. This Commission was charged with providing “leadership and input in moving the President’s initiative forward and promoting a pro business agenda in Washington.”
In 2003, Simms was selected as the Businessman of the Year from Oklahoma by the Business Advisory Council and the National Republican Congressional Committee. This recognition was for top U.S. business leaders who had successfully integrated business and financial success with the support of Republican issues such as tax cuts and decreased government regulation. These individuals were singled out to receive this prestigious award because of their unselfish commitment to the Business Advisory Council and for standing strong in the face of economic adversity. Simms and individuals from other states were featured in the Wall Street Journal that year.
Another important goal Mark Simms will work toward is for the separation of the Minerals Estate Trust from the Osage Nation. For the past six years, the Osage Minerals Estate Trust has been held within the Treasury of the Osage Nation. Simms disagrees with this policy. “The Minerals Trust needs to be separate and independent from the Osage government and I will strive to make that happen,” Simms says.
Mark Simms, who is married to Linda Bellamy Simms, is the son of Evelyn Onhand Pitts and is the grandson of Ralph Onhand (Wah-Tsa-Ah-Tah) of the Beaver Band, original Allottee 582. After his father died, Simms was raised by the late Williams Pitts, brother of former Chief Paul Pitts, as his own son in the traditional ways of the Osage. Later, Simms was adopted into the Bear Clan and was given his Osage name, Le-Ta-Xoh, by Mary Red Eagle.
Simms attended Oklahoma State University for three years majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology. He left OSU to serve in the U.S. Army. When he returned from the U.S. Army, he enrolled in Oklahoma State Tech where he earned an Associates degree in bookkeeping.
Mark J. Simms
1111 S. Osage Ave.
Bartlesville, OK 74003
Cell Phone: 918-907-1377