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Brian Parrish hired as Osage Casinos Chief Operations Officer

Parrish comes from the Four Corners region where he previously served as Chief Executive Officer for the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, which operates four casino properties

As the Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise starts a new expansion chapter with two new casino properties, a seasoned gaming management professional is now serving as Chief Operations Officer for Osage Casinos.

Brian Parrish joined the Osage Casinos management team shortly before Pawhuska Osage Casino & Hotel opened Oct. 5, 2023, and comes from the Four Corners region where he previously served as Chief Executive Officer for the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, which operates four casino properties.

“I am pleased and proud to join the Osage Nation Gaming Team and help continue fostering the growth of Osage Casinos,” Parrish said in a statement. “They create economic stability and ensure the preservation of the Nation’s cultural heritage. I am excited to continue fostering their growth and aid in these endeavors.”  

Parrish fills the COO post, which was vacant after current Osage Casinos CEO Kimberly Pearson shifted management roles in December 2022. In the COO position, Parrish will be responsible for overseeing various operations for the seven Osage Casino properties across the Osage Reservation.

“He is of the highest quality, we are so blessed to have Brian Parrish,” Gaming Enterprise Board Vice Chair Bruce Pollock said during the December board meeting following his visits in getting to know Parrish in the recent weeks.

“Brian brings with him a vast portfolio of experience in casino operations. He joins our team in a time of great growth,” said Pearson. “His insight and leadership will be a valuable asset as we continue to build on this momentum.”  

With over 30 years of experience in Native American and Corporate gaming, Parrish has a proven track record of improving casino operations, according to a news release. Parrish has supervised 19 gaming facilities across seven states and Ontario, Canada. In these roles, he has managed all aspects of casino and hotel operations, including planning, construction, expansion, and food and beverage innovations.  

According to his LinkedIn page, Parrish holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Washington. His prior tribal gaming posts include serving as CEO for Quechan Casino Resort & Paradise Casino in California and Principal Executive Officer for the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, N.M.

According to an Aug. 29, 2023, IndianGaming.com article, Quincy Natay, Board Chairman of the NN Gaming Enterprise, announced that Parrish would be leaving the Enterprise, effective Sept. 5 (2023). 

“The board is extremely grateful to Brian for his leadership and commitment to the growth and development of the Gaming Enterprise,” Natay said in the article. “Under Brian’s leadership, over 84 percent of our workforce are members of the Navajo Nation, and of our 275 leadership positions, 71 percent are in management and executive leadership positions. Brian worked hard to ensure that our team members are taken care of and launched a competitive wage study that was subsequently implemented making a significant difference for many of our employees.”

With Parrish’s departure, NNGE also announced at the time that Matthew Shunkamolah is assuming Interim CEO duties and responsibilities. Shunkamolah (who is Osage, Navajo and Kiowa) is a former General Manager for the Tulsa Osage Casino & Hotel and is also a former ON Gaming Commission director. Shunkamolah has also worked in gaming management roles for the Seminole Nation (Oklahoma), Kiowa Tribe, and the NNGE where he was previously a GM for two casino properties before becoming its respective Interim CEO.

Author

  • Benny Polacca

    Title: Senior Reporter

    Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

    Instagram: @bpolacca

    Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

    Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

    Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

    Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

    Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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Benny Polacca
Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org

Title: Senior Reporter

Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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