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HomeGovernmentBusinessHager elected Osage gaming board chair, Carnett to serve as vice chair

Hager elected Osage gaming board chair, Carnett to serve as vice chair

This is Hager's second term as chair and Carnett's first term as vice chair

Geoff Hager will serve a second consecutive year as Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise Board Chair and new board member Claudette Carnett will serve as vice chair going into the 2023 fiscal year.

On Oct. 26, the five-member board met for its first FY2023 meeting and held board officer elections. Hager presided over the elections and asked fellow board members for chair nominations.

Newly confirmed board member Bruce Pollock nominated Hager for chair. No other chair nominations were voiced, so Hager was declared chair by acclamation.

“Thank you all for your confidence and I’ll gladly accept the Office of Chair for one more year,” Hager said after the vote.

Hager then asked for vice chair nominations. Mark Simms nominated Carnett, who received an Eighth ON Congressional confirmation vote for board service during the 2022 Tzi Sho Session as did Pollock.

The board members made no other nominees, so Carnett was also declared vice chair by acclamation, Hager said.

Afterward, Hager asked for nominations for board secretary/ treasurer. Pollock nominated Simms for the position. No other nominations were made, so Simms is declared secretary/ treasurer by acclamation, Hager said.

The board unanimously voted for the newly elected officers to start serving their positions immediately after Hager asked for a vote on the motion.

The board then heard reports from Osage Casino management, including business continues amid the ongoing global inflation situation, which includes increased costs for goods and services.

Chief Operations Officer Kimberly Pearson said the seven-casino Gaming Enterprise is also dealing with hiring challenges like other professions impacted by the economic situation and COVID-19 pandemic. Those areas impacted include food/ beverage and hospitality positions with the casinos, she said. 

Pearson said progress continues on the casino/ hotel properties at Pawhuska and Bartlesville, which are under construction.

“We are currently at 60% completion in Bartlesville and 63% complete in Pawhuska,” Pearson said. “The properties – from the outside – are really starting to take shape, they are very prominent and look really great.”

Another casino capital project is replacing the pool at the Skiatook casino/ hotel and demolition on the current one will take place this month, Pearson said, adding it’s an anticipated six-month project.

Next, Pearson mentioned efforts are underway to repaint the faded orange-colored side fins on the Skiatook and Ponca City hotel towers, which both opened in December 2013. “It was a warranty issue, the manufacturer is paying for all of the repainting,” Pearson said, adding efforts continue to receive painting materials amid the supply chain issues. Other sitting gaming board members include Julie Malone who serves with Hager, Carnett, Simms and Pollock. The board meets once per month regularly, as well as for special and emergency meetings, if necessary.


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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