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Joe Cooper hired as Osage Casinos Chief Operations Officer

TULSA, Okla. – Joe Cooper, a long-time Osage Casinos employee is now Chief Operations Officer of the seven-casino gaming enterprise.

Cooper (Osage) became interim COO last year following a management change-up and the casino announced his promotion on March 16. As COO, Cooper will report to Byron Bighorse, Osage Casinos Chief Executive Officer, according to a casino statement.

“Joe brings extensive experience with Native American casino operations, which will enhance our ability to provide exceptional guest service,” Bighorse said.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Cooper previously served as Osage Casino director of slot operations/ electronic games for six years. He also worked as director of regulatory compliance and as a shift manager for casino predecessor Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino.

A Shidler High School graduate, Cooper attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration.

Cooper was named interim COO in November 2014 in wake of a casino management shake-up following the resignation of former CEO Neil Cornelius and other manager-level casino officials, including COO predecessor Joe Olujic.  

As COO, Cooper will be in charge of operations at all seven Osage Casino properties.

More Osages promoted, working for the casinos

At the ON Gaming Enterprise Board’s March 18 meeting, Osage Casinos Human Resources Director Kyle Revard reported another upward trend of Osages recently hired to work in the casinos. He also noted more Osages received promotions since the management changes.

“In the month of February, our turnover (rate) went down again almost half a percent, so we’re down to 2.2 percent turnover,” Revard said. “Our Osage recruitment numbers increased by five tribal members in the month of February. Within those five members, we saw only two of those were entry-level positions, two were supervisor positions and one was in an executive, which is huge.”

Revard reported to the gaming board more hiring information on Osages. He noted that 115 Osages were casino workers in October 2014 and said that number increased by 14 to 129. “And since the change in executive office, we’ve seen nine Osage tribal members promoted within the company.”

Annual gaming report due soon

Also on March 18, it was noted the Gaming Enterprise’s annual report will be given in writing to Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear’s office, Gaming Commission and the Fourth ON Congress. In prior years, a visual presentation was given in public with invitations to the government branches and the public since those events were considered public meetings of the gaming board with a quorum present.

The Osage News is awaiting a public copy of the annual report, which will be prepared without confidential/ proprietary information protected by Osage law. Check back to www.osagenews.org for updates when available.


By

Benny Polacca


Original Publish Date: 2015-04-09 00:00:00

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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