37th Annual Conference

April 14-16, 2019

Date Time Event
14
Sunday
April 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Registration Open

14
Sunday
April 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Member Tribe Meeting/Reception

Featuring Quapaw Nation freshly roasted O-gah-pah coffee

Date Time Event
15
Monday
April 2019
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet

15
Monday
April 2019
8:30 AM - 11:50 AM

General Session

Opening Prayer and Cultural Sharing


Host Tribe Welcome


NAFOA Welcome Remarks


Conference Co-Chair Welcome remarks


Policy & Legal

New Congress, New Opportunities

With the new Congress only a few months old, there is optimism regarding legislation that promotes tribal sovereignty and strengthens tribal economies. This requires Indian Country to be prepared with an agenda and build on relationships with influence over Indian Country’s agenda. Our panelists will highlight strategies and pending legislation designed to promote economic growth across Indian Country, while highlighting some of the key challenges and barriers that may lay ahead over the next two years. 

Moderator:

Denise Desiderio, Senior Policy Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Speakers:

Leonard Forsman, Chairman, Suquamish Tribe

Mike Andrews, Staff Director and Counsel, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Delores Pigsley, Chairwoman, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians


Financial Management

Recession Proof Your Tribe: What’s in Store for 2019

The Chinese economy just reached decades-low GDP growth, proving that global economies may be in for difficult times ahead. Domestically, a self-inflicted U.S. government shutdown and a trade war combined with lower corporate earnings growth, all weigh heavily on prospects at home. What lies ahead for the economy? Is a recession inevitable? Recognizing that the sustained growth we have enjoyed over the past ten years may not continue, some tribal governments are already preparing for a bear market. In this session, our experts will discuss the economic outlook and how tribal governments can prepare for potential impacts internally in managing government assets, budgets, and business holdings.

Moderator:

Aaron Klein, Economic Advisor, NAFOA

Speakers:

Ron Insana, CNBC Contributor and Senior Advisor to Schroders, N.A. 

Stephen Rich, President and Chief Equity Strategist, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC


An Economic Agenda for Indian Country

Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, will highlight her priorities for strengthening economic development in Indian Country and outline how the U.S. Department of the Interior will play a lead role in supporting tribal economies. Topics will include energy development and utilizing the Opportunity Zones incentive to bring capital to Indian Country. 

Speaker:

Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior


Benefitting From Social Security

Social Security benefits are received by 94% of all workers. Until recently, Indian Country leadership has been the exception. The Acting Administrator for Social Security will address how the agency is working to implement the recently passed Social Security Fairness Act for Tribes and update other plans and progress at the agency. 

Speaker:

Nancy Berryhill, Acting Administrator, Social Security Administration


Economic Development & Planning

Diversifying to a Sustainable Future: Accelerating the Tribal Destination Experience

Maximizing the tribal destination experience from gaming to distilleries to recreation parks is a great way to build new customers and create existing customer base loyalty – all generating new revenue growth. Providing options for the destination experience like convenience store activity, distilleries and breweries, franchise and independent restaurants, cannabis, spas, and recreation parks touting zip lines and exotic pools, are key to long-term sustainability. Tribal leaders will discuss their hits and misses for the destination experience and their plans for future experiences.

Moderator: 

George Tiger, Former Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief; Chairman, UINOKT

Speakers:

Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians

Stephen Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community

Harry Pickernell Sr., Chairman, Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation


15
Monday
April 2019
11:50 AM - 1:20 PM

Luncheon

Sponsored by:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Macias Gini & O'Connell LLP
Moss Adams LLP
PNC Bank
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Wipfli/JOSEPH EVE
15
Monday
April 2019
1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Breakout Sessions

Policy & Legal

Policy Roundtable Discussion: Legislative Strategies for Economic Development in the Trump Administration and the 116th Congress

A shift in the political makeup of Congress requires a new strategy and bi-partisan approach to legislative goals for Indian Country. Adding to these dynamics are the backdrop of an upcoming presidential election, changing policy priorities, and the often independent requests of Indian Country. This breakout is designed to be an interactive listening session with the goal of developing a strategy to move Indian Country priorities forward with the current Administration and the 116th Congress. Our panelists will be reviewing current legislation under consideration as well as NAFOA’s policy initiatives.

Moderator:

Denise Desiderio, Senior Policy Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Speakers:

Mike Andrews, Staff Director and Counsel, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

John Simermeyer, Economic Policy Advisor, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

NAFOA Policy Team


Finance & Capital

Don’t Buy Something Stupid: Avoid and Reduce the Risk of Unallowable Costs

The rules on allowable costs, cost allocations, and indirect cost rates aren’t new, but they are sometimes hard to apply to real-world scenarios within a tribal government. This interactive session will walk through typical tribal government situations and behaviors that lead to disallowances and negative audit findings. Speakers will also discuss the importance of allowable expenditures made with program income, refunds, rebates, and other returns as applicable credits.

Moderator/Speaker:

Ryan Luetkemeyer, Senior Manager, Tribal Services, Moss Adams LLP  

Speakers:

Morgan Aronson, Single Audit Coordinator, U.S. Department of the Interior

Tom Comer, Director of Finance, Gun Lake Tribe 

Dominic R. Ortiz, CFO, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Government and Casino Enterprises


Financial Management

LIBOR + SOFR = Confusion: What Tribes Need to Know About Treasury Management and Loan Interest Rate Agreements

LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) has been the most widely adopted index by the financial industry for the past fifty years to set interest rates. LIBOR manipulation scandals have caused the index to fall out of favor, with banks moving to a new index known as SOFR (Secured Overnight Funding Rate). The implications for treasury management are significant since most tribal governments have loans tied to LIBOR. Beyond impacting existing direct loan rates, the change may affect bank and bond agreements, swap agreements, credit facilities, and possibly investment agreements, among other relationships. Panelists in this session will highlight the impacts for tribal governments and preparations to undertake now for the planned phase-out.

Moderator/Speaker:

Rex Evans, Managing Director/Founder, Derivative Logic 

Speakers: 

Anthony Falcon, Investment Officer, Ho-Chunk Nation 

Aaron Lemke, Senior Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo

Brent Wauneka, Acting Investment Manager/Account, Navajo Nation


15
Monday
April 2019
2:35 PM - 2:50 PM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Alliant Underwriting Solutions/Tribal First
Arel Capital
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
BDO USA, LLP
BKD CPAs & Advisors
BOK Financial
CLA
15
Monday
April 2019
2:50 PM - 4:05 PM

Breakout Sessions

Governance Financial Management

Building Community: Infrastructure Policy, Financing, and a Development Bank

Infrastructure is difficult for tribal governments without long-term financing, tax incentives, and investment. Infrastructure is once again being touted as a priority for this new Congress with finance and incentives being put forward as an essential part of the discussion. Beyond possible legislative gains, tribes are looking to fund health, energy, and education needs using new and innovative approaches. This includes a new take on long-term community facilities loans, tax incentives, and the possibility of southwest tribes working with a development bank for energy development. Our panelists will discuss legislative progress, financing options, and outline the role of an existing development bank that operates along the US-Mexico border.

Moderator/Speaker:

Jon Panamaroff, Chief Compliance Officer and SVP, Koniag Government Services

Speakers:

Kari Bergman, Senior Project Development Specialist, North American Development Bank

Michael Bland, CDE Manager, Travois 

Tedd Buelow, National Native American Coordinator, USDA Rural Development 


Finance & Capital

Meeting Grant Goals: What if You Over-Promised and are Struggling to Deliver?

If you depend on federal funding, you understand how important it is to meet grant and agency expectations. However, even with the best-laid plans and carefully crafted timelines, there are unforeseen events and challenges that can cause delays and even missed deadlines. Panelists in this session will offer advice on how to use policies, milestones, draw-downs, and grant-reporting practices to demonstrate the progress your awarding agency expects. Attendees will also learn the steps necessary to apply for an extension in the event that a looming deadline is missed, as well as steps to map out and report your progress to avoid negative agency reviews.

Moderator:

Kris Nixon, Principal, CLA

Speakers:

Andrew Dana, Fiscal Officer, Penobscot Nation

Lahna Lilly, Finance Director, Klamath Tribes

Jo Ann Metcalfe, Grant Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Corrine Wilson -  Principal, National Tribal Practice Leader, REDW LLC



Governance Financial Management

Social Security Fairness Act: Key Considerations for Tribal Councils

The Social Security Fairness Act became law this past fall, providing tribal governments with parity and authorizing councils to participate in the national retirement scheme. To participate, the council simply needs to work through an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security in a similar manner as state and local governments. Sounds great, but it may or may not be your best option. What are the alternatives to Social Security? Can tribal governments create a better plan internally? What about those council members who already have been contributing without understanding the rules? Join our panel to understand the law and your options as a government better.

Speakers:

Nancy Berryhill, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration 

Virginia Cross, Chair, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Christie Jacobs, Director, IRS Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds

Robert Keller, Treasurer, Gila River Indian Community 

Robert Yoder, Attorney, Yoder & Langford, P.C.


15
Monday
April 2019
4:10 PM - 5:25 PM

Breakout Sessions

Governance Finance & Capital

Preparing for the Next Government Shutdown

The federal government has shut down three times over the past five years with the most recent shutdown lasting over one month. The impacts of a shutdown are devastating for tribal governments, forcing many to scramble to continue mandatory services without funds for life-saving health care and other needed services. Beyond the member/citizen services, external relationships suffer as well, with debt obligations and payments to vendors stymied. The threat of future shutdowns is now something that is more likely to occur than not; meaning tribes need to build a future shutdown into their budgets, operational funds, and sinking funds for loans. Join our facilitated discussion to hear what some tribes are doing to prepare and manage this relatively new political risk.

Moderator:

Geoff Strommer, Partner, Hobbs, Strauss, Dean & Walker, LLP

Speakers:

Cathy Chavers, Chairwoman, Bois Forte Tribal Government

Tim Gilbert, President, Maniilaq Association

Lacey Horn, Treasurer, Cherokee Nation


Economic Development & Planning

Is Cannabis the Right Fit for Your Tribe? Making Decisions to Participate in the Fast-Growing, Changing Industry

Some tribes with state agreements are currently participating in the fast-growing $10 billion cannabis industry but pending federal legislation may give all tribes the option to participate in the industry and enable banking. Is your tribe ready to join? Have you developed a plan to gauge community support? Do the current legislative initiatives cover tribal government exposure, even in states that may not choose to participate? Join our panel to discuss the community decision-making process, possible legislative pathways forward, and possible ways to engage in the industry.

Moderator: 

Aaron Klein, Economic Advisor, NAFOA

Speakers:

Brian Carroll, Director, Office of Financial Management, The Tulalip Tribes

Francisco Colon, Partner, Assurance and Advisory Services MGO LLP

Carmella Houston, VP of Business Banking, Salal Credit Union

Jeremy Wilson, Councilman, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians


15
Monday
April 2019
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

President's Reception

Sponsored by:

Mutual of America
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
Date Time Event
16
Tuesday
April 2019
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet

16
Tuesday
April 2019
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Women's Leadership Breakfast (Optional)

This breakfast will provide a forum for women tribal leaders and others in key tribal finance positions to exchange ideas, share experiences, and inspire each other to achieve their goals.

Sponsored by:


San Luis Rey Indian Water Authority
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
TFA Capital Partners
Wells Fargo
16
Tuesday
April 2019
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

General Session

Opening Prayer and Cultural Sharing


NAFOA Board Campaign Speeches

NAFOA is hosting elections for three of the five board positions in the organization. This year we will hear from candidates wishing to hold the First Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer positions on the board. 


Governance Financial Management

Time to Rethink Per Capita Payments?

Do per capita payments provide needed support and help build a local economy or do they undermine culture and tradition by servicing individuals over the community and provide cash payments in lieu of jobs? With the benefit a few decades of experience and hindsight, our panelists will explore the often contentious issue of distributing revenue to members/citizens. The panelists will offer their research and perspectives with the hope of building best practices and a balanced approach that considers the sustainability of both the government and individuals.

Moderator:

Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director, Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

Speakers:

Rodney Butler, Chairman, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Patrice Kunesh, Assistant Vice-President and Director, Center for Indian Country Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Rob McGhee, Vice Chairman, Poarch Band of Creek Indians 

Larry Wright Jr., Chairman, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska


Policy & Legal

Fireside Chat with IRS/Treasury Regarding Important Indian Country Updates: TTAC and Opportunity Zones

Indian Country sits at the crossroads of the promise of better government relations with the Secretary of the Treasury through the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee and the reality of an extended political appointment process and delayed movement within the department. Our guests will give an update on the TTAC progress and host an open discussion on Treasury movement, pending actions, and new programs such as the Opportunity Zones.

Speakers:

Rebecca Benally, Navajo Nation

Lacey Horn, Treasurer, Cherokee Nation

Christie Jacobs, Director, IRS Indian Tribal Governments/Tax Exempt Bonds

Lynn Malerba, Lifetime Chief, Mohegan Tribe


16
Tuesday
April 2019
11:00 AM - 11:10 AM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

Columbia Bank
Derivative Logic
Fifth Third Bank
FS Advisors, Inc.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Lincoln Financial Group
Northern Trust
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
16
Tuesday
April 2019
11:10 AM - 12:25 PM

Breakout Sessions

Economic Development & Planning

Hemp is Legal: Tribal Economic Opportunities in Industrial Hemp

The U.S. hemp industry generated $820 million in nationwide sales in 2017 and by 2022, that number is expected to approach $2 billion. With the legalization of industrial hemp in the most recent Farm Bill, tribes can now take advantage of a booming industry in a number of ways, including cultivation and the production of value-added products. In this session, participants will hear from experts about what legalization means for tribes, including steps needed for approval to participate, as well as gain a better understanding of the products and services derived from the hemp crop that can help grow tribal economies.

Moderator:

Colby Duren, Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative

Speakers:

Ryan Bumrungkittikul, VP, Relationship Manager, KeyBank Native American Financial Services

La Vonne Peck, Co-Founder, Native Network Consulting

Charles Stephens, Associate Deputy Administrator, AMS Specialty Crops Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture


Governance Finance & Capital

Tribes Are Prime Targets: Threats and Solutions for Cybersecurity & Criminal Activity

Tribal governments hold valuable customer and citizen data, have large payrolls, and are moving transactions online. In addition, tribal governments own some of the largest businesses with high volumes of cash transactions – ranging from banks to gaming to cannabis. All of these activities potentially attract criminals in cyberattacks, money laundering, and trafficking. Tribal governments need to keep up with current cyber and on-site criminal trends and build systems that monitor and report all crimes across operations for better prevention and compliance. Our panelists will discuss trends and ways to monitor activity to protect tribal assets.

Moderator: 

Alex Ricardo, Business Development Manager – Beazley Breach Response Services, Beazley Insurance

Speakers:

Frank Murray, CEO, F.A.C.T, Inc.

Jeff Olejnik, Partner, Cybersecurity Practice Leader, Wipfli/JOSEPH EVE 

Justine Phillips, Cyber Attorney, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP


Economic Development & Planning Financial Management

Opportunity Zones in Indian Country: Regulations, Opportunities, and Strategies

In October of last year, the IRS published long-awaited proposed regulations for Opportunity Zones; a new tax incentive intended to encourage investments in economically-distressed communities. The initial rules fell short of fully including Indian Country. However, tribes are advocating to be in a better position to take advantage of the incentive and partner on development and business projects. Our panelists will review the Opportunity Zones, clarify the latest regulations, and talk through opportunities and strategies for participation.

Moderator/Speaker: 

Nicole Elliott, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Speakers:

W. Ron Allen, Tribal Chair/CEO, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

John Hosman, Partner, FS Advisors

Telly Meier, Field Operations Manager for the Office of Indian Tribal Governments and Tax Exempt Bonds 


16
Tuesday
April 2019
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

12th Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon

The 12th Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon honors tribal leaders and finance professionals for their outstanding contributions to improving economic conditions in Indian Country, as well as an innovative education program and business deal.

Awards:

Education Program of the Year

Deal of the Year

Executive of the Year

Tribal Leader of the Year

16
Tuesday
April 2019
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Breakout Sessions

Governance Finance & Capital

Ethics in a Grey World: Council Overrides and Policy Shortcuts

Hearing phrases like “I know that is the policy, but we do it this way” or “Thanks for the recommendation but do this instead” makes professionals cringe and look for support. The ethical challenges faced by professionals in today’s environment demand to learn how to set standards and manage situations that can lead to a compromised standing. From innocent-seeming requests to managing large amounts of money, it is crucial that tribal employees remain current on professional standards and rules and understand how to uphold standards. Attendees will gain insights on establishing boundaries and hear practical examples of ethical situations encountered at tribal governments.

Moderator:

Charlie Galbraith, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Speakers:

Christina Cartier, Chief Financial Officer, Pueblo of Pojoaque 

Lynn Crist, Controller, Quinault Indian Nation  

Celina Phair, Treasurer, Lummi Nation


Governance Economic Development & Planning

Tribal Short-Term Lending: New Models & New Standards for a Growing Industry

Tribal short-term lending such as payday, unsecured, and auto-secured lending has gone from a third-party driven enterprise to an internally driven and tribally-modified enterprise. While the industry suffers from legal challenges and perceptions of consumer targeting, the industry is also viewed as necessary by many, including the tribes participating in the industry, as an option for generating economic development in rural communities. Tribal governments participating in the maturing industry have grown through experience and so have the models they are using to serve the significant market of short term and emergency credit needs. Our panelists will discuss new models and modified lending options that may serve a broader market with a reasoned approach to meeting consumer needs.

Moderator: 

Brendan Johnson, Co-Chair, American Indian Law and Policy Group, Robins Kaplan LLP

Speakers:

Ben Ray, Tribal Administrator & CEO, Big Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians 

Marshall Pierite, Chairman, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana


Governance Economic Development & Planning

Building a Sustained Economy – Key Strategies for Evaluating Economic Development Opportunities [Part I]

Tribal governments have no shortage of business opportunities presented to them by well-intended advisors. However, it is unlikely that a reactive approach to opportunities and planning will be the best way to build a foundation for good jobs and sustained growth.  Our facilitated conversation will address ways in which tribal governments can prepare for growth or diversification that blends the needs of a community with the opportunities available. For example, will a call center, treatment facility, or manufacturing plant create the desired jobs that the community needs or wants? Conversely, does the community have the resources to develop the skills required to fulfill the jobs needed for the opportunity? If so, at what cost? Will the opportunity be vulnerable to political and legal change? Our panelists will discuss ways to assess community needs and evaluate opportunities that fit.

Moderator: 

Erika Weiss, Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Speakers:

Kristi Jackson, Chairman, TFA Capital Partners

Geoff Urbina, Managing Director, Western Regional Manager, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Clayton Vanderpool, Managing Director, DWH, LLC


16
Tuesday
April 2019
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

REDW LLC | CPAs | Business & Financial Advisors
Robert W. Baird & Co.
TFA Capital Partners
The Mahoney Group
Travois New Markets
UBS Financial Services, Inc.
U.S. Department of Energy, Loan Programs Office
16
Tuesday
April 2019
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Breakout Sessions

Finance & Capital Policy & Legal

GASB Standards & Issues Impacting Tribes

With GASB’s fair value of investments still fresh in our memories, it is now time to begin focusing on the next bank of hot topics. Fiduciary activities potentially impacting minors trusts, accounting for the many leases tribes are involved in, including tribal housing, and related implementation guides, are all front and center. In addition, the Tribal Government Accounting Working Group (TGAWG) is tackling financial reporting issues related to tribal enterprises. This facilitated discussion session will address what you need to know to implement these new standards and how you can help the TGAWG.

Moderator: 

David Vaudt, Chairman, GASB

Speakers:

Roberta Reese, Senior Project Manager, GASB

Tasha Repp, GASB Tribal Government Accounting Working Group Member and Tribal Services Partner, Moss Adams LLP


Governance Economic Development & Planning

Controlling Your Own Energy Production: Tribal Micro Grids & Innovative Storage

Technology and financing advances have made localized energy production and dramatic efficiencies possible for both large land-based tribes and tribes with high energy needs from economic development. Energy self-sufficiency for tribal governments is completed when independent energy sources are combined with the ability to store that energy for use during off-peak production. Our expert panelists will detail microgrids and storage options with a focus on tribal efficiencies created and long-term costs and external dependence reduced.

Moderator: 

Tanksi Clairmont, Director, Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, GRID Alternatives

Speakers:

Emma Elgqvist, Engineer, National Renewable Energy Lab

Dennis Meiners, General Partner, Intelligent Energy Systems

Les Rubin, Finance Director, Picuris Pueblo  

David Thomasson, Energy Services Project Manager, Citizen Potawatomi Nation


Governance Economic Development & Planning

Building a Sustained Economy - Does Your Tribal Constitution Need a Refresh for Today's Economy? [Part II]

Across Indian Country, there has been tremendous growth in economic and legal activity – both for tribal government enterprises and in citizen/member-owned businesses. As a wide array of new economic opportunities are presented, tribes may need to amend or renew constitutions that could leave tribal governments vulnerable to legal actions or unprepared for economic growth. Speakers will discuss how a constitutional review may strengthen capacity and stability while having the ability to take full advantage of expanding economic opportunities and job creation.

Moderator: 

Jamie Fullmer, Chairman, Blue Stone Strategy Group

Speakers:

William J. Brooks, Special Counsel, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

Joan Timeche, Executive Director, Native Nations Institute - University of Arizona  

Kurtis Trevan, CEO, Gun Lake Investments  


16
Tuesday
April 2019
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Closing Reception at Punch Bowl Social

Unwind after a productive conference at Punch Bowl Social on Tuesday evening April 16th. Enjoy sweeping views of Portland, fun games, food, and even some karaoke! Punch Bowl Social is located on the top floor of the Pioneer Place Mall downtown. Shuttles will be provided from the hotel.

Sponsored by:

AMERIND Risk
Wells Fargo
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians