Cherokee Nation Businesses recognizes top volunteers in 2017

April 12, 2018

CNB officials and Cherokee Casino Grove management present the 2017 Community Impact Team Volunteer of the Year award to Virna Williamson for her outstanding volunteer efforts in 2017. (L to R) Travis Owens, CNB director of cultural tourism and community relations; Misty Heard, CNB community relations coordinator; Amy McCarter, CNB community relations manager; Virna Williamson, Cherokee Casino Grove warehouse manager; Paul Buckner, community relations coordinator; Kevin Beck, Cherokee Casino Grove operations manager; Willie Whitekiller, Cherokee Casino Grove general manager.

Company honors 16 employees for community service

TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Businesses is recognizing local employees for their outstanding volunteer efforts throughout the Cherokee Nation. Employees of the tribe’s business and entertainment arm dedicated roughly 4,000 volunteer service hours to community outreach projects and numerous charitable efforts during the past year.

“CNB employees who embrace the spirit of volunteerism are true champions within our tribe, company and communities. By giving back to others, they help raise the bar and improve the quality of life in northeast Oklahoma,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “These award-winners exemplify the values, like family and responsibility, which CNB operates by. I admire these individuals because, in addition to their careers, they spend their free time helping fulfill critical and unmet needs in their home community.”

The employees volunteer alongside other members of the company’s Community Impact Team for a variety of outreach assignments that assist local communities. The volunteers offer their time to various organizations and events, such as Iron Gate, Cherokee Nation Angel Project and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Trash-OFF and Adopt-A-Highway programs. They also coordinate essential item and school supply drives, blood donation events, the tribe’s Heart of a Nation annual fundraising campaign and many other efforts throughout the year.

CNB recognizes a top volunteer from each of its properties, along with one employee earning the Volunteer of the Year title companywide.

“Our employees continually demonstrate an unwavering dedication to our communities and a remarkable passion for serving those in need,” said Shawn Slaton, chief executive officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “We are extremely proud to have these individuals and their colleagues representing CNB and making positive impacts throughout northeast Oklahoma.”

Virna Williamson, warehouse manager for Cherokee Casino Grove, received this year’s top overall honor. The 2017 Community Impact Team Volunteer of the Year has worked for Cherokee Nation Entertainment for 23 years.

The Community Impact Team is CNB’s companywide initiative dedicated to helping promote volunteerism and community engagement for all employees.

Members of CNB’s community impact and management teams recently honored Williamson and 15 other employees with awards for their incomparable efforts.

List of 2017 Community Impact Team Outstanding Volunteers:

Amanda Lasley, Cherokee Casino Tahlequah
Angelia Jobe, Cherokee Nation Businesses – Tulsa
Ashley Borders, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa
Billie Jean Buckler, Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs
Keith Franklin, Cherokee Casino Ramona
Donetta Johnson, Cherokee Nation Businesses – Tulsa
Karen Fields, Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson
Kyle McInerey, Cherokee Casino Sallisaw
Melinda Rice, Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland
Michele Mendenhall, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs
Rebel Colvin, Cherokee Nation Businesses – Tahlequah
Sandra Craig, Cherokee Nation Businesses – Pryor
Shellie Gatzman, Cherokee Nation Businesses – Catoosa
Tiffani Revis, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa
Tracy Boorigie, Cherokee Casino South Coffeyville
Virna Williamson, Cherokee Casino Grove