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April 14, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Homer A. Mandoka has spent his life dedicated to public service. After earning his Associate Degree in Law Enforcement from Kellogg Community College, Mr. Mandoka spent the next 15 years as a police officer for the City of Bronson, Michigan.
In 2002, he was elected to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) Tribal Council and appointed as Sergeant-at-Arms. Over the years, Mr. Mandoka served as Treasurer and Vice-Chairman of the Tribal Council. In 2010, Mr. Mandoka was appointed at the Tribal Council Chairman and in 2012, was re-elected to his 5th term on the Tribal Council. He is one of five members on the Tribal Council.
As the Tribal Chairman for the Tribe and the FireKeepers Development Authority, Chairman Mandoka and fellow council members has guided the Tribe in strengthen self-sufficient through a number of economic endeavors including the expansion of FireKeepers Casino Hotel.
Chairman Mandoka guided the Mishkoswen Project, which added a recreation park and six homes as homeland development on the Pine Creek Reservation. At one-time, the Tribal lands only consisted of five dilapidated homes, an office and a church. Recent enhancements have included the addition of 26 homes, modern roadways, weather alert systems, and fire hydrants.
Chairman Mandoka also made significant contributions to land acquisition transactions. These included the purchase of a parcel of land in the City of Grand Rapids to better serve Tribal Members with a modern Health Clinic.
Other significant milestones met under Chairman Mandoka’s tenure included a $97 million early buy-out of the Full House casino management contract. Completion of the outside management agreement buy-out was part of a transformational $385 million refinancing package. The package saved the Tribe $100,000 per day. That particular bill was burned last year, 14 months early.
Chairman Mandoka facilitated the legislative passage of the State of Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA), which Governor Rick Snyder signed into law on February 20, 2013. It continues to be a historical achievement for those in Indian County.
The Native American Financial Officers Association honored Chairman Mandoka as the 2013 Tribal Leader of the Year and he received the Sara Simmons Advocacy Award by Safe Place.
Chairman Mandoka and his wife, Kathy, reside in Bronson, Michigan. They have five children, Austin, Haley Irwin, Phillip and Logan.