Annual Corporate Ventures Fall Feast


The annual Corporate Ventures Fall Feast at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Thursday, November 16, offered the usual mix of good food, good news, and good fun, with a surprise appearance by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.

Joe Nayquonabe Jr., Commissioner of Corporate Affairs, hosted the event, gave the invocation, and introduced Mille Lacs Band elected officials, commissioners, and the Corporate Commission’s Board of Directors: Arlene Weous, Dale Greene Sr., William Premo Jr., and Joanne Whiterabbit.

Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin addressed the crowd and introduced Secretary Zinke, who was presented with a Pendleton blanket and a Mille Lacs Band flag.

In his annual update of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures activ- ities, Joe reviewed the success of Mille Lacs Band businesses:

– 3,225,495: Guests who came through Grand Casino doors last year
– 43,900: Guests guests served since opening 1991 Kitchen on September 5
– 7,102: Guests at the Kid Rock amphitheater show
– 1,959,557: Gallons of fuel sold at 4 convenience stores
– 23,962: Movie tickets sold at Grand Makwa
– 23,067: Footlong subs made at Subway
– 206,608 Guests helped at Grand Market
– 44,252: Pounds of potato oles sold at Taco John’s
– 6,293,845: Pieces printed at Sweetgrass Media (more
than double last year’s output)
– 47,800: Packages shipped from 2020 Brand Solutions
– 7,126,138: Pounds of linens washed by Grindstone
– 207,477: Rooms sold from two DoubleTree hotels and
the InterContinental
– 2,916: Rooms reserved for the Super Bowl, February 2-4
(which means they are completely sold out)
– 70,275: Rooms sold at Oklahoma City Embassy Suites
– 8,754: Rooms sold at Eddy’s Resort
– 3,576: Rooms sold at Big Sandy Lodge
– 48,000: Customers served at Big Sandy restaurant
– 4,711: “As always,” Joe said, “I will end this presentation with the most important number of the night. This is the number of Band members we think about each time we make a business decision. We are thankful for your support and high expectations of our company and we are so glad you are part of our MLCV Family!”

Joe concluded his presentation by saying, “On behalf of all of us who work for Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures and its businesses, I want you to know that we are all committed to excellence and focusing on what counts to deliver the best value for the Mille Lacs Band. Thank you for your continued support.”

Following dinner, the crowd was entertained by Sassy Lassy Trivia and Events. Twenty Band members were invited to the stage for a version of “Family Feud” called “Survey Says!”