Leadership Conference Addresses Culture, Communication


Executives, directors and other leaders from tribal affiliations, business and organizations across the country descended upon Grand Casino Hinckley June 19–21 as Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures hosted its second annual National Leadership Development Conference.

The conference, whose theme was “Discover Your Potential, Embrace Your Leadership Legacy,” came just two weeks after MLCV held a similar internally-focused conference for Associates working at Band-owned businesses.

“As a tribe, it is critical that we invest in developing the leadership skills of our people,” said Joe Nayquonabe, Jr., Commissioner of Corporate Affairs. “Hosting leadership conferences that bring new ideas and build our internal leadership capacity within our businesses strengthens our ability to lead through changing times, and sharpens our leadership skills for future generations of the Band.”

The NLDC conference is in its second year and this year saw more than 400 people attend, a significant increase from past years.

Notable speakers included keynotes by Morris Morrison and Eric Chester, and included sessions by guest speakers from other tribes, including Justin Huenemann, owner of Notah Begay III Foundation and citizen of Navajo Nation, and Dirk Whitebreast, a suicide prevention advocate and gaming executive from the Meskwaki Nation. The conference master of ceremonies was FOX 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard, and WCCO’s Roshini Rajkumar moderated a panel. Speakers from MLCV included Nayquonabe, along with Bob Schlichte.

Speaker topics ranged across many aspects of leadership but primarily focused on core skills related to transforming work culture, becoming a better communicator, developing work/life balance and making work more fun.