Tribal Government & News

Thomas hired as Economic Development director

11.05.2018 Dean Rhodes Tribal Employees

Tribal member Bruce Thomas is coming home.

Thomas, former chief executive officer of Spirit Mountain Casino from 1993 to 2000, has been hired as the Grand Ronde Tribe’s new Economic Development director.


 According to his LinkedIn profile, Thomas developed Spirit Mountain Casino from the very beginning with consulting assistance.

“We obtained one of the first direct loans in Indian gaming without the use of a management company,” he says on LinkedIn. “I oversaw construction, built the management team and implemented all of the policies, procedures and systems used in the operation.”

After leaving Spirit Mountain Casino, Thomas worked for nine years for Polaris Gaming Group, which developed four Tribal casinos, two in Washington state and two in California.

For the last 16 years, he also was chief executive officer of Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, Calif., leaving that position in October 2017.

Thomas, 65, graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English and received a Master’s of Business Administration and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Willamette University College of Law in Salem.

The Economic Development director position at the Tribe has been vacant since April 2016 when Sajeed “Titu” Asghar resigned following the Tribe’s failed investment in Microgreen Polymers in Arlington, Wash.

Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Hernandez said Thomas’ start date is still being worked out.