By ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
Dr. Mickey Duvall, Secretary of Commerce for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation, gathered the Commerce Department staff for a quarterly meeting in April. Duvall stated that these meetings were a time for the programs within the department to meet and share successes and provide updates on continuing economic development projects. The Commerce Department consists of the Economic Development program, Planning program, Destination Marketing program and the Enterprise Development program.
Dr. Duvall has implemented an employee recognition program that celebrates one employee from the department each quarter for exemplary service. The employee is selected based on manager nominations and voting. This quarter’s employee recognition went to Lisa Frady, Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds events and group tour coordinator.
Frieda Huskey, Fairgrounds supervisor, said that Frady has done outstanding work in her new position. Tonya Carroll, Destination Marketing manager, commented that Frady had “picked up the ball and ran with it” after being selected as event coordinator, coming into the program just before the Cherokee Indian Fair.
“She quickly learned how to multitask the many moving parts of the Fair and was key in the success of the event,” said Carroll.
Carroll and Dr. Duvall presented Frady with a certification of recognition.
The keynote speaker for the event was Dale B. Carroll, CEO, Appalachian EB5 Regional Center. “Carroll has responsibility for all operations at the headquarters in Asheville and on development projects in the greater region served in the southeastern U.S. He is a 35-year veteran economic developer with executive leadership experience in the governmental, nonprofit and private sectors.”
He began his address, “Thanks to Principal Chief Patrick Lambert, Vice Chief Rich Sneed, the Tribal Council and Secretary of Commerce Mickey Duvall for their leadership. It is great to see the emphasis you are placing on economic development. I have reviewed your impressive mission statement, background info, market overviews and initiatives. Congratulations on a job well done”.
He then shared a couple of sports analogies to teamwork and the value of commitment as it relates to the role of the Commerce Division.
“Economic development is also a great team sport and by practicing outstanding teamwork, you team can also accomplish the unimaginable,” said Dale Carroll. “Some of you in the Division of Commerce do your work behind the scenes as crucial members of the team in a support role.
“All teams also include specialists like what you do here with Strategic Planning, Fiscal Management, Retail Development, Destination Marketing, Enterprise Development, Incubator and Finance Programs. Think again of the players on the Olympic team, each striving for excellence in carrying out their special role to make the overall team successful.
Dale Carroll went on to talk about the resources available to Cherokee and opportunities to leverage those resources for additional success. “Your hospitality and tourism cluster here in Cherokee is more than your incredibly successful Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and River Valley Casino, as you know. It is a deep and wide economic cluster that includes everything, to just name a few, from world class trout fishing to Sequoyah National – top ranked by Golf Magazine – to the critically-acclaimed outdoor drama ‘Unto These Hills’ that I had the privilege of taking my granddaughter Hailey to see several years ago”.
“In my view, you are now very smartly exploring and leveraging your economic cluster by adding a family-friendly Adventure Park component. As you know, this has the potential of becoming a southeastern U.S. destination as a stand-alone. Moreover, the opportunity to cross-pollinate in the current hospitality and tourism cluster is a fascinating dimension I encourage you to look at closely. It seems to me you have the potential to diversify your overall economy in doing so.”
The Commerce staff ate a combination of catered entrée and staff provided sides and desserts as part of the quarterly meeting.