Notice of the St. Paul Regional Office split to create an 8th Regional Office in Rapid City
April 19, 2018
Dear Tribal Leader:
On behalf of the National Indian Gaming Commission, we are pleased to announce the creation of the 8th regional office in Rapid City, SD. During the 2017 consultation sessions, the Commission proposed splitting the St. Paul Region into two regions by expanding the Rapid City satellite office into a regional office. The Commission has determined that, as was the case with the Tulsa region split in 2009, the presence of a Regional Director solely dedicated to the new Rapid City region will allow for better communication between the NIGC and the tribes in that region, better management of resources, and more focused guidance and assistance to both tribes and NIGC staff. The split of the St. Paul Regional office into two separate regional offices also furthers the Commission’s goals of a developing a strong workforce and increased rural outreach from its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
The NIGC’s St. Paul regional office covered 10 states, 59 tribes, and 138 gaming operations and has been the largest administrative region. With this change, the St. Paul regional office will cover six states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Nebraska, and Iowa), 37 tribes, and 99 tribal gaming operations, and the new Rapid City regional office will cover four states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana), 22 tribes, and 39 tribal gaming operations.
The new Rapid City region office will increase by two full-time employees, including a new Regional Director and an Administrative Specialist. Some comments received from the consultation sessions raised concerns over possible increases to the Commission’s budget. On inspection, though, the Commission’s 2018 budget, calculated with the region split, will increase only 1%. This amount is consistent with normal, year-to-year budgeting increases. Furthermore, the new regional office will incur no additional costs because the existing Rapid City satellite office will house the new regional office.
Linda Durbin, Region Director in the St. Paul region, has been chosen to become Region Director of the Rapid City region. Ms. Durbin has been with the NIGC since 2000, starting as a Field Investigator before becoming a Compliance Officer and eventually the Region Director, a positon she has held since 2012. Prior to joining the NIGC, she held positions of Enforcement Agent with the South Dakota Commission of Gaming and Investigator with the South Dakota Social Services. In addition to her many years of experience, Ms. Durbin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
Shawnna Ellis, Compliance Officer in the St. Paul region, has been chosen to become Region Director of the St. Paul region. Ms. Ellis has been serving as a St. Paul Region Compliance Officer since 2011. Prior to joining the NIGC, she held positions of Senior Compliance with the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, Internal Auditor with the Lac Courte Oreilles Gaming Commission, and Audit Specialist/Gaming Variance Analyst with the Lac Courte Oreilles Casino. In addition to her 18 years of experience in tribal gaming, Ms. Ellis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies.
We anticipate little interruption to agency staff and tribes in transitioning the Rapid City satellite office to a fully functioning regional office. Please feel free to contact Linda Durbin or Shawnna Ellis if you have any questions about the region split.
Jonodev O. Chaudhuri