Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel General Manager Johnny Barrientoz received the Chairman’s Leadership Award from the National Indian Gaming Association (“NIGA”) during last month’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

NIGA Chairman Ernest L. Stevens, Jr. presented Barrientoz with the Award, stating, “The Indian gaming industry has seen such phenomenal strides throughout the years. Today, we are the experts, and Johnny Barrientoz is one of the truest examples of that. His path from an entry-level position to General Manager of one of the greatest tribal gaming properties in Indian country should be showcased.”

Barrientoz is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and began working in the casino as a Slot Attendant in 2005. He quickly advanced to Slot Department Supervisor, Slot Department Manager, and Director of Slots for Leelanau Sands and Turtle Creek casinos. He received his certification in Gaming Management from the University of Nevada, and was then promoted to General Manager of Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in January 2019. As General Manager, Barrientoz oversees 485 employees, a 56,000 square-foot gaming floor, three restaurants, six bars, and a 131-room hotel.

After being presented with the award, Barrientoz said, “I am sincerely grateful and humbled to receive such a coveted award, especially from someone I have always respected and admired.”

Michael Schrader, CEO for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Economic Development Corporation, added, “Johnny is the ideal example of a leader. He is hard working, dedicated, and a true professional in all he does. His innate modesty and altruistic manner are apparent upon first impression, and have served him well at the helm of our largest casino. He addresses and knows every employee by name, and our guests find him approachable and trustworthy.”


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