November 17-19, 2020

Charting the Path Forward in an Uncertain World

For the past 10 years running, REDW has been delivering an unparalleled conference experience for tribal leaders, providing expert guidance on a host of issues impacting Indian Country, as well as opportunities for networking and sharing best practices among colleagues and industry experts.

While 2020 is presenting entirely new challenges, REDW remains committed once again to providing participants with timely and compelling insights from REDW’s internal experts and strategic partners – all online and all free of charge. This year, our focus is squarely on the impact COVID-19 has had on tribal workplaces and communities and how tribal leaders can prepare now for the post-COVID world.

All sessions are scheduled in Pacific Time (PT).

Download Our Full Agenda
DAY 1 - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tribal Health & Community: Getting Ahead of the Next Normal After COVID-19

Notah Begay IIILed by inspirational Keynote Speaker Notah Begay III, Day 1 of the Conference will focus on lessons learned and best practices gleaned from the pandemic, and how tribal leaders can apply these lessons to improve the health and well-being of their communities, governments and enterprises.

Day 1 Sessions

As the most accomplished Native American in the history of the PGA TOUR, Notah Begay has made the most of his celebrity by dedicating his energies to bettering life for tribal communities – especially those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last spring, for example, his non-profit NB3 Foundation created a COVID-19 Response Fund to provide food, water and educational resources to Native-led organizations working on the ground in their communities to assist those most in need. Given Notah’s close involvement with COVID relief, he will share his deeper understanding of the challenges tribes have been facing, and his thoughts on what a post-pandemic future may look like for Indian Country.

Notah Begay III - NB3 Consulting

Born and raised in New Mexico, Notah Begay III is half Navajo, one-quarter San Felipe, and one-quarter Isleta. A four-time PGA TOUR winner, Notah is the most accomplished Native American in the history of the TOUR. Off the course, Notah is fully committed to working with tribal communities.

With a degree in Economics from Stanford University, he started NB3 Consulting, a full-service golf course development firm that has built some of the most highly recognized golf courses on Native lands. He also launched the NB3 Foundation, a federally recognized non-profit designed to battle obesity and Type 2 diabetes in Native American youth. Since 2016, Notah has maintained a strategic partnership with REDW based on a shared set of core values and a strong drive to develop new business initiatives and foster financial success throughout Indian Country.

The onset of the pandemic has sent the global economy into a tailspin, and though prior recessions offer some concept of what an eventual recovery might look like, the nature of this particular economic rebound, when it happens, is unknown. One thing COVID-19 is teaching us is that no business is immune to a pandemic – which has signaled more interest in distressed enterprise investing opportunities.

In this session, REDW’s Business Valuation experts will share the impacts the pandemic has had on various industries to date, as well as their expectations for the future, through the application of useful economic and valuation metrics. Participants will come away with a better understanding of basic valuation and due diligence concepts for assessing tribal enterprise targets.


Ed Street, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, ASA – Principal, REDW

Brian Foltyn, CVA – Principal, REDW

Ed Street and Brian Foltyn lead REDW’s business valuation and due diligence efforts in REDW’s Albuquerque and Phoenix offices, respectively. Their combined 50+ years of professional experience includes business valuation advisory services, strategic planning, dispute advisory, forensic accounting, mergers & acquisitions and due diligence services, including business purchase and business investment analysis.

While tribal governments and enterprises manage their operations using specialized business software and databases, these systems are not typically integrated, which can lead to a lot of manual processing and incomplete data. Or their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems aren’t flexible enough to produce meaningful reports. Without meaningful reports or effective visuals and dashboards, the ability to make sound decisions is much more difficult. In this session, REDW’s software and data analysis experts will discuss the tools and techniques for collecting, mining and analyzing useful data within and for your organization – including SEFA Pro, a tool developed by REDW to automate the dreaded SEFA Report required of grant recipients every year.


Mustafa Kamal, CPA, MBA - Principal, REDW

As both a Certified Public Accountant and certified MIP Software Trainer, Kamal teaches REDW clients the principles of governmental and nonprofit accounting, as well as MIP accounting systems, and has implemented and supported dozens of accounting software installations. His expertise includes database management, nonprofit accounting software, and cost and managerial accounting.

Chris Framel, PMP - Operations Manager, Audit & Consulting

Chris Framel has spent more than 20 years designing data warehouses and building dashboards and reports using such software tools as PowerBI, Tableau and Cognos. He is experienced working with a variety of data, both financial and operational, and develops a wide range of analytic reports for REDW and the firm’s clients.

While the opening sessions of REDW's first Virtual Tribal Conference may have answered many of your questions, they may have raised still more. Here is your opportunity to join an active discussion of issues that are top-of-mind for you and your tribal organization, facilitated by today's Keynote Speaker, Notah Begay.

DAY 2 - Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Federal Funding, Compliance & Audit

Day 2 will focus on the practical application of recent federal legislation to the operations of tribal governments and enterprises, including the implications of the CARES Act on grants management and Single Audit.

Day 2 Sessions

A perennial favorite at the REDW Tribal Conference, this year’s Update will have added significance, following as it does on the heels of the Presidential election and in the middle of a pandemic. In addition to providing his outlook on the next four years, Michael Hughes will explain the major players involved in federal budget decisions impacting tribes, including the Department of the Interior, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the House and Senate Subcommittees on Interior Appropriations.


Michael D. Hughes, Consultant on Indian Affairs

Mr. Hughes (Hopi-Tohono O’odham) has been an independent consultant on Indian policy since 1994, providing training and reports to tribal governments on the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget, the Indian Health Service budget, and the Congressional budget process. Mr. Hughes worked as a research analyst for the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (1981-83 and 1992-94), as a planner for the Washoe Tribe (1984-1987), as a Professional Staff Member for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (1987-88), and as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (1989-1991).  Mr. Hughes is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe.

If your tribal organization received Coronavirus Relief Funds, are you confident you’re managing them properly, in full compliance with Federal regulations? And will you be ready for your next Single Audit? To help ensure that you are, REDW Audit Senior Manager Chris Bitakis and a Mary Chisholm, a tribal CFO, will review the FAQs issued by the Treasury Department on this very topic. Together, they will also discuss the importance of designing effective internal controls and establishing relevant policies and procedures that support your COVID-19 expenditures. And finally, they will share some high-level themes you should take into consideration leading up to your 2020 audit cycle.


Chris Bitakis, CPA, CGFM, CGMA – Audit Senior Manager, REDW

Chris has over 13 years of experience working almost exclusively with tribal governments, tribal casinos and other Native American organizations. He specializes in providing financial and compliance assurance services for tribal casinos and other tribal enterprises, and financial and federal program compliance audit services for tribal governments.

Mary Chisholm, CPA, MBA – CFO, Citizen Potawatomi Nation

In the 14 years Ms. Chisholm has been with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Accounting Department, her experience has spanned many different facets of the tribal landscape. From tribal enterprises to grant and governmental programs, she has been involved in the proper recording and reporting of these activities, and for the last six years has been actively preparing for the Nation’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).  Ms. Chisholm is a Certified Public Accountant and MBA graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University.

Now, more than ever, in a world seriously impacted by COVID-19, where interest rates are low and any dependence on gaming revenues is threatened, tribes need to maximize the investment returns of their restricted funds. And yet many tribes are unaware of the options available to them for investing funds they have received that are designated for a particular purpose. In this session, investment fiduciaries from REDW Wealth will discuss the possible risks and returns of investing in uncertain times, and how to determine which tribal funds can be invested.


Paul Madrid, CFA®, CFP®, AIFA® - Principal, REDW Wealth

As the Principal at the head of REDW Wealth, Paul Madrid acts as an investment consultant with nonprofits and Native American tribes, providing investment management services, assistance with investment policies, asset allocation design, reviews of investment providers, and trainings on investments and fiduciary responsibilities.

Robert Elzholz, CRPC®, AIF®, AAMS® - Senior Investment Manager, REDW Wealth

Robert Elzholz, Senior Investment Manager at REDW Wealth, has more than 15 years of experience developing and customizing financial, estate and income planning solutions for a variety of clients, including Native American tribes, private and public companies, family-owned businesses, and individuals.

DAY 3 - Thursday, November 19, 2020

Managing Today's Disrupted Workplace

Day 3 will focus on will focus on guiding Tribal leaders as they navigate disruptions to the workplace caused by the pandemic and other key factors, such as generational differences, technology and mobility, which are forever changing the way we work.

Day 3 Sessions

Regardless of whether they collaborate online or in a physical office, today's tribal workforce is made up of as many as five generations – a diverse range of ages that can set the stage for conflict, especially in these unusually stressful times. During this interactive session, Tal Moore will engage and encourage tribal leaders first to recognize the diversity within your working world, and then provide a roadmap for navigating the challenges, as well as a practical approach for embracing that diversity and celebrating the inclusivity of your teams.


Tal D. Moore - Director, NNAHRA Foundation

For nearly 30 years, Tal has been a skilled facilitator and consultant specializing in organizational development and human resource management, with over 25 of those years focused in hospitality and healthcare across Indian Country. Tal is currently the Director of the National Native American Human Resources Association (NNAHRA) Foundation, which provides education, training and research in support of HR initiatives, and previously served as its elected President for more than six years. In addition, Tal serves the Kalispel Tribe of Indians as their Chief Organizational Development Officer. In this role, he supports a team of 2000 team members in government, gaming, resort, food and beverage, and many ancillary enterprises. Tal is a proud Pueblo descendent.

The CARES Act and other COVID-19 relief efforts have provided considerable financial and workforce support at a critical time – but only when Federal compliance requirements are met. In this session, you will learn the latest compliance rules for both Human Resources and Finance contained in the OMB’s Uniform Guidance, and how the two disciplines need to establish policies and work together to remain in compliance.


Corrine Wilson, CPA – REDW Principal

Nationally recognized as an expert in tribal government financial management, Corrine heads REDW’s national tribal practice. After serving more than 14 years as an accountant and financial officer for various tribes, including as CFO of a large tribal healthcare organization, Corrine has since worked nearly 20 years in public accounting, performing audits for tribal governments and enterprises. As a NAFOA board member, she was a key contributor to its newly updated Tribal Financial Reporting Guide (the Orange Book), and also serves as a lead instructor for the Tribal Financial Managers Certificate Program through Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute. Corrine is a member of the Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of Nevada.

Alicia Finley, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, THRP, FCS – REDW Practice Leader, Compensation

Alicia has more than 20 years of experience in the Human Resources and benefits field, as well as 10 years of project management experience, and consults with REDW’s clients on a wide variety of Human Resources issues. In addition to her other senior-level HR designations and certification as a Flexible Compensation Specialist (FCS), Alicia is a certified Tribal Human Resources Professional (THRP), awarded by the National Native American Human Resources Association (NNAHRA).

During the current pandemic, many retirement plan sponsors are reviewing their plan options in light of the CARES Act. They are also focusing more on “financial well-being” resources that help plan participants navigate the pandemic’s financial impact. Join the head of ABG Southwest for an overview of CARES Act provisions as they relate to retirement plans, a look at current trends, and where they may lead us post-pandemic.


Dennis Davis, SPHR, CEBS, CPC, AIF® - Principal, ABG Southwest

Dennis is a seasoned benefits specialist with more than 20 years of industry experience working with a diverse range of workplace benefit plans and clients. For more than a decade, Dennis has been an invaluable leader within REDW’s retirement plan administration team, and was instrumental in helping to establish Alliance Benefit Group Southwest (ABG Southwest) as a subsidiary company of REDW that is dedicated to providing third-party administration and recordkeeping services for retirement plans. As a Principal of the firm, he oversees all aspects of ABG Southwest, from operations and client experience to business development.


Our Exclusive Conference Sponsor

Charles Schwab Trust Bank has been a proud supporter of REDW’s annual Tribal Finance & Leadership Conference every year since 2013.

Charles Schwab Retirement Business Services serves independent recordkeepers and retirement advisors (collectively known as independent retirement plan providers), which allows them, in turn, to provide plan sponsors with flexible and customized plan solutions for corporate retirement plans and their participants, all in a transparent manner. Click the links below to learn more!

CSTB Plan Sponsor Brochure 2020
How CSTB Protects Retirement Plans
CSTB Asset Safety