Jacob “Tug” Wamego started the new year with a new, official title. Last month, Wamego assumed the Prairie Band LLC president and CEO position. He has served as the interim president and CEO of Prairie Band LLC since May 2016.
The tribe formed Prairie Band LLC in 2010. The mission of the wholly-owned holding company is to diversify, manage and expand the economic interests of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation beyond the realm of Indian gaming, namely, the successful Prairie Band Casino & Resort, located in rural Mayetta, Kansas. Since that time the company has created a family of five subsidiary companies with commercial, federal, and local customers, in addition to investing its capital. Prairie Band LLC companies include: Prairie Band Capital, Potawatomi Retail, Prairie Band Health Services, Prairie Band Propane, and Prairie Band Construction.
Wamego succeeds Burton Warrington, who held the president and CEO role of Prairie Band LLC from 2011 to mid-2016.
Wamego previously served as the company’s business development manager and legal counsel since 2014. A Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribal member, Wamego has more than 15 years of experience working with tribal governments, with particular focus in Indian gaming, government contracting, business development and strategic planning. He also has extensive knowledge of tribal, federal, and state laws and regulations.
Wamego earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Washburn University, and his Master of Business Administration from Friends University, as well as his Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. Wamego is a licensed attorney in the state of Kansas and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
“I am excited to lead Prairie Band, LLC, as it continues to reach new heights,” Wamego said. “We have a dedicated team of employees who are focused on accomplishing great things here at Prairie Band.”
Overview of the history of the Prairie Band’s economic development:
The tribe entered the gaming industry in 1987, when it assumed control of a bingo operating venture. In 1998 the tribe opened its then-named Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino, adding its nearby The Nation Stationgas station and convenience store the following year. Harrah’s and the tribe expanded the casino twice, in 2000 and 2004, the latter including a hotel and 12,000-foot convention/event center. In 2007, Harrah’s relinquished ownership of the now-named Prairie Band Casino & Resort, and the tribe celebrated its full ownership with a grand opening that summer. In 2009, NB3 Consulting, Notah Begay III’s golf course design firm, began constructing the renowned Firekeeper Golf Course. The course, which opened in 2010, consistently wins industry and travel awards. That same year, the tribe formed its holding company Prairie Band LLC to diversify its economic interests. In 2012, Firekeeper Golf Course hosted the Golfweek National Pro Tour. Also in 2012, Prairie Band LLC invested in Terra Centre high-rise building in Sioux City, Iowa, and launched a new website. In 2015, the tribe debuted its One Stop Convenience Store. And just last year, Prairie Band Casino & Resort opened its new Bingo Facility.