Casino Del Sol, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, has renewed Kimberly Van Amburg’s contract as chief executive officer for three more years, with plans to replace her with one of their own in 2020. Within these three years, Van Amburg will prepare Tribal members to move into executive management positions, including the CEO position. 

Since taking the helm of Casino Del Sol as CEO in 2014, Van Amburg has overseen the strategic direction and operation of Casino Del Sol, which includes Casino Del Sol, Casino of the Sun, Casino Del Sol Resort, Sewailo Golf Club, AVA Amphitheater, and the Del Sol Marketplace. Her goal for the next three years is to train and prepare Pascua Yaqui Tribal members to move into executive management, including the CEO role. 

“My goals for the next three years include implementing a well thought out Tribal Succession Program, as well as continuing to improve upon Tribal development at all levels,” said Van Amburg. “Of the more than 1,607 employees at Casino Del Sol, 60 percent are Tribal members, and witnessing a Tribal employee make upward career moves is so rewarding. Not only does this improve an individual’s life, but it improves the entire family’s lives, which in turn helps to create a vibrant and prosperous future for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.”

Robert Valencia, chairman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, is optimistic that the program will be successful. “We are confident that this program will be executed in such a way that the individuals who move into executive management will be well prepared for those positions,” said Valencia. “This approach will ultimately lead to the appointment of a Pascua Yaqui Tribal member who will be successful in the CEO role. We are very excited to move forward with this program.”

Casino Del Sol’s Tribal Succession Program is open to any member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe who meets specified educational and experience requirements. Applications are currently being accepted. After the top applicants are selected, candidates will participate in the innovative training program. The final candidate or candidates will be chosen by Tribal Council to move into executive management positions.

The comprehensive training program includes direct mentorship with Van Amburg and other members of the executive team, university-level intensive coursework, and participation in a student exchange program with other tribal gaming properties throughout the U.S. Casino Del Sol plans to partner with other casino resorts for this 18- to 24-month student exchange program. 

“We’re excited to implement this student exchange program so that candidates can learn best practices and will be exposed to different management styles,” added Van Amburg. “The student exchange program and overall comprehensiveness of the entire program is why I am confident these individuals will be successful.”