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Jamul Indian Village of California Honored with Prestigious National NAFOA Leadership Award

Jamul Indian Village, CA, May 19, 2023 – On April 25, 2023, the Jamul Indian Village of California (the JIV or Tribe) was honored with a highly prestigious national award from the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA). 

The Tribe was awarded the Business Impact Deal of the Year Award at the 16th Annual NAFOA Leadership Awards luncheon during the 41st Annual NAFOA Conference in Washington, D.C. The Business Impact Deal of the Year Award recognizes the JIV’s outstanding leadership, perseverance, and the trailblazing structure of its debt refinance.

Jamul Indian Village’s Debt Refinance

The Business Impact Deal of the Year Award recognized the JIV’s success in refinancing debt related to the construction of its casino, owned and operated by the Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC). The transaction reduced the JIVDC’s interest by over $30 million annually by allocating a portion of its high interest rate debt to a holding company until the entire debt could be converted to a conventional, low interest loan.  The refinancing deal serves as a shining example for other Tribal Leaders looking to refinance their projects in the future. With this achievement, the Jamul Indian Village of California has cemented its place as a leader in financial management and a force for positive change in the Native American community.

Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village and Chairwoman of the JIVDC Board, expressed her gratitude and pride in receiving this award, stating, “This recognition is a testament to the resilience, determination, and hard work of our Tribe. After facing numerous challenges, we have emerged stronger and more successful. The refinancing deal has not only transformed our casino's financial standing but also paved the way for a brighter future for our entire community.”

The JIV’s successful debt refinance was due in part to Jamul Casino’s: 

  • Strategic location in a well-populated area with favorable demographics
  • Modern facility with state-of-the-art amenities
  • Impressive player database growth with strong trends
  • Best-in-class management team, led by President and General Manager, Mary Cheeks

Cheeks states, “Given the post-COVID lending environment, Jamul Casino’s successful debt refinance speaks to the vision of our Tribal Board, the Casino leadership team, the dedication of our staff, and the loyalty of our guests. These transactions have provided new economic opportunities, such as allowing us to begin building a beautiful new hotel connected to Jamul Casino.”

The Tribe’s financial transactions were completed with the assistance of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP (Procopio), who provided legal counsel for the JIVDC, and FSA Investment Group, who acted as the JIVDC’s financial advisor.  Procopio is an AMLaw 200 full-service business and litigation law firm, and FSA Investment Group is a financial advisory and investment firm.

About Jamul Indian Village of California (JIV or Tribe)

JIV is one of 13 federally recognized tribes that are part of the Kumeyaay Nation, with roots in east San Diego County since time immemorial.  The Tribe utilizes revenue and resources from the Jamul Casino to fund educational opportunities, health care, and housing initiatives for its members, as well as projects and services that benefit the surrounding community.  For more information about JIV, please visit jamulindianvillage.com. 

About Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation

The Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary and instrumentality of the Jamul Indian Village, a federally recognized sovereign Indian nation, and was established to advance the Tribe’s goals of self-sufficiency and self-reliance.  The Development Corporation owns and operates Jamul Casino and pursues other economic development ventures on behalf of the Tribe.

About Jamul Casino

Opened in 2016, the Jamul Casino is located in Jamul, California, San Diego County, and is owned and operated by Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC), a wholly owned enterprise of the Tribe.  The $430 million, award-winning casino features nearly 1,700 slot machines, 46 live table games, a dedicated poker room, and various restaurants, bars and lounges.  Jamul Casino supports 1,200 permanent jobs in the region and is the closest casino to downtown San Diego, which is the eighth-largest city in the United States by population. For more information about Jamul Casino, please visit www.jamulcasinosd.com.