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CNIGA Names New Executive Director

7 July 2005

SACRAMENTO, California – (PRESS RELEASE) -- The California Nations Indian Gaming Association announced today that the membership has selected an Executive Director. Ralph Simon, Jr., who has actively practiced law in corporate, private and tribal government fields for the past 25 years, began employment on the first of July.

"After an exhaustive search, we concluded that Mr. Simon was the best candidate for the position. We look forward to putting Mr. Simon's extensive experience and professionalism to work as CNIGA continues its mission of protecting the right of tribal governments to conduct gaming on federally-recognized Indian lands," said Anthony Miranda, chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association.

As Executive Director, Mr. Simon will be responsible for the overall management and implementation of the policies and programs established by the CNIGA membership and executive committee.

"I am excited to join this prestigious tribal organization," said Simon. I grew up on an Indian reservation and have seen first hand the positive changes Indian gaming has brought to reservations and surrounding communities, such as providing jobs, educational opportunities, health care, housing and other necessities that bring hope for a brighter future. I look forward to working with CNIGA's member tribes, tribal organizations, and local, state and federal officials to continue the progress California tribal governments have made in recent years."

Mr. Simon is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas. His prior experience includes serving as Supreme Court Justice of his tribe, Executive Director of the tribe's Gaming Commission, legal counsel to both the Kickapoo Tribe and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and he has served as President and as a Director of the Kansas and Oklahoma based American Indian Chambers of Commerce. He has extensive experience in Indian law, gaming law, constitutional law, economic development, employment law, and the regulation and operation of tribal casinos.

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