Cherokee Nation Businesses

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Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC
Tribal-Owned Enterprise
FoundedTahlequah, Oklahoma, US (2004 (2004))
FounderCherokee Nation
Catoosa, Oklahoma
Area served
(Primarily United States)
Key people
Harold Ray "Sam" Hart (Chairman)
Shawn Slaton (Interim CEO/Executive Vice President)
RevenueIncrease US$ 653.5 million (2011)
Increase US$ 91.5 million (2011)
Total assetsIncrease US$ 530.1 million (2011)
Number of employees
4,000+ (2012)

Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC (CNB) is an American conglomerate holding company headquartered in Catoosa, Oklahoma, that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. CNB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cherokee Nation, the largest federally recognized Native American tribe by population in the United States. The council controls less than fifty percent of CNB. CNB operates in the following industries: aerospace and defense, hospitality and entertainment, environmental and construction services, information technology, healthcare, and security and safety.


Cherokee Nation Businesses was established on June 16, 2004. CNB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cherokee Nation. The tribe exerts control over the operations of CNB through the Board of Directors. Upon its establishment, CNB became responsible for providing "strategic direction" to all Cherokee Nation-owned businesses, to diversify the Nation's business holdings, and to act as a holding company for some Cherokee Nation business investments. CNB receives revenues from its subsidiaries in order to fund the expansion of existing firms and the acquisition of new ones. CNB was established to diversify its business interests of the tribe.[1] At its establishment, pursuant to the Cherokee Nation's Corporation Reform Act of 2002, 25% of all CNB profits were to be reinvested with the Tribal Government as dividend payment.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Cherokee Nation's Jobs Growth Act of 2005, CNB became the holding company for all business enterprises owned by the tribe, including Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE) and Cherokee Nation Industries (CNI). CNE was transferred to CNB ownership in 2006 and CNI was transferred in 2008. Prior to these transfers ownership of CNE and CNI were held directly by the Nation. At its establishment, CNB was governed by its own board with both CNE and CNI governed by separate boards of their own. In 2010, the separate boards were dissolved and consolidated into a single CNB board. The same year, the Cherokee Nation enacted the Dividend Act of 2005, which increased CNB's annual dividend payment to the Tribal Government from 25% to 30% of a total profits.

CNB established its Environmental and Construction Division in March 2005 with the establishment of Cherokee CRC.[2] The Division provides environmental consulting, construction engineering and management services, environmental remediation services, and scientific research and development (including laboratory testing) for government agencies as well as for chemical, oil and gas, manufacturing and waste companies. The Division was expanded in 2008 with the establishment of Cherokee Nation Construction Services' to offer construction management services. In February 2010, CNB announced the closure of CNB Manufacturing Division's construction unit due to constant financial problems.[3] The unit's assets were moved from CNB's Manufacturing Division into its Environmental Division. The CNB Manufacturing Division's defense contracting mission was expanded in August 2008 with the acquisition of Alabama-based Aerospace S.E., Inc., which provides aerospace product distribution and supply chain services for the United States Department of Defense.[4]

In August 2010, in order to implement the provisions of the Jobs Growth Act of 2005, CNB consolidated its various internal support and administrative service operations into a single structure located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The new office complex houses several of CNB's operating divisions as well as CNB-wide corporate support staff offices.[5] CNB's Manufacturing Division remained headquartered in Stilwell, Oklahoma, with CNB's gaming operations and corporate headquarters remaining centered in Catoosa, Oklahoma.

CNB established its Security and Defense Division in July 2010.[6] The Division provides security services, including property surveillance and guard services. Additionally, through the acquisition of Kellyville, Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation Red Wing, the Division serves as a defense contractor by manufacturing and assembling electronic parts for the United States Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.[7] In July 2012, the Manufacturing and Distribution Division's telecommunications group expanded with the acquisition of a 143,000-square foot building at the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma, establishing the CNB Distribution Center in the process.[8]

CNB completed the acquisition of Mobility Plus, a Muskogee, Oklahoma-based supplier of health care equipment, in November 2011, expanding CNB's Healthcare Division in the process.[9] That same month, CNB purchased expanded its Technology Division through the purchase of two Colorado-based companies: ETI Professionals Inc. (which was renamed Cherokee Nation Government Solutions) which offers strategic technology project management and staffing solutions,[10] and ITX Inc. (which was consolidated into Cherokee Services Group) which provides full-service computer and information technology services to United States federal government and commercial entities.[11]

In November 2011, at the request of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Bill John Baker, the Cherokee Nation enacted the Corporate Health Dividend Act of 2011, which increased CNB's annual dividend payment to the Tribal Government from 30% to 35% of a total profits. The 5% is earmarked to support the provision of healthcare services to Cherokee citizens.[12] In March 2012, CNB sold its corporate airplane at the request of Chief Baker. Baker had promised the sale of the plane as part of his 2011 election campaign.[13] The proceeds of the sale (approximately $1.5 million) was given to the Cherokee Nation government to supplement its funding of healthcare services for Cherokee citizens.

CNB purchased a 298,000 square foot building in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in November 2012 in order to allow for future expansion of its manufacturing operations.[14]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

All eleven members of the Board of Directors of CNB are appointed by the Cherokee Principal Chief with the approval of the Cherokee Tribal Council. The current Chairman of the Board is Sam Hart, having served in that position since February 14, 2012.[15]

As of March 2012, the Board is composed of the following members:[16]

Name Board Position Notes
Harold Ray "Sam" Hart Chairman of the Board
Jerry Holderby Chairman of the Executive Committee
Mike Watkins Chairman of Audit Committee
Rex Earl Starr Chairman of Governance Committee
Tommye Sue Wright Chairwoman of CNE/Real Estate Committee
Gary Cooper Chair of CNB Diversified Business Advisory Committee
David Ballew
Mick Webber
B.J. Dumond
Lloyd Armstrong
Dennis Dowell


The current chief executive officer of CNB, Shawn Slaton, has been CEO since April 2012, previously serving as interim CEO when CNB's board of directors and former CEO Dave Stewart reached a mutual separation agreement.[17] Stewart, a Cherokee citizen from Sallisaw, Oklahoma, had been CEO of CNB since 2008, holding several other key positions with CNB prior to that time.[18]

Chief executive officers - Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC
Name Assumed office Left office Principal Chief
Jim Carrington 2004 2005 Chad "Corntassel" Smith
Brad Carson 2005 2008
David Stewart 2008 2012
Shawn Slaton 2012 Present Bill John Baker


For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, Cherokee Nation Businesses reported a net income of $91.5 million on $653.5 million of revenue (a 14% profit margin).

Fiscal Year Total Revenue (in millions) Net Income (in millions) % Change % Profit Margin Notes
2007 $551.6 $110.3 N/A 20% [19]
2008 $521.5 $109.2 (1%) 21% [20]
2009 $534.1 $82.6 (24%) 15% [21]
2010 $596.7 $87.5 6% 15% [22]
2011 $653.5 $91.5 5% 14% [23]

Operating divisions[edit]


Division President: Mark Fulton

CNB's Hospitality Division oversees the company's portfolio of retail, hotel, gaming, and entertainment assets. The Division operates through its primary subsidiary: Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE). CNE was formed in the late 1980s and is the holding company for all gambling, gaming, entertainment, and hospitality operations of the Tribe. CNE operates eight casinos, two hotels, a horse racing facility with electronic gaming machines, retail and convenience shops, entertainment venues, golf courses, and cultural tourism programs. CNE operates casinos in the following Oklahoma locations:

CNE is itself the holding company of Will Rogers Downs LLC and Cherokee Hotels. WRD owns and operates a horse racing and casino facilities in Claremore while Cherokee Hotels is responsible for owning and operating hotels managed by CNE in Tulsa, Roland, and West Siloam Springs.

CNE is regulated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). IGRA mandates that all Class III gaming operations can only be conducted on Tribal land held in trust for the tribe by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Manufacturing and Distribution[edit]

Division President: Chris Moody

CNB's Manufacturing and Distribution Division provides products and services to the commercial and defense aerospace industry, leading telecommunications companies, and government and commercial clients in need of facility and office solutions. The Division's predecessor was initially formed in 1969 as the first business entity owned by the Cherokee Nation. The Division is a defense contractor for the United States Department of Defense.

The division is the holding company for several subsidiaries under the umbrella Cherokee Nation Industries (CNI) brand:

  • Cherokee Nation Aerospace and Defense (CNAD) provides contract manufacturing, electromechanical assembly, and component integration for commercial and military aerospace needs
  • Cherokee Nation CND provides contract manufacturer and integrator of electro-mechanical assemblies commercial and military aerospace needs
  • Cherokee Nation Metalworks (CNMW) manufactured fabricated details and assemblies for commercial and military aircraft as well as various military missile and unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Cherokee Nation Office Solutions (CNOS) provides office and facility support products and services
  • Cherokee Nation Telecommunications (CNT) sells and distributes communication products for government agencies and businesses
  • Aerospace Products, S.E. (APSE) 75% stake acquired by CNB in 2008, defense contractor providing third party logistics and outsource procurement services to aerospace and defense firms and the United States Department of Defense


Division President: Guy Wolcott

The Healthcare Division provides a wide range of medical and professional services, as well as medical equipment and supplies, to government and commercial clients.

  • Cherokee Nation Assurance (CNA) provides technology and management support system consulting services
  • Cherokee Nation Healthcare Services (CNHS) provides medical supplies and various medical services to governmental and commercial entities
  • Cherokee Medical Services (CMS) provides clinical and administrative personnel via contract to various entities
  • Mobility Plus rents, sales, and services rehabilitation medical devices, durable medical equipment, and various other medical supplies

Real Estate[edit]

Division President: Tom Duncan

The company's Real Estate Division operates primarily through Cherokee Nation Property Management (CNPM). CNPM provides real estate management, development, and leasing services. CNPM is responsible for conducting all real estate acquisitions and development for CNB and its subsidiaries.

Security and Defense[edit]

Division President: Russell Claybrook

CNB's Security and Defense Division provides security and protection products and services to commercial and governmental clients. The division is also a defense contractor for the United States Department of Defense that provides on aviation weapon systems life-cycle support, with locations across the United States in key military bases.

  • Cherokee Nation Defense Solution (CNDS) provides critical site infrastructure protection and security surveillance services, and access control products
  • Cherokee Nation Red Wing (CNRW) acquired by CNB in 2009, a defense contractor providing aviation and weapon system engineering and manufacturing
  • Cherokee Nation Security and Defense (CNSD) provides internal security for all CNB properties and external security and surveillance services to private contracts and government agencies

Environmental and Construction[edit]

Division President: Cheryl Cohenour

The Environmental and Construction Division provides clients with environmental, construction and professional services. The Division oversees project management through effective engineering, scheduling, safety and financial management controls.

  • Cherokee CRC - CNB acquired 51% ownership of Cherokee CRC in 2005. Cherokee CRC provides consulting and engineering services, predominantly in the areas of aerospace, construction, environmental and professional services
  • Cherokee Nation Construction Services (CNCS) provides general contracting services and construction management
  • Cherokee Nation Environmental Solutions (CNES) - provide environmental services for both commercial and governmental clients


Division President: Steven Bilby

CNB's Technology Division provides a full spectrum of IT services and technology solutions. It offers management and support of programs, projects, professionals and technical staff, with a primary focus on information technology, mission support, and research and development

  • Cherokee Services Group (CSG) provides management information services, network infrastructure management, and software development
  • Cherokee Nation Technologies (CNT) markets professional services to commercial enterprises
  • Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions (CNTS) provides technical support services and project support personnel to defense and civilian agency clients in the areas of information technology, science, engineering, construction, research & development, facilities management, program management, strategic communications, and mission support.
  • Cherokee Nation Government Solutions (CNGS) provides technical support to governmental client in the areas of science, engineering, construction, information technology, facilities management, and mission support

Renewable Energy[edit]

In 2011, Cherokee Nation Businesses began the process to expand its business operations in renewable energy operations. In December 2011, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council authorized CNB to seek a grant from the United States Department of the Interior in order to construct a $144 million hydroelectric dam along the Arkansas River in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. The dam is expected to be completed by 2015 and generate between $10 million and $15 million in annual revenues for CNB.[24] After winning Tribal Council approval in December 2012, CNB plans to construct a wind energy farm in Kay County, Oklahoma, with financial support from a grant by the United States Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.[25] Once fully construction, the wind farm is expected the generate between $16 million and $19 million in annual revenues for CNB.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CNB Looks to Diversity Tribal Business Interests, Cherokee Phoenix, Travis Snell, 2005-04-08
  2. ^ Expectations high for environmental company, Cherokee Phoenix, Travis Snell, 2006
  3. ^ Cherokee Nation Industries to Close Construction Operations, Cherokee Phoenix, Will Chavez, 2010-02-10
  4. ^ Cherokee Nation 2011 Annual Report Archived May 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Cherokee Nation, pg 50
  5. ^ Cherokee Nation Businesses buys office building in Tulsa, Cherokee Phoenix, Tesina Jackson, 2010-08-11
  6. ^ Security company Cherokee Nation Businesses’ newest venture, Cherokee Phoenix, Will Chavez, 2010-07-19
  7. ^ CNI buys state-based aerospace company, Cherokee Phoenix, Staff Reports, 2012
  8. ^ Cherokee Nation Industries bringing jobs to Mayes County Archived September 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, MidAmerica Industrial Park News Release, 2011-07-27
  9. ^ CNB buys medical equipment supply company, Cherokee Phoenix, Jami Custer, 2011-11-05
  10. ^ Cherokee Nation Businesses to buy ETI Professionals Inc., Cherokee Phoenix, Jami Custer, 2011-11-13
  11. ^ Cherokee Nation Businesses purchases Colorado IT company, Cherokee Phoenix, Christina Good Voice, 2011-11-16
  12. ^ Principal Chief Baker Enacts Health Care Dividend Bill Archived November 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Press Office of the Cherokee Nation, 2011-11-21
  13. ^ CNB sells corporate airplane, Cherokee Phoenix, Tesina Jackson, 2012-04-05
  14. ^ UPDATE: CNB purchases American Woodmark, Cherokee Phoenix, Jami Custer, 2012-11-07
  15. ^ Hart replaces Hannah as CNB board chairman, Cherokee Phoenix, by Todd Crow, 2012-02-28
  16. ^ Cherokee Nation Businesses Board of Directors Archived September 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Cherokee Nation Businesses, 2011-09-18
  17. ^ BREAKING: David Stewart out as CNB CEO, Cherokee Phoenix, Jami Custer, April 27, 2012
  18. ^ David Stewart Named Cherokee Nation Industries CEO, Cherokee Phoenix, Travis Snell, 2010-02-16
  19. ^ Cherokee Nation 2007 Annual Report[permanent dead link], Cherokee Nation, pg 36
  20. ^ Cherokee Nation 2008 Annual Report Archived May 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Cherokee Nation, pg 93
  21. ^ Cherokee Nation 2009 Annual Report Archived May 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Cherokee Nation, pg 93
  22. ^ Cherokee Nation 2010 Annual Report Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Cherokee Nation, pg 93
  23. ^ Cherokee Nation 2011 Annual Report Archived May 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Cherokee Nation, pg 92
  24. ^ Council approves hydroelectric plant grant application, Cherokee Phoenix, Travis Snell, 2011-12-27
  25. ^ Legislators amend tribal election code, Cherokee Phoenix, Will Chavez, 2012-12-12

External links[edit]