Ivan Makil Speaks at American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona Luncheon

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A sold-out audience of American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona (AICCAZ) chamber and board members gathered at the Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Salt River on January 26 to hear former Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Ivan Makil speak at the January Networking Luncheon.

Since it was established in 1995, the AICCAZ has been a resource for American Indian–owned businesses across Arizona. The monthly luncheons provide an opportunity for AICCAZ members to network and learn from experienced community and business leaders.

The event was hosted by Discover Salt River and Talking Stick Entertainment District.

SRPMIC Council member David Antone offered an opening prayer and a few words about the venue and Makil. Antone pointed out the importance of hosting the luncheon at this particular hotel, located on SRPMIC land in the Business Corridor.

“Ivan Makil’s name came up at a Council meeting this past week, and I told his son, ‘It doesn’t matter if his name comes up, it’s always ‘President Makil’ even though he’s no longer the [SRPMIC] president,” said Antone. “But I think a lot of people really respect that time in his life when he contributed to this Community. I’m grateful to know him.”

Makil was elected to three consecutive terms as president of the SRPMIC. Under his leadership, the Community established enterprises such as Talking Stick Golf Course, Casino Arizona, Saddleback Communications and Chaparral Business Park. He also helped expand existing enterprises such as the Salt River Materials Group, and he helped negotiate the Loop 101 and the Outer Loop Freeway.

“I’m always honored when I get to visit and share experiences and listen to the experiences of other folks whom I’ve gotten to know over the years and meet new [people],” said Makil, as he addressed the audience.

Makil shared some wisdom gained from his experience as a community leader.

“The best measure of the success of a community is the health of its people,” Makil said. “Healthy physically and mentally. A healthy social life. A healthy cultural support. A healthy economy. All of those things are what make our communities whole.” At the end of Makil’s speech, a few AICCAZ members were able to engage with him and ask questions and bounce ideas back and forth about their business ventures and experiences in their communities.

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