A Message From the CEO, Chuck Garrett
The COVID-19 pandemic is testing us all in unimaginable ways. As we move through this together, I want you to know some of the steps we are taking to support our employees and the communities we serve. Your health, safety and well-being remains our top priority.
Since March, we have focused the company’s resources and expertise on addressing the most urgent challenges posed by COVID-19, including the following:
- We quickly formed several internal work groups to monitor the situation and develop plans on how to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on our employees and our businesses.
- We adapted operations to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees, as well as our customers. We increased cleaning protocols, added more hand sanitizer stations to all of our properties and provided our employees with information and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Ultimately, on March 16, we made the decision to temporarily close all public-facing operations. This included all casinos, hotels, retail operations and museums owned and operated by CNB.
- Upon closing our casino properties, we donated the perishable food that was stocked in our kitchens to Cherokee elders in need.
- Marketing campaigns, corporate travel and conferences were put on hold and capital projects, except for those necessary for safety reasons, were suspended or deferred.
- We maximized our use of technology so that employees could remain productive in the safety of their homes, wherever possible.
- We are working to fully understand and utilize the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that apply to our employees and our businesses.
I’m proud to report our federal contracting businesses continue to provide essential services to our government clients. Cherokee Federal’s team of companies is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and military health agencies to provide critical mission support against the COVID-19 pandemic – putting many of our employees on the front line. I couldn’t be prouder of the work they are doing, and I’m grateful to all our employees who are rising up to meet the many challenges brought by COVID-19.
While the decision to suspend our public-facing operations has had an impact on our bottom line, it was a decision that was made with the health and safety of our employees and our customers in mind – and it was the right decision.
We are never willing to put profit over people. For us, this isn’t just business, it’s personal.
I know many of you are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic at home, whether it is concern for a friend or loved one, isolation from our communities or stress related to economic uncertainty. My list of worries right now — like yours, I’m sure — is long: from my family and friends, to the safety of you, my colleagues, to those who are already very sick, and to the real harm that will be caused by the economic fallout across our communities.
As we continue to monitor and respond to this pandemic, we are working closely with local, state, and federal officials, tribal health experts and business leaders to make the best decisions we can and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees, while safeguarding the long-term health of the company.
We have to work together as a global community to flatten the curve and do our part to stop the spread of this virus and speed our path to recovery.
I sincerely hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.
My thoughts and prayers are with each one of you.
- Chuck Garrett
- Chief Executive Officer
- Cherokee Nation Businesses
Cherokee Nation Updates
For important, timely updates about Cherokee Nation’s response to COVID-19, please visit Anadisgoi, the official newsroom of Cherokee Nation.