Updated

Lynn Valbuena

American

Chairwoman
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Lynn Valbuena, Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians began her term in April 2022. She has been focusing on serving her tribal community and continuing efforts to strengthen the tribe’s Serrano culture, governmental sovereignty and service obligations to San Manuel citizens. 
Education
  • Skadron College of Business

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

The San Manuel Department of Education Programme’s purpose is to assist in the implementation of the Tribe’s educational vision. The Department builds and develops services and programmes and education opportunities for Tribal families. 

As part of its commitment to cultural preservation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians partners with various government agencies, tribal governments and conservation groups to protect important places across ancestral territories and preserve the Serrano language and the traditional Serrano music. Leading these partnerships, Valbuena also spearheads other traditional activities like basket weaving, bird singing, plant gathering, the annual Pow-Wow event and more. 

Meanwhile, the San Manuel Environmental Department’ focuses on protecting Tribal Lands and resources on the San Manuel Reservation. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians often sponsors community events and activities in the Inland Empire and across the Indian Country. 

In September 2018, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians awarded a three-year, $960,000 gift to California State University to increase college-going rates and the success of Native American students; as part of the Native American Enrolment and Achievement Initiative. 

Since 2003, San Manuel has contributed more than $350M to nonprofits, local, state, and national organizations to improve communities and qualify of life in the pillars of education, healthcare, tribal culture, and empowering lives, across the Inland Empire, Indian Country and beyond.

AWARDS

While under Valbuena’s leadership, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians was awarded two `Responsible Business of the Year` awards at the Global Gaming Awards, in 2021 and 2022

EMPLOYMENT

Valbuena held various elected and appointed positions within the San Manuel tribal government. 

She was the Tribe’s first Housing Commissioner and held several Officer positions on the Tribal Council, including Secretary/Treasurer, Vice Chairwoman and is now in her fifth term as Chairwoman. 

Valbuena has also served as the as Chairwoman of the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN) since its inception in 1995. 

Furthermore, she served as Vice Chairwoman for the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, Secretary for the National Indian Gaming Association and Delegate to the National Congress of American Indians. 

She previously served as a Trustee for the National Museum of the American Indian and continues her trusteeship for the Autry Museum and Advisory Council Member for the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California.  

PRODUCTS LAUNCHED

In March 2018, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians completed its Final Tribal Environmental Impact Report for the San Manuel Hotel and Casino Expansion Project. San Manuel proposed to build a hotel and expand its existing casino operations. 

The grand opening of San Manuel's  rebranded Yaamava' Resort & Casino was held 13 December 2021. 

Speaking at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ success at the Global Gaming Awards Las Vegas 2022, Valbuena said: “It’s an honour for us to be up here with our team for this Award. It’s a team effort as we always say. For a tribal government to be recognised, not a corporation, is amazing. For us to work together with these corporations and build those partnerships in collaboration with all of you makes us so happy.” Lynn Valbuena

Interviews and public speeches

In September 2023, as part of the CEO Special of Gaming America magazine, Stephanie Feeley spoke to Lynn Valbuena about why the Tribe chose gaming and how it has completely changed the lives of people on the reservation and beyond.

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