AMERIND Risk CEO Derek Valdo and Chairman of the Board Greg Borene celebrate 30 years with cake at the Institute welcome reception.

AMERIND Risk: Preparing Indian Country 2016 Institute Wraps Up Sold-Out, Successful Event


The 16th annual AMERIND Risk Institute rose to expectations as more than 175 people attended the yearly gathering designed to encourage learning, training and information on protecting Tribal communities.

The 2016 event, held October 4-5 at the Sandia Resort & Casino on the reservation of Sandia Pueblo, New Mexico, offered topics on tribal workers’ compensation, claims, and home and workplace safety.

Fires caused $48 million in damages to tribal housing and property covered by AMERIND during the past five years, according to a company analysis. A majority of these fires were preventable. “Electrical Fire Safety and Prevention” presented by the AMERIND Safety Team highlighted how fire prevention and safety should be practiced every month.

In addition to the sessions, more than 20 exhibitors displayed their products and services, such as general contractor’s/restoration companies, software data and financial management groups. Virtus Group, BOK Financial Corporation, and Interstate Restoration were among the exhibiting sponsors.

AMERIND Risk CEO Derek Valdo and Chairman of the Board Greg Borene celebrate 30 years with cake at the Institute welcome reception. (AMERIND Risk)

One of the popular sessions, the AMERIND Claims Family Feud, where contestants answered questions about insurance to compete for prizes based on the TV game show “Family Feud,” was a fun way to educate people on claims procedures, said participant Gloria Lomahaftewa, Community Service Administrator for the Hopi Village of Kykotsmovi in Arizona.

“I really enjoyed that,” said Lomahaftewa, who oversees human resources for Kykotsmovi. “I also enjoyed attending the employee benefits session. Overall, the sessions that I did participate in, I learned from each one of them.  Every one of the AMERIND Risk employees that I met was also very helpful in providing guidance and information. I want to commend the staff in regards to outreach, interaction and support to conference participants.”

Lomahaftewa and Chris Rusk, housing inspector from Lac Courte Oreilles were treated to a special hot air balloon ride during the Institute as the winners of the balloon ride drawing. “The balloon ride was a once in a lifetime experience. Also, I learned so much on how AMERIND serves Indian Country, I’m looking forward to the next AMERIND conference,” said Rusk. The Institute event coincides with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

AMERIND created the Institute in 2000 to provide a forum for training, information sharing and support for tribal administrators overseeing property and human resources. Primary topics include workers’ compensation, insurance claims and other information to protect tribal property and workforce.

AMERIND Risk was founded 30 years ago by more than 400 tribes who united and pooled their resources to create AMERIND Risk to keep money within Indian Country.  AMERIND Risk provides employee benefits, and property, liability and workers compensation insurance for tribes, tribal governments, tribal businesses and individual property coverage. It is the only 100%, tribally-owned and operated insurance solutions provider in Indian Country. In May of 2016, AMERIND launched a new business line AMERIND Critical Infrastructure (ACI) which will help tribes obtain high-speed internet. To learn more about Tribes Protecting Tribes or for an insurance quote, go to

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