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The FireKeepers winning formula continues with Bruce McKee as President and Brian Decorah named CEO

R. Bruce McKee, President of FireKeepers Casino Hotel dating back to May of 2008, is implementing a strategic succession plan as he prepares for retirement, announced Homer A. Mandoka, Tribal Council Chairman of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. McKee, the first and only General Manager FireKeepers has known, is credited with establishing the winning culture of outstanding guest service, professional casino operation and development of Michigan’s finest gaming resort during his more than seven years of service.  

“Bruce McKee ushered the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi into the gaming industry with experience, poise and successful financial performance,” stated Homer A. Mandoka, “His ability to navigate into the Native American gaming market from corporation casinos was remarkable.  McKee’s ability to identify and attract talent for key leadership roles formed a winning team.”  

McKee will lead through the end of 2015, at which time he has announced his retirement.   From day one at FireKeepers Casino, McKee was responsible for all facets related to the opening and operating of the facility including:  design and construction management, staffing of departments, obtaining all operating FF&E's, pre-opening budget compliance, tribal relations, contract administration, and regulatory compliance.  His vast experience and positive personality created a path to success as the casino and employer of choice in the state of Michigan.  The early success of the casino spurred construction and grand opening in 2012 of a 243-room hotel and a 2000-seat event center.  The hotel was recognized in 2015 by AAA with the coveted Four Diamond Award. 

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be associated with FireKeepers Casino Hotel and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi,” stated McKee.  “I will never forget the many milestones and accomplishments we have achieved at FireKeepers and the many memories established here in Battle Creek over the past seven years.  I have every confidence that FireKeepers Casino Hotel will continue their focus on the customer and to exceed their expectations in the years ahead.” 

McKee’s 35 years of casino experience is highlighted by multiple executive positions, including COO and General Manager of Harrington Raceway Casino in Harrington, Delaware, ten successful years at Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc. in a variety of positions including General Manager of Trump’s Kansas City and Indiana properties, President and Chief Operating Officer of Trump Marina, Chief Operating Officer of Trump Taj Mahal Casino, and Chief Financial Officer of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc.

He is a CPA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  Bruce is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division, and attained the rank of captain before discharge.

Mandoka also announced that Brian D. Decorah, the current Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager, has been named CEO of FireKeepers Casino Hotel, effective July 1. Decorah, an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, joined FireKeepers in 2013 and has twenty years of gaming experience. He was General Manager of North Star Mohican Casino Resort in Bowler, Wisconsin and General Manager for two Ho-Chunk Gaming casinos, also located in Wisconsin. His diverse skills set include extensive marketing, compliance and business development and includes executive positions at Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde, Arizona and Seneca Gaming Corporation in Western, New York.  Decorah has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin school system. Brian was also the recipient of the Global Gaming 40 under 40 in 2013.

“Brian Decorah brings passion and dedication to the FireKeepers Team”, said Homer A. Mandoka, “He has a keen-eye for an optimal guest experience and expects to treat others, as they would treat him. He is skilled at earning respect from team members and is poised to continue our successful operating results.”

“I am very humbled by the opportunity to carry out the vision that Mr. McKee and the Nottawaseppi  Huron Band of Potawatomi have created,” said Decorah. “I look forward to leading the FireKeepers Team in our efforts to remain as the casino of choice for our guests and the employer of choice for our team members.”

 FireKeepers Casino Hotel is located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, Mich. The property features a 111,700-square foot gaming floor with 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers also offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center capable of seating up to 2,000 guests, six distinctive dining destinations and multiple lounges and entertainment venues. For more information visit http://www.FireKeepersCasinoHotel.com.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel is owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.