Our Team

Our TFACP team’s history with the gaming and leisure world goes back to the mid-1980’s and includes not only domestic US clients and deals but significant international ones as well. In addition, our work in Indian Country is unmatched. From the first Native American syndicated bank deal ever completed way back in 1995 we have led the way with over $17 billion of capital raised for Tribes including nearly $3.5 Billion since inception of our company in 2009.

TFACP Professionals

Kristi Jackson

Kristi Jackson

Chairman

Kristi Jackson is the Chairman of TFA Capital Partners, an investment banking firm offering a broad platform of capital raising, strategic advisory, M&A advisory, restructuring advisory and operational consulting to the commercial and Tribal gaming and leisure industries.  TFACP evolved from Tribal Financial Advisors, a firm Kristi co-founded in 2009 to exclusively serve the needs of Native American Tribes with their financing-related issues.  Since its inception, TFA has been a part of over $3.5 billion of capital raised for Tribes nationwide and as importantly, has created over $300 million of value for its clients through these transactions.

On a daily basis, she manages the operations of this seven-employee company as well as serving as the principal marketing and client relationship manager for the Tribal effort.  The company has worked with over 35 Tribes on assignments since its founding – ranging from small advisory assignments providing feedback on a single issue to large capital raising engagements of well over $500 million in size.

Jackson holds series 7, 24 and 63 securities licenses.

Prior to founding TFA, she served as a Managing Director at Banc of America Securities, leading the Tribal finance effort on the bank’s investment banking platform.  Her efforts at Banc of America raised more than $15 billion of capital for over 30 Tribes, including syndicated bank debt, high yield and tax-exempt bonds.   She joined the bank in 1995 and contributed to the efforts of the first-ever syndicated loan for a Tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s $350mm credit facility, as well as the first-ever bond offering for an unsupported Tribal greenfield development project in California.

Kristi regularly speaks on Tribal finance topics at industry conferences for organizations including NAFOA and NIGA as well as regional Tribal organizations’ events.  She has been a member of the Advisory Board for the G2E industry conference.  She is frequently interviewed and quoted as a resource on Tribal finance in various national publications.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from the University of California at Irvine and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Email: kjackson@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2335

David Howard

David Howard

Chief Executive Officer

David provides TFA’s clients with solution-oriented advice and strategies related to Tribes’ debt needs.  As a Managing Director for Banc of America Securities, David ran the gaming, lodging and leisure debt structuring and syndication group.  With over 25 years of banking experience, David has been the primary architect and lead structurer for numerous corporate gaming and Native American syndicated loans.  Since 2003, he has been involved in over 100 transactions representing over $90 billion including $7 billion in Indian country.  While at Bank of America, David and his team were consistently #1 every year in gaming transactions and dollar volume.

Email: dhoward@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2795

Bill Newby

Bill Newby

President

Bill has over 30 years of experience in banking and was the former Senior Client Manager for Banc of America Securities’ Gaming and Leisure Group in Los Angeles.  From the time in early 1992 when Bill was charged with setting up the gaming banking franchise for the old Bank of America, he and a full team of dedicated professionals built Bank of America’s gaming practice into the consistent top performing gaming industry banking group in the sector.

Bank of America was under Bill the largest and most successful capital raising source to the U.S. and global gaming industry, having raised over $145 Billion in capital since 1992 and an estimated market share of lead-left side debt capital raising of over 50%.

Bill sat on the Board of Directors of the American Gaming Association, the gaming industry’s senior peer council for over 12 years.

Following his departure from Bank of America, Bill became the Head of Americas Gaming and Leisure Investment Banking for UBS and then Jefferies LLC’s Global Head of Gaming Investment Banking.   Bill graduated Magna Cum Laude in History from UCLA.  Bill also received his MBA from UCLA’s Graduate School of Management (now the Anderson School).

Email: wnewby@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2796

Bill Crader, CFA

Bill Crader, CFA

Managing Director

Bill has worked at TFA since the firm’s inception in 2009 and has worked in Indian Country for 11 years.  He has 14 years of investment banking experience and has helped raise over $8 billion of capital as well as worked on a variety of strategic advisory and M&A transactions.  At TFA, Bill has assisted tribes with capital raising and refinancing existing debt, including green-field and expansion project financings.  Additionally, he has provided tribes strategic financial advisory services supporting tribes economic diversification efforts as well as evaluating investment strategies.  Bill received an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business and a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.  In addition, Bill has earned the right to use the CFA designation.

Email: wcrader@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2336

Jeff Heimann

Jeff Heimann

Managing Director

Jeff has over nineteen years of investment banking experience, with over twelve years at Banc of America Securities in various roles including Syndicated Finance, High Yield Capital Markets and, most recently, as a Principal in the Global Corporate and Investment Bank Real Estate, Gaming and Leisure Industries.  There, Jeff focused primarily on Native American gaming transactions as well as a variety of greenfield and expansion casino development projects.  Since 2005, Jeff has been involved with over $8 billion of gaming-related transactions, including over $3 billion in Indian country. Jeff has a BA in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Email: jheimann@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2518

Braxton Sato

Braxton Sato

Associate

Braxton joined Tribal Financial Advisors in July 2012 after graduating from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Economics-Accounting with a focus on Financial Economics.  Since joining TFA, he has been primarily responsible for coordinating research, financial modeling and analysis in connection with our client transactions.

Email: bsato@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2339

Chris Reinhart

Chris Reinhart

Analyst

Chris graduated from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in May 2014 with a degree in Finance. Prior to joining TFA, he was a Proprietary Trading Intern with Merus Capital Partners.

Email: creinhart@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2338

Patrick Ennis

Patrick Ennis

Junior Analyst

Pat received a degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2017. Prior to joining TFA, he was a Summer Analyst with MacKay Shields.

Email: patrick.ennis@tfacp.com
Office: (310)341-2337

Tribal Board of Advisors

Our Tribal Board of Advisors gives us unique insights to address your changing needs and helps us see Tribal finances from your perspective.

Michell Hicks

Michell Hicks

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Michell Hicks, CPA, is currently the Founder and President of the Chief Strategy Group Inc. (CSG), a firm which, among other initiatives, is partnering with Ambulatory Integration Concepts to execute their jointly created healthcare delivery model, Gen7 Healthcare. Prior to founding CSG, Michell served the EBCI for nearly 30 years as a three-term Principal Chief and the former executive director of budget and finance. Michell has been continuously recognized for his exceptional leadership and accomplishments. In 2013 he was awarded the Tribal Gaming Visionary and Small Business Empowerment Award by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, recognizing his leadership in the $650-million expansion of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and the involvement of American Indian-owned businesses in the project. In 2015, he was recognized by the Native American Finance Officers Association as the Tribal Leader of the Year. This award is given annually to a Tribal leader displaying exceptional foresight and resolve in the economic advancement of his or her nation. Later in 2015 Michell was recognized by his alma mater, Western Carolina University, with the Professional Achievement Award at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony. In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of North Carolina – Asheville.

Tom Rodgers

Tom Rodgers

Blackfeet Nation

Tom currently operates Carlyle Consulting of Alexandria Virginia, serving a number of clients on Capitol Hill (including NIGA) and is a member of the Blackfeet Nation.  Tom is an advocate/lobbyist for Indian country, was the main whistle-blower in the Jack Abramoff scandal and he appeared in the Sundance Film Festival documentary release Casino Jack and the United States of Money.  He has received academic ethics accolades for his efforts – the Tom C. Rodgers O-tee-paym-soo-wuk Ethics in Government Scholarship by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law was named in his honor.  Tom holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Denver, a J.D. and a L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver College of Law, a Master of International Public Policy – China Studies from Johns Hopkins University and attended the Robert McDonough International Executive MBA program at Georgetown University.

Valerie Spicer

Valerie Spicer

Mescalero Apache

Valerie was recently named Executive Director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association after serving as Deputy Director.  Previously she was CEO of Gaming Strategies Group where she promoted business development with Tribal enterprises, governments and tribal and individually-owned businesses. She consulted to the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, Casino Omaha, Global Gaming Group, Arizona Indian Gaming Association and Dick Clark Signature Entertainment.  She was also Vice President and General Manager at Borrego Springs Bank and provided marketing and public relations services to Viejas Enterprises.  In addition she has held management positions with companies including Travelers Express, Ceridian/Comdata Corporation, Service Data Corporation and American Express. Valerie was named in 2004 as one of the “Top 25 People to Watch” by Global Gaming Magazine.

John Tahsuda

John Tahsuda

Kiowa

John is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and currently serves as a Principal in Navigators Global, a political affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. where he leads the tribal affairs practice which provides advocacy and counsel on a range of tribal affairs policy issues at the state and federal level. He also currently serves as policy advisor for the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.  Prior to Navigators, John was senior legal counsel for Senator Ben Night Horse Campbell and Staff Director for Senator John McCain when they Chaired the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and was engaged in private practice providing legal and legislative consulting services to Tribes.  Previously he also served as the General Counsel and Legislative Director of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the Acting General Counsel for the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. John received a J.D. from Cornell Law School and a B.S. from Oklahoma State University.

Daniel Tucker

Daniel Tucker

Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Daniel is the former Chairman of both the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA).  He previously served as chairman of CNIGA between 1995 and 2001. In his role as CNIGA chairman he led more than 70 California tribes in the quest to protect tribal gaming rights.  He pioneered the first successful tribal gaming legislation in California history to win bi-partisan support.  During Daniel’s tenure as Sycuan’s chairman the tribe developed the Sycuan resort into a leading destination resort which has allowed the Sycuan tribe to diversify their tribal economy and social educational programs.