Arla Ramsey currently serves the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe as its Vice-Chairperson and Tribal Administrator. Her duties include oversight of the Business Council and the Blue Lake Rancheria Economic Development Corporation. Prior to assuming Tribal Government work full-time, Arla worked for the U.S. Forest Service for over nine years as a nature guide, fire-fighter and heavy-equipment operator, among other responsibilities. Before entering the Forest Service, Arla spent several years reorganizing the Tribe and serving as HUD Grant Coordinator following the Tribe’s federal reinstatement. And prior to this reorganization work, for eight years Arla owned and operated a children’s daycare business for Tribal and Blue Lake community residents. In addition to these positions, Arla and former Chairperson Sylvia Daniels led the twenty-five year political and legal fight for successful reinstatement in 1983 of Blue Lake Rancheria as a federally-recognized Tribe.
Arla has lived on the Blue Lake Rancheria since 1958. She attended Blue Lake schools, Arcata High and Humboldt State University. Arla holds a variety of professional certifications, including: Pepperdine University, The Graziadio School of Business and Management: Transit/Paratransit Management Program; College of the Redwoods Center: Penal 832 / Firearms, and Tribal Court Law and Justice; The Falmouth Institute: Contracting Officer’s Representative, Record Management, Tribal Self-Governance, Law for the Tribal Council, NAHASDA Training; Council Lodge Institute: Basic Indian Law; Training Services Association: Housing Construction Inspection and Cost Estimating; National Environmental Training Center for Small Communities: Assessing Wastewater Options; Bill Helmich Associates: Grants and Contracts Law and Management, Drug and Alcohol Testing, OMB Circulars: A-102, A-87, A133, Environmental Law for Tribes, Employee Rights and Labor Laws; Three Feathers Associates: Title VI Training and Technical Assistance, Management, Nutrition, Supportive Services; California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc.: Final rules for P.L. 93-638; California Specialized Training Institute: Hazardous Materials Course, First Responder Awareness; Rural Community Assistance Corp.: Creative Solutions: Moving Rural Communities into the 21st Century; Johnson Associates: Design and Development of Indirect Cost Proposals for Tribal Organizations; Pesticide Applicators Assoc.: Pesticide Applications; I.H.A. Management Systems: NAHASDA Grant Implementation (HUD); Development Consultants: Tribal Environment, Health, Safety & Natural Resources’ Damages Issues; ICF Consulting, Sponsored by HUD: (Office of Native American Programs Training Institute Course) Native Economic Development Guidance and Empowerment. Arla is also a certified Tribal Judge, and experienced in mediation, arbitration, and interpretation of Tribal laws, contracts, ordinances and resolutions. In 2005, Arla’s name was added to the Wall of Tolerance by the National Campaign for Tolerance, chaired by the inestimable Rosa Parks and Morris Dees. The listing honors “…those who are taking a personal, public stand against hate, injustice and intolerance, and who are leading the way toward a more just America.”
Instrumental in promoting Indian Country improvements through her involvement with regional and national Tribal committees, Arla has also worked steadily to improve the lives of children and underserved adults in the greater community. Arla has held a seat on the Humboldt County Workforce Investment Board and supports the Council on Adoptable Children. Having lived for several years overseas in Germany and other countries, Arla has studied other cultures and societal structures first-hand. With a unique combination of practical experience, diplomacy and compassion, Arla has helped the Tribe reorganize and build steadily toward economic stability. Her good will has made possible the productive community and government-to-government relationships the Tribe enjoys today.
Eric Ramos is currently President of Business Operations for the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe, where he develops and manages the Tribe’s many diverse enterprises. Prior to working on Tribal interests full time, Eric held the position of Treasury Manager at Turnstone Systems, a large post-IPO start-up company, where he actively managed a cash and investment portfolio in excess of $270 million, international investments and transactions in dozens of foreign currencies. Before Turnstone, Eric was an auditor for KPMG in the Silicon Valley, where his client list included a number of high-profile public and private companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple Computer and Daimler Chrysler Research & Development. Eric has been instrumental in channeling the success of the Blue Lake Rancheria’s economic enterprises into widespread community involvement and investment. Most notably he has steered the Tribe’s giving budgets into areas of education, community infrastructure improvements and public health and safety services. Eric represents Blue Lake Rancheria as the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) Tribal delegate, Executive Committee Secretary and Legislative Committee Chair, where he works with other Tribes across California on legal, operational and planning issues affecting Indian Country. Eric earned his B.A. in Business Administration at Humboldt State University (HSU). For his leadership, significant accomplishments and contributions to the community, in 2006 Eric was recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award from HSU.
With over fifteen years of gaming experience in several areas of departmental specialization, Tom is both a Native gaming industry generalist and an expert. As Vice President of the BLREDC, Tom manages all gaming-related initiatives including casino operations and casino development and management projects. He manages day-to-day activities of currently operating gaming facilities, initiates business growth with new opportunities in emerging markets, and directs development processes of all new gaming projects. He also collaborates with all Blue Lake Rancheria business management teams. Prior to his position with Blue Lake Rancheria, Tom held similarly high-profile positions for other gaming companies, including Pacific Coast Gaming – Corning, LLC, Sodak Gaming International, the Dakotah Sioux Casino, among others. Tom’s extensive business achievements include directing the development, restructuring and opening of multiple new casino, hotel, restaurant and card room properties, successfully completing Fee-to-Trust transfer processes, for a total of over 2,000 acres of land placed into Trust. Tom’s project management has included international sites, including Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has also worked to develop educational programs in casino operations and financing to increase Indian Country expertise.
Philip R. Aycock, CPA, began his career in finance as an auditor for the U.S. Government. For over fourteen years Philip managed auditing of a wide variety of governmental entities and government contractors at various locations in the United States and Europe. Prior to leaving the government for private practice in 1986, Mr. Aycock was the audit manager responsible for commercial activities operated by the U.S. Department of Defense in an eight-state region in the Southeastern United States. In 1988, Philip founded Aycock and Edgmon CPAs and serves as the firm's senior partner. Aycock and Edgmon provides tax, accounting and auditing services to governmental, nonprofit and commercial entities in Northern California. Philip is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a graduate of Jacksonville State University.