LDC President and CEO Jerry Smith was recently named one of New Mexico’s Top CEO’s by the Albuquerque Business First weekly magazine. The 2014 Top CEO Awards were based on a search for the state’s most dynamic executives to recognize the contributions and achievements of those who have excelled as leaders is our state’s businesses.

“I am honored to represent the Pueblo of Laguna, the LDC Board of Directors and our executive team in receiving this award that recognizes the strength, knowledge and commitment that has made our company one of New Mexico’s best”, Jerry said. “I am humbled to accept this acknowledgement on behalf of more than 1,100 LDC employees who provide the quality, service and value our guests expect each time they visit one of our businesses”.

The award process began several weeks ago when the LDC Executive team nominated Jerry for the award. Nominees were required to answer an extensive questionnaire which was evaluated by a panel of community business leaders who focused on professional achievement, contributions to the community and leadership skills.

For example, one of the questions asked; what is the biggest challenge you have faced as CEO and how did you respond? Jerry’s response included the following excerpt;

The Great Recession was a wake-up call for the Indian Gaming industry as it was for business in general. At LDC we began to see customer discretionary spending decline. There was uncertainty amongst not only our shareholders but our employees about what the future held. I worked with tribal officials, the board of directors and the management team to craft a vision from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective that would allow the company to continue to maintain our commitments to our shareholders, employees and customers…..Today our businesses remain stable and we have a clearly delineated vision of where we intend to go from here.

Jerry Smith has served as President and CEO of LDC since its inception in 1998. He has served three terms on the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Council and credits the mentorship he received from tribal leaders like Governor Roland Johnson and Governor Floyd Correa, longtime Chairman of the LDC Board of Directors, with helping him carry forth the vision to enhance the security and well-being of the Laguna community through economic development.

Jerry and other executives from throughout New Mexico will be recognized during the 2014 Top CEO’s Award luncheon at Sandia Casino Resort on Thursday October 23rd.