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Member Highlight – Lena McQuary

Lena McQuary, a member of the Goodeagle family and "snake" clan, is the first Quapaw Nation tribal member to hold the Director of Human Resources position at Downstream Casino Resort. Lena has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and is currently in an MBA program for Strategic Management and Human Resources. Lena hopes to have two MBA degrees under her belt by 2023.

Lena has been employed by Downstream Casino for eleven and a half years, starting as an IT department "Desk Tech" before moving to Human Resources. In HR, she has held several roles, including an administrative assistant, Tribal development officer (appointed by the Downstream Development Authority), and later moving up to the title of Employee Relations Manager. "I enjoy being a part of the Human Resources team, because I'm able to help others utilize skills they've developed to better themselves." Said Lena. "It's amazing to watch people climb the ladder of success." Climbing that ladder is something that Lena herself has done.

Lena lives in Riverton, KS, with her husband Carlos and their three children Calsea, sixteen years old, Lyrik, ten years old, and Cyler, two years old. It's a short drive from her home to the place that feels like her second home, Downstream Casino and Resort. "I feel honored and excited to work for my tribe - to give back and be a part of something that is providing so many careers to tribal members and the community." Lena began. "Downstream makes you feel like family and I would never be able to see myself working anywhere else to be honest."

"I am very proud of our HR team; we thrive to solve problems related to our employees. We take pride in the practice of confidentiality and we know how imperative it is to be trusted. Staying in touch with issues by following up with management, creating new policies and revising out of date procedures, I believe we set the example for the rest of the property. The concerns of others is our motive and doing what is right, morally and ethically is a vital part of being an HR leader. We continue to motivate team members to perform at the highest level possible and sustain an organizational culture of high morale."

When asked what an essential part of her job as Director of Human Resources was, Lena stated, "we need to invest in our team." Mrs. McQuary believes everyone should have the same information and be compassionate but also have the technical know-how to facilitate better decision-making. Recently, Downstream implemented an educational program that will help finance employees to further their education. Lena McQuary was a big part of the push for that program.

In her role, Lena must be certified for THRP: Tribal Human Resources Professional through the National Native American Human Resources Association. She also has all of the Human Resources Staff do the certification because she is also a big believer in cross-training her staff. Should anything leave her unable to work, her team will have the essential skills to fulfill the position's job duties.

A special message from Lena McQuary:

"I am grateful to God; without HIM, I would be nothing. My heartfelt gratitude goes to my husband, Carlos, and my beautiful children for their unfailing love, moral support, and motivation. To my extraordinary grandparents, Wayne and Nancy, for their unconditional love and guidance. To my brothers Gavin and Reece, mother and father, Mary and Doug, for always being there for me, no matter what. To my loyal friends, whom I call family, Alicia, Betsy, Chas, Chris, Courtney, Wendy, and Haeley for always believing in me and pushing me to be my best. To my wonderful and witty co-worker of 11 years, Madeline Carpino, for enduring the thick and thin alongside me for over a decade and being the pillar of HR, you are truly amazing."

"I am thrilled to be a part of the new leadership team at Downstream Casino. I appreciate the diligent work from the upper management at Downstream Casino along with the current Quapaw Tribal BC. This past year, I have witnessed a substantial transformation for the better. The new leadership provides a professional service to our tribal members, tribal businesses, and community. I am blessed and truly appreciative for their support and this opportunity. I am obliged for the support that I have received from our GM, Stuart Grayson. He has set a high standard for Downstream Casino Resort. He motivates our team members to be the best we can be and has developed a distinctive work environment. Stuart continues to build a dynamic organization and aims to mentor and develop careers for tribal members while doing so.

I am grateful to John E. Rodgers and Rachel Cravens for their consideration to share my story. Thank you!”

Quapaw Nation thanks Lena for her leadership, hard work, and compassion. Just as she takes pride in her work, Quapaw Nation takes pride in knowing that our Tribal members are stepping up when called upon, which sets a unique sense of confidence in our future.

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