Robert Parrish
Robert Parrish (Photo Courtesy of Navajo Gaming Enterprise)

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has hired a new chief operating officer.

Navajo Gaming CEO Derrick Watchman appointed Brian Parrish as the new COO, according to a press release.

"I love Native American gaming and I really enjoy working in Indian County," Parrish said in a phone interview.

Parrish has more than 26 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality industry. He previously served as CEO for two casinos, Quechan Casino in California and Paradise Casino in Arizona. Before that he was COO and director of sales and marketing for Inn of the Mountain Gods in southern New Mexico.

He said he wants to bring a spirit of teamwork to the gaming establishments in the Navajo Nation.

Parrish will manage gaming and hospitality operations while structuring workforce growth and implementing the business plan at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Northern Edge Navajo Casino and Flowing Water Navajo Casino.

"For the long term really, I want to create a lot of standardization success that is sustainable," he said.

Watchman said he hopes that Parrish will help Navajo Gaming prosper.

"We are at a pivotal juncture and Brian's gaming and hospitality expertise, problem solving capabilities and ability to quickly build rapport and lead our employees will allow Navajo Gaming to continue moving forward and meet our strategic business goals," Watchman said in a press release.

Parrish said one of his goals will be to help operations at Twin Arrows Resort and Casino near Flagstaff generate more revenue.

Twin Arrows has been a focus of Navajo leaders for having sub-par revenues since the establishment opened about a year ago.

Parrish said he thinks people will be happy with the casino's recent revenues, though he didn't specify how much the casino was making.

"We've been focusing on Twin Arrows and by the end of summer, we'll be able to be on the right track and be able to grow," he said.

Navajo Gaming Enterprise employs about 1,400 people.

"Everybody is working very hard to making this (enterprise) a success. That's the focal point," he said.

Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638.and ezah@daily-times.com. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.