Lucas is an enrolled Winnebago Tribal Member. He is a Government Contracting Auditor within the Compliance and Ethics Department.
➡️ How many years have you been employed with Ho-Chunk, Inc.:
I’m in my fourth position with Ho-Chunk, Inc. – totaling nearly four years.
➡️ What does your role as Government Contracting Auditor entail?
I monitor the laws, regulations, and rules critical to Ho-Chunk, Inc’s. government contracting divisions to ensure we’re remaining in compliance.
A day in my job could involve researching and drafting a policy analysis memo for my supervisor, researching and drafting a Policy or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document for the organization, or assessing our business processes to ensure we’re in compliance with the laws, regulations, and rules.
➡️ Why do you feel working for a Native-owned company is important?
The mere existence of Ho-Chunk, Inc. is an exercise and example of tribal sovereignty of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, and I’m glad to be a part of it. The Winnebago Tribe exerting its sovereignty through wholly owning a business is very important because it allows the Tribe to attain a level of economic security through its own actions. The success of Ho-Chunk, Inc. demonstrates to other Tribes that they can take similar actions with their inherent sovereignty.
Also, I am proud to work alongside my colleagues in a purpose-driven organization where our hard work results in improving the livelihood for my fellow tribal members who may not have been as lucky as me to receive a good education and an opportunity to succeed.
➡️ What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
I get the most satisfaction meeting with and helping my colleagues solve their compliance problems. Sometimes we find a solution through the development of a training module which explains the dense legalese in plain English, or we “iron out” wrinkles in our processes to make the workflow more compliant. Finally, I do enjoy sharing my perspective as a kid growing up on Winnebago Indian Reservation (especially to those who aren’t familiar with the Rez and Ho-Chunk, Inc’s positive impact).
➡️ How has Ho-Chunk, Inc. helped you grow?
In each of my stints with Ho-Chunk, Inc., the executives and my supervisors were very supportive of me learning new and sharpening old skills necessary to perform my job. They often approved or recommended training to help me excel in my role whether it was a sales training, leadership training, or by becoming a Certified Corporate Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) in my current role.
➡️ What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m an avid college and pro football fan (Geaux Saints and Huskers!). Also, I enjoy staying updated on tribal, state, and nationwide politics. I love anything Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, but my biggest claim-to-fame is that I caught all the original 151 Pokémon when I was in elementary school.
Finally, my pride and joy is my dog Roman who keeps me active and accountable.
➡️ What is something about you that might surprise people?
I’m a huge hip-hop/rap fan – especially East Coast rappers. In fact, the first concert I ever attended was a DMX concert in Omaha, NE when I was in high school. It was quite the experience.
➡️ Have you done anything interesting lately?
I’m blessed because I’ve just returned from a bucket list trip to Germany. Surprisingly, just about everyone in Winnebago has a story about a German coming to live with them for a summer to experience life on a Reservation. That influenced me to see and learn about Germany, so I saved some money and booked a trip to see Munich and Berlin. I loved the trip, and I highly recommend getting out of the country to experience life from another perspective.