Paragon Casino Resort Appoints Emma Ford Vice President of Hospitality

Marksville, LA. – (Jan. 19, 2021) Paragon Casino Resort, which is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, recently appointed Emma Ford as the new Vice President of Hospitality. Ford assumes the role with seasoned tenure and has been employed at Paragon for 24 years.

Ford assumes role after two decades working in the gaming industry at Paragon Casino Resort

For a high-resolution photo of Emma Ford, click here.

“Emma Ford has been an excellent team member and instrumental in Paragon’s success over the past two decades,” said Jody Madigan, general manager of the Paragon Casino Resort. “She has worked in several different capacities over the years. We are lucky to have such a dedicated member on our team to help us continue to reach our goals.”

As the Vice President of Hospitality, Ford will be responsible for the management and operation of the hotel and sales, the RV park, and implementing inbound strategies that help increase awareness, generate leads and acquire new customers to Paragon Casino Resort.

“I have experienced tremendous growth during my time at Paragon and look forward to the opportunity to lead the hospitality efforts in this new role,” said Emma Ford. “I am eager to continue my work, and on a personal note, am honored to serve as the first female African American Vice President at Paragon.” 

Ford began her career in 1995 at the Grand Casino Avoyelles, now known as Paragon Casino Resort, and since that time has been promoted frequently. She entered her career as a supervisor at Paragon’s Kids Quest, a childcare and kids arcade area, then later transferred to the hotel as a front desk representative. The following year she was promoted to Senior Guest Representative and a year and a half later to Guest Service Supervisor. During her time at Paragon Casino Resort, Ford has also served as Assistant Front Desk Manager, Front Desk Manager, Hotel Manager and Hotel Director.

“We are thrilled to welcome Emma Ford into her new role here at the Paragon,” said Marshall Sampson, assistant general manager of Paragon Casino Resort and vice-chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “We are certain that she will do an outstanding job overseeing the operations of our hotel’s sales team and leading Paragon through our continued success.”

Guest service and hospitality have always been Ford’s strongest skills and she has taught many classes regarding this subject, as well as Lodging Management System (LMS) computer classes and other hotel classes. Ford holds two degrees from Louisiana State University of Alexandria – Business Administration and Clinical Laboratory Science.

“We have no doubt that Ms. Ford will flourish as Vice President of Hospitality at Paragon,” said Marshall Pierite, chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “The Tribe is grateful knowing that Paragon is in good hands under her leadership. We are very proud of her for her hard work and dedication to her career at Paragon.”

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About Paragon Casino Resort:

Since opening its doors in 1994, Paragon Casino Resort has strived to become the most entertaining gaming destination in the South. Following its recent refresh, now is the time to take another look at the Paragon.

The facilities features an impressive lineup of luxury amenities and attractions, including 1,300 Las Vegas-style slot machines on a 64,000-square-foot gaming floor; hotel with more than 500 rooms; full-service spa and salon; 18-hole golf course with a fully stocked pro-shop and grillroom; indoor tropical pool with a swim-up bar; a soaring retail atrium with “living” bayou and alligator encounters; a three-screen cinema; Atrium Bar with an ice bar; seven restaurants; daiquiri bar; full-service RV resort with 205 slips and 30 cabins; Kids Quest child care activity center; Cyber Quest arcade; over 75,000 square feet of meeting space and three retail shops.

Over the years, Paragon facilities have made a significant economic impact on central Louisiana. Currently, the Paragon employs over 1,100 associates. In addition, six percent of its net gaming revenue is given to local municipalities. Since 2016, The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA), operator of Mohegan Sun properties throughout the United States, partnered with Paragon Casino Resort and now serves as gaming, hospitality and entertainment consultants for the Marksville, Louisiana casino and resort.

For more information, please visit https://www.paragoncasinoresort.com/ and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana:

The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near Marksville, where they were skilled traders and entrepreneurs. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,200 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois. The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 for its reservation within the boundaries of Louisiana. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, the largest employer in Central Louisiana. Through its compact, negotiated by the late Tribal Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr. and the State of Louisiana, the Tribe has assisted local governments in the area with its quarterly distribution of funds, totaling more than $40 million over two decades. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunicabiloxi.org and “like” us on Facebook

Paragon Casino Resort’s Tamahka Trails Golf Club Undergoes Renovation Positioning the Course as One of the Best Golf Experiences in the South

Renovation has prepared the club to host five major events in 2021 and improve overall player experience

Paragon Casino Resort and Hotel’s Tamahka Trails Golf Club has undergone a renovation to improve player experience, prepare the course for tournaments and position the course as one of the best golf experiences in the South.

“Tamahka Trails has always had a strong reputation of having an outstanding layout, excellent greens, consistently good turf conditions and wonderful customer service,” said General Manager of Paragon Casino Resort, Jody Madigan. “With the renovations to the bunkers and the other recent enhancements, Tamakha Trails should be on your bucket list as a must play course. We welcome everyone who enjoys a beautiful and challenging layout, and we are pleased to be able to provide this wonderful course for everyone’s enjoyment.”

“Tamahka Trails is the best kept secret in golf in the state of Louisiana,” said Architect Nathan Crace, American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Member. “There simply is no piece of property in the southern part of the state that has the unique typography and feel that this property has. Now with these new upgrades it should be on everyone’s must play list, regardless of skill level. It’s always a thrill to be part of a project like this. From the owner, to the staff to the contractor, everyone was on board from the beginning and supported what needed to be done 100 percent.”

The main aspect of this renovation was the overhaul of the course’s bunkers. Tamahka Trails has been unable to host the top state amateur golf tournaments for almost 15 years due to the condition of the course’s bunkers. This renovation included replacing all drain lines and sand, shaping the bunker complex to eliminate steep slopes, converting roughly 40,000 square feet of bunkers to grass, strategically adding small pot bunkers to four holes and implementing the Better Billy Bunker system to improve drainage and better protect the bunkers.

Additionally, the following updates and changes have been made:

  • The addition of a practice green and chipping bunker;
  • A new set of tees were installed measuring around 4,000 yards, as is recommended by the USGA for juniors and beginners;
  • Tee boxes have been added throughout the course, including repositioning the standard men’s tees;
  • New championship tees were added on seven of the course’s 18 holes, adding more than 150 yards to the length of the course;
  • Upgrades to the fairway and cart paths, and  
  • New and improved landscaping throughout the course and surrounding club house and parking lot.

The Paragon Casino Resort and the golf course are owned by the Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “We are impressed with the beautiful renovation of the Tamahka Trails Golf Club and believe that golfers and visitors to the course will be too,” said Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Chairman Marshall Pierite. “With the central location of the Paragon Casino Resort and Tamahka Trails here in Louisiana, we are the perfect destination resort course for all and are eager to welcome and host golfers here in Avoyelles Parish.”

With these major renovations complete, the course will now be able to host state championships and other major golfing events. Tamahka has already secured The Louisiana State Women’s Four Ball Championship, The Gulf States PGA Chapter Championship and All Pro Tour Paragon Championship, Golfweek Amateur Tour and the Eagle Amateur Tour Inaugural Tournament for 2021.

“Anyone who has played the golf course will immediately notice the difference in the look and playability of our bunkers. What stands out the most is the beautiful white sand and softer rolling contours surrounding the bunkers,” said Assistance General Manager of the Paragon Casino Resort and Vice-Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Marshall Sampson. “Golfers from throughout region need to come see this outstanding golf course and enjoy the other great amenities of Paragon Casino Resort including our world-class spa, fine-dining steakhouse and newly renovated hotel rooms.” 

The Tamahka Trails Golf Club is just one of the many attractions at Paragon. The casino and resort has both adult and family-friendly entertainment options with an impressive lineup of luxury amenities including a hotel with more than 500 rooms, full-service spa and salon, indoor tropical pool with a swim-up bar, a soaring retail atrium with three shops, a “living” bayou and alligator encounters in the lobby and a three-screen cinema.

For more information on the Tamahka Trails Golf Club, click here. For more information on Paragon Casino Resort, visit – https://www.paragoncasinoresort.com/.

Paragon Casino Resort Contributes More Than $43,000 to Avoyelles Parish on Behalf of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana

Contribution showcases strength and success of Paragon this year and its continued investment in the surrounding community

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Tribal Council recently announced that Paragon Casino Resort has contributed $43,974 to Avoyelles Parish.

“We take great pride in being able to provide these funds to our parish and community, especially during what has been a terribly difficult year for so many,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “We are hopeful that this funding, which comes from the community’s continued support for Paragon, will support significant improvements throughout Avoyelles Parish and better serve residents and neighbors now and into the future.”

Due to the success of Paragon Casino Resort in the third quarter of 2020, the Tribe was able to make a contribution to Avoyelles Parish which is the gaming compact agreement that the Tribe has with the state of Louisiana. Since Paragon Casino Resort opened its doors 26 years ago, the Tribe has been able to provide more than $29 million to local entities through these quarterly distributions.

“We are so glad to see that businesses like Paragon Casino Resort are thriving in our community and are grateful for what these funds will enable us to do for our parish,” said Police Jury Chairman Kirby Roy.

For more information on Paragon Casino Resort, visit – https://www.paragoncasinoresort.com/. For more information on the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit –  https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/.

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Offers Tunica Language Immersion Workshops

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Language and Culture Revitalization Program (LCRP) has partnered with Tulane University to lead two Tunica Language immersion workshops in December and January via Zoom. The workshops are a fast and fun way to learn, speak and understand the Tunica language. Tunica-Biloxi parents are welcome to attend the Youth Workshop with their children if they wish to do so.

There is no charge for participating in the workshops and beginners are welcome. Contact Jessica Barbry at (318) 240-6469 or jabarbary@tunica.org for more information and to sign up!

Youth Workshop:
Ages 11-16
December 30th
10AM – 1PM

Adult Workshop:
Ages 17+
January 4th
10AM – 1PM

Tunica Language Immersion Virtual Workshops Registration Form

Christmas Greeting from Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite

Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, December 22nd at 6:30 p.m. CST for a special (virtual) Christmas Greeting from Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite! The Chairman will take this time to give an update to the Tribe, highlight recent accomplishments and address plans moving forward into the new year. John Barby will also use this time to introduce the new U.S. Department of Education grant titled ‘Tunica-Biloxi Education Program (TBEP) to Improve Academic Success & Career Readiness.’ You don’t want to miss this special address! All of the Zoom information can be found below.

Zoom information:

Link to join: https://zoom.us/j/98572261699?pwd=dlpaamMySDY0cGFHbk1JWUwwdG12Zz09

Meeting ID: 985 7226 1699

Passcode: 192155

Tunica-Biloxi Teaches Traditional Art of Basket Weaving to Procter & Gamble’s Native American Network

On November 12th, Donna Pierite and Elisabeth Pierite Mora led members of Procter & Gamble’s Native American Network (NAN) through a 1-hour, virtual pine needle basket workshop. Through the workshop 25 P&G staff members learned the history of the craft and were led step-by-step through how to get their baskets started.

This is just one of the many ways that Tunica-Biloxi and P&G have worked together over the years. In addition to P&G donating PPE to the Tribe at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the company’s employees assisting at Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wows in the past, members of the Tunica-Biloxi Language and Culture Revitalization Program (LCRP) have visited P&G’s Alexandria plant and educated staff on Native American culture through Diversity and Inclusion Workshops.

“The partnership between the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and the P&G NAI Team over the years has been remarkable,” said Brandon Vanderberg, P&G employee and leader of the Alexandria Plant’s Native American Network. “We are grateful for what they bring to our community. We hope to continue building this relationship for many years.”

USET Native American Heritage Month with Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Chairman Marshall Pierite

The United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) recently interviewed Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Chairman Marshall Pierite to celebrate Native American Heritage Month and learn more about what it means to him.

About United South and Eastern Tribes (USET)

Established in 1969, the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) is a non-profit, inter-Tribal organization promoting the interests of and advocating for 33 federally-recognized Tribal Nations from the Northeastern Woodlands to the Everglades and across the Gulf of Mexico. USET is dedicated to enhancing the development of Tribal Nations, improving the capabilities of Tribal governments, and improving the quality of life for Indian people through a variety of technical and supportive programmatic services. For more information, click here.

Apply for COVID-19 Assistance

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is committed to providing assistance to eligible individuals who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tribe will provide targeted relief payments to those who certify that they have experienced physical or financial hardship due to this public health crisis. This means any amount of this assistance will be determined by the Tribe. Those wishing to receive assistance must fill out the following application to receive assistance.

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana respects the privacy of its members and strictly adheres to HIPAA, and all other federal data privacy laws; therefore, all form submissions will be directed to our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Webb and Mrs. Martha Ketcher, the Tribe’s Health Consultant, who are both HIPAA certified.

  • Some examples of needs are:
    • Financial aid when unemployment is inadequate to meet a family’s basic needs.
    • Rent and mortgage assistance due to financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
    • A reduction in pay and or benefits from an employer because of COVID-19.
    • Financial assistance to help with caring for an elderly family member at home due to cases of COVID-19 at the family member’s residential care facility.
    • Financial assistance for food and prescription delivery because a family has member(s) that are at risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19.
    • Buying PPE for family
To download a printable application, click here.
We request that this printable form is only used if you or a loved one do not have access to a computer to fill out the online form.

Printed forms should be returned to:
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
Attention: Yona Consulting Services
P. O. Box 1589
Marksville, LA 71351
YonaConsultingServices@tunica.org

For more information on the Tribe’s COVID-19 response, click here.

Tunica-Biloxi Education Program Hosts Two Upcoming Events


Dancing with the Ava-Tars

About: Dr. George Williams will conduct a series of STE(A)M sessions to familiarize participants with the technology and skills necessary for motion and movement in Deep HoriXon (Virtual 3D environment). Explore various career opportunities in the field of Information Technology and Computer Science. Discover the basics of programming and apply these concepts to creating an algorithm for a dance performance. Learn how to use mathematical x, y, z coordinates to build a trophy for the dance performance in the virtual 3D world. Participate as a team to plan and present a dance performance.

Session dates:

Thursday,  November 5th  6:00pm – Orientation
Saturday, November 7th  10:00am – Deep HoriXon
Thursday, December 10th 6:00pm –  Project Trouble Shooting
Saturday, November 14th 10:00am – Deep HoriXon
Saturday, December 7th 10:00am – Deep HoriXon
Saturday, December 12th 10:00am – Deep HoriXon (Dance Off Competition and Trophy)

Sign up today here.


Painting on the Geaux

A series of virtual painting sessions to promote project-based learning and family-building opportunities in which students gain an introduction to the fine arts pathway.  Art supplies will be provided.  Join in for this fun and creative activity…

Session dates:

Saturday, November 21, 2020  10:00am – 11:00am
Saturday, December 19, 2020 10:00am – 11:00am
Saturday, January 9, 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

Sign up today here.

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Receives $979,000 Grant from U.S. Department of Justice to Enhance Tribal Police Department

Funds will expand Tribe’s police station and court to enhance operations

For a high-resolution photo of the Tribe’s Police Department, click here.

Marksville, LA – (Oct. 27, 2020) – The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Police Department has been selected to receive the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) Grant from the United States Department of Justice. The grant is valued at $979,000 and will be used to renovate and expand the Tribe’s police station by approximately 4,100 square feet as well as expand the court which includes the addition of a law library and conference room, and a larger file room with public access. Both the Police Station and Tribal Court are located on the Tribal reservation in Marksville, Louisiana.

“We are honored to be recognized by the United States Department of Justice and to receive this generous grant to renovate our Tribe’s police station and court,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “Our Tribal Police Department is a vital part of our community, as they help ensure a safe environment for our citizens. This expansion of their facilities will help the department to improve operations.”

The project will begin in the first quarter of 2021 and is expected to last ten months.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Police Department will be able to protect our community better than ever before through the support of this grant,” said Tunica-Biloxi Police Chief Harold Pierite. “The renovation of our police department and court will be transformational for our Tribal Police and will vastly improve our day-to-day operations. We are thrilled to be able to enhance the quality of safety in our community and to better protect our beloved citizens.”

The mission of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Police Department is to enhance the quality of life on the reservation by providing professional police services to the public, maintain order, protect life and property, prevent crime, apprehend criminals, reduce fear and manage a safe environment by enforcing the laws of the United States Constitution, the state of Louisiana, the Parish of Avoyelles and The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana.

The primary function of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Court is to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana by applying the Code of Civil Procedure. The Tribal Court provides services to all tribal citizens living on and off the reservation as well as Paragon’s employees and guests.

To learn more about the United States Department of Justice’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) Grant, click here.

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About the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana:
The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near Marksville, where they were skilled traders and entrepreneurs. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,200 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois.

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 for its reservation within the boundaries of Louisiana. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, the largest employer in Central Louisiana. Through its compact, negotiated by the late Tribal Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr. and the State of Louisiana, the Tribe has assisted local governments in the area with its quarterly distribution of funds, totaling more than $40 million over two decades. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunica.org and “like” us on Facebook