Gila River Hotels & Casinos CEO honored by Phoenix Business Journal

Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News


The Phoenix Business Journal made an annual announcement of influential figures from around the Valley. The Phoenix Business Journal hosted their annual Most Admired Leaders event during a virtual presentation on Dec. 1, which honored Kenneth Manuel Jr., CEO of Gila River Hotels & Casinos. 


According to Phoenix Business Journal, “The honorees are recognized for their integrity, values, vision and commitment to excellence.” One of the criteria for recognition is being a community and industry leader by acts of volunteerism through give-back programs and public service.  


A small virtual reception was held at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass with Manuel and his parents Esther and Kenneth Manuel Sr., along with Gila River Hotels & Casino team members. 


“It’s truly an honor to be selected by Phoenix Business Journal. I am very passionate about what I do and coming into work every day, I see it more than a job, much more than that,” said Manuel. 


“I am very fortunate to receive this award, but I take with great pride and I accept it on behalf of the Gila River Indian Community,” said Manuel. He said much of his success is owed to his parents and the values that have molded him into the person he is today. 


“[We] are just thrilled and proud to see how far he has come to see him grown-up and what he has been through,” said Esther who is very proud of her son’s hard work.


 “It’s been a pleasure working with you, to see how far you have come and where you are going to go, [we] are all proud of your accomplishments,” said Teaya Vicente, Gila River Hotels & Casinos Public Relations Manager.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team, I wouldn’t have done it without the team, who I also accept [this} award on behalf of,” said Manuel. 


He said being named one of the most admired leaders isn’t an award for him alone, but a having an excellent team and organization to make the success of Gila River Hotels & Casinos a reality.