Lucia Redhorse

Assistant General Manager

Lucia Redhorse, born Lucia Lee Chee, learned her father’s family’s original last name was Redhorse, or Bi lii’li ch’ii in Navajo.

“Through the years the name was broken up and some family members were able to keep Redhorse and others were changed to LeeChee or Lee Chee or just Chee,” Redhorse said. “My father always told us our last name was Redhorse and said his dad did have red horses. I decided to take the name back after a divorce.”

Born and raised in Ganado Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. Her maternal clan is Tse nijikini, her paternal clan is Tachii’nii, her grandfathers are Tabaahi and her Nali’s are To tsohnii.

She said there were always new non-Navajo teachers who came to her small town to teach while she was growing up. During the summers, those teachers went home to visit their families. At age 12 Redhorse began taking care of those teachers’ lawns while they were away.

“My dad and bother would help me haul a lawn mower or weed eater to different lawns throughout the school campus,” she said.

Redhorse said during high school she went through the motions and when graduation came, she had no idea what she wanted to do.

“My family always pushed for education, and I knew higher education would always be a goal for me,” she said. “However, I didn’t want to go to college right away. I took a few classes with Dine College and soon after enlisted in the Air Force.”

During her time in the Air Force, she had three beautiful girls and learned very valuable skills in Information Technology.

“I enjoyed being in the Air Force, however, after being deployed during 9/11 and leaving a 2-month-old and a 2-year-old, I got out to be stable for my girls,” Redhorse said. “I moved home in 2004 and worked in Gallup, New Mexico. I did contract jobs from upgrading networks at UPS and Blockbuster to running cable for new printers and computers. While in Gallup in 2008, I heard Fire Rock was hiring. I applied at the NNGE office on Coal Street and was hired as the IT supervisor.”

During her time as the IT supervisor, she was able to put other leadership skills she had learned from the Air Force to use and create a training program. Leadership at Fire Rock and NNGE made it known other properties would be built.

“I quickly realized growth within the enterprise would be an opportunity I needed to take advantage of,” Redhorse said. “On the casino floor, I began asking questions about gaming from those who had gaming experience.”

From 2008 to 2013 she assisted in opening each new property.

“I’ve learned so much from so many people over the years, Redhorse said. “I believe there is something to learn from people you meet throughout life. Diane Jones, Michele Thomas, Bryce Warren, Mary West, and Matthew Shunkamolah have been those people for me. They have been great mentors, friends, and awesome sources of knowledge.”

She said her biggest challenge while working with NNGE was being a single mother.

“When I started at Fire Rock, it was our first casino and I was there to assist and observe infrastructure but, we did not have a lot of staff either,” Redhorse said. “While trying to get Fire Rock up and running, it was hard to see my girls. My parents would bring them to the parking lot at Fire Rock where I could visit with them for a bit. They were all very young, but I knew this was a sacrifice that would have a positive impact on all of our lives.”

Her intuition wasn’t wrong. Fifteen years later, she owns her own home and is the assistant general manager at Twin Arrows.

“Those are two of my biggest accomplishments so far and I’m not done,” she said.
In the 15 years with NNGE, she spent eight of those years working nights at Twin Arrows and Fire Rock as a Casino Shift Manager. During that time, she saw a clear path of where her career with NNGE would take her.

“I wanted to go back to school and get my degree in business to one day become an assistant general manager and maybe general manager,” Redhorse said. “In September I will be receiving my bachelor’s. NNGE believed in me all these years and has invested time and money in me, and I intend to do the same.”

She said the advice she would have for other team members is to always make goals, don’t get comfortable, and keep learning.

“I want to thank my parents, Julius and Mary Ann Chee,” Redhorse said. “We lost my dad two years ago to cancer. My parents have always been a tremendous support and I could not have reached my goals without their guidance and help.

“Also, I thank my three girls, Kelly, Maria, and Mya, the driving forces in my life and the reasons I want to succeed. This accomplishment is as much theirs as it is mine. I couldn’t have done it without them.”