Subject Matter Expert

Jim Gannarelli brings to Blue Stone Strategy Group 41 years of senior-level management and economic development experience in the hospitality industry and Native American enterprises.  Experienced in operations, senior accounting and finance, Tribal-State Compact negotiations, construction, new build financing and project management. Gannarelli specializes in Native American enterprises: casinos, hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, Tribal administration & economic development.

Prior to working with Blue Stone, Jim formed his own consulting company (Gaming Ventures, Inc.), specializing in Native American casino and hotel development. Since 1996, Jim has held positions of CEO, CFO, General Manager, Project Manager, and Tribal Board of Directors.

Jim got his start in Indian gaming in January 1986 with British American Bingo, Inc., as the Chief Financial Officer. Jim then transitioned to VP of Economic Development. He was integral to seven successful casino expansions and new builds, as well as the management of 10 tribal gaming operations ranging from bingo parlors to full casino/hotel operations.

Jim was instrumental in the development and start-up of new build casinos for the Bear River Band of Rohnerville, Yakama Nation of Washington, Muckleshoot Tribe of Washington, Umatilla Indian Reservation of Oregon, Cow Tribe of Oregon, Pueblo of Isleta, and the Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona.  Jim worked with Tribal Councils and Tribal Administration to manage:

  • Legal Relations: Negotiate Tribal-State compacts, city and state infrastructure and safety management, and regulatory licenses
  • Economic Development: Project management & prioritization, master planning, strategic planning, feasibility analysis & studies, SWOT analysis, and casino, hotel, and travel center project management
  • Workforce management: Inventory assessment, training & skills management, healthcare infrastructure, emergency management, and hazard mitigation planning
  • Finance & Accounting: Business interruption analysis, funding & capital analysis, loan negotiations, accounting manuals, internal control policies & procedures, internal audits, external audit management, and temporary accounting employment
  • Operations: Casinos, hotels, entertainment, and restaurant management
  • Community Outreach: Tribal & local government presentations & communications and charity work

Jim’s early career was with Del E. Webb Corporation, a major conglomerate in hotels, casinos, home developments and sports facilities where his responsibilities included auditing, managing the accounting department, and SEC and Board of Director reporting.

Jim holds an Accounting degree from Arizona State University and in 2019 received a Masters degree in Hospitality Administration with honors from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.