Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer
Citizen cites over 35 years in finance
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen George Taylor is still getting settled into his new job as Muscogee (Creek) Nation controller.
His office does not have much on the walls and there is still plenty of space on his shelves.
You will have to forgive him though for not decorating yet, he really hasn’t been in there much.
“One thing I wasn’t prepared for was all the traveling and the meetings,” Taylor chuckled as he recalled his first few weeks in the position. “My time has been consumed with meetings.”
The MCN National Council unanimously confirmed Taylor during the May 19 regular session.
It is a necessary consumption of time though, Taylor said, because he is a firm believer in interacting and becoming familiar with the different people and departments that he will be working with.
“I want to talk to everybody individually, see what they like and what they don’t like,” Taylor said. “Give those people the resources they need and give them the flexibility to actually do their jobs.”
Taylor, the son of a registered nurse and Muscogee (Creek) Methodist minister, said his parents did not make enough money to send him to college and that working and financing his own education taught him the importance of fiscal responsibility.
He began his career as a corporate financial reporter for Texaco before moving onto Mobil as an internal auditor. His next stop was a bit more infamous.
“I actually worked for Enron,” Taylor said. “Yes, that Enron in Houston.”
Taylor spent about 15 years in the oil and gas industry before serving 10 years as CFO with a private company in Atlanta. His father’s illness and eventual passing brought him back home to Oklahoma.
Being back in his home state and with MCN matched Taylor with an opportunity that he had longed for.
“I’ve always wanted to work for a tribe in a financial position and I thought with my experience, now over 35 years of professional experience at different levels; I thought my experience could really lend itself to the tribe and I could help Muscogee (Creek) Nation not just grow, but thrive,” Taylor said.
Taylor has noticed change at MCN upon returning. He commented on how the Complex has grown, as well as the tribe’s business interests outside of gaming.
He notes that it is important to keep options open to diverse funding sources when the tribe considers growth for projects, such as the recently addressed tribal master plan for main MCN facilities in Okmulgee.
“A lot of the times people look at basic financing like banks, but there is another financing instrument out there and it’s bond funding,” Taylor said. “We are looking at it, and over the term of the bond would save us $600,000-$700,000 in interest alone.”
Taylor has spent some of his career working with tribes from southwestern Oklahoma to Colorado. He also worked for Bacone College, and notes that not all of those stops included operations that were financially solvent.
He is excited to be at MCN and believes it be at a great time for the tribe.
“I’m just really glad to be here and see the tribe is doing well with their money,” Taylor said. “I’d like this to be my last professional position before I retire. I’m glad for MCN that it has the leadership in place that does have that financial acumen, and I think the citizens will benefit from that.”