Meet Our Commissioners


Our Commissioners are highly successful individuals ranging in varied experience. They are appointed for staggered 5 year terms by the Principal Chief and confirmed for appointment by the Tribal Council. The Commission is a seperate and independent body from the Tribal political structure and maintains this independence by operating under a seperate fully funded budget and ordinaces from the Tribe.


Click on the photo for Biography 

Bentley Tahquette
Bently Tahquette was appointed to the Commission in October 2015. He was elected in 1981 to serve as the tribal council representative from the Painttown Community and served in this capacity until 1984. He has also been employed with the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service from 1976 until he retired in 1997. He enjoys travel, going to the lake and spending time with his family.
Robert Saunooke
Robert was appointed in 1993 and served as vice-chairman until 2011, and then chairman until 2012. He was reappointed in 2015 as chairman. He is a local businessman, having owned and operated Great Smokies Gifts since 1987. Robert is also president of Teepee Properties Inc., a real estate holding company which owns and manages retail businesses in Cherokee. He is an avid golfer and a current board member of Sequoyah National golf board, which he chaired from inception in 2009 until 2015.
Larry Blythe
Mr. Blythe was appointed to the Commission in Aug 2019. He served on the Tribal Council from 1987-2003, representing both the Painttown and Wolftown communities. He served as Vice Chief of the Tribe from 03-15. He has also been employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U S Forest Service. Mr. Blythe serves on numerous Boards of Directors, both locally and regionally. He enjoys hiking, fly fishing, golf, playing guitar and singing, traveling with his wife Wanda and raising grandchildren.
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Bentley Tahquette
Vice Chairman
Robert Saunooke
Larry Blythe

Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission


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PO Box 2189

Cherokee, NC 28719


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Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission