As chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Jeff L. Grubbe is one of five council members who oversee all tribal business. The council also works to protect Tribal sovereignty and supervises committees and functions that directly benefit the 430 Tribal members.
“Our reservation spans across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and some parts of Thousand Palms,” Grubbe says. “We own and operate two casinos, a hotel, and two golf courses. As part of our economic development, we recently partnered with a local home builder on Tribal land and are building a couple of developments in Palm Springs. We’re also looking at ways to find future partners and to develop homes or businesses.”
Grubbe says these initiatives have had a profound impact on the Tribe. “It wasn’t so long ago that a majority of our members were living at or below the poverty level,” he says. “As gaming opened up, we were able to become stronger fiscally; we were able to provide our members with better opportunities — jobs, scholarships, childcare, housing, and more.”
The Tribal Council is committed to community outreach. “We’ve never forgotten how much we struggled before gaming,” he says. “We’re always looking at ways to help improve the quality of life for people within this valley. We’re all connected. We’re very honored to be in the position to be able to help. For five years now, we’ve had a golf charity tournament. Last year, we were able to give $175,000 to five charities.”
Some of the local nonprofits that benefit from the Tribe’s philanthropy include FIND Food Bank, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, the Boys & Girls Clubs in Palm Springs and Cathedral City, and the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.
“The Tribe is always at looking at ways to improve the Coachella Valley,” Grubbe says, “whether it’s through our businesses, helping charities, or helping to improve roads, infrastructure, public safety, and schools. We want this to be one of the best places to come visit — and to come live.”