Gun Lake Investments taps former deal partner to run operations

Jimmy TenBrink, COO of Gun Lake Investments.
Jimmy TenBrink, COO of Gun Lake Investments.

Jimmy TenBrink, COO of Gun Lake Investments. After a seven-year career in tribal economic development at Waséyabek Development Co. LLC for his tribe, Jimmy TenBrink now finds himself heading up operations for a familiar tribal partner.

This month, TenBrink, a member of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi , took a position as Chief Operating Officer at Grand Rapids-based Gun Lake Investments , the non-gaming economic development arm of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians .

It’s fitting that the last acquisition TenBrink led for Waséyabek was the $17.5 million deal in which the organization partnered with Gun Lake Investments to acquire McKay Tower in downtown Grand Rapids.

TenBrink recalls meeting with former Gun Lake Investments CEO Kurt Trevan and the two organizations’ respective legal teams to finalize the property deal.

“The attorneys were a little shocked because we sat on the same side of the table and we gave each other a hug,” TenBrink said. “That’s not how most of their negotiations work, but in Indian Country, it is. You hug your brothers. You are happy when they’re successful.”

TenBrink started as an early board member at Waséyabek before being selected by the organization to work on dealmaking, starting with real estate transactions and progressing to acquisitions of operating companies. He went on to serve as president of two of Waséyabek’s subsidiaries, Nunica-based Baker Engineering LLC and Muskegon-based RSI Manufacturing .

At Gun Lake Investments, TenBrink joins the executive team of an organization that’s about to undergo a set of strategic exercises with its […]

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