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Latino Technology Awards Gala Tonight in NYC



New York, NY – Dr. Michael J. Thomas , Former Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, will receive the “2009 Corporate Visionary Award” from the Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) at its National Technology Achievers Awards Gala in New York on December 8, 2009.

LISTA’s “Corporate Visionary Award” recognizes accomplished individuals who leverage their positions, identify trends and implement new and innovative initiatives designed to advance members of the community. Dr. Thomas’ approach to inclusion and diversity of all native people whether Caribbean or American is visionary.

Thomas, a third-generation Mashantucket Indian Pequot Tribal Leader, was re-elected Chairman by Tribal Nation citizens in November 2006 to a sixth Tribal Council term of elected Tribal Council office.  He became the youngest person ever elected to hold a MPTN Tribal Council office upon his election in November 1993, and began his leadership service in January 1994 during the incredible twenty-three year MPTN Chairmanship of Richard "Skip" Hayward.  As he transitions to his next role as President of The Rock Group, Thomas is training other members of tribal nations on implementing successful gaming ventures in their region.

“I am thankful to LISTA for awarding me with the ‘Corporate Visionary Award,“ said Thomas. “LISTA has a strong reputation in the tribal community for its commitment to partnering with us and, together, seeking out opportunities in science and technology for our respective community.“

Michael Thomas‘ partnership with LISTA began three years ago when he first heard of LISTA‘s humanitarian mission to Dominican Republic, “The Dream Project.“  It was because of Thomas‘ and Foxwoods generous donations, that LISTA was able to develop  two technology centers,  succesfully equipping more than 300 children to use computers for the first time.

“LISTA is honored to celebrate Dr. Michael Thomas‘ achievements in elevating the profile of the global gaming business,“ said Jose Marquez, President and CEO of LISTA. “Most importantly, we are awarding Michael with the ‘Corporate Visionary Award‘ for his commitment to training other tribal nations on best practices for success in respects to their own gaming industry and making sure our community continues to develop its indigenous people in the carribean.“

Ruth Thomas, Michael’s mother served as the Secretary/Treasurer on the MPTN Tribal Council that created the world's most successful bingo hall, Mashantucket Pequot High Stakes Bingo,  and laid the foundation for the famed gaming destination – Foxwoods Resort Casino. After adopting his mother’s efforts, Thmoas was named one of the Top 25 Gaming Industry People to Watch by Global Gaming Business Magazine in 2004.  In 2005 and 2006, Chairman Thomas lead the first ever Mashantucket Pequot business embrace of strategic brand partnering that resulted in current MPTN business alliances with Hard Rock Cafe, Great Wolf Lodge water parks, Apple, Tom Collichio, and David Burke among others.

About Latino in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA)

LISTA ( promotes the utilization of the technology sectors for the empowerment of the Latino community. We are an organization that is committed to bringing various elements of Technology under one central hub to facilitate our partners, members and the community with the leverage and education they need to succeed in a highly advanced technologically driven society.  For more information LISTA please visit and follow daily developments on Twitter @Lista1.

About The Rock Group 

The Rock Group is the parent company of a family of independent subsidiaries organized into three divisions - Gaming & Hospitality, Media & Entertainment and Integration Enterprises. These divisions are intended to bridge the gap between the broader gaming and hospitality industries and their invaluable supplier network.  By leveraging leadership’s extensive cultural, community, government and business network, Rock Group provide its subsidiaries with the infrastructure and network required for long-term growth. Every current and future Rock Group partner and/or client will be invited to become a part of a growing single relationship network available for future mutual business support. This will result in the evolution of a Tribe of companies that are developed with time- tested tribal and business philosophies and principles.


Latinos in Information Sciences & Technology Association 
Jose Marquez: 404.775.1408

The Sánchez Ricardo Agency
Midy Aponte: 202.244.4415 

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