Candice Samples loves raising her family in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, so it was exciting to find a good-paying job that offers both great benefits and potential for advancement in her small town.

More than a year ago, Samples joined the Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson team as a customer service representative on the gaming floor. She was highly experienced in guest service, having spent seven years as a server at a national restaurant chain in nearby Muskogee. Her hours were flexible, which accommodated her family’s needs, but the work had its drawbacks. The income wasn’t stable, and she felt stuck in a dead-end job.

Ready for change, Samples finally took her dad’s advice to give Cherokee Nation Entertainment a shot. She applied, was hired and soon understood why her dad, Brian Jackson, known by many as “The I Believe Guy,” encouraged her to try. A longtime Cherokee Nation employee and motivational speaker best known for his record-breaking lung power, Jackson for years told her that Cherokee Nation takes care of its employees.

Samples has already experienced that loyalty. Thanks to her hard work, leadership and eagerness to serve, she was recently promoted to cashiering supervisor.

“I’ve never worked anywhere like this before. My managers encourage me and give me chances to succeed,” Samples said. “They’ve always believed in me. That gives me confidence.” Like her dad, Samples is now a believer, too.

In 2017, CNE reinvested 65 percent of its gaming profits into business development and job creation for Cherokee Nation citizens. That investment totals $74.6 million.