The Mohegan Tribal Council
The Tribal Council, elected for four-year staggered terms, has all executive and legislative responsibilities of the Tribe not granted to the Council of Elders pursuant to the Tribe's Constitution. The Chair serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribe. The Tribal Council enacts Tribal laws. Each member of the Tribal Council also serves as a member of the Management Board of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.
James Gessner Jr., Interim Chairman
James Gessner Jr., Interim Chairman. As interim Chairman, James Gessner Jr. is responsible for maintaining the sovereignty that the Mohegan Tribe fought hundreds of years for, overseeing its numerous business entities and ensuring the well-being of its more than 2,200 Tribal citizens. As interim Chairman, Gessner also serves as Chairman of the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) Management Board which oversees gaming entities across the country, as well as two professional sports teams. Gessner is in his fourth term on the Tribal Council and served as Corresponding Secretary prior to becoming Vice Chairman. Gessner is a member of the Audit Committee for MGE, as well as serving on the American Red Cross board. He is a member of the management boards for Tunica Biloxi Gaming Authority, KOTA and Mohegan Holding Company’s Jersey Mike franchise. Gessner holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and prior to his terms on the Council he held executive positions at Mohegan Sun in the Marketing and Player Development divisions. He resides in Waterford, Connecticut with his wife Carol and daughter Nola. He also has an adult son, Nicholas.
Cheryl A. Todd, Recording Secretary
Cheryl A. Todd was elected to the Tribal Council in 2007, after spending several years as Executive Assistant to the Tribal Chairman. Her experience in that position gained her a wide working knowledge of the Tribal government and Mohegan Sun. Outside the Reservation, she was in touch with government officials at the federal, state, and local levels, and throughout the sovereign nations of Indian Country. Todd currently serves on the Connecticut Sun Foundation board and has also served on the Mohegan Strategic Planning Committee and the Mohegan Election Committee. Prior to her employment with the Tribe, Todd held multiple positions at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut.
Kathy Regan-Pyne, Corresponding Secretary
Kathy Regan-Pyne brings a wide-ranging professional background to her position, with experience in human resources management, budgeting and financial management, and marketing. She worked for several years in the insurance industry, holding management positions at both Lincoln Financial Group and CIGNA Property & Casualty. She has also worked as the Career Development Manager for the Mohegan Tribe. Regan-Pyne is a member of the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Audit Committee, and is also currently on the board of the Connecticut Sun Foundation and Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. An avid sports fan and former professional basketball player, Regan-Pyne is a member of the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the New Britain Athletic Hall of Fame and is a charter member of the Eastern Connecticut State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Regan-Pyne lives in Marlborough, Connecticut with her husband Roy.
Thayne D. Hutchins Jr., Treasurer
Thayne D. Hutchins, Jr. has served on the Tribal Council since 2007. He is well prepared for his position as Treasurer, having worked for six years in the finance department of the Mohegan Tribe. As a staff accountant, Hutchins’ business skills were employed in a variety of responsibilities, including the analysis and monitoring of the Tribe’s many financial concerns. Hutchins graduated Magna Cum Laude from Eastern Connecticut State University, holding a B.A. in Economics with a concentration in accounting. He is a board member of SECTER (Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region) and also serves on the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Audit Committee. Hutchins resides in Hampton, Connecticut with his wife Angela and children Madeleine and Thayne.
Mark F. Brown, Ambassador
Elected to the first Tribal Council following the Mohegan Tribe’s federal recognition, Brown has served continuously since 1995. A direct descendant of the renowned Mohegan Chief Matahga and the son of the late Tribal Nonner Pauline Brown, he was actively involved in the Mohegan Tribe’s efforts to achieve federal recognition, leaving a career in law enforcement to devote himself full-time to the Mohegan people. Brown was Chairman of the Tribal Council from 2000-2005 at a time which saw the completion of the one billion dollar Project Sunburst expansion that made Mohegan Sun one of the world’s top destination resorts. He currently serves on numerous boards both nationally and also in the local area, and serves as the Chairman of the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Audit Committee. Brown is the proud father of three sons, and resides in Lisbon, CT with his wife Mary.
William Quidgeon Jr., Councilor
William Quidgeon, Jr. was first elected to the Tribal Council in 2005, and served as the Council’s treasurer from 2005 to 2009. After relocating to Uncasville from New York State where he worked as a technician for Amtrak, Quidgeon initially held a management position for the Engineering Department of Mohegan Sun. He later became a Senior Project Manager for the Mohegan Tribal Development Department, where he was responsible for renovations and construction within the casino and for the Tribal government. He also served as the Board Chairman of Mohegan Information Technology Group, a limited liability company. Quidgeon is currently a member of the Audit Committee for Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), and also of the Board of Directors for Northeast Wood Products, a venture of Mohegan Holding Company, LLC. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Sachem Fund for economic development in the Tribe's neighboring town of Norwich, CT.
Joseph William Smith, Councilor
Joseph William Smith began his first term on the Tribal Council in October of 2015, following a decade of experience working for the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun. At Mohegan Sun, he worked in communications and publications, and later moved to a position as a publicist for the Sports and Entertainment department. For the Mohegan Tribe, Smith worked as a manager of communications and public affairs for eight years, responsible for internal and external outreach for the Tribe. Smith grew up in Uncasville, and later moved to both New York City and Los Angeles. Over a twenty-year career as a story editor and story analyst, Smith held positions at ABC, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century-Fox. He holds both Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Columbia University, and lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Sarah E. Harris, Councilor
Sarah Harris is currently serving her first term in the Tribal Council. Harris earned her Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law, in 2005 and her Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College in 2000. Previously, she was an attorney at various law firms in the Washington DC area, representing Native American tribes, tribal entities and tribal organizations. She received a presidential appointment to serve as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs and, prior to that, served as Special Assistant to the Solicitor in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior. In 2016, Harris was selected by the National Center for American Enterprise Development (NCAIED) as a “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipient for her contributions in business and her community. Harris resides in Griswold, Connecticut and is the proud mother of twins.