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Tribal Career Development graduates recognized in ceremony

HOLLYWOOD — A program designed to educate and train Tribal members with the goal of placement in management and executive positions with Seminole Gaming recently honored its latest class of graduates.

Officials with Tribal Career Development (TCD) recognized three graduates this year with a Dec. 13 ceremony and holiday party at Hard Rock Hollywood.

The graduates are Jamie Walkingstick, JaMenia Thomas and Jo-Lin Osceola. Osceola had previously completed the TCD program, but had never gone through a graduation ceremony and holiday party.

The graduates brought their family and friends to the event and leaders and staff from Tribal Council, Seminole Gaming and the Tribe’s Gaming Commission were in the large ballroom to show their support.

JaMenia Thomas receives her TCD graduation certificate from Ervina Capricien on Dec. 12 at the Hard Rock Hollywood. (Photo Damon Scott)

Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola and Hollywood Board Representative Gordon Wareham both attended the event and spoke briefly to the graduates and those in attendance.

Before receiving their certificates and awards, Sally Tommie spoke in support of the program and of the graduate’s ongoing career journey. The ceremony was also personal for Tommie, as graduate JaMenia Thomas is her daughter.

Ervina Capricien, the director of TCD, organized the event and gave the graduates their awards and certificates. Capricien is a former TCD graduate who was head of human resources at the Seminole Classic Casino before transitioning back to lead TCD.

One of TCD’s first-ever graduates, Edward Aguilar, was at the event. He is now the general manager of the Seminole Classic Casino.

Aguilar was joined by former TCD graduate Jim Osceola, director of hospitality for the Seminole Gaming Administration; Karissa Tommie, assistant manager of finance at the Hard Rock Tampa; and Ashley Santiago, a pit manager at Hard Rock Tampa.

TCD graduate Jamie Walkingstick receives a certificate and plaque from Ervina Capricien. (Photo Damon Scott)

Evolving program

TCD began about 16 years ago and has had more than 100 Tribal members enroll in the program since its inception.

Program managers say TCD is evolving and they are consistently analyzing ways to make it more attractive and compelling to prospective Tribal members.

The program has five phases. The first phase, which takes about three years to complete, involves learning the various departments of casino and hotel operations.

For example, a participant might be a cashier for a week and then shadow supervisors, managers and directors another week.

Trainees learn from a blend of on-the-job-technical training, specialized classroom training, seminars and workshops, best practices, mentoring and work experience.

Phases two through five of the paid program may take a year or more to complete (per phase) depending on a trainee’s background, experience or how quickly they progress.

The TCD graduation ceremony marks completion of phase one.

For more

To be eligible for TCD, you must be at least 18 years old, an enrolled member of the Tribe and have a high school diploma or GED.

Trainees can be placed at any of the Tribe’s six Florida casino locations: Seminole Brighton Casino, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, Seminole Classic Casino, Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, Hard Rock Hollywood and Hard Rock Tampa.

For more information and to apply, contact Capricien at or 954 364-2076.

More information can also be found online at

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at