Tribal Council

Tribal Council Members

As a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi is a sovereign nation with powers of self-government. The Gun Lake Tribal Council is the elected governing body that is comprised of seven Gun Lake Tribal Members. Each Tribal Council Member is elected by voting Membership to serve a four-year term. These terms are staggered based on the voting district represented. After which, they must run for and gain re-election to remain a member of the Tribal Council. The next Tribal Council General Election will take place in 2022. 

Bob Peters, Tribal Chairman

Bradley District

Elected to Tribal Council, in September of 2014, Bob Peters has been very involved in the rapid growth and success of the Gun Lake Tribe. Bob held the position of Tribal Council Treasurer from 2016-2018, when he was selected as the Tribe's Chairman. Bob began his journey with the Tribe when he was employed with the Gaming Commission in December of 2010 where he held several different positions, supporting the opening and operation of the Gun Lake Casino. Bob was recently selected as one of the GRBJ's 40 Under 40 Business Leaders, sits on the Gun Lake Investments Board as well as the Gaming Authority Board and took part in the Harvard Executive Training Program. 

Chairman Peters values family above all else and is very close with his mother, two sisters and his nieces and nephews. Raised by a single Mother, he has been the 'man of the family' from a very young age. He also loves every opportunity he's given to immerse himself in teachings, traditions and cultural endeavors of the Tribe. With a passion for education, Bob loves opportunities to offer his experiences and knowledge to the younger generations of the Tribe and the Community. 

Jodie Palmer, Vice Chair

At-Large District

Jodie Palmer was elected to serve on Tribal Council, representing the At-Large District, in 2016 and started serving full time in May of 2017. Growing up locally, in Allegan, Jodie is the daughter of Noel Webb and grandaughter of Stephen Marks. Jodie has been married over 45 years to her husband, Rick. Each of Jodie's three children work for the Gun Lake Tribe and she has seven beautiful grandchildren that live within five miles of her. She has made it her personal mission to live her life following the Seven Grandfather Teachings and she has begun her journey to officially join the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge. 

Jodie is very proud of the Gun Lake Tribe and the great services that are offered to take care of its Citizens and their families. She is extremely involved in several areas of the Tribe serving on the Education's Kinomage Committee, the Housing Committee, Elders Committee, the Tribal Gaming Authority, the Design Review Committee and previously on the Language Advisory Committee. Jodie also works hard outside of the Tribal Government and serves as the Secretary on the Catching the Dream Board and the Michigan Indian Elders Association Executive Board. She's also a member of the Kalamazoo Art League Board, Title IV Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee, YWCA One World Committee and the ERAC/E Committee.

Jeff Martin, Secretary

Salem District 

Elected to the Gun Lake Tribal Council in August of 2016, Jeff Martin serves as Tribal Council Secretary and represents the Salem Voting District. A Tribal Elder, Ogitchedaa and family man, Jeff has been happily married for over 20 years with five children and two grandchildren. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces, United States Army, from 1982 until 2003, when he retired in December of that year. Jeff Martin is also Midewiwin in the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge.

Jeff’s first employment with the Gun Lake Tribe started as a Surveillance Operator with the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission from June of 2012 up until November of 2016. He is very involved in many aspects of the Tribal Government Operations. Jeff currently serves on the Powwow Planning Committee. He is also a member of the Gun Lake Tribal Ogitchedaa Society.


Nicole Overbeck, Treasurer

Bradley District

Elected to Tribal Council in 2018 representing the Bradley District, Nicole Overbeck has over 17 years of experience working for the Gun Lake Tribal Government. From an Administrative role to Finance to the Revenue Allocation Plan Administrator, Nicole has continuously been involved in positions that allow her to gain knowledge and experience of the inner workings of the Tribal Government. This knowledge has also lent itself to her passion for supporting and making a positive impact on the lives of Citizens in the Tribal Community. 

Nicole proudly raises her yound daughter and two grown daughters with her husband, Jeremy. As a busy mother, she's also found the time to serve on several Tribal Committees and as a Tribal Gaming Commission Liaison throughout the years. These include a previous stint on the HHS Committee, which she was recently reappointed to; the Justice Committee; the Election Committee; and the RAP/GWE Committee, which she is currently involved in but not as a voting member. Nicole also recently completed a term as a Gaming Commissioner where she was exposed to another facet of Tribal business. With all of her experience in various parts of the Tribal Government, Nicole is excited to work as a part of Tribal Council to make a difference for Gun Lake Tribe's Citizens. 


Phyllis Davis, Council Member

At-Large District

Tribal Councilwoman, Phyllis Davis, currently resides in the Grand Valley region west of Standale Michigan. She was elected to Tribal Council August 2008 to represent the At-Large District for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan. Phyllis is married to Monte Davis Sr. and has two sons - Jeffery and Monte Jr. Phyllis is a very proud and grateful grandmother of three, Tristell, Blade and Gracie and finds the greatest joy in life are in spending time with her grandkids and family

Phyllis has worked for the Tribe since May of 1998 and was instrumental in the program development of the Tribal Health and Human Services Department. Phyllis has a true desire to see improvements in access to health care, to elevate the health status of American Indians and reduce the disparities that American Indians are challenged with daily. As an advocate for healthcare Phyllis has taken a proactive approach to addressing these needs, by promoting collaborations with tribal nations, local, regional and federal agencies to promote and educate our partners on issues related to American Indian health and human service gaps and to find solutions that will have the best outcome for our Tribal nation. Phyllis currently serves on the National Tribal Budget Formulation workgroup for IHS, Tribal Leaders Diabetes Workgroup, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services of America, as an Alternate for the National Indian Health Board, representing 34 Federally Recognized Tribes and five Urban Centers in the Bemidji Area. Additionally, she serves as Chairperson for the Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board. 

Ben Brenner, Council Member

Salem District

Ben Brenner was elected to serve on Tribal Council representing the Salem District in August 2020. Grandson of Rev. Lewis White Eagle Church and Gladys church and the son of Frances Church-Pratt, Councilor Brenner has deep roots with Gun Lake Tribe. Ben grew up in the Hopkins area where he still resides today with his wife Stacy and their three wonderful daughters – Grace, Olivia and Claire. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking and camping; but even more than that, he takes pride in serving his family and community.

With a passion for serving the Tribal community, Ben is dedicated to protecting Gun Lake Tribe’s sovereignty by exercising treaty rights and honoring the vision of our Elders. He worked as a Tribal Administrator for two years and a Senior Director of Operations following that until his election to Tribal Council. Ben also previously served as a Gaming Commissioner for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission, Health & Human Services Committee member, and Finance and Audit Committee member. Lastly, Ben also serves on the Hopkins Board of Education. Ben was a graduate of Hopkins High School, graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor of Science and currently attends Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in addition to his responsibilities on Tribal Council


Virginia Sprague-Vanderband

Bradley District

Virginia Sprague-Vanderband was elected to Tribal Council in 2022, transitioning her leadership skills from Gun Lake Casino over to Gun Lake Tribe. Virginia represents the Bradley District and is honored to share her passion for protecting her Tribe’s sovereignty, living purposefully and remaining grounded. “My proudest accomplishments are my children, Ciara, Reece and Grace Jacobs. They hold me accountable and are also my biggest supporters!”

Virginia began her career working for her Tribe in December 2010 as Gun Lake Casino’s Training Manager. She was essential with developing programs for onboarding, leadership development and Tribal development for our Team Members for the past twelve years. Virginia’s last position with the casino was Executive Director of Organizational Development and Training and many people referred to her as the Gun Lake Casino Cheerleader.

Virginia is following in the footsteps of her father D.K. Sprague and sister Leah Fodor who both served on Gun Lake’s Tribal Council. She sits on the Language and Culture Advisory Board and the Tribal Development Committee. She is dedicated to the support of the Tribe’s culture and traditions for both today’s learning and seven generations to come. Virginia supports a Tribal community where we are able to help one another where we can and accept each other with what we know to be true.