Tribal Council Members

Rodney Butler

Rodney A. Butler is the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, having served in this role since January, 2010. Mr. Butler’s service on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council began in 2004, and one year later, he was appointed to the position of Tribal Council Treasurer (2005-2009), at which time he chaired the Tribe’s Finance Committee. During his tenure on Tribal Council, he also chaired the Tribe’s Housing and Judicial Committees.

A local Montville High School alumnus, Chairman Butler is a graduate of Montville High School, and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Connecticut, where he played Defensive Back for the UCONN Huskies' football team. Prior to service on Tribal Council, Mr. Butler worked as a financial analyst at Foxwoods Resort Casino. He later became Chairman of the Tribal Business Advisory Board; an executive body responsible for overseeing the Tribe’s non-gaming businesses and commercial properties. Mr. Butler was actively involved in resort expansions at Foxwoods, as well as the Phase VII housing development on the Reservation. As Tribal Council Chairman, his focus is to ensure long-term stability for the tribal government and its business enterprises.

Chairman Butler is the founding Trustee of the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribe Endowment Trust. He is currently co-chair for the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, serves on the Board of Trustees for Roger Williams University, is a director on the Board of the Mystic Aquarium, and a board member for the Southeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

Richard E Sebastian

Richard E Sebastian is the Vice Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, and is serving his fifth non-consecutive term of office; having previously served as a Tribal Councilor (1989-1992, 2003-2008), and as Vice Chairman (2009-2011). Vice Chairman Sebastian chairs the Tribe’s Economic Development and Health and Human Services (HHS) Standing Committees, and had previously chaired the Tribe’s Public Safety, Parks and Recreation, Community Planning, Economic Development and Administrative Support Committees.

Vice Chairman Sebastian holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and associate’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Tribal Government from the University of New Haven. As Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, Mr. Sebastian was instrumental in the Pequot Outpost Energy Center development, as well as the Dunkin Donuts franchise at Foxwoods; owned by Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Members. He also spearheaded a home ownership program for the Tribe’s Phase VII housing development on the reservation in connection with Fannie Mae Corporation, and co-founded the Tribe’s annual Drive for Diabetes Charity Golf Tournament (currently in its 12th year), serving as the tournament co-chairman.

Prior to Tribal Council, Mr. Sebastian’s community contributions and employment included the positions of Gaming Inspector, Security Director, and Tribal Police Officer, along with Vice Chairman of the Athletic Commission. He also served as Executive staff to a former Tribal Councilor and former Tribal Council Chairman.

Vice Chairman Sebastian remains committed to developing Tribal Members for leadership positions within the Tribe’s enterprises, and equipping them with self-sufficiency and wealth management tools through apprenticeships and programs designed to enhance investment, professional, technical trade and entrepreneurial skills. Likewise, Vice Chairman Sebastian continues to find new and energizing programs to engage his community. Through Drive for Diabetes, he supports the “New U” Challenge program through HHS and Tribal Health Services to promote healthy lifestyles, as well as the Hot, Healthy Meals initiative twice a month. Vice Chairman Sebastian is also a sponsor of the MPTN Youth Talent Show, which will be returning this summer. Previously, he organized the Youth Summer Reading Program with the Education Department, and sponsored Elders’ luncheons.

 Crystal M. Whipple

Crystal M. Whipple is the Secretary of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, and began her third term of office in 2017. Ms. Whipple Chairs the Tribe’s Education and Administrative Support Committees. Ms. Whipple previously served on the Tribal Council for two consecutive three-year terms (2010 - 2015), which included two years as Vice-Chairwoman, serving on the Board of Directors for United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), and chairing the Tribe’s Administrative Support and Historical & Cultural Preservation Committees.

Over twenty-five years working in Tribal Government, Ms. Whipple has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Tribe’s Business Advisory Board—an executive body that oversaw the Tribe’s non-gaming enterprises and commercial properties. Her volunteer work included service on the Tribe’s Parent Advisory Board, Education Committee and Tribal Housing Authority, as well as serving on the Board of Managers for Foxwoods Massachusetts, LLC. Ms. Whipple previously held positions at Pequot Pharmaceutical Network, and has served as executive staff to the Tribal Manager, Chief of Staff, and Tribal Council. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from University of New Haven, and is a graduate of Ledyard High School.

Ms. Whipple completed a Co-Active Life Coaching course through CTI International, and presently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Community Speaks Out; a southeastern Connecticut-based agency that advocates for education and assistance in combatting opioid addiction. Ms. Whipple enjoys spending time with her family, attending powwows, and working with Tribal Youth.

 Jean M. Swift

Jean M. Swift is the Treasurer of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, and has served on Tribal Council since October 24, 2013. Treasurer Swift chairs the Tribe’s Finance and Housing Committees, and serves as Vice Chair for the Tribe’s Endowment Board of Directors. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Connecticut, a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Community Credit Union as its Supervisory Committee Chair.

Treasurer Swift is a member of business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma through the University of Connecticut, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—graduating Magna Cum Laude—and earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Illinois, graduating with Honors.

Ms. Swift began her career as an auditor for Coopers and Lybrand in Hartford, Connecticut. After earning her C.P.A., she entered the Management Development Program with the Dexter Corporation in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Jean served as a Financial Advisor to Tribal Council, where she led a team of managers and consultants to bring credit union services to employees of the Tribal government and Foxwoods Resort Casino®. After moving to Chicago, Jean worked as the Assistant Controller for the Moody Bible Institute. She later became a liaison to the Native American Bank on behalf of former Chairman Kenneth Reels.

Prior to Tribal Council, Ms. Swift served as Executive Assistant to Chairman Butler and led a Wellness Initiative to assist the community through financial counseling. Currently, Treasurer Swift hosts quarterly Financial Wellness meetings with the Elders Council, covering such topics as Social Security, Estate Planning, Personal Budgeting and Insurance.

Jean and her husband Wade resides in Preston, Connecticut, and are co-owners of Swift Innovations, LLC of Mystic, CT; a custom metal fabrication business.

 Roy Colebut-Ingram

Roy Colebut-Ingram is a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council as of 2012, and is currently serving his second term of office. Councilor Colebut-Ingram chairs the Tribe’s Community Planning and Parks & Recreation Standing Committees, and previously chaired the Public Safety Committee.

Councilor Colebut-Ingram holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mitchell College, with concentrations in Professional Studies and Marketing. Prior to Tribal Council, he was employed at Foxwoods Resort Casino®, having worked his way up from Disc Jockey for the BB King Nite & Dance Clubs to Executive Director of Advertising for Foxwoods.

During his tenure on Tribal Council, Councilor Colebut-Ingram has led his committees to ensure the overall effectiveness of various policies, procedures and programs, and to maximize best uses of recreational facilities and programs, while ensuring fiscal responsibility. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, he was instrumental in spearheading several initiatives, including the transition for Tribal Law Enforcement to exercise primary jurisdiction at Foxwoods Resort Casino®.

 Daniel Menihan, Jr.

Daniel Menihan, Jr. is a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council as of 2016, and chairs the Tribe’s Natural Resources Protection and Historical and Cultural Preservation Committees. The first of his generation to serve on Tribal Council, Councilor Menihan brings nearly a decade of experience to the Council through higher education and career work in the areas of business management and tribal government.

Prior to Tribal Council, Mr. Menihan held the position of Assistant Director of Bus Marketing at Foxwoods® Resort Casino, having begun as a Bus Marketing Associate and then quickly ascending through various management positions over a five-year period. A 2015 Foxwoods’ Spirit Award winner, Menihan played a key role in facilitating a number of cost-saving initiatives, as well as staff training, incentives and other morale boosting enhancements, all of which enhanced the department’s stellar reputation. Prior to employment with Foxwoods, Menihan studied Business Management at Mitchell College and DeVry University, and interned in Las Vegas with Friedmutter Group to expand his experience in gaming resort management and operations.

Councilor Menihan demonstrates a lifelong track record of commitment to serving his community. Councilor Menihan began working for the Tribal Council during a summer youth employment program, and was quickly hired full time as staff to various Tribal Council offices at age 17--a career he held for nine consecutive years. Menihan also served as a co-spokesperson on behalf of the Tribe’s Teen/Youth Council, and was a co-founder and spokesperson for The Rising Spirits; a youth-based, community action group that advocated for community and government needs while strengthening relationships between Youth and the Tribal Council.

In his spare time, Menihan enjoys native arts and regalia crafts, drumming, and participating in cultural education activities. His artistic renderings include model replicas of Pequot Villages and historical scenes, which have publicly displayed at Foxwoods® Resort Casino and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center.

 Merrill Marvin Reels

Merrill “Marvin” Reels is a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council as of 2017. Councilor Reels serves as chairman of the Tribe’s Judicial and Public Safety committees.

Councilor Reels holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a graduate of the Leadership Education Advancement Program (LEAP) at Foxwoods Resort Casino®. Prior to his election to Tribal Council, Mr. Reels was employed as a table games dealer at Foxwoods, where he achieved multiple dealer certifications in various games, including Blackjack, Craps, Pai Gow Tiles, and Pai Gow Poker.

In his pastime, Councilor Reels is an accomplished athlete and excels in basketball, which he continues to play on a weekly basis. He is committed to self-improvement and education through researching law, health and fitness, civics and biblical studies. He also volunteers as a mentor through the Mashantucket Pequot Mentoring Program, geared toward helping, motivating and encouraging tribal youth. He has resided at Mashantucket since 1985, and as a man of faith and an advocate for justice, is humbled to have the honor of serving and leading the Mashantucket Pequot people.