Chairman Robert Welch, Jr., is a member of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. Welch is descended from a long line of tribal leaders from Capitan Grande, Viejas’ ancestral home. Son of Robert and Daisy, a great leader and visionary who served as Chairwoman for the Viejas tribe, he is following in her footsteps and draws from her legacy. Welch was elected in 2015 as Chairman and is currently serving his fourth term in office.
As an experienced executive tribal leader, Welch understands the need to share the enormous responsibilities to govern the tribe. His approach is to build a solid foundation of leadership by combining the support of the tribal council with the support and understanding of the Viejas general membership. It is this shared responsibility to each other and to the collective future of the tribe that guides his decisions and actions.
His executive, management, and business experience spans nearly two decades of service. He is one of Viejas Casino’s original employees. He held various roles and responsibilities within the enterprise including Security Lieutenant, Manager of Off-Track Betting, and Vice President of Tribal Business Development. In addition to his business experience, his skill set shined while serving as a lobbyist for the Tribe, building relationships and gaining support with state and federal elected officials during the campaign for Propositions 5 and 1A in 2001, which successfully granted tribal nations across the state the exclusive right to tribal gaming. Today, Chairman Welch continues to build these connections as he is responsible for conducting external relations on behalf of Viejas.
Welch believes the greatest rewards in life come from being a public servant and community leader. He is grateful for the commitment and work ethic from the Team Members at Viejas Enterprises, from the dedicated staff at the Viejas Tribal Government, and from every tribal member from the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay.
He actively supports his community’s culture because the traditional Kumeyaay customs are a significant part of the tribe’s everyday life. He is married to his beautiful wife Mikelene and is the proud father of six children: Caesar, Vanessa, Cameron, Christopher, Thomas, and Jacqueline. He resides with his wife and two youngest children on the Viejas Indian Reservation where you will find him most days working hard for the people he cherishes most in the world.