Robert J. Memberto Walks On
MANISTEE, MICHIGAN – Robert Memberto, director of the Commerce Department with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee, Michigan passed away at his home. He was an U.S. Army veteran, member of the tribal Warrior Society and a proud tribal citizen of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. Memberto was 42.
Memberto served in his capacity for Little River for a number of years and before that worked in the Grand Traverse Bay Band Economic Development Department for nine years. There he served as an executive director of GTB/ECD with a stout background in business law, real estate, business administration, retail, project management and gaming operations.
At Little River, among other activities, he oversaw the development of the Trading Post, housing construction, roads programs and sewer/utility department development including the recent joint project with Manistee Township and Manistee County. Robert was the lead staff member involved in the efforts of the tribe since 2008 to develop a casino in Muskegon County at the old race track in Fruitport.
For several years, Memberto was a registered and respected lobbyist in Lansing – Michigan’s state capitol – working on behalf of Little River.
His successful economic development activities included working with Chambers of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Economic Development Office, Department of Labor, United Tribes of Michigan, the Native American Business Alliance, other tribal governments and local units of governance.
Memberto leaves behind his wife Shelley and 7 children. A traditional fire was lit Sunday and will go down Wednesday evening. A pipe ceremony was held at noon on Monday in the tribes’ ceremonial lodge.
On Wednesday, July 9th, a service and feast will be held at 3 p.m. at the Event Center at the Little River Casino Resort, located at 2700 Orchard Highway, Manistee, Michigan 49660.