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Community Celebrates Roberta Carlos After 40 Plus Years

President Delbert Ray, Sr. congratulates Roberta "Bobbie" Carlos on 40 years of service to the Community.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community celebrated Roberta “Bobbie” Carlos’ more than four decades of serving the Community with a retirement party on January 5 at the Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale–Salt River.

Carlos is retiring after working for the Community for more than 40 years, most recently serving as senior department director at the Senior Services Department.

SRPMIC President Delbert Ray, Sr. and Vice President Martin Harvier welcomed the guests and Council Member Michael Dallas led everyone in an opening prayer. Dallas, who used to work with Carlos at the Senior Center, shared fond memories of his time working with her before serving as a Council member.

President Ray acknowledged Carlos and her service. “This is really great to honor one of our own. And thank you for taking care of our seniors,” Ray said.

Vice-President Harvier (center) and SRPMIC Council Members Michael Dallas, Ricardo Leonard and Deanna Scabby present Carlos (left) with a wooden plaque and pottery for her service to the Community.
Carlos has been senior department director for the past three years, and within those three years a lot has gotten done, including renovation of the Salt River Senior Center.

Carlos has contributed countless hours to the Community, starting as a secretary in the Motor Pool for 19 years. In 1995 she became supervisor of the Fleet Management Department, where she worked for four years and where she was known as a “wheeler and dealer” on prices that the Community would pay for parts. She was a great negotiator for the Community.

Bobbie Carlos with her staff of the Cultural Resouces Department.
Submitted by the Cultural Resources Department
In 2000, Carlos was named the director of the Department of Transportation, the first female Community member director, a position she held for two years and 10 months. She was also an assistant Community manager for five years before moving on to help create the Cultural Resources Department, where she became the first director.

The guest speaker at the party was former SRPMIC President Ivan Makil, who worked with Carlos for many years. Makil shared a humorous story about issues he encountered with Carlos while trying to get a vehicle from DOT and the questions she would ask him about why he would be needing the vehicle.

At the party, Community member Ron Carlos played chicken scratch music and also Polynesian dancers performed. A video featured staff members sharing their memories of working with Carlos over the years.

The SRPMIC Council, Community manager and assistant Community managers presented Carlos with a plaque, and she received a painting by Community-member artist Dwayne Manuel.

Bobbie Carlos outside of the Huhugam Ki Museum.

Submitted by the Cultural Resources Department

Former president and guest speaker Ivan Makil shared his funny memories of Bobbie Carlos during the luncheon.
Carlos thanked everyone and talked about how things have changed since she began working for the Community and what she has learned.

“I continued to serve my Community in any way I was able to … and tried to do the best that I could, because you know that it wasn’t for me,” Carlos said, “it was for the future, my children, grandchildren, Community-member youth and those who come to the tribal government who have the same heart.”

About her fellow SRPMIC government staff members, Carlos added, “You will know who they are when you see how committed they are. Let them know how much their commitment means to you [SRPMIC] and how valuable they are to our Community. When they are giving their heart, then they are also a part of this Community as well.”