Tony Enzler, who has spent the last six-plus years as vice president of commercial banking for Bank of the Pacific, has taken the newly-created job of Chief Operations Officer for the Quinault Indian Nation.
Enzler is active in the community, sitting on many boards for various organizations, one of which is the Quinault Nation Enterprise Board.
“That board oversees Quinault corporate enterprises, and I’ve been sitting on that board for about a year and a half,” he said. “I guess they decided that I might be a good fit for the position, which is a brand new position.”
Quinault Nation drafted a job description and asked if Enzler, who has 20-plus years of banking under his belt, would be interested.
“I felt yeah, that would be interesting,” said Enzler. “And it has been phenomenally rewarding.”
The for-profit corporate enterprise side of Quinault Nation covers a wide range of businesses.
“It’s probably one of the, if not the, most diversified Native American nations,” said Enzler.
There’s the casinos, of course, but also logging, fishing, the Q-Mart store and others, and soon, health care, with construction well underway at Quinault Nation’s wellness center in Aberdeen. The $20 million project should be completed and open in early summer.
“That’s big, and that’s not just for the tribal side, it’s for the community,” said Enzler.
The center will focus on the treatment of opioid addiction, but with a holistic approach, treating the addiction and much more.
“I’ve always heard there is an opioid crisis, but I didn’t know how close to home it was until I saw some of the studies that have been done in Grays Harbor,” said Enzler.
“There are easily 250 people in this county that need help with opioid addiction. So when I heard this one was going to pop up right here in downtown Aberdeen, and just seeing what it’s going to look like … it’s going to be big for the entire community.”
The Nation has worked with the Downtown Aberdeen Association and others to make sure the center won’t be a hindrance to downtown business development, which itself has been blossoming over the last year. In fact, it’s intended to complement that kind of development, a beacon to those considering investing in downtown, with its whole community approach to healing.
“Addiction is more than just addiction,” said Enzler. “There is the mental health issue, if they need to see a psychiatrist, we do have that. Our goal is to have housing for those who are in the program, and day care for those who are in the program, which is huge.”
There will be dental work available, nutritional assistance and more, all in one downtown location.
With the big new wellness clinic project and so many other businesses in operation, there’s a large learning curve for Enzler in his new gig.
“I’m drinking from a fire hose, learning a great deal,” said Enzler. He’s splitting time from an office behind the Q-Mart in Aberdeen, just blocks from his old office, and frequently making the drive to the reservation in Taholah.
It was on one of those drives up the coast to Taholah that provided a spiritual moment for Enzler as he goes into his new venture.
“That drive as you come down and go along the ocean, I saw a rainbow so I just pulled over and I’m on the reservation land and all you can see is this beautiful rainbow, the waves crashing, and I thought that was a pretty neat thing, and I definitely made the right decision,” he said.