Skip to main content

CNI CEO recognized by Oklahoma Magazine

Article by Oklahoma Magazine


President/CEO – Chickasaw Nation Industries

Growth is necessary for the Chickasaw Nation to continue to thrive, says David Nimmo, president and CEO of Chickasaw Nation Industries. Nimmo, who has provided leadership to the Nation in various capacities for more than two decades, says CNI has recorded significant development in the last year, despite pandemic challenges. 

“Our mission as a business is to build a company that can support a nation, so growth is important for us to reach that point where our distributable income can provide resources to enhance quality of life for every tribal member,” says Nimmo. “Last year … we saw 36% growth on the top line and 28% growth on the bottom line. Although it seems COVID was somewhat behind us, it is not behind us in terms of the federal government – which is our primary customer. For us to continue to have growth is a significant accomplishment.”

The pandemic changed the way people do business, and CNI molded with the times through ingenuity and flexibility. 

 “I can’t take credit; I’m proud of our team in developing new approaches,” he says. “They’re doing a fantastic job.”

CNI continues to look toward the future. 

“The organic growth of acquisition is one of the things we’ll be looking at, because our business is principally government contracts, and that’s a cycle of three to five years,” he says. “In other words, 20-30% of our business falls off annually and we have to keep replacing that in order to grow bigger. In order to be big enough to support a nation, we continue to grow.”

That mission of moving the Nation forward drives Nimmo.

“We’re not creating wealth to buy a new Maserati,” he says. “We’re creating resources for healthcare and housing and eyeglasses and education.”

A born-and-raised Oklahoman, Nimmo says traveling around the country for his job has made him love the state even more. 

“The quality of the people of Oklahoma is our hidden asset. Companies we acquire have an immediate affinity for us because they see the good neighbor and genuine attitude and are drawn to it,” he says. “This state, as a whole, has that down-to-Earth spirit, and it’s just really pleasant to live and work here. What we have is special and doesn’t exist everywhere. It’s hard to see, you just have to live in it to know.”