Play, Win, Together

Sycuan’s Gift Giving Ceremony is a celebration recognizing organizations that are making a difference in the community. Each December, members of the Sycuan Tribal Council and Sycuan Leadership Team choose one charity to donate to on behalf of Sycuan. Since 2006, the Giving Ceremony has given out close to one million dollars.

As Chairman of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, Cody Martinez oversees Sycuan’s business operations as well as their commitment to being a philanthropic leader in San Diego.

10 Things About Chairman Cody Martinez & Sycuan Casino

1. “I grew up in San Diego mostly on the Sycuan Reservation and also lived in South East San Diego for a few years.”


2. “My first job was in landscaping with Sycuan’s Landscape department.”


3. “My new favorite restaurant is Born & Raised in Little Italy; I’m also a big fan of Puesto and Tabu Sushi.”


4. “I like to read books on leadership and management techniques, a favorite author being Simon Sinek.”


5. “I am a dog person, I have a three year old Golden Retriever named Chase.”


6. “In 2014, I became one of the youngest Tribal leaders elected in the United States at age 34.”


7. “I enjoy being able to visit many of the places that Sycuan contributes to and see first-hand the need and the benefit from our financial contributions.”


8. “One of our customers said that she doesn’t mind losing money at Sycuan because she knows her money will end up going back into the community through Sycuan’s commitment to philanthropy.”


9. “Sycuan’s Giving Ceremony began as a caravan where members of the team would go around to San Diego organizations with holiday treats and a check as a donation. We realized we could help a lot more organizations and have a bigger reach if we hosted them at Sycuan. We currently present checks to over 30 organizations during a wonderful breakfast. Additionally, the networking aspect of the Gift Giving Ceremony has been invaluable. Several programs have developed over the years from the connections that were made between organizations during the event.”


10. “Through a grant that Sycuan gave to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, James who is a quadriplegic, became a wheelchair rugby athlete. James said that wheelchair rugby has given him independence and confidence, on and off the court, and allows him to elevate his play beyond his disability. I love the Gift Giving Ceremony’s connection with the holiday season and the time to celebrate those in need. It’s our honor to pay it forward. We have many generations of being on the receiving end of a lot of community charities, so for us to be able to pay it forward, we honor our grandparents in that effort.”


Sycuan’s Gift Giving Ceremony

December 13, 2018