Take a few minutes to meet James Parker of ATNI, and Alvin Aganon and David Iyall of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, to understand why each selected Mutual of America as their organization’s retirement plan provider.

Formed in 1953, the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians (ATNI) represents 57 Indian Nations across Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Southeast Alaska, Northern California and Western Montana. By providing a forum for information sharing and consensus-based policy development, ATNI is helping to raise the collective voices of its ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse members on issues critical to these Native communities.

Mutual of America began serving the retirement plan needs of ATNI in 2020. “When ATNI partnered with Mutual of America, we worked closely to create a retirement plan that would help break through the traditional barriers to saving and improve the financial security outcomes for plan participants,” said Cynthia Banks, Senior Vice President of National Accounts at Mutual of America. “Our client-first approach has enabled our team to connect directly with employees and Tribal community members and engage in meaningful conversations about their financial needs.”

Enhancing Retirement Readiness


Tribes, enterprises and Native American nonprofit organizations across the U.S. for which Mutual of America provides retirement plan services.


Northwest Tribes that support and make up the membership of ATNI.


Member Tribes (6) and Tribal affiliate organizations (6) that have retirement plans with Mutual of America.

A Unified Voice for
Native People

Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, Client since 2020

James Parker

James Parker

Deputy Director of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians

“At the core of tribal sovereignty and self-determination is the ability to govern and protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens,” said James Parker, Deputy Director of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians (ATNI). “That includes helping them to build financial security for the good times and for challenging ones like we’re facing today.”

When ATNI sought to implement a retirement plan for its employees, they considered a number of providers. “What set Mutual of America apart from the beginning was that they diligently and respectfully got to know us and our needs. This listening-centered approach, which we saw firsthand with their Associate Account Executive Tyler Anderson, aligns well with our core values as tribal people,” said Parker. “However, what ultimately shaped our decision was learning about the trusted relationships many of our member Tribes have with Mutual of America. Hearing their experiences gave us confidence that Mutual of America would provide the best retirement services for our employees and our community.”

Building a Strong
Foundation for the Future

The Nisqually Indian Tribe, Client since 2020

Alvin Aganon

Alvin Aganon

Chief Financial Officer of the Nisqually Indian Tribe

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across Washington State, the entrepreneurial Tribal Council of the Nisqually Indian Tribe quickly pivoted, providing the tools and technology their members needed to move forward safely and productively. As one of the largest employers in Thurston County, the Council approached the transition of their retirement plan to Mutual of America with the same leadership, transparency and care.

“From our very first meeting, Mutual of America set the bar high for service and support,” said Chief Financial Officer Alvin Aganon. “Jacob Qualls, their Associate Account Executive, collaborated with us each step of the way to help us ensure that moving our retirement plan to Mutual of America was the right fit for the Nisqually Indian Tribe and our employees. He worked closely with our HR department to facilitate a smooth transition, and then the Mutual of America team provided hands-on training and support that enabled us to quickly leverage their SponsorConnect online plan administration and Payroll Integration tools.”

David Iyall

David Iyall

Tribal Council Treasurer of the Nisqually Indian Tribe

These tools have been great time-savers, according to Tribal Council Treasurer David Iyall. “Our Mutual of America Participant Account Representative Cody Habben has been a big presence, offering group and one-on-one participant meetings prior to COVID-19 and virtual meetings since. His diligent attention, despite the challenges of the pandemic, is helping to drive interest, participation and confidence in the plan.”

Employee Perspectives


I started saving for retirement late in life. With Mutual of America’s help, I realized I needed to increase what I’m contributing to my plan so that I will have something to fall back on in the future. If I had any advice to others, it would be to get your retirement contributions started as soon as you can.”

Sophie Johns Nisqually Indian Tribe HR Assistant

I’ve seen Mutual of America’s representatives help elders set up their accounts online and take the time to break down information so it’s easily digestible. The level of care is really unparalleled.”

Sophie Johns Nisqually Indian Tribe HR Assistant