Billy Fender was raised in Smith River and graduated from Del Norte High School. He is a Smith River Rancheria Tribal member and comes from the Richards family. His grandparents, Elinor and Floyd Richards Sr., were an important part of his childhood. Billy‘s grandfather taught him a lot about life.
Billy‘s first job was as a dishwasher at the Nautical Inn. He also did other restaurant work, including cooking. Billy began working for the Smith River Rancheria 15 years ago. The first 12 years he worked at the Lucky 7 Casino. While there he worked as floor manager, and also worked in security. During his time with the casino, Billy attended Indian Gaming classes at San Diego State. Billy has worked for the Smith River Rancheria‘s Maintenance Department for the past 3 years.
Billy is the father of two teenage daughters, Sierra, 16, and Alicia, 14. He has been a single parent since the girls were 1 and 3. Billy is proud of his daughters, they help their elders, and are respectful.
In his spare time, Billy likes to work on cars. He also spends a lot of time with his daughters. They like to play video games and to travel with each other. Together they have traveled most of the West Coast, from Canada to Mexico.
Billy is happy where he is, watching his girls grow up, knowing they will do good in life.
Submitted by Debbie Boardman, Receptionist