Leaders in Waiting
One of the things the gaming industry isn’t so good at doing is succession planning. Just look at some of the major companies where investors are uncertain who is going to succeed the current chairman, CEO or president.
Las Vegas Sands’ Sheldon Adelson is over 80 years old and has given no indication who might succeed him. Wynn Resorts’ Steve Wynn is well into his 70s with few possible successors who have ever been mentioned. At MGM, where a young and vibrant Jim Murren is in charge, the company’s major investor and influencer, Kirk Kerkorian, is well into his 90s, yet his control over the company is undiminished.
Corporate cultures are peculiar things. It’s hard for someone to come in from the outside as a result of a worldwide search and become effective immediately. It can happen, but it’s unusual.
It’s much more effective to groom possible replacements within the organization to take over when the time comes, with no interruption of culture or productivity. Now, every new leader is going to want to put his or her stamp on a company, but if that person has a long line of experience within the company, the disruption will be kept to a minimum, and in most cases any changes will be successful because of the new CEO’s knowledge of the company.
At this year’s G2E, Global Gaming Business and the Innovation Group joined with G2E and AGA leaders to kick off what will become an annual program, “Emerging Leaders.” The program identifies young workers and executives in the gaming industry that have made a mark during their early careers and rewards them with scholarships and recognition for their accomplishments. The goal of this program is to get the industry to begin considering in earnest who might succeed the established leaders.
The gaming industry is still a young business. The leaders are often still first-generation individuals who have established the leading companies in the gaming industry. And to ensure that the industry survives and thrives, succession planning is essential.
“Emerging Leaders” will be both an ongoing program at G2E every year, and will have presence in the pages of Global Gaming Business each month.
In our “40 Under 40” feature, GGB identifies the young leaders, and this month, we provide the first 11 profiles of these individuals. Then, each month going forward, we’ll run profiles of two or three of those remaining from the “40 Under 40” list you’ll find on page 37. With an assist from the Innovation Group, the mission of Emerging Leaders will be present in every issue of Global Gaming Business magazine from now on.
Congratulations to the first class of Emerging Leaders, and we expect that competition to join subsequent lists of nominees will be fierce.
40 UNDER 40 FOR 2013
The Global Gaming Business List of Emerging Leaders
1. Nehme Abouzeid, Wynn Resorts • Executive Director, Brand Marketing and Advertising
2. James Acres, Acres Bonusing • President
3. Elena Artiaga, Inn Of The Mountain Gods • Chief Financial Officer
4. Jacqueline Beato, Caesars Entertainment Corp • Vice President, Finance
5. Michael Bond, Boyd Gaming Corp • Vice President, Corporate Finance
6. Tifani Chung, GTECH • Senior Content Manager
7. Carolyn Conrady, Pechanga Resort & Casino • Social Media Strategist
8. Brian Decorah, Ho Chunk Nation • Director of Business Development
9. Todd Eilers, Eilers Research, LLC • Director of Research
10. Justin Findlay, TCS JohnHuxley America Inc. • CFO
11. JT Foley, Las Vegas Sands • Director Of Government Relations and Community Development
12. Jason Gastwirth, Caesars Entertainment • Senior Vice President of Marketing and Entertainment
13. Marcus Glover, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland • President & General Manager
14. Aaron Gomes, Echo Entertainment • Managing Director
15. Aaron Harkins, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP • Partner
16. Dawson Her Many Horses, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch • Vice President, Native American Division
17. Andrea Jannsen, Masterminds Advertising • Director of Social Marketing
18. Suzanne Leckert, TMG Consulting • Director, Gaming & lndustry Analysis
19. Jordan Levin, Williams Interactive • Vice President & COO
20. Michael Johnson, Reed Exhibitions • Industry Vice President, G2E
21. David Lopez, Global Cash Access Inc. • CEO & President
22. Corey Nyman, The Nyman Group • President
23. Treena Parvello, Desert Diamond Casinos • Director of Communications
24. Ameesh Patel, Miura Holdings • Managing Director
26. Nathan Peak, Hnedak Bobo Group • Architect – Designer
27. Clayton Piester, Crown Casino • Vice President
28. Anna Polatschek Penido, Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries & Casino Corp. • Manager, Social Responsibility
29. Robert Russell, Regulatory Management Counselors, PC • Senior Gaming Analyst
30. Karl Rutledge, Lewis And Roca • Attorney
31. Seth Schorr, Fifth Street Gaming • CEO
32. David Schwartz, UNLV • Director of Gaming Research
33. Mark Schwartz, Och-Ziff Capital Management • Vice President, Finance & Administration
34. Melissa Shilling, Floss Barber Inc. • Senior Interior Architect
35. Jared Steffens, Furywing Games • President
36. Jamie Stuck, Nottawaseppi Huron • Band of the Potawatomi Vice Chairman
37. Dana Takrudtong, GameAccount Network • Vice President of Sales
38. Clayton Vanderpool, PNC Bank • Vice President, Native American Division
39. David Vatthanavong, SugarHouse Casino • Table Games Pit Manager
40. Joe Versaci, Ultimate Gaming/Fertitta Entertainment • CMO