Series of Events Will Highlight Leadership, Mentoring
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Gaming Association (AGA) today announced that it will launch Global Gaming Women (GGW), a new development program to nurture emerging female leaders in the international gaming industry, at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2011. The initiative will be an ongoing effort by the AGA to foster stronger relationships between top female executives and promising managers. Virginia McDowell, president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., and Patti Hart, CEO of International Game Technology, will serve as co-chairs of the program. G2E 2011 will be held Oct. 3-6 at The Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas.
GGW will create an opportunity for women in the industry to learn from each other, share ideas, discuss best practices and take advantage of mentorship opportunities in the industry. A steering committee of leading female executives from the industry will assist in program development.
A series of three events planned for Wednesday, Oct. 5 at G2E will serve to launch the initiative. Events kick off with a breakfast program entitled, “From Mentorship to Leadership: Women in Gaming,” which will feature a roundtable discussion among key industry leaders. The session, moderated by McDowell, will feature Marybel Batjer, vice president of public policy and communications for Caesars Entertainment; Yvette Landau, principal at W.A. Richardson Builders; Jana McKeag, president of Lowry Strategies; and Debra Nutton, senior vice president of casino operations for MGM Grand.
The panel discussion will be followed by “speed mentoring” sessions during which attendees will rotate between small groups and hear advice from GGW steering committee members about how to succeed in the industry across a variety of sectors and disciplines.
“The Global Gaming Women initiative has been designed to promote a lasting mentorship culture throughout the gaming industry and I am honored to be part of the inaugural program,” Hart said. “Leadership development is a never ending journey for all of us. Our ability to continually support each other, learn from each other, and grow as individuals, is a collective responsibility shared throughout the industry.”
Wednesday’s popular “State of the Industry” keynote panel at G2E also will feature women leaders in the gaming industry. The session, “State of the Industry: Innovating for a Stronger Future,” will look at the trends driving the industry forward and how to harness innovation and technology to meet the challenges that lie ahead. McDowell; Hart; Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications and government relations for Caesars Entertainment Corporation; and Sheila Morago, executive director of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, will discuss everything from global expansion and taxation issues to the future of the replacement cycle, operations developments and the outlook for online gambling. Panelists also will discuss the role of women in gaming.
“Through my own personal experience and in speaking with many women at various levels within our industry, I believe it is vital for the future of the gaming business that we cultivate the next generation of female leaders,” McDowell said. “I am excited to lead a forum for women in gaming to share their experiences and enhance their leadership skills.”
The final GGW event of the day will be an invitation-only evening reception for high-level female gaming executives. Hosted by the International Gaming Institute, the networking reception will provide invitees an opportunity to network and discuss the advancement of women in the industry.
Advance registration and a $35 fee are required to attend the “From Mentorship to Leadership: Women in Gaming” breakfast event, though registration at G2E is not required. Interested parties can register online at http://globalgamingexpo.com/en/Register-Now/ . Those already registered for G2E need only follow the link provided in their confirmation e-mail to sign-up for additional programs.
The AGA plans to host additional GGW events throughout the year, with a focus on mentoring and leadership development. Interested women gaming industry employees can stay up-to-date on program activities through the Global Gaming Women group on LinkedIn and the Global Gaming Women page on www.americangaming.org. If you are interested in being placed on the Global Gaming Women mailing list, contact Keli Wallace at [email protected]
Members of the GGW steering committee include Marybel Batjer, vice president of public policy and communications for Caesars Entertainment; Patty Becker, executive director of the International Gaming Institute at UNLV; Keli Elkins, director of special projects at the AGA; Patti Hart, CEO of International Game Technology; Aimee Hoyt, vice president of human resources at International Game Technology; Dorothy Jackson, vice president of the AGA; Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications at Caesars Entertainment; Tina Kilmer, vice president of product compliance for Bally Technologies; Yvette Landau, principal at W.A. Richardson Builders, LLC; Virginia McDowell, president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.; Jana McKeag, president of Lowry Strategies; Eileen Moore, senior vice president and general manager of Horseshoe Southern Indiana; Courtney Muller, senior vice president of Reed Exhibitions; Debra Nutton, senior vice president of casino operations for MGM Grand; Judy Patterson, executive director and senior vice president of the AGA; Ginny Shanks, executive vice president and CMO of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.; Jeanne-Marie Wilkins, senior vice president of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., Kelly Shaw, vice president of systems sales and marketing for Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. and Holly Wetzel, communications director of the AGA.
For more information about the AGA and all our industrywide initiatives, visit the AGA website at www.americangaming.org , like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americangaming  and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AmerGamingAssn .