Top 10 Industrywide Winners
Assistant Casino Manager
L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles
Susan Battaglia, an assistant casino manager at L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles (Louisiana), is constantly active in charitable events and serves as a department leader for organizing and motivating team members to be a part of charitable and community service initiatives. Last year, Susan spearheaded the effort to form a food drive coalition, named “Gaming Gives Back,” among four casinos in Southwest Louisiana that collected more than 13,000 pounds of food in two weeks. The initiative garnered local press attention for its unique partnership of competing casinos working together for the betterment of Southwest Louisiana. Other activities have included helping the mentally challenged through Volunteers of America, yard cleaning at a women’s shelter, and organizing a group to assist Habitat for Humanity in building a house in the community. From attending charitable functions and walkathons, to actively participating in events on a regular basis, Susan is the reason L’Auberge has earned the reputation of being a community leader when it comes to volunteerism.
Rainbow Hotel Casino
Brad Campbell, an MIS Technician at Rainbow Hotel Casino (Vicksburg, Miss.), was Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.’s 2012 Bernard Goldstein Community Ace Award winner. Each year, this award is given to a site-level employee who best demonstrates dedication and service to their community. Brad earned this honor through his extensive work as an American Red Cross disaster volunteer, which he’s done for over seven years. Brad has extensive disaster recovery training and is certified in CPR and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in emergency management. Not only has Brad helped the community at large in times of disaster, such as tornadoes and fires, but during a record-breaking flood in 2011, he worked long hours at Rainbow Hotel Casino to assist in flood control. In 2011 alone, Brad served 130 hours volunteering in his community.
Table Games Supervisor
Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
While Jack Conner, a table games supervisor at Paris Las Vegas, is viewed as a role model employee, it is what he does behind the scenes that coworkers say truly sets him apart. Notably, he has used his musical talents to host benefit concerts that raise money for employees who find themselves in trying financial times due to deaths or illness. The Two Jacks Band has raised thousands for fellow employees, such as a dealer whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer, a cocktail waitress whose son passed away, and a supervisor who was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Jack was also recently recognized by Elaine Wynn Elementary for volunteering over 100 hours of his time to read to 2nd grade students whose primary language was not English. Currently, Jack is working on his third play at a community theater called The Willow House. Most recently, Jack donated his time at Nellis Air Force Base in a toy drive for children whose parents were recently deployed overseas.
MGM Grand Landscape Gardner
MGM Resorts International
Alonso Flores is truly a leader in the community. As an advisor to the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, Alonso regularly volunteers more than 100 hours a month, serving as a liaison for Mexican Americans and the Mexican Government, and helping individuals in the Hispanic community. Twice a year, he meets with the president of Mexico to discuss opportunities to improve the transition of Mexicans coming to, and living in, America. Additionally, he volunteers his time by meeting frequently with local political officials to discuss the wellbeing of Mexican Americans. “I want to help my colleagues make a better life, whether it’s here in this country or in Mexico,” says Alonso, a Mexican-born U.S. citizen who has lived in the United States for 22 years. Alonso is also involved with organizing annual education and health community fairs.
Manager, Learning Solutions
Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.
Christiana Houck serves as manager for the Learning Solutions department at Aristocrat. She is in her second year as leader of Aristocrat’s community service committee, Building Hope, for which she has been a member for four years in other roles. During her tenure, the committee has been able to institute community service time off for employees and develop partnerships with core charities, such as Street Teens, Toys4Smiles, The Shade Tree, Las Vegas Rescue Mission and Purple W.I.N.G.S. These Las Vegas-based charities serve the homeless and disadvantaged men, women and children throughout the valley. One of Christiana’s favorite donation drives that Aristocrat holds annually is the Treats for Troops, in which employees donate treats and supplies for military personnel who are from the area and serving in the Middle East. Christiana is also an avid supporter of a local non-profit, Gilcrease Orchards, where you can find her most Saturday mornings picking fresh fruits and vegetables for her and her coworkers.
Manager of Legal and Compliance
In just over two years working with BMM as a manager of legal and compliance, Doron Irungaray’s community involvement (and his reputation as a practical joker) have made him a very popular member of the team. A father of three, Doron began volunteering in 2004 as his children’s sports coach. Coaching his son’s soccer team and assisting for little league baseball fueled Doron’s passion for the sport and for helping kids. The next year, he volunteered for and became head coach of a children’s recreational soccer league team. Doron’s dedication and effectiveness in teaching the skills and fundamentals of the sport showed through, as players often moved into competitive teams or stayed in the recreational league long-term. Doron says of his coaching, “I believe in teaching kids the value of teamwork and self-esteem; it’s gratifying to me when they see how their hard work pays off.”
Manager, Mechanical Engineering
International Game Technology
Since losing his daughter Kylee to cancer in 2008, mechanical engineering manager Kehl Lesourd became involved with the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation/St. Baldrick’s as a way to support Kylee and other kids and families facing the same battle. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a worldwide volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. The Kylee’s Wish St. Baldrick’s team is filled with IGT employees and many others who have banded together to shave their heads as a sign of support for kids who are fighting cancer. In its first year, the team raised more than $40,000 for the foundation, and last year’s team included more than 100 members with more than 60 “shaves;” over four years, the team has raised more than $152,000 dollars, and thanks to Kehl’s tireless efforts, the team is expected to grow once again this year.
Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway Bangor
John Osborne, a 30-year veteran of the gaming industry, has been active with charitable causes since childhood. A few of his current appointments are as a professional advisory board member for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, chairman for Career Opportunity Development, Inc., advisory board member for DeSoto Sunrise Homes, and various positions with the United Way. Additionally, John recently participated in a local, high-profile fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Maine affiliate and personally raised over 30 percent of the total funds ($42,000) brought in at the event. John and his family also support numerous local and national charities, including a domestic violence shelter, land trust conservation efforts, the American Heart Association and the Special Olympics.
Senior Model Maker I
Patrick Schaeffer, a senior model maker I at WMS Gaming, works with students as a mentor for Lane Tech’s FIRST® Robotic Competition. Patrick has helped with design and prototyping, in addition to doing final fabrication of elements that could not be made at Lane Tech. He has shown total commitment by working late and working Saturdays to support the team. His skills and the use of the model shop helped make this a very successful season. This year, the students also nominated Patrick for the Woody Flowers award, which celebrates an outstanding mentor who led, inspired and empowered their team.
Regional Public Relations Manager
Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs and Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk
Christie Scott organizes or attends nearly 25 Ameristar volunteer events at properties in both Black Hawk (Colorado) and Council Bluffs (Iowa). These include fundraisers such as the Council Bluffs Polar Plunge (benefitting the Special Olympics), walking for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and cleaning the kitchens at the emergency shelter, Micah House. “Ameristar has the manpower, and our team members love to volunteer,” Christie says. “It’s not about just giving a donation, it’s engaging our team members in making a real difference. Once they volunteer, they keep coming back.” Outside of her work via Ameristar’s workplace giving campaigns, Christie is very active in the community, serving on committees and boards of numerous foundations and organizations in the Council Bluffs area. Christie, who attributes her spirit of volunteerism to her mom, says, “I’m trying to instill the same values of care and compassion in my own children. You have keep giving back, to keep sharing what we have with others.”