WASHINGTON – The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently honored five gaming suppliers with the Diverse Vendor of the Year Award for their outstanding work as partners to companies in the casino industry. The awards were presented during the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Political Education and Leadership Institute’s TUNICA 2013 Mississippi Policy Conference, held August 15-17. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the Institute and CBCGaming Task Force and co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, served as host of the conference and was at the ceremony to welcome attendees and congratulate the honorees.
“Our industry has always been committed to diversity in hiring and procurement in all the communities where we operate,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “These award winners are prime examples of the local suppliers who help our companies provide a world class entertainment experience every day.”
This is the fifth year AGA member companies have honored top minority, woman and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs) doing business with the gaming industry. Each year, individual AGA member companies nominate the winners, and, due to the varied nature of vendor-supplier relationships, determine their own selection criteria for each honoree.
The following five companies were honored this year:
- Ace Vending – New Orleans, La.
Ace Vending, based in New Orleans, has supplied Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s Harrah’s New Orleans Casino with a variety of snack options for two years. Ace began as a single snack vendor in 2007 and has since grown to an inventory of more than 175 vendors, while continuing to expand throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.
“Ace Vending’s owner, Anthony Wilborn, has provided exceptional service to Harrah’s New Orleans Casino for the past two years,” said Fred Keeton, vice president of external affairs and chief diversity officer for Caesars Entertainment Corporation. “Ace takes a serious approach in providing quality services to our New Orleans operations, and it is an honor to acknowledge their hard work, dedication and impeccable service.”
- B.E. Scaife Plumbing – St. Louis, Mo.
B.E. Scaife Plumbing, a 13-year-old company based in St. Louis, was an integral member of the construction team at Isle of Capri Casino, Inc.’s casino in Cape Girardeau, Mo. B.E. Scaife has leveraged their relationship with the gaming industry to include additional contracts with other casino operators in the area.
“Bryant Scaife is a man devoted not only to his business, but also to his family,” said Donn Mitchell, chief administrative officer for Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. “He continuously looks for ways to improve workflow efficiencies, and his employees fully understand their impact on the bottom line.”
- Budget Cleaners – Biloxi, Miss.
Even though Budget Cleaners, a family-owned and operated business with five locations in Biloxi, Miss., has only been handling the employee dry cleaning for MGM Resorts International’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino for more than eight months, the casino operator is already impressed with the quality of service
“We are pleased with Budget Cleaners thus far, and we look forward to offering them additional opportunities in the future should they continue to provide exemplary service,” said Erik Lewis, director of purchasing for MGM’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino and Gold Strike Resort and Casino.
- Ford Hotel Supply – St. Louis, Mo.
Ford Hotel Supply is a woman-owned enterprise located in St. Louis, offering commercial kitchen equipment and restaurant supplies to a variety of businesses.Ameristar Casinos, Inc. has had an ongoing business partnership with Ford Hotel Supply since 2001, and during that time, their relationship has grown through excellent service and competitive pricing.
“Ford Hotel Supply is a vendor I can count on when I need to get a product quickly or a project completed with a tight deadline,” said Quinten Anderson, general buyer for Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (Mo.). “They understand our business’s needs and do everything they can to get us what we need.”
- Platinum Food Service (PFS) – Lake Charles, La.
PFS, based in Lake Charles, La., is a full-service, broad-line food distribution provider of private label meats and produce products. PFS has quickly become a strategic partner to Boyd Gaming Corporation’s properties in Mississippi and Louisiana.
“[PFS President Nicole Salha] remains competitive with pricing and unique services that sets PFS apart in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Terri O’Hara, purchasing manager for Boyd Gaming. “Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel, a Boyd Gaming property, recognized very early the full potential of PFS, and we’re not surprised to see their continued growth and success as a supplier. Nicole has two simple goals for PFS: (1) Find a way to set yourself apart in your industry, and (2) build long-lasting and genuine relationships. At Boyd Gaming we are proud to see she is achieving her goals.”
The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern. To follow the AGA on Facebook, visitwww.facebook.com/americangaming; for Twitter, go towww.twitter.com/AmerGamingAssn.