Global Gaming Women Awards 17 Scholarships to Advance Industry Women

Continuing Education Scholarship Program Allows for Coursework at UNLV and its International Gaming Institute

Press Release | 08.23.2013

WASHINGTON – Global Gaming Women (GGW) today announced 17 recipients of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s (UNLV) International Gaming Institute (IGI) Continuing Education Scholarship. The scholarship is distributed via the GGW Charitable Education Fund, a new program aimed at providing continuing educational opportunities for women in gaming or pursuing a career in the field.

GGW awarded the scholarships—which cover the cost of either online or in-person courses at UNLV and IGI—to a diverse range of applicants, coming from eight different states and covering a wide range of positions throughout the international gaming industry. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition for undergraduate- or graduate-level seminars and classes through June 2014 that focus on resort- or casino-related subjects. Recipients represent the tribal, commercial, manufacturing and regulatory segments of the industry.

“We are extremely pleased to see such an outpouring of interest in our inaugural year of providing these awards, and I want to extend my congratulations to all of this year’s well-qualified recipients,” said Virginia McDowell, president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. and GGW co-chair. “The purpose of GGW is to advance women in gaming, and we look forward to strengthening and expanding this program in the future.”

“We are extremely pleased to be offering this educational opportunity to such a diverse range of women in the industry,” said Nakia Jackson-Hale, director of programs at IGI and a member of the GGW scholarship committee. “We had the fortune to choose from a fantastic pool of applicants, which I think points to a real appetite for the type of leadership development programs that GGW is providing.”

GGW awarded the 17 scholarships to:

  • Peggy Alkhedri, table games floor supervisor at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati
  • Sharon Bedford, racino controller at Thistle Down Racino (Cleveland)
  • Natasha Carleton, director of marketing at Diamond Game (Chatsworth, Calif.)
  • Iris Falconer, casino service representative at Greektown Casino and Hotel (Detroit)
  • Lori (Buckhave) Freese, table games floor supervisor at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati
  • Brianne Gutierrez, Ameristar Casino (Black Hawk, Colo.)
  • Jae Whitney Hamzik, agent in the investigations divisions at the Nevada Gaming Control Board (Reno, Nev.)
  • Malaika Laurant, slot supervisor at Motorcity Casino (Detroit)
  • Rebecca J. Lee, compliance manager at Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe – Gaming Regulatory Authority (Onamia, Minn.)
  • Alma Lopez, benefits and labor relations manager at Play LV (Las Vegas)
  • Edna P. Martinez, hotel evaluation manager at Excalibur/Luxor Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas)
  • Talia Morrill, table games supervisor at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati
  • Lynn Muech, table games manager at Coyote Valley Casino (Redwood Valley, Calif.)
  • Tina (Yenthu) Nguyen, database administrator and report writer at Cache Creek Casino Resort (Brooks, Calif.)
  • Danielle Rankin, senior product specialist at Konami Gaming, Inc. (Las Vegas)
  • Jennifer Richardson, assistant casino shift manager at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk Colorado
  • Stephanie Young, manager of convention and group services at New York New York Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas)

GGW plans to again provide the scholarship program in 2014. Details will be available next spring. Money for the GGW Charitable Education Fund is raised through GGW’s “Kick Up Your Heels” networking event held annually in Las Vegas in conjunction with Global Gaming Expo. This year’s event will take place Wednesday, September 25 at McCall’s Heartland Grill at The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower. For registration information, visit the GGW website.

In addition to Jackson-Hale, members of the GGW scholarship committee include Phyllis A. Gilland, senior vice president and general counsel of American Casino & Entertainment Properties LLC; Wendy Nutt, vice president of labor relations and corporate human resources for MGM Resorts International; and Whitney Thier, vice president, deputy general counsel and compliance officer for Cantor Gaming.

GGW was launched in September 2011 by the AGA to nurture female leaders in the international gaming industry. The mission of the program is to support the development and success of women in the international gaming industry through education, mentorship and networking opportunities. More information on GGW can be found at GlobalGamingWomen.organd via the GGW group on LinkedIn. For all the latest AGA and industry news, visitwww.americangaming.org, or follow the AGA on Twitter and Facebook.

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The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.

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