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Global Gaming Women launches as independent charitable organization to support and develop the next generation of female leaders in gaming

19 February 2016

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Global Gaming Women, which began in 2011 with the American Gaming Association as a development program to nurture emerging female leaders in the gaming industry, has launched as an independent charitable organization, announced Virginia McDowell, who will retire as Chief Executive Officer of Isle of Capri Casinos effective April 27, and lead the new 501(c)(3) as president and board chair.

“Our founding board is very excited about the opportunity to expand and enhance the considerable work done by the American Gaming Association to foster stronger relationships between female executives, provide mentoring and networking opportunities, and deliver targeted educational programs,” McDowell said. “We have secured nearly $1.5 million in committed multi-year funding pledges to provide a sustainable structure for our new organization and to fund educational and grant programs. We look forward to delivering high impact programs and events on a global scale that support, inspire and influence the development of women in the gaming and lottery industry.”

2016 initiatives for the organization include:

—Providing scholarships to over 100 women to attend GGW leadership development conferences in the East Coast, Midwest and Southern gaming markets, as well as the MGM Women’s Leadership Conference.
—Launching 10 Lean-In mentoring circles at gaming companies across the United States.
—Establishing a career advisory board and dedicated mentors for GGW program graduates.
—Expanding the W Development Conference in Las Vegas to include an alumni conference and the introduction of a public speaking coaching program.
—Participating in programs, panels and networking events at major conferences, including Ice, Totally Gaming, National Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention, Southern Gaming Summit, East Coast Gaming Congress, North American Association of State and Local Provincial Lotteries Annual Conference, and expanded programming at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E).


“MGM Resorts has long been an advocate of advancing women in the workplace, and the contributions of female gaming professionals have immeasurably strengthened our company and our industry,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts and AGA Board Chairman. “We look forward to working with Global Gaming Women to further expand the leadership of women in the gaming industry,” Murren added.

In addition to McDowell, the founding Global Gaming Women board members are: Patty Becker, CEO Patricia Becker & Associates; Diana Bennett, Chairman of the Board Paragon Gaming; Ginny Shanks, EVP and Chief Administrative Officer Pinnacle Entertainment; Ann Hoff, General Manager Excalibur (MGM Resorts); Katie Lever, former General Counsel Scientific Games; Staci Alonso, SVP Marketing and CMO Station Casinos; Holly Gagnon, CEO Chumash Tribal Enterprises; Sarah Jackson, SVP Human Resources Isle of Capri; Eileen Moore, President of The Cromwell, The LINQ and Flamingo Las Vegas; Tina Kilmer, VP Product Compliance Scientific Games; Christie Eickelman, VP Marketing GLI; Maureen Keenan, VP Finance Seminole Hard Rock Tampa; Ann Simmons Nicholson, President & CEO The Simmons Group; and, Phyllis Gilland, SVP & General Counsel American Casino & Entertainment Properties.

The companies who have made founding commitments to fund GGW include a coalition of major commercial and tribal gaming companies, private donors and major industry suppliers: MGM Resorts International, Seminole Gaming, American Gaming Association, Pinnacle Entertainment, Caesars Entertainment, Scientific Games, Rush Street Gaming, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc, Penn National Gaming, Station Casinos Inc., Boyd Gaming, IGT and Paragon Gaming.

“AGA and the dedicated women who have helped lead GGW initiatives over the past five years have made tremendous progress growing an idea into a successful program that benefits more than 2,500 gaming employees across the industry,” said Geoff Freeman, AGA President and CEO. “The new structure will allow GGW to take its work to the next level and provide significant value to countless women in gaming.”

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Global Gaming Women launches as independent charitable organization to support and develop the next generation of female leaders in gaming is republished from CasinoVendors.com.