10 Women Rising in Gaming
Hometown: San Ramon, CA
Current position: Vice President of Marketing at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino
First position in the gaming industry: Marketing Coordinator at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino
Did you apply for work in other industries? Do you think it was easier to find a job in gaming than other career paths?
In college, I majored in sociology to prepare for a career in the nonprofit sector. However, to meet financial obligations after college, I considered job opportunities in other industries, including gaming. I connected with a gaming executive in Las Vegas who extended my first job offer in the gaming industry.
I think that it is challenging for young professionals to start a career in any industry, especially recent graduates who may have limited work experience. However, I think the gaming industry offers many entry-level positions with opportunity for career advancement. I also have found gaming companies to be supportive of my desire to remain active in my community, as I volunteer for various charities and serve on nonprofit boards.
What do you like about working in gaming?
I love that the industry is so fast-paced and always evolving. This keeps me challenged and motivated. There is nothing like walking the casino floor on a Saturday night and feeling its energy around you. Gaming and fun are synonymous. You go to work and can have fun at the same time.
Did anything surprise you about the industry when you first started?
I was a recent college graduate, so everything surprised me when I first started. I was fortunate to have mentors, both male and female, that provided guidance and growth opportunities. As my career developed, I was exposed to professional organizations including Global Gaming Women. I now strongly recommend this organization to women at all junctures of their career, including those just starting. Global Gaming Women develops, inspires and supports women, both new hires and veteran executives, in the gaming industry.
Were you familiar with gambling before landing a job in the industry? What were your thoughts about it before starting to work in gaming? Has your impression of the industry changed at all?
Growing up, I lived 3.5 hours away from Reno and Tahoe. Gambling, buffets, and arcades were part of my childhood. When I followed my family to Las Vegas after college, I didn’t think I would work in gaming. Now, I couldn’t imagine not working in gaming. I always thought of Las Vegas, gambling, and hotels as glamorous and aspirational, and I still feel that way.
Can you envision making a career in the gaming industry? What are your long-term goals?
I have worked in the gaming industry for 16 years and have found value in every experience, role and person I have worked with. There is always something new to learn.
Thanks to a Global Gaming Women scholarship, I recently graduated from the Executive Development Program, which is hosted by the International Gaming Institute at UNLV and UNR. This program reignited my spirit and desire for upward growth. I was able to work with industry executives and learn about gaming’s best practices and their implementation in resorts around the world. I am so appreciative of these opportunities and look forward to my continued professional development at Station Casinos.
I’m always enthusiastic about the casino industry and the opportunities for future development, but my main priority is simple: I want to be known as a fair, kind, and intelligent executive who has sought to successfully balance a career, family, and community service.