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Chasing Excellence

Hui Min Tiffany Bernadette Tay, Associate Director, Strategic Planning, Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd

Chasing Excellence

Tiffany Tay has gravitated from medical tourism to real estate to entertainment tourism to a popular casino resort during her career. These positions share a common ground, she says: all related to business, all offered a learning experience.

As she moved from industry to industry, location to location, Tay—a Singapore native—kept an eye on the prize, her focus on education and expanding her knowledge. But she admits the trajectory has been more than that.

“For me, it has been a combination of timing, luck and opportunity,” says Tay, the oldest of four children. “Overall, what excites me is the opportunity to sell a product, deliver excellent service or create unforgettable experiences and the right value for the customer.”

Tay graduated from Singapore Management University with a bachelor of business management and accountancy. She worked for the Singapore Tourism Board, dealing with medical travel. Tay made the transition to private equity real estate with Columbia Investment, a company with assets of $500 million. She led a team of 30 in both Singapore and New York. After five years with Columbia, Tay returned to the Singapore Tourism Board in 2018.

Then came Marina Bay Sands, where Tay assumed various roles. The casino resort introduced her to the term CHASE.

“In its most original form, it stands for Committed, Hardworking, Ambitious, Smart and Execute, which resonated with how I have approached life in general.”

CHASE can take on various meanings and combinations under various circumstances, she says. Take obstacles. Tay relies on curiosity and clarity to understand the obstacle, humility and honesty when approaching the obstacle, and sensitivity and empathy when solving the obstacle.

While Covid-19 left a toll, Tay felt fortunate on two fronts. “I worked with a small group in supporting the two joint chiefs in government engagement efforts towards reopening Marina Bay Sands in a smart and safe manner.”

This included demonstrating how various business units reassessed their operations, implemented capacity limits and new safe management measures, and on a property-wide level, developed a holistic health and sanitization plan.

“I was given another occasion to transition into an area that has been challenged by the Covid-19 situation: the international marketing segment.”

Amid crisis there are always prospects, Tay says. “I am grateful to be able to learn and contribute in ways that will value-add and ready the team in heading for recovery in the short run and growth in the long run,” says Tay, who loves to binge-watch Netflix when she isn’t with friends and family.

Through all this, Tay credits a number of mentors at Marina Bay Sands for her success. These include Andrew MacDonald, corporate senior vice president and chief casino officer; Jeremy Bach, senior vice president, chief marketing officer and global marketing; Anne Chen, senior vice president, premium mass market development; Qian Peilai, senior vice president, marketing and global events; Suzie Tan, senior vice president, finance; and William Ang, vice president, human resources, partnering and engagement.

Tay has advice for those who might follow in her footsteps. “Have CHASE, be CHASE. Above all, remain grounded in your values and principles, stay relevant, be agile and adapt to the ever-changing environment.”

Bill Sokolic is a veteran journalist who has covered gaming and tourism for more than 25 years as a staff writer and freelancer with various publications and wire services. He's also written stories for news, entertainment, features, and business. He co-authored Atlantic City Revisited, a pictorial history of the resort.