GGB is committed to providing updated news and analysis on our weekly news site,

Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 Class of 2020-21

The 2021 Class of Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 has been announced. A special webinar will take place October 22 for the five “Judges Choice” winners. Sign up to attend!

Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 Class of 2020-21

The Innovation Group, organizers of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming program, and Global Gaming Business Magazine (GGB) have announced the winners of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40, a program that recognizes young professionals making significant impacts in the casino gaming industry.

The winners were part of 150+ industry members who were nominated by colleagues who recognized their commitment and dedication to the gaming industry.

“During such a difficult time, it’s heartening to see so many excellent candidates nominated for the Emerging Leaders Program,” said The Innovation Group President Michael Soll. “These people are going to lead the industry now and into the future to bring back excellence in serving our customers and their families. The Innovation Group is proud to be able to showcase these remarkable individuals.”

“The quality of this year’s Emerging Leaders class is cut above the rest,” said Roger Gros, publisher of GGB. “They represent the best and the brightest of the gaming industry and anyone who has any doubts about the recovery of gaming after the pandemic need only to understand the dedication of these professionals to their craft.”

The selection process, says Gros, has become increasingly competitive with nominations growing by 50 percent over last year. “It’s incredible,” he said. “The talent. The diversity. We’re able to highlight a truly impressive group of young people shaping gaming’s future.”

The five “Judges Choice” winners of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 will be announced at a special webinar on October 22. CLICK HERE to register and details of the event will follow.

The judges for the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 are:

  • Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain
  • Christie Eickelman, vice president of global marketing for Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), and chairwoman of Global Gaming Women
  • Mick Ingersoll, director of gaming strategies at Everi Holdings, Inc.
  • Virginia McDowell, former president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos, and former chairwoman of Global Gaming Women

The 2020 Class of Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40:

  • Melissa Aarskaug, Vice President of Business Development, Bulletproof
  • Marshall Adair, Vice President and Executive Producer – Digital / Online, Everi Holdings Inc.
  • Eduardo Alvarez, Director of Sales – LatAm, AGS
  • Allen Ambrogio, U.S. Director of Operations, Tipico
  • Robert Baldassarre, Associate, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Andre Barnabei, Vice President of Gaming at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
  • JaNessa Bumgarner, Chief Executive Officer, Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel
  • Charlotte Cain, HR Manager, Continent 8 Technologies
  • Jeffrey Caldwell, Director of Hotel Operations, Encore Boston Harbor
  • Cherchi Chen, Managing Director, Finance and Operations, NagaWorld
  • Suzanne Duchene, Slot Operations Service Manager, Seneca Gaming Corporation
  • Rick Eckert, Managing Director, Slot Performance & Analysis, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC
  • Brad Egnor, Senior Vice President of Marketing, San Manuel Casino
  • Ashley Eurich, Vice President, Lockdogs
  • Don-Lee Hardy, Safety Specialist, Sycuan Casino Resort
  • Molly Hart, Licensing and Compliance Manager, Gaming Capital Group, LLC
  • Bryan Hayes, Senior Vice President of Gaming Operations, Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • Matthew Heyerdahl, Chief Accounting Officer and Director of Finance, Gaming Arts
  • Connie James, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Gaming, Scientific Games
  • Paul Juliano, Vice President of Operations, Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc.
  • Mohit Kansal, Partner, Clairvest Group
  • JoyceLynn Lagula, Design Director, Wilson Associates
  • Zachary Levine, Corporate Vice President of Table Games Strategy, MGM Resorts International
  • Martin Lycka, Director of Regulatory Affairs/Trustee of the GVC Foundation U.S., GVC Holdings PLC
  • James Manuel, Director of Fine Dining, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
  • Olena Nall, Director, Business Development, Wind Creek Hospitality
  • Malou Neguembor, Head of CRM, Megalotto
  • Mike Nguyen, Director of Engineering, JCM Global
  • Jennifer Palumbo Fales, Chief of Staff to the Chief of Product Officer & VP Global Brand Licensing, IGT
  • Mary Parker, Management and Program Analyst, National Indian Gaming Commission
  • Marvin Phillips, Director of Information Technology, Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort
  • David Rittvo, Vice President Development, Caesars Entertainment Corp
  • Sam Rook, Director of Marketing, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
  • Nav Sandhawalia, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, Niagara Casinos (Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment)
  • Araksi Sargsyan, Head of Business Development, DS Virtual Gaming
  • Meghan Sleik, Director of Marketing, Aristocrat
  • Steven Slotwinski, Chief Technology Officer, Eclipse Gaming Systems
  • Anthony Strangia, Deputy Attorney General, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
  • Hui Min Tiffany Bernadette Tay, Associate Director, Strategic Planning, Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd
  • Peter Wolff, Director of Global Technical Compliance, Gaming Laboratories International

Nominations for the 2022 Class of Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 will open in April 2021. Details will be coming soon.

    Recent Feature Articles

  • Creating Confidence

    Integrity monitoring in sports betting is crucial, and it’s working

  • Brazil: Ahead of Regulation, at Last

    After years of delays, Brazil and its potentially huge legal market are finally on the horizon. With Brazil being described as the “flavor of the month,” how is the market developing ahead of regulation?

  • The Seminole Model

    The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Seminoles’ Florida compact giving them a monopoly on sports betting. Can other tribes benefit?

  • Dog Eat Dog

    How Maryland’s legislative defeat has rehashed the question of cannibalization between land-based and digital gaming

  • Smoke on the Water

    Non-smoking trends on the I-5 Corridor in Washington