A chance meeting at Del Mar’s opening day led Tonya Roedell to her career in the gaming industry. From the start, it was clear she would be a front-runner in the industry. Her experience working in e-commerce set the stage for her role in internet marketing at Caesars Entertainment and her current role as director of digital and professional services at slot-maker Aristocrat Technologies.
During her time at Caesars, Roedell rolled out internet marketing campaigns for Caesars Entertainment casinos and the Total Rewards program across the United States. At Caesars, she utilized the skills she had acquired as a graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, one of the first e-commerce programs in the country. Her main task was to create campaigns that met both the needs of the regional casinos and the goals of the corporate marketing team.
One of the challenges she faced was finding that balance between the overarching goals of the corporate leadership and individual operations of the family of casinos and brands. While she met some resistance at first, Roedell worked with the operators to move from the traditional mailers to build a strong online presence at each property.
Encouraged by her mentor, Katrina Lane, Roedell applied for and moved into a management position at Caesars Entertainment. As the vice president of channel marketing at Caesars, Lane ensured that Roedell had a seat at the table with decision-makers and provided her with strategies to have her voice heard. Although Lane has moved on to her current role as executive vice president of operations and marketing at American Express, she continues to mentor Roedell and provide support.
Again, Roedell finds herself at the forefront of technology and marketing at Aristocrat Technologies. She was brought on board in 2013 to lead a new division of the company which focuses on providing support to customers, increasing product performance and building lasting relationships.
As gaming platforms expand from the traditional brick-and-mortar building to social and online gaming, Roedell works with clients to ensure that these components work together to provide a quality experience not only for the property’s customer, but also the operator. Ensuring that each of her clients is using Aristocrat’s technology to the fullest extent is one of the most rewarding parts of her job. “I am proud of the work we do at Aristocrat to find and address disconnects between the product and the operator in order to provide the highest level of return on their investment,” she says.
This commitment, combined with Roedell’s experience as an operator, is one of the major drivers of her success. From the beginning of her career in the gaming industry, Roedell has found ways to integrate new technologies into effective and innovative marketing programs.
Roedell is a firm believer in setting high expectations for one’s self and teammates. Her advice for up-and-coming leaders is simple: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions.” As she continues to move forward with Aristocrat, Roedell will no doubt continue to lead innovative projects, and minimize the mistakes.