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Invest in Yourself

Global Gaming Women’s educational offerings give members a way to add skills and expertise

Invest in Yourself

In recent years, discussions around what drives successful businesses have begun to focus on the concept of “investing in people” as a key corporate strategy and a vital component to building a successful corporate culture.

This has become a selling point for businesses trying to distinguish themselves from their peers as a company that values its people—a sometimes overlooked or undervalued asset. A recent Forbes article advocates that investing in employee development is crucial to longer-term success, as it increases employee retention, boosts reputation, increases employee innovation, and helps with sound succession planning.

As professionals in a dynamic, competitive and rapidly growing industry, we have a companion responsibility to take ownership of the investment in our own development. For those ready to tackle their professional goals in 2019, but that may have struggled to find quality, affordable ways to access development opportunities, Global Gaming Women can help. GGW was established to “support, inspire and influence the development of women in the gaming industry.”

In other words, to provide opportunities for women to invest in themselves and their fellow professionals, ultimately, maximizing the positive impact we can have as industry leaders, trailblazers and role models.

A foundational GGW offering that supports this mission is the core “pyramid” educational conferences offered each year, which are specifically tailored to gaming-industry women as they advance through each step of their careers. These conferences are facilitated by experts in leadership training, and delve into topics around soft skills, like team-building and effective communication. Many also include modules led by subject matter experts around a variety of topics like casino marketing, the basics of finance and more.

The ever-popular “dine arounds,” which feature small-group conversations with industry leaders sharing their personal stories of career growth and success, are also a component of each offering. Not only do these conferences offer tangible tools to encourage and nurture professional growth, they include valuable opportunities to connect with peers and well-known industry leaders so attendees can build their professional networks outside of their own company, but in a smaller-scale setting.

Once you’ve witnessed the buzz of conference graduates at the end of a program, it is impossible to deny the tangible impact of GGW on our industry professionals. Countless women who have attended these programs offer enthusiastic accounts of how the conference helped propel their professional careers and enrich their personal lives.

One shining example is Tiffany Widdows Sides, executive director of marketing operations for Station Casinos. She is a proud graduate of the W Development program and a GGW board member. She chairs the marketing committee, and has emphasized how grateful she is for having GGW in her life—the relationships she has made through GGW have brought her job opportunities, as well as friendships.

In fact, she credits GGW for her current position at Station Casinos. If she had not met and connected with Staci Alonso (former CMO at Stations and GGW board member) at the W Leadership Conference, she would not be with Station Casinos in her current capacity.

For 2019, GGW has a full slate of no-cost offerings already planned, which are highlighted below.

The Front Line Leaders conference is geared to industry women with at least one year of experience in a supervisory or first-level management role. Leadership Development is intended for women with at least three years in a managerial role, with responsibilities over a shift or functional area, and the W Development program is for women with at least five years of experience in a role that is the most senior position in a department, area of responsibility, business unit or organization.

Participants for each conference will be selected from a pool of applicants from across the various sectors of the gaming industry and across many jurisdictions. Most offerings are limited to fewer than 30 attendees to preserve the unique, small-scale environment that maximizes the return for each individual.

We encourage interested applicants to apply early and keep an eye out for additional offerings and new ways to access the GGW content, as the organization continues to find innovative ways to achieve its goal of offering accessible professional development opportunities to all industry women willing to make an investment in themselves.

For more information about GGW or any of its program offerings, visit, reach out to any of our board members or contact Felicia Gassen, association director, at


Western Front Line Leadership Conference
March 12-13, 2019 – Las Vegas
Application Deadline February 11

Western Leadership Development Conference
March 25-27, 2019, Las Vegas
Application Deadline February 11

Southern Leadership Development Conference
April 23-25, 2019, Hollywood, Florida
Application Deadline March 4

W Leadership Development Conference
May 1-3, 2019, Las Vegas
Application Deadline March 15

Midwest Leadership Development Conference
May 14-16, 2019, Location TBD

Eastern Leadership Development Conference
September 9-12, 2019, Atlantic City, NJ

Western Front Line Leadership Conference
November 19, 2019, Las Vegas

Cassie Stratford is vice president of legal affairs and assistant general counsel, Boyd Gaming Corporation and serves on the GGW Board of Directors as the Executive Committee and Education Committee co-chair.

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