When Kim Barker Lee joined Bally’s Corporation as executive vice president and chief legal officer a year ago, the company’s executives knew they had someone special. Lee brought more than 25 years of experience to the position.
Bally’s CEO at that time, Lee Fenton, couldn’t contain his enthusiasm when announcing Lee had joined the team.
“We are excited to welcome Kim to Bally’s and are confident that she will make an excellent addition to our global leadership team,” Fenton said. “The depth and breadth of Kim’s legal expertise, especially in gaming and lottery, will be instrumental as the company continues to expand and evolve during this period of significant growth. Additionally, her strong network and understanding of our key markets, including Rhode Island and Illinois, is particularly valuable as we explore new opportunities in the jurisdictions in which we conduct business.”
While the United States was one focal point, Lee’s scope reaches far beyond North America.
“I sit on the executive leadership team and oversee Bally’s global legal, compliance, data privacy, board, corporate governance and ESG teams to support and drive the company’s global strategy,” Lee says. “These are functions that reach all areas of our business daily and require constant interaction between our legal team and business partners. In addition to my duties as EVP and CLO, I am also thrilled to serve as the chair of Bally’s Foundation, which is focused on delivering positive impact to our communities.”
It is a position that requires working with several departments in order to be successful.
“One challenge is bridging geographical, time zone and other differences to work together more seamlessly to build a strong team culture and develop and utilize talent,” Lee says. “Overcoming challenges is dependent upon the approach to the role—are you a partner or are you a monitor? If you take the approach of being a partner to the business, your contributions will be better understood and recognized through your actions and impact.”
One other passion Lee has been able to cultivate in her career is diversity, equality and inclusion. Her previous position at IGT was global vice president of diversity and inclusion. She was able to bring her experiences to Bally’s.
“For me there is no extraordinary effort to incorporate DEI into my role at Bally’s,” Lee says. “It is embodied in my lived experience and how I lead. We are all better and our companies and results stronger when DEI informs people and business strategies. Bally’s was committed to DEI well before I joined the company as chief legal officer, and we are leading in (areas where) many companies struggle—the diversity on our executive team and board.”
Lee recounts the women who have helped her in her career, and says the help has been vital to her success.
“I am proud to say I have had many mentors, including peers who remain integral parts of my ecosystem of support,” Lee says. “Equally important to mentorship is my peer network—those individuals with whom I have grown, who are always available to discuss the challenges and opportunities and who provide the space to release in open and honest ways.
“I am going to give special recognition to Alex Dixon (CEO, Q Casino) and Anika Howard (CEO, WondrNation), who I have been blessed to include in a close circle of peers in the industry who do more than act as a sounding board—they also hold me accountable. Anika and I are the current co-chairs of African Americans in Gaming, and one of our goals is to ensure that our members have access to mentors and advisers to help grow and navigate their careers in our industry.”