Jennifer Kearns is the assistant director of advertising and partnerships at Live! Casino & Hotel in Maryland. She was recruited by Live! from Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino in January 2016 as director of relationship marketing, and to spearhead the launch of its customer relationship management (CRM) system. Since then, Kearns has proven herself to be a driven leader, quickly rising from her role as director to executive director, and then being promoted into her current role in the summer of 2018.
After graduating from Hussian College in Philadelphia, Kearns began her career working in graphic design and advertising. She joined SugarHouse Casino as a member of the grand opening team, having only visited a casino once before.
Kearns immersed herself in all aspects of the casino’s operations, always listening closely to and learning from her colleagues as well as guests of the property. As a result of her paying close attention to customer feedback, as well as the guidance of more senior executives, Kearns quickly progressed through several roles including slots, VIP services, casino host, CRM manager, executive host and casino marketing manager. Through a new CRM strategy, Kearns dramatically increased customer service survey scores, resulting in two consecutive years of quarterly max bonus achievement, property-wide.
Kearns ascribes her analytical personality to help drive her career development.
“Finding a balance between fiscal soundness and guest experience is difficult, but when achieved, results in a win-win for everyone,” she says.
She also credits mentor Penny Parayo, with whom she had the opportunity to work for two years at Live!, for teaching her about how to be a great leader and a positive mentor, and to always encourage others to strive for more.
Applying those lessons in her day-to-day activities, Kearns endeavors to continually pay it forward. For example, she works with her VIP services team and hosts, counseling them to find opportunities to take active leadership roles in projects that meet their skill set and interests.
An avid Disney fan, Kearns embodies the commitment of Live! parent company, The Cordish Companies, to create an unforgettable experience for guests, and has always tried to infuse that “magic” into every guest experience. She appreciates the freedom she has to exercise creative liberty and agility with her programming and enjoys being in a position to positively impact her local community.
For example, in 2017, with only two months’ lead time, Kearns planned and executed a silent and live auction, featuring hundreds of gifts donated from several regional partners, with more than 600 guests in attendance. Ultimately, the event grossed far more than expected, and Live! was able to donate a substantial portion of the proceeds to Toys for Tots.
Kearns believes that the passing of sports betting regionally, and the growth of social casinos will open doors for a younger generation of casino professionals who grew up “online” and with social media, and their comfort with technology and social engagement will position them as experts in these developing areas.
As an Emerging Leader of Gaming, Kearns hopes to be a role model for these future leaders, and is continually reminded to always challenge herself. Her advice: be kind and positive; always listen to what people are truly saying, and always take notes!