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Prater leaving Bally; Olson-Reyes joins

Marcus Prater, senior vice president of marketing for slot manufacturer Bally Technologies, left the company last month after a nine-year run in the marketing department.
Prater, who joined Bally after heading up marketing for several years at Sigma Gaming, orchestrated the marketing efforts related to Bally’s resurgence of success over the past few years. He is moving back to his home state of Idaho to address family issues. At press time, Bally had begun a search for his successor.
Meanwhile, Bally hired marketing and PR veteran Laura Olson-Reyes as director of corporate communications, in charge of overseeing all of the manufacturer’s media relations and its communications strategy.
Olson-Reyes has held casino industry positions for 15 years, most notably as senior manager of communications at Aristocrat Technologies. She also held marketing positions at Harrah’s Entertainment and Stratosphere Las Vegas. Most recently, she was director of marketing communications for SellingSource, a marketing and technology provider to online lenders.

Prairie Island names casino GM

The Prairie Island Indian Community has named Allan Kronberg the new general manager of its Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Kronberg was formerly the property’s hospitality director. Prior to that, he was assistant general manager of Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, Canada, and chief operating officer of two other hotel properties.
Kronberg will oversee an expansion of Treasure Island that will see the addition of 230 hotel rooms, a 30,000-square-foot event and convention center, and a family fun center. The expansion will take place beginning next summer.

Hard Rock Hollywood names marketing VP

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, has named Joel Rovics vice president of marketing. Rovics will be responsible for strategic planning, research, direct mail and database marketing, as well as analysis, budgeting and entertainment. 
Rovics was previously vice president of marketing for Silverton Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and before that, served as director of marketing for Morongo Casino Resort and Spa, run by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. From 2004 to 2006, he was the executive director of marketing at Fantasy Springs Casino run by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, where he coordinated the grand opening festivities for the $175 million expansion. Prior to that he was executive director for the Casino Aztar in Evansville, Indiana and director of marketing for Harrah’s St. Louis.

Boyd names CFO, promotes Santoro

Boyd Gaming Corporation announced that Josh Hirsberg, a 17-year veteran of the gaming industry, will join the company as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Hirsberg will succeed Paul Chakmak, who was names senior VP and chief operating officer.
Hirsberg was most recently the chief financial officer of EdgeStar Partners, a Las Vegas-based resort development concern. He previously held several senior-level finance positions in the gaming industry, including vice president and treasurer for Caesars Entertainment and vice president of strategic planning and investor relations for Harrah’s Entertainment.
Separately, Boyd Gaming announced the promotion of Jeff Santoro to senior vice president and treasurer, reporting to Hirsberg. Santoro formerly was the company’s vice president and controller.
Santoro joined Boyd in 1997 as director of financial reporting, and was named VP and controller in 2001. He spent 10 years with Deloitte and Touche before joining Boyd Gaming.
Hirsberg and Santoro assume their new positions on January 1.

Grand Hinckley names VPs

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe named new marketing vice presidents for its Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs properties in Minnesota.
Kevin McNair has been named corporate vice president of marketing for both Grand properties, and Becky Buster has been named vice president of marketing for Grand Casino Hinckley.
McNair was most recently senior director of marketing for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Boomtown Hotel and Casino in Reno. Buster was director of sales and marketing at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Florida.

Aristocrat Europe names  marketing manager

Aristocrat Technologies Europe named Olga Pleguezuelos as its new marketing and
communications manager. She is a veteran marketing executive with experience at Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola and several other blue-chip companies.