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Oswell named to head Fontainebleau

Audrey Oswell, former president and CEO of Resorts Atlantic City, has been named as president and chief operating officer of Fontainebleau Las Vegas.
Oswell will oversee all operational aspects of the new $2.9 billion, 3,812-room resort currently being built on the Las Vegas Strip by Fontainebleau Resorts LLC, which also owns the legendary Fontainebleau in Miami Beach.
Oswell  is a 25-year veteran of the Atlantic City casino industry. Prior to Resorts, she was president and chief operator of Caesars Atlantic City, where she began her casino career in 1979. After taking the top job at Resorts in 2000, she oversaw the construction and opening of the hotel’s Rennaisance Tower and the re-design of the entire casino.
Oswell most recently served as chief operating officer of the Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, where she established the start-up company’s organizational structure, assembled a senior management team and developed a marketing strategy.
 ”Audrey is one of the casino resort industry’s most accomplished executives,” said Howard Karawan, chief operating officer of Fontainebleau Resorts. “We’re confident her vision and leadership will help drive Fontainebleau Las Vegas to become one of the world’s most spectacular
The Fontainebleau is slated to open in fall of 2009.

SkyCity finally has CEO

SkyCity Entertainment has named Nigel Morrison as its new CEO. The appointment comes months after the previous chief executive, Evan Davies, left in June.
Morrison is currently serving as chief financial officer of Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group. He has more than 18 years of experience in the Australian gambling industry, including having headed that nation’s largest private casino and gaming company, Federal Group.
Acting CEO Elmar Toime, who previously was head of New Zealand’s postal service, will stay on until the beginning of March 2008.
The appointment of Morrison does not mean the end of SkyCity’s search for a takeover, according to a Brisbane Times report. Likewise, Morrison has said that a takeover would not automatically mean his departure.

Former Station exec launches consulting firm

Lesley Pittman, former Station Casinos vice president of corporate and government relations, announced she has formed Sierra Strategies, a consulting firm that will provide government relations and strategic communications services to clients across Nevada.
“I’ve had a lifelong dream of owning my own company, and after 15 years of work in the communications and legislative fields at both the state and national level, I look forward to bringing my advocacy and communications expertise to clients throughout the state,” Pittman said.
At Station Casinos, Pittman was responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s government, community and public relations activities at the federal, state and local levels.
Prior to joining Station Casinos, Pittman served as government services communications manager and associate director of public relations for R&R Partners in Las Vegas, where she crafted communication strategies to help agency clients achieve public policy goals and devised campaign tactics to secure voter approval of several ballot initiatives.

Trump appoints PR manager

Trump Entertainment Resorts announced that Mary R. Moyer has been appointed public relations manager for all of the company’s casino properties.
Moyer, who most recently was advertising and public relations manager for Trump Taj Mahal, will be responsible for spearheading public relations campaigns to gain publicity for all Trump Entertainment Resorts’ entertainment, special events and community involvement.
Before joining the Atlantic City Trump properties, Moyer served as the advertising manager at Tropicana Casino and Resort, where she was an integral part of the marketing team that launched the Quarter retail attraction.
Prior to her casino career, Moyer, an Atlantic City native, worked in managerial positions for advertising agencies and corporate bank marketing departments.

Carnahan boosts Agua Caliente slot management

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians named gaming veteran Ken Carnahan as the new executive director of slot performance at the Agua Caliente casino in Palm Springs, California.
Carnahan, a 14-year veteran of the casino industry, spent the last  two years as director of slots at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California. In his new role, he will be responsible for all slot performance activities at both Agua Caliente casinos. This includes slot analysis, strategy, purchases, contract negotiations and game-pricing. Carnahan also will provide support and guidance to management teams at both casinos.
Evans named CFO at Santa Ana Star

New Mexico’s Santa Ana Star Casino has promoted Nan Evans to chief financial officer. Evans, who has 11 years of accounting experience, will manage the casino’s day-to-day financial operations. She previously was the casino’s controller.
Evans’ responsibilities will now include overseeing the casino cage or cashier, the information technology department, the drop and count team responsible for counting the money from slot machines, compliance purchasing, and the accounting department.
“I am very excited about being promoted to chief financial officer. I look forward to my new responsibilities and the opportunities to learn more about the gaming industry and the departments I oversee,” Evans said.

Harrah’s names Condon as consultant

Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City announced today that Ken Condon, who recently retired as senior vice president and general manager of the operator’s Bally’s Atlantic City property, will serve as sports and entertainment consultant for the company’s four Atlantic City properties.
As head of Bally’s, Condon is credited with reviving boxing as a major draw for Atlantic City, arranging boxing contests at Boardwalk Hall in recent years that contributed to the venue’s rebirth as one of the top-grossing arenas in the country.
Condon has been a key executive in Atlantic City since casinos began in 1978. As chief at Bally’s, he oversaw a succession of key developments, including the opening of the Wild Wild West annex, the merger of Park Place Entertainment with Caesars, and the merger of the Claridge into Bally’s.
After the opening of the refurbished Boardwalk Hall in 2001, Condon led the charge not only to bring in major boxing events, but superstar entertainment into the venue.
“Ken Condon is a true visionary in the gaming industry and a well-respected negotiator of complex contracts related to the sports and entertainment industries,” said Carlos Tolosa, Eastern Division president of Harrah’s Entertainment. “In his role as sports and entertainment consultant, Ken will bring superstar boxing matches, concerts and sports events to Atlantic City and maximize Harrah’s, Bally’s, Caesars and Showboat’s role as leaders in A-list entertainment.”

Aruban Resort announces exec appointments

KL International, LLC announced the appointment of its executive timeshare sales and resort operations team for its Aruban Resort & Casino at Eagle Beach in Aruba.
Karen Hana was named as senior vice president of resort operations. Hana, a graduate of the Hague School of Hotel Management in the Netherlands, has more than 20 years of industry experience, most recently as hotel manager at the Princess Port de Plaisance in St. Maarten.
Named on the timeshare sales and marketing executive team are: Terry Calacino, senior vice president of sales and marketing; Robert Watson, senior vice president of operations; Garritt Watson, vice president, Latin American sales; Adriana Rodriguez, assistant vice president, Latin American operations; and Sabina Abelis, assistant vice president, special events.
The Aruban Resort & Casino at Eagle Beach, recently acquired by KL International, includes a 362-room timeshare and resort hotel, a 48,000-square-foot permanent casino, a restaurant (currently operating as a temporary casino) and recreational amenities.

Magna appoints COO

Magna Entertainment Corporation announced it has appointed Ron Charles to the position of chief operating officer, reporting directly to Chairman and Interim CEO Frank Stronach. Charles will be responsible for all operational aspects of MEC’s business units, including horse racing, gaming,, AmTote International and MEC’s investments in TrackNet Media and HRTV.
Charles joined MEC in 2004 as executive director of MEC California. He is a past chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
“I am very pleased that Ron has accepted the chief operating officer position and taken on the added responsibilities that go along with it,” said Stronach. “In addition to his new corporate responsibilities, Ron will continue to play a vital role as executive director of MEC California. I have had a chance to work with Ron for a number of years now and he has my complete confidence.”

Harrah’s Entertainment appoints marketing chief

Harrah’s Entertainment announced it has named David Norton to the position of chief marketing officer, subject to regulatory approvals.
Norton will oversee all marketing activities for the company, and will continue to lead relationship marketing, which he has headed since 2003.
“In today’s complex multi-channel marketplace, we must continue to strengthen customer relationships and deliver high-quality brand experiences across our entire portfolio,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment. “David has demonstrated outstanding leadership as senior vice president of relationship marketing
and is eminently qualified for this important role.”

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