At times, the key to success can be, in part, attributed to embracing the unknown and fully taking advantage of opportunities when they are presented. Vernon Hill Jr.’s career provides an excellent example of this.
When Hill entered the gaming industry, it was foreign to him for a variety of reasons. Hill, who has been the slot manager at the Shoshone Rose Casino since 2007, has done very well navigating through, and excelling in, an industry that was once unknown to him.
“When I started my career, gaming was new in our area. I didn’t really know what to expect,” says Hill. “The Eastern Shoshone tribe was sending four people to slot training to prepare for the opening of their new casino. I was one of the four chosen.”
While the gaming industry was a kind of novelty to Hill at the beginning of his career, he had a solid foundation of skills and personality traits that allowed him to succeed.
“I am self-motivated and enjoy a challenge,” says Hill. “I was originally going to school for information technologies. Working with slot machines is similar to working with computers, so that made the transition easier.”
Since completing his slot training, Hill has not looked back. As mentioned above, he manages the slot operations at the Shoshone Rose Casino. On top of this, his tenure at the casino is longer than any other employee. It was not just his computer skills and personal qualities that allowed Hill to achieve these feats—Hill recognizes he was fortunate to have two mentors early on in his gaming career.
“I had a lot of help from our previous senior management, Anthony Mele and Brian
VanEnkenvoort,” explains Hill. “They both had a lot of experience in the gaming industry and were able to point me in the right direction.”
As Hill reflects on his accomplishments thus far in his career, he believes the team he has built at Shoshone Rose is his greatest.
“I am most proud of my staff,” says Hill. “They are very good at what they do, so they make my job easier.”
Hill’s team has one of the lowest turnover rates at the casino—a testament of solid management.
Hill believes the prospects for young professionals in the gaming industry are strong.
“I like how the industry is constantly changing and new aspects are always being created,” explains Hill. “This gives young professionals more of a chance for advancement or to show what they can do.”
Even if taking advantage of these industry changes calls for embracing the unknown, Hill’s career path can serve as a guide for young gaming professionals. In addition to capitalizing on the rapid industry changes, Hill stresses the importance for young gaming professionals to be leaders when called upon.
“Don’t be afraid to take the lead when it is needed,” says Hill.