GGB is committed to providing updated news and analysis on our weekly news site,

The Future’s So Bright…

Introducing GGB’s 40 Under 40, the compilation of this year’s up-and-coming industry superstars

The Future’s So Bright…

OK, if you’re under 40 years old you may not understand the reference in the title of this year’s 40 Under 40 list. But as one of the great one-hit wonders, Timbuk3’s song “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades,” the 1986 release clearly reflects the positive prospects for the careers of the honorees.

Every year Global Gaming Business has been running the 40 Under 40 feature following the Emerging Leaders program offered at G2E and produced by the Innovation Group. The entire class of Emerging Leaders nominees is invited to a special reception at G2E.

“The Emerging Leaders of Gaming program has become the most important vehicle to recognize young leaders in the gaming industry,” says Roger Gros, the publisher of GGB. “With over 100 nominations for Emerging Leaders, the 40 Under 40 list was difficult to choose. It’s a testament to the bright future of these individuals, and we’ve been very gratified by the response of the industry.”

David Rittvo, executive vice president of the Innovation Group, says the reaction to the program has been overwhelming.

“Now in its fifth year, the Emerging Leaders of Gaming program with G2E continues to increase in awareness, and along with GGB’s ‘40 Under 40’ feature, recognize a more diverse class of rising industry stars each year,” he says. “The Innovation Group believes that new leadership can serve to invigorate an industry, and we hope this program plays a key role in identifying those with talent and creativity to lead gaming into the future.”

In this month’s issue, GGB presents the profiles of 10 of the 40. In subsequent months, two or three profiles will be featured in every issue until the entire 40 have been profiled on these pages.

Know someone deserving under 40? The nomination process for next year’s Emerging Leaders program—which automatically makes the individual eligible for the 40 Under 40 list—begins in June. Watch the pages of this magazine and the G2E website ( for notification of the opening of the nomination process. The 40 Under 40 are chosen by the GGB Advisory Board listed in the masthead on page 6.

And thanks to all involved in this year’s Emerging Leaders program and the 40 Under 40 list. We couldn’t be more proud of the recipients.

40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2016

1. Matthew B. Levinson, Chairman and CEO, New Jersey Casino Control Commission

2. Walter Fales, Chief Development Officer, Warner Hospitality

3. Sara Gonso Tait, Executive Director, Indiana Gaming Commission

4. Mike McKiski, Vice President of Sales, Interblock Gaming

5. Patrick Nichols, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

6. Cory Roberts, Associate Publisher, CDC Gaming Reports

7. Grant Eve, Partner, Joseph Eve, CPAs

8. Jeff Morris, Vice President-Public Affairs, Penn National Gaming

9. Kurt Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Casino Cash Trac, LLC

10. Patrick Harris, Senior Associate, TRM Public Affairs

11. Erika Okerberg, Associate, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

12. Neil Erlick, Executive Vice President Business Development, Paysafe

13. Joanne Israel, General Manager, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino

14. Darion Lowenstein, CMO, Gamblit Gaming, LLC

15. Stephen Maldonado, ITR Manager, Forest County Potawatomi Gaming Commission

16. Jada Yee, Food and Beverage Manager, SaskGaming Corporation

17. Alexander White, Game Producer, International Game Technology

18. Adam Berger, Associate, Duane Morris

19. Mike Trask, Director of Marketing, Ainsworth Game Technology

20. John Hemberger, Senior Vice President of Table Products, AGS

21. Melani Evans, Director of Corporate Marketing, Affinity Gaming

22. Vlad Dunaevsky, Casino Product Manager, Pala Interactive

23. Cheryl Hanlan, Executive Assistant GM, Sky Dancer Casino & Resort

24. Itay Fisher, Product & Gaming Development Director, Gala Coral Interactive

25. Jordan Seager, Vice President Marketing, Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino

26. Jonathan Deutsch, Professor, Drexel University Center for Hospitality and Sport Management

27. Dan Whelan, Art Director, Incredible Technologies

28. BJ Bouschor, Vice President of IT, Firekeepers Casino Hotel

29. Angela Bae, Slot Marketing Manager, Aria Resort & Casino

30. James Siva, Tribal Council Member, Morongo Band of Mission Indians

31. Michael Armenta, Senior Marketing Manager, Chumash Hotel & Casino

32. Wendy Carter, Marketing Director, Choctaw Casino & Resort Durant

33. Ashlee Garnett, Hospitality Consultant, Cintas

34. Justin Quigno, Director of Slot Services, Four Winds Casinos

35. Miki Yeo, Assistant Casino Manager, Marina Bay Sands

36. Tyler Johnson, Director of Slot Operations, Osage Casinos

37. Cathryn Lai, Vice President of Product Management, Gaming Division, Scientific Games

38. Melanie Gross, Head of Online Casino, Caesars Interactive

39. Whit Askew, Vice President of Government Relations, AGA

40. Lovell Walker, Executive Director of Interactive Gaming, MGM Resorts

    Recent Feature Articles

  • Back to Basics: 10 Trends for 2023

    The 10 Trends for 2023 do not start with the recovery from the pandemic

  • Doing the Math

    The creativity of game design goes hand in hand with what keeps players at the game—the program math

  • Everything to Everyone

    Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim aims for the top, but will technology be his foil?

  • Regulating the Regulators

    Should regulators of the multi-state, billion-dollar casino industry come from the outside?

  • Paying It Forward

    How payment technology has successfully met the challenges of today’s gaming industry