Emerging Leaders of Gaming (ELG) was formed by The Innovation Group in 2012 as a means of giving young professionals a home for collaboration and shared experience, and an extra advantage in the already-competitive gaming industry. The program relies on grassroots action by its participants to foster dialogue on industry trends, innovation and governance though the lens of a new generation of professionals.
The Innovation Group’s collaboration with Global Gaming Business and its already-established “40 Under 40” program brought together two of the most dynamic programs recognizing new leadership in the gaming industry. Countless gaming operators and suppliers over the past five years have helped broaden the program’s reach and impact.
The ELG vision has been organic and led by The Innovation Group’s own young professionals with their counterparts in operations, marketing, development, Native American enterprises and the most recently added segment, data analytics. The goals remain simple:
- Expand interaction among younger leaders in the gaming industry
- Foster productive professional relationships between emerging leaders
- Channel content to feed the forums in which leaders interact
- Provide networking opportunities at industry events and conferences
- Recognize the notable contributions of emerging leaders
The Leadership (R)Evolution
As industries go, the modern gaming industry is still young. Its first generation of leadership is just now looking back at over three decades of experience—half a professional generation—and seeing those they have mentored begin to thrive.
Gaming’s early leaders had the difficult task of building legitimacy, maintaining responsibility and promoting advancement in design, breadth of offering, and marketing strategies. These feats were accomplished by executives within legacy companies where leaders like Terry Lanni, Phil Satre, Steve Wynn and Stanley Ho led the way. There were also great leaders among Las Vegas family “locals” brands like Station Casinos, Horseshoe Casinos, Boyd Gaming and Coast Casinos, and in the gaming equipment companies and their counterparts, as well as in the testing labs which reinforced innovation and accountability.
A secondary wave of leadership emerged during the regional market expansion of the 1990s and early 2000s, when over a dozen regional gaming companies arrived on the scene along with parimutuel operators and hundreds of Native American enterprises. Gaming in the U.S. and Canada was now led by many executives from outside of the traditional casino industry. They came from high-ranking jobs in marketing, real estate and entertainment.
Today’s emerging leaders are bringing their own generational nuance to the industry in a big way. Defining the relationship between players and technology, places and cyberspaces, and the utility of data and information are on their minds at every turn. Social responsibility is no longer a route to acceptance but a best practice. And forging communication between the generations of leaders is truly a work in progress.
The Future of the Emerging Leaders Program
Capturing the essence of gaming’s first generational shift in leaders in today’s world is what ELG is all about. As the industry’s first generation of leaders increasingly turns to emerging leaders for strategic guidance and insights, a platform for thoughtful and targeted professional development is even more important than it was when the ELG program began.
ELG remains committed to providing such a platform. The ELG program is designed to foster further progress in the areas most important for today’s leaders and their protégés: innovation and disruption, next-generation customers, operational efficiencies, development, recruitment and corporate social responsibility. With a firm foundation upon which to build, the Emerging Leaders program hopes to continue its work to create opportunities for our industry’s next generation of leaders to connect, engage and educate themselves about trends and successes in these areas. Goals include engaging new voices from inside and outside of the industry, identifying and advancing trends before they emerge, and creating new opportunities for the broader gaming industry to support and hear from this important class of individuals.
For more information, visit the theinnovationgroup.com.
The gaming industry consistently produces strong innovators who display impressive work ethic amid ongoing challenges and show a commitment to the growth and health of their industry. The Emerging Leaders of Gaming “40 Under 40” program was created to identify and celebrate these gaming industry professionals under age 40 who are on the path to making prominent impacts on the industry. These individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by a colleague for recognition. Nominations for the 2019 Emerging Leaders program will open in May.
Nominees selected for the ELG “40 Under 40” will be:
- profiled in Global Gaming Business magazine;
- celebrated at the annual ELG extravaganza at G2E; and,
- eligible to author an article for the ELG newsletter produced by The Innovation Group.
Join us as we honor this year’s “40 Under 40:”
Emerging Leaders of Gaming “40 Under 40” Event
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 • 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
SUSHISAMBA Las Vegas, located in the Grand Canal Shoppes in The Palazzo