Ponce de Leon isn’t the only one who has searched for the Fountain of Youth. Once it’s gone, youth can never be recaptured, which is why admiration for people who achieve great things while they are young is widespread.
And it’s not only people searching for the Fountain of Youth. It’s communities, companies and entire industries. For nothing is sustainable unless you have young people coming up to keep it moving forward.
The gaming industry is very fortunate that there are so many qualified young executives and officials in the business. GGB’s 40 Under 40 feature, presented for the third year in conjunction with G2E’s Emerging Leaders program, is proof that youth is being served in the gaming industry.
“For the last two years, G2E, the Innovation Group and GGB have been fortunate to recognize young leaders in the gaming industry,” says Roger Gros, the publisher of GGB. “Each year, the nominations for this recognition have increased, and this year, over 160 people were nominated. It’s a testament to the bright future of the industry, and we’ve been very gratified by the response.”
David Rittvo, executive vice president for the Innovation Group, says the reaction to the program has been overwhelming.
“There has been a growing awareness about the Emerging Leaders program, sparked by G2E and GGB’s ‘40 Under 40’ feature,” he says. “The Innovation Group recognizes that new, creative leadership is needed to reinvigorate the industry, and we believe this program will play a key role going forward.”
With so many excellent candidates nominated for G2E’s Emerging Leaders, the choice to narrow them down to 40 was daunting. But thanks to GGB’s Editorial Advisory Board, the Innovation Group, the American Gaming Association and G2E, an excellent list of deserving winners was announced in September.
This month, we feature 10 profiles of the winners. Each month hereafter, more profiles will be published until the 2017 class of 40 Under 40 is announced at G2E 2016, September 27-29, 2016. To be considered for the 40 Under 40 honor, applicants must first be nominated for G2E’s Emerging Leaders program when the call for nominations is announced in May 2016.
The following is GGB’s 2016 Class of 40 Under 40.
The five marked with (*) received the G2E Emerging Leaders Scholarships:
1) Brett Abarbanel, Head, Social & Recreational Gambling, Research, UCLA Gambling Studies Program *
2) Joshua Anderson, Senior Manager of Corporate, Surveillance, Cherokee Nation Entertainment
3) Sheila Bangalore, Assistant General Counsel, Aristocrat Technologies
4) Mike Bolsover, Chief Executive Officer, Silver Heritage Limited *
5) Chris Calitri, Slot Manager, Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots
6) Jessica Cipolla-Tario, Vice President of Marketing, Mandalay Bay and Delano (MGM Resorts)
7) Eian Counts, Vice President of Product Strategy, The Rainmaker Group
8) Felix Danciu, CEO, Elmcore
9) Trevor De Giorgio, Managing Director, Greentube Malta Ltd.; and Head of International Legal Compliance, Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions GmbH
10) Daniel Duffiney, Surveillance Manager, Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos
11) Geoffrey Duncan, Director of Marketing, Penn National Gaming
12) David Farahi, Chief Operating Officer, Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc.
13) Ian Feldman, Executive Director of Strategy and Operations, Las Vegas Sands
14) Nicole Fields, Assistant Marketing Manager, Cintas
15) Chris Freeman, Security Director, Tropicana Evansville
16) DeJuna Frye, Gaming Agent Supervisor, Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission
17) Joshua Greenberg, Content Lead, Incrediplay
18) Vernon Hill, Jr., Slot Manager, Shoshone Rose Casino
19) Andre Jackson, Assistant Director of Hotel Operations, Flamingo Las Vegas
20) Dave Jacoby, Chief Operating Officer, Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino
21) Crystal Janvier, Researcher/Policy Analyst, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
22) Benjamin Koff, Vice President, Marketing, Golden Nugget Casino Resort-Lake Charles
23) Erica Kosemund, Director of Marketing Operations, Chickasaw Nation
24) Patricia Lalanda, Senior Associate, Loyra *
25) Jacob Lanning, Vice President, Strategic R&D and Sales Strategy, IGT
26) Seth Makowsky, CEO, Makowsky Restaurant Group *
27) Rosalyn Montero, Executive Administrator, Sycuan Gaming Commission
28) Danielle Parsons, Director of Field Operations, Joingo
29) Kahlil Philander, Director of Social Responsibility, BCLC
30) Brent Pinkston, Chief Operating Officer, Wind Creek Hospitality
31) John Policicchio, Senior Vice President of Marketing, MotorCity Casino Hotel
32) Rory Shanahan, Director of B2B Product Marketing, Scientific Games
33) Dan Shapiro, Director of Business Development, William Hill US
34) Kevin Sweet, Vice President of Slot Operations and Marketing, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
35) Leslie Tanyan, Executive Director, Absentee Shawnee Tribe
36) Diana Ulloa, Consultant, ULAC Publicidad y Mercadeo
38) Niko Vittas, Vice President, Gaming Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch *
39) Ronald Washington, Table Games Shift Supervisor, Eagle Mountain Casino
40) Michael Zhu, VP of Operations, Planning and Development, The Innovation Group