Our Board of Directors

Global Gaming Women is led by women gaming executives representing diverse industry segments, organizations and geographic areas. Under the direction of our President and Chair Christie Eickelman, the GGW Board of Directors, made up of the Education Committee, Conference and Events Committee, Marketing Committee, Finance Committee and Mentorship Committee, steer the development of programs, events and educational offerings for the organization. We are proud to have over 100 female gaming executives and emerging leaders engaged on our committees and leading the future of GGW.

Christie Eickelman
CHRISTIE EICKELMAN
GGW President, Chair  & Events Committee
Chair
Vice President of Marketing, Gaming Laboratories International
Christie Eickelman is Vice President of Marketing for GLI. In her position, she directs and implements all marketing programs for GLI’s 20 worldwide locations. Her responsibilities include building the corporate brand and establishing and directing marketing functions in accordance with GLI’s policies, regulations and sound business practices. She joined the company in 1999 as Marketing Manager, shaping GLI’s branding in North America. In 2001, she was promoted to Director of Marketing and Development, overseeing the North American development team in their daily responsibilities. In June 2007, she was promoted to Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing, and in September 2012, she was promoted to Vice President. Eickelman has a long history in the gaming industry. Prior to GLI, she served as Marketing Manager for Sodak Gaming Inc. (now IGT). She has also served at Wolf Gaming LLC as Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. In 2005, she was selected as a Great Woman in Gaming by Casino Enterprise Management, and in 2008, Global Gaming Business named her one of the 25 People to Watch in Gaming. Eickelman is one of the founding members on the Global Gaming Women board, she’s also a member on the Andson Foundation board and for the past two years she has served on the Executive Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association-Go Red for Women Luncheon of Southern Nevada.

CASSIE STRATFORD
GGW Vice President,
GGW Education Committee
Co-Chair
Vice President of Legal Affairs & Assistant General Counsel, Boyd Gaming Corporation
Cassie Stratford currently serves as Vice President of Legal Affairs and Assistant General Counsel for Boyd Gaming Corporation, a publicly traded hotel/casino operator with properties throughout the United States.  Since joining Boyd Gaming Corporation in 2012, Ms. Stratford has been involved in a number of functions within the legal department, including contract drafting, negotiation and process management, information technology matters, data security initiatives, marketing and operational advisory matters, human resources, premises liability and complex litigation, and a wide variety of general legal advisory matters.  Prior to joining Boyd Gaming Corporation, Ms. Stratford was a commercial litigation attorney in the Las Vegas office of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.  While at Snell and Wilmer, Ms. Stratford served a variety of business clients in all stages of litigation, with a primary focus on financial services clients. Ms. Stratford received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University, while working part time for a national political campaign consulting firm in Washington DC.  Ms. Stratford received her Juris Doctor from UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, where she has also served as an Adjunct Professor, teaching an upper level legal writing course entitled “Transaction Drafting”.  In addition to her involvement with Global Gaming Women, Ms. Stratford continues to be involved in Georgetown and UNLV Law alumni programs, serves as a regular volunteer for the Ask-a-Lawyer program through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and is involved in various other community organizations.

Virginia McDowell

VIRGINIA MCDOWELL
GGW Vice Chair
Former Isle of Capri Chief Executive Officer

Named Gaming Executive of the Year for 2009 by Casino Journal Magazine, Virginia McDowell has always performed at the top of her game. Among the top publicly-traded gaming corporations, she served as the only female president and chief executive officer of a major gaming operating company from 2007 until her retirement from Isle of Capri Casinos in April 2016. She now serves at the president and board chair of Global Gaming Women, a new non-profit with a mission to support, inspire and influence the development of women in the gaming industry through education and mentoring. Her achievements include combining thirty-five years of casino experience with strong business skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate at every level, and she has served as a frequent featured or keynote speaker, moderator or panelist at universities, civic organizations and charitable organizations and major industry conferences.


Ann Hoff
ANN HOFF
GGW Nominating Committee Chair
Chief Marketing Officer, MGM Resorts International 
 

Ann Hoff, Chief Marketing Officer at MGM Resorts International, is responsible for overseeing the company’s Brand, Public Relations, Creative, Sales, Guest Experience and Direct Marketing efforts.

Ms. Hoff previously served as President and COO of Portfolio Properties at MGM Resorts International, where she led strategic direction and worked closely with the Presidents/COOs of The Mirage, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur, as well as the Retail and Hotel Centers of Excellence for the entire enterprise. In this role, she oversaw corporate initiatives and EBITDA enhancements while also implementing operating model changes across the company. 

Ms. Hoff’s career with MGM Resorts began in 1990 when she joined the Management Associate Program (MAP) at The Mirage. Soon after, she was named Assistant Director of Leisure Marketing for the property, followed by Assistant Director of Sales at Treasure Island. In 1997, Ms. Hoff moved to Biloxi, MS, to become part of the opening team as Director of Marketing for the company’s 1,740-room Beau Rivage. In 2001, she returned to Las Vegas as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Treasure Island before becoming Vice President of Operations at New York-New York, overseeing the Hotel, Food & Beverage, Entertainment, Retail, Sales and Marketing divisions. Ms. Hoff served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Excalibur from 20xx to 20xx, overseeing all aspects of the operation for the iconic 4,000-room resort while also executing several continuous improvement initiatives. More

Maureen Keenan
MAUREEN KEENAN
GGW Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair
Vice President of Finance, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Maureen Keenan brings over 33 years of gaming industry experience in finance and operations to her current role as Vice President of Finance for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. In this role, she is responsible for the areas of finance, analysis, cage operations, credit, IT, warehouse and retail operations. Maureen is part of the leadership team at Seminole Gaming that formed the Women of Seminole Gaming to encourage and support the development and success of the women of Seminole Gaming. Prior to joining Seminole Hard Rock in 2007, Maureen spent 25 years with Aztar Corporation beginning at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey and then relocating to Indiana to open the first Riverboat casino in that state, Casino Aztar-Evansville. She held executive positions at Casino Aztar including the position of Vice President/General Manger. Prior to this position she held the position of Vice President of Finance & Administration where she was responsible for the areas of Finance, analysis, cage operations, credit, IT, Human Resources, warehouse and retail operations. Maureen received her Bachelor of Science from University of Charleston, WV and Master of Science from University of Phoenix.  Married to Robert Sr. since 1988, and they have 2 wonderful children Robert, Jr and Caitlyn.

Ann Simmons Nicholson
ANN SIMMONS NICHOLSON
GGW Secretary
CEO / President,
Simmons Group

Ann Simmons Nicholson is President and Founder of the Simmons Group. She is recognized as an expert in Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Human Resources, Organizational Development and Training. The Simmons group has work internationally in private industry, for non-profit organizations, and government entities. Her clients such as Konami Gaming, Whole Foods, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Scientific Games, dozens of hotel casinos, schools and numerous non-profit organizations, have all benefited from Ann’s 30 plus years of experience.

 




Jennifer Roberts
JENNIFER ROBERTS
GGW General Counsel
Director, Sports Gaming Regulation, Tennessee Lottery

Jennifer Roberts is the Director of Sports Gaming Regulation for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.  She previously served as Associate Director and interim Executive Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation at University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she created a curriculum for educating regulators on sports betting and casino regulatory issues, established the U.S. Sports Betting Forum, and advised governments, including Japan, on the development of a casino regulatory structure and system.

Ms. Roberts has practiced gaming law for 17 years as a partner at Duane Morris LLP and shareholder in the Gaming & Regulatory Department of Lionel Sawyer & Collins, a Nevada-based law firm.  For 10 years, Ms. Roberts was an adjunct professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, teaching courses on introduction to gaming law, gaming law policy, fundamentals of casino operations, and resort hotel casino law.  She was also an adjunct professor in gaming law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.  

Holly GagnonHOLLY GAGNON
GGW Mentoring Committee
Co-Chair

President
HGC Hospitality Gaming Consulting


Holly Gagnon is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the UNLV IGI.  She recently is working on various consulting projects with her newly formed company HGC Hospitality Gaming Consulting.  A gaming veteran of over 28 years, Holly has held senior leadership positions in Finance, IT and Operations.  She has worked for the largest commercial casino companies (Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts) as well as four successful Native American owned operations.  Most recently, as President & CEO for Seneca Gaming Corporation (2017-2020), Holly Gagnon made a significant impact inside and outside the organization in short order.  Under her tenure, the corporation launched Sports Betting into all of their resorts & casinos properties, formed strategic sports partnerships with Pegula Sports & Entertainment, and transformed the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino with the $40 million expansion/renovation project dubbed the “Seneca Arrival Experience”.  Holly is passionate about the importance of culture in an organization.  Improving employee engagement has been a cornerstone to her success in improving profitability.

As one of very few female CEOs in the gaming industry, Holly has leveraged her vision over the course of her 28-year career to consistently prioritize the guest experience, employee engagement, and drive superior results to the bottom line.  She is a calculated risk-taker that brings a valuable wealth of knowledge from her years in the gaming and hospitality industry. 

Holly earned an MBA from Chaminade University of Honolulu, received her BS in Accountancy from Bentley University in Massachusetts, and is also a CPA.  She serves as an independent board and audit committee member for GameWorks and is a founding board member of Global Gaming Women, where she chairs the mentorship committee.  Holly is serves as a Trustee for the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board where she is a member of the Women in Corporate Leadership and Workforce Development Committees as well as the Ad-Hoc Committee on Coronavirus Pandemic.  She has also been honored as Native American Finance Officers Association’s Executive of the Year, one of the Top 30 CEO’s with Native Business Magazine (2019), Pay It Forward Award with Global Gaming Women (2017), multiple times as Power Women with Buffalo Business First (2019, 2018, 2017), and Power 250 (2019 & 2018). She is a former member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Board of Directors and former member of the Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Experience (MAEEX) Board. 

Katie LeverKATIE LEVER
General Counsel 

Katie Lever has been Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel to some of the gaming industry’s most influential operators and suppliers. In these roles, she’s navigated cutting edge legal, risk management, and regulatory challenges during these organizations’ greatest formative times, found creative solutions to complex corporate and strategic requirements against unforgiving timelines, and collaborated across corporate functions and across the globe, while cementing the trust of her teams, colleagues and Boards. She was the first woman Executive Vice President during her tenure at Scientific Games and its acquired entities, Bally Technology and SFHL entertainment, as well as in her position at Global Cash Access.  Recently, in her roles as Chief Legal Officer at Drew Las Vegas and General Counsel & EVP at Baha Mar, she created the foundational structure for the legal, regulatory and compliance functions for these integrated resort destinations. She has brought together her experience in FinTech, corporate law, and risk management as a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of the GBank Financial Holdings Inc., one of the top-rated community banks in the country.

 

ELLEN WHITTEMORE 
GGW Kick Up Your Heels
Co-Chair
EVP & General Counsel Wynn Resorts

Ellen Whittemore is the EVP and General Counsel for Wynn Resorts and is well known for her gaming law and regulatory practice, representing some of the world’s largest gaming companies before the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission in licensing, disciplinary, and gaming and entertainment tax matters. She also represents private equity companies investing in the gaming industry and represents many of the leading gaming technology firms engaged in interactive and social gaming.







Helen MacMillanHELEN MACMILLAN
GGW Education Committee
Co-Chair
General Manager
Hard Rock Casino Ottawa

Helen MacMillan has 15 years of experience in the Casino Industry, working as a senior executive and strategic advisor for organizations including; Caesar’s Entertainment, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Alberta Charity Casino Operators Association, Manitoba Liquor and Lottery Corporation and most recently Hard Rock International.

Helen's expertise includes casino marketing, business planning and activation, change management, customer experience, loyalty programs, employee engagement, stakeholder relations, and community outreach.

Helen represents the women of the Canadian Gaming Industry at the GGW Board of Directors’ table and is celebrated as an industry expert in both Canada and the US. Helen is also Co-Chair of GGW’s Education Committee.

 
TIFFANY SIDES
GGW Marketing Committee Chair
Executive Director of Marketing Operations, Stations Casinos

Tiffany Sides currently serves as the Executive Director of Marketing Operations for Station Casinos. In this role, she leads the corporate marketing initiatives for all Las Vegas brands to include promotions, rewards programs, guest feedback and direct collaboration with all property Directors of Marketing. She joined Station Casinos in January 2016 and has worked with three other gaming companies in Las Vegas over the last 12 years. Tiffany obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego and enjoys volunteering with various organizations throughout Southern Nevada including U.S.VETS, Global Gaming Women, The Junior League of Las Vegas, HELP of Southern Nevada, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

 



Anika Howard
ANIKA HOWARD
GGW Marketing Committee
Co-Chair

VP Brand & Digital Marketing, Foxwoods Casino Resort

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Anika Howard started her career in gaming with a desire to change how the industry viewed technology - specifically online and digital solutions. Her passion for technology and unique perspective guided her career path and helped pave the way for many of the interactive positions that exist today. She started her career as a President’s Associate with Caesars Entertainment and created her own path in Interactive Marketing and Online Gaming - stepping primarily into roles she designed to support her vision of what was possible.

Currently, as the Vice President of Brand Marketing and Digital at Foxwoods Resort Casino - the largest resort casino in North America.  She leads advertising, public relations, online marketing, sponsorships/partnerships, web development, social media for the resort.  She is also responsible for the FoxwoodsONLINE social casino and driving the strategy and vision into the expansion of sports betting and online gaming.   

Prior to her time at Foxwoods, Anika was a senior leader at IGT. She focused her expertise on strategy and marketing for IGT’s mobile gaming and sports betting services in North America. During her tenure Anika launched the first US iLottery site for the Illinois Lottery - giving Illinois residents the ability to purchase Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto tickets online. She later led the development launch of the Georgia Education Lottery’s iLottery platform. Finally, she led IGT’s initial rollout of MGM’s mobile sports betting solution in Las Vegas and New Jersey, launched the PlayDigital, PlaySports and PlaySpot mobile on-premise sports betting solution business units.

Anika was named a Bronze Stevie Award Winner for the 2020 Marketing Executive of the Year, has been named one of the “25 People to Watch for 2018” by Global Gaming Business Magazine, and won the “2018 Women of Achievement Award” from the Nevada Women’s Fund.  She hold Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Information Systems Management from Arizona State University.

ERICA KOSEMUND
Senior Director of Marketing, Choctaw Nation, Durant, Oklahoma 

Erica Kosemund is the Executive Director of Marketing for the Choctaw Nation’s Division of Commerce. She oversees the creative and strategic team that drives brand and marketing initiatives for all the Choctaw Nation businesses which include, 20 gaming sites, 16 travel plazas, several restaurants, and 65,000 acres of ranches and farmland. 

With more than a decade of experience serving in various marketing roles for several gaming and entertainment organizations, Erica brings a strong background in management, operations, marketing and gaming to her position at the Choctaw Nation.Erica’s greatest strengths are her creativity, drive and leadership. She thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the Nation’s reach.

Erica holds her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing from St. Gregory’s University. She also holds a Meeting and Event Management certificate from the University of Oklahoma. She is also a certified speaker, trainer and coach from the John Maxwell Team.

Erica received the 40 Under 40 Award from Oklahoma Magazine in 2017 and Global Gaming Business Magazine in 2015.  

 
STANA SUBARIC
Chair GGW Membership Committee Chair
Senior Vice President of People & Possibilities for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Stana Subaric currently serves as the Senior Vice President of People & Possibilities for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. 

In this role, she is responsible for leading, driving and managing dynamic change across the organization and devising a strategy for talent development, training, risk mitigation, ambassador/labor relations and performance management.  She also has the overall responsibility for aligning organizational performance to business outcomes through strong leadership and an appropriate balance between the strategic and tactical aspects of People & Possibilities through a hands-on orientation and a relationship-building approach.  

Before joining the LVCVA, Ms. Subaric held multiple Human Resource leadership positions for corporations including Affinity Gaming, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Caesars Entertainment. She is an acting member for the Society of Human Resource Management and has participated in volunteer work with organizations including Make-A-Wish, Alzheimer’s Association, and Candelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Lauren BatesLauren Bates
GGW Mentorship Committee
Co-Chair 
Vice President, West Game Sales, Konami Gaming, Inc.

Lauren Bates currently serves as the Vice President, West Game Sales, Konami Gaming, Inc.; a leading innovator of slot machines and gaming enterprise management systems for the global gaming market  Since joining Konami in 2006, Mrs. Bates has held various positions. In her current role, Lauren is responsible for developing and managing her team of sales professionals, driving revenue, increasing overall market and ship share, and the development and execution of annual business strategy.  Lauren has a proven success record of 13 years in gaming that include highly recognized sales achievements for both games and system sales, business process improvement, and mentoring/leadership programs. Lauren grew up in Ohio, earned her  BA from The Ohio State University in Marketing and Logistics with a Minor in Professional Writing, and recently completed UCSD’s Mindful Executive graduate program.  She enjoys volunteering at various organizations throughout Southern Nevada and is an active member of Global Gaming Women serving on the Board of Directors and various committees.

Shonette Carew

Shonette Harrison Carew
GGW Strategic Planning Committee
Strategic Director of Marketing
Nemours Children’s
Health System


Shonette Carew became the Strategic Director of Marketing for Nemours Children’s Health System 4 months ago mid-COVID because she knows the agony of being a parent worried about your child.  Prior to this role, she developed her leadership and business acumen as a trailblazer in hospitality for over 20 years.  Shonette has held VP Marketing/ Casino Marketing roles for a variety of casinos such as Hollywood Casino Perryville, Valley Forge Casino Resort and Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia to name a few.  Prior to Marketing, she ran operational divisions including Hotel Operations, Event Management, Food and Beverage, Retail and Rewards Centers and Customer Service.  Whether working to deliver high quality services in children’s healthcare, hotels and hospitality, financial services or gaming entertainment, Shonette has had the privilege to help create and reinvent the service delivery process for a number of industries.  

Shonette is a product of NYC by way of Jamaica with turns living in other countries and residency in at least 6 states to date.  She holds a Bachelors from Pace University, NYC and a Masters of Management in Hospitality/Masters of Business Administration from The Cornell Hotel School and ESSEC Business School, Paris, France.  Shonette supports adding diverse perspectives and opinions to any conversation and values the depth that brings.  It makes us all richer.

 

Felicia Gassen

FELICIA GASSEN
Association Director, Global Gaming Women

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Felicia Gassen is a passionate and experienced advocate who brings a variety of experience to accomplish the objectives of Global Gaming Women. She is committed to developing programs and strategies to help women become leaders in the gaming industry, and her diverse background uniquely qualifies her to achieve that end.