Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Women in Gaming" A Courtroom Conversation to be Hosted by @TheMobMuseum

On Wednesday, February 19,  The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, will host “Women in Gaming” in its historic courtroom. Part of the Museum’s ongoing Courtroom Conversation educational programming series, the event will take place at 7 p.m. and feature a panel discussion among three of the top women in the global gaming industry: Patricia Becker, president, Patricia Becker & Associates and former executive director, UNLV’s International Gaming Institute as well as first and only woman to be appointed to the Nevada Gaming Control Board; Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice president, communications and government relations, Caesars Entertainment; and Elaine Wynn, director, Wynn Resorts, and president, Nevada State Board of Education. Moderating the discussion will be Marybel Batjer, secretary, California Government Operations and past vice president, public policy, Caesars Entertainment.

Community partners helping present the event include Global Gaming Women and the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada (WRIN). In addition, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Lied Library Special Collections will display archival material relevant to the topic and Vegas PBS will record the event for future broadcast consideration.

These women will come together for one evening at The Mob Museum to discuss the world of gaming from their own unique perspectives. Sure to be among the topics that evening: the highs and lows, challenges and successes of operating as prominent figures in a largely male-dominated gaming industry.

Patricia Becker is the President of Patricia Becker & Associates, a gaming consulting firm that specializes in compliance and regulatory issues. In addition, she currently serves as chair of the compliance committee at Bally Technologies, Inc. She previously served as executive director of UNLV International Gaming Institute, and was the first woman to be appointed to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Previously, Becker held numerous executive positions including roles with Aladdin Gaming and Harrah’s. She also served as chief of staff to Nevada Gov. Bob Miller from 1993 to 1995 and on the board of directors for Cash Systems Inc., Fitzgerald’s Gaming Corp. and Powerhouse Technologies. In 2004, Becker was the first woman to be inducted into the International Association of Gaming Advisors and has served as the organization’s president.

Jan Jones Blackhurst is Executive Vice President of Communications and Government Relations for Caesars Entertainment, Corp. In that capacity, she oversees all worldwide government affairs, corporate communications, community relations and corporate-social responsibility programs for the $9 billion corporation.  Those programs include Caesars industry-leading responsible-gaming systems and its various initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity and promoting environmental stewardship companywide.
       
Prior to joining Caesars in November 1999, Jones Blackhurst served two terms as Mayor of the City of Las Vegas.  She was the city’s first woman chief executive, and among the most popular mayors in its history, having won reelection in 1995 by a 72 percent margin. While in office, Jones Blackhurst presided over an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural expansion, one in which the city’s population increased 66 percent, making Las Vegas the fastest-growing major metropolitan area in America throughout much of the 1990s.

In 2011, Jones Blackhurst was the first woman to be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Gaming Communications by the American Gaming Association.  She was also honored by the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada as a mentor and leader in Las Vegas and honored by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada for the ATHENA International Award for leadership.  In 2012 Jones Blackhurst received the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League in recognition of her outstanding leadership, dedication to diversity, and commitment to her community.  In 2013, she was awarded the Free Enterprise Award by the Nevada Taxpayers Association, Employers Association of Southern Nevada, and the Metro Chamber as a distinguished community leader who has made a significant and lasting impact on the Southern Nevada economy.  She also received the William Andrews Clark – Lifetime Achievement Award honoring her extraordinary distinction in lifetime success and a tribute to her years of commitment, dedication, and service to the Southern Nevada community.

Elaine Wynn has served as Director of Wynn Resorts since 2000 and has helped guide the company’s expansion from the opening of Wynn Las Vegas in April 2005 and Wynn Macau in September 2006 to the unveiling of Encore in December 2008.

In her role, Wynn has overseen a multitude of details that have contributed to the creation of the “Wynn lifestyle.” These range from the selection of staff uniforms, luxury shops and spa amenities to playing a key role in special events and the company’s charitable involvement. Prior to her current position, Wynn served in a similar capacity as Director of Mirage Resorts from 1976 to 2000.

Wynn is personally and actively involved in a variety of community organizations and civic bodies dedicated to the enrichment of children, including serving as president of the Nevada Board of Education, chairman of the national board of the Communities In Schools drop-out prevention organization and co-chair of the Greater Las Vegas After-School All Stars, among others.

Wynn has also been a strong supporter of the arts.  Her role as a business leader in Nevada led to her appointments to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Board of Trustees and the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board. In 2011 she established the Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. The Elaine Wynn Studio includes classrooms, conference rooms and offices for education program staff, interns, and artists in residence.  The building’s two performance spaces, a “black box” theater and cabaret theater, are also used for children’s theater and educational programming.

Her dedication to the community has garnered numerous awards and accolades including the Governor’s Philanthropist of the Year in 2005 and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1986. She was awarded one of seven National Promise of America Founder’s Awards for improving children’s lives at a ceremony at the White House. She is especially proud of the dedication of the Elaine Wynn Elementary School in 1991.

Seating for this once-in-a-lifetime event is extremely limited. VIP tickets are $250; preferred seating tickets are $125 and include a private reception prior to the event. General admission entry is $40. Dessert and refreshments will be available following the event for all attendees.

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