Chief Sales Officer, Caesars Entertainment;
Co-chair, Meetings Mean Business Coalition
Based in: Las Vegas
How I got here: In summer 1985, I dropped a friend off at a banquet hall in Philadelphia. I was 15 years old. That turned into a job as a busboy, then a waiter, into the kitchen and eventually into management. I haven’t worked outside of the events industry since. I relocated to Las Vegas in 1998 to open the Venetian, and have spent the last 20 years proudly leading the meetings and events team for Caesars Entertainment.
Greatest career accomplishment: As leaders, we have an opportunity to have an incredible impact on people’s lives. I am most proud of all the lives we have positively impacted. I am also appreciative of the incredible impact my colleagues have had on my life. In addition, finally opening Caesars Forum, including the largest two ballrooms in the world, is something I couldn’t envision when I started in this business as a busboy over 35 years ago.
A specific improvement I’ve made: We built the Caesars Entertainment meeting team as a profit-minded business. We combined sales and operations into one team including sales, catering, convention services and banquet operations so that we could deliver what we promised the customer. We put our salespeople where our customers are, rather than where our properties are. These changes gave the company a competitive advantage, changed the trajectory for the company’s meetings business and redefined managing multiple properties within a single market.
What I do outside of work: I love spending time with my family, especially when traveling. I like to run, and use that as a way to explore all the places I travel to both for work and pleasure.
What I'd tell my younger self: ‘Have a career plan and make sure you are working toward your career goals.’ ‘Take jobs that give you the skills you need to accomplish your long-term goals.’ ‘Put yourself in the presence of amazing people every chance you get.’ ‘Never stop learning.’