Taylor’s new duties include managing all aspects of gaming, including casino floor operations, casino staff, security, revenues, promotions and the Lightning Rewards Player’s Club. Taylor brings more than 30 years of management, development and consulting experience in the gaming industry to his position at Buffalo Thunder Casino. He has opened numerous casinos in gaming markets around the United States, including the Fiesta Casino & Hotel in North Las Vegas and Hyatt’s Grand Victoria Casino & Hotel in Rising Sun, Ind. He is a former manager of Howard Johnson & Company, the River Palms Resort Casino in Laughlin, Nev. and was most recently the vice president of casino operations at the Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, Bahamas. Additionally, Taylor was actively involved in bringing tribal gaming enterprises to California and Washington state in the early 90s.
In her new capacity, Toscano will oversee marketing for the new casino and the existing Cities of Gold Casino and Sports Bar Race Book & Casino in Pojoaque. Her direct responsibilities include promotions, group sales, Player’s Club and player development. Prior to joining Buffalo Thunder Resort, Toscano held top-level marketing positions for leading clients in various industries and has nearly 15 years of experience in strategic planning, integrated marketing campaigns, creative direction and new business initiatives.
In his new position, Oakeley will oversee all marketing operations for Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino, Cities of Gold Casino and all other Pueblo of Pojoaque enterprises. Oakeley, a native New Mexican, has managed the marketing operations for Cities of Gold Casino and Hotel, the Sports Bar Race Book & Casino, Towa Golf Course and all Pueblo of Pojoaque-owned businesses since 2000. His background combines 30 years of experience in media and public relations, including 10 years in radio and television broadcasting. He is a former press secretary for the New Mexico Governor’s office and directed the marketing, promotions and in-house broadcast operations for the athletic department of New Mexico State University for nearly 10 years. Oakeley has also managed marketing, promotions, public relations, special events such as concerts and open-air market operation for the New Mexico State Fair.
Allen KarolCannery Casino Resorts LLC recently appointed Allen Karol to director of bingo operations. Karol joined the company in 2006 as bingo manager for Cannery Casino & Hotel. Prior to that, Karol served as director of poker operations for MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Before that, Karol founded A.S. Karol Consulting Services where he performed market study and analysis of Las Vegas Poker Operations for Station Casinos and set up and maintained ongoing bingo operations at Palms Casino Resort. In addition, Karol served as a member of the Executive Leadership Committee in his position as director of associated gaming, overseeing the poker, bingo and keno operations for the Palace Station Hotel and Casino.
Lawrence KovachThe Choctaw Resort Development Enterprise, a business enterprise of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, announced the appointment of financial veteran Lawrence Kovach as the new chief financial officer of its resort portfolio, Pearl River Resort. Kovach will account for the overall financial operations of all the properties in the CRDE portfolio, including the Silver Star Hotel & Casino, Golden Moon Hotel & Casino, Geyser Falls Water Park and Dancing Rabbit Golf Club. With more than 40 years of experience, the last seven of which with a Tribal gaming organization, Kovach is a seasoned veteran of the financial and gaming industries.
John PrpichEllis Gaming & Entertainment LLC announced the recent addition of several new hires to the training development team. Ellis Gaming & Entertainment focuses on tribal gaming and economic development in the United States and holds both consulting and management agreements with a number of tribal organizations.
John Prpich has been appointed corporate director of human resources, training and development. His career spans more than 15 years and includes such high-profile organizations as McDonald’s Corporation and Ameristar Casinos. As director of training and development for Ameristar he implemented and facilitated culture orientation sessions for 1,400 employees while reducing turnover by 11 percent and increasing departmental goal achievement by 80 percent.
John Milligan and Vickie Kolias have each been named to the position of director of training and development. A graduate of Temple University with a BA in Business Administration, Milligan began his casino career in 1995 working at Resort’s International Casino in Atlantic City. His leadership abilities were quickly recognized, prompting a move to the Foxwoods Casino for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation where he worked in both beverage management and later as a human resources training specialist. After 10 years with Foxwoods, Milligan was appointed director of human resources for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.
Kolias spent a decade with Ameristar Casinos and six years as training resource manager prior to joining Ellis Gaming. At Ameristar, she collaborated with training departments and strategic partners to analyze needs of the organization and set training objectives. She developed training materials, structured and validated courses and evaluated the effectiveness of courses.