Following a meeting of the corporation’s board of directors, Seneca Gaming Corp. announced that Holly Gagnon has been named the company’s new president & CEO. Gagnon, who was selected following a national search, is expected to begin in her new role in mid-June. 

A recognized leader in the gaming industry, Gagnon was most recently CEO of Chumash Enterprises for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, located near Santa Barbara, Calif., where she oversaw the operations of the tribe’s Chumash Casino Resort. She previously served as president & CEO at the Pearl River Resort in Mississippi, which is owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. 

“The board was thoroughly impressed with Holly and her record throughout the search process. We look forward to working with her,” said Barry E. Snyder, Sr., chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corp. board of directors. “Having a visionary leader like Holly will help our three world class casino properties continue to expand our brand and stand out in an increasingly competitive gaming landscape.”

Gagnon began her gaming industry career more than 20 years ago, with the opening of Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, before moving on to serve in executive positions with Harrah’s/Caesar’s Entertainment. In 2016, she was honored by the Native American Finance Officers Association as its Executive of the Year.

“I’m grateful to the board of directors for their confidence,” Gagnon said. “In meeting and speaking with the Seneca Gaming Corp. board and executive team, and in visiting their three incredible properties, it was abundantly clear to me why the company has been so successful over the past 15 years. As an organization, from the board to the front-line employees, everyone takes pride in perfecting the guest experience. That’s clear in the investments the company has made at the Seneca Niagara, Seneca Allegany and Seneca Buffalo Creek properties. I am excited to get to work and to be part of this organization.”

Gagnon is a graduate of Bentley University in Massachusetts, and earned an MBA from Chaminade University in Honolulu. She is a founding board member and mentorship committee chair of Global Gaming Women, an organization dedicated to helping women in the gaming industry around the world develop professionally.