HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 18Issue 31Human Resources Experts Discuss Path to Developing Leaders

On Wednesday, October 3, 2012, human resource experts met to discuss strategies for developing individuals into leaders at the 2012 Global Gaming Expo (“G2E”). The panel discussion engaged the audience by offering a variety of tested methods for identifying talented individuals and helping employees achieve their individual goals in the gaming industry.

The panel was moderated by David S. Schugar, Principal Partner at RMC Gaming Management, a gaming operations and consulting firm. Mr. Schugar has held top management roles at a number of gaming properties and drew on these experiences to guide the panel discussions through a number of pertinent management topics. The panel, which consisted of members of large and small operators and suppliers, offered varying techniques on how to efficiently identify leaders within an organization and to develop those individuals into strong leaders. Panel members included Bob Gerst, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Boyd Gaming Corp.; Gary Kapral, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Bally Technologies, Inc.; and Christopher McGivern, Vice President of Human Resources at Hollywood Casino Kansas Speedway.

The panel began by noting the challenges that the current economy has placed on human resources departments to develop talent through inexpensive and efficient techniques. Mr. Kapral noted that, because Bally Technologies is a large, diverse company, the human resources department has been able to develop mentor programs that expose personnel to various work environments. This has allowed employees to develop diverse talents and to identify areas that may be appealing for future career moves while staying within the organization. Mr. McGivern and Mr. Gerst also noted the importance for future leaders to be able to articulate clear steps towards professional goals and to develop a work-life balance that meets these goals. These programs, which also often include mentorships with senior employees, are key to having employees recognize the importance of leadership development programs and to take full advantage of training opportunities.

“It is not always easy to identify talent and then develop it,” noted Mr. Schugar, as the panel shifted towards a discussion of the key character traits of future leaders. Mr. Gerst stated that leaders are more like great coaches, promoting communication and integrity, and can listen to and incorporate the ideas of their peers. Mr. Kapral concurred, stating that “leaders can set examples without the ego,” and that a leader’s success comes when others work is attributed to their leadership. In recalling the importance of leadership throughout the opening of Hollywood Casino Kansas Speedway, Mr. McGivern noted that individuals who rose as leaders were ones who could adapt quickly, remove barriers, and influence those around them to take pride in their organization.

In closing, the panel agreed that organizational support, a grounding in well-defined corporate culture, and the ability to recognize key areas of issue are the most important aspects of developing a successful human resources department. For more information on the G2E 2012, including detailed biographies of each speaker, please visit the Global Gaming Expo website at: http://www.globalgamingexpo.com.


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