Education Success Stories

The below stories will give you more insight into some of the individual experiences GGW supporters have had at prior conferences.

"Attending the conference alone allows you to have a perspective of what you could do as a female."
Alina Harris

Director of Hotel Operations, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur

GGW was privileged to support Arizona Charlie’s Decatur’s Director of Hotel Operations Alina Harris in attending the 2014 MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference through our scholarship program. As a dedicated student and employee finishing her bachelor’s degree, Alina found this year’s conference to be “a catalyst of change in life.”

Alina’s experience has motivated her to volunteer in her community, network and engage with more women of gaming and inspired her to reach new heights―in both her professional career and personal life. As she says, “the seminars we attended were very inspiring and the speakers we had were women that I could identify with and look up to. It really gives you a boost in your ‘can-do’ attitude.”

Alina feels that the GGW Charitable Education Fund creates opportunities to women who may not have the financial resources to attend the conference on their own. She feels “attending the conference allows you to have a perspective of what you could do as a female.” We’re honored to hear how GGW has helped Alina’s career and encouraged her to seek her fullest potential.

With her newfound confidence and networking skills, Alina plans to grow in her current career path and complete her college education. Congratulations and good luck to Alina!

"Through encouraging
each other, we can be the change we desire to see."

Anne Cox
Manager of Finance and Risk, Caesars Entertainment

“(The 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference) was a fantastic experience.  The conference provided two days of inspiration, skill building and networking. The speakers at the conference were phenomenal. Hearing the stories of their journeys, struggles and successes was very motivational. It was helpful to hear the different paths the speakers and attendees took to achieve their dreams. The message that I took away from this conference was the importance of each of us in creating our own unique life journey.  As long as we are courageous, self-confident, prepared and passionate, anything is possible. As women, we need to be brave enough to ask for the position, project, pay, etc. that we want.

The seminar also offered some great breakout sessions. The sessions provided relevant information that I was able to implement the next day at  work. My favorites were the negotiation session and the session on giving and receiving feedback. This conference has been a catalyst for positive change in my personal and professional life. Thank you Global Gaming Women for the opportunity to attend the conference. Ladies, I hope to see you there next year.”

Christine Reyes
Field Marketing Coordinator/Lead Ambassador, CG Technology

"The MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference changed the way I look at myself as a businesswoman. I am not going to be just another “body” in meetings with my executives anymore. As a leader, I will strive to be the one who listens, solves problems and makes positive change. I will come prepared to meetings and stay ahead of project deadlines by setting goals and knowing my purpose.

The Women’s Leadership Conference not only taught me how to become a successful, efficient leader, but reminded me that I need my own personal goals such as maintaining balance, leading by example and staying true to myself. It’s important to listen, stay open-minded, step out of your comfort zone and act as a sponge, soaking up inspiring advice.

The conference agenda was set up with different workshops based on title and responsibilities. Depending on individual career goals, participants can attend unique sessions with speakers who exceeded my expectations. Not only did I leave the room with career knowledge, I also felt like I had built strong, mentoring relationships.

After two days, I learned that I am a strong, independent, successful young woman with the potential and drive to become an executive leader. I realized not everyone will get to their dream career destination the same way either—we all take our own bumpy road to get there.

The Women’s Leadership Conference GGW scholarship not only gave me access to all the skills and knowledge I needed to achieve team goals and outshine fellow employees, it brought me one step closer to success. I believe this scholarship program can be beneficial to other women, too. I encourage applying to build self-confidence, improve self-esteem, take in new information and apply newly acquired skills towards your gaming career."


"I want to encourage other women to stand up for themselves and not let anyone put them down or push them aside because
of who they are."

Janene Meyer
Manager, System Installations, Scientific Games

"As a woman, I have been pushed aside numerous times. When I was just 17, I was let go because I was attractive and had better skillsets than the person I was working with. I spent 17 years at my last company and then, again, let go. I had men telling me I was “a hindrance to the department.” At another company, there was another woman who was jealous of my abilities and was determined to undermine me.

I was inspired to apply to the 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference scholarship because I wanted to share my story and learn how other woman handle themselves in these types of situations. After all that had happened, I felt low and lacked confidence in my abilities. I started avoiding any type of conflict which then made me look meek and mild.

Now, I am taking charge of who I am. I want to make sure my voice is heard and I am not hiding behind my insecurities. At the Women’s Leadership Conference, I learned what areas I need to work on and that I need to keep learning and growing. The conference made me recognize my low self-esteem. In the past, I allowed my fears to get the best of me. I knew I had great skillsets, I just didn’t know how to voice them. But now I know I can succeed and that I am worth it. I plan to get more involved in daily business affairs, network and reach out to my co-workers for feedback and use their input for improvement. I also want to encourage other women to stand up for themselves and not let anyone put them down or push them aside because of who they are.

The MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference was a great place to meet women who are in your same shoes and help boost each other’s self-confidence. I met some really great women and hope to keep in touch with them in the future. The conference offers inspiration, confidence and shows you how to gain both. The workshops are amazing and teach you how to evaluate yourself and what you need to improve upon. I learned that no matter what you face in life, you can always pick yourself up and move on."


"It is a safe environment where you can really grow, learn, and develop."

Lindsay Meyers
Director of Human Resources, William Hill

"I knew instantly that I wanted to apply for the W Development Conference scholarship when it was announced.  Not only were the planned educational tracks right on point for areas I would like grow in as a leader; it promised to be a great way to meet other women in the gaming field at a similar professional level as I.

From the beginning to the end of the conference, it was everything it promised to be and more. Our facilitator, Ann Simmons Nicholoson of the The Simmons Group, did a fantastic job relating the curriculum to real life circumstances and gave great tips and tricks to use!  We got to hear from two very accomplished women during our lunch time sessions that left everyone inspired and motivated. Beyond the educational components, the conference provided a great way to network with other women in gaming.  If you are like me, networking does not always come easy or is comfortable.  From the educational sessions, to the dine-around event, and dinner the following evening, there were lots of comfortable opportunities to network.  I met so many fantastic women and I didn’t want it to end.

From a personal standpoint, I feel so much more confident than I did at the beginning of the conference. I know that I have something to bring to the table! While some of the changes I would like to make aren’t going to happen overnight, I have the confidence and the tools to get me to where I would like to be.  I now have a support system of other amazing women and that is the best feeling!

I recommend the W Development Conference to everyone. My advice to fellow scholarship award recipients is to soak in as much of the experience as possible. Be in the moment; leave your cell phone off during the sessions, participate as much as possible, and let yourself be out of your comfort zone. It is a safe environment where you can really grow, learn, and develop. The conference will be what you make of it, so give it your all and you will see the benefits." 



"In order to be the change we wish to see, we must
first accept who we are."

Mari Mathewson
Marketing Database Analyst, Affinity Gaming

"During my three years of experience within the gaming industry, I have fulfilled many roles, from casino host to marketing coordinator. I have come to find that as a young woman in the industry, the capacity to succeed and develop quickly, does not come with ease. With this knowledge, I embrace each opportunity, learn from our executive leaders and have even established a career plan that will allow me to succeed in a competitive, male-dominate industry. Essentially, my ultimate aspiration is to become the chief executive officer of an international gaming company.

As a military “brat,” I spent much of my childhood moving to various locations. My father was a Colonel and fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, therefore, growing up I always witnessed the characteristics associated with exemplary leadership by male figureheads, specifically those of my father’s. Recognizing the trend in male leadership as a child, I sought to find those same characteristics in women who held reputable, leadership roles as well.

As a young woman seeking guidance from a different perspective, I came across Global Gaming Women’s (GGW) scholarship opportunity to attend the 2015 MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). The WLC was an incredible opportunity that I could not let pass. The conference gave me an opportunity to be inspired by influential women leaders, understanding that regardless of age or sex, anything can be achieved through hard work, dedication, perseverance and most importantly, self-confidence.

I can truthfully admit that the WLC has made me a stronger young woman. I am more confident not only in myself, but in the power I possess through knowledge and leadership.

For women who need a reminder of how powerful, intelligent, capable and beautiful they truly are, GGW’s scholarship to attend the Women’s Leadership Conference is for you. In order to be the change we wish to see, we must first accept who we are.  At the end of the day, if we don’t believe in ourselves, who will?"