Our Board of Directors

Global Gaming Women is led by women gaming executives representing diverse industry segments, organizations and geographic areas. Under the direction of our President and Chair Phyllis A. Gilland, the GGW Board of Directors, made up of the Education Committee, Conference and Events Committee, Marketing Committee, Finance Committee and Mentorship Committee, steer the development of programs, events and educational offerings for the organization. We are proud to have over 100 female gaming executives and emerging leaders engaged on our committees and leading the future of GGW.

Phyllis Gilland
GGW Chair & President
Senior Vice President & General Counsel, American Casino & Entertainment Properties LLC
Phyllis A. Gilland serves as American Casino & Entertainment Properties, LLC Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since October 2008. Ms. Gilland is also corporate Compliance Officer. She oversees corporate legal issues and is responsible for the risk management, including casualty insurance, Compliance investigations and oversight of Human Resources, Security and Surveillance departments. Ms. Gilland has developed and implemented the legal strategy for many companies in the areas of regulatory and business compliance, corporate governance, claim management, real estate matters, risk management, human resources, casualty insurance and welfare benefits, security and surveillance and mergers and acquisitions. She also has experience operating businesses with responsibilities for overseeing sales, marketing, finance and human resources departments. Prior to joining ACEP, from 2000 to 2007 Ms. Gilland served as general counsel and chief financial officer for Taylor Construction Group Companies, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa with affiliates around the country, including Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to Taylor Construction, she served as general counsel for Principal International, Inc. from 1999 through 2000 and associate general counsel for Principal Financial Group from 1994 through 1999. In addition, Ms. Gilland has held positions with the Resolution Trust Corporation and KPMG.

Virginia McDowell

GGW Vice Chair
Former Isle of Capri Chief Executive Officer

Named Gaming Executive of the Year for 2009 by Casino Journal Magazine, Virginia McDowell has always performed at the top of her game. Among the top publicly-traded gaming corporations, she served as the only female president and chief executive officer of a major gaming operating company from 2007 until her retirement from Isle of Capri Casinos in April 2016. She now serves at the president and board chair of Global Gaming Women, a new non-profit with a mission to support, inspire and influence the development of women in the gaming industry through education and mentoring. Her achievements include combining thirty-five years of casino experience with strong business skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate at every level, and she has served as a frequent featured or keynote speaker, moderator or panelist at universities, civic organizations and charitable organizations and major industry conferences.
Ann Hoff
GGW Vice President & Nominating Committee Chair
President & COO,
Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Ann Hoff is the President and COO of Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. As Excalibur’s top property official, Ms. Hoff is responsible for overseeing all operations at the iconic 4,000-room resort. Ms. Hoff’s career with the company began in 1990 when she was hired into the Management Associate Program at The Mirage. She was quickly promoted to International Sales Manager and then to Assistant Director of Leisure Marketing for the property. In 1993, she joined the Treasure Island (TI) opening team as Assistant Director of Sales. In 1997, Ms. Hoff was promoted to Director of Hotel Marketing at Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS, where she opened the property. Shortly after the opening, she was promoted to Executive Director of Hotel Marketing for Beau Rivage. In 2001, Ms. Hoff returned to TI to be named Vice President of Sales and Marketing until 2005, when she was named Vice President of Hotel Operations at New York-New York, where she served a dual role also overseeing food and beverage operations.
Christie Eickelman
GGW Vice President & Events Committee
Vice President of Marketing, Gaming Laboratories International
Christie Eickelman is Vice President of Marketing for GLI. In her position, she directs and implements all marketing programs for GLI’s 20 worldwide locations. Her responsibilities include building the corporate brand and establishing and directing marketing functions in accordance with GLI’s policies, regulations and sound business practices. She joined the company in 1999 as Marketing Manager, shaping GLI’s branding in North America. In 2001, she was promoted to Director of Marketing and Development, overseeing the North American development team in their daily responsibilities. In June 2007, she was promoted to Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing, and in September 2012, she was promoted to Vice President. Eickelman has a long history in the gaming industry. Prior to GLI, she served as Marketing Manager for Sodak Gaming Inc. (now IGT). She has also served at Wolf Gaming LLC as Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. In 2005, she was selected as a Great Woman in Gaming by Casino Enterprise Management, and in 2008, Global Gaming Business named her one of the 25 People to Watch in Gaming. Eickelman is one of the founding members on the Global Gaming Women board, she’s also a member on the Andson Foundation board and for the past two years she has served on the Executive Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association-Go Red for Women Luncheon of Southern Nevada.
Maureen Keenan
GGW Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair
Vice President of Finance, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Maureen Keenan brings over 33 years of gaming industry experience in finance and operations to her current role as Vice President of Finance for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. In this role, she is responsible for the areas of finance, analysis, cage operations, credit, IT, warehouse and retail operations. Maureen is part of the leadership team at Seminole Gaming that formed the Women of Seminole Gaming to encourage and support the development and success of the women of Seminole Gaming. Prior to joining Seminole Hard Rock in 2007, Maureen spent 25 years with Aztar Corporation beginning at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey and then relocating to Indiana to open the first Riverboat casino in that state, Casino Aztar-Evansville. She held executive positions at Casino Aztar including the position of Vice President/General Manger. Prior to this position she held the position of Vice President of Finance & Administration where she was responsible for the areas of Finance, analysis, cage operations, credit, IT, Human Resources, warehouse and retail operations. Maureen received her Bachelor of Science from University of Charleston, WV and Master of Science from University of Phoenix.  Married to Robert Sr. since 1988, and they have 2 wonderful children Robert, Jr and Caitlyn.

Ann Simmons Nicholson
GGW Secretary
CEO / President,
Simmons Group

Ann Simmons Nicholson is President and Founder of the Simmons Group. She is recognized as an expert in Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Human Resources, Organizational Development and Training. The Simmons group has work internationally in private industry, for non-profit organizations, and government entities. Her clients such as Konami Gaming, Whole Foods, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Scientific Games, dozens of hotel casinos, schools and numerous non-profit organizations, have all benefited from Ann’s 30 plus years of experience.


GGW General Counsel
Associate Director, International Center for Gaming Regulation, UNLV

Jennifer Roberts is the Associate Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation at University of Nevada Las Vegas.  Ms. Roberts was previously a partner at Duane Morris LLP.  Prior to that, she was a shareholder in the Gaming & Regulatory Department of Lionel Sawyer & Collins.  Her gaming law practice included representation of clients in all areas of gaming law, including licensing, compliance, and gaming law and regulatory development.  Ms. Roberts’ current legal practice includes alcohol beverage licensing and compliance, as well as land use and zoning, business licensing, and regulatory and administrative law. Ms. Roberts is an adjunct professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, teaching courses on introduction to gaming law, gaming law policy, fundamentals of casino operations and management, and resort hotel casino law.  She is also an adjunct professor in gaming law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. 

Jennifer Weissman
GGW Marketing Committee Co-Chair
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer,
Penn National Gaming

Jennifer Weissman has close to twenty years of experience as a marketing leader within the gaming industry. Prior to joining Penn National Gaming, Inc., in November of 2015, Weissman spent 17 years in various marketing roles at Caesars Entertainment, formerly Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. Weissman started her career in gaming at Hollywood Casino Tunica, as a public relations coordinator. Prior to joining Penn National Gaming, Inc., Weissman served as Regional Vice President for Caesars, overseeing the strategic marketing efforts for nine geographically and competitively diverse casinos and hotels that generate over $1.5 billion in gaming revenues.  Weissman also has extensive property level experience, serving as the head of marketing at casinos in several of PENN’s current markets, including St. Louis, Tunica, and ChicagoLand. Additionally, Jennifer was part of the opening team for the Harrah’s Rincon property in San Diego.


Patty Becker
GGW Education Committee Co-Chair
President of Becker & Associates

Patricia Becker has over 40 years’ experience in the gaming industry and currently operates a gaming consulting firm that specializes in compliance and regulatory issues. During her career in gaming, Becker held numerous executive positions, all of which were firsts for women. She spent 6 years as a Senior Vice President with Aladdin Gaming and 9 years with Harrah’s culminating with the position of Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Ms. Becker was recently honored for her career in gaming by induction to the Gaming Hall of Fame. She currently serves on the compliance committee of Scientific Games, Inc., Tropicana Entertainment, Inc., and Nevada Restaurant Services, Inc. She has served as a Board Member on numerous public companies, including Cash Systems Inc., Fitzgerald’s Gaming Corporation, and Powerhouse Technologies. She served as executive director and Boyd Distinguished Professor at the UNLV International Gaming Institute. In addition, Ms. Becker was Chief of Staff to Nevada Gov. Bob Miller from 1993 to 1995 with involvement in policy development, budget administration, and program direction. And, she holds the distinction of being the first and only woman to serve on the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
GGW Mentoring Committee Co-Chair
Regional President,
Caesars Entertainment

Eileen Moore is Regional President of The Flamingo, The LINQ and The Cromwell casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Her region has in excess of 5,000 employees. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. is a casino entertainment company with over 40 casinos, 70,000 employees and $8.6 billion in annual revenues. Moore also serves as a member of the company’s Capital Committee. She was previously Regional President and General Manager of the Horseshoe Casino and Hotel in Southern Indiana. Under her leadership, the property won its first-ever designation as a best place to work in the region by the Courier-Journal, and was named the top Corporate Philanthropist in the region by Business First. She also had operational oversight over two Illinois casinos. She also served as Assistant General Manager of Harrah’s New Orleans. She transitioned to that role after serving as Vice President of Slot Revenue Management. In that capacity, she was tasked with increasing overall slot floor profitability through the selection, pricing and placement of slot machines across 40 casinos. She also acted as the chief of staff with her role of Executive Assistant to the CEO, COO and CFO for two years. 
GGW Marketing Committee Co-Chair
Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, Pinnacle Entertainment

Ginny Shanks brings 30 years of gaming industry experience in marketing and operations to her current role as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Pinnacle Entertainment. In this role, she is responsible for all company-wide marketing strategies, including the ongoing development of distinct property brand positioning and overall branding strategies; enterprise digital marketing efforts; and the continued evolution of the my choice guest loyalty program. She also has oversight of Food & Beverage, Hotel Operations, Guest Service, Information Technology, and Gaming Operations. Prior to joining Pinnacle Entertainment in October 2010, as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Ginny held senior executive positions for more than 25 years at the property, division and corporate levels of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. Throughout her tenure with Caesars, she was responsible for maximizing the value of the company’s key strategic brands – Caesars, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe casinos; the Total Rewards player loyalty program; and the World Series of Poker. In addition to setting overall corporate brand strategy, Ginny oversaw sports and entertainment marketing, strategic alliances, consumer insights, retail, public relations and nationwide casino promotions. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award, the first woman to be honored with this distinction. Following her career with Caesars, Ginny was the Chief Marketing Officer for Multimedia Games, from 2008-2010, where she led product strategy, project management and investor relations.
GGW Mentoring Committee Co-Chair
President and CEO,
Seneca Gaming Corp.

Holly Gagnon is the President and CEO of Seneca Gaming Corporation which includes Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, NY, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo, NY, and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca, NY. Previously she served as CEO for Chumash Enterprises for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. She is one of very few female CEOs in the gaming industry and has leveraged her vision over a 20-year career to consistently prioritize guest experience, employee engagement, and drive superior results to the bottom line. In April 2016, Holly was named Executive of the Year by The Native American Finance Officers Association. She served as 2014 keynote speaker and panel member at one of the gaming industry’s most prestigious events, the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. Holly is a founding board member of Global Gaming Women, where she chairs the mentorship committee.

General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Baha Mar

Katie Lever is General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Baha Mar, an integrated casino resort in Nassau, Bahamas. Over the course of the past ten years, she has been General Counsel of several of the gaming industry’s most dominant, publicly traded suppliers. In these roles, Katie led two of the gaming industry’s most significant mergers, each time playing a key strategic and legal role in her role as General Counsel of the acquired entity.  As a result of these consolidations, Katie most recently held the roles of EVP and General Counsel of Scientific Games, SVP of Legal & Compliance and General Counsel of Bally Technologies, and EVP and General Counsel of SHFL entertainment. Previously, Katie was the first General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Global Cash Access, the gaming industry’s largest cash access provider, and was a Partner with the Las Vegas law firm Schreck Brignone (now Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck), where she represented some of the gaming industry’s largest companies. 
GGW Events Committee
Vice President of Product Compliance, Scientific Games
Tina M. Kilmer P.E. serves as Vice President of Product Compliance for Scientific Games. With more than 18 years of technical leadership in the gaming industry, Kilmer is responsible for the global regulatory management and technical compliance of advanced technology-based gaming devices and systems, table game products, as well as mobile solutions. Kilmer joined Scientific Games after its November 2014 acquisition of Bally Technologies, one of the most innovative gaming technology leaders in the global gaming industry and the world’s oldest slot machine manufacturer. Prior to joining Bally Technologies, Kilmer held senior leadership positions with Aristocrat Technologies, Casino Data Systems, and Harrah’s Entertainment.  Before entering the gaming industry, she served in various roles with Argonne National Laboratory and Dow Chemical U.S.A. Kilmer is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, International Masters of Gaming Law, Global Gaming Women, Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.  She is also a registered Professional Engineer.
GGW Education and Great Women of Gaming Committees Co-Chair
Vice President of New Markets, Aristocrat Technologies
Lauralyn McCarthy has been in the gaming industry for over 24 years working in leadership and development for multibillion dollar corporations including Aristocrat, Scientific Games and IGT, as an entrepreneur starting up successful businesses including a slot machine route, and as a consultant and advisor to public companies, entrepreneurs and start-up and early stage businesses. Lauralyn is currently Vice President New Markets at Aristocrat Technologies. Lauralyn received the Great Women of Gaming Proven Leader Award and University of Nevada, Reno Alumni’s Professional Achievement Award. “It’s Not about Women: It’s About Business Results” is her Global Gaming Business Editorial. She attended University of Nevada, Reno on a tennis scholarship graduating on the Presidents Honor Roll, named in UNR’s Top Ten Senior Women, receiving the Journalism School Senior Advertising Professionalism Award and the Pi Beta Phi Sorority National Change Leadership Award. Lauralyn sits on GGW’s Education Committee and Co-Chairs Great Women of Gaming Awards. She sits on Opportunity Village’s Foundation Board, is a co-founder of Cancer Research Racquet supporting the American Cancer Society, a Trustee of Desert Research Institute, and on the Deans Advisory Counsel of UNR’s Journalism School. She served on Entrepreneurs Organization Las Vegas Board.
GGW Kick Up Your Heels
Shareholder, Brownstein  Hyatt Farber Schreck

Ellen Whittemore is a Shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and is well known for her gaming law and regulatory practice, representing some of the world’s largest gaming companies before the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission in licensing, disciplinary, and gaming and entertainment tax matters. She also represents private equity companies investing in the gaming industry and represents many of the leading gaming technology firms engaged in interactive and social gaming.

Founder & Principal Advisor, All-In Gaming & Hospitality Group, Inc.

Helen MacMillan is the Founder & Principal Advisor for All-In Gaming & Hospitality Group Inc. and a Founder and Partner of Play the Field. An experienced leader and highly driven professional, she is known for bringing people and ideas together, inspiring creative thinking and cutting-edge approaches to doing business. Throughout her more than 25-year career, Helen has worked in various industries including; gaming and hospitality, economic development, advertising and client services, public relations, automotive and fashion. During her casino industry career, working across Canada, she has had influential involvement in all areas of the corporate structure including facility operations and management, marketing, finance, security and compliance, government relations, human resources, and labour relations. Helen is a sought-after public speaker and coach. Through All-In, an innovative consultant group, Helen advises clients on many topics including organizational culture, customer-centric strategies, women in leadership, social responsibility and customer loyalty programs – to name a few. She is a founding partner of Play the Field, an enterprise solution, created to help casinos to attract and retain qualified new customers. Helen also established The Women of Canadian Gaming in 2016 to provide women with a forum to support and celebrate successes in their various roles within the industry.

Vice President of Legal Affairs & Assistant General Counsel, Boyd Gaming Corporation

Cassie Stratford currently serves as Vice President of Legal Affairs and Assistant General Counsel for Boyd Gaming Corporation, a publicly traded hotel/casino operator with properties throughout the United States.  Since joining Boyd Gaming Corporation in 2012, Ms. Stratford has been involved in a number of functions within the legal department, including contract drafting, negotiation and process management, information technology matters, data security initiatives, marketing and operational advisory matters, human resources, premises liability and complex litigation, and a wide variety of general legal advisory matters.  Prior to joining Boyd Gaming Corporation, Ms. Stratford was a commercial litigation attorney in the Las Vegas office of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.  While at Snell and Wilmer, Ms. Stratford served a variety of business clients in all stages of litigation, with a primary focus on financial services clients. Ms. Stratford received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University, while working part time for a national political campaign consulting firm in Washington DC.  Ms. Stratford received her Juris Doctor from UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, where she has also served as an Adjunct Professor, teaching an upper level legal writing course entitled “Transaction Drafting”.  In addition to her involvement with Global Gaming Women, Ms. Stratford continues to be involved in Georgetown and UNLV Law alumni programs, serves as a regular volunteer for the Ask-a-Lawyer program through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and is involved in various other community organizations.

Executive Director of Marketing Operations, Stations Casinos

Tiffany Sides currently serves as the Executive Director of Marketing Operations for Station Casinos. In this role, she leads the corporate marketing initiatives for all Las Vegas brands to include promotions, rewards programs, guest feedback and direct collaboration with all property Directors of Marketing. She joined Station Casinos in January 2016 and has worked with three other gaming companies in Las Vegas over the last 12 years. Tiffany obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego and enjoys volunteering with various organizations throughout Southern Nevada including U.S.VETS, Global Gaming Women, The Junior League of Las Vegas, HELP of Southern Nevada, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Assistant General Counsel, Aristocrat Technologies

Sheila Bangalore currently serves as Associate General Counsel for Aristocrat Technologies, a leading global provider of land-based and online gaming solutions. Prior to Aristocrat, Sheila served as Senior Corporate Counsel at Zappos.com, and also as Associate General Counsel at Bally Technologies. Sheila strongly believes in giving back to her community, including as a member of the American Heart Association’s Executive Leadership Team for the Go Red for Women initiative in 2018, as a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Leadership Excellence Council in 2017, and as the President of the Association of Corporate Counsel – Nevada Chapter in 2015 and 2016.  Sheila is a graduate of the Washington University School of Law, where she received her J.D., and Tufts University, where she received her B.A. in English. 

Senior Director, Product Marketing for Mobile, PlaySpot and North America Sports Betting, IGT

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Anika Howard leads Product Marketing for IGT’s Mobile, PlaySpot and North America Sports Betting organization.  She is responsible for overall strategy and marketing responsibilities for expanding IGT’s mobile and sports betting services and solutions in North America. Her department drives the design, development, and marketing for the PlaySpot solution for land- based global casino customers. She joins the GGW Board with close to 20 years of experience in the gaming and entertainment industries. Her focus is innovation and transformative technologies. She continues to advocate for using technology to create compelling and engaging customer experiences. Prior to joining IGT, Anika founded and managed a boutique interactive agency – AHA Management and Consulting, Inc.  She provided consulting services to Northstar Lottery Group and launched the first US based iLottery solution for the Illinois Lottery.   As an executive for IGT she’s led several ground breaking initiatives for iLottery, iGaming, Mobile and Interactive. 

Felicia Gassen

Association Director, Global Gaming Women

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Felicia Gassen is a passionate and experienced advocate who brings a variety of experience to accomplish the objectives of Global Gaming Women. She is committed to developing programs and strategies to help women become leaders in the gaming industry, and her diverse background uniquely qualifies her to achieve that end.