Yaamava’ Resort & Casino To Host Two-Day Virtual Leadership and Career Event

Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel

HIGHLAND, CA – Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel will host its second “Next Level Casino Careers” virtual career event, April 4th – 5th, 2022, with multiple panels to discuss consumer trends and recruitment. Additionally, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians & Yaamava’ Resort & Casino executives will be joined by a variety of speakers from several industries including: Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesars Entertainment Corporation Board Member; Russell Silvers, Chief Operating Officer at AEG; and Grant Irons, former NFL Player and CEO of Grant Irons Enterprises, among others. 

From fostering creativity to building a successful team and lessons from leadership, viewers will hear from executives as they share their unique perspectives and advice from their professional experience. Yaamava’ Resort & Casino will administer four panels each day with the ambition to inspire growing professionals to consider a career in casino gaming, hospitality, entertainment, or tribal government operations.

The conference schedule features the following virtual sessions:

Monday, April 4th

9:00am – Consumer Trends – In a constantly changing world it is important to pivot and adapt. Hear from leaders who will provide strategic insight on what is changing in consumer behavior and how you can be prepared. Speakers include:

  • Tracee Nalewak, Chief Growth Officer at UrVenue
  • Russell Silvers, Chief Operating Officer at AEG
  • Tim Riester, Founder of Riester Ad Agency and CEO, Vice Chairman and Alternate Governor of Phoenix Rising FC
  • Drew Dixon, VP of Entertainment at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino

11:00am – Fostering Creativity – Hear from leaders who are required to think creatively daily and how they foster creative executions with their team. Speakers include:

  • Ed Olsen, CEO of Line Drive Sports Marketing 
  • Jerry Bowlen, Director of Horticulture at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
  • Celena Haas-Stacey, Owner of CHS Communications
  • Laura Esfeller, Director of Marketing Services at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

1:00pm – Recruitment in 2022 & Beyond – How to recruit and retain team members. This panel will dive into what is on the horizon and how employers can strive to find success in the labor market. Speakers include:

  • Tonya Oatman, VP of Spa & Retail at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
  • Jasmine Takeshita, Director of Talent Acquisition at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Leslie Aguila, Recruitment Supervisor at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Paul Engl, General Manager of Learfield/ IMG College

3:00pm – Lessons in Leadership – Uncover lessons learned throughout the panels’ expansive careers, and how these lessons can apply to your career. Speakers include:

  • Jan Jones Blackhurst, Board Member at Caesars Entertainment Corporation
  • Larry Krutchik, Executive VP at Hill + Knowlton Strategies
  • Jeffrey Decker, Professor Emeritus at Whittier College
  • An Tran, VP of Human Resources at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Bo Bernhard, VP of Economic Development at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tuesday, April 5th

9:00am – Building a Winning Team – Success is made possible by the collective effort of the team. Learn what it takes to build a winning culture and team. Speakers include:

  • Jaime Stratton, Head of Human Resources at the Las Vegas Raiders
  • Ari Mizrachi, SVP and Head of North America Business at Tangam Systems
  • Sonna Gonzales, Director of Retail at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
  • Kenji Hall, COO – Casino at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino

11:00am – Experiential Dining – The F&B leadership group of Yamaava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel will be taking questions on everything that makes an exceptional dining experience. Yaamava’ Resort & Casino speakers include:

  • Oliver Wolf, VP of Culinary Operations 
  • Chris Fava, VP of Food & Beverage 
  • Ryan Sharpe, Director of Beverage Operations
  • Kevin Kraft, Director of Food & Beverage 
  • Linchul Shin, Director of Food & Beverage 

1:00pm – Mentorship – Hear how you can find mentors, the importance of having an experienced resource, and why relationships are pivotal to success. Speakers include:

  • Grant Irons, Former NFL Player and CEO of Grant Irons Enterprises
  • Michael Ganton, VP of Facilities & EVS at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
  • Lance Ewing, VP of Enterprise Risk Management & Operations at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Anna Tristan, Manager, Business Finance – IT

3:00pm – Holistic Hotel Operations – A successful guest experience is only made possible by an empowered hotel operations team. Hear this team give you a sneak peek on what it takes to run a best-in-class hotel team. Speakers include:

  • Afsi Bird, VP of Hotel Operations at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
  • Howard Copen, Director of Revenue Management at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
  • Ron Tenorio, Director of Housekeeping at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino