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Youth is Served in ELG 40 Under 40 Class of 2021  
The next generation of leaders in the gaming industry named for this prestigious honor will take the industry into the future. A webinar on October 22 will introduce the 40 Under 40 as well as the five "Judges Choice" honorees, and will feature comments from the respected judges for the program.
The newest members of gaming industry are consistently hard working, innovative, and globally aware. They understand that to progress the industry, and their own careers, extra thought and time are required. And, with that effort, they are often recognized as elite members of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40.
Last week, The Innovation Group, organizers of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming program that recognizes young professionals making significant impacts in the casino gaming industry, and Global Gaming Business magazine (GGB), announced the winners of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 Class of 2021.
The winners were part of 150+ industry members who were nominated by colleagues who recognized their commitment and dedication to the gaming industry.

"During such a difficult time, it's heartening to see so many excellent candidates nominated for the Emerging Leaders Program," said The Innovation Group President Michael Soll. "These young professionals are poised to lead the industry now and into the future to maintain excellence in serving our customers and their extended families. The Innovation Group is proud to be able to showcase these remarkable individuals."
"The quality of this year's Emerging Leaders class is a cut above the rest," said Roger Gros, publisher of GGB. "They represent the best and the brightest of the gaming industry and anyone who has any doubts about the recovery of gaming after the pandemic need only to understand the dedication of these professionals to their craft."

The selection process, says Gros, has become increasingly competitive with nominations growing by 50 percent over last year. "It's incredible," he said. "The talent. The diversity. We're able to highlight a truly impressive group of young people shaping gaming's future."
While The Innovation Group and GGB magazine are saddened that we'll not be able to celebrate with everyone in person as we have in the past at G2E, we hope you'll join us for our virtual event where we'll be announcing the five "Judges Choice" honorees from the 2021 class, and applauding all of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 Class of 2021.
ELG 40 Under 40 Digital Awards Celebration
Thursday, October 22
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
The judges for the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 are:
  • Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain
  • Christie Eickelman, vice president of global marketing for Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), and chairwoman of Global Gaming Women
  • Mick Ingersoll, director of gaming strategies at Everi Holdings, Inc.
  • Virginia McDowell, former president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos, and former chairwoman of Global Gaming Women

The 2021 Class of Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 are:
  • Melissa Aarskaug, Vice President of Business Development, Bulletproof
  • Marshall Adair, Vice President and Executive Producer - Digital / Online, Everi Holdings Inc.
  • Eduardo Alvarez, Director of Sales - LatAm, AGS
  • Allen Ambrogio, U.S. Director of Operations, Tipico
  • Robert Baldassarre, Associate, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Andre Barnabei, Vice President of Gaming at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
  • JaNessa Bumgarner, Chief Executive Officer, Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel
  • Charlotte Cain, HR Manager, Continent 8 Technologies
  • Jeffrey Caldwell, Director of Hotel Operations, Encore Boston Harbor
  • Cherchi Chen, Managing Director, Finance and Operations, NagaWorld
  • Suzanne Duchene, Slot Operations Service Manager, Seneca Gaming Corporation
  • Rick Eckert, Managing Director, Slot Performance & Analysis, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC
  • Brad Egnor, Senior Vice President of Marketing, San Manuel Casino
  • Ashley Eurich, Vice President, Lockdogs 
  • Jennifer Fales, Vice President, Global Brand Licensing, IGT
  • Don-Lee Hardy, Safety Specialist, Sycuan Casino Resort
  • Molly Hart, Licensing and Compliance Manager, Gaming Capital Group, LLC
  • Bryan Hayes, Senior Vice President of Gaming Operations, Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • Matthew Heyerdahl, Chief Accounting Officer and Director of Finance, Gaming Arts
  • Connie James, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Gaming, Scientific Games
  • Paul Juliano, Vice President of Operations, Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. 
  • Mohit Kansal, Partner, Clairvest Group
  • JoyceLynn Lagula, Design Director, Wilson Associates
  • Zachary Levine, Corporate Vice President of Table Games Strategy, MGM Resorts International
  • Martin Lycka, Director of Regulatory Affairs/Trustee of the GVC Foundation U.S., GVC Holdings PLC
  • James Manuel, Director of Fine Dining, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
  • Olena Nall, Director, Business Development, Wind Creek Hospitality
  • Malou Neguembor, Head of CRM, Megalotto
  • Mike Nguyen, Director of Engineering, JCM Global
  • Mary Parker, Management and Program Analyst, National Indian Gaming Commission
  • Marvin Phillips, Director of Information Technology, Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort
  • David Rittvo, Vice President Development, Caesars Entertainment Corp
  • Sam Rook, Director of Marketing, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
  • Nav Sandhawalia, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, Niagara Casinos (Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment)
  • Araksi Sargsyan, Head of Business Development, DS Virtual Gaming
  • Meghan Sleik, Director of Marketing, Aristocrat
  • Steven Slotwinski, Chief Technology Officer, Eclipse Gaming Systems
  • Anthony Strangia, Deputy Attorney General, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
  • Hui Min Tiffany Bernadette Tay, Associate Director, Strategic Planning, Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd
  • Peter Wolff, Director of Global Technical Compliance, Gaming Laboratories International
Nominations for the 2022 Class of Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 will open in April 2021. For more information on the program, visit or
Emerging Leaders of Gaming has established itself as the go-to network for young professionals assuming the next generation of leadership in gaming, entertainment, hospitality, food and beverage, tourism, and leisure. We continue to support the growth and development of these rising stars as they achieve their fast-track to success, destined to fill tomorrow's senior-level and C-suite management positions. For more information, or to join Emerging Leaders of Gaming, visit our page.
About TIG: The Innovation Group has long been recognized as the world's most respected and sought-after research and advisory firm, specializing in the gaming, entertainment, hospitality and leisure industries. To date, our research and analyses have driven over $100 billion in investment decisions across more than 80 countries and six continents. The Innovation Group's accuracy and reliability is unparalleled, with our forecasts historically tracking within 5% of actual revenues across the most complex of gaming jurisdictions throughout the globe.  

About GGB: Global Gaming Business magazine, a division of Casino Connection International, is the leading monthly gaming trade publication focusing on the international casino industry. Distributed to 14,000 of the industry's most important executives around the world, as well as public officials, regulators, attorneys and Native American governments, GGB magazine is the casino industry's complete source for business information.
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