How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?
In 2009, I joined the Finance team at SKYCITY Hamilton as the Performance Analyst. After two years in the role I took an opportunity that came up to continue my career in marketing when I became Loyalty Executive – Gaming in the Marketing team. In October 2013, I joined the Gaming Department as Loyalty Operations Manager and in August 2018, my role expanded to VIP & Loyalty Operations Manager with responsibility for Premier Rewards Operations and VIP Gaming.
What excites you most about working in the gaming industry?
Over the years I have developed a real passion for the casino industry, and all the areas I have worked in has given me a comprehensive understanding of the overall business. I also have a huge sense of enjoyment from working in this industry, and I learn and gain new experience every day!
What excites me the most is the platform to create unforgettable customer experiences for each one of them. I enjoy entertaining and talking to customers and getting feedback from them. Hearing the positive comments of course is awesome, but I also get a lot of value from hearing about the things that we can improve on. Along with my team, we get inspired to do things better, change things and develop new promotions and events based on that feedback.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
I have had several incredible mentors both within and outside of work. They are people who I look up to and people who helped and inspired me throughout my career.
One of my mentors helped me to develop skills on being present when talking to people and be an active listener. This has helped me immensely in developing trust and relationships with my VIP customers and staff members.
I have also learnt from another mentor of mine that almost everything I want is on the other side of fear. I have learnt to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and I consistently remind myself that when I am comfortable, then I am not growing.
Who or what inspire you and why?
Making change and empowering people. I’m a big believer that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I believe the power of one — that one person, one action, can have a ripple effect that can make a difference. For example, coaching my teams is one of the greatest rewards, especially when I see them grow as a person and progressing in their career.
What advice would you give someone entering the gaming industry for the first time?
Don’t be afraid of hard work and always say yes to opportunities. I was once told that ‘When opportunity knocks, don’t complain about the noise!’. I can think of numerous times I have asked myself, ‘why did you put your hand up for this’ and then have been very grateful after I completed those tasks, because of the person I have become.
It is a customer service industry, so be prepared to talk to your customers. If you can’t, and are not prepared to learn, then this business may not be for you. You are allowed to have fun with your customers, so do that. More importantly, it’s an exciting industry – just enjoy it!