irginia McDowell, President & Chief Operating Officer of Isle of Capri Casinos, has been selected by Casino Journal as the magazine’s “2009 Gaming Executive of the Year.”
With more than 25 years in the gaming industry, McDowell has most recently played a leadership role in developing and implementing Isle of Capri’s strategic plan, which has already achieved success in strengthening the company’s capital position, consolidating its brands and growing revenue in the midst of very challenging economic times. Her leadership has been a key to Isle’s ability to maintain its standing as one of the top multi-jurisdictional casino operators in the United States.
“There are a lot of stellar executives in this industry, and every year this award presents us with some tough choices, but this year was easy,” said Charles Anderer, publisher of Casino Journal. “Virginia is not only one of the ablest and most respected executives we have, she also gives generously of her time and her skills on behalf of the community. And as the only woman to head a major publicly traded casino company, she’s been a role model for so many people pursuing careers in gaming and in the business world at large.”
Past recipients of Casino Journal’s “Gaming Executive of the Year” award, now in its 10th year, include Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn, Boyd Gaming Chairman William S. Boyd, Philip G. Satre, former chairman and CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, and Penn National Chairman and CEO Peter Carlino.
McDowell received the award last Wednesday evening at a dinner reception at the Southern Gaming Summit, held this week (May 6-7) at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi.
This year marks the first time the award will be presented at the Summit, the largest annual gaming industry trade show in the United States outside Las Vegas. Southern Gaming Summit is co-produced by BNP Media Gaming Group, publishers of Casino Journal, and the Mississippi Casino Operators Association.