ffinity Gaming announced Tueday the appointment of Mary Elizabeth Higgins as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, as former CEO Tony Rodio left the company to serve as CEO at Caesars Entertainment.
Additionally, Eric Fiocco, Affinity's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, has been named Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Ms. Higgins. Mr. Fiocco will continue in his role as CMO.
For nearly 20 years, Ms. Higgins has held executive roles in the gaming sector, focusing on strategic financial management, capital formation, acquisition strategies and investor relations. Before joining Affinity in June 2018, she was instrumental in establishing VICI Properties, a REIT spinoff from Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. (CEOC), and served as its CFO. From 2014 to 2017, she was CFO of CEOC, the largest subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, where she oversaw finances across 38 casino locations in 14 U.S. states as well as in five countries. Earlier in her career, Ms. Higgins served as CFO at companies such as Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc., Herbst Gaming, Inc., the predecessor company of Affinity Gaming, and Camco, Inc.
"Mary Beth has significant knowledge of and experience in the gaming sector, including 10 years at Affinity's predecessor Herbst Gaming, and a track record of success that makes her uniquely qualified to lead Affinity as CEO," said James Zenni, Chairman of Affinity's Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital Partners. "I am confident that Mary Beth is the right person to lead the Company into its next chapter of success and I look forward to working together as we continue to enhance the customer and guest experience and drive sustainable, long-term growth at Affinity."
"I am excited to lead Affinity and deliver on our commitment to further enhance Affinity as a local casino leader in an evolving gaming landscape," said Ms. Higgins. "Alongside Eric and the rest of the management team, I look forward to continuing to partner with Z Capital, an experienced and proven investor in the gaming industry, and I am eager to help capture Affinity's significant growth potential, while continuing to deliver the high-quality service and unmatched player experience that are staples at Affinity properties across the country."
Mr. Fiocco, a veteran of the gaming and casino industry with nearly four decades of experience, joined Affinity Gaming in November 2018. Prior to joining Affinity, Mr. Fiocco, served as Chief Marketing Officer of Tropicana Entertainment Inc. where he was responsible for marketing operations across eight properties. Earlier in his career, Mr. Fiocco served as Senior Vice President of Casino Operations and Marketing for Resorts Casino Hotel and in a number of roles at Caesars Atlantic City, culminating as Vice President of Operations and Marketing.
Affiliates of Z Capital Partners, the private equity management arm of Z Capital Group, closed the take-private acquisition of Affinity in 2017.