Meet the Raving Consulting Company Team! This is the most dynamic set of people you’ll ever meet in one organization, or so we like to think. We also have partnered with some very special organizations that specialize in casino consulting (see below):
- Deana Scott, CEO, Raving Consulting Deana Scott is a patented inventor who has spent her career in Tribal Gaming focusing on Operations, Marketing and Project Planning. Holding strategic positions as a General Manager and Corporate Marketing Executive, she has hands-on experience in the start-up and expansion of numerous business ventures; including two casinos, three hotels, a convention facility, RV park, restaurants, and even an Organic Cranberry Farm.Deana believes that research and planning are critical to understanding how to drive business. Operating without a plan is like going on a road trip without a map. You can get there, but it will take longer and cost more money. In February of 2017 she was named CEO of Raving. She looks forward to expanding Raving services and continuing to partner with our clients to tackle the variety of issues facing them today and tomorrow. In her consulting role, she will continue to help Raving clients look at their overall organization – from corporate development, public relations, sales strategy, and project planning, to hands-on event and promotion development and evaluation – and the impact that it has, not only on today’s revenue, but on tomorrow’s bottom line and future opportunities. Her coaching and leadership development programs are based on curriculums that she created while mentoring numerous tribal members throughout her career. Deana’s greatest skills are assisting casino clients with their strategic planning and operational improvements, and investigating new technology and customer trends. She received a B.A. in Communications from Marylhurst University. She also holds a University of Nevada, Reno Gaming Management Certificate, a UNR Executive Development Certificate and recently completed an Executive & Professional Coaching Master’s Certificate from University of Dallas Texas.
- Mark Astone, Strategic Raving Partner, Branding, Advertising and Media Services and CEO, Catalyst Marketing Company
Mark Astone is the Owner and CEO of Catalyst Marketing Company. His decades of hands-on marketing and public relations experience allow him to push Catalyst’s clients to new heights, even in tough economic times. He has spent years studying and working within the world of Indian gaming. While his insights into how customers today are making their entertainment decisions are remarkable, most unique is his focus – at all times – on the bottom-line results that Catalyst’s efforts are producing. Catalyst provides their clients with cutting-edge advertising and communication and strategic planning solutions through a collection of solid experience, creative thinking and professional leadership; all Mark Astone hallmarks. A product of California’s Central Valley, Mark has grown into a dynamic leader in an extremely competitive field. He takes a very personal interest in the well-being of his clientele and his employees, in large part because he understands that Catalyst’s ultimate success is based on that of the organizations Catalyst works for. Mark holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno, along with an advanced MBA degree from Harvard University. Raving has partnered with Mark and his team at Catalyst to help our clients with solutions on branding, advertising and media services. Read more about Raving’s partnership with Mark and Catalyst. Contact Mark
- Nicole Barker, Senior Raving Partner, Database & Loyalty Marketing Nicole specializes in conducting database marketing assessments to maximize marketing returns through segmentation and programming. Since 2006, her partnership with Raving has taken her individually and as a team member, to over ninety Native American and commercial properties in the US, Canada and internationally. She’s also a sought-after speaker, trainer, and writer, whose main goal is to foster better relationships between companies and their customers. With her help, she assists clients in creating omni-channel marketing campaigns that court their customers effectively: Nicole is an expert in bridging the gap between analytics, marketing strategy, and tactics. With her quantitative skills, she helps clients formulate analytical reports to monitor their results and use for decision making. She is a recognized industry expert in free play and reinvestment strategies. Following her MBA from Pepperdine University, she became a Direct Marketing Manager for Harrah’s Las Vegas, Harrah’s Laughlin, and the Rio. In the last decade, she has crossed the country working with commercial and tribal casinos, getting to know the divergent needs of different gaming jurisdictions and locales.
- Derk Boss, Raving Partner, Security and Surveillance
Derk has served as a senior casino executive in surveillance, security, loss prevention and compliance for over thirty years with gaming companies, such as American Casino and Entertainment Properties, Grand Casinos, Bally’s, Aztar, Del Webb, Tropicana Entertainment, and the Palms. The surveillance teams trained and led by Derk have a proven track record of continued success in the detection of cheating at gaming, advantage play, and internal and external theft and fraud.
He is also a respected author, trainer, and speaker, specializing in the fields of surveillance training and methodology, gaming protection, loss prevention, and the detection of internal and external theft and fraud. He co-authored Casino Security and Gaming Surveillance with Alan W. Zajic, CPP, CSP. Derk is an adjunct instructor for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s International Gaming Institute, and conducts classroom and online training in security, surveillance, and loss prevention. Derk can help Raving clients prepare surveillance teams to operate proactively to consistently detect illicit activity. Contact Derk
- Steve Browne, President, Raving Service From designing and training full blown guest service programs to advanced host development sales skills training and building compensation programs for player development programs, Steve has been a senior resource in Raving’s Player Development and Guest Service teams since 1999. His knowledge and enthusiasm come from nearly four decades in the gaming industry. Beginning as a “lumpy” crap dealer, to a player-engaging pit boss, and then on to casino owner for nearly 10 years with an unheard-of formula of “customer worship”. His perspective comes from his appreciation of the honorable work that casino workers do and joining them in it, in their world and their unique language. Steve has worked with hundreds of Tribal casinos throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as domestic and international commercial casinos and racinos. Steve’s approach to training cannot be replicated by software; nowhere will you find a trainer that has such passion and understanding for the gaming industry and its employees. Steve’s training programs have evolved into a curriculum that works hand in hand with technology – measurement based on data and performance. Steve holds a B.A. in English & Communication from the University of Colorado, has completed the UNR Executive Development program, the Del Webb Corporation Gaming Management Training courses, is a certified trainer for Nevada Council on Problem Gaming and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Casino Marketing and Technology Conference. He has published three books, Gambling & Service, Math of Player Development and How to Raise a Rocket Scientist for Fun and Profit. Contact Steve
- Dennis Conrad, Senior Raving Partner Dennis Conrad is President Emeritus of Raving Consulting Company. He is a Stanford University Graduate with over 40 years of experience in the gaming industry, having held senior level positions at Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Circus Circus Enterprises (Casino Marketing Director, Corporate Vice President of Employee Programs, Director of the William F. Harrah Institute of Casino Entertainment). He is a much sought-after speaker at both national and international gaming conferences and is the author of “Conrad’s Corners: Observations on Casinos, Marketing and Life” (2004) as well as “Conrad on Casino Marketing” (2009). Known for his innovation and customer focus, Dennis is the soul of Raving and the inspiration behind its industry trailblazing and business development. Contact Dennis
- Travis Cooper, Creative Director A wonderful addition to Raving’s Reno team, “Cooper” is putting his special touch on all of Raving’s communication tools. His goal? To enhance the way we interact with our clients and subscribers. Cooper is a three-time Emmy Award winning artist and producer with over 20 years of commercial, broadcast, documentary, hospitality and travel production expertise. As a director and editor, Cooper’s work has been seen on national television networks including The Travel Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery, Fox Sports, and WFN. Cooper is a masterful storyteller – finding creative ways to capture each client’s unique brand and message. From engaging commercial production, to online content and multimedia creation, his vast technical and creative skill sets allow him to produce content appropriate for today’s marketing channels.
- Ryan Cullins, CEO, Zero 8 StudiosRyan has a history in games dating back to the mid 90s. Since then he has had the privilege of developing games for some of the largest game publishers and slot manufactures in the gaming industry. He was a guest speaker at the 2002 Game Developers Conference, turned co-founder of OC3 entertainment in 2002. Thereafter, Ryan gained over a decade of game design, project management, and creative direction experience on nearly every major platform, working as a third-party developer for Acclaim, Sierra Online, Nintendo, Vivendi Universal, Atari, IGT and many more. He is credited with over 50+ game titles. Ryan’s company offers Raving clients the opportunity to engage their players through social games from anywhere in the world; while constantly exposing their brand to new players daily, without ever lifting a finger. This also instantly connects any property to a multibillion dollar industry with games beyond traditional casino games. Ryan’s social gaming platform collects the information from players with a complete BI solution that can be used for targeted marketing purposes. Plus, he provides a robust infrastructure so that a casino can be up and running and engaging their players instantly.Contact Ryan
- Marin Denning, Raving Partner, Diversity and Leadership Training Marin Denning is an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. He has worked with governmental and private agencies helping Americans appreciate different cultures in well-known global areas. He has executed diversity training for executive support teams. And he has assisted a select group of tribal casinos in helping their managers work better together to improve performance. Marin’s skill is helping diverse organizations deal directly with uncomfortable realities, enduring human truths shared by all people, and proven techniques for driving people closer together, rather than further apart. As a Raving Partner, Marin works with casino clients on bridging the gap between casino management and their various constituencies – shareholders, tribal members, employees, council and corporate entities that they serve. Marin was one of the founders of an American Indian urban program, and for thirteen years served as Executive Director of Southeastern Oneida Tribal Services, a full-spectrum, social service provider for Oneida tribal members in Wisconsin. Currently, Marin serves on the Board of Directors of Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee, was a past chairman and board member of the Milwaukee Indian Community School, a flagship institution of Urban American Indian education and a recent recipient of the National Indian School Board Association Award. He has also served as a reader for the Gates Millennium Educational Foundation, and is also a lacrosse coach. Marin has implemented diversity training for national and tribal governments and casinos across the U.S. Contact Marin
- Jerry Epstein, Raving Partner and CEO, Engaged Nation
Jerry is a recognized leader in marketing communications management and development with over three decades of experience in branding, new product launches, and digital marketing. A pioneer in developing innovative marketing solutions for the gaming and hospitality industries, Epstein helped create the brand positioning for the “Four Corners” in Las Vegas in the 90s. He’s consulted with more than 20 major Las Vegas and regional casino properties. Epstein served as President and CEO for Zeno Group and as Regional President and Senior Partner at Fleishman-Hillard International where he developed the marketing strategies and positioning for world-renowned brands including Sony PlayStation, MySpace, Excite, YouTube and others. Additionally, Jerry served as strategic counselor for President Ronald Reagan, working directly with the President on public programs and the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Among his many honors, Epstein was named Marketing Communications Executive of the Year by Inside PR Magazine. Through Engaged Nation’s interactive products, Raving clients will have the tools to convert online traffic into revenue generating property visits. Contact Jerry
- Christine Faria, VP of Marketing
Christine Faria joined Raving in January 2001 as the VP of Operations. She’s Raving’s consultant of record for Marketing and Copywriting services. That’s right, just about every marketing piece is written by Chris! She’s also responsible for all of our B2B client communications, Raving conferences, direct marketing, website management and brand image. She attended California State University Hayward, majoring in business, and while there she received invaluable experience as the President of the American Marketing Association’s Collegiate Chapter (meaning she knows how to throw a great party and get people to attend). The consummate relationship builder, Chris refined her organizational and operational skills before joining Raving, with nine years of senior management in the recreation and publishing industries. When she’s off work, you’ll find her outside – water skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding or growing organic tomatoes and peppers for gourmet salsa and writing about it on her blog www.christinefaria.com. Contact Christine
- Rob Gallo, Raving Partner, Online Casino Gaming Considered to be one of the founding members of the online gaming industry. Rob Gallo launched and managed Omni Casino in 1997, growing the gross gaming handle to ~$430 Million, registered users to 300,000+, marketing affiliates to 5500+, and over 40 employees. As a Raving Partner, he helps brick and mortar casino companies to properly assess the online gaming arena and determine the necessary steps for entry while, developing effective systems and strategies to launch and continue profitable operations in the space. Rob offers significant expertise and experience in successfully implementing varying marketing methodologies across the globe. He has the ability to effectively strategize new markets and identify viable opportunities within the online gaming sector. His hobbies include: golf, poker and catching … not fishing, that’s boring, it’s the catching that’s the fun part. Contact Rob
- Janet Hawk, Raving Partner, Player Development and Marketing
Janet started her gaming career almost 30 years ago in Las Vegas as a Keno Runner and quickly moved to management within Slot Operations. Her focus was training and coaching new hires. During this time, she helped create several departmental training manuals, as well as employee incentive programs.Her career has taken her to Colorado, Oklahoma and Mississippi, before joining Raving as a Partner in 2015.Some of her accomplishments include: being a key player in creating and implementing the very first slot tournament in Colorado, as well as implementing a new Player Development and comp program for Chickasaw Nation, which is still in use to this day.During her tenure with the Chickasaw Nation, she became involved with all aspects of marketing and expanded her experience in Hotel Management, system install, and auditing and gaming regulations, including consulting with Global Gaming Solutions. In addition, she completed the Casino Management program at the University of Nevada, Reno, as well as courses at UNLV.With her rich experience, she provides Raving clients with continued support and training in the practical skills of marketing, promotions, special events, entertainment, hotel, table games and player development. Contact Janet
- Lorrie Hellekson, Strategic Raving Partner, Direct Mail and Digital Printing and CEO, CSG Direct Since 1996, Lorrie Hellekson, has been assisting casino clients in increasing their business. Simply put, she’s been the reliable and trusted expert to get their communications delivered and opened. Lorrie has grown with an industry where direct mail is still king, but technology requires multi-level campaigns and the knowledge to execute precisely, and at a competitive cost. With rising postal fees and ever-changing requirements, casino clients can spend a lot more on their direct mail than they need to. Lorrie and her team are experts in customized, variable, direct mail printing – and follow the strictest of security protocols with their client databases. They easily partner with a casino’s ad agency or in-house department to make sure that those flyers, letters, and brochures are formatted correctly so that no extra costs are incurred and that they’re designed for higher open rates. Lorrie and her staff recognize the need to integrate postal mail with email and developed automated triggered direct mail and email programs. CSG, a 100% woman-owned small business specializing in direct mail, digital printing and triggered automation, has worked with over 83 casinos across 10 US states, as well as 32 online casinos, mailing to over 80 countries worldwide.
- Amy Hergenrother, VP of Business Development Amy joined the Raving team in January of 2007 after 17 years with Ryder Transportation Services as a Customer Development Manager. In her tenure with Raving, she has been the key point person between casino clients and Raving’s on-site teams. She’s a consummate relationship builder, listener and problem solver who loves what she does (and the gaming industry) and considers her team the best in the casino business. She has been instrumental in building successful teams that have impacted gaming organizations across the globe. Amy is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire at Keene State with a BS in Education. When she’s not with Raving clients you can find her golfing and fishing – basically wherever the open air and her convertible leads her. Amy is proud of her involvement with the Dana Farber Cancer Center, Boston, MA and Carroll County Hospice Program, Wolfeboro, NH and we are proud to have Amy as part of our Raving family. Contact Amy
- Kell Houston, Senior Raving Partner, Gaming Entertainment Raving has worked with Kell since 2001, and throughout the years, we have not only valued his friendship, but his integrity. That combined with his gaming savvy approach to utilizing entertainment as a tool to drive folks to the casino floor, makes him a perfect fit for Raving clients.Kell is the Owner/President of Houston Productions, with offices in Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Seattle & Vancouver, BC. Houston Productions is a proven industry leader in casino entertainment buying and consulting. Houston has worked in all aspects of the entertainment industry over the past 30 years, focusing for the last 15 years on Indian Gaming. In addition, he has chaired entertainment seminars and workshops for IEBA, NIGA, OIGA, WIGA, GPIGA, Raving Consulting, Pollstar, Western Fairs, International Association of Fairs and Expositions, Billboard Magazine, The Aboriginal Music Program, International Festivals and Events Association, Event Solutions International, the Special Event and the National Association of Campus Activities. Houston is a member of the Indian Gaming Magazine Editorial Advisory Board and sits on the Board of Directors for IEBA. Originally from Seattle, he has lived in Los Angeles, and currently resides in Las Vegas, NV. Contact Kell
- Deb Hilgeman, Ph.D., Senior Raving Partner, Market Research
Since entering in gaming in 1993, Deb has worked as Director of Marketing with Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Gaming, Pinnacle Gaming, and privately-held casinos. Deb always recognized the value of market research and incorporated it into her work with clients and casinos. She took that to the highest level by earning her Ph.D. from Tulane University, a research degree held by less than 1% of the population. Deb’s doctoral dissertation research project was a study of 1,100 casino VIPs to determine how to increase loyalty and profitability from your best customers. In 2012 and again in 2013, this research was chosen by the American Marketing Association as one of the top research papers submitted internationally. Deb uses her extensive research knowledge and qualifications, combined with her casino marketing management experience, to deliver superior market research including property comparisons with competitors on promotions, entertainment, reinvestment and loyalty as well as all levels of guest research, focus groups and surveys. Contact Deb
- Kevin Huddleston, CPA, CGMA, CFF, Strategic Raving Partner, Accounting and Auditing, and Partner, Finley & Cook
Kevin Huddleston (Member, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is the Partner for Finley and Cook’s Business Consulting Division (watch a video), providing outsourced accounting and consulting services for Native American tribes and casino clients. He has over twenty-eight years of experience with auditing and accounting for various organizations including tribes and tribal enterprises, and he’s also a CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) and a CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics). Clients value Kevin’s unique skill at helping non-financial casino managers, tribal leaders and gaming commissioners get an understanding of their casino’s operations. His insights on performance help casino management and tribal leaders make strategic decisions. Through his nearly three decades of working within the gaming industry, he is an expert in integrating the many financial systems unique to the gaming industry. Finley & Cook, PLLC, currently have clients in over 40 states and are currently working with 52 Tribes, Tribal Casinos, and Tribal enterprises. Contact Amy
- Azam Husain, Strategic Raving Partner, Analytics and Systems Integration Specialist and CEO, Casino Science
Az is founder and CEO of Casino Science, an analytics software and consulting company. A self-confessed “data nerd,” Az helps casino operators make sense out of the vast quantity of casino data. Imagine losing your long-time data analyst and not having the people or the technical skills to build critical reports. Or imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new business intelligence system and realizing your people still can’t determine player worth. Az helps Raving clients extract the right data from casino systems enabling marketing and player development teams to make data-driven decisions. He has over twenty years of experience in building database and analytics products and business intelligence solutions. His specialty – training folks on Microsoft and other BI products. Az previously held roles at Microsoft in the SQL Server and Visual Studio product teams. He is also a passionate educator, teaching as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Washington Business School. Az earned his BA in economics from the University of Saskatchewan and his MBA from the University of Southern California. Az assists Raving clients with one on one training or team training. Read more about Az. Contact Az
- Chris Keenan, Raving Partner, Tribal Artist Program and Retail Optimization
If you are in the market to open a brand new retail outlet, upgrade your current gift shop, or wish to create an innovative tribal artist retail program, you have come to the right place. Not only has Chris been in retail for over 30 years, but she is also an enrolled Coquille Tribal member and understands the importance of creating opportunities for membership within the enterprises. She spent 27 years working for Nordstrom Inc., beginning on the sales floor and holding a variety of management positions such as Store Manager and retiring as a Vice-President of their flagship store in Seattle 11 years ago. During that time, she helped create solutions for increasing profitable sales through improved inventory selection, optimal product levels, competitive pricing, display, sales force training, and motivational leadership.Since leaving Nordstrom Inc., Chris has been deeply involved with her tribe, serving on many committees and boards, and since 2006 has served on the Coquille Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO) where she is currently the Chairman of the Board. With her vast experience in retail and Tribal economic development, she is the perfect combination to help Raving clients build a new retail enterprise from start to finish, upgrade and improve their current program, or custom build a Tribal Artist Program specific to their needs. Contact Chris Keenana
- Brett L. Magnan, Raving Partner, Hospitality
Brett was asked to join the Raving Hospitality Team because of his strong leadership and managerial skills and his wealth of experience operating high-quality hotels, casino resorts, spas, and food and beverage facilities. He brings specific experience planning and opening new properties and is a trusted resource in the gaming industry with his reputation for hard work, innovation, teamwork, honesty, and integrity.Brett has 30 years’ experience in hospitality, 10 of those years in the gaming industry within hotel operations, and eight of those years within Native American gaming hospitality. Brett has a comprehensive background in food & beverage, with both day-to-day experience and management of over $40M in F&B operations; he has both front and back of the house operational experience; and has project managed expansion and/or new construction of hotels or amenities, such as restaurants, convention centers, spas, and economic development experience that created jobs and enhanced the community at large. Brett will help Raving clients through a management style which focuses on building morale, hiring and training staff to retain, develop and grow the organization with a positive attitude. He is a strong technology proponent and incorporates the necessary hotel and POS technologies within his operations and by training his managers and staff. Brett has a leadership style and demeanor that is complementary to the lead executives and board members’ objectives.
- Andrea McCurry, Raving Partner, Casino Operations and Technology As a member of the Cherokee Nation of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Andrea has worked for and with Native American casinos for nearly two decades; she’s held several slot, table management, and director level positions as well playing key roles in the openings of several California Native American casinos. Andrea helps Raving clients specifically with policy development, Title 31 training, regulatory compliance, floor optimization and much more. Andrea has been key in the restructuring and new business development planning that has reshaped several companies. She spent three-plus years as a product development manager for Acres 4.0, an innovative solutions and product think-tank with a focus on designing products for the hospitality-meets-gaming sector. She handled project design and development for a mobile gaming platform and a casino dispatching system. Her duties included brand development, web-based interface design, systems UI and procedural guidelines. Andrea also increased both readership and ad revenues as the VP of Advertising at Casino Enterprise Management Magazine. Andrea believes that a casino staff can and will deliver better profits at a lower cost when well trained, with the correct procedures and reasonable policies. Being a supporter of “giving back to the community,” Andrea has been a member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters since 2012, helping shape and support young women without positive adult role models. She currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband, son and their “two fur babies.”
- Toby O’Brien, Senior Raving Partner, Marketing After 21 years in the gaming business, Toby O’Brien has launched her own company, Toby Talks Marketing. As a Raving Partner, reprising her nearly 12-year role as a Raving consultant, she will be assisting casinos in building strategies that engage employees, attract guests, and grow business. Updating her hands-on field experience, Toby spent 2014 as the Director of Marketing for Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Oregon. In 2013, as Chief Marketing Officer for 777 Gaming, she managed the marketing for MAX Casino at Westin Las Vegas and Carson Station Hotel Casino in Carson City.From 2001 through 2012, Toby served as Vice President of Marketing and Client Services for Raving Consulting Company in Reno, Nevada, where she provided marketing expertise, mentoring and training for many commercial, Native American and government casinos throughout North America. Toby conducted marketing assessments and helped gaming organizations implement customer-focused, strategic marketing plans aimed at driving revenue and creating an outstanding entertainment experience. Toby has frequently spoken at national gaming marketing conferences, and her casino marketing articles have appeared in industry trade publications, including Native American Casino, Indian Country Today, IGWB, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots, Casino Player, and Gaming Today. She has written a book on creating a players club, and wrote and edited a book on casino promotions.Toby spent seven years as the Marketing Director for Bronco Billy’s Casino and Buffalo Billy’s Casino in the highly competitive Cripple Creek, Colorado market. Prior to her gaming career, she served for 12 years in management and fund development with the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation in New York and Colorado. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Contact Toby
- Kevin Parker, Raving Partner, Casino Operations and Technology
Kevin is a registered member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. He is a strong advocate for Native American gaming, and has represented the needs of multiple tribes to both the National Indian Gaming Commission and the U.S. Congress. Serving the industry for more than 20 years, he offers an unusually diverse background ranging from dealer to director of casino operations. He has also been a product designer, a facility developer and VP of business development within the casino industry. This gives him a unique perspective and knowledge into casino operations. Kevin is passionate about offering solutions designed to assist casino operations in meeting their goals. He believes the answer to most casino projects begins and ends with training and optimization. While Kevin has a strong knowledge of general casino operations, Raving clients will benefit from his specialization in slot and table games operations, bingo, technology integration and operational optimization. Kevin is a proud U.S. Army combat veteran and served as an intelligence analyst and paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as a member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He is currently living in Las Vegas, NV with his wife, two sons and three beagles.
- Amy Ponce, Editing and Proofreading You know all that writing, all those articles, and all those newsletters Raving puts out? It all has to be proofed. Our grammar and spelling queen is no other than Amy Ponce – our previous office manager for five years. Need editing and proofing done? She’s the absolute best. In her spare time she can generally be found with her nose in a book. Contact Amy
- Sarah Procopio, Raving Partner, Database Analytics Sarah helps clients meld data science and human behavior to grow revenue and increase profit. She was selected as part of Raving’s Database Analytics team for her exceptional analytical, quantitative and problem-solving skills and deep experience in data driven marketing. As an award-winning leader, her keen ability for leveraging marketing mediums to yield optimum ROI has earned her the reputation for turning struggling companies and marketing programs around quickly by leveraging analytics. Sarah has constructed RFM models, consumer evaluation formulas and other mathematical database assessments for a multitude of organizations. Sarah is an established expert in the gaming, hospitality and food and beverage and entertainment industries.Some of Sarah’s successes include boosting analytics marketing revenue up to 57% with profit margins of 49% via aggressive turn- around strategies for casinos in substandard market positions. A previous consumer analytics marketing executive at Caesar’s Entertainment and Marriott International, she also brings experience from the MGM Resorts International and the Silverton. She has worked with both commercial and tribal properties, including Sky City Casino, Sky City Cultural Center and Suquamish Clear Water Casino. Sarah is a current MBA candidate at Denver University and holds a degree in marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
- Brady Scott, Principal, Raving Consulting
Brady Scott has spent most of his career in tribal economic development and senior executive management. His early career in accounting and finance led him to his role in gaming regulation and casino management for his own tribe, the Coquilles, in North Bend Oregon. During his tenure as CEO of the Coquille tribe’s development corporation he was also appointed by Oregon’s governor to serve as a commissioner for the Oregon international Port of Coos Bay. Brady also serves as a director on the board of Craft 3, the Pacific Northwest’s most successful Community Development Financial Institution. His experience in successful business start-ups in addition to gaming and hospitality includes telecommunications, senior care, agriculture and self-funded health insurance. His most recent executive leadership role is in development of his tribe’s 8a government contracting business. Brady earned a B.S. in Business and Economics from Western Oregon University. In 2004 he was named Oregon Business Magazine’s CEO of the month.
- Justin Shank, Raving Partner, Social Gaming and Marketing
Justin is a marketing expert specializing in social gaming and digital strategy. He helps clients integrate social gaming into their overall strategic marketing plan, factoring in partnerships with vendors, internal communication staff training, and choosing the right platform to meet your goals. Career highlights include overseeing digital marketing for the Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Washington, where he grew their email subscribers and social media followers, exponentially. As the iGaming & Interactive Media Project Manager, he launched a new website, new mobile app, and a social casino platform and built a digital marketing team. Justin is a frequent conference speaker on marketing topics ranging from social gaming to customer service. Prior to his career gaming, he worked as a publicist in the entertainment industry, and enjoyed bringing films, events, and talent to the Northwest. His bachelor’s degree is from Western Washington University. Outside of work he enjoys sports, movies, music and the outdoors. Contact Justin
- John Stewart, Strategic Raving Partner and Owner/CEO/President at Encompass Develop, Design & Construct, LLC John has a lot of titles – president, registered architect, licensed contractor, recognized authority in the gaming and hospitality industry. But the title he prefers is “partner.” That’s how he built a $100 million+ company that is the choice of major firms, such as Yum! Brands, Ford Motor Company, Churchill Downs, and Brown-Forman. John’s nearly three decades of work experience run the gamut from gaming and hospitality to religion and retail. He has built churches, casinos, and corporate headquarters, but his greatest skill is building teams of dedicated, talented professionals.John and his team at Encompass Develop, Design & Construct bring Raving and their Tribal and Commercial clients the know-how to take a tired casino and upgrade it to resort standards. They help shareholders take an empty field from start to finish, and transform it into a revenue-driving enterprise, as it makes “sense” for the location and the market. From initial budgeting and studies, Encompass partners with gaming properties through placing the perfect soap in the dish and the beds being made. Read more about Raving’s partnership with John and Encompass. Contact John
- Gency Warren, Marketing Manager Gency’s role is all about keeping our clients informed: distributing our suite of publications, looking for new ways to make our web library and current events more accessible, and getting the Raving “word” out to more gaming industry executives. Oh, and keeping us Raving folks organized, on time, and polished. She is a University of Nevada, Reno graduate, holding a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. Before joining our team, she was the content manager and joint owner of a local “click-and-mortar” winter sports shop in Raving’s hometown of Reno. When she is not at the office, she enjoys exploring Reno’s backyard — from riding the slopes to dipping in Tahoe, Gency takes advantage of the unique landscape of Northern Nevada and embraces the distinct community that is the Biggest Little City. Contact Gency
- Daniel Wood, Strategic Raving Partner, Phone Based Marketing Solutions and VP of Business Development at Engagex As VP of Business Development at Engagex, Daniel works with casinos to show how personalized phone calls have the power to increase their players’ ADT, win back inactive players, and drive same-month revenue when used to deliver a promotional offer. These personalized phone calls have a higher response rate than any other marketing medium. Daniel assists his clients in engaging with several tiers of guests to create repeat business, greater retention, and higher guest lifetime value through the phone. He can work with and train a casino property’s existing staff or call center to maximize their ROI. Engagex can also deploy their own specialized team to strategically design and implement efficient and cost-effective phone based marketing interactions and programs. As a Raving Partner, Engagex provides gaming and hospitality clients with customized call programs that act as a seamless extension of their brand as they connect personally and individually with their clients’ players. Daniel completed his BA in Business Administration from Arizona State (ASU), and when he’s not on the road assisting his clients, he loves to be outdoors spending time with his wife and five boys. Read more about how Engagex can help Raving clients. Contact Daniel