Opening Keynote - The Future of Hospitality Talent
Laura Lee is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for MGM Resorts International. In this role, she oversees recruitment, hiring, compensation, training, employee engagement and cultural development for the Company’s more than 82,000 employees and its 30 properties worldwide.
Previously, Ms. Lee was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Regional Operations, leading all human resource and cultural integration at the Company’s eight properties in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.
She is proud to work for a company that is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and tries to ensure that her efforts reflect these values. In addition to being named one of America’s Best Large Employers by Forbes, MGM Resorts has received numerous awards for its dedication to diversity and inclusion in 2019 alone.
She began her career with MGM Resorts in 1989, serving on The Mirage’s opening team as a VIP Services Representative. After completing the Management Associate Program in 1993, she joined the pre-opening team for Treasure Island as Employee Services Manager. She returned to The Mirage in 1997 as Employee Relations Manager and was subsequently promoted to Director of Human Resources in 2004.
During her extensive career with the Company, Ms. Lee has also served as Director of Human Resources at Circus Circus Las Vegas, Vice President of Human Resources at The Mirage, Vice President of Human Resources at Bellagio and Vice President of Human Resources at Mandalay Bay.
She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Personnel Management from Arizona State University. In addition to being a proud MGM Resorts Diversity Champion and a graduate of the Company’s Executive Leadership program, Ms. Lee is also a graduate of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Leadership Las Vegas program.
Eating the Elephant: A Bite-by-Bite Approach to Successful Change Project Implementation
Finding solutions in the hospitality space is a balance of identifying external customer opportunities while understanding and optimizing company internal processes. Focusing on the intersection of marketing and technology, Ben Koff helps develop and enact these solutions in the casino, restaurant, hotel, cruise and nightlife industries
As a hospitality industry consultant, Ben’s recent engagements have spanned from Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Carnival Corporation’s international fleet of 100+ cruise ships to the government-run hospitality entities of the province of Quebec, Canada.
Ben started his hospitality career as a Caesars Entertainment President’s Associate at Harrah’s Joliet, where he was promoted to Slot Performance Manager and then Director of Planning & Analysis. He then moved to Tunica, MS to head the company’s Gulf Coast database marketing efforts. Thereafter, he expanded his role as Regional Director of Marketing for Caesars’ Louisiana and Mississippi properties.
Ben joined the SBE Entertainment Group as Vice President of Database Marketing, aligning their restaurant, nightlife and hotel silos as the company entered new markets. Prior to starting his consultancy at Hidden Upside, Ben similarly aligned the Landry’s Golden Nugget properties and served as VP of Marketing for the flagship resort property in Lake Charles. In 2016, Ben was selected as one of Gaming’s Top 40 Under 40.
Before entering the world of hospitality, Ben worked for Disney’s ABC Television Group. At Chicago’s top station WLS-TV, ABC’s owned-and-operated property, Ben began as a television ratings analyst, then lead online operations. In Burbank, he worked in New Business Development at the ABC Network.
Ben received his Masters in Business Administration from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and his Bachelor of Speech in Television & Film from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.