Former Seneca Gaming Corporation Chief Executive Officer Holly Gagnon recently opened a consulting business, HGC Hospitality Gaming Consulting and also joined the University of Nevada-Las Vegas International Gaming Institute as a distinguished fellow. At IGI, she’s assisting Executive Director Bo Bernhard as he plans the upcoming Executive Development Program, which will be presented this year in a virtual format instead of its annual Lake Tahoe meeting.
Gagnon said, “It feels good to do more with UNLV. The consulting business allows me to give back. It’s important for our future that we educate the up and coming leaders in this industry.” Bernhard stated, “We’re really fortunate to be able to build with this kind of talent and experience.”
The Seneca Indian Nation, which owns three upstate New York casinos, did not renew Gagnon’s contract, which ended in mid-May. Prior to that, she had put together an extensive reopening plan for the properties, which had shut down due to Covid-19. In a May 19 statement, Gagnon said, “I’m happy we had those plans in place and people were prepared.”
At Seneca, Gagnon managed a $40 million renovation at Seneca Niagara, redesign of hotel rooms at Seneca Allegany and the introduction of sports betting at the tribe’s three resorts, including Seneca Buffalo Creek. Seneca Nation Vice Chairman Klint Nephew said Gagnon helped the tribe’s casinos remain “competitive in an over-saturated marketplace.” Gagnon stated, “It’s been a privilege to work with the amazing team members. I’m proud of everything we have accomplished together.”
Prior to joining Seneca, Gagnon served as chief executive officer at Chumash Enterprises for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians near Santa Barbara, California.
She began her gaming industry career at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, where she was employed for eight years. Gagnon also served in several financial and operational roles during six years with Harrah’s/Caesars Entertainment. She was a divisional vice president of finance at MGM Resorts and was president of its Gold Strike in Tunica, Mississippi.
Gagnon is a founding board member of the Global Gaming Women trade organization and has chaired its mentorship committee.