Golden Names First Woman to Board of Directors

With the appointment of veteran food and beverage industry executive Ann Dozier to Golden Entertainment’s board, the Las Vegas-based casino and tavern operator joins a growing list of gaming companies that are moving energetically to increase female representation at the top.

Golden Names First Woman to Board of Directors

Golden Entertainment has become the latest gaming company to add female representation to its board directors.

Las Vegas-based Golden (Nasdaq: GDEN), which operates 10 casinos, including The Stratosphere and Arizona Charlie’s resorts in Las Vegas and a 60-strong chain of gaming taverns across Nevada, has appointed Ann Dozier, chief information officer for locally based Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, to the seven-person board.

CEO Blake Sartini said of Dozier, who has worked for Coca-Cola Enterprises, among others, “Ann has more than 30 years of experience as a senior technology executive in the food and beverage industry, which is a critical component of our business.”

Also joining Golden’s board was Anthony Marnell III, who owns the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev., and earlier this year sold Golden his Edgewater and Colorado Belle casinos in Laughlin, Nev.

But it was the Dozier appointment that garnered the most attention.

The gaming industry has been under pressure to increase leadership roles for women, particularly in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal that’s engulfed Wynn Resorts and led to the resignation last year of founder Steve Wynn as chairman and CEO.

A 2017 study found that out of 21 gaming companies headquartered in Las Vegas, none had a female CEO, chairwoman or president. At only three did women hold one-third or more executive board seats.

Since then, female representation in the industry’s board rooms has been on the rise, notably at Wynn Resorts, which after Wynn’s departure added three women as directors, for a total of four, and at Caesars Entertainment, which appointed two women directors last year for a total of three. At MGM Resorts International, four of its 12 directorships are held by women.

Earlier this year, Affinity Gaming appointed longtime gaming industry financial executive Mary Elizabeth Higgins as CEO. She became the third current female CEO of a casino operating company, joining Holly Gagnon of Seneca Gaming and Diana Bennett of Paragon Gaming.

Recently Everi Holdings said it was named a Winning “W” Company by 2020 Women on Boards for having at least 20 percent women on its board of directors before 2020. Two women hold seats on the 7-person board. Everi Chairman Miles Kilburn said, “We encourage more companies to embrace diversity and inclusion and continue to foster this culture not only at the board level, but at the company level as well.”