AGA names interim CEO, appoints search committee to find new leader Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · June 27, 2018 at 11:00 am The American Gaming Association named its general counsel as the Washington D.C. trade organization’s interim CEO Wednesday and has established a search committee to seek a permanent replacement for the departing Geoff Freeman. In a statement, AGA Board Chairman Tim Willmott said Stacy Papadopoulos, the AGA’s current general counsel and senior vice president of industry services, will hold the CEO position on an interim basis until a new chief executive is named.Freeman announced his resignation earlier this month to become president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association. Freeman, who will depart the AGA at the end of July, has been president and CEO of the AGA since May 2013. “We are grateful to Geoff for his leadership over the last five years and we wish to thank Stacy for taking the helm of the AGA while we identify its next CEO,” said Wilmott, who is the CEO of Penn National Gaming. Papadopoulos joined the AGA in 2014 as general counsel and assumed responsibility for industry and shared services in 2016. Her legal practice focused on corporate governance and compliance, securities disclosure, executive compensation, corporate transactions and nonprofit organizations. Papadopoulos previously worked at Freddie Mac in the agency’s corporate governance department and at several law firms. Wilmott will chair an executive committee of the AGA board as it seeks a permanent replacement for Freeman. The committee will include Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin; Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker; Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora; Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Commerce Bill Lance, Jr.; MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren; and Las Vegas Sands Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Ron Reese. Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search consulting firm, was hired to assist the committee in its search. No time frame was given for the search for the permanent CEO. Freeman became just the second person to head the AGA when he took over from Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., who helped found the organization in 1995. Freeman served as the chief advocate for the industry. The AGA was created to battle anti-gaming forces that could have halted casino expansion and prompted federal taxation on casino earnings. Under Freeman’s leadership, the organization’s role transitioned to serve more as an advocate for gaming expansion and advance a proactive public policy agenda. Freeman encouraged the recognition of gaming’s role as a mainstream U.S. entertainment business that produces a yearly economic impact of $240 billion, supports more than 1.7 million jobs, and provides $38 billion annually in tax revenue to 40 states with commercial and American Indian operated casinos. In a statement, Wilmott said the AGA said the gaming industry is recognized “as among the most popular of consumer entertainment experiences” that provides “jobs and economic value” to communities across the U.S. “The growing impact of our industry, including the opportunity for states to offer legal sports betting, makes this an especially exciting time to lead our membership toward a vibrant future.” Wilmott said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.