Jones Blackhurst named to oversee UNLV’s IGI executive development program Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · January 8, 2020 at 5:04 am Former Caesars Entertainment executive Jan Jones Blackhurst will join UNLV’s International Gaming Institute as chief executive in residence where she will look to expand the organization’s executive development program, which provides a leadership academy for gaming industry professionals. Jones Blackhurst, 70, will focus on “Expanding the Leaderverse,” an academic initiative that promotes diversity and inclusiveness within the c-suite leadership at gaming and hospitality companies. Jan Jones Blackhurst, UNLV “A growing body of research now shows that more inclusive leadership teams are more successful,” Jones Blackhurst said in a statement. “Moving forward, we will change the culture of women in leadership, and we will not stop until this industry becomes a beacon for others to study.” Last fall, Jones Blackhurst, who served as Caesars’ executive vice president of government relations and corporate social responsibility, left her position and was appointed to the casino company’s board. Caesars is being acquired by Eldorado Resorts in a $17.3 billion merger. Jones Blackhurst, who spent more than 20 years at Caesars, will be part of the combined companies’ new board when the merger is finalized this year. The position at the International Gaming Institute was created through a Nevada legislative initiative. Last spring, the efforts by Jones Blackhurst and the IGI’s “Expanding the Leaderverse” team led to the female-majority Nevada State Legislature setting aside $500,000 in funding to further support IGI’s efforts. “A few years ago, I approached then-UNLV President Don Snyder with an idea to launch the world’s first academic initiative dedicated to women and gaming issues,” Jones Blackhurst said, “Today, we have already achieved so much, but we are not yet satisfied.” During her 20 years with Caesars, Jones Blackhurst championed numerous corporate and gaming industry causes, including responsible gaming issues, diversity, advancing environmental stewardship and other social issues. She oversaw Caesars’ corporate giving efforts that directed millions of dollars to individuals, families, and communities in need. In 2018, Jones Blackhurst publicly spoke out in favor of policy changes to Nevada gaming regulations governing sexual harassment awareness and prevention. At UNLV, she joins several other full-time team members of IGI’s “Expanding the Leaderverse” team, including: Becky Harris, the first female chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and current IGI Distinguished Fellow in Gaming and Leadership; Shekinah Hoffman, project leader on IGI’s Young Executive Scholars (YES) and Battle Born Girls Innovate (BBGI) initiatives; Jennifer Shatley, a longtime Caesars government relations executive; and YES and BBGI operations lead, Itzel Alanis. “IGI has a long history of supporting women in gaming leadership, and my predecessor, Patty Becker, launched the famed Global Gaming Women program during her time here,” said IGI Executive Director Bo Bernhard. “While we are proud of all that we do, the ‘Expanding the Leaderverse’ campaign is our most important initiative, and IGI’s 38 team members join me in welcoming Jan to ‘lead our leaderverse’ into a more inclusive 21st century.” Jones Blackhurst was elected as the first female Mayor of Las Vegas and served two terms from 1991 to 1999. In 1998, she was the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor of Nevada, losing in the general election to Republican Kenny Guinn. She joined Caesars soon after leaving public office. #exclusive – Jones Blackhurst named to oversee UNLV’s IGI executive development program. –@howardstutz, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/GtOmu4nxif @UNLVigi #CDCgaming — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) January 8, 2020 Jones Blackhurst worked under four different Caesars’ CEOs during her tenure with the company – Phil Satre, Gary Loveman, Mark Frissora and most recently Tony Rodio. She remained with Caesars through the company’s 30-month bankruptcy reorganization, which ended in October 2017 and shed some $16 billion in debt from the corporation. She was elected to the American Gaming Association Gaming Hall of Fame in 2014 and also serves on numerous national boards, including the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and the Global Fairness Initiative. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.