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The Next Level Blog

The trends and insights you need to take your career to the next level.

Bridging Leadership: From Corporate Strategy to Nonprofit Impact
Featuring Fran Mallace, CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona

In the world of leadership, transitioning from the corporate sector to the nonprofit realm is not just a change of scenery; it's a profound shift in purpose, strategy, and impact. Fran Mallace, CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona, embodies this transition, bringing a wealth of experience from her corporate days at Cox Media to the heart-driven mission of Make-A-Wish. Her journey offers invaluable insights into adapting leadership skills across vastly different sectors

The Future Plate: Innovating the Casino Cuisine Experience
Featuring Christopher Fava, Vice President of Food and Beverage at Yamaava’ Resort & Casino

Forget everything you thought you knew about casino dining. The era of predictable buffets and quick snacks is giving way to a revolution, spearheaded by culinary innovators like Christopher Fava. As the Vice President of Food and Beverage at Yaamava' Resort and Casino at San Manuel, Fava isn't just changing the menu; he's reimagining the entire dining experience. With a blend of technology, sustainability and sheer culinary artistry, Fava's approach is a masterclass in innovation. Join us as we explore the journey, strategies and visions that are setting the table for the future of casino cuisine.

Creating Unforgettable Experiences at Every Paw Print
Featuring Shelley Parnell, Chief Experience Officer at Dogtopia

In an industry where the clientele encompasses both furry friends and their loving owners, Dogtopia stands as a testament to transforming pet care into an exceptional customer experience. It’s not just daycare for a dog; it’s the entire well-being of a family member. Shelley Parnell, the Chief Experience Officer at Dogtopia, has been pivotal in steering this transformation. Her career journey is marked by a diverse background in the marketing world, where she credits her success to her decade of agency experience, her willingness to learn as much as possible, and her desire to put herself out there toward endeavors she’s passionate about. We had the amazing opportunity to chat with Parnell about the behind-the-scenes of the pet care industry and what goes into providing a seamless customer experience, to both pets and their owners alike.

Brewing Success: The Art of Brand Collaborations in the Beverage Industry
Featuring Trevor Needle, Marketing Director at Four Peaks Brewing Company

In a world where the clink of glasses resonates with the buzz of collaborative innovation, the beverage industry is a testament to the power of partnership. Brimming with diverse flavors and rich histories, this sector finds its most dynamic growth at the crossroads of partnership. Trevor Needle, the Marketing Director at Four Peaks Brewery, is at the forefront of this vibrant landscape. His career journey, marked by strategic partnerships and innovative marketing initiatives, embodies the spirit of creative and strategic alliances. We had the privilege of sitting down with Needle to explore the nuances of brand collaborations in the beverage industry, studying how these partnerships create impactful market presence and resonate with consumers.

Mastering the Game
Featuring Kari Stout-Smith, General Manager of Cache Creek Casino Resort

In the bustling realm of casino management, Kari Stout-Smith shines as a guiding light. As the General Manager at Cache Creek Casino Resort, she has amassed over two decades of expertise, from her starting position as a promotions hostess to her present role. Stout-Smith’s journey exemplifies the importance of resilience, adaptability, and garnering a deep understanding of what creates a standout casino experience. With her extensive background, Kari Stout-Smith stands as a valuable mentor, offering seasoned advice to those aspiring to make their mark in the vibrant casino industry.

Capturing Success Through the Lens
Featuring Andy Bernstein, Hall of Fame sports photographer, author and podcast host

In the world of sports photography, few names are as renowned as Andy Bernstein. With a career spanning over four decades, Bernstein has not only witnessed but also artistically captured some of the most iconic moments in sports history. His journey, marked by passion, dedication and an unyielding pursuit of excellence, offers invaluable lessons for anyone aspiring to elevate their career to the next level. As the host of the “Legends of Sport” podcast, Bernstein's insights extend beyond photography, delving into the mindset of high achievers and the essence of success.

The Global Gaming Landscape
Featuring Ari Mizrachi, the Senior Vice President and Head of North America Business at Tangam Systems

In the ever-evolving gaming world, understanding the global landscape is crucial for anyone involved in this dynamic industry. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ari Mizrachi, Senior Vice President and Head of North America Business at Tangam Systems, to delve into the intricacies and future of global gaming. With more than  15 years of experience, ranging from front-line roles to executive positions, Mizrachi offers invaluable insights into this vibrant sector.

Tri-Lingual Triumphs: 3 Essential Tips for Leading Multicultural Teams Effectively
Featuring Wanor França, the Chief Revenue Officer of Casino Cash Trac

Embrace the challenge and reap the rewards: mastering the art of multicultural team leadership is a journey worth embarking on. Wanor França, the Chief Revenue Officer of Casino Cash Trac, brings a unique perspective to this challenge, particularly in recruiting and training tri-lingual resources. Drawing directly from França's insights, we’ve drilled down five key tips for managing such teams, focusing on cultural sensitivity, effective communication, and fostering inclusivity.

Energizing the Casino Floor with Sustainable Utility Management
Featuring Kate Ellis, General Manager of San Manuel Utility Authority at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

In the dynamic realm of casinos and hospitality, sustainable utility management is a cornerstone that ensures both operational efficiency and environmental responsibility. We had the privilege of speaking with Kate Ellis, the General Manager of San Manuel Utility Authority at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, to gain insights into this crucial aspect.