As we move forward into the New Year, we always look for inspiration to begin anew with the goal of becoming a better individual, co-worker, friend, and community member. Here at Caesars, we find inspiration in our very own Jan Jones Blackhurst, who’s the Executive Vice President of Communications, Government Relations and Corporate Responsibility.
In September, we were thrilled to celebrate Jan’s induction into the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame for her numerous contributions to the gaming industry, including developing a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity and promoting environmental stewardship throughout Caesars Entertainment.
Prior to joining Caesars in November 1999, Jan served two terms as Mayor of the City of Las Vegas. She was the city’s first female chief executive and among the most popular mayors in the city’s history. While in office, Jan presided over an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural expansion, during a time when the city’s population increased 66 percent! She spearheaded a massive growth and redevelopment effort in the city’s once-neglected downtown neighborhood and played a pivotal role in conceiving and promoting investment in the $70 million Fremont Street Experience in addition to many other capital projects.
In her role as EVP at Caesars, Jan oversees all worldwide government affairs, corporate communications and corporate citizenship efforts for the entire company. These programs include industry-leading responsible gaming systems and various initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity, contributing to charitable causes, and promoting environmental stewardship companywide.
Jan has been behind the programs and accomplishments we are most proud of at Caesars. Here are some highlights:
- Jan led the implementation of Project 21 and Operation Bet Smart, programs that teach employees to identify, approach, and verify IDs of individuals who may be under 21 years old and promote awareness and education for guests and employees who may have a gambling problem.
- Extended responsible gaming programs and policies to all Caesars’ online gaming sites and guidelines for customer marketing channels. Continues to proactively establish protocols for self-restriction and self-exclusion, as well as a marketing ads and educational materials that detail the warning signs of gambling and offer guidance and assistance.
- Every year, Caesars participates in Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) to raise awareness of gambling addiction and responsible gaming nationwide.
- Supports development of women leaders. At Caesars, 41 percent of managers are women!
- In support of a cross-functional team lead by Human Resources leaders, launched “Enlisting Heroes,” a corporate-wide hiring initiative aimed at providing job opportunities for U.S. Military veterans. As of June 2014, we are honored to call more than 600 veterans in the US fellow employees.
- Vocalizes a strong stance on LGBT rights and equality. In October 2013, Jones Blackhurst published an op-ed in the Las Vegas Sun and wrote: “I’m proud to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal legislation that would protect hardworking [LGBT] employees from discrimination in the workplace based on nothing more than their sexual orientation or gender identity… At Caesars Entertainment, we’ve long valued a diverse workforce where all of our employees know they will be judged on their talent.”
- Fosters environmental stewardship through the operation of CodeGreen Teams at all Caesars casinos and resorts to implement the company’s sustainability plan that has resulted in a 12.6% reduction of Caesars’ carbon footprint since 2007.
- In support of the corporate and property CodeGreen teams, the company implemented the Green Key Eco-Rating program for all 31 North American resort properties. Twenty-four of those properties achieved a 4 Key rating out of the 5 Keys possible.
Throughout her multiple careers as a politician, chairwoman, and executive, Jan Jones Blackhurst has shown that a successful life path is not necessarily the linear one. It is in those twists and turns, those highs and lows that you can make the most impact. As a powerful changemaker with unwavering commitment to ethics in the gaming industry, she has blazed a trail for women in leadership. Jan has successfully leveraged her platform as a nationally recognized leader to become a “people’s champion” advocating for equal opportunity and respect for the planet and mankind, making her a positive role model to all at our organization. Caesars has truly benefitted from her dedicated work and is so proud of her well-deserved induction into the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame.
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