'Lady' is a champ

Aug 19, 2008 7:01 PM

Vaccaro’s View by Jimmy Vaccaro | From the early 1980’s, you saw a whole new dynamic added in the Race and Sports industry – women.

There were always a few before, but now the ladies were becoming an integral part and for the first time handled decision-making situations. I was fortunate to work with women from the outset, having hired Katherine Mannix as the first race book manager in Southern Nevada when we opened the original MGM in 1985.

Katherine managed a first class book in a pre-paramutual era. That meant she booked to extensions as well as anyone I’ve seen before or since. Katherine was taken from us way too early in life.

Lori Ellefson could book sports with ease and had a great feel, especially with high-limit players. Yolanda Acuna could probably build you a book with two nails and a hammer.

Now there were days when the closest you got to a woman was four miles and they let you know it. As the industry grew, women were more involved with the hiring process. With new government and gaming regulations, they wound up being the teachers to adhere to this new way of doing business.

I guarantee that Art Manteris or Tony Miller would never go to a budget meeting without Carolyn or Dori attached to their hip. They show less emotion when handling problems and dealing with customers.

Have you tried to get a guy to do something when the Sunday night game has started? You might as well put him in the front row as he’s cheering for someone to complete his 3-teamer. Go to a compliance or human resources meeting and see who comes back with notes.

I tried to put the Sunday NFL games up once and all I got was "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Ozzie and Harriet."

Ladies are all over the map now. Jamie Shea is at the Hard Rock, Glynis Mickelian at Primm among many others.

It is long overdue, but the time is coming for a full-fledged race and sports director to wear a skirt. So next time you’re in a book, ask for the lady of the house and say thanks for all the things they do.

Next week: College football begins. Is it more art or science?