Our Advisory Board Members


Jan Jones BlackhurstAdvisor
Jan Jones Blackhurst is a long-time political and business leader who has left an indelible imprint on the lives of millions of people. She spent most of the 1990s as one of the most popular mayors in Las Vegas’ history. She then joined Caesars Entertainment, where she and her teams developed the industry’s first Responsible Gaming practices and are creating a diverse and inclusive workplace; advancing environmental stewardship; advocating for important social issues; and giving millions of dollars to individuals, families and communities in need.

Under Jan’s leadership:
● Caesars was the first casino in the industry to roll out a Responsible Gaming program
● Energy, water use and greenhouse gas emissions have all gone down significantly over the last 7-8 years
● Employee diversity has increased, with 41% of management positions held by women and 57% of employees from minority groups
● Employee engagement has never been higher, driven by a volunteer program where employees have donated 160,000 hours a year to both company and local causes.

Under Jan’s leadership the company also began to publicly advocate for human rights and has earned a 100% perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for nine consecutive years. Jan has channeled her passion for charitable causes through her role as Vice-Chair of the Caesars Foundation, which strengthens communities through philanthropic activities and corporate gifts totaling $66 million since 2013.
Prior to joining Caesars in 1999, Jan served two terms as Mayor of Las Vegas. She was the city’s first female chief executive and one of its most popular mayors, having been reelected in 1995 by a 72 percent margin. While in office, Jan presided over an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural expansion. She spearheaded a massive growth and redevelopment effort in the city’s once-neglected downtown neighborhood. Jan was also among the first mayors in the country to advocate for LGBT rights and issues as early as 1991.
Jan serves as a director of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Campaign Fund in Washington, D.C. She also is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2016, Jan has been recognized with The Diversity in PR Award from PR Week, the Annual Black Images Honors from the 15th Annual Soul Festival, the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence from UNLVino and the Diversity Hero Award from PR Week. In early 2015, Jan was honored as the PR News CSR Professional of the Year and was named by the Las Vegas Business Press as one of its “Women Who Mean Business.” In 2014, she was one of the first women to be inducted into the American Gaming Association (AGA) Gaming Hall of Fame. Jan has been honored by the American Diabetes Association and the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, and she was named Humanitarian of the Year in 1998 by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2005 she was honored by the Women of Diversity in their project “100 Years of Influence – The Role of Women Shaping the First 100 Years of Las Vegas.” Jones Blackhurst holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and attended the University of Southern California’s School of Food Marketing Management.

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Conrad GranitoAdvisor
Conrad Granito is an Indian Gaming veteran with over 25 years of experience in supporting, assisting and developing strong economic development with Tribal Nations. Mr. Granito is currently the General Manager of the Muckleshoot Indian Casino located in Auburn, WA.  With his arrival in June of 2014, he is providing vision and leadership to take “the biggest and best in the Northwest” to the next level of sustainability and profitability.  Prior to this, Mr. Granito was the General Manager of the Coushatta Casino Resort located in Kinder, LA for five and a half years.  During his time there, he was the leading force in adding over 400 rooms to the property, as well as implementing major remodel and renovation to the property.  These changes spearheaded a rebranding of the property, which realized increased market share and profitability.  Prior to this, Mr. Granito served as Tamaya Enterprise Inc. Board’s (TEI) General Manager of the Santa Ana Star Casino located 10 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico from December 2003 to August 2008. With his arrival, the Star regained its position as the premier local gaming venue in the Albuquerque market. Mr. Granito was instrumental in assisting the Santa Ana Pueblo in refinancing outstanding debt twice which has enabled the Tribe and its business operations to operate more effectively. The Casino grew in market share over 40% and experienced an over 150% increase to EBITA over four years and in turn experienced the highest revenues ever achieved by the Casino in its history. Mr. Granito was previously the General Manager of Sky Ute Lodge and Casino, which is owned and operated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of Southwest Colorado. Mr. Granito was responsible for all aspects of this southwest Colorado property. While there the operation experienced record setting increases in market share and profitability. Also, with an increased emphasis in employee development, turnover was decreased from 63% to 6% in less than 18 months. Prior to Sky Ute Lodge and Casino, Mr. Granito was the President/COO of GameTech International. During his tenure there the company became a publicly traded entity and realized a 40% growth in market share. Prior to GameTech International, Mr. Granito was the General Manager of Isleta Gaming Palace located south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. While there, the gaming operation experienced quadruple growth and a tenfold increase in net revenue. He was also actively involved in the entire compacting process with the State of New Mexico. Mr. Granito’s gaming career started with the Sycuan Band of Mission Indians where his final position was Director of Gaming Operations. While at Sycuan, Mr. Granito was also the lead consultant for the Sycuan Center of Gaming Management. This tribally owned and operated business assisted tribes in gaming development. Mr. Granito has also consulted in the areas of feasibility studies, site locations, internal controls, gaming development, marketing and other related matters with over 55 Tribal Gaming operations.

 

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Dr. Hiram L. DavisAdvisor
Hiram L. Davis received his Bachelor of Science (Economics and English) in 1966 from Missouri Valley College. His Master of Librarianship (College and University Libraries) was received in 1969 From Emporia State University (Kansas). In 1984, he received his Ph.D. (Administration, Higher Education and Library Science) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

From 1969-2006, Dr. Davis has been Dean of Library Services, California Polytechnic State University. As Dean, he was responsible for the development, implementation, and direction of all aspects of library service at the University. This included positioning the library to support the University’s mission of teaching, learning, research and outreach, and assuring that the library actively contributed to the intellectual life of the campus. Also as Dean, he developed the master plan for a new teaching and learning facility, a potential $30-$40 million project.

Prior to his tenure at Cal Poly., Dr. Davis served as the Deputy Librarian of Congress and was Senior Advisor for Staff Development and Transition to the Librarian of Congress. This entailed developing and implementing a new initiative at LC to broaden the knowledge and skills of existing staff through education, internal training, job experience, mentoring and other means. Previous work also included Director of University Libraries, Michigan State University; Dean of University Libraries, New Mexico State University; Dean of Libraries, University of the Pacific; Head of the College Library, UCLA; Associate Director of Libraries, University of Oklahoma. In addition, he served as Director of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Library Science Doctoral Program for minority and disadvantaged students for six CIC universities: Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. During his long and distinguished career, he has served on academic, special and public library boards and has functioned as President, vice-president, chairperson, organizer or member for a host of library related associations and consortia.