In this edition of "Moving Up," we feature the career growth of Suncoast's Keno Ackerman and Downtown's Chris Swords.
Apr 11, 2017
We're proud to feature two team members in "Moving Up," a regular feature that highlights team members who, through hard work, dedication and innovation have worked their way up into management positions at our Company and provide great career growth examples.
There are hundreds of team member success stories like these. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for “Moving Up,” let us know at BoydBuzz@BoydGaming.com.
Keno Ackerman – Marketing Manager – Suncoast Hotel and Casino
Moving Up: Marketing Manager (2016); Marketing Programs Specialist (2015); Marketing Coordinator (2014); Runner (2014).
On the Job: As Marketing Manager, Ackerman works with every department at the Suncoast, and manages the process of getting a variety of messages out to internal and external customers. From team member signs to Suncoast billboards around town and beyond, she handles a wide variety of responsibilities for marketing communications.
In addition to the creative and communicative parts of her job, Ackerman also manages the coordination and development of marketing programs like direct mail, social media, website content, radio, TV, motion graphics and co-branded projects with other Boyd Gaming properties. She works with various teams on a daily basis to take care of Suncoast customers, and create fun and innovative promotions and events for the property. During her time at Suncoast, Ackerman has been able to take part in a variety of large projects.
“I love working for Boyd Gaming because our core values are the same as how I have always lived my own life,” said Ackerman. Ackerman credits her growth opportunity to working with her mentor, Glenda Zuhse, for several years at Suncoast. Zuhse recently joined the Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa team as Vice President of Marketing, and with the transition, Ackerman has had even more opportunity to manage marketing initiatives at Suncoast. According to Zuhse, Ackerman is the definition of Boyd Style.
“Keno has a high degree of integrity, honesty, responsibility and is very accountable,” said Zuhse. “She builds relationships with fellow employees and customers; continues to find ways to be more effective with even very efficient processes; and is a very dedicated team player who provides exceptional service to team members and customers alike.”
After Hours: Ackerman believes that you have to make the most of the time you have, so she never wastes a second. Outside of work, she loves to travel, play tourist in her own amazing city of Las Vegas, spend time with family and friends, and tries to stay physically fit.
Chris Swords – Downtown Region – Facilities Director
Moving Up: Facilities Director for Downtown Region (2016); Facilities Manager (2012); Assistant Chief Engineer (2006); Engineer (2000); Laborer (1998); Groundskeeper (1997).
On the Job: Chris Swords started his engineering career as a groundskeeper Through hard work, dedication and a great attitude, Swords’ career continued to grow as a laborer, an engineer and later, helped open the Suncoast Hotel and Casino in 2000. Swords officially joined the Boyd Gaming team in 2004 when Boyd Gaming acquired Coast Casinos. He was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer several years later, and became the Facilities Manager at California Hotel and Casino just a few years after that. And in 2016, Swords was promoted to the role of Facilities Director for the entire Downtown Region.
As the Facilities Manager, Swords is responsible for maintaining the property by ensuring that preventative and corrective maintenance is performed regularly on electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and other systems. With the help of the team members he oversees, Swords is able to find timely solutions to maintenance issues and make sure the building is operating smoothly. In his nearly 20-year career, Swords is thankful to have spent so much time with a Company that mirrors his own values.
“What I appreciate most about working for Boyd Gaming is that hard work truly pays off, and the Company believes in promoting from within,” Swords said. “As long as you do a great job and are willing to go above and beyond what is asked of you, there will be many opportunities for career advancement.”
David Lebby, Vice President and General Manager of the California, says Swords’ persistence in getting projects completed is a key factor that contributed to the overall success of the property’s recent and extensive redesign.
“I recall an incident where a pipe burst and caused there to be four inches of water in our restrooms and coffee shop,” Lebby said. “In true Boyd Style, I found Chris working in the flooded area and taking care of business while he was soaking wet.”
After Hours: Swords enjoys spending quality time with his two sons, Collin and Colby; they regularly enjoy outdoor adventures, such as camping, hunting and fishing.