Moving Up: Karen Barber and John Springgate

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

Karen Barber – Blue Chip Hotel Casino Spa – Senior Human Resources Specialist

Moving Up: Senior Human Resources Specialist (2016); Human Resources Specialist (2014).

On the Job:  As a LaPorte County resident since 1996, Karen Barber has seen Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa grow tremendously from when it first opened 20 years ago. In 2014, Barber was proud to join the Boyd Gaming family as a Human Resources Specialist at Blue Chip. Two years later, she was promoted to Senior Human Resources Specialist.

In her new role, Barber is responsible for producing reports for the Human Resources Department, conducting day-to-day data entry requirements, and handles special projects as assigned. Barber assists with recruiting talent for the property and supports the department with internal team member transfers. She also makes sure to always make time to meet with team members and guests to help meet their needs.

“The Human Resources Department provides a large variety of services,” said Barber. “I’m grateful for this because it allows me to interact with both guests and team members as I help them find solutions to their concerns.”

Aside from her duties, Barber feels that there are several opportunities for career advancement within the Company.

“Boyd Gaming offers so many career options, and team members are surrounded by individuals who want to help them reach their goals,” said Barber. “Even in our small department, I have been able to strengthen my skills, increase my knowledge, take on new responsibilities and grow in my career.”

Human Resources Manager Janet Frageman says Barber is a true asset to the Human Resources Department.

“Karen has mastered key areas of responsibility with reporting, recruiting and is currently our IGC liaison,” said Frageman. “Not only is she savvy in our computer systems, but she can also be counted on to tackle special projects, such as our most recent File Conversion initiative.”

After Hours: Outside of work, Barber plays the violin in the LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra and enjoys the art of tatting laces. Most importantly, Barber loves spending time with her two college age daughters, Jessica and Madison, and traveling with her husband Kevin in their vintage convertible. 

John Springgate – Downtown Region – Assistant Security Director

Moving Up: Assistant Security Director (2017); Lieutenant (2001); Lieutenant – Security Shift Supervisor (1996); Sergeant – Lead Security Officer (1995); Security Officer (1994).

On the Job: After leaving his 14-year profession in the construction industry, John Springgate began his Boyd Gaming career as a Security Officer at California Hotel and Casino more than 20 years ago. Springgate’s hard work and dedication led to promotions within the downtown region’s security departments several times throughout his tenure. Most recently, Springgate was promoted to Assistant Security Director.

In his new role, Springgate is responsible for assisting the Director of Security with managing the security departments at California, Fremont and Main Street. Springgate conducts interviews with candidates for open security positions, and assists with hiring new security officers for the downtown properties. Springgate also looks for opportunities to promote the growth of leaders in the security departments. Additionally, he is the administrator for the Keywatcher key control systems, iTrak incident reporting system and the PARC parking system.

Springgate’s favorite part of his current position is working alongside great team members and helping to further their advancements within their departments. He also feels that he’s learned some valuable lessons on the job.

“The greatest lesson I have learned is that we have to be open to change and new opportunities,” said Springgate. “The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, and to be successful, we have to constantly look for ways to grow and improve to stay ahead of the competition.”

As the Assistant Security Director, Springgate wants to motivate his fellow team members to continue their eagerness to learn, while flourishing in their careers. Director of Security Jim Daugherty says Springgate’s enthusiastic personality has allowed him to thrive in his career.

“John’s ability to provide genuine hospitality has helped to create a welcoming environment for all guests and team members that he meets,” said Daugherty.

After Hours: When it comes to his downtime, it’s family first for Springgate. He truly enjoys vacationing and spending quality time with his lovely wife, children and three grandchildren.

To learn more about career advancement opportunities at Boyd Gaming, please visit