Being Boyd Gaming’s Corporate Director of Entertainment Production may sound like a glamorous and exciting job, but it’s all about family for Garry McGinness. When he came into his current role, he inherited his hard-working team. They have a difficult task staging events from concerts to sporting events. There are long hours and technical challenges. Through the years, McGinness has helped to build the team like a family – by finding a common purpose, improving communication and having a little fun.
“He’s great with his people” notes Corporate Director of Entertainment Marty Giovi. “He’s organized and treats people well. They know what’s expected and take well-deserved pride in the end product of their work.”
From Giovi’s perspective, McGinness’ military background is easy to spot in his work. He sets expectations high and is precise in his instructions. His thorough approach comes from an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience fueled by his constant push to learn and deliver productions that exceed guest and client expectations.
These skills are what drove a recruiter for a speaker manufacturing company to hire McGinness after he retired from his Army career.
“My most difficult transition was going from the military to civilian life,” McGinness remembers. “There’s a different way of talking to people. They don’t respond to orders, you need to help them find their motivation.”
Born into a military family, structure and discipline governed his youth.
“We had multiple generations – my dad, brothers, nephews and sons all served,” McGinness said. “Most were Marines, but I had a rebellious streak and chose the Army Reserves at age 17.”
In 1980, he shifted to active duty and was based in Colorado. After his deployment to support UN Troops in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, he decided to join the Army Rangers.
“Being a part of such an elite team changed my life,” McGinness said. “It was the most grueling experience of my career. That time in my life gave me a new perspective and the confidence to take on life’s challenges.”
As an Army Ranger, he continued his deployments – this time to Central and South America. He loved the culture, especially in Panama, Columbia and Honduras.
“They were so warm and welcoming,” McGinness said. “We were treated like family.”
As much as he loved his Army family, he couldn’t turn down an offer to retire early and spend some time with his wife and five children.
“It was time to concentrate on the family at home. They were growing up and I felt like we needed to spend more time together.”
He spent a year and a half focused on reconnecting with his kids and supporting his wife before returning to full-time work in the civilian world, and continues to enjoy his time spent with his wife and kids, seven grandchildren and looks forward to meeting his new grandchild that’s on the way.
Today, McGinness looks back on his service with great fondness. He learned discipline, communication, and leadership – all skills that make him a successful team member and member of the Boyd Gaming family.