If you’ve visited us enough, maybe you’ve run into Gaming Operations Manager, Rick Lotempio. As a transplant from upstate New York (via California and Las Vegas), Rick originally came to WinStar 11 years ago as the Global Event Center Manager, a position he held for eight years.
Rick is one of those people who keeps things running smoothly here at WinStar, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Plus, he has a pretty cool history in the music industry!
You came to us all the way from New York! How did you find yourself working at WinStar?
Rick: I left New York soon after graduating from Ben Franklin High School in Rochester, NY. During my grammar school, high school and college days, I was attached to my guitar, eventually playing in bands and various musical groups starting at age 8. My music career took me from New York to Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In 2005, I was offered the position of “Showplace Coordinator” at WinStar Casino and relocated to Denton, Texas. I was then given the title of Global Event Center Manager, where I coordinated all aspects of shows, concerts and events for eight years before accepting the position of Gaming Operations Manager for WinStar World Casino. I’ve been in Operations now for three years.
What’s your role here at WinStar World Casino and Resort?
Rick: I’m currently into my third year as a Gaming Operations Manager, which basically means I manage the entire casino. This entails major decision-making, along with protecting the assets and interests of the Chickasaw Nation at WinStar World Casino and Resort.
How did you get into doing what you do? Was it something you always wanted to do or was it something that found you?
Rick: I wanted to get more in touch with the gaming aspect of things and become an effective leader with a new and different challenge. I pursued the opportunity relentlessly for the Operations position. This was something I always wanted to do.
What does your day to day at WinStar World Casino and Resort look like?
Rick: My day consists of overviewing every Casino department. This includes employee and patron issues (good and bad). I assist Lighthorse Police Department on issues that occur on property. There are always customer service and patron satisfaction issues to address. I also uphold the rules and policies of the facility.
What gets you motivated to go to work each day?
Rick: I’m a people-person who loves to work. I enjoy the challenge of each and every day. I’m always learning something new and I find that aspect of the job very, very exciting!
So you were a musician…care to elaborate?
Rick: After leaving Miami, Florida, where I attended college, I relocated to San Francisco and eventually to Los Angeles, where the West Coast music scene was mainly located. In Los Angeles, I flourished as a studio guitarist playing on recordings, TV and Film. This also included traveling as a guitarist for international and national touring acts. My musical career then took me to Las Vegas, where I worked as a guitarist in live shows and musical acts on the Las Vegas Strip. During this period of my musical career, I learned the ins and outs of the entertainment industry, traveling internationally and domestically numerous times. I played on many recordings throughout my musical career, some great ones and some terrible ones! I was also guitarist on the Star Search TV Show for many years (in Hollywood), so I was very, very lucky in the music field…it’s all luck, and you know…mixed with some talent!
That’s what we call an exciting road to WinStar! It sounds like quite a journey.
What is your favorite WinStar memory so far?
Rick: One of my favorite memories (there are so many) is EVERY TIME Air Supply performs here at WinStar, they always give me a shout out to the audience that I was their guitarist on their first USA debut album on Columbia Records. I have numerous backstage memories about many artists, not sure how appropriate it would be to share those!
Wow, wouldn’t it be nice if Air Supply gave you a shout out on every visit?
Thanks for sharing with us, Rick! On your next visit to WinStar World Casino and Resort, keep an eye out for Rick on the gaming floor. Give him a wave and tell him you read all about him on the WinStar blog!