Sep. 19, 2023

LAS VEGAS, September 19, 2023 – On September 27, 2023, the Las Vegas Hospitality Association Foundation (LVHAF) will launch its Inaugural Mentorship Program in partnership with the UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality. The kick-off announcement will take place during the 2023-2024 Hospitality Mentor Reception at Caesars Palace.

The Mentorship Program represents a key initiative of LVHAF’s Strategic Plan – building diverse relationships between industry professionals and UNLV. 

“We want to empower the next generation to become leaders of tomorrow by increasing their engagement with industry professionals of today,” said Stacey Purcell, chair of the mentorship program and chair-elect for the LVHAF. “Our goal is to start small, then grow the program as we move forward.”

The LVHAF Mentorship Program will showcase some of the hospitality industry’s top leaders. All 11 mentors are 20+-year veterans representing a wide range of industry segments, including resorts, events, entertainment, and sports. The list of mentors* includes members of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association and its charitable arm, LVHAF.

The program will be aligned with the UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality’s Mentor Program, which has paired industry mentors with students for more than 20 years. Partnering with the college will allow LVHAF to connect with a large population of young, aspiring professionals.

“We are so excited to support this effort because we’ve seen the impact mentorship can have on students,” said Hospitality College assistant dean of external affairs, Maggie Hausbeck. “When students can talk to someone who has risen through the ranks in the industry and ask them about their professional journey, they blossom.”

Purcell is no stranger to the power of mentorship. An engaged Hospitality College alumna and recent recipient of the college’s prestigious Mentor of the Year Award, Purcell, has witnessed the transformational effect of mentorship firsthand. 

“I absolutely love connecting with mentees – giving back, sharing stories over coffee, walking them through our properties, and talking to them about their passions. It’s all about giving students that boost in confidence to excel in their careers,” said Purcell.

Cohorts of the LVHAF Mentorship Program will run annually from September to April. To inquire about becoming a mentor, please complete the college’s mentor interest form.

*LVHA Foundation Mentors

Deanna Burgess – Corporate Vice President of Sales | Station Casinos
Kathy Dyke – Director of Sales & Development | By Dzign

Tami Hance – CEO & State Director | Communities in Schools of Nevada

Eric Hoffend – Founder | Event-Hype

Bryan Kroten – Vice President, Marketing | Maverick Helicopters

Stacey Purcell – Assistant Director of Sales | Caesars Entertainment

Lynda Richardson – Sr. National Sales Manager | SAHARA Las Vegas

Amy Riley – Director of Sales | Red Rock Resort

Daniel Rush – Vice President of Global Sports | MGM Resorts International

Alan Waxler – President/CEO | AWG Ambassador

JJ Wills – Sr. Vice President, Program Marketing and Business Development | ConferenceDirect

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The Las Vegas Hospitality Association Foundation
The LVHA Foundation supports the charitable and educational mission of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association by providing support through hospitality-related scholarships and educational programming. The LVHA Foundation provides education, cultivates relationships, and resources to increase engagement in the hospitality industry and community, emphasizing developing a strong pipeline of future hospitality leaders. The Foundation strives to achieve goals through strategic planning, oversight, and disbursement of funds consistent with and in support of the hospitality industry and the local community. The LVHA Foundation aims to be a philanthropic leader in the Southern Nevada community and tourism industry.

UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality
The UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitality and 
tourism programs in the world. Studying just blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip, UNLV hospitality students enjoy unparalleled access to hands-on, industry-relevant experience and networking opportunities. Over 150 major hospitality brands visit campus each year to serve as subject matter experts, mentors, and recruiters providing career pathways for students through internships, management training programs, and direct hiring. For more information, visit or follow the college on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn (@unlvhospitality).

Bryan Kroten



Angela Ramsey
UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality