California native Paula Eylar-Lauzon was a Rebel right out of the gate.
“To come from a very conservative background, where social expectations were clearly defined, and say ‘I’m moving to Las Vegas to study hospitality,’ My parents did not take it well.”
But Las Vegas – and a career in the hospitality industry—was her dream. And she was willing to do whatever it took to make it a reality.
“I worked graveyard in the cage at the Barbary Coast to gain Nevada residency so that I could afford tuition,” Eylar-Lauzon says. Later as a hospitality student, she continued to work full-time, keeping to a strict budget and struggling to find time to sleep.
Her determination was fueled by a genuine love for service. “I realized that I like seeing people happy and having an opportunity to provide a positive experience,” says Eylar-Lauzon, who went on to scale the ladder at several major hospitality brands.
Now as Boyd Gaming’s Senior Vice President of Administration, Eylar-Lauzon feels fortunate to know she is serving a company she loves while blazing the trail for other female executives in the hospitality industry.
As far as the hard knocks she experienced early on? Eylar-Lauzon says it helped her become a better leader, manager, and mother, as well as a cheerleader for students facing challenges: “I have so much respect for students who work and go to school full-time,” she says. “I know it’s tough, but these students are the ones who are going to succeed.”