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Her Way: Paula Eylar-Lauzon

Coming to UNLV was a Rebel move for this California native.

People  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  By Angela Ramsey

Paula Eylar-Lauzon, '89 BS Hotel Administration. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Creative Services)

 

Editor's Note: 

This story is part of a series highlighting 50 intriguing alumni as part of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality’s 50th anniversary celebration.


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.”