Our friends at Atlantic City Weekly name their list of The Top 40 Under 40 each year — a tribute to young executives and community leaders throughout the Atlantic City area.
Atlantic City Weekly joined forces with the Greater Atlantic City Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) in 2005 to establish the Top 40 Under 40 — a campaign designed to recognize outstanding volunteerism, community service, cultural enhancement and exceptional work ethics in sectors of society such as business, government, education, healthcare, hospitality and others.
We think Simon embodies those ideals perfectly and are delighted to see him recognized by the community. We had a Q & A with Simon to discuss his being named to the 2016 Top 40 Under 40 List.
Tell us about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m originally from a rural part of Pennsylvania, located about 45 minutes East of Pittsburgh. My college degree, a B.S. in Communications Media, was completed at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in December 2002. Both sides of my family, going back several generations, have traditionally vacationed at the Jersey Shore. During one of those visits, I noticed a billboard for Borgata, advertising employment opportunities to ‘Work Someplace Different.’ I applied, and that is pretty much how my career in gaming began. My initial position was at the My Borgata Center, followed by a subsequent move to marketing. In 2013 I took a marketing position with Isle of Capri Casinos, where I was part of the opening team of Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Within that same year, an opportunity presented itself here at Borgata, and so I made my way back to Atlantic City.
What’s your favorite memory in your professional career at Borgata?
There are so many great memories, it’s hard to name a single favorite! The best memories I have are from those events in which the entire team here at Borgata delivers on a truly special, one of a kind experience for our customers. If I had to name one, Borgata’s Free Throw Basketball tournament held on March 21, 2015 was an event I will never forget. It was the kind of day that makes working at Borgata such a unique and rewarding experience.
Although there have been European Poker Awards since 2001 to recognize the accomplishments of both players and organizers in the poker industry, we had nothing similar in the US until recently despite the fact that the roots of the 2003 poker boom took place right here in the US. That changed last year when the Global Poker Index began hosting the American Poker Awards.
While I thought it was cool that poker was finally going to have an awards ceremony on this side of the pond after all these years, I honestly never expected to be nominated for an award unless I went on some insane heater, especially since there wasn’t a charity category in the European Poker Awards before then. So I was surprised, honored and excited when the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) was nominated for one of the inaugural American Poker Awards last year in the Charitable Initiative of the Year category.
I was also, however, pretty disappointed when we didn’t win the award to be perfectly honest. I used that disappointment in the most productive way I could. In much the same way, I tried to use my 2nd and 3rd place finishes in major events as motivation to keep improving my game in preparation for the next opportunity. I tried even harder in year two of operation than I did in year one, and the results followed.
The CSOP inaugural event at Planet Hollywood in Vegas raised nearly $15K for Three Square Food Bank which wasn’t bad, but was nothing compared to the $42K the event raised at the same price point in Season 2. Our event at Seminole Hard Rock in Florida went from $15K to $34K raised for Habitat for Humanity of Broward County, and our most recent Borgata event was also on the uptick from $8K to over $13K raised for Habitat for Humanity of Atlantic County and the Community FoodBank of NJ.
Our friends at Atlantic City Weekly hit on a great idea about seven years ago when they came up with the idea for the AC Weekly Nightlife Awards. Not only did they honor all of the great nightlife in Atlantic City, they went to the true experts to figure out which clubs and casinos should be singled out each year.
Those experts were their readers, which is basically you, the beautiful people that make the Atlantic City scene happen.
As you might expect, Borgata Nightlife has had a pretty healthy representation in the awards through the years (Thanks to your votes) and this year, 2015, we’re positively swooning over the love you’ve shown to MIXX, one of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s premiere nightclubs and party spots.
MIXX took first place honors in eight different categories.
Congratulations to Greg Halka, Catering/Convention Services Manager at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, for being named Convention Services Manager of the Year by Successful Meetings! Greg began working for Borgata as a Valet Shift Manager when Borgata first opened in 2003. Since then he has worked his way up to Front Desk Shift Manager, then […]