Faces of Caesars
by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud
The Caesars Entertainment brand is no stranger to Las Vegas’ black community. Whenever there is a community activity or event — particularly those focused on helping people in need — it is a virtual certainty that Caesars will be listed prominently among the contributing sponsors.
As Caesars Entertainment Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Gary W. Loveman sees it, “Building communities the Caesars’ way is the blueprint of our commitment to support and invest in communities.”
The company also has a strong commitment to diversity, which is exemplified in the ranks of its senior management. Among those working in the corporate suites is attorney Duane Holloway, a native of Baltimore, Md., who has worked for seven years at Caesars Entertainment Corp., and currently serves as vice president and chief counsel, enterprise operations and litigation for the company.
“We have 54 properties around the globe, and I head up the team that oversees all the legal work that arises out of each of the properties,” he explained. “I also head up the litigation practice group, which handles all the litigation throughout the company and worldwide. One of my chief goals is to protect the bottom line of Caesars Entertainment. That is to… save the company money.”
At age 40, Holloway’s impressive legal background includes a stint at Hogan & Lovells, the oldest and largest major law firm in the Washington, D.C., area. “Working just down the hall from John Roberts — who is now chief justice of the United States Supreme Court — was a memorable time,” recalled the recently married Holloway, who enjoys tennis and travel when he is away from the office.
In light of recent reports about a declining number of African-Americans entering medical school, Holloway says different challenges face young blacks who pursue legal careers. “I don’t see the drop-off in African-Americans going to law school,” he said. “But what we are seeing is a (lower number) of African-American attorneys getting premier jobs after they graduate from law school. As the economy declined, I think the industry paid less attention to diversity and inclusion — and young African-American law school graduates have suffered for that.”
At his own place of business, Holloway is passionate about Caesars Entertainment’s strong efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
“Back in 2006, Fred Keeton (Caesars Entertainment’s vice president of finance, external affairs and CDO) created a diversity strategy team with several senior managers here at Caesars,” Holloway explained. “We spent many, many, months … going through every diversity and inclusion issue that the company faced and should address. We came up with a diversity strategy for the entire company. It was a terribly rewarding experience truly fantastic. We have an informal diversity council in our law department, whereby we go out and recruit various minority lawyers to do business with Caesars Entertainment. We owe who we are at Caesars to the various communities in which we operate. We rely on the members of those communities not only to be our customers, but to be our vendors and our employees. So, we like to reflect our communities here at Caesars Entertainment. It’s very important to us that we do whatever we can to … ensure everyone gets a fair shake.”
In that work, Holloway makes special efforts to establish partnerships with minority firms including independent African-American law firms. “We have approximately 100 litigation firms around the world that represent us, and one of my chief duties is to manage what they do,” he said. “I am tirelessly looking for African-American and other minority counsel throughout the United States to partner with and assist Caesars in reaching our legal goals.”
Dedicated to assisting young African-Americans interested in following his career path, Holloway gives the following advice: “Don’t sit on the sidelines. Ask questions, meet people, be aggressive and become a voracious learner. I am all about young people reaching out to me and asking if we can meet to talk about the legal profession. Top gaming leaders — such as Gary Loveman, Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson — are intensely aggressive. They are never unprepared for a situation. That is how young African-American lawyers … need to be, to stand out in this business.”