Thursday, March 30, 2017

West Las Vegas’ Own

February 13, 2017 by Las Vegas Black Image Magazine  
Filed under Conversation

Uri Clinton comes home on a mission to lead and blaze a trail for others.

Uri Clinton

Las Vegas has experienced remarkable progress over the years, particularly on the Strip now clustered with hotel and resort properties. One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the growth of executive employment opportunities for African-Americans in the gaming industry. Once known as the “Mississippi of the West” — due to discriminatory hiring practices in 1960s and ‘70s — Las Vegas is making huge strides in diversity that are bringing more African-Americans to the top levels of big companies.

The MGM Resort International is the largest gaming employer in Nevada, and prides itself as being a leader in diversity. And the recent promotion of West Las Vegas native Uri Clinton, Esq., as Senior Vice President, Legal Counsel, after just two years with the company, speaks to the company’s commitment to inclusion.

“Two years ago, when MGM called and asked if I would like to come back to Las Vegas and serve as lead legal counsel for their Casino Development efforts, it was a no-brainer for me, because I wanted to come home,” said Clinton. “I love Las Vegas, I only left, as a young attorney so that I could gain needed professional experiences and skills that were not readily available if I had stayed in my comfort zone in Las Vegas. After leaving Las Vegas in 2003, I earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University, and was able to gain significant experience working as legal counsel on international transactions. Gaining these additional skills opened the door for new opportunities, and ultimately lead to the phone call from MGM Resorts International.”

Prior to returning to Las Vegas, Clinton worked as Vice President and Division Counsel for Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (Now Caesars Entertainment Corporation) in Memphis, Tenn. — managing legal operations for six gaming jurisdictions for three years. He went on to Texas, where he served as general counsel for a slot machine manufacturing company for four years. Then he proceeded to the Bahamas, where he worked as general counsel for an international development company.

“I think I am most inspired by my family — and specifically my children, who I want to set a trail for as one was laid for me,” said Clinton. “I grew up in West Las Vegas in a single-parent home, and as a young man there were people that I watched — such as Bob Bailey, Cranford Crawford, Dr. William Sullivan, Dr. Al Gourrier, and Sam Smith — who motivated me. Some served as surrogate fathers, others stood as positive examples for success that I watched from afar. These are the people who I saw take the next step towards their successful destinies. So when I got the chance, I took full advantage.”

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