2nd class graduates from Wyandotte YOUniversity

By William Swaim | Wyandotte Nation

Wyandotte YOUniversity’s Class of 2020 celebrated their recent graduation Thursday afternoon, April 22, at River Bend Casino & Hotel in Wyandotte, Okla., during a reception.

The graduates completed four years of courses and training, including navigating a year through COVID, to complete the program.

The River Bend Casino & Hotel graduates included Audio Visual Specialist Mark Epling, Surveillance Supervisor Tammy Hendricks, Sr. Marketing Coordinator Wacy Humble and Marketing Coordinator Natalie Koons. Also graduating from 7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kansas, were Revenue Audit Supervisor Ruth Stanley and Manager on Duty Michelle Washington. Stanley and Washington also celebrated their graduation in Kansas City recently.

Back Row left to right:
James Labrada Operations Manager, Shawn Essex Security Manager, Jack Black IT manager, Lori Clark Purchasing Coordinator (2019 Graduate), Gary Stella General Manager, Casey Ellett Assistant General Manager, Wacy Humble Sr. Marketing Coordinator, Mark Epling Audio Visual Specialist, Natalie Koons Marketing Coordinator, Tammy Hendricks Surveillance Supervisor, Robert Strang Surveillance Manager, Melissa Asaro Operations Compliance Officer(2019 Graduate), Carrie Sargent Restaurant and Bar Supervisor (2019 graduate)
Front Row left to right:
Vera Hernandez Cage/Vault Manager, Chris Cizek Executive Chef, Edie Ingram Manager of Training and Organizational Development, Joanna Hadley Marketing Manager, Kelly Carpino WTOK CEO, Tara Martinez EVS Supervisor (2019 Graduate) Shirley Mangold Cage/Vault Supervisor(2019 graduate), Debbie Musick Human Resource Manager

Front Row left to right: Kelly Carpino, Michelle Washington (graduate) Manager on Duty, Ruth Stanley(graduate) Revenue Audit Supervisor, Jerrell Royal General Manager Middle Row left to right: Edie Ingram, Jillian Rainingbird Cage/Vault Manager, Debra Zismer Human Resource Manager, Sara Wartman Marketing Manager, Rick VanCise IT Manager, Back Row; Josh Dennison Security Manager, Jim Nesvold Facilities Manager

“I couldn’t be more excited to be here today to celebrate this achievement,” said Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma CEO Kelly Carpino. “I want to say thank you, thank you for the work.

“We view this as an honor for you to get selected to be in the program. Your leadership teams nominated you to be in the program and they felt you had the right skill set. It is not lost on me how much work goes into it, and you are doing it all while trying to take care of your everyday duties.”

Wyandotte YOUniversity is a four-year leadership development program. The purpose of Wyandotte YOUniversity’s Leadership Development Program is to prepare employees for current and future leadership roles by providing a structured program of study of essential leadership competencies.

The four River Bend Casino & Hotel employees completed four years of leadership development, which entailed completing 1,487 courses amounting to an average of 124 courses per individual. The graduates took part in 28 classroom trainings.

“I learned so much from your leadership and from what you do,” said Edie Ingram, WTOK Manager of Training and Organizations Development, who facilitates the program and classroom training. “So I want to say thank you because you are the reason for this program and you are what makes it work.”

The employees from each casino were the second graduating class from the award-winning program. The program was recognized in 2019 by the Brandon Hall Group and received a Bronze Award for Excellence in the Best Launch of a Corporate University.

The goals of the program are:

  • Identify members with potential to become leaders and invest in their professional growth and development;
  • Provide these high potential leaders with skills required to step into leadership positions;
  • Energize and grow Strong leadership at all levels of the business;
  • Increase the future leaders’ knowledge of leadership qualities, techniques and the business/profession.
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