‘The most important educational program in gaming’

Man lecturing to a room of people. Crisis-management pioneer Larry Barton presents to the EDP class on how to plan for emergency situations.

Every fall, the world's top gaming executives gather in Lake Tahoe to sharpen management skills, discuss current topics in the gaming industry and hear from industry experts. During the course of the retreat, attendees prepare for and face off against one another in a competition where teams address hypothetical gaming-related management challenges.

This summarizes the annual nine-day Executive Development Program (EDP) sponsored by Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, the College of Business, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, International Gaming Institute. As the only program of its kind, EDP attracts a diverse group of industry professionals from around the world, challenging them to think creatively and question what they know about the gaming industry.

With a long list of distinguished faculty and gaming industry experts from some of the most prominent jurisdictions, EDP has drawn more than 1,000 professionals from around the world to participate. In years past, professionals from Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America and South America have traveled to Lake Tahoe to strengthen their skills and their organizations.

"Attending EDP is part of the leadership fabric of many organizations, and the results can be career changing," Jim McClenahan, director of corporate outreach at the University, said. "Many organizations require attendance before joining an executive leadership team."

The program is designed and co-moderated by two leading gaming experts: Bo Bernhard, Satre Chair in Gaming Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and Executive Director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, International Gaming Institute and Mark Lipparelli, former Nevada Senator and former chair of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. Both learned under the mentorship of Bill Eadington, the founder of EDP.

"Over the years, EDP has produced so many internationally renowned industry and regulatory leaders," Lipparelli said. "My own status as a member of the first EDP class is one of my proudest achievements. Today, we look forward to continuing to build upon the most important educational program in gaming, during an era that is increasingly dynamic, technological and global."

Eadington, who founded the program in 1990, was a globally recognized professor of economics, director of the Institute of Gambling and Commercial Gaming in the University's College of Business and the first to hold the University of Nevada, Reno's prestigious Philip G. Satre Chair in Gaming Studies. In 2011, the American Gaming Association's Gaming Hall of Fame inducted Eadington for his pioneering academic research and influential industry leadership, both in Nevada and worldwide.

After Eadington's death in 2013, Bernhard took his mentor's place as the Satre Chair, becoming the first joint chair for the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This appointment meant the two institutions would now work together to collaboratively offer the world's most respected gaming studies programs.

"The Executive Development Program is the very best program in the world for leadership development in the gaming industry," Bernhard said. "We at UNLV are so proud to join forces with our friends at the University of Nevada, Reno to build upon our mentor Bill Eadington's beautiful legacy."

For more information, visit the Executive Development Program.

Return to Venture home page