Women Lead The Way at Resorts World Las Vegas

The progressive property ushers in a new era led by women hospitality titans

To commemorate Women’s History Month, Off The Strip talked with four female powerhouses spearheading Resorts World Las Vegas: Lori Kobashigawa–Vice President of eCommerce, Digital & Performance Marketing; Shannon McCallum–Vice President of Hotel Operations; Levan Donato–Director of Beverage and Cocktails and Jennifer Lynn–Director of Spa & Fitness. 

In male-dominated industries, the ladies leading Resorts World overcame adversities to earn seats in the boardroom. They shared with us their career challenges, community experiences and the non-profits they support.

Lori Kobashigawa

Vice President of eCommerce, Digital & Performance Marketing

After graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Lori Kobashigawa moved to Las Vegas to work for a Strip establishment as an internet marketing manager. Kobashigawa brings with her nearly 20 years of experience working at several properties and advances the company’s vision with her detail-oriented eye.

At Resorts World, she leads revenue-generating programs through digital products while managing Resorts World social media and social care infrastructure. She aims to inspire her teams by emboldening a creative workspace and directing innovative campaigns.

What challenges have you faced while pursuing your career and how did you overcome them?

When I began my career, there were very few women and even fewer female mentors in the digital and technology space. I have been able to use this as motivation to be voracious with education and learned to become a “creative problem solver.” Learning how to create my own solution for a problem versus accepting defeat when a ready-made resolution is not available allowed me to become a successful growth and performance marketer.

What do you love about being a part of the Las Vegas community?

I love that it is an energetic and fast-paced city but with a small-town heart. Most specifically, I love how our community comes together to help those in need or during times of tragedy. This city knows how to thrive, rebuild and heal together.

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

My mom. Barely out of her teens, she immigrated to the U.S. in order to help provide funds for her terminally ill father and struggling siblings in Mexico. Decades later, as a naturalized citizen, she advocates for education and shares how with determination and a strong spirit, you can accomplish anything.

When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun?

I love spending time with my family and kickboxing.

What’s a local charity that is near and dear to your heart?

Safenest has made a tremendous effort to help women and families affected by domestic violence. They work tirelessly to grow their services to help victims to safely rebuild their lives.

Shannon McCallum

Vice President of Hotel Operations

With over 30 years of experience in the U.S. and Canada combined, Shannon McCallum has served as a leader through many management and executive positions throughout her career. At Resorts World, McCallum administrates the strategic directive for all hotel operations from the front desk to VIP services. She oversees 20 departments to maintain high quality service for the guests throughout more than 5,000 hotel rooms and suites.

Not only does she manage the hotel operations at Resorts World, but she also serves as the Chair of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation. She is also a member of the Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals Association.

What challenges have you faced while pursuing your career and how did you overcome them?

Making decisions about what the next step should be in one’s career can be daunting, and I am fortunate to have had fantastic mentors along the way to speak to about potential opportunities and items for me to focus on to continue to grow. If you don’t have a mentor, get one, two or three. They will continue to challenge you and support you through career change.

What do you love about being a part of the Las Vegas community?

Hospitality in Las Vegas is a tight knit community, and it is such a pleasure to have relationships across many of the properties and companies in the city. There is so much to do in Las Vegas and that keeps our guests coming back multiple times per year. 

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

Inspiration is always just a step away! There are so many individuals that have inspired me in the past and most often it is my team members around me taking care of our guests that keep me motivated. The extraordinary tales of their service delivery when told through our guest feedback is simply amazing! 

When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun?

When not working, my passion is to travel with my family.  I find going to distant locations and learning about new cultures helps me to connect with guests from all over the world.

What’s a local charity that is near and dear to your heart?

I am passionate about the hospitality industry and growing the future generation of leaders.  I donate my time as the Chair of The Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation, a non-profit organization that drives donations to help pay for education classes for Hospitality students. We hold events around the state to drive funding for scholarships.

Levan Donato

Director of Beverage and Cocktails

Levan Donato is a first-generation American who moved to Las Vegas from Philadelphia when she was three years old. Her father sought a job opportunity in the city, which led her to growing up in Vegas. She credits her father, a hospitality veteran, as the reason why she loves the casino industry.

Donato comes to Resorts World with over 20 years of experience in beverage and cocktail services. As the director of Beverage and Cocktails, she develops new cocktail concepts and techniques for over 40 food and beverage venues in Resorts World.

What challenges have you faced while pursuing your career and how did you overcome them?

Leaving a company that I loved was one of the hardest challenges I had to overcome. I left for new opportunities when I realized I needed to grow and find a position that was best for my career and family. I have met an abundance of talented people in my past and current work life. Those relationships will always continue even if you don’t see the people every day.

Opening Resorts World Las Vegas has been amazing, and I feel honored to be a part of an incredible and successful team. I’ve built lasting relationships that are bonded for a lifetime. The amount of development and success accomplished in the last few years has been vital to my leadership growth.

What do you love about being a part of the Las Vegas community?

I love that the community pulls together when Las Vegas is in need [like they did after] the October 1 [tragedy]. Seeing the community really have compassion and care for one another is extremely heartfelt. Everyone pulled together as a community and supported one another.

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

My aunt has always inspired me.  I grew up without a mother, and my aunt stepped into that role. My aunt moved to Las Vegas working in a retail shop and moved up the ladder as an SVP for Far East Marketing. Her independence, compassion and loyalty has had a huge impact on the person I am today. She has recently retired, but I always know I can rely on her. She has always been supportive and remains my biggest cheerleader.   

When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun?

When I am not working, I love to travel with my family. We love to learn about different cultures and experience cuisines from around the world.

What’s a local charity that is near and dear to your heart?

A local charity near and dear to my heart is Shade Tree. This charity was created to help women and children who are victims to domestic violence, human trafficking and elder abuse. My son has grown up supporting Shade Tree. This is one of the charities we frequently volunteer for.

Jennifer Lynn

Director of Spa & Fitness

Jennifer Lynn describes herself as a “self-proclaimed lotus flower.” Lynn joins the Resorts World team with 25 years of experience in luxury brand development, spa and wellness, retail operations and marketing management. She has worked with several corporations on the Strip and has experience working with international industries.

Lynn’s accomplishments include managing $50M construction projects and successfully launching nine new spa and retail brands, which includes overseeing recruitment, hiring, training and leading award-winning teams.

What challenges have you faced while pursuing your career and how did you overcome them?

The Las Vegas casino and hospitality industry has been dominated by male leadership for decades. Seizing my seat at the boardroom table over the years has been a progression of dedicated work ethic, consistent performance, astute business acumen, quality decision making and exercising my interpersonal savvy. I found several male mentors in hospitality over the years.

Only recently have strong admirable female leaders influenced my day to day. As a result, I recognized early in my career that I had a responsibility to lead and mentor other women in our spa, wellness and hospitality industries.

What do you love about being a part of the Las Vegas community?

As a self-proclaimed desert flower and UNLV alumni, I love the city I was born, raised and educated in. I love Las Vegas for being such a unique place to live. With diverse entertainment and the ability to exercise hobbies indoors and outdoors in so many ways, Las Vegas is not only a great destination for tourists, but an exceptional place to call home.  And we have the Vegas Golden Knights! Go Knights Go! #Vegasborn

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

I have recently been inspired by Wim Hof, aka the Iceman. He is a health and wellness motivational professional spreading healing and inspirational messages. I am fascinated by the work he is doing using contrast water therapy and breathwork for mental and physical health. He advocates for cold water therapy and breathing techniques that help fortify your commitment to optimum health and well-being. Being a lifelong student of personal wellness and longevity, his work has unlocked new methods to use personally and share with others.  

When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun?

I am an avid yogi. I love doing hot yoga and meditation after an active week of work and family life. I also enjoy the hiking trails around the Las Vegas Valley, being outdoors at the appropriate time and season is perfect to recharge my body and mind.

What’s a local charity that is near and dear to your heart?

Las Vegas Rescue Mission is one of my favorite community charitable organizations. There are many ways I get involved, such as providing donations for their thrift store and volunteering at the nightly food kitchen. We have also done blanket and coat drives and handed items out directly after the nightly hot meal service. My son and my nephews have helped me over the years as this is also an amazing family bonding experience.

If the Resorts World’s ladies philanthropic efforts sparked inspiration in you, support the local hospitality community by signing up for the upcoming Great Chef Run on April 30.


You might also be interested in...

‘Adam London Laughternoon’ Comedy-Magic Show Quacks Up Las Vegas

Watch an exclusive OTS interview with comedian-magician Adam London

Read More

Jana Cruder Brings ‘HERSTORY’ to the Las Vegas Arts District

Through her fine art photography, Cruder conveys the story of a woman in the 1970s torn between her call to action and call to motherhood

Read More

Director Alberto Triana Delivers Heartfelt Stories in Fan Films

‘Inside the Director’s Cut’ features filmmaker Alberto Triana on March 30 at the Millennium Fandom Bar

Read More

RLC Veterans Assistance Helps Local Retired Vets Receive Benefits

94 percent of the veterans that have utilized their services have either received their benefits or received an increase on their existing benefits

Read More

Pauly Shore’s New Stand-Up Act Takes Us Behind the Curtain

Meet the Humans of Downtown: stories and snapshots from the urban core of Las Vegas

Read More

What did you think?