Kevin Nephew, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation’s Wolf Clan, is responsible for having developed and launched the Seneca Gaming Corporation’s company-wide Continuous Improvement program, which has provided savings and efficiencies to the corporation.
The appointment of Kevin Nephew as Seneca Gaming Corporation’s new President and CEO marks an historic moment in the corporation’s 18-year history. Nephew will be the first Seneca Nation member to serve in this capacity.
Nephew brings decades of financial leadership experience to the role. He most recently served as the corporation’s Vice President of Organization Improvement & Development. Since joining the corporation in 2014, he has additionally held the roles of Executive Director of Continuous Improvement and Director of Budget and Financial Analysis.
Nephew is responsible for having developed and launched Continuous Improvement, a company-wide executive development program with an emphasis on the leadership succession of Seneca Nation citizens. Certified by the Kaizen Institute in Continuous Improvement training, Nephew is currently pursuing the institute’s Lean Six Sigma Management Certification.
Continuous Improvement at Seneca Gaming Corporation empowers employees at all levels of a company to work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements — known as “process improvement.” The program leads to improved customer service and profitability across the organization.
To date, more than 1,000 Seneca Gaming Corporation employees have been trained on Continuous Improvement principles, which have provided savings and efficiencies to the corporation.
As President & CEO, Nephew will oversee the operation and performance of Seneca Gaming Corporation’s three casino properties in Upstate New York – Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls; Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca; and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo. The facilities collectively employ more than 2,700 workers and attract millions of visitors each year.
“We have seen Kevin’s leadership and commitment firsthand over the past six years and we have every confidence in his vision for leading Seneca Gaming Corporation and our three world-class properties,” said Dr. Lori V. Quigley, Chairwoman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation Board of Directors. “As an executive and a colleague, Kevin has demonstrated an ability to inspire positive operational and philosophical change throughout the corporation for the benefit of our stakeholders, including our guests, our more than 2,700 team members, and the Seneca Nation. The Board looks forward to working collaboratively with Kevin to fulfill our shared goals for Seneca Gaming Corporation.”
Prior to joining Seneca Gaming Corporation, Nephew spent 22 years working in a series of Finance positions with New York State, including 15 years as Director of Financial Administration for the New York State Office of Technology, as well as roles with the New York State Department of Tax and Finance and the New York State Division of Budget.
An enrolled member of the Seneca Nation’s Wolf Clan, Nephew recognizes the value that Seneca Gaming Corporation brings to people across the spectrum from employees to the Seneca citizens to the greater communities.
“I am incredibly humbled by the Board’s confidence in my ability to lead Seneca Gaming Corporation forward,” Nephew said. “I know well the passion and dedication our team members bring to their jobs every day, and how that resonates in the service they provide to our guests. I also know the important role our properties play for our team members, for our community, and for the Seneca Nation. Those perspectives will help guide my leadership in continuing to strengthen our operations and make Seneca Gaming Corporation and our three properties leaders in our industry.”
Nephew is a graduate of Bucknell University and earned a MBA from Columbia University, and also serves as an adjunct professor at Medaille College, as well as a member of the Seneca Nation Investment Board of Directors.
David Sheridan, Seneca Gaming Corporation’s CFO, who has served as Interim CEO since the spring, will resume his CFO duties.
“David did a remarkable job leading the company through the unimaginable circumstances brought on by the global pandemic,” Dr. Quigley said. “The Board is grateful to him, and we look forward to David continuing to be a key member of our management team.”
The significance of a Tribal member taking the helm at Seneca Gaming Corporation is felt throughout the company and Tribal community.
“The Seneca Nation is very proud to see one of our members earn this important opportunity,” said Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong, Sr. “When we opened the doors at Seneca Niagara nearly two decades ago, it was a milestone moment in our history and a monumental turning point for the future of our people. Not only will Kevin have the opportunity to make a lasting, positive impact on our Seneca economy, he is also setting a positive example for our Nation’s younger generations.”