Foxwoods has named John J. James as its new President and CEO, an appointment that follows a year after the sudden death of his predecessor Felix Rappaport. Currently COO of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California, James will take the helm at Foxwoods in southeastern Connecticut on August 12. After Rappaport’s untimely passing in June of 2018, Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler took over as the resort’s interim CEO.
With more than 25 years of highly successful Tribal gaming resort operations experience, James is uniquely positioned to lead Foxwoods into its next evolution, building on Foxwoods’ solid foundation.
“Over the past decade, Foxwoods transformed the traditional gaming model through a relentless pursuit of guest-first experiences resulting in the only true all-encompassing resort destination,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler. “With his proven track record for innovation, John is the right leader to continue that commitment to our guests, fulfill our vision and ignite our passion for delivering a resort that excites and surprises. John perfectly represents our team’s values and beliefs, and we are ready to drive the future of Foxwoods together.”
James’ deep expertise across key business units including finance, innovative marketing and award-winning design and development allows him to take a “whole-brained” approach to growth and profitability.
“Foxwoods is the premier destination in the Northeast and a pioneer in the tribal gaming community, and I’m thrilled to be joining their stellar team,” said James. “Over the past 27 years, Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have built a world-class resort casino with an unparalleled array of offerings for guests, and I look forward to working with the entire team to continue fortifying Foxwoods’ position as one of North America’s premier resort destinations.”
Prior to joining Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, James served as CEO for Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc. where he led the Tribe’s three casinos in achieving the highest recorded earnings in the State of Arizona. He also held chief executive roles at Seminole Gaming, Inc. and Pechanga Resort and Casino. Additionally, James served as a Vice President and General Manager for various successful Station Casinos properties in Las Vegas.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, James attended the University of Nevada, where he graduated from the accounting program.