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MGM Resorts International honored by Women’s Forum

MGM Resorts International has been honored by the Women’s Forum of New York for achieving 27 percent female representation on the company’s board of directors. At its third biennial Breakfast of Corporate Champions, the conference recognized companies that have achieved at least 20 percent female representation on their boards. More than 500 business leaders, including CEOs and board directors, government officials, media and thought leaders attended the event in New York City.

MGM Resorts has a history of supporting and promoting diversity. In 2000, the company became the first in the gaming industry to adopt a diversity and inclusion initiative as part of its standard business practices. In 2005, MGM Resorts was the first gaming company in Las Vegas to name a woman president of a casino resort. Currently, three of the company’s 11 board members are women.

LaVoie joins Las Vegas Business Academy board

Las Vegas Business Academy named Mark LaVoie, vice president of food and beverage for Boyd Gaming, to the organization’s board of directors. LaVoie joins 32 of Las Vegas’ top industry leaders in business, hospitality and law in working toward passing on professional expertise and knowledge to the nonprofit’s scholarship recipients while the students pursue a graduate degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. LaVoie previously served as the corporate vice president of food and beverage for Station Casinos Inc. He opened Aliante Station Resort Casino while also creating and implementing several internally branded restaurant concepts such as the Grand Café, Pasta Cucina and Cabo. In 2013, LaVoie joined the Warner Hospitality Inc. team as vice president of non-gaming operations for the next two years, opening Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City, Iowa, and in South Lake Tahoe.

Nevada Legal Services wins national award

The American Bar Association awarded Nevada Legal Services the top prize for pro bono work done by legal aid programs Nov. 25, as part of its Day of Service Campaign to encourage private attorneys to provide free legal help to low-income people. The American Bar Association’s program — “And Justice for All: An ABA Day of Service” — mobilized thousands of attorneys to volunteer their legal services to those in need. The Day of Service came at the end of National Celebrate Pro Bono Week, Oct. 25-31. This year, the ABA Day of Service had 900 events in 45 states and Puerto Rico. The sponsored events focused on using volunteer attorneys to increase the legal services offered to poor and vulnerable people.

WGU honored for student loan default prevention

Western Governors University has been awarded a certificate of excellence from USA Funds for achieving a significant reduction in its federal student loan default rate. In the U.S. Department of Education’s annual report of three-year default rates, WGU’s three-year rate improved to 5.0 percent from 6.6 percent for the previous period — a rate less than half the national average for both public and private universities of 11.8 percent. WGU’s low default rate is the result of a three-pronged approach: up-front financial counseling that encourages responsible borrowing, affordable tuition that reduces the need for borrowing, and a focus on degree programs that help graduates advance their careers, which better positions them to repay their loans. In 2013, WGU launched its Responsible Borrowing Initiative to encourage students to borrow only what they need to complete their degrees.

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