Gaming lobbying organization revamps management team

The American Gaming Association announced a shake-up Monday in its management team, hiring five senior staff members to oversee the Washington D.C.-based trade organization’s marketing communication and policy functions.

In a statement, the group that represents the gaming industry’s interests in Congress said it hired individuals with experience in the gaming industry and have backgrounds in the private sector and with trade associations.

American Gaming Association CEO Geoff Freeman said the changes in staff are part of a reorganization that places an emphasis on proactive, campaign-style trade association advocacy.

“Through groundbreaking research, aggressive outreach and on-the-ground activities, this group of experts will position the AGA to champion gaming’s value as a driver of innovation and economic growth,” Freeman said in the statement.

The five include Sara Rayme, senior vice president of public affairs, who worked with MGM Resorts International in the company’s Maryland expansion efforts; Chaka Burgess, vice president of government relations, who has nearly 20 years of experience in coalition building, lobbying and ally development, and formerly worked as director in the global government affairs division of Amgen Inc.; Allie Barth, senior director of communications, who previously worked with the U.S. Travel Association; Elizabeth Cronan, director of gaming policy, who previously worked with International Game Technology; and Virginia Hurt Johnson, general counsel, who has 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors.

The changes come almost seven months into Freeman’s tenure as CEO of the American Gaming Association. He replaced the organization’s founder, Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., who retired last June.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.


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