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April 20, 2014

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Executive Class:

Mary Giuliano’s long, steady road

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Sam Morris

Vdara General Manager Mary Giuliano

Mary Giuliano’s first job in the casino business in Las Vegas was as a desk clerk at the Golden Nugget 22 years ago. Today, having worked her way up the ranks at various MGM Resorts International properties, she’s general manager of Vdara at CityCenter. The lifelong Las Vegas resident and UNLV grad talks with VEGAS INC about her life outside the office.

Do you have a motto you live by?

“Everything in moderation.” You always have to indulge a little bit, but it’s important to have limits.

If you could change one thing about Las Vegas, what would it be?

I wish people would see the true community spirit we have. We’re seen as an entertainment destination—and we are—but there’s so much more than that. You look at the Smith Center and downtown, we really do have a sense of community.

What was your first job?

I worked in a laundromat when I was attending Clark High School. I was in charge of fluff and fold.

What was your worst job?

I hate to say it, but probably the laundromat, just because of the work. Touching peoples’ dirty laundry. But being a newbie when I started the job, I definitely learned from the people around me. Eventually, they moved me up to work the register.

What kind of watch do you wear?

I don’t wear a watch. I use my phone or I ask people what time it is.

You went to UNLV. What was your favorite class?

Organizational Behavior. It stands out to me, I think, because of the professor. It’s the study of how an organization works, and why people behave certain ways when they’re in a group.

Who would you want to have a meal with?

My grandmother. She died 15 years ago. She was very influential in my life, and I would want to tell her how much I appreciated her support and values. She inspired me to do whatever I wanted to.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

I love the beach. Whether it’s Hawaii or California, I love the serenity.

What kind of car do you drive?

A Mercedes E350. It’s metallic gray.

Throughout your career, do you think you’ve been treated any differently because you’re a woman?

Since I started, I have never felt slighted because I’m a woman. I was in one of MGM’s first management programs.

Without thinking too long about it, what’s your most valuable possession?

My two teenagers. I have a 14-year-old girl, Gianni, and a 13-year-old boy, Don.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Las Vegas for a business lunch?

Julian Serrano at Aria. I think it’s a fun, open environment. You can share dishes, too, so people open up.

What’s the one thing you never leave your house without?

You’re going to laugh. Chapstick, the one in the blue container. Gum would be a close second.

What’s the one television show you have to DVR each week?

I don’t DVR. I really don’t watch a lot of TV. But, Entourage is definitely one show I keep a pulse on.

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