The General Manager of Barona Resort & Casino is responsible for keeping Barona on its path of leading the gaming industry in every type of innovation. As General Manager, Rick Salinas oversees the operations of this premier resort property which includes an award-winning casino, resort hotel, restaurants, and a championship golf course Barona Creek Golf Club, continually ranked in the top five in California since its opening. With an extensive background in gaming and hospitality, he leads a management team that is considered to be the best in the industry. In his position, he is responsible for setting the strategy and vision for the resort that employs nearly 3,000 staff members. In addition to overseeing the operations of the entire business including marketing, human resources, gaming, hospitality, finance, and information technology, he is committed to expanding Barona’s leadership position through innovation, customer service, and marketing excellence. Rick Salinas joined Barona Resort & Casino in November 2000 as Assistant General Manager of Human Resources. His successful career includes executive management positions with leading properties including Stouffer Hotels and Resorts, Interstate Hotels, Four Seasons, Metro Hotels, and Station Casinos.
Executive Vice President/Assistant General Manager
Troy Simpson has more than 18 years of experience in the casino industry during which time he has developed and honed his skills in gaming operations and casino marketing. As Executive Vice President/Assistant General Manager at Barona Resort & Casino, Mr. Simpson oversees both casino and non-gaming operations to ensure the entire property is in complete alignment to optimize the casino player’s experience. Prior to his current position, Mr. Simpson was senior vice president of innovation marketing, and he played an integral role in keeping Barona on the cutting edge of business practices across all areas of operation while maintaining its long standing reputation for innovation excellence. He also served as executive director of loyalty marketing, where he was responsible for database marketing, casino hosts, guest services, shuttle and bus programs, casino customer room reservations, events and promotions and Barona’s award-winning players club. Specializing in business strategy, execution, process improvement, organizational dynamics, and acquisition and retention marketing, Mr. Simpson has been a big part of Barona’s success in the gaming industry. He is a proven leader with a natural ability to create positive organizational change. A strong communicator and industry expert, he has been the subject of frequent interviews and has spoken at a variety of industry trade shows, conferences and educational venues. Mr. Simpson began his career at Harrah’s Entertainment where he worked for eight years. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus in marketing at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee.
Sr. Vice President of Operations
Linda Jordan joined Barona Resort & Casino in 1994 as director of marketing. Her years of experience in advertising and her strategic marketing skills played a key role in developing the Barona brand and positioning Barona as a leader in the gaming industry. Over the years, her business acumen and proven track record quickly moved her through the ranks of the marketing department and into management roles including Sr. Vice President of Marketing. After serving as a Casino Manager for two years, Jordan was promoted to the position she now holds as Senior Vice President of Operations in 2013.
In her current role, Ms. Jordan provides leadership and guidance to various departments in the casino as it relates to Barona’s business model and works closely with the marketing department to ensure business objectives are being met. She supervises the Executive Casino Manager, Director of Player Development and Executive Hosts and oversees all current operational departments including Table Games and Slots and is a member of the casino’s Credit Committee. Casino-wide activities under Ms. Jordan’s direction include planning, development, and implementation of policies and procedures; programs, staffing, and mentoring. Additionally, she works to ensure the casino’s compliance with all federal, state, and local regulatory requirements.
Prior to joining Barona, Ms. Jordan worked at several highly-regarded advertising and marketing agencies and was the marketing director for a major shopping center in San Diego. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Marketing from San Diego State University (SDSU). In the community, she has been involved with a variety of non-profit organizations and has served on the board of The Foundation for Women, the marketing committee of the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and an Advisory Board Member with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). She is past president of the Advertising Club of San Diego and a recipient of the San Diego YWCA’s Tribute to Women in Industry Award (TWIN) Award. Ms. Jordan was honored as one of the “Great Women of Gaming” by Casino Enterprise Management magazine.
Executive Casino Manager
As executive casino manager for one of America’s most highly regarded casinos, Rafael Alvarez is known for his attention to customer service, innovative approach to business and solution driven management style. During his nearly 20 year tenure at Barona, he has worked his way through the organization under the guidance of the most respected management team in the gaming industry. He started as a cashier in the slot department and immediately caught the eye of management. He was quickly promoted and over the years has held a variety of positions including shift supervisor, assistant shift manager, assistant casino manager and casino manager.
In his current role as executive casino manager, Mr. Alvarez is responsible for managing and overseeing the performance of the casino floor and ensuring Barona is living up to its commitment to being the “Happiest Casino on Earth”®. He does this by creating memorable and rewarding experiences for players as well as staff.
Since joining Barona, Mr. Alvarez has been an important part of the casino’s growth from the original Barona Big Top to its current status as San Diego’s leading gaming resort destination. He is focused on staying true to the core values and principles on which Barona was originally founded and is dedicated to growing its position in the market.
Senior Vice President, Administration
With more than 25 years experience in the financial industry, Dean Allen joined Barona Resort & Casino in 1996 and has managed the finance and accounting department for the past 13 years. Prior to joining Barona, he served in a financial consulting capacity for almost two years and held senior management positions with various other San Diego-based companies including Maintenance Warehouse/America Corporation and Deloitte & Touche. While at Barona, Mr. Allen has been instrumental in securing major bank financing for the expansion of the resort destination property including bond issuance and banker and bond holder relations. In his current position, he oversees the accounting, planning and analysis, cash handling, warehousing, and purchasing departments for Barona and also serves as the trustee for the employee 401k program. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of CPAs.
Vice President of Food and Beverage
With more than 36 years of experience in the gaming industry, Ed Fasulo is widely recognized as one of the gaming industry’s leading executives in casino management and culinary services. As vice president of food and beverage at Barona Resort & Casino, Mr. Fasulo is responsible for the daily operations of Barona’s award winning restaurants including the Barona Steakhouse, Seasons Fresh Buffet and Sage Café. A certified chef in his own right, he manages over 800 staff members guided by a philosophy of keeping things simple and focused on understanding and delivering exactly what Barona’s guests want. Among the staff, he strives to create a culture of kinship and camaraderie linked by a shared goal of ensuring Barona offers the best dining experience in the industry. Prior to his current position, Mr. Fasulo was a consultant to Barona and served in management roles at casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Iowa. He also opened and was president and COO of the $600 million Rivers Casino property in Pittsburgh, PA. A believer in community service, he volunteered on the boards for the Nevada Hotel/Motel Association, Nevada Resort Association and the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. Mr. Fasulo attended California State Fullerton and Texas A&M University.
Vice President, Slot Operations
As Vice President of Slot Operations, Chuck Hickey’s focus is on overseeing the daily operations and future planning of the slot floor at Barona. With a far-reaching vision for future progress of the property, Mr. Hickey works with multiple departments to ensure Barona’s slot technology is at the forefront of the casino industry. One of his greatest roles is retail analysis – assessing the quality and popularity of machines on the floor and ensuring they are positioned in the most relevant areas to maximize revenue. During his 35 years in slot operations, Mr. Hickey has worked his way up from slot bookkeeping to the coin room, eventually to the gaming floor. He spent 18 years with various Harrah’s properties in Las Vegas and Reno, as well as eight years with the Silver Legacy in Reno. In addition, he was the General Manager of the Empress Hammond in Hammond, Indiana.
Vice President, Table Games Operations
Mike Patterson, Vice President of Table Games Operations, is the driving force behind what is widely regarded as the most innovative and player-friendly table game operation in the industry. Under Mike’s unique leadership, Barona offers not only the world’s most liberal high stakes blackjack games, but they are also known as the “world’s premier gambling laboratory” for a variety of gambling vendors and inventors. Armed with Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University and an encyclopedic knowledge of all games of chance, in his 15 years at Barona his duties have grown to include overseeing poker and the training and supervision of some 500 professionals under his tutelage.
Vice President, Technology
With more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry, Mike Murphy joined Barona in May of 2003 and currently serves as Vice President of Technology. In his current role, he oversees an information technology department with more than 50 engineers, analysts, and computer programmers, is responsible for testing manufacturer’s products, searching for innovative applications, and developing new products, all through Barona’s Gaming Laboratory. In addition, he is charged with creating innovative ways to increase revenue and operational efficiencies through the use of technology, ensuring Barona is always on the cutting edge. Mr. Murphy’s technology background is extensive, and he began his career as a main frame computer operator at Tulane University. Over the years, he held various positions in the technology industry before entering the gaming industry 15 years ago at Bally Entertainment in New Orleans.
Executive Director of Golf
As Executive Director of Golf at Barona Creek Golf Club, PGA Professional Don King is responsible for the overall operation of the golf course, pro shop, golf school, and tournament management. In addition, he spearheads golf course sustainability programs including an innovative turf reduction program; a voluntary, pro-active effort designed to lower irrigation and maintenance needs to enhance Barona’s conservation of natural resources. The ambitious environmental program is destined to become a model for the golf industry and supports Barona Creek’s eco-friendly achievements including its Bronze Signature Sanctuary Certification from Audubon International. Mr. King has served as Head Golf Pro for some of the leading golf courses in the country including Desert Hills Golf Club in Arizona and Grand Blanc Country Club in Michigan. In addition, he has also garnered experience at Old Elm Club in Chicago, Imperial Golf Club in Florida, and Army-Navy Country Club in Washington, D.C. During his career, King has earned accolades such as PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1991, and PGA Merchandiser of the Year in 1997.