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
As Executive Vice President/Assistant General Manager for one of America’s most innovative and dynamic casinos, Nick Dillon has been a leader in transforming the one time Bingo Hall into a success story for the ages, Barona Resort & Casino. During his 18-year tenure at Barona, Mr. Dillon has worked his way through the organization under the tutelage of the finest management team in gaming. His experience in Bingo, Poker, Table Games, Slots, and Player Development make Nick uniquely qualified to lead Barona’s gaming operations team, which he has done since 1997. Currently, he oversees slots, table games, poker, OTB, executive hosts, player development, and Club Barona. In this capacity, he manages more than 1,000 staff members including all of the assistant casino managers, special events and promotions, and casino sales. In addition, Mr. Dillon currently leads five separate technology initiatives that will continue to maintain Barona Resort & Casino’s position as a leader in gaming technology.
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.
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, 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, 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.
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 off-track betting, poker, and the training and supervision of some 500 professionals under his tutelage.
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.