Meet Your Friendly Barona Casino Hosts
We don’t mean to brag, but Barona Resort & Casino has some of the nicest, most hospitable, knowledgeable casino hosts in San Diego. With years of casino industry experience and exceptional hosting skills, our Barona Casino hosts will give every player the excellent service they deserve. Read all about Barona’s Executive Casino hosts here and request to get hosted!
Zac Moore, Executive Host Manager
Zac has been working in the casino industry since 2008. He joined the Barona family in August 2009 as an original casino greeter before serving 2 ½ years as a VIP Host and 3 years as an Executive Host. He holds a B.A. from the University of Southern California and brings an extensive customer service/marketing/consulting background to his work at Barona. Zac has lived in San Diego and Los Angeles his whole life, and has travelled extensively throughout the U.S. and SE Asia, living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 3 months. When not at Barona, he loves to play golf and explore unique dining experiences with his wife.
Benjamin Tu, Executive Host
Settling in Southern California after living in Vietnam and China, Benjamin has worked and traveled all over the world, including Mongolia, Morocco, Europe, Mexico, and Asia, just to name a few!
With professional experience in careers as diverse as photography and ceramics, Benjamin has been able to hone his exceptional guest service skills. He speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.
Benjamin joined the Barona family in 2006, and is proud to bring his worldly knowledge to all of our guests as Executive Host.
George Munoz, Executive Host
George’s 15 year contribution to Barona Resort & Casino was preceded by a 30-year career as a fast food industry executive and franchise owner, as well as trainer and mentor to junior staff members.
Through his experience, he is always mindful of the value of good customer service. Bringing this inspiration to our guests to create thousands of Barona moments, George remains a valuable team member of our Executive Host staff to co-workers and highly regarded guests alike.
Hussien Attiyeh, Executive Host
Hussien has been in the casino industry since 1997. Starting off as a vault cashier, he transitioned into table games to work as a dealer and was quickly promoted to Floor Supervisor. Hussien came to Casino Marketing in March 2006 to provide exceptional service as an Executive Host. His proficiency in both English and Arabic also serve to make our guests experiences even that much better.
Often referred to as Executive Host Extraordinaire, Hussien takes great pride in creating an unsurpassed gaming experience for his guests. He is passionate about discovering what makes a perfect gaming experience for his guests, and then sets out to make it happen for them. Hussien enjoys traveling, music, good restaurants, and off-roading.
Lena Pellegrino, Executive Host
Lena has been part of the Barona Family since 2000. She hails from Sicily and has spent most of her life within the midst of the Italian community in San Diego. Lena speaks Italian, English, and Spanish, and has an extensive retail and customer service background.
Lena started in Group Sales and joined the VIP Host Department in 2001 because she wanted to provide that special experience to each and every one of our guests. She loves to travel, be creative, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.
Michael Martinez, Executive Host
Michael has an incredible 20+ years in the customer service industry…and it shows! He loves providing personal attention to each and every one of his players, and loves to show them what San Diego is all about.
Michael came to Barona in 2000 as a VIP Host, and was quickly made an Executive Host. His natural affinity for hosting all our valuable players, as well as his knowledge of the gaming industry, has made him a much sought-after Barona Executive Host.
Nicole Christian, Executive Host
Players recognize Nickie for her outgoing personality and high energy. With 15+ years in gaming and a steadfast dedication to guest service, she is a wonderful addition to the Barona family. Nickie genuinely enjoys getting to know her guests and is committed to exceeding each player’s expectations.
Nickie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from San Diego State University and volunteers her time for organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She loves traveling and spending her free time in the sun and sand with her family and friends.
Pete Castro, Executive Host
Pete enjoys a festive casino floor joining in with guests who are “having fun and trying to win!” With 15 years in broadcast media customer service and now 7 years with “the Barona Family,” Pete has learned that a high attention to detail towards providing a pleasurable end-result experience is sought after by all casino guests, and he takes great pride in delivering this while on Barona Resort & Casino property. “This is my job description,” he says, “but my role is to give something of myself, and that has resulted in some fine friendships over the years.”
A San Diego native like his father, Pete says he likes to leave things up to “spontaneity” when he’s off shift, but enjoys writing, music, and the arts as well.
Gene Balcita, Executive Host
As a Chicago native, Gene brings experience in the restaurant business to his role as Executive Host. As one who enjoys a good round of golf, he is proud to represent a property that showcases daily casino floor excitement and fine dining options, along with our championship golf course. Gene is always looking forward to saying “Hello” to you at Barona. He finds it wonderful to know that great guest service can be performed as a family taking care of their friends!
Jessica Withee, Executive Host
Born and raised in San Diego, Jessica brings extensive customer service experience from one of retail’s finest stores to her position at Barona. Her favorite part of being a host is getting to know the players, their families and friends, and creating special memories. When not at Barona helping guests make memories, her hobbies include decorating, DIY projects around the house, spending time with family, going to the beach, and playing with her dogs.
Armend Mustafa, Executive Host
Armend came all the way from Kosovo to the United States as a young boy. He learned English at a rapid pace and joined the Barona family in 2006. In his time here at Barona, he has become known for his genuine personality, smile, and friendliness. Armend is adored by Barona’s guests and especially his players because he always gives 110%, exceeding their expectations and ensuring their happiness.
Tiffany Winchester, Executive Host
Tiffany comes from a strong customer service background and makes our guests visits truly exceptional with her positive attitude, passion for making friends, and incredible people skills. Tiffany’s dedication and understanding of the importance of building guest loyalty and developing new guest relationships is a valuable asset here at Barona. Tiffany can speak and understand three different Asian languages – Thai, Lao, and Hmong. If you are looking for a Barona moment, Tiffany is at your service!
Ryan Hall, Executive Host
Ryan hails from the Sunshine State, where he resided for twenty years and has worked in a variety of fields, including the US Military and International Broadcasting at the PGA TOUR. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing from Florida, specializing in International Business and Crisis Management and is fluent in Korean. After making the trek to California in 2011, Ryan entered the gaming industry and is thrilled to be a part of the Barona Family
When not at Barona Ryan loves to travel, and has already visited France, Monaco, and Colombia… just to name a few! Be sure to say “Hi” when you see him at Barona, and if you’re looking for that unparalleled Barona experience, Ryan is at your service!
Creta del Llano, Executive Host
Originally from Mexico City, Creta began working at Barona as a Real Players Services Host in 2005. Her fluency in Spanish paired with an affable nature, Creta loves her guests and likes to make everyone feel welcome. Dancing and laughing with guests is one of her favorite parts of the job.
When not at work, she loves to travel, and has lived in France and visited Europe, Israel, Argentina, and Japan. She also enjoys running and hiking. Be sure to say hello next time you see her on the casino floor!
Eduardo Torres, Executive Host
Eddie has been in the Casino and Gaming industry for over 14 years. Originally from Mexico, he has gained experience in all facets of the casino business from Food and Beverage, Players Clubs, to Hosting, making his customer service knowledge out of this world!
When not at Barona giving his guests the BEST, he enjoys watching movies and helping his family run their business. Be sure to say hello to Eddie on the casino floor, so he can make sure you have a great time at Barona!
Vinh Quach, Executive Host
A San Diego native, Vinh began his career in the casino industry soon after obtaining a degree in Business Marketing from University of Phoenix. He is fluent in both English and Vietnamese.
Vinh joined the Barona family in January 2013 as a VIP Host. His positive personality, background in customer service, and knowledge of the gaming industry quickly transitioned him to the role of Executive Host. Vinh can be seen walking around the casino floor with his big and welcoming smile.
Feel free to chat with Vinh when you visit Barona. It is his mission to make new friends and to deliver the best gaming experience to every guest. Outside of Barona, Vinh loves trying new restaurants, playing outdoor activities, and discovering new music.
Cameron Tran, Executive Host
Cameron Tran was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was raised in Los Angeles CA. He began his career at Barona in 2012 as a Club Barona Host, and was quickly promoted to VIP Host, Supervisor, and now most recently one of our newest Executive Hosts. Fluent in Vietnamese, Cameron is always happy to say “Chao” (Vietnamese for “Hi!”) to our guests on the floor and in his favorite place, Dragon Alley! When he’s not at Barona, he enjoys watching sports, playing basketball, and online gaming. Be sure to say “Chao!” to Cameron next time you see him making friends on the casino floor.
Shakhwan Shiro, Executive Host
Shakhwan Shiro, known as Shak since his childhood days, was born in Kurdistan, Iraq. Moving to the U.S. to pursue their dreams of a better life took the Shiro family to North Dakota (too cold!) so the move was made to sunny San Diego. A Barona Family member since 2007, Shak has held several positions to gather the wealth of experience and awesome customer service that makes him one of the favorite hosts at Barona! Now, as an Executive Host, Shak is happy to bring personalized service to everyone looking for the BEST gaming experience at the BEST casino! Fluent in Kurdish, Shak is always happy to meet new friends on the casino floor. When he’s not at Barona, he enjoys playing basketball, golf, and being with his family.
Christina Hernandez, Executive Host
Christina started her career at Barona as a VIP Host in 2005. Throughout the years, she has formed many close relationships with guests, many of whom she considers family and friends! Joining our Executive Host Team, Christina can parlay her wonderful relationships with guests into even more memorable visits! She thinks of Barona as her home, but when she isn’t here creating smiles, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Johnny Bucalo, Executive Host
When John “Johnny B” Bucalo first came to Barona in 2002, he already had an impressive 37 years experience in the horse racing industry. He has worked nearly every position, from the horses to operations, and came to Barona to manage Off Track Betting (OTB). Johnny B loves meeting and making new friends, and feels this is why he was such a good fit at Barona… because everyone is Family! He is excited for his latest role as Executive Host, and the opportunity to delight guests on the floor just as he did in OTB. Make sure to say “Hi!” next time you see Johnny B on the casino floor!