Posts Tagged ‘clara mayer’

The Godfather Calls Another Sit Down…

Must be the placeHe may call them “Sit Downs”, but Mark Wayman’s events always have his guests on their toes! Known as “The Godfather of Las Vegas,” Mark Wayman has been bringing executives, entrepreneurs, and innovators together for more than six years. Rose, Snyder & Jacobs is thrilled to be one of the Sit Down’s oldest sponsors, as we consider Mark to be one of the firm’s oldest friends.

Last month’s gathering was held in the Lenny Kravitz penthouse of the SLS Las Vegas. While this neon sign may have been a clever greeting when stepping off the elevator, it quickly became the sentiment of every guest at the gathering. Among the attendees were Virginia McDowell (CEO, Isle of Capri), Michael Silberling (CEO, Affinity Gaming), Jeff Solomon (COO, Affinity Gaming), Kelcey Allison (CEO, Aruze Gaming), Lori Ware (CFO, William Hill US), Chris Gibase (CMO/CIO, Boyd Gaming), Tom Dunlap (President, Baha Mar), Sam Basile (CEO, Zitro Gaming), Melissa Price (SVP, Caesars Entertainment), Ryan Hammer (GM, Caesars Entertainment), Josh Swissman (SVP, MGM Resorts) and many, many others.

This “C-studded” line up is not unusual for a Godfather Sit Down. Mark is a truly unique individual with a gift for connecting people. If you have not been to one of his exclusive events (yet), you can glean his words of wisdom on Twitter at @GodfatherWaym.

The Godfather’s events are not the only ones that RSJ sponsors. From mixers to round table discussions from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, we believe that when brilliance comes together, amazing things happen! Click here to sign up for our event alerts and be sure to join us at our next gathering.

Godfather Sit Downs – Uniquely Different

image003Have you ever walked into a room full of strangers and felt instantly right at home?

If you have, it is most likely thanks to someone there who possessed the innate ability to make everyone feel welcome. Some of the most successful people in business recognize the importance of relationships, and share an ability to connect others. One such person is our longtime friend Mark Wayman — also known as “The Godfather” of Las Vegas. As a successful entrepreneur who places high level executives in the casino, gaming, and tech industries, it’s fair to say that Mark is in the business of relationship building by connecting people. For over 15 years his concept of ‘having my friends meeting my new friends’ has proven to be very successful and entertaining.

“Relationships trump talent every day of the week,” says Wayman. “After attending events open to the public for years, and getting solicited non-stop, it occurred I might be able to come up with a better model. So I invited several of my clients with one purpose – for them to meet each other. And with exactly one rule – no soliciting.”

For 6+ years, RSJ has been sponsoring Mark’s events, known as the Godfather Sit Downs. These events are held in various cities throughout the year and attendance is by invitation only. It brings together a group of individuals from a variety of industries, who are hand selected by Mark to gather for the purpose of getting to know each other. Mark has a unique method – from invitation to implementation – of creating a unique experience to be enjoyed and remembered.

The purpose is not to promote or sell, but rather to get to know interesting people and learn about each other’s passions. Each guest is invited to share about who they are and what they are passionate about. What happens during this hour-long speed introduction is both interesting and enjoyable. Smiles and laughter fill the room and by the end of the event, strangers are no more.

Each time we attend a Godfather Sit Down, we meet amazing people who truly become friends. Mark’s approach to relationship building and the experience he so carefully plans and provides makes for a great way to meet new individuals Will they become clients? Will they refer clients? We don’t know. But we value and are thrilled to make these new connections, and proud to share them in common with our friend Mark. We always walk away from this event with a desire to connect others within our own circle.

What Mark has created with his sit down events is unique and memorable. He facilitates new relationships, while solidifying his reputation as an influencer and connector.

Visit our event section to learn more about this and other RSJ produced events and be sure to sign up for future RSJ events here.

Our 6th Annual CES Gathering Was Our Most Successful Yet

For the 6th year in a row, we hosted an executive event during CES at Roy’s Restaurant in Las Vegas. This year’s event was our most successful yet, with over 50 executives in attendance.

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It was an extraordinary mix of long-time friends of the firm and new faces. Our guests were treated to an afternoon of delicious food, signature cocktails and an opportunity to make new connections. The event was such a success, we extended it an extra two hours! For many it was their first time attending, and the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

At any business event, it can be challenging for guests to get to know each other. We take pride in our ability to make introductions and get conversations started. This year’s “mysterious” get-to-know-you game helped get lots of people talking and was very well received.

Read about our creative way to help guests break the ice here.

As the hosts of this event, we were thrilled to have opened the door to great conversations, which we believe will lead to new business opportunities and long-lasting relationships for all those who attended. We are extremely happy to have been a part of that!

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See you next year!

Conversation Starters – How Clothespins Helped a Room Full of Influencers Break the Ice at our CES Gathering

Each time we plan an executive event, we face the challenge of how our guests will get to know each minipinsother. Tony, Brian and I like to shy away from traditional name tags, so we are always searching for fresh ideas that will initiate conversations between strangers. For this year’s CES Gathering, the stars aligned. We ALL came up with a similar concept that kept our guests guessing and we are thrilled to say it worked wonderfully!

We secretly identified each guest based on the number of times they have attended our CES event. There were three categories: those who’ve attended every CES event (six in all), those who’ve attended more than one, and newbies.

Now, we had to find “identifiers” that would work for our event. After a quick trip to the crafts store, we purchased mini clothespins in three colors. They were small enough so as not to be obtrusive, and they really got the conversations going. Most of our guests figured out the green pins (newbies), but the blue and white pins stumped them.

Upon arrival, each guest received a pin and were told only that they had something in common with others wearing the same color pin, and it was up to them to figure out what.

It was a fun way for our guests to mingle and very well-received! We will definitely be playing this game again.

From Gray to Great

RSJ has a lot of strong relationships in Las Vegas.  I lived there myself for many years before moving to Los Angeles. As my luck goes, the managing partner and founder of our firm,Tony Rose, has significant relationships and clients in Las Vegas, and he and I work together in developing that market.  Thankfully, Tony is as much an advocate of relationship building as I am; so much so that we host and sponsor events —  such as roundtable get-togethers, executive events and our annual CES Gathering — to strengthen our relationships and ties to the Las Vegas community. After all, business at its best happens when there is established trust and care for each others’ outcomes, and these events provide an opportunity to enrich both.


A few weeks ago, we decided it was time to bring a few Las Vegas-based tastemakers and industry leaders together. We were working on getting the Las Vegas best of the best – friends, associates and clients. We planned to introduce them to a very good attorney who has leveraged us and our firm quite nicely. Tony and I carefully hand-picked individuals for our gathering; but as the Director of Strategic Alliances for the firm, the job of planning the actual event is all mine.
I chose a trendy, somewhat edgy, and intimate location. I selected a dinner menu with the type and standard of fare befitting high-level executives. I reached out to an exclusive list of heavy-hitters in the Las Vegas community, promising an intimate sit-down over a delightful meal in a location with a reputation for see and be seen.  I had no doubt this was going to be a great night.

I flew to Las Vegas the day of the event.  A few folks had messaged me in the morning to say they were no longer able to make it — not surprising, and often the case when dealing with a guest list of this caliber, so a few cancellations never phased me. I went about my day, handling office issues remotely and preparing for the evening, and then headed over to the venue.

To say I was shocked that my chosen “hip and happening” location had been BANNED FROM SERVING FOOD is an understatement.  I had 12 C-Level Execs headed here in less than two hours, expecting to be wined and dined.

So these are the moments… the moments to falter OR make miracles happen.   I headed over to the Mandalay Place for my appointment with one of my closest friends and RSJ business partner, Scott Frost, at A Slice of Vegas. As I walked in to meet with Scott, I was greeted by the GM of the restaurant whom I shared my dilemma with – and as the sky broke open and the ray of light shone down – he suggested I use their facilities, and took me to the space he had available.

My first impression of the venue was that it seemed HUGE.  Way too big for our group; especially now, because with each passing moment, more and more people were contacting me to cancel and confirm their attendance. Besides the size, it was a very plain room — no windows, just gray walls, gray floors… and my increasingly gray mood.

After the wave of panic subsided, I began to focus on the solution (not the problem!) – and do what FullSizeRender-6any good event coordinator and corporate strategist does: I planned and strategized.  Room dividers were put up to bring the room down to a more appropriate size.  Floral delivery order was placed at the same time as I was picking up non-gray table cloths and trading chairs so the room would feel warm and welcoming.

I stood in the room minutes before the event was supposed to start, now with flowers and great table set ups. I had no idea who was coming, if anyone.  I wasn’t sure if everyone had received the last minute venue change.  There was nothing I could do if someone was disappointed — or worse, insulted — by the menu.  But the truth was, there was nothing else I could do about any of it.  So I released it and let it go.

The first person to come through the door was our guest of honor Darren S. Enenstein of Enenstein, Ribakoff, LaVina & Pham: he is a gifted attorney who has supported and referred business to us in Las Vegas. He is also the individual we wanted to impress. Shortly after, the fabulous Mark Brown arrived – we worked together for a short time and i was so always impressed by his experience in Marketing as the President of RR Partners — one of the country’s most successful, privately held advertising, public relations and communications firms who was responsible for the slogan ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas’. Then Kathy and Danny Bax appeared, as always with gracious, radiant personalities. Kathy and Danny are true entrepreneurs and their goal has always been about bringing business to the valley, especially in the biotech industry; their most recent endeavour, Elutin Inc., is a company creating a unique treatment delivery system for cancer and other illnesses.

Then Mike Jabara showed up with his beautiful girlfriend, Mary Ann. Mike has developed a gaming platform for cruise and in-flight travelers called OneLive. Shortly after, Frank and Rose Yoder joined in.  Frank and I go back a long ways, as we during a trip to Palm Springs came up with a concept that is now called ALICE – A Live Concierge Experience – which is a virtual receptionist providing remote customer or business services. Last but not least, Cort Smith joined the party – Cort is one of the most inspiring individuals I have the honor to know and hold as my confidant, best friend and wise counsel. Cort and his wife Remy have numerous successful international ventures and facilitate business exchanges between China and US through their business, East-West-Bridge., and for trivia purposes, Cort speaks fluent Mandarin and pioneered building bungee towers in attraction parks in Asia.

So there was that moment – the moment I have every time at our events – I looked around and wrapped all my senses into defining the outcome of the gathering.  The room was full of high-powered players, all eating pizza and laughing.  It could not have gone better if I had meticulously planned it this way. The round table for 10 had 12 individuals eating and talking, laughing and engaging: my friends, boss, ex-bosses, business associates and clients, all in one place.

Relationships are truly the gift that keeps on giving. All of the individuals at the table have been very meaningful to me and have changed my business and career trajectory. Some have been in my life for over 14 years, have seen my daughters’ transitions and influenced my life in many ways.

FullSizeRender-2With that being said, all these relationships would not be if it weren’t for events like these. I met Mike Jabara 12 years ago when I attended Mark Wayman’s’ event with Frank Yoder. The most influential relationship of all was rendered from these gatherings seven years ago when I met Tony Rose. He sat across from me at the Foundation Room in Hollywood. That evening changed my life, and I now put together events that change others’ lives. You never know when a Tony will show up in front of you — and that is the special sauce.

The event proved to be a positive, exciting exchange of influential contacts and ideas.  That is one of my favorite things about being part of the RSJ team: our dedication to relationship building.  We work with great clients and we have great friends, and bringing them together always yields great things.  It doesn’t really matter what the venue or menu may be, when you have the “secret sauce” of connection. When brilliance comes together, amazing things happen…

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