The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2015, students worked in groups each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.
This week’s student authors are Julie Berman ’17, Alana Gross ’17, and Jin Oh ’16.
Bradley Stone ’77, president of Global Gaming Asset Management, speaks in the 2015 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS).
Attending Bradley Stone ’77’s dinner, lecture, and roundtable was a great treat. Mr. Stone shared his words of wisdom as well as his fair share of entertaining stories about his experiences.
Thursday night, there was a dinner at Taverna Banfi in Mr. Stone’s honor, consisting of a faro salad, chicken, and a chocolate tart—which made Mrs. Jill Kobus Johnson, Dean Michael Johnson’s wife, extremely happy, because she had been waiting all semester for a chocolate dessert to be served at a DDLS-speaker dinner.
Mr. Stone was also presented with the plate that will be hanging in the Statler Hotel in his honor. Dean Johnson surprised the dinner guests with a special performance by the Hangovers, one of Cornell’s a cappella groups.
As a Hotelie, Mr. Stone demonstrates a truly inspiring life’s path. Growing up in New Jersey with his father working at the Grand Summit Hotel, Bradley Stone has been involved in the hospitality industry from a young age. He began in hotel operations as a trainee at the Plaza Hotel, and moved his way through promotions and executive positions at a variety of hotels, to arrive at his current presidency of Global Gaming Asset Management.
A point of humor in his presentation was the fact that he received a B- in his development class when he was a student at SHA. Mr. Stone’s story shows that hard work and passion for a field are the true determinants of great success, as he later oversaw design and construction of the Venetian Las Vegas, the Sands Macao, the Venetian Macao, the Palazzo Las Vegas, the Sands Casino Bethlehem, and the Marina Bay Sands Singapore—some of the world’s most ambitious, iconic properties.
During his presentation, he mentioned that every day is completely different—every meeting is completely different in the gaming industry—and he enjoys the dynamic of the industry. His Cornell education provided him with a lot of experiences in various areas that, at the time, he didn’t think were very relevant. But from architecture and property management to finance and operations, what he learned at Cornell shaped him to become what the industry needed to raise the stakes.
His education and experience in the hotel industry allowed Mr. Stone to extend his reach as broadly as he has in his business. He can walk from a finance meeting where people are talking about raising several billion dollars, to an architectural meeting where he discusses building a new property. He encourages students to explore what the gaming industry offers; students with different backgrounds and talents are what make this industry unique and so exciting.
Mr. Stone also explained the meaning of integrated resorts and the opportunities that come with them. He demonstrated the global nature of—as well as the excitement involved with—planning and developing integrated resorts. Moreover, Bradley Stone demonstrated the higher revenues earned through such projects, as compared to revenues earned by other major hospitality corporations. The floor plans and photographs of his projects, such as the canals at the Venetian Las Vegas, showed the endless development possibilities that are such a signature component of his line of work.