Kevin Ortzman is an accomplished Casino Hospitality Executive. He brings over 25 years of professional experience in the casino hospitality industry. Most recently, he worked as the Regional President of Caesars Entertainment Corporation in Atlantic City for over seven years, which has helped him become known as a leader in the industry.
Kevin Ortzman graduated from Stockton University in 1990, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Studies. Following graduation, he worked as a Senior Auditor for Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During his time, he oversaw and performed audits and advisory engagements for public and private companies.
In 1996, Kevin Ortzman became the Managing Partner for Ortzman & Associates, where he provided strategy and finance consulting services ranging from strategic due diligence to mergers and acquisitions to businesses. During his time there, Ortzman attended the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA).
Kevin Ortzman joined Caesars Entertainment Corporation as the Regional Chief Financial Officer and Assistant General Manager of Baily’s, Paris, Rio and Planet Hollywood. In that role, Kevin helped to develop and lead high-performing financial and operational departments through nurturing cultural changes. In the process, he helped to increase the region’s overall productivity as well. His success as the Regional CFO and Assistant General Manager helped him become known within the company.
He was promoted to Regional President of Caesars, Bally’s and Showboat in 2012, and subsequently added Harrah’s Resort to his oversight. In this role, Kevin Ortzman directed all facets of the businesses encompassing 10,000 employees across four hotels and casinos. Altogether, he oversaw 50,000 square feet of casino space within the Atlantic City area. Throughout his time, Ortzman also helped oversee nearly $250 Million in hotel tower renovations, and $125 Million for meetings facility, celebrity chef restaurants, and casino redesign. His continued leadership throughout the renovations helped the casinos continue to thrive and expand.
Kevin Ortzman’s analytical and forward-thinking approach and strong collaboration and communication skills helped him succeed in his roles at Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Some of his notable accomplishments include leading cross-functional departments, increasing operational efficiencies, and strengthening revenue streams. Today, he serves as a board member on the Human Rights Committee for Caring.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit growing up (doing small “odd job” businesses as a kid, like shoveling snow, landscaping, etc) so it was an easy leap from Big 4 Public accounting to having my own business offering similar services on a smaller scale (at a fraction of the price).
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Generally, I plan my day the night before so that I maximize my productivity. I usually start the day early before the “hustle and bustle” of a typical day starts so that I knock-out the busy work (emails, phone calls, etc.) so that I can focus on engaging with my team to ensure that we are achieving our goals. The latter part of the day is often dedicated to customers to ensure they are receiving their desired attention. Without team members (employees) and customers there is no business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I find the optimal way to bring ideas to life is through collaboration and influence. I encourage my team members to challenge conventional thinking and share ideas, I listen to customer feedback and I observe operations and competitors. These characteristics are often the origin of big ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
We are in the information age and the accessibility to data is almost instantaneous. Big Data and AI will be very interesting to watch, as I believe the workforce will have to adapt to the new technology – I’m excited to see the next generation workforce and the new skills developed to adapt.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe having some physical fitness regimen in my daily routine helps me release pent up stress and enables me to be more productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Follow your dreams, take calculated risks and be adventurous, as experience is the best teacher!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Treat people the way you want to be treated, otherwise karma has a strange way of presenting itself at the most inopportune times.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always look into the future, as best as I can. In other words, I try to understand the impact of today’s decision on tomorrow and beyond. From our old Physics studies, “for every action there is a reaction”.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Hard work!! Surrounding yourself with a diverse set of individuals (personal or professional) will help you see the world through different lenses that ultimately help you grow personally and professionally.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There have been many failures, however learning from your failures with appropriate modifications and perseverance enables you to overcome the failures. I can’t overstate enough my belief that a failure is not necessarily bad as long as you learn from it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I was fortunate enough to acquire a very nice bottle of wine (from an auction) for ~ $100.00, a very fine bottle from Bordeaux. I shared with my friends.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There are so many great Apps and software products that enable productivity. My go to software is Outlook, which holds my email, calendar and contacts – I would be lost and significantly less productive without the information/communication at, literally, my fingertips.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Generally speaking, I recommend that reading business centric books, as I believe these will help provide you a framework and foundation to understand the interrelation of the various business disciplines.
What is your favorite quote?
Treat people the way you want to be treated, after all we all equal; our differences are merely our experiences.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.