Las Vegas, NV — September 13, 2016
Konami Gaming, Inc. announced a series of key leadership promotions across the organization as it continues to strengthen and expand its business operations. Recognized for their longstanding success and dedication, the following Konami team members have achieved new promotional appointments: Michael Coppert, vice president of customer service, Alan Cripe, senior director of regional sales, Jeff George, senior director of software engineering, Lori Olk, senior director of regulatory compliance, Scott Richards, senior director of system sales, Eddie Sepich, senior director of embedded & interface systems, Norio Tone, senior director of hardware platform product, Steve Walther, senior director of product management, and Casey Whalen, senior director of regional sales.
“These new appointments are an example of the strong tenure and excellent caliber of professionals working each day to ensure the long term success of our customers, our business, and our industry,” said Steve Sutherland, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Konami. “We share a common objective of driving the next generation of great games and technology to market. By investing in our talent, we are reinforcing our core values of quality, service, accountability, and performance. Konami is thrilled to recognize these new members to our core leadership team.”
Michael Coppert has been promoted to vice president, customer service. In this role, Mr. Coppert is responsible for overseeing the activities of Konami's games and systems customer service department including system implementations, game installations, customer training, field service operations, and ongoing customer support. He has held both technical and senior management positions focusing on areas of business development, customer service, software development, and project management, across sectors including gaming, telecommunications, and global information technology. Coppert has been with Konami since 2012 and was appointed senior director of customer service in 2014. His collegiate studies included computer science and math, and he holds multiple technical patents surrounding casino gaming software development solutions.
Alan Cripe has been promoted to senior director, regional sales. In this role, Mr. Cripe is responsible for managing and developing Konami’s games and systems business to achieve optimal market reach for jurisdictions across the central United States. He carries seven years of gaming industry sales leadership experience beyond his tenure at Konami. Cripe joined Konami in 2001 as senior account executive over Midwestern territories and was promoted to director of regional sales east in 2006. Before entering the commercial sector, Cripe served in the United States Navy.
Jeff George has been promoted to senior director, software engineering. In this role, Mr. George is responsible for ensuring SYNKROS™ software development projects are strategically aligned and completed with full precision to fulfill market needs. He was hired on by Konami in 2001 after the company acquired all shares of Paradigm Gaming Systems, Inc., where he served as vice president of software engineering. Since then, he has played a central role in the development of Konami’s award-winning SYNKROS casino management system and pioneering best-of-breed technology for its casino customers. Jeff George is a graduate of the Air University Masters Equivalent Program (USAF).
Lori Olk has been promoted to senior director, regulatory compliance. In this role, Ms. Olk oversees all licensing for Konami and carries a key role in ensuring that business practices, policies, and transactions fully comply with governmental regulatory requirements for all jurisdictions where the company operates, and leads efforts toward effective resolution as necessary. She joined Konami in 2011 as regulatory compliance manager, and was promoted to director of regulatory compliance three years following. She has more than 17 years of experience in regulatory compliance and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Montana State University-Bozeman.
Scott Richards has been promoted to senior director, systems sales. In this role, Mr. Richards manages business development, account retention/acquisition, and sales targets for Konami’s SYNKROS systems division and acts as liaison for various internal/external organizational stakeholders. He has been with Konami since 2006, achieving a series of promotions spanning customer account management in every major North American gaming region, business development for domestic and international systems, and leadership positions within the systems sales group. Richards graduated magna cum laude from Silicon Valley’s Menlo College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
Eddie Sepich has been promoted to senior director, embedded and interface systems. In this role, Mr. Sepich is responsible for directing the company’s embedded and interfaces software development teams and their continuing project initiatives. Sepich joined Konami in 2003 and held a number of increasing leadership roles throughout the years following. He works closely with other departments to support strong success for Konami’s systems division and its SYNKROS casino operators worldwide.
Norio Tone has been promoted to senior director, hardware platform product. In this role, Mr. Tone is responsible for designing, developing, and testing all aspects of machine product hardware and related equipment components. Since 2003 he has managed hardware engineering at Konami Gaming, Inc., prior to which he worked in game production, game development, and electrical engineering at parent company KONAMI HOLDINGS CORPORATION in Japan for ten years. Norio Tone is a graduate of the Tokyo Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Steve Walther has been promoted to senior director, product management. In this role, Mr. Walther is responsible for global product planning, lifecycle support, and performance analysis, which includes gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision and roadmap, and building product launch and retirement strategies, while working closely with internal departments to ensure execution. He joined Konami in 2013 to oversee games product management and his role has since expanded to include both the games and systems areas of the business. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Walther is also a Master Graduate of Rapport Leadership International.
Casey Whalen has been promoted to senior director, regional sales. In this role, Mr. Whalen is responsible for sales management functions while operating as a key liaison to customers, regulators, and distributors to advance the company’s long-term business development prospects across the Western region. He joined Konami in 2012 as director of regional sales. Whalen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Arizona State University.
About Konami Gaming, Inc.
Konami Gaming, Inc. is a Las Vegas-based subsidiary of KONAMI HOLDINGS CORPORATION (TSE: 9766). The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of slot machines and casino management systems for the global gaming market. For more information about Konami Gaming, Inc. or the SYNKROS gaming enterprise management system, please visit www.konamigaming.com.