2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Horhn

Senate Resolution 22


     WHEREAS, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., Wallace R. (Wally) Barr leads one of the world's leading gaming companies; and

     WHEREAS, a gaming veteran with extensive experience in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Barr previously served as the company's Chief Operating Officer.  In that role, Barr was directly responsible for the daily operation of casino resorts spanning four continents and comprising 29,000 hotel rooms and 2,000,000 square feet of casino space; and

     WHEREAS, when Bally's was acquired by Hilton Hotels Corporation, Barr became Executive Vice President of Hilton Gaming Corporation.  When Park Place Entertainment was spun off from Hilton on December 31, 1998, Barr was named Executive Vice President for the eastern, southern and international regions.  In January 2001, he was promoted to the post of Co-Chief Operating Officer for the company.  He became Park Place's sole Chief Operating Officer in July 2001 and was named President and Chief Executive Officer on November 19, 2002.  The company formally changed its name to Caesars Entertainment, Inc., on January 6, 2004; and

     WHEREAS, Caesar's five casinos (Grand Casino, Gulfport; Grand Casino, Biloxi; Grand Casino, Tunica; and Bally's and Sheraton in Tunica) have taken the leadership role among the state's 29 state-regulated casinos in an initiative to procure more goods and services from Mississippi vendors with an emphasis on minority business enterprises (MBEs) and women business enterprises (WBEs).  To accomplish its objectives, Caesars has worked closely with the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, which created the initiative in 2003, and legislative committees.  For calendar year 2004, this initiative netted a record $12.8 Million to Mississippi minority businesses.  This $12.8 Million in activity firmly establishes Caesars as the number one corporation in the entire State of Mississippi when it comes to doing meaningful business with the African-American business community; and

     WHEREAS, Black entrepreneurs engaged in insurance, food brokering, commodities, laundry and dry cleaning, drinking water, transportation, construction, architecture and food distribution represent just a few of the successful and creative relationships which have been developed by Caesars.  This initiative would not have been successful without the support and leadership of Wally Barr.  Mr. Barr immediately embraced the effort as a good business practice, and ensured that every employee in the Caesars' family understood that it was a corporate priority; and

     WHEREAS, Barr was recognized, along with Caesars Entertainment, Inc., as the "2003 Employer of the Year" by the Nevada State AFL-CIO.  Barr was named "1999 Businessman of the Year" by the greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce and "1995 Atlantic City Executive of the Year" by the Casino Journal magazine.  From November 1996 to January 2001 he served as Chairman and President of the Casino Association of New Jersey; and

     WHEREAS, Barr serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including the American Gaming Association and the Nevada Resort Association.  Active in charitable, civic and community initiatives, he is a member of the Board of Directors for The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  He was Founding President of the Jacobs Family Terrace nonprofit corporation - Atlantic City's first casino-sponsored 72-unit home ownership housing development.  Barr also is a member of the Executive Advisory Council of Rutgers University, Camden School of Business and a member of the College of Business Advisory Council, California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California.  For more than 15 years Barr has been a major fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City and has taken a personal interest in the development of its new $3 Million facility; and

     WHEREAS, Barr earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in 1968.  He and his wife, Roberta, live in Las Vegas, Nevada; and

     WHEREAS, it is with pride that we recognize the business, civic and charitable contributions of this corporate citizen to the economy of the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the career and civic contributions of Wallace R. (Wally) Barr, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., recognize him and his corporation for supporting the minority business community in Mississippi, and extend to him and his family the best wishes of the Senate for our mutual success.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Wally Barr at the Tougaloo College 17th Annual Business and Industry Event and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.