Executive Director of Finance, MGM Springfield; Age 37
Arlen Carballo’s career in the casino industry provides ample proof that, once someone enters this field, there is no telling where the business may take them.
Indeed, Carballo, who was born and raised in Costa Rica and came to this country with her mother when she was in high school, graduated from the MGM Resorts Management Associate Program in 2008 and, since then, has taken on a variety of roles at several different MGM resorts.
“It’s a very large company, and we have almost every job title under the sun,” she told BusinessWest. “There are a lot of opportunities … you just have to take them.”
And she has.
She started at the Bellagio in Las Vegas as a housekeeping supervisor before shifting her focus to the finance side of the equation. At Mandalay Bay, also in Las Vegas, she served as executive housekeeper, responsible for more than 800 employees and 4,000 rooms. During her time there, she also played a key role in rebranding the hotel to ‘Delano,’ a project that included the remodeling of 1,000 rooms and successful training of the entire housekeeping staff.
Later, she was part of the opening team for MGM National Harbor in Maryland, a $1.68 billion resort and casino located just outside Washington, D.C. Serving as manager of Financial Planning and Analysis, she managed the pre-opening budget, including payroll schedules. During her time there, she also established the analytical reporting framework for the property, which has become one of the most profitable regional casinos in the country.
Carballo has been part of the MGM Springfield team since the property opened in 2018, serving as the resort’s first director of Financial Planning.
This is a broad role, in which she serves as a key business partner to all operations and strategic functions, while directly overseeing casino accounting, financial planning and analysis, cage and count operations, warehouse, and purchasing.
She said the casino has faced a number of challenges since opening, especially COVID, but she believes it is “hitting its stride — we’re heading the right direction.”
During her time in Springfield, she has made her mark in several ways. Professionally, she was a recipient of the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Award, a program that spotlights young Hispanic professionals in corporate America. Meanwhile, in the community, she is a mentor with Dress for Success and serves on the board of trustees for American International College, becoming the first Latina to join the board.