More than 800 long-time employees at Foxwoods Resort Casino were honored by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation at a “Years of Service” banquet in the casino’s Grand Pequot Ballroom on August 24.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation(MPTN) and Foxwoods Resort Casino, which collectively employ nearly 10,000 people, paid homage to a total of 801 team members who recently celebrated milestone employment with the organization, including three people with 25 or more years of service, 13 with 20 years, 401 with 5 years, and 384 with 10 years. They were rewarded for exceptional performance throughout the year with service award gifts totaling more than $156.000.
While hundreds of employees were honored, thousands more have been with the property for more than a decade and have been honored in years past, according to a release the nation issued. “This testament to Foxwoods’ standing as one of Connecticut’s premier employers is reinforced with astounding employee retention facts & figures,” the release said. The nation provided the following employment statistics:
- 4,400 team members—or 46% of the property’s staff—boast more than a decade of service
- Nearly 2,000 team members have dedicated 10 to 14 years of service
- Nearly 2,400 team members that have dedicated 15 to 19 years of service
- 40+ team members have dedicated an impressive 20+ years of service, a number that will skyrocket to 500+ at Foxwoods’ 20 year anniversary in February.
MPTN Council Chairman Rodney Butler, who attended the banquet along with other nation officials, praised the casino’s employees. “Our team is the heart and soul of Foxwoods, and we’re pleased to recognize their dedication and outstanding achievements,” Butler said. “The fact that 46 percent of our employees have dedicated a decade or more of their lives to our organization is quite the statement, and we’re honored to work alongside each and every one of them.”
Because of the sheer number of employees involved, no actual awards were handed out to individual employees, MPTN spokeswoman Lauren Benyo said. The organizers of the event had a running slideshow listing all the employees by department and their years of employment. In addition to a speech of congratulations from Butler, attendees heard speeches by Foxwoods President & CEO Scott Butera, MPTN Council Vice Chairman Richard Sebastian, and Foxwoods Vice President of Human Resources Steve Heise.
The dinner included a glass of champagne for all in attendance to join in a toast given by Heise at the beginning of the banquet. The buffet included bacon-wrapped scallops, steak and a large assortment of mini desserts, Benyo said. “Executive leaders stuck around for photos and spent time with the honorees. The ballroom was equipped with a dance floor and 20-some employees started up the electric slide after dinner,” Benyo said.
Foxwoods Resort Casino is a genuine rags-to-riches story. The facility evolved from a high stakes bingo operation in the early 1990’s to North America’s largest casino. The nation is one of the largest employers in the state and has contributed more than $3 billion in revenue sharing payments to the state since Foxwoods opened in 1993.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is one of the five remaining indigenous Algonquin peoples in Connecticut. They were the first people to suffer a genocidal attack the hands of the settler-colonists. A militia led by colonial military commander Captain John Mason mounted a punitive attack against a Pequot village near what is now Mystic, Conn., in May 1637 and massacred the unarmed residents. “Encircling their foes under the cover of night, the colonists set the Indian dwellings ablaze, then shot the natives as they fled from their homes. From 400 to 700 Indian men, women and children were killed; many of the survivors were sold into slavery in Bermuda,” according to a report on U.S. History. Describing what the Fourth Geneva Convention calls “collective punishment,” the report continues,, “The colonists and their allies set an unfortunate precedent in the Pequot War by ignoring the conventions of European warfare to punitively devastate the homes and lives of men, women and children.” The Pequot story is told at the award-winning, state of the art Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. For more information about the MPTN visit http://www.mashantucket.com.