February 8th, 2005


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Hires 2 For Executive Staff

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, charged by statute with the implementation of expanded gaming in the Commonwealth, today hired two members of its executive staff.

Nick Hays, a deputy director of communications for Governor Edward G. Rendell, becomes the Board’s Director of Communications. He will serve as the Board’s primary spokesman, overseeing all public-affairs issues. Michael Walsh, a special assistant to the Governor, joins the Board as a special assistant and will concentrate on administrative and human resources issues.

“We are delighted to have Nick and Mike on board,” said Thomas A. Decker, Chairman of the Gaming Control Board. “They both have played an integral role in planning for the implementation of Act 71 since before the Board began operations, and they will continue to do so as we move forward.”

The Gaming Control Board approved both appointments unanimously, contingent on the completion of background investigations by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Before joining the Governor’s staff, Hays served as Press Secretary to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and the Pennsylvania Lottery under Secretary of Revenue Gregory C. Fajt. Earlier, he was U.S. Stocks Editor at Bloomberg News in New York and a news editor at Dow Jones News Service in Jersey City, N.J. He also covered local and state politics and government at the Centre Daily Times in State College and later served as the paper’s assistant city editor.

Hays holds a B.A. degree from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. He lives in Harrisburg and Eagles-Mere.

Prior to joining the Governor’s staff to focus on gaming-implementation issues, Walsh served as Executive Assistant to then-Secretary of Administration Robert Barnett. Before that, he was Director of Policy and Communications for then-Senator Allen Kukovich and helped lead the creation of the Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County. He received the partnership’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003.

Walsh holds a Master of Public Management degree from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a B.S. in Political Science from St. VincentCollege in Latrobe. He lives in Harrisburg.

The Gaming Board also hired three people for its administrative staff:

  • Kym Gritman, currently in the Office of Administration, will serve as an administrative assistant.
  • Marianne Kane, now an administrative officer at United Light Co. of Philadelphia, will also serve as an administrative assistant.
  • Amanda Peters, a clerk typist in the Department of Revenue, will serve as a clerk typist for the Board.

The administrative appointments are also subject to the completion of background investigations.

Separately, the Board approved personal history questionnaire forms that will be required for all Board employees as part of their background investigation.