This spring, our industry was dealt a major blow with the loss of former Shuffle Master CEO Tim Parrott. Known as a true gentleman, Parrott’s career had many highlights. Among them, he was a founding board member of the American Gaming Association, founder of Boomtown casinos, and most recently he transformed Shuffle Master’s culture in the just one year he was on the job. Parrott’s dedication to the gaming industry held strong through his battle with cancer. Parrott passed away
on May 6, at the age of 62, shortly after leaving Shuffle Master for medical reasons.
If you truly are your work, then Parrott’s work says a lot about the type of person he was. His values were clear, his expectations were high and his leadership style was appreciated by many.
Parrott’s colleague, Simon Ashley, who is president and CEO of Shuffle Master Australia, explained Parrott’s ambition toward the end of his career. “Tim loved to be in business and wanted to do one last significant thing before he retired. It is now the responsibility of the whole team he has left behind to deliver for him.”
The significant move Parrott made at Shuffle Master can be seen in marketing materials around the world. It is the company’s 12 Point Pledge, launched by Parrott as a way for Shuffle Master to reconnect with customers and take the company to a new level.
The main objective of the Pledge is to be a solutions provider and increase profitability for customers. The points are in place to reach that goal. The values include: never forget—we’re in the business of fun, foster trust from the very first handshake, be tireless in the pursuit of excellence, and provide answers not excuses. Parrott also placed importance on creating an atmosphere of teamwork in the company’s offices across the world. He wanted to make sure each and every employee understood their importance to the company as a whole.
In just 12 months with the company, Parrott’s 12 points made a major impact. Jerry Smith, Shuffle Master general counsel, secretary and executive vice president, said: “I feel privileged to have been able to have worked for Tim for about one year. Tim was a man of great character and class. He handled people and situations with civility and dignity, even when he disagreed with them or the situation was difficult. He was truly a “gentle” man, but yet a pillar of quiet strength. I will miss him. I already do.”
Before joining Shuffle Master, Parrott first showed the gaming world his talents in the areas of operations, creating and executing successful growth strategies, building strong management teams, property development and acquisitions and public offerings.
Parrott’s gaming business career highlights began in 1988 when he became chairman and CEO of Boomtown Inc. The Nevada-based gaming operator eventually merged with Pinnacle Entertainment. Following the merger, Parrot served on the company’s board of directors and its executive, nominating and compliance committees. From 2001 to 2006, Parrott served as chairman and CEO of On Stage Entertainment, a Las Vegas-based production company. He was responsible for developing and leading the company’s restructuring plan.
In 2006, Parrott moved into the manufacturing world as president and CEO, Americas, for Aristocrat Technologies Inc. In February of 2009, Parrott joined Shuffle Master. On his appointment as CEO, Parrott said: “I am excited by the compelling opportunity to lead this company and to increase profitability for its shareholders. I embrace the challenge of building on the strong momentum that Mark (Yoseloff) created and continuing the tradition of applying unmatched innovation and ingenuity across today’s global gaming markets.”
Parrott’s assistant since 2000, Dawn Richey, said she and others were lucky to have Parrott in their lives. Richey explained: “Tim’s demeanor as a gentleman with the highest level of integrity made him a unique and a wonderful exception to the business world. I know that he would want us to celebrate his life and not mourn it.”
So, it is time to celebrate the many contributions Parrott made during his years with us. AGA President Frank Fahrenkopf said this about Parrott, an AGA founding board member: “Tim Parrott was a dedicated family man and a beloved leader in the gaming community. He brought his vibrant and creative energy to so many sectors of our business over the years, and became one of the most well-liked and respected executives in the business.”
Gaming insiders know Parrott did not have to make a spectacle to gain attention. “Tim just had this quiet confidence about him. He was able to command presence in a room without raising his voice or pounding the table,” said Roger Snow, Shuffle Master executive vice president of products.
David Lopez, Shuffle Master’s executive vice president, worked closely with Parrott and saw the impacts he made in the gaming industry and beyond. “A boss, a mentor, a friend and always a graceful human being, Tim Parrott was an inspiration to so many and will be fiercely missed by his friends, family and the many lives he so positively influenced,“ he remembered.
Parrott was also known in our world as a Vietnam veteran, a member of many social organizations and a family man. He was a devoted and loving husband to Jennifer J. Parrott and is survived by his children Troy Parrott, Kimberly Walls and Amy Pakter; his nephew Christopher Lomax; five grandchildren; and his siblings, Candace Hazard Ducato, Gregory Parrott and James Parrott.
When Parrott did have free time, he often filled the moments with music, motorcycling and flying gliders in the clear blue Nevada sky.
One of Parrott’s key personal initiatives was to give back to the Las Vegas community through the Adopt-A-School program. He was passionate about positively impacting a local at-risk school. Shuffle Master’s Interim CEO Phillip C. Peckman is already working to honor Parrott’s memory and carry on the projects he valued. As a result, he recently announced the company is donating a total of $90,000 to the Jack Dailey elementary school in Las Vegas. In May, students at the school received a backpack full of snacks, school supplies and books. A sticker inside each book reads: This book is given to you in honor of Tim Parrott, Shuffle Master’s CEO and friend to all.
“We know that our employees and our friends in the industry are very compassionate, as was Tim, and we are committed to the enhancement and progression of Jack Dailey Elementary in the coming months,” Peckman said.
Shuffle Master’s CFO and executive vice president Linster Fox said: “Rarely in life do you meet a man with the quiet confidence of a seasoned warrior, the charm of a consummate showman and yet modest of his own achievements, the raw intelligence and instinct to take imperfect information and produce an elegant solution or strategy and a ready smile always interested in what you have to say. Tim Parrott was that man. He was one of a kind.”
We thank Tim Parrott and his family for providing our industry with a leader who served as a driving force over a span of 20 years.
To honor Parrott’s memory, donations can be made to the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas or the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas.