MIKE R. DISTEFANO
HOTEL, RESTAURANT, CASINO, & ENTERTAINMENT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
2901 LAS VEGAS BLVD. SO., LAS VEGAS, NV 89109
PHONE: (702) 368-7678  FAX: (702) 733-8152
Mikedistefano@hotmail.com













EXPERIENCE:




Riviera Hotel & Casino Resort, Las Vegas, NV., Assistant Entertainment Director/Musician, September 1984-March 1992

  Booked many specialty acts and lounge performers into the Versailles Theater and LeBistro Lounge.

  Oversaw, managed, and directed headlining performer relations and personal valets for numerous performers
   including
Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, George Burns, Norm Crosby, Jay Leno, etc.

  Managed office duties (typed contracts, improved order processing and filing systems in the entertainment department).

  Assisted in management of physical logistics in showrooms - acted as Personal Assistant to the Vice-President of Entertainment.

  House Cocktail Pianist!  (Gourmet Dinner Buffet, Kristofer's Restaurant, 'Top of the Riv' private functions, Riviera Wedding Chapel)


















Douglas Mac-Valley Stunts, Inc.,
Regional Marketing Director, Manager and Performer, Las Vegas, NV June 1985-1992

  Oversaw, managed, controlled and directed all marketing for the
"Globe of Death Motorcycle Spectacular" specialty act.

  Booked act in various engagements including state fairs, auto shows, the "Splash" show at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las

   Vegas, NV, and the ABC hit television series "Incredible Sunday!" (1988)

  Managed and paid salaries to employees.

  Produced, directed, filmed and edited all videography of acts.

  Booked and managed numerous international contracts and engagements overseas (television shows, circuses, revues, etc.).

  Assistant Producer of "Coliseum of Thrills" stunt production show.

  Performed in act.












 






Murillo International Artists, Inc./Unique Entertainment, Inc.,
Company Manager, Chief Videographer, and Assistant Performer, Las Vegas, NV June 1986-1988

  Helped book and manage acts in various engagements including the stage revue "Splashdance" at the Genting's Highlands Resort
   in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the stage revue "Galaxies" at the Jupiter's Hilton Hotel & Casino in Brisbane, Australia, Asahi T.V. 
   specials in Tokyo, Japan, and the Tihany Circus in Guadalajara, Mexico.

  Managed and paid salaries to employees.

  Filmed and edited all demo videography of specialty acts.

  Helped book and manage numerous international contracts and engagements overseas (television shows, circuses, revues, etc.).

  Assisted in performance of unicycling/juggling/high-wire/aerial acts.


















Riverside Hotel & Casino Resort, Laughlin, NV., Producer, and Entertainment Consultant, June 1989-August 1989.

  Designed, wrote, directed, produced, and booked the quarter-million dollar, ninety-minute, stage production show
"Stararama."

  Managed and oversaw the issuance of salaries to all employees of production company.

  Managed all physical logistics in showroom.

  Wrote and oversaw all contracts between Producer and Riverside Hotel & Casino Resort.

  Managed, directed, and oversaw the marketing and promotion of show; both independently and in cooperation with the marketing 
   department of the Riverside Hotel & Casino Resort.
















 

 
Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., Entertainer/Cocktail Pianist and Passenger Activities Assistant, Caribbean Sea, July-September 1992

  Performed live solo cocktail piano music, evenings, six nights per week aboard the Carnival cruise ship "Ecstasy's" various dining 
   rooms, bars, and lounges, including the Windstar Dining Room, the Neon Bar, and the Society Lounge.

  Assisted in the ship's passenger activities during afternoons, (i.e., water contests, Bingo, raffles, etc.).


  
-  additional experience as a professional musician ( solo and ensemble piano) includes:

STEADY: 
   
                 Amici's Restaurant, Las Vegas, NV, March-July 1992
                  Performed live solo cocktail piano music, evenings, five nights per week in the dining room.

                Gourmet Dinner Buffet at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, March 1989-March 1992
                  Performed live solo cocktail piano music, evenings, six nights per week in the gourmet dinner buffet dining room.

                Kristofer's Restaurant at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, May-August 1988
                  Performed live solo cocktail piano music, evenings, five nights per week in the restaurant lounge.
              
                Orso's Restaurant, Chicago, IL, October 1987-May 1988
                  Performed live solo cocktail piano music, six nights per week in the restaurant lounge.
               
                Doro's Restaurant, Chicago, IL, May-August 1984
                  Performed live solo cocktail piano music, weekends, in the restaurant lounge.

CASUALS:

             
"High Roller" parties (dozens)
             
                 "Top of the Riv" Ballroom at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
                 Desert Inn Ballroom
                 Caesar's Palace Ballroom
                 Bally's in Atlantic City, NJ
                 the Playboy Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, NJ

            
  Weddings (hundreds)

               The Riviera Wedding Chapel at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
               Chapels and hotels all over Las Vegas and Chicago

             
Revues/Production Shows

                 "Keep Smilin' America," at Harrah's, Las Vegas, NV (piano accompanist/conductor for star singer impressionist, Bob Anderson) 1990 & 1992
                 "Solid Gold" & "Splash," at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV (substitute pianist)

HONORS/AWARDS:
           
              
Spotlite Magazine Feature. 1990
              
Downbeat International Magazine award for Outstanding Performance on Jazz Piano. 1986
              
New Trier Jazz Festival Award for Outstanding Musical Achievement. 1984
              
Eight First-Place Gold Medals in the Wisconsin State Music Competition on voice, concert-snare, timpani, drum set, piano, concert band 
                 (percussion-1st chair of 12), and jazz band (drum set) 2 years in a row. 1982-1983
              
Scholarship - Interlochen National Music Camp. 1983
              
Instrumentalist Magazine Award for Outstanding Musicianship. 1983
              
Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs Merit Award. 1982
              
National Music Federation Festivals Honor Award. 1981, 1982, & 1983
              
National Federation of Music Clubs Superior Rating on solo piano for three consecutive years. 1981, 1982, 1983

















 
MRD Productions, Inc., Entertainment Consultant and Manager, Las Vegas, NV., June 1993-present

  Advise clients regarding career opportunities and advancements.

  Accomplish bookings/contracts for various engagements.

  Assisted in booking name artists such as Frankie Avalon, Al Martino, etc., into the Festa Italiano in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 
   late '90's-early 2000's.

  Write and interpret contracts.

  Tend to all office duties and managerial tasks (scanning, filing, organizing, ordering, typing, receiving and sending faxes, word 
   processing, computer programming, and handling contracts, etc.).

















 




EDUCATION:


CLICK ON ANY PORTION OF ANY ITEM TO VIEW THAT PARTICULAR PORTION'S CORRESPONDING INFORMATION
(I.E., CLICKING ON THE GRADUATION YEAR ENABLES VIEWING OF CORRESPONDING DEGREE/DIPLOMA, ETC.)

Certificate Of Achievement-Hotel Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Applied Science-Hotel/Industry Security-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Applied Science-Hotel Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Bachelor Of Science Hotel Administration-UNLV-National Omnicron Psi Honors-2004


Master Of Science Hotel Administration-UNLV-National Omnicron Psi Honors-2007


Bartending Course Certificate-Certified Bartender-National Bartenders School-1997


Practical Bar Management Course Certificate-Certified Bar Manager-National Bartenders School-1997


Bar & Beverage Mgt Course Certificate-Certified Bar Manager-American Hotel & Motel Association-Academic Honors-1997


Techniques Of Alcohol Management Training Course Certificate-Certified Server/Seller-TAM/Nevada-1997


Foodservice Operations Management Course Certificate-Cert. Restaurant Manager-National Restaurant Association-2000


Purchasing For Foodservice Managers Course Certificate-Certified Food Purchaser-National Restaurant Association-2000


ServSafe Training Course Certificate-Certified Food Protection Manager-National Restaurant Association-1999


International Food Safety Council Membership Certification-1999


Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point Course Certificate
-HAACP Certification-National Restaurant Association-2000


Menu Planning Course Certificate-Certified MenuPro Specialist-CCSN-1999 View my menus: "DISTEFANO'S" "VEGA$ CAFE"


Foodhandler Course Health Card-Certified Foodhandler-Clark County Health District Nevada-1998


Culinary Union Membership Card-Culinary Workers Union, Local #226-1998


Food Server Course Certificate-Certified Food Server-Southern Nevada Culinary & Bartenders Training Center-1998


Certificate Of Achievement-Food And Beverage Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Applied Science-Food And Beverage Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Roulette Dealing Course Certificate-Certified Roulette Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1997


Baccarrat Dealing Course Certificate
-Certified Baccarrat Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1997


Blackjack Dealing Course Certificate
-Certified Blackjack Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1997


Craps Dealing Course Certificate-Certified Craps Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1997


Poker Dealing Course Certificate
-Certified Poker Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1997


Pai Gow Poker Course Certificate
-Certified Pai Gow Poker Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1997


Pai Gow Tiles Course Certificate-Certified Pai Gow Tiles Dealer-Casino Gaming School Of Southern Nevada-1998


Certificate Of Achievement-Casino Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-1999


Associate Of Applied Science-Casino Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-1999


Certificate Of Achievement-Travel & Tourism-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2003


Associate Of Applied Science-Travel & Tourism-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2002


Associate Of General Studies-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-1999


Associate Of Arts-Liberal Arts-CCSN-1997


Associate Of Arts-Communications-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2002


Associate Of Arts-Broadcasting-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2003


Associate Of Applied Science-Accounting-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Applied Science-Finance-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2003


Certificate Of Achievement
-Business Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Business-CCSN-Phi Theta-Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Applied Science-Business Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Bachelor Of Science Business Administration-Operations Management-UNLV-National Omnicron Psi Honors-1999


Master Of Business Administration MBA-UNLV-National Omnicron Psi Honors-2007


Associate Of Applied Science-International Business Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2003


Associate Of Applied Science-Public Sector Relations Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2001


Associate Of Applied Science-Small Business Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Associate Of Applied Science-Human Resource Management-CCSN-Phi Theta Kappa-Summa Cum Laude-2000


Bachelor Of Science Business Administration
-Human Resource Management-UNLV-National Omnicron Psi Honors-2000


Juris Doctorate-UNLV WSBSOL-2002






SPECIAL HONORS/AWARDS:


Honorary member of the Alpha Xi Beta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society


Honorary member of the National Omnicron Psi Honor Society

Special Mayoral Honors for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Las Vegas, NV.  May 2000

National Dean's List 2000, 2003






TRANSCRIPTS:

CCSN

UNLV






REFERENCES:


Dr. John Schibrowsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing, UNLV

Bob Maheu, Chief Financial Officer, Howard Hughes Corp., Personal Financial Advisor to Howard Hughes

Dov Odents, Vice-President of Food and Beverage, Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Lorraine Hunt, Lieutenant Governor of the U.S. State of Nevada

Jan Catalano, Vice-President, Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Dr. Anthony Cocco, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Accounting, UNLV

Claudina A. Vespia, OPC, Marketing Consultant, Grandview Marketing, Inc.

Bernard B. Zadrowski, Deputy District Attorney, Clark County, Nevada

Michael Strong, Attorney, U.S. Sentencing Commission, Judicial Clerk, 4th Dist. Court of Appeals, UNLV Law Professor

Joan C. Gillen, Food and Beverage Consultant, National Bartenders Association

Professor Dina Zemke, College of Hotel Administration, UNLV

Dan Paymar, Casino Management Consultant, Poker Dealer Instructor, Casino Gaming School, Las Vegas, NV

Dr. Robert M. Silverman, Ph.D, President CCSN

Dr. Janet B. Runge, Ph.D., MBA Program, UNLV

Vicky C. Dominguez, Associate Professor of Accounting, CCSN

Joseph R. Niemiec, Chairman, Dept. Of Public Safety & Human Services, CCSN

Douglas MacValley, President and Owner, Douglas MacValley Stunts, Inc.






PERSONAL STATEMENT:


I have been living and working in the hotel, restaurant, casino,

entertainment, and resort industry my entire life.  To give you a

better idea of what my background is actually like, I have to tell

you first about my upbringing, which was quite unique.



I was born an only child to Sam and Pam Distefano.  My mother

worked as an airline stewardess for Eastern Airlines in the fabulous,

"self-discovering" sixties!  She divorced my father in the late seventies

when I was only 8 years old.  My grandmother on my father's side, my

father himself, my uncles and Godfathers (all of whom were Sicilian 

bachelors) raised me on the south side of Chicago and in Lake

Geneva, Wisconsin.



Why Lake Geneva, you say?



Well, because there was a Playboy Hotel & Country Club Resort there,

of course! 



You see, my father worked for Playboy for over 25 years.




He opened the first Playboy Club for Mr. Hefner in Chicago on Walton

St., in the late fifties as the house pianist and musical director.  He also
worked at the Miami Playboy Club in those same positions until 1968

when the company completed construction of the 2300-acre Playboy

Resort in Lake Geneva where he took over as Entertainment Director. 

Eventually my father became the Vice President of Entertainment for


the entire chain of Playboy Clubs and Hotels, International.



This made for quite an exceptionally educational experience for an 8

year old child - not to mention a very glamourous and exciting one! 

But the reason I mention this is because Hugh Hefner only hired the

very best in every department.  For instance, Henri Lorenzi and Victor

Lownes were in charge of the hotels and casinos.  These were two very
top legends in their respective fields.  And of course, Arnold Morton of

"Morton's Steakhouse, Hardrock, Tony Roma's" fame, was consulted

on the food and beverage aspects of the Playboy empire.


                             
My father used to take me everywhere with him and consequently, we

would stay and sometimes live for extended periods of time, in the top

suites of all the Playboy resorts, literally around the entire world. 

Getting to know all of these then-reigning, top-tiered, hotel executives

and spending so much time with them, afforded me the unique

opportunity to witness firsthand on a 24hr basis, the day-to-day

operations of some of the largest, most successful hotels and casinos

in the world.  What better or more intimate way to directly learn and


experience how the very best casino resorts are run?



After my father's 25-year successful run with Playboy, he was

contacted by corporate conglomerate tycoon, Meshulem Riklis of

"McCrory/Rapid American" fame, to head the entertainment

department at his billion dollar mega-casino resort, the legendary

Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  As the Vice-President of

Entertainment and Special Events there, my father succeeded in


booking top name performers into the "Riv," such as Frank Sinatra,

Paul Anka, Milton Berle, George Burns, Bob Hope, and Liza Minnelli, to
name more than a few!  Additionally, he co-produced and booked four
major shows into the "Riv," including the "An Evening at LaCage"

show, the "An Evening at the Improv" comedy club, the sexy "Crazy

Girls
" revue, and the multi-million dollar stage production show,

"Splash" which he associate-produced.  Fortunately, I was priviliged

enough to have been afforded the incredible opportunity to be his

personal assistant throughout all of these successful and exciting

ventures! 



Of special note is the fact that we lived and actually permanently

resided in the Riviera the entire time we were employed there.  Again,

this made for uniquely exceptional educational insight into resort

operations that even few executive hoteliers have the opportunity to


experience!  If you've never permanently lived in a hotel, try to

imagine for a moment the trade secrets and industry perspectives

you'd unavoidably gain by residing on the same hotel premises, 24 hrs

per day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year, for practically an entire

decade!



After our successful, nearly decade-long association with the Riviera,

my father and I went on to successfully manage our own entertain-

ment consulting firm.  But many of these shows continued to run

at the "Riv" long after my father's  retirement - some to even this

very day!



I knew from as far back as I can remember, that I wanted to follow in

my father's footsteps and pursue a career in the hotel/entertainment

industry.  But I can still remember to this day, my father's and even

Mr. Riklis' counseling on the matter and their subsequent emphases

on the importance of education.



Well, as you can see from my resume, I took this quite literally and

worked my way through many years of college and vocational courses
to expand and improve my knowledge base.  Mr. Riklis used to always

tell me that there is no such thing as "too much education."  But

rather, that it is an "infinite process" that begins the moment we "exit

the womb
," and continues until the day "God calls us home."  It is true

at least for myself, that the more I  learn, the more I realize how little I

know!



Quite apparently, I am a firm believer that in the hotel industry

especially, one needs to have training, experience, and education in

all
aspects of operations - from HR and front desk to food and

beverage and V.I.P. services; from casino operations and accounting,

to entertainment and security and risk management, etc.  It is more

challenging today than ever before to advance in executive positions

without more job-rotation, experience, and education in every

department.  Why?  Because they are all intertwined!  In a hotel casino

resort especially, it is simply not possible for the operations of one

department to not affect the operations of all the others.



Most importantly, I feel that for many indirectly related reasons, the

quality of customer service in the hospitality industry has suffered

greatly.  A city like Las Vegas tends to get away with that more often

because of the continually immeasurable volume of "first-time"

visitors to the gaming destination.  As a result, many Las Vegas resorts
that provide sub-standard quality of customer service (particularly in

the food and beverage departments) still manage to survive and even

retain profitability without having to rely as much on return

patronage.



But that is changing.  With the rapid growth of newly arriving

competition, the current economic crisis, and national security issues,
Las Vegas is faced with unprecedented challenges in hospitality

operations.  But they are not ones that are insurmountable.  With

dedicated professional hospitality managers and executives who

possess a genuine passion, truly care, and understand about the

significance of "the customer first," Las Vegas can continue to thrive at
the top of the list of world class resort destinations.



I hope you have found this interactive resume to be as useful,

informative, interesting and fun as it was for me to compile and

compose!



If you have any questions at all whatsoever, please do not hesitate to

contact me and/or any references!  It is always a pleasure to welcome

those with a mutual interest in the industry!



Thank you very much!



-Mike Distefano

























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