President & General Manager
Kara Fox-LaRose has 25 years of experience in the casino and hospitality industry, including many high-profile roles. Currently, Fox-LaRose is the President and General Manager of ilani in Ridgefield, Washington, where she is responsible for the overall directional planning and operational results of the property. She led all aspects of opening the $500+ million high volume casino and entertainment complex in 2017 and has been a driving force of the award-winning property ever since. She has strived to continue developing ilani into a world class destination, adding the Cowlitz Ballroom in 2018, the Cowlitz Crossing Fuel & Convenience store in 2019, and the 2,600 space parking garage which opened last year. Fox-LaRose is an active member in the Southwest Washington community where she currently serves as a board member for the Columbia River Economic Development Council. She is also a strong proponent for responsible gambling, serving as a board member for the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling.
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
Dougherty, as assistant general manager at ilani, is tasked with providing direct support to the general manager, on top of developing, implementing and monitoring strategic plans in order to achieve larger organizational goals. Having served in multiple roles as a leading executive in various gaming jurisdictions, Dougherty brings more than 30 years of gaming industry experience to the table. He has been a guest lecturer at notable Universities such as Penn State and Johnson and Wales, and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey.
VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Muma brings over 30 years of combined gaming and hospitality service experience, including 15+ years of executive level experience. He was a part of the opening team for the ilani project and oversaw successful recruitment, onboarding, and training of 1100+ team members. As vice president of human resources and guest services at ilani, Mr. Muma provides the strategic direction, tactical planning and operational oversight for all Human Resource and Guest Service departments/functions. Previously, Muma worked as director of human resources at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Minnesota and at Little River Casino Resort in Michigan. Muma holds an MBA in human resource management from Baker College in Detroit.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Palmer is an experienced gaming executive and has worked in the industry for more than 20 years. He was directly involved with the opening of ilani for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. Palmer is a part of all strategic planning and decision making for the operation, as well as all financial functions of the property, such as establishing the current internal control policies and procedures for ilani. Prior to joining ilani, Palmer served as chief financial officer for the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in upstate New York, and has held finance management positions with MGM Mirage, Seneca Gaming, Harrah’s Cherokee, and Ameristar. Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
VICE PRESIDENT OF GAMING
Walker brings three decades of experience to his role at ilani, having most recently served as vice president of table games and player development at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Walker joined the team to successfully establish and open ilani’s gaming operations in April of 2017; a feat not all that unfamiliar to Mr. Walker, who launched the opening of Mohegan Sun Pocono table games and poker in 2010. His depth of experience is an ongoing asset to ilani as he aims to create revenue generating and cost saving initiatives for the property. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
Mr. Teesdale joined ilani as the Vice President of Marketing in 2016. ilani, is the Pacific Northwest premier gaming, dining, entertainment and meeting destination. With nearly 400,000 total square feet, ilani includes 100,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 2,500 slots and 75 gaming tables; 15 different restaurants, bars and retail outlets; and a 2,500-seat meeting and entertainment venue hosting nationally recognized performances. Mr. Teesdale has an impressive track record of driving increased market share, revenues and profitability within the gaming industry and his experience in developing and executing marketing and communications initiatives and customer loyalty programs has been critical in achieving results.
Mr. Teesdale has held previous positions in other markets with Ameristar and Penn National Gaming as Vice President of Marketing. Mr. Teesdale is a graduate of the University of Missouri and has more than 30 years of successful casino operations, management and marketing experience.
VICE PRESIDENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Aaron Fisher joined ilani as the Vice President of Information Technology and has a proven track record of leading technology solutions and teams within the gaming and hospitality industry. Aaron has over 16 years’ experience leading technology solutions in the gaming and hospitality industry with over 26 years of combined technology experience. Aaron started his career in the US Air Force where he learned the value of a team and that nothing is impossible.
Aaron has held previous positions with Northern Quest Casino and Hard Rock where he led teams and was a part of numerous casino and hotel expansion and new builds. Most recently, as a part of Hard Rock, Aaron was the Vice President of IT Operations where, along with his new build responsibility, he oversaw IT operations for the 11 casinos and 66 cafes under the Hard Rock portfolio. Aaron holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business IT Management and is the proud father of 4 wonderful children.