OUR TEAM

Claudia Winkler

Strategic Project Director

Claudia is one of the industry’s most recognized & respected marketinging & technology experts. Her numerous leadership roles have resulted in a proven track record and unrivalled knowledge of gaming & hospitality systems. Claudia has been a force in the technology that supports the gaming & hospitality industry for over 30 years. Ms. Winkler’s consulting firm, G.H.I. Solutions, Inc. has provided top-level IT consultation & solutions to the gaming industry’s leading companies since 2002.

Claudia and her trusted team of associates has provided gaming & hospitality IT leadership for an extensive client list that includes major casino companies, Native American enterprises, government agencies, gaming system manufacturers & software development companies. Additionally, they have performed 300+ engagements over the past 16 years that include: Facilitating major system selections & upgrades, Information Technology assessments, Strategic IT leadership, Technology gap analyses, Expert witness & litigation support, Property change of control transition (for both buyer and seller), Project management services, and most importantly — providing customized engagements & solutions to meet the critical business needs of her clients.

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Claudia was honored with the prestigious Casino Marketing & Technology Lifetime Achievement Award in July 2018 at the annual Casino Marketing & Technology Conference at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Claudia was a finalist in April 2018 for the 5th Annual Las Vegas Women in Technology, Gaming & Leisure. Additionally, G.H.I. Solutions, Inc. was named the Gaming & Leisure CIO Roundtable Partner of the Year in 2017, the first time in the award’s 16 year history that a professional services company has received this award. Claudia has been recognized as one of the “Great Women in Gaming” for her contributions to the industry and her clients. She is an internationally published author with technology columns appearing in several leading industry publications. She serves as an instructor for the University of Nevada, Reno – Gaming Management Department and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, including G2E & NIGA. Claudia is also a judge for several of the industry’s technology awards, including Casino Journal’s Top 20 & Global Gaming & Business’ annual Gaming & Technology Awards.

Claudia graduated with honors from Penn State University.

DEBBIE HAWKINS

ERP / Financial Reporting PM / SME – Senior Consultant

Debbie Hawkins is a financial/gaming, information technology executive with more than 25 years of experience. Originally starting her career as a CPA for McGladrey, she quickly became drawn to the Gaming & Hospitality industry where she has held various titles including Corporate Finance Director & Property CFO during her ten year tenure at Harrah’s Entertainment, became Sr. VP of Corporate Development & CIO for Circus, followed by ten years in the software industry as VP Global Hospitality Sales for Infor.

Debbie possesses a diversified variety of skills & experience in finance, casino development & operations, information systems, market research, sales & marketing, & product development. She has opened new casinos & provided transition services for mergers & acquisitions. 

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She was responsible for Global Hospitality sales for Infor, a $2 billion dollar privately owned global software company focused on the gaming hospitality sector, where she introduced industry best practices & standard data models into the software implementation processes which drove their market share to over 90% in all major gaming markets, and established trusted advisor status with customers.

Most recently, Debbie served as the interim CFO for various commercial casinos, financial transition projects for Gun Lake & Graton Casinos, conducted an IT financial systems & operational review for Mohegan Sun Entertainment, system selection requirements & RFPs for an enterprise ERP solution for Station Casinos, and the Muckleshoot HCM business requirements project.

Debbie’s specific in-depth expertise is in all back-office systems of finance, human resources, and procurement, as well as analytics & reporting. While at Infor she was responsible for the development of the best practices in set up & implementation of these systems specifically for the hospitality industry. In addition, as part of the Workday consulting team at Sierra Cedar, she attended SHRM conferences, attended Workday training & their annual user group meetings, and became familiar with their systems & approach.

Debbie is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She is a recurring guest writer for Gaming & Leisure Magazine & a student of business architecture. In her spare time, she enjoys working with new startups and young entrepreneurs.

Danielle carmichael

 Certified Project Manager – PMP 

Danielle Carmichael brings more than 21 years of hospitality industry experience and over 16 years of Information Technology / Project Management experience. She is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified Project Manager (PMP) & a member of the local Southern Nevada PMI chapter.

Danielle has delivered large-scale project results in various capacities for almost two decades. She has managed project scopes ranging from training coordination, system conversions, upgrades & integrations, to complex system development projects. Most recently, Danielle managed the strategic & technical PMS transformation project for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for over 30 properties in the Asia, EMEA & US regions. The project required a strong focus on PMS conversion plan development & execution, interface certification & implementation, resource management including internal stakeholders & vendors as well as on-site in all regions.

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Danielle has a hotel operations background and held several key positions within Agilsys including: Installation Manager, Project Manager, & Sr. Project Manager for the Lodging Management System (LMS). She is an LMS application expert with more than 21 years of various application exposures, including presentation of product features at four Users’ conferences, product roadmap responsibility, & regular contribution of product-related material to ‘Hospitality Upgrade’ magazine. Due to the nature of the LMS application & experience with LMS clients, Danielle also has familiarity with the iSeries.

Danielle takes a detail-oriented Project Management approach & excels in stakeholder management, vendor management, risk management, problem solving, & documentation of project communications. Danielle is respected in the industry as a leader and an innovative thinker.

Danielle holds a Project Management program completion certification from the University of Phoenix. The certification is structured around the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) & industry standards. She ensures her PMP status with ongoing education & most recently completed a course in Project Risk Management through the American Management Association (AMA). Danielle is currently focused on staying current with her PMP requirements, with a focus on business analysis, risk management & project leadership. Danielle holds several certifications including a Six Sigma (yellow belt) and an FAA remote pilot certification.

lynnette o’connell

Database Marketing

Lynette O’Connell is a database marketing executive with over 25 years of experience. Lynette started her career at Harrah’s North Kansas City. She quickly moved to Harrah’s corporate & spent ten years moving her way up the ranks with Caesar’s Entertainment from Database Analyst, Database Marketing Corporate Training, Direct Marketing Administrator, Sr. Business Analyst, & finally Data Services Manager where she oversaw a team to compile the HET & Caesar’s player database information for corporate & property mailers at the time of the merger. She then moved into her role at Boyd Gaming as Corporate Director of Database Analysis, creating company standards in direct marketing & analysis at properties & within the company.

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In 2013, Lynette moved to the vendor side & joined IGT as a Senior Consultant for Professional Services. Her role was to research, design & build innovative analytic solutions for clients, as well as interpret stakeholders’ situations, needs & feasible solutions to identify problems & trends in clients’ operations, project manage the process by establishing & communicating the scope of recommendations. Lynette focused on using advanced analytics to identify opportunities for improving operations & the ROI anticipated from the initial investment.

Lynette’s last positions have focused on customer success, product development, consulting & training on products. With her roles as Director of Customer Success at VizExplorer, VP of Customer Success at Quick Custom Intelligence, it is clear that Lynette’s goal is to drive true value for her customers and partnering with them to execute on the findings.