Great Canadian shakes up C-suite as Urquhart steps up to COO

Great Canadian Entertainment has confirmed two changes to its C-level management, including the promotion of EVP of Operations Ron Urquhart to group COO. 

As part of the strengthening of the company’s senior management, Gavin Whitely has joined as Chief Marketing Officer, joining Urquhart in the Toronto office.

“We are thrilled to name Ron as our new COO, who started his career with us as a summer student in college, and since then has held senior leadership roles across multiple business units over the past two decades, helping to lead our Ontario expansions and new builds including at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Woodbine,” said Matthew Anfinson, Chief Executive Officer of Great Canadian. 

“Ron has a deep understanding of our business, and will be an enormous asset in our next chapter of growth as we bring to market what will be among the premier casino resorts in North America in 2023.”

Urquhart has made the step up to COO following Anfinson’s recent appointment to CEO, from which he departed the COO position. 

He has been at Great Canadian since 2001, working his way through the senior ranks of the group’s Nova Scotia casino operations for 15 years. 

In 2016, he made the move to Ontario, becoming the General Manager of the Belleville site. From there he was promoted to VP Operations for Ontario, then to EVP Operations for the GTA.

“I feel privileged to take on this new role at such an exciting time for Great Canadian, and I look forward to working closely with Matthew to continuously enhance the gaming and entertainment experience for our guests, and making a positive impact for all our stakeholders,” Urquhart noted on his latest role.

Meanwhile, Whitely joins the company as CMO from Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas where he oversaw the Caesars Rewards program. 

Previously in his career, Whitely held marketing roles at Cirque du Soleil after earning a Master of Music degree from McGill University.

“I am thrilled to come home to Canada to lead the marketing and entertainment initiatives with the Great Canadian leadership team to deliver value to our team members, guests, and communities from coast to coast,” said Whiteley.

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