NEW YORK Cornelia "Connie" Laverty, svp and CMO at gaming and lottery technology firm Gtech, was bitten with the bug as a youngster in County Cork when her parents won the equivalent of about $400 in the Irish lottery.
That experience, she said, taught her that the lottery is an "aspirational industry. It's the one place where you can lay down a dollar and buy dreams."
At the age of 17, Laverty followed her own dream to America. "I had a huge desire to be educated," she said.
After attending college in Albany, N.Y., her first position was with the New York Lottery, where she stayed 30 years, including 14 as director of marketing and sales. Prior to joining Gtech—which is based in West Greenwich, R.I.—in April, Laverty was COO of the Georgia Lottery in Atlanta.
Although Gtech forbids employees from playing lotteries, Laverty said she gets vicarious thrills from a big win: "It's nice to see other people winning. It's an incredible experience."
Gtech, which also has offices in Australia, Belgium and Brazil, makes slot machines and ticket-vending apparatus, and provides secure electronic fund transfer systems. It is Laverty's goal to make the company synonymous with innovative gaming.
"Gtech is a much bigger brand than just technology," she said. "I'm trying to reach out to everybody in this company, and learn and listen."
Customers comprise government lotteries, casinos and racetracks, and Gtech creates the games and content that people play.
Marketing communications focus heavily on trade publications and sales materials. "I want to brand this company in a way that captures the imagination beyond technology," said Laverty.