Statement from CT Lottery Board Chair Donald DeFronzo: CLC Appoints Gregory Smith as President & CEOAs indicated in the Board action earlier today, Gregory Smith, Acting Executive Director of the Illinois Lottery, has been selected as the new permanent President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC). His appointment will be effective July 20, 2018.
This decision is the result of a lengthy search beginning in March of 2017, and delayed several times by developments within the Lottery and on the Board. Nevertheless, over 80 candidates from 17 states and the District of Columbia and one foreign country applied. Extensive candidate reviews were conducted as were preliminary screening interviews, and approximately a dozen in-person interviews were conducted by the Search Committee itself.
Since 2012 Greg has served as Executive Director of two state lotteries, the Vermont Lottery Commission and the Illinois State Lottery. During his four years at the Vermont Lottery, he grew sales and profits by more than 20%. While leading the Vermont Lottery, he was asked to serve on the finance and executive committee of the Multi-State Lottery Association board, through a challenging leadership transition. This exposure, coupled with his accomplishments at the Vermont Lottery, led him to receive an offer to serve as the Acting Director of the Illinois Lottery. Interested in working for a larger lottery and learning more about the privatization process, he accepted the position. As Director of the Illinois Lottery, he has led a management and technology transition while restructuring Illinois’ privatized $2.8 billion lottery system. He now serves on the national board of the Mega Millions Group.
In addition to lottery experience, Greg possesses extensive private sector experience in the hospitality industry including work in the hotel business and as Director of Operations for the Vermont Country Store where he had responsibility for approximately 250 employees. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He has also held a license in Virginia as a Certified Public Accountant.
In addition to his work in both large and small lotteries, and in the state agency and privatized lottery models, Greg has a national reputation having served on two national lottery boards.
The Search Committee put a high premium on administrative performance, personal integrity, credibility, communication skill, and throughout the selection process, sought to ensure stability in the operations of the Lottery in the short run, and continued growth and innovation in the future.
In addition to these desired qualities and objectives, the selection needed to fit within the Lottery’s ability to pay in what is a very competitive professional field.
I have said that the selection of a CEO is a defining moment in the development of an agency and with the selection of Greg Smith we are clearly defining our objectives as follows:
First and foremost is a commitment to integrity in operations at all levels. In selecting an individual with Greg’s mix of experience and skill we expect to change the face of the Lottery and to move forward with innovative measures that will propel the CLC to the forefront of gaming operations national resulting in expanded growth for the CLC.
The Board believes that these are realistic aspirations, shared entirely by our new CEO, and we intend to work with him to achieve these goals.
One final note, as we welcome Greg to Connecticut, the Board wants to take this opportunity to acknowledge the exceptional work done by Acting CEO Chelsea Turner over the last 16 months. She has taken an agency with a damaged image and improved its standing with the public, improved its financial performance to record levels, endured what most of us believe have been unfair criticisms, and has helped to establish the CLC as one of the best performing lotteries in the country. She will assume the duties of Acting Vice President effective July 20, 2018.