June 21, 2017 – Hard Rock International is pleased to announce the appointment of three key executives, aligning with the brand’s strategic growth plan. As the brand’s current executive vice president of hotel & operations, Jon Lucas will now serve as chief operating officer for Hard Rock International, overseeing Hard Rock International operations, as well as key company departments. Lucas will report directly to Chairman and CEO Jim Allen. Dale Hipsh, presently vice president of hotel operations development, has been promoted to senior vice president, overseeing the entire hotel portfolio for Hard Rock International and reporting to Jon Lucas. Sean Caffery, a new face to the brand and industry veteran, has joined the team as senior vice president casino development for Hard Rock International and will report into Senior Vice President of Casino Development Jeff Hook.
“As we continue to grow the Hard Rock brand beyond our existing footprint, we look to Lucas, Hipsh and Caffery to lead the expansion process with exciting, new projects in the Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos pipeline, such as Atlantic City, New York City, Shenzhen and London,” said Jim Allen, chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International.
Under Jon Lucas’ leadership, the brand acquired the Hard Rock casino and hotel-rights in the western U.S., as well as key international markets, spearheaded casino entry into Canada and entered the hotel management sector. With these accomplishments under his belt, his new role will involve the oversight of operations, marketing, legal, finance, design and construction – all instrumental in the ongoing operations of the brand.
Lucas originally joined Hard Rock in 2013 as the president of the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park, where he managed everything from site design and construction to the hiring and onboarding of key executives. During his tenure at the Rocksino, Lucas’ efforts led to the venue quickly becoming a dominating market share leader in Ohio. Prior to joining Hard Rock, Lucas was the president and general manager of the IP Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi for six years.
As vice president of hotel operations development for Hard Rock International, Dale Hipsh opened twelve properties from conceptualization to completion in diverse areas across the world. His new role will include oversight of hotel operations, including managed and franchised properties. Hipsh first joined the Hard Rock brand to lead operations for the opening of both Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida. Hipsh’s hospitality career began with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and has included assignments with many industry leaders, including Sun International and its massive Atlantis casino and resort complex in The Bahamas. He has also held various positions with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Sean Caffery joins the Hard Rock as a seasoned executive with years of industry experience. He will play a vital role in finding new development locations, countries and partners for the casino business focused on North- and South America. Prior to Hard Rock, Caffery was the chief executive officer and board member of Seneca Commission for Economic Development, LLC, where he served for three years managing the Seneca Nation of Indian’s Development Corporation and Sovereign Wealth Fund. Caffery also spent four years at M&T Bank Corporation and two years at Osborne & Partners, LLP.
These appointments come as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino portfolio actively expands into China, Europe and key gateway cities around the world. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit hardrock.com.