Melissa Helton, President and General Manager of FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing in Collinsville, Illinois, was recently chosen to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award 2024 by the International Association of Top Professionals.
While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in and of itself, only a few select members are chosen for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. These special honorees are selected to receive this award based on their longevity in their fields, their contributions to society, and their impact on their industries. Melissa Helton will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award next December at IAOTP’s 2024 Annual Awards Gala at the magnificent Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
With over 25 years of experience in this field, Melissa has certainly proven herself as an expert and driving force in the gaming industry. Melissa, a dynamic and results-driven leader, has consistently demonstrated success in various roles throughout her career. Currently serving as the General Manager and President of Fanduel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, Melissa has excelled in every position she has held. She has an impressive background with various roles in the finance industry. Previously, Melissa was the Senior Vice President of Finance for Del Lago Resort & Casino, the Senior Manager of Finance and Accounting for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Director of Finance Operations at Indiana Grand. Additionally, she has held positions as the Controller for Arizona Biltmore, Apache Gold Casino, Tropicana, Belle of Baton Rouge, and Caesars.
Since 2020, Ms. Helton has held the position of President and General Manager at FanDuel’s Sportsbook and Horse Racing and is responsible for a diverse range of tasks. Some of the responsibilities in this role include managing finances, overseeing business operations, maintaining effective communication with jockeys, and ensuring the well-being of horses after races. Furthermore, she actively participates in strategic planning and possesses a wealth of knowledge in the gaming and hotel industry.
Before embarking on her career path, Ms. Helton attended Indiana University Southeast to receive her Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2003, and she did not set out to work in the hotel or sports industries.
Throughout her illustrious career, Ms. Helton has received numerous awards and accolades for her excellence in the field. Earlier this year, she received two prestigious awards: Top General Manager of the Year 2023 and Empowered Woman of the Year. Additionally, she was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in NYC for her inclusion in the publication of “50 Fearless Leaders.” She will be recognized for her most recent honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, at IAOTP’s Annual Award Gala in December 2024, which will take place at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Melissa has also been featured as one of the Who’s Who of Professional Women.
Aside from her successful profession, Ms. Helton is an active community member, serving on the local chamber of commerce boards and the Department of Agriculture.
Looking back, Ms. Helton attributes her success to her perseverance, work ethic, and the mentors she has had along the way. As a woman in this male-dominated industry, she wants to continue bringing a more open and honest work atmosphere at FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. The firm has praised her efforts to improve communication and shift the organization’s culture. Ms. Helton has set her sights on leading the firm into unexplored territory, which includes completing the construction of the resort’s new casino. She aims to establish herself as a key figure in propelling the business forward and securing its future success.
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