Robert L. Johnson is the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies, LLC, an innovative business network, and owns or holds interests in businesses operating in hotel real estate, private equity, 401k fintech services, automobile dealerships, content streaming, gaming and sports betting.
Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Mr. Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation's first Black-owned cable television network. Johnson continues to attract and manage capital and create value for investors, and in 2012, announced the successful creation of RLJ Entertainment, Inc., a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular streaming services, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel). RLJ Entertainment, Inc. marks the third time Johnson has successfully taken a company public. In 1991 Johnson took BET public, making the network the first African American company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. RLJ Lodging Trust, a hotel real estate investment trust (REIT), went public in 2011.
In 2001, Johnson sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion. In July 2007, Johnson was named, by USA Today, one of "The 25 Most Influential Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years."
Two of Johnson's holding companies are ranked among the top Black-owned companies in the country on the Black Enterprise 100s list: RLJ-McLarty-Landers Automotive Holdings, LLC and RLJ Equity Partners, LLC. Currently, Mr. Johnson serves on the following boards: RLJ Lodging Trust; KB Home; Elevate Credit, Inc.; G-III Apparel Group, Ltd.; The Business Council; and Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Johnson holds a Master's degree in international affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from the University of Illinois.
Mr. Washington, Chairman and CEO of Caribbean CAGE, LLC earned his BA in Political Law Science at St. Peters College in 1967. In 1967 he decided to become a Lawyer and enrolled in Howard University’s School of Law and in 1970, earned his JD with honors finishing #3 in his class. He then joined the faculty of Harvard Law School as a Teaching Fellow and earned an LLM while teaching at Harvard Law School. He returned to Washington, D.C. in 1973 where he was offered positions of Professor at the Howard University Law School and Counsel to the Senate Committee on the District Columbia.
Mr. Washington was the staff architect of Home Rule for D.C. Following over 5 years in Congress, in 1975 Mr. Washington was offered the opportunity to enter the private sector as a partner in the Danzansky, Dickey Law Firm, one of the most prestigious firms in Washington D.C. His performance in this position catapulted Bob into several larger firms in Washington, first as a Partner and then to Managing Partner of a large national firm with over 800 lawyers.
Mr. Washington’s sterling legal career culminated and his meteoric business career began with his decision to start up his own law firm and consulting company, Laxalt, Washington, Perito & Dubic, during which time he continued his representation of and consulting with several foreign governments in Africa and the Caribbean including Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. In 1994, Mr. Washington was offered an exclusive gaming license by the government of Antigua and Barbuda to manage and operate the government owned electronic lottery. This initial opportunity catapulted the growth of this operation into 6 other Caribbean countries during the next 5 years. LILHCo the largest lottery operator in the Caribbean was then sold to GTECH in 2004.
Following the sale of LILHCo, Mr. Washington started Caribbean CAGE, LLC which is a gaming and entertainment company engaged in video lotteries and other forms of gaming in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Mr. Washington is an investor in a number of enterprises including one of the owners of the Charlotte Hornets, NBA Basketball Team.
Mr. De La Cruz has over thirty (30) years of hands-on experience in the Latin America and Caribbean Market. He joins Caribbean CAGE, LLC as the Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development on September 2008. Before joining he was the CEO of Supreme Gaming LTD. from Oct. ’06 through Jan. ’08. Prior, Mr. De La Cruz was Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean Operations at GTECH Corporation, where he achieved fifteen successful years of tenure (1991-2006). He began as the Sales Director for Latin America and the Caribbean and later promoted to Vice President. In his capacity he successfully set the strategy for the Region, negotiated with governments and local businesses; grew the Latin American Region to twelve (12) major accounts, which included the purchase of LILHCo in 2004. Under his leadership GTECH’s Regional Revenues portfolio grew from US$10MM/yr. to over US$300MM/yr.
From 1976 to 1991 Mr. De La Cruz was humming his skills as a Sales and Marketing Manager at Amtote, General Instrument Corporation where he started as Data Center Operations Supervisor of the Off-Track Betting facilities (OTB), Teletrack and the Connecticut Lottery. Expanded into sales and marketing in Europe and Latin America including the Caribbean. From 1974 through 1976, Mr. De La Cruz was a Project Manager at Olivetti Corporation of America in charge of installing the first on-line, real-time terminal network for the NYC Police Department connecting all Police precincts throughout the five boroughs to Headquarters at One Police Plaza.
Mr. De La Cruz attended Towson State University (BS, Business Administration), numerous seminars, programs and post graduate courses throughout his career and completed “Mergers and Acquisitions” at Harvard Business School ’06.
Todd W. Washington has spent the last 17 years in the Caribbean working in the gaming, sports and entertainment industries. He is recognized throughout the region as an agent of change.
In 1995, Mr. Washington helped launch the Leeward Islands Lottery Company (LILHCo). LILHCo owned, operated and managed National Lotteries in the Caribbean including Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda (Super-Agent), , St Kitts, St Maarten and the US Virgin Islands. While at LILHC, Mr. Washington held senior level positions in Sales, Marketing, Management, Public Relations, Government Relations and Business Development.
In 2004, GTECH (www.gtech.com) acquired LILHC and Mr. Washington served as General Manager of Caribbean Lottery Services (the company that managed the Virgin Islands Lottery). Mr. Washington left GTECH in late 2004 to accept a position as Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Caribbean CAGE, LLC. In 2009, Mr. Washington accepted his current position, Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations.
Before moving to the Caribbean, Mr. Washington spent several years working on Capital Hill. In 1991, he worked as a Senior Assistant for Democratic National Committee Vice Chair, Alexis Herman (Former Secretary of Labor). In 1992, Mr. Washington worked as Senior Advance and Special Assistant to Democratic National Committee Chairman, Ronald H. Brown. Mr. Washington also worked as a Personal Assistant to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. in 1994.
Janice has over 30 years of experience in finance within the gaming industry.
She held various finance roles within the MGM Resorts, including at Corporate finance, at MGM Macau as CFO and at the Mirage as CFO. During her time at the MGM Resorts she also served as Corporate Executive Sponsor for one of the MGM Resorts’ Employee Network Groups.
Janice’s most recent position prior to joining CAGE Caribbean, LLC was as a CFO at the Venetian Hotel. At the Venetian Janice also served on the Sands Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Prior to working in the gaming industry, she worked in a regional public accounting firm in Las Vegas. She currently serves as a Board Member for a local nonprofit called BlindConnect. She has also previously served on the local board for Best Buddies Nevada.
Janice completed her education at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
Penny Penilla Parayo is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in Accounting and hails from the Philippines. Penny is currently the Executive Vice President and Head of Gaming Machines Operations for Caribbean CAGE, LLC. She is primarily focused on the installation, operations of gaming machines which targets the Latin America countries with the goal of enhancing local economies and creating entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for local individuals.
Penny was the Corporate Vice President of Slot Operations for Seneca Gaming Corporation in Niagara Falls, NY; supporting three operations in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. She oversaw the largest tribal gaming facility in Western New York with over 5,000+ units which generated approximately $600 million annual slot revenue. Maintained top slot revenue despite Del Lago investing approximately $440 million investment in the market.
In 2005, Penny was the Vice President of Gaming Operations, managing the transition of Horseshoe Hammond Casino from a four-level vessel to a State-of-the-Art single gaming floor managing 3,200 Slots, 96 Tables, 34 Poker Room and security operations generating GGR of over $550M annually in the Chicagoland market. In 2011, She joined Rocket Gaming Manufacturer as the Senior Director of Gaming Strategy where she was responsible for the Gold Series lines which is the real-time, interactive, downloadable, central determinant game with multi-level multi state that starts over $1 M in Native American markets.
In 2013, Penny joined Maryland Live as the Vice President of VLT operations and Beverage Operations for the Cordish Group. She oversaw the largest commercial gaming facility in the Mid-Atlantic Region with 4,341 VLT units which generated approximately $480 million annual slot revenue. Increased market share as well with the opening of Caesars Horseshoe Baltimore. She implemented the Electronic Table Game pit that increased Gross Gaming Revenue and enhanced the casino atmosphere while reducing payroll.
James M. Christian, Sr., Esq. is the Vice President of Legal Affairs and Compliance, reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board. As the Vice President for Legal Affairs, Mr. Christian has the responsibility for critical portfolios of corporate responsibility. As the chief compliance officer and legal counsel of the corporation, he provides legal advice and counsel in a wide range of legal areas including corporate governance, compliance, contracts, intellectual property, real estate leasing and acquisition, taxation, gaming laws and regulations, administrative law, and employment law and health benefits. In addition, Mr. Christian is responsible for ensuring that all company operations in all jurisdictions are in strict compliance with national and local laws, rules and regulations governing the corporation’s operations and gaming services. Mr. Christian is also responsible for coordinating the work of outside legal counsel for the company, including their representation of the company in any litigation; supervising administration of the corporation’s compliance programs in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia.
Mr. Christian joined CAGE in January 2013, having previously served in various positions in the United States federal government and District of Columbia local government, including Chief Counsel of the U.S. Urban Mass Transit Administration and General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia. As a former legal practitioner in the private practice of law, He brings to CAGE over 40 years of in-depth professional experience, ranging from advising members of the United States Congress and representing governments on the continent of Africa and in the Caribbean; to representing private sector corporations in complex transactions and administrative proceedings. As a lawyer in private practice, Mr. Christian has been a named partner in his own law firms and has also been a principal or administrative partner in major law firm practices in the United States.
Mr. Christian earned his BA degree from Howard University, graduating magna cum laude where he was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. As a legal practitioner and legal counsel, he has been a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the American and National Bar Associations and received his Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School.
Kyle W. Washington started in the lottery business in 2000 as the Daily Draw Supervisor for the DC lottery, the state lottery for the District of Columbia. Mr. Washington’s duties included supervising the three daily-televised draws. In 2002, Mr. Washington was offered an operating position to work for Caribbean Lottery Services (“CLS”) in St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands. Mr. Washington participated actively in launching several new online lottery games in the USVI including Power Ball and Power Play. These two new games were authorized under the US Multi-State LotteryAssociation (MUSL).
Mr. Washington was, thereafter, appointed the Director of Agent Retention and Development for CLS. Mr. Washington’s job included maintaining good working and profitable relationships with the CLS”s agents and the development of new agents.
In 2003, Mr. Washington was appointed the Assistant Director of Marketing & sales for CLS. In this new and expanded role, Mr. Washington’s duties included assisting the Director of Marketing and Sales, launch new games, setting up marketing plans that included radio, television and print media as well as machine promotions.
In 2004, Mr. Washington joined the staff of Caribbean CAGE, LLC as the Director of Market Research for CAGE. Additionally, MR. Washington has worked for short periods of time in Sint Maarten, Antigua, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and Curacao.
Mr. Washington attended Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia with a major in Business Administration.
Robert Craig has more than 26 years experience in the gaming industry. Prior to joining the CAGE management team in September 2005, he was the Director of the Engineering Department for Nevada’s largest gaming route operator, United Coin Machine Co.
With a background in Electrical Engineering and Embedded Systems Design, Mr. Craig has been involved in all major aspects of gaming product development and route operations including game design, software development, system integration and regulatory compliance.
Mr. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Andrew Day's career has spanned more than 35 years in the Gaming Industry. He started his career in Gaming in 1984 when he attended Gaming School in Sparks, Nevada. He completed his degree in 1985 and immediately joined United Coin Machine Company. He began his career at United Coin as a Bench Repair Technician. Andrew's hard work and talent were evident and he was promoted to the position of Installation Technician.
In 1999 he was given the title of Service Manager at United Coin Machine. Due to his expertise he became the point of contact on all software and network related issues. He was in charge of service, installations, dispatch and scheduling and monitoring all special projects related to route locations, he created custom Dbase IV and FoxPro programs for route service issue analysis, and managed approximately 60 employees until he decided to join the Caribbean CAGE, LLC team.
Mr. Day joined CAGE in July of 2006 as Technical Manager. During his tenure he has been part of the start up team in new jurisdictions helping establish job descriptions, roles and responsibilities , sourcing Office space, CAD office drawing layouts, training of local staff, establish tool requirements, temporary GM of a new jurisdiction, site geographic mapping with choropleth mapping density studies for expansion strategies and optimal service staff allocation, project management, etc.
As a Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Caribbean CAGE and over 14 years of gaming experience, Janet Davila is responsible for leading all promotional and marketing efforts, as well as managing the direct / digital marketing teams, including the promotional teams of 6 countries. Janet’s key steps have involved harnessing internal support, generating market insight, using player-focused metrics, living the brand internally, player communications and building marketing talent.
Prior to joining Caribbean CAGE in 2007, Janet worked with Group Services, Inc., a Destination Management Company, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She held the positions of Tour Desk and Marina Activities Manager along with Supervisor of group functions. She managed over 30 vendors & 20 direct employees.
Janet holds a BBA with a minor in Systems Information from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Fajardo Campus and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She also earned an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Metro Campus.
She is currently perusing her certification as a Certified Marketing Executive from the SMEI Organization.
Eric R. Huot, Esq. is Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs and Compliance. As Assistant Vice President for Legal Affairs, Mr. Huot provides legal advice and counsel in a wide range of areas including corporate governance, contracts, real estate leases and acquisitions, gaming laws and regulations, administrative law, employment law and health benefits and intellectual property. In addition, Mr. Huot is responsible for ensuring that all company operations in all jurisdictions are in compliance with applicable law, rules and regulations. Mr. Huot is also responsible for coordinating with external local legal counsel for the company, including their representation of the company in any litigation; supervising administration of the corporation’s compliance programs in Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Kitts-Nevis, Sint Maarten, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St. Lucia.
Mr. Huot previously served as a senior corporate attorney in various law firms in Puerto Rico and as an in-house legal counsel in the United States. Mr. Huot brings to CAGE over 20 years of in-depth professional experience, ranging from providing strategic advice on complex contract negotiations and international business transactions to counseling private sector corporations and senior executives in a wide range of commercial matters.
Mr. Huot earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a Juris Doctor degree from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico Law School, graduating magna cum laude and where he was also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the law review. In addition, Mr. Huot also earned an LL.M. degree from Northwestern University Pritzker Law School. Mr. Huot is a member of the Puerto Rico Bar Association and the American Bar Association.