Gary K. Vallen, Ed.D.

Curriculum Vita

Gary K. Vallen, Ed.D, has been a Professor at Northern Arizona University since 1988.  Prior to joining NAU, Dr. Vallen gained extensive experience in the hospitality, lodging, and casino gaming industries.  Known as a well-rounded faculty member, he is sought by students and operators alike for his depth of knowledge and breadth of industry awareness.  Dr. Vallen can be reached at:

Northern Arizona University
School of Hotel and Restaurant Mgmt
NAU Box 5638
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
Office: (928) 523-1702; Fax: 523-1711





Professor; Northern Arizona University: School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Flagstaff, Arizona.  (July 1988 - Present).  Specialties: hospitality management, lodging operations, and casino gaming.  Experience teaching Front Office Management, Hospitality Automation, Casino Management, Introduction to the Hospitality Industry and the Senior Seminar capstone course.  Promoted from Lecturer to Assistant Professor in 1992.  Promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1994.  Promoted to Full Professor in 2000.

National (Regional) Organizational Responsibilities:

University Committees:



President; University Associates Incorporated, Las Vegas, Nevada and Flagstaff, Arizona (January 1992 - Current).  Leadership role in private hospitality consulting firm.  Responsible for marketing and promotion, negotiating contracts, and analyzing a wide-range of consulting projects. Special areas of recognition include feasibility studies for hotels and resorts; Native American tourism development studies; demographic and economic impact analyses of major events, festivals, rodeos, etc.; and casino gaming management.

Vice President and Assistant General Manager; Airport Plaza Hotel, Reno, Nevada (June 1985 - May 1988).  Overall responsibility for operation of 268 room corporate hotel and casino.  Functioned as Vice-President, Assistant General Manager of operations, Resident Manager and Director of Food and Beverage.  Amenities included 175-seat restaurant and lounge, 6,000 square feet of convention space, and a 2,500 square foot casino.  Supervised all department heads, prepared annual budgets, and established standards and procedures throughout the entire property.

Sales Manager; Harrah's Hotel/Casino, Reno, Nevada (May 1981 - June 1985).  Supervised sales department of a 4-star and 4-diamond hotel/casino with 465 rooms and 11,000 square feet of convention area.  Responsible for selling all hotel rooms, convention space, and related amenities to corporate and tour/travel groups.  Supervised entire sales/marketing team, sales secretaries/receptionists, and banquet coordinators.  Held a number of other positions at Harrah's, including:

1.      Financial Analyst in Operations Planning--reported directly to Senior Vice President of Planning.  Responsible for budgets in all major Harrah's departments, quarterly, and annual reports.  Corporate position with responsibility across entire Harrah's chain.
2.      Financial Intern in Strategic Planning--responsible for five/ten year plans as well as assessing new investments.
3.      Casino Dealer in Blackjack and Craps--casino dealer (part-time while holding other positions with Harrah's).  Earned highest score on Craps Dealer exam in Harrah's history.

Trainer and Top Ten Waiter; TGI Friday's Restaurants, Houston, Texas (March 1980 - March 1981).  Ranked as one of the top ten waiters, consistent highest sales volume award winner.  Assisted with training and opening of Houston #2 and San Bruno #1 restaurants.  Granted "traveling papers" to work at any TGI Friday's in the country.

Associate Manager; Club Corporation of America, Dallas, Texas (May 1979 -March 1980).  Club Manager for a corporation of private clubs nation-wide. Extensive training in kitchen and elegant front house service.  Club assignments included: Lancer's Club (Dallas); Plaza and University Clubs (Houston).



Textbook Reviewer; evaluate texts and recommend additional topic coverage. (Van Nostrand Reinhold and Prentice Hall)

Survey Research Specialist; distribute and track survey results at most North American ski resorts. (Ski Magazine)

Publicity Coordinator; develop, distribute, and track numerous casino promotions. (Sahara Hotel and Casino)

Front Office Supervisor. (Palace Station Hotel/Casino)

Convention Coordinator. (Rankin Convention Consultants)

Concessions Technician. (Yosemite National Park)

Ground Handler and Ticket Agent. (Canadian Pacific Air)

Internship. (Imperial Palace and Riviera Hotels/Casinos)