I will miss my friend
The news was expected about the passing of Terry Lanni, former chairman and chief executive officer of MGM, following a two-year battle with cancer. But I guess it is human nature to be surprised when the announcement comes. Terry was an icon to gaming insiders and one of the true gentlemen of the industry. He was always kind to me when I was coming up in the business. He always took my phone calls and requests for meetings. He didn’t have to, as he was well above my pay grade, but it speaks to the kind of guy he was. He made introductions for me and gave me one of my first searches in the casino business. I sometimes wonder why he did those things for me, and I am sorry I won’t be able to ask him.
He once told me to think big but stay humble. He noted that the trappings of being a big-time CEO are just that, trappings. I always appreciated his directness, and although I never worked for him, I always thought of him as a mentor. I would ask him about business strategy and industry trends and he was always encouraging but candid with his feedback. He had the charisma of a politician and the business savvy of a Wall Street dealmaker. I know he positively impacted the lives of thousands of gaming employees and executives. I am sure he had his faults just like every human being, but I really don’t care. He was my friend, and I will miss him.