What is your interest in serving on the Board? What skills can you bring to the Board?
In my years working with, and on the Board of, the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling (ECPG, formerly the Washington State Council on Problem Gambling), I have seen the good work of the National Council through the involvement and reporting of my colleagues Chuck Maurer and Maureen Greeley. Being involved at the National level would prove as challenging as what we face within our state. The ECPG’s efforts have bridged gaps in awareness, funding and general acceptance of problem gambling as an issue that must not be ignored.
What is your vision for NCPG, and what goals do you have for the organization?
I anticipate the ongoing efforts of the National Council to garner national attention and support for this issue will continue to be challenging. However, I believe strengthening the base of advocates within our state-level affiliates could go a long way in grabbing the attention of national representatives. Learning from successes of local state affiliates may prove helpful in our national efforts. I was taught that ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ When our allies are consistently provided the tools to be successful in communicating the cause, and the mantra is unified, those in power must heed the call. Especially when it is coming from their constituents – those that vote for or against them.
What relevant leadership and/or committee roles have you held in NCPG, state Affiliate or related organizations?
Beginning in 1998, I served on the Advisory Council of the Washington State Council on Problem Gambling and the Industry Working Group on Problem Gambling which gathered representatives of the gaming/gambling industry to collaborate on recommendations for responsible gambling policies and procedures. In 2004, I was invited to serve on Governor Locke’s Task Force on Problem Gambling to help develop legislation for a state program, funded by the gaming industry, to promote problem gambling awareness and provide treatment. Once the legislation was adopted which created a state program with funding in 2005, I joined the Problem Gambling Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Social Services Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (now the Department of Behavioral Health Resources), serving as its chair since 2008. In November 2013, I was elected and served as Vice President of the ECPG Board of Directors.
What ideas and experience do you have that can help NCPG grow its membership and fundraising?
Over the years I have assisted non-profit organizations in fundraising and membership drives in my professional career. I believe peer-to-peer efforts are most effective and rewarding in garnering understanding and interest in becoming more involved in causes. There may be untapped resources from those who work in and around the gaming/gambling industry who have seen the impact of responsible gaming programs to help problem gamblers. Often an ask is all it takes to generate action and commitment from a colleague to become more involved.
Do you have any personal or professional conflicts that would prevent you from engaging fully in advocacy or fundraising? If so, please describe them.
I would be challenged to leave Olympia during Washington’s legislative sessions beginning the second Monday of January for 105 days in the even years and 60-days in the odd years. As the only employee of the Recreational Gaming Association, I would need to be present during these times to assure the interests and concerns of my employer are represented. As well, the Washington State Gambling Commission as well as the RGA hold monthly meetings, usually the second Thursday and Friday each month except June and December. I would also need to remain present during these times. I do not foresee any other conflicts with engaging fully in advocacy or fundraising on behalf of NCPG either personally or professionally.
How long have you been a member of NCPG and what led you to join initially?
My membership with the National Council began in 2007 coinciding with my appointment to my position on the ECPG’s board of directors. It is our Council’s policy that all serving board members also be in good standing with membership with the NCPG.
Dolores A. Chiechi serves as the Executive Director and Lobbyist for the Recreational Gaming Association (RGA), the only organization in Washington that serves and represents non-tribal card room licensees, employees and the vendors that service the industry. Ms. Chiechi leads the RGA in its efforts to represent members’ interests before the Washington State Legislature and the Washington State Gambling Commission. Ms. Chiechi is an active advocate for responsible gaming policies and has served on the board of the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling since 2007, bringing her expertise in commercial and non-profit gaming, as well as legislative and political issues to the Council’s work. In 2012, the Council presented her with the inaugural Legacy of Commitment award to recognize her many years of hard work on behalf of responsible gaming and problem gambling education, awareness and treatment. In November 2013, she was elected Vice President of the ECPG Board of Directors. Prior to this, she was invited to serve on Governor Locke’s Task Force on Problem Gambling in 2004 to help develop legislation for a state program, funded by the gaming industry, to promote problem gambling awareness and provide treatment. Upon passage of the legislation, she joined the Problem Gambling Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Social Services Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (now the Department of Behavioral Health Resources). She has served as its chair for over 7 years.
Nominated by: Maureen Greeley, Executive Director, Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling; former president, NCPG Board of Directors.