Frank Suarez, Sharon Strong, and Jeff Anderson – La Fleur's Lottery World (2024)

Appointment of Frank Suarez as President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation

Frank Suarez, Sharon Strong, and Jeff Anderson – La Fleur's Lottery World (1)Today, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation Board of Directors voted to appoint Frank Suarez, Executive Director of the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming, as the new permanent President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC). The appointment of Mr. Suarez will be effective as of August 1, 2024.

The appointment is the culmination of a nationwide search that began eleven months ago, with nearly 300 candidates from across the country having applied for the position. Mr. Suarez was selected for the position, as his strategic vision, dedication to customer-centric solutions, and commitment to fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment best aligned with CLC’s core values and vision for the future.

Mr. Suarez brings with him a wealth of experience and a strong track record of success in the lottery and gaming industry. With over 10 years of progressive lottery leadership roles, including seven years with the North Carolina Education Lottery as Deputy Executive Director of Brand Management and Communications and, most recently, as Executive Director of the DC Lottery for the past 3 years, he is uniquely qualified to lead CLC into its next phase of growth and innovation.

“I am honored and excited to join the Connecticut Lottery Corporation and to work with the talented team here to drive continued growth and success,” said Suarez. “Our focus will be on maximizing revenue for the state while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsible gaming.”

Since 2014, Mr. Suarez has served in leadership roles at two state lotteries, the North Carolina Education Lottery and the DC Lottery. Under his leadership, the DC Lottery saw significant increases in revenue and profitability through innovative strategies and effective management. During his tenure, Mr. Suarez directed a remarkable turnaround in sports betting operations, transforming a loss into profitability in less than a year and establishing the DC Lottery sportsbook as the largest in the District. He also successfully negotiated and led the conversion to a new mobile and online sports betting platform, resulting in an astounding 887% growth in gross gaming revenue within the first 30 days of operation. Mr. Suarez also helped to revitalize iLottery marketing strategies, launch a new mobile app, and expand the DC Lottery’s game portfolio. These efforts led to a 168% increase in gross gaming revenue, ensuring long-term growth and profitability for the iLottery segment. Mr. Suarez also currently serves as Vice Chair of Multi-State Lottery Association’s (MUSL) Product Development Committee and Chairman of the MUSL Fast Play Product Group.

In addition to his lottery experience, Mr. Suarez also possesses extensive private sector experience in Brand Marketing and Management, which includes strategy, planning, product innovation, and promotion, for several national and global brands. He holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) degree from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A) degree from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.

“We are thrilled to welcome Frank Suarez as our new President and CEO,” said Robert T. Simmelkjaer, Board Chair of CLC. “His exceptional leadership skills, extensive industry experience, and visionary approach make him the perfect choice to guide our company into the next phase of growth and innovation. We are confident that, under his stewardship, we will continue to achieve remarkable success and continue to deliver value to our players and revenue to the State of Connecticut.”

As CLC welcomes Mr. Suarez to Connecticut, the Board of Directors would like to acknowledge and express gratitude to Greg Smith for his leadership and dedication over the past 6 years. He has been instrumental in steering the Connecticut Lottery to its current position as one of the highest-performing lotteries in the country. Effective August 1, 2024, Mr. Smith will assume the position of Special Consultant to assist with the transition of leadership. He plans to officially retire at the end of September.

Sharon Strong Named Director of Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

Frank Suarez, Sharon Strong, and Jeff Anderson – La Fleur's Lottery World (2)Jim Hudson, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), today announced Sharon Strong has been appointed Director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. The Scholarship Lottery is a division of DFA.

Strong joins the Lottery from the Office of Attorney General Tim Griffin where she served as Senior Assistant Attorney General. In this role, Strong supervised a team of special agents and attorneys who investigate and prosecute criminal fraud and abuse. She also played a key role in drafting and supporting legislation to protect vulnerable Arkansans.

“Sharon has been an advocate for Arkansans throughout her career,” said Secretary Hudson. “She understands the mission of the Lottery is supporting Arkansas’ students through scholarships, providing resources to allow them to thrive. She will build strong relationships with all our partners, including the Arkansas General Assembly, to maximize Lottery’s impact in a responsible manner. I’m proud to welcome her to the Scholarship Lottery and DFA.”

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Strong served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Pulaski County and Perry County. She was also a Staff Attorney for the Public Service Commission and Disability Rights Arkansas.

“I am thankful to the Governor and Secretary Hudson for the opportunity to lead the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery,” said Strong. “Lottery has a senior leadership team with decades of experience and institutional knowledge. Working as a team with all stakeholders, the Lottery will positively impact future generations of Arkansans.”

Strong is a Little Rock native. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy from Southern Methodist University. Strong obtained her law degree from The American University, Washington College of Law. Immediately following law school, she served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Frederick County, Maryland, and a Public Defender for the State of Maryland.

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery was approved by voters in 2008. Since that time, the Lottery has provided students more than 770,000 scholarships totaling $1.4 billion.

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Idaho Lottery and State Liquor Division Director Jeff Anderson Set to Retire

Frank Suarez, Sharon Strong, and Jeff Anderson – La Fleur's Lottery World (3)The longest-serving Lottery Director in Idaho history has announced his retirement after 17 ½ years of service to the people of the Gem State. Jeff Anderson, the State of Idaho’s Director for both the Idaho Lottery and the Idaho State Liquor Division will retire on July 26, 2024, one week after the Idaho Lottery commemorates its 35th Anniversary.

“I have had the honor and privilege to be given the trust and stewardship of two outstanding Idaho agencies from two exceptional Governors,” said Anderson. “Both agencies require leadership that’s in alignment with the sensibility of Idaho’s citizens. I am proud that we have always earned the public’s trust with high integrity while responsibly delivering nearly $2.2 billion in financial benefits for the people of Idaho.”

Anderson was appointed Director of the Idaho Lottery in January 2007 by Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter. In April 2010, Governor Otter appointed him as Liquor Division Director. In January 2019, Governor Little appointed Anderson to serve the citizens in the same two roles.

Since 2007, under Anderson’s leadership, the Idaho Lottery has returned $938 million to support public education and permanent facilities. This includes responsibly setting new dividend records fourteen times. In 2014, the Idaho Lottery was recognized by lottery industry associations, Public Gaming Research Institute and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, as the highest-performing jurisdiction in the United States.

In April 2010, Governor Otter temporarily appointed Anderson to be Director of the Idaho State Liquor Division. This “temporary” assignment is one Anderson has held for over fourteen years. During that time, the Liquor Division has delivered record transfers thirteen times, $1.2 billion in total, for use by the State, counties, and cities across Idaho.

“I have been fortunate to work with two remarkable teams. The success of the Idaho Lottery and the Liquor Division is a result of the determined efforts of the fine, hard-working, dedicated team members at both agencies,” added Anderson. “In the future, I look forward to more time with my children and their families, all of whom live in and around the capital city.”

During his tenure, Anderson represented Idaho nationally, serving as President of the Multi-State Lottery Association Board of Directors, the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries Board of Directors, and Chairman of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) Board of Directors. Anderson has served as the Idaho Lottery’s Director for half of its operational existence. He is one of the longest-tenured United States Lottery directors and the longest-serving NABCA director.

Anderson came to state service after twenty-eight years in broadcasting. His last ten years were as Vice President and General Manager of CBS television affiliates KBOI (Boise) and KIDK (Idaho Falls).

Frank Suarez, Sharon Strong, and Jeff Anderson – La Fleur's Lottery World (2024)
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