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Casino Hosts

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SENIOR Executive Hosts



Hello, my name is Mario Cardenas. I was born and raised in Blue Island, IL. Go White Sox!!! I started my career with Harrah’s Ak-Chin in 1994 as a Caesars Rewards Representative. I’ve worked in many capacities at Harrah's Ak-Chin including Casino Host, Player Development and Senior Executive Host since 2009. When I’m not at work, I love playing baseball with my son and golf with my father.



Welcome! My name is Rethema Jagow and I am truly a native of Arizona – born and raised! I'm a Native American Indian from the Maricopa Tribe located southwest of Phoenix. I began my career in the gaming industry in 1995 at Harrah's Laughlin and I've been with Harrah's Ak-Chin since 2003. During your next visit, I recommend trying the brussel chips and bruschetta at Oak & Fork or the crab legs from The Buffet. I absolutely love those dishes and I'm confident you will too. When I'm away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I promise to make your next visit a memorable stay with Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino!



Welcome! My name is Mellitta Benning. I was born in Decatur, GA and raised in Detroit, MI. I have been a role model for Caesars Entertainment for ten years, and joined the Harrah’s Ak-Chin team in August 2007. I started as a light duty cleaner and I have been climbing the ladder ever since. I am currently working towards my CPA in accounting at Grand Canyon University. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my fiancé Shaun and three beautiful children Samiya, Messiah and Amelia. I am no stranger to the entertainment industry! At an early age I began to dance and model for various local designers in my hometown of Detroit.  Entertaining is in my blood, and meeting new people is one way of learning about the world. I promise you will enjoy every aspect of Harrah’s Ak-Chin and I personally look forward to meeting you.



I was born in Brooklyn, NY, but grew up in Puerto Rico. I am half Italian, half Puerto Rican. I have a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. I have been with Caesars Entertainment for 2 years, but have been in the casino business for 28 years. I recently transferred from Harrah’s Resort Southern California to Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Arizona. I’m happily married. My wife has 2 daughters, both are studying at ASU. I have a one son and he lives in Pennsylvania. We are very excited to be here and I look forward to meet you all.



Hi, my name is Lisa Requena. I joined the Harrah’s Ak-Chin team in 2004. During my tenure, I have had the pleasure of serving our guests in the Range Steakhouse and Caesars Rewards. Now, I am honored to be part of the Senior Executive Casino Host team where I have more opportunities to provide memorable experiences to our valued guests. I am a rare Arizona resident from Casa Grande. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with family, taking venturous drives and trips.

Photo of Whitney Mason

Kaela Nichols

Hello! My name is Kaela Nichols I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca. I started my career with Caesars Entertainment in 2015 as a life guard at the Paris Las Vegas and have worked my way up to Sr Executive host. I recently moved from New Orleans, where I worked as a Sr Executive Host and am super excited to join the Harrah's AK-Chin team. When I’m not at work I enjoy exploring the area and finding new restaurants with my boyfriend. I’m so happy to be here and hope to meet you on the casino floor. 


Photo Of Amanda Leon Who Is a Casino Host At Harrah's Ak Chin


Hello, My name is Amanda Leon Guerrero. I was born and raised in San Diego, California and moved to Arizona in 2009. I’ve had the pleasure of working in the gaming industry for five years and have loved every part of it!!! Working with people is my passion. When I’m not working I’m spending time with my wonderful husband, two beautiful children and our loveable dogs, Penelope and Lucy. They keep my life interesting and fulfilling. We love going for hikes, visiting the zoo and finding new places to dine. I love my role as Senior Executive Coordinator and it would be my pleasure to assist you.

VIP Casino Hosts



Hello, my name is Stephen Kogutkiewicz. I have been with Harrah’s Ak-Chin for 2 years. In my free time you can catch me watching sports or spending time with friends and family. My goal at Harrah’s is to make it a unique experience for guests where they can have fun and enjoy each other's company. See you around!

Photo Of Debra Markgraf


After almost 4 decades as a “host” of talk and music shows on radio stations around the country, (Miami, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Phoenix) it was time to “roll the dice” and embark on a new adventure. In 2014, my background in entertainment, media, communications, sales, events, promotions, advertising and marketing was a natural fit to join the events and promotions team at Harrah’s Ak-Chin. Soon thereafter, I was asked to become a VIP host. I was born and raised in Rhode Island and attended college in Miami. I have one daughter, one cat, one Harley, love to cook and one goal – to ensure that you have a great experience while you’re visiting our property. If there’s anything I can do to “up your fun” please let me know. Have a lucky day and welcome to Harrah’s Ak-Chin!

Photo Of Ramon Diaz


Welcome, my name is Ramon Diaz and I am your VIP Host. I was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico A.K.A “I’ve been through there”.  Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed guest services and I can say that since joining the Harrah’s team in 2013, I have truly found a home for my passion! Outside of enjoying the company of Harrah’s guests, I enjoy the company of my beautiful wife, 2 kids and a pup named Niner.  My son is my favorite athlete, my daughter is my favorite artist and my wife is my best friend.  I love to coach, play multiple sports and I take any chance I get to have red or green chili on my food. On your next visit I recommend joining lady luck over at the Blackjack or 3 Card Poker tables with a refreshing drink. It is my pleasure to assist you in making your next trip to Harrah’s Ak-Chin an entertaining one!

Photo of Taylor Johns

Taylor Johns

Greetings! My name is Taylor Johns and I was born in Phoenix, but mostly grew up in the city of Las Vegas where I was first introduced to the casino and hospitality industry. I moved back to Phoenix in September of 2019 and joined the wonderful casino host team here at Harrah’s Ak-Chin later that month. I love cinema, live entertainment, a nice little karaoke night, and spending time with my three lovely nieces. Hope to see you on the casino floor and assist you in any way possible upon your arrival!

Photo of Areli Ledezma


Hello! My Name is Areli Ledezma. I’ve been a VIP Coordinator for over a year now but with Harrah’s Ak-Chin for 6 years. I love working for Harrah’s and I love working in the host department even more! I’ve been in Arizona my whole life, I’ve lived in Maricopa since 2007. I have a wonderful 8 year old daughter that looks just like me! I am a huge Netflix and Hulu show binge watcher. I love traveling and my favorite place to go is the beach! It will be my pleasure to assist you with your future trips to Harrah’s Ak-Chin and make them as memorable as possible! Have a lucky day!