When the Silver Slipper Casino opened in November of 2006, it became the first land-based casino on the Mississippi Coast to be built from the ground up. The 100,000 square foot facility offers gaming, entertainment and fine dining, as well as employing over 600 people..
Even before construction began, John Ferrucci has served as COO and General Manager. Ferrucci moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1993 to continue a gaming industry career that began in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he started off as a blackjack dealer.
Part of a “big, loving Italian family,” Ferrucci worked his way through college in restaurants. After obtaining a master’s degree in education, for a time he served as Director of Vocational Education for the state of New Jersey. Yet his love of good food beckoned, leading him to purchase an Italian restaurant before taking on a job with Ceasar’s Casino in 1980.
Ferrucci’s knowledge of the restaurant business is one reason the Silver Slipper’s food has garnered numerous accolades through the years.
“I learned that if food service is handled properly, it’s a casino’s number two tool in attracting people and maintaining a loyal following,” says Ferrucci.
What’s the number one tool?
“Employees,” says Ferrucci. “Our employees are courteous and well-trained – and many are actively involved in the community. I feel like giving back is a smart thing to do and try to support my employees in their civic work.”
Ferrucci provides a good example himself. He’s served on the Hancock County Tourism Development board for six years and has been a member of the Chamber board for three. He’s also a proponent of the Bay St. Louis’s Mississippi Blues Trail venue, 100 Men Hall, and the Silver Slipper is a sponsor of the non-profit. This summer, his dedication was recognized with the 100 Men Hall Visionary Award.
“I have a great staff,” Ferrucci says. “They have a natural inclination to help out in the community and we reinforce that with recognition and support. If you have to work for a living, it doesn’t get much better than that.”