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Harville Becomes Kentucky Lottery’s First Female CEO and President

Harville Becomes Kentucky Lottery’s First CEO and President

The Kentucky Lottery has recently appointed Mary Harville as the new CEO and president. Governor Andy Beshear chose Harville as the new head and the lottery’s directors gave their approval to the decision.

Harville is not new to the industry or the company. She has served as the agency’s general counsel and senior VP for more than 15 years and now she’s the Lottery’s sixth CEO and president. 

She has also worked as an attorney for a firm in Louisville and brings over 15 years of experience to the table.

While making the announcement, Kentucky Lottery Board Chairman Mark Sommer said:

“Based upon her many years of senior leadership with the Kentucky Lottery, as Board Chair I can confidently assert that Mary’s selection as CEO is a wonderful step in keeping the Kentucky Lottery moving forward to new and bigger heights.”

Harville’s appointment comes as a shock to some as the Lottery hasn’t appointed a female as a CEO in its history. Many believe that this will open new doors for females in the industry.

The position was earlier filled by Tom Delacenserie, who retired in March after three years as the CEO.

Harville - Kentucky lottery's first female CEO

The Future of Kentucky Lottery

The company appears to be doing well. Experts believe that it’s a great opportunity for Harville since the company is already recording great numbers even during the pandemic. 

The agency reported more than $1.2 billion in revenue in July for the fiscal year 2020 with an increase of 6.2% compared to the numbers recorded in 2019.

It appears that the organization is ready to have another great year. According to the latest numbers, 2021 has started on a great note. The Lottery earned more than $124.4 million in revenue in July, which is nearly 46% higher than the figures reported in July 2019.

Scratch-off games were the biggest contributor, earning $77 million, which is an increase of nearly 52% compared to last year. 

Another sector that grew strongly was the online lottery section that earned about 305% in comparison to 2019.

The organization is known to support different programs including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program designed to reward good students. 

“As a life-long Kentuckian and graduate of a Kentucky university, I am also proud to lead the organization that funds KEES scholarships for Kentucky college students, and my goal is to ensure we continue to provide this much-needed funding,” said Harville.

In the Right Direction

More women are now entering the race and are being offered the opportunity to lead major lotteries.

The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries took a major step last month when it approved its first-ever all-female committee. 

“Ensuring gender equity brings valuable depth to an organization, adding a well-rounded voice to both internal and external discussions,” said Rebecca Paul Hargrove, Women’s Initiative in Lottery Leadership Founder.