Gavin named businesswoman of the year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2016

Felicia D. Gavin, executive vice president and general manager for Diamondjacks Casino & Hotel in Vicksburg, was named Mississippi’s Business Woman of the Year for 2016 Thursday by the Mississippi Business Journal.

Gavin said she was nominated by someone, likely a previous nominee, and she was sent an application.

“I went through the application process, and they notified me back in the fall to let me know I was selected for the top 50,” she said. “At that point the top 50 ladies had a conference and retreat.”

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Gavin went the banquet with six coworkers and her husband to receive her award. Once they skipped her name, she eventually realized she would be honored in the top 10 businesswomen. Again, they skipped her name, and she said she was thrilled when the thought she might have won.

“They called the other nine, and then they said, ‘we are pleased to present to you our woman of the year,’ and they called my name,” she said. “I was speechless. I was like ‘oh my God. I did this. I won.’”

Gavin said she was humbled to even be nominated and really humbling to make it to the top 10 and down to the overall winner.

“It was a really proud moment for me and my team,” she said. “There were several team members from my executive staff there and they were all extremely proud and extremely excited for me.”

Gavin manages 25 departments consisting of more than 350 team members and an annual budget of $50 million. Additionally, she serves as regional vice-president of finance and is responsible for the overall financial reporting of the casino.

A Bastrop, La., native, Gavin received her doctorate from Jackson State University and an MBA from Mississippi College.

Prior to joining Diamondjacks, she served the Office of the Governor as director of administration and fiscal policy.

Gavin is an active member of the Anderson United Methodist Church and serves as a board member for the Pigs In Flight Children’s Museum. Married with one daughter, Gavin enjoys reading, shopping and cooking on the grill in her spare time.