Solsiree McGowan was born and raised in the small town of La Chorrera, west of Panama City (Panama), surrounded by a loving family that taught her the ethical and moral values that have helped her to be the great person she is today. She was always characterized by being an excellent, responsible student with outstanding grades throughout her school life. From her childhood, she always had goals and a clear objective of becoming a successful executive, so she graduated from Industrial Engineering and decided to emigrate to the United States to study and learn English. While living in New Jersey, Solsiree met her husband and began her career at Gaming Laboratories International as a Quality Control Engineer, supporting accreditations to the company’s ISO standards. Then, this executive transitioned to the Compliance department, ending up with the management of the Western Region. This implied her relocation to the city of Las Vegas, where she is residing right now. In 2020, ‘Sol,’ like she prefers to be called, accepted the offer to be Director of Product Compliance for the large slot manufacturer Scientific Games, where she currently works with an excellent team of professionals that provides services around the globe.
A CULTURE OF SERVICE
When sharing her vision of the gaming sector, she admits that what really attracted her is the culture of service. Despite being global, she considers the industry as a big family, with all of its members helping each other while maintaining the integrity of the game to give players an invaluable experience. “Once your career in gaming begins, it is impossible to give up the camaraderie and the geniality of its members. I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made, and, as a bonus, it landed me in Vegas, so I can’t complain,” this businesswoman admits with a smile in her face.
About her daily activities, she defines her job as “truly wonderful.” Regarding her experience and her relationships with her industry’s colleagues, she maintains: “I can say without a doubt that I know by heart the regulatory technical requirements in the industry for almost 90% of jurisdictions in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. I have personally worked with many of the industry regulators to establish these procedures, and I am very pleased to have been part of GLI University program. That experience gave me the opportunity to share basic knowledge in many of the technologies used by the industry. Honestly, for me, earning the trust of both regulators and manufacturers has been the most rewarding part of my career. In the same way, I have had mentors in the compliance area that I will always thank for the knowledge, but I will never stop learning.”
WOMEN CONTRIBUTION TO GAMING
Another key topic to Sol is women presence’s influence over different industries. About this issue, she states: “We cannot forget that the gaming industry has historically been a male-dominated industry, but to increase female presence is no longer a challenge, because women are ready to take on it and I feel that we are here to stay. Women have been breaking in for several years in roles previously regarded as masculine, both in technical and executive areas. The results have opened the doors to women like me.” Besides, in a wider analysis, she says: “The role of women in each of the societies depends on many factors that condition our lives, such as culture, education, traditions and even religion. As we progress, these factors have tilted in our favor. Women have assumed many important roles in the gaming industry while we have maintained respect for diversity. With our intelligence and intuition, we have shown that women can develop in any role that we set out to and that’s why every day we see women’s participation in all sectors growing.”
BALANCING PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL MOMENTS
In a more personal approach, McGowan affirms she enjoys both personal and professional sides of her life. Some people call her a workaholic, but she thinks they exaggerate. She even admits that there are spaces in which she can have some fun while working. About this life focus, she explains: “For me, catching up at gaming shows and events was always a pleasure more than a duty. The fact that I truly enjoy what I do has made things so much easier when it comes down to the work/life balance. After the computer is off for the day, I get in my car and turn the music up very loud on my way home to decompress long workdays. By the time I get home, I have left work behind and I get to enjoy a nice home cooked dinner while watching Grey’s Anatomy.”
ON FAMILY VALUES AND THE WORKING TEAM
During this interview, she reveals herself as a very friendly person, who values and highlights human bonds. “For me, family and integrity are my greatest treasures. I have always been a hard worker seeking for perfection when completing projects. Over the course of my professional life, I have had the opportunity to earn the trust not only of my supervisors, but also of the regulators and clients, with which I have had the opportunity to work with. I consider my coworkers as family, and I will always try my best to make sure we never leave a man behind. Everyone who knows me, including my friends and family, describe me as a sweet, loving and unconditionally loyal person. I talk to my sister and my closest friends daily. I’m always looking out for them, making sure they are ok and, if anything comes up, I’m always the first person they call because they know I will figure something out, and I usually do. I am often told that I have a big heart because of my willingness to do anything for anyone. Life is too short, and I would do anything to enjoy it to the fullest with a big smile,” she tells, with true honesty and warmth in the heart.
MAIN INTERESTS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
Of course, in addition to work, there is also pleasure. Solsiree does not hesitate to describe her hobbies and interests. In that sense, she comments: “My biggest passion is traveling the world and getting to know the different cultures and historic sites. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to visit 19 countries and have plenty more in my bucket list. I am a lover of America’s National and State Parks. On weekends, you will find my husband and me hiking a new trail somewhere in Nevada or Utah.” She also has different activities. Since Sol enjoys nature and being outside, she decided to cultivate her own rose garden. Every week, she decorates her house with fresh roses. She also loves listening to music and often finds herself singing out loud, which has turned into many fun Karaoke nights with close friends. Shopping is also a must to her. She can never resist a nice pair of high heels or a summer dress, but most importantly, she enjoys buying gifts for the people she cares. Moreover, reading is a big part of her life, from magazine articles to books. Now, she has even joined the Scientific Games’ book club, which has been an amazing experience and a great way to meet people.
When asked about her future perspectives and aspirations for the next 5 years, she replies: “At a professional level from the manufacturers’ side, the most important thing for me is to continue learning and contribute to business with strategies to establish ourselves in the market as leaders. I am fortunate to work with an extraordinary, tireless team that ensures our equipment is manufactured to the highest quality and according to industry standards. I am sure that Scientific Games will be my home for a long time.” Regarding her personal view on upcoming experiences, she makes a confession. “I have changed the way I look at life. I think this past year has shown us that the future is not promised, and life can completely change overnight. It’s all about enjoying the people I love, practicing gratitude, living life authentically, doing good deed for others and always finding the silver lining. At a personal level, I will keep moving forward with these views on life and continue with my pursuit of happiness,” she concludes.
In one line
A book: “Your Erroneous Zones” (Wayne Dyer, 1976)
A movie: “The Notebook” (Nick Cassavetes, 2004), because I’m an endless romantic
Favorite music: As a good Latina, I listen to all kinds of music and I love to dance, but in my quiet moments, I prefer country music
A perfume: For years, I loved ‘Glow after dark’, by Jennifer Lopez, and now, ‘Good Girl’, by Carolina Herrera, is my new favorite
A place to live: My beautiful Panama
A place for the summer: Nothing like Miami
A place to eat: My favorite place is right here in Las Vegas, with a view of the Bellagio fountains: ‘Mon Ami Gabi’, at the Paris Hotel
A meal: A good steak and any food that has cheese. I love cheese!
A drink: Riesling (a white grape variety from Germany) is my favorite, unless I’m in Argentina, where I must have Malbec wine
A sport: I love playing tennis, and I love watching football as well
A teacher/mentor: I wouldn’t be who I am in the industry if it wasn’t for what I learned from Karen Sierra-Hughes, an amazing person and professional