Student Spotlight: Paula J. Wojtkowski

UT College of Business Administration student Paula Wojtkowski shares a unique perspective with her Executive Master of Business Administration class. In addition to serving in the U.S. Navy for six years, Wojtkowski has over 10 years of professional experience working with Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Paula WojtkowskiIn 1996, Wojtkowski joined the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as the political appointee executive secretary as part of the office of the principal chief. As part of her three years of service for the chief, she participated in strategic planning with the tribe’s executive leadership team, serving as a liaison between the chief and her 12,500 member constituency as well as with state and national tribal lobbyists. In 1999, Wojtkowski joined Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel as entertainment manager. In this role, she performed and evaluated market research and quantitative analysis to determine customer preferences, and she developed and managed a $5 million+ operating/capital budget. By 2002, she was chosen as a tribal representative to the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise’s board of advisors, working to develop and execute business strategies (including legislative approvals), communication strategies, and public relations strategies to meet business demands.

In 2006, Wojtkowski was promoted to customer service director for the casino and hotel enterprise, where she works closely with the human resources department and general manager to develop and execute strategies to meet the business’ demands. She works to provide leadership and coordination of proactive product strategies (from conception to implementation) for all resort products, services, and amenities for both guests and employees. Most recently, she was promoted to a new position as the property-wide site leader of continuous improvement, also known as LEAN processes.

Wojtkowski earned her bachelor of science degree in communication with a concentration in public relations at Western Carolina University before pursuing her MBA at UT.

“As a member of the tribe and senior management team at Harrah's Cherokee, I wanted to further my education to improve my ability to contribute to the team,” Wojtkowski said. “The casino is the tribe's main source of revenue, so everyone's contribution is key. Also it's long been a dream of mine to obtain an advanced degree.”

Wojtkowski continued, “I'm very pleased with the UT Executive MBA program! The people, program, and value are outstanding. I would highly recommend this program to any working professional/executive who's looking at similar programs.”

In addition to her professional and academic commitments, Wojtkowski serves on the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority fundraising board. She lives on the Qualla Boundary with her husband Paul. The couple has one son, Michael Nicholas (Nic) Allen Taylor, and one grandson, Auron Michael Taylor, who is one-year old. The family enjoys camping, reading, travel, cooking, time with family and friends, and collecting native art.

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