Center for Gaming Research
UNLVGamingReseach on Facebook UNLVGaming on Twitter
The Gaming Hall of Fame

2007 Inductee

John Wilhelm

John Wilhelm

Industry Leader


John Wilhelm (b. 19??) is one of the foremost union leaders in gaming history.

Throughout his career as a union leader and organizer, Wilhelm has established himself as an innovative leader by utilizing creative organizing and corporate strategies, demonstrating a strong commitment to rank-and-file member participation, reaching out to workers across ethnic and language barriers, and building positive, mutually beneficial relationships with employers. 

As president of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE), Wilhelm has negotiated many collective bargaining agreements on behalf of its members and has built a reputation for tenacity when conflicts have arisen with employers.  In 2004, Wilhelm joined with UNITE President Bruce Raynor to lead to establish UNITE HERE!, creating a union of 450,000 members and joining two of the most dynamic and progressive unions in the North American labor movement.

Wilhelm began representing his union, known in Nevada as the Culinary Union, when he came to Las Vegas 20 years ago.  The partnership he helped establish with most of the major gaming companies has been a critically important part of the success of Las Vegas, and is increasingly important in Atlantic City and other markets. 

His consistent message has been that good working and living conditions for gaming employees and a focus on training and excellent customer service, are key to the gaming industry's growth and its profitability. 

As a Congressionally-appointed member of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, he and his union's members succeeded in presenting the positive value of the industry.  His advocacy of a legislative alliance between gaming and labor, and of strong cooperative work on training, health care, and other issues, has helped make the gaming industry an example for the rest of the business community.

Further resources


Hall of Fame home

© 2013 University of Nevada, Las Vegas >
Last modified Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT



This page last updated Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT .