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Etess leaves posts as adviser to Mohegans, CEO of Connecticut Sun

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Mohegan — Mitchell Etess, the former top Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment executive who had served since 2015 as a senior adviser to the Mohegan Tribe and as chief executive officer of the Connecticut Sun, the tribe’s WNBA team, left those positions at the end of 2020.

James Gessner Jr., the Mohegan chairman, said through a spokesman Friday that Etess remains “part of the tribe’s extended family” and “a dear friend of the tribe.”

“Eventually, everything has to come to an end,” Etess, 63, said in a phone interview.

In his role as senior adviser, Etess worked on the design plan for the Tribal Winds Casino that the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes have proposed building in East Windsor. The tribes announced in December that they were temporarily shelving the project while focusing on their existing facilities, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Etess, who had represented the Connecticut Sun on the WNBA Board of Governors, relinquished that role last year to Kathy Regan-Pyne, a member of the Mohegan Tribal Council.

Gessner said Etess has had “an incredible influence” on everything the Mohegan Tribe has achieved over the past 25 years.

Etess joined Mohegan Sun prior to its 1996 opening, serving as senior vice president of marketing. In 2004, he became president and CEO of the casino and in 2006 also became president and CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which has since been renamed Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. MGE oversees all of the tribe’s gaming ventures.

Etess became CEO of the basketball team in 2003, and relinquished his role as president and CEO of Mohegan Sun in 2011. After retiring in 2015, he returned as CEO of MGE for several months in 2017 following the resignation of his successor, Bobby Soper.

In 2015, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut presented Etess with its Citizen of the Year Award.

A Lyme resident, Etess serves on the board of directors of Brinks Home Security.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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