Kirk Hendrick was appointed as Chair and Executive Director of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) by Governor Joe Lombardo in January 2023.
Chairman Hendrick has been a licensed attorney in Nevada for over 30 years. He began his legal career in 1991 as a litigator with a prestigious Nevada law firm. In 1993, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recruited Hendrick as a criminal prosecutor of a new Worker’s Compensation Fraud Unit. Hendrick transferred to the OAG’s Gaming Division in 1996, where he was promoted to Senior Deputy and then Chief Deputy of the Division that provides legal representation to the NGCB and the Nevada Gaming Commission. He was also chief legal counsel to the Nevada Athletic Commission for several years.
Hendrick returned to private practice in 2001, focusing on gaming and sports law matters. He then went on to join the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization as a key member of the company’s executive team from 2002 to 2017. After leaving the UFC, he founded Hendrick Sports & Entertainment, a consulting company in 2019.
Chairman Hendrick grew up in Las Vegas, and graduated from Chaparral High School. He then earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and his Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California.
Dr. Brittnie Watkins joins the Board after practicing complex commercial litigation as an attorney with Pisanelli Bice PLLC. Her practice areas included various forms of hotel and gaming litigation at the trial and appellate levels. Before earning a place in The Best Lawyers in America as a practicing attorney, Dr. Watkins served as a judicial law clerk to Justice Michael L. Douglas (Ret.) of the Supreme Court of Nevada, where she helped the Court make precedential legal determinations that ranged from intellectual property and gaming-related issues to constitutional and real property issues. In 2020, she became the first Black woman to be elected to the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors, which oversees the legal profession.
Dr. Watkins earned two bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University, with high honor in psychology and with honor in criminal justice. She also holds a master’s in criminal justice, doctor of philosophy in educational psychology, juris doctor, and master of laws in gaming and regulation from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Her academic honors include selection to the Nevada Law Journal, the Dissertation of the Year Award, the Barbara Buckley Community Service Award, and the Roosevelt Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Leadership.
Dr. Watkins is an avid community advocate. She has contributed hundreds of hours to pro bono representation and is a leader in various community organizations. Her commitment to leading with service earned her the Access to Justice Award of Excellence from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, the Silver Service Award from the Public Interest Law Association, the Circle of Support Award from the Clark County Bar Association, and the Alumni of the Year Award from UNLV.
Dr. Watkins is also a mother to three children. She enjoys coaching her children's sports teams and reading or audiobooking.
Judge George Assad (Ret.) was appointed as a Member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board to a term beginning January 29, 2023. Judge Assad previous served as a judge on the City of Las Vegas Municipal Court for nine years, from 2002-2011. He created the first drug court program in Municipal Court, achieving much success in helping people get clean and sober.
Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Assad was a prosecutor in the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, where he was the lead attorney prosecuting numerous felony jury trials, including gaming fraud and cheating cases. The judge subsequently entered private practice, handling both civil and criminal cases. Most recently, he served as a Commissioner on the Nevada Transportation Authority for over a decade.
Judge Assad received his undergraduate degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. After working his way through college, he applied to Harvard Law School and was accepted; however, he was unable to afford their tuition, so he moved to Las Vegas for better job opportunities in order to one day attend law school. He worked in the casino industry for eight years as a busboy, waiter, bartender, twenty-one dealer, dice dealer, and floor supervisor. He then earned his Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law.
The Judge considers himself blessed to have a wife, two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Having been raised by a single mom who emigrated to the United States from Syria when he was ten months old to escape Christian persecution and a dictatorial totalitarian government, he is extremely grateful to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world. Judge Assad is humbled and privileged to have served under Article One of the U.S. Constitution in the Executive Branch and Article Three, the Judicial Branch. He shares his life story so that kids from humble beginnings who may be disadvantaged and struggling in life may be inspired to achieve the American dream by studying hard in school, playing sports, saying no to illegal drugs, going to college, and pursuing their dreams.