Mitchell Etess Named Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year

Mitchell Etess Named Chamber’s Citizen of the Year

Waterford, CTMitchell Etess, longtime CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA), has been named Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.  He becomes the 65th person so honored by the region’s largest business organization.

Etess will be recognized May 27 at a banquet held in his honor at Mohegan Sun. Further details will be announced soon.

“Mitchell Etess is known throughout Connecticut and beyond for everything he has done for Mohegan Sun and for the region,” said Tony Sheridan, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT.  “He has been generous with time and resources in putting eastern Connecticut on the world map.  His leadership has helped our economy, put thousands of folks to work, and his vision continues to inspire us.  He is a dedicated family man and is active in improving Connecticut tourism at the state and local levels. He is an engaged member of the community who the region has been fortunate to have working hard for all of us.”

The Citizen of the Year award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to eastern CT’s civic and business community. Etess was selected from nominations submitted to a committee of the Chamber in February 2015. 

Etess was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority in 2006 after serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing and as a member of Mohegan Sun’s pre-opening team in 1996. He was soon promoted to Executive Vice President of Marketing, and in 2004 he became President and Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the management and operations of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania.  He evaluates the short and long-term business planning and growth strategies for MTGA and the Mohegan Tribe and leads business development efforts within the hospitality and gaming industries.

When not hard at work overseeing the operations of two giant hotels and casinos, Etess sits on the Board of the CT Tourism Advisory Committee and the CT Council for Education Reform. He was formerly Secretary for the CT Storm, a girls AAU basketball team.

Etess also finds time to work as a fitness instructor at Shoreline Fitness.

“Mitchell has served as a leader of the Mohegan organization for almost 20 years,” Robert “Bobby” Soper, Mohegan Sun’s President & CEO, remarked when nominating Etess. “In every capacity, he has been an advocate and a great contributor to the success of tourism in eastern CT. As CEO, he has created thousands of jobs and tax revenues for the state and region.  As he retires from these many years of dedication, it only seems fitting that he be recognized for this honor.”

Prior to joining MTGA, Etess worked high-level marketing positions at Players Island Resort Casino & Spa (now known as CasaBlanca) in Mesquite, Nevada and Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He is a graduate of New York’s Columbia University.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the Chamber and receive this prestigious award,” said Etess. “To be thought of in the same category as the previous recipients is truly rewarding. It has been a focus of the Tribe and mine personally that Mohegan Sun be part of the tourism community here in eastern Connecticut and I am very proud of how we have accomplished that over the years. In return, eastern Connecticut has given wholeheartedly to Mohegan Sun and MTGA, embracing us with open arms from the moment we arrived.”

Etess continued that, “The region’s dedicated people, organizations, and businesses are directly responsible for our continued success.  With eastern Connecticut’s clear support, we will keep fighting to keep Mohegan Sun as one of the premier destinations not only in the state, but in all of New England. It is a privilege to be part of eastern Connecticut and a wonderful organization like Mohegan Sun.”

The Chamber congratulates Mitchell Etess for his hard work in showcasing eastern Connecticut as a great place to live, work, and play.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available for the 65th Annual Citizen of the Year banquet.  Visit or call the Chamber office at (860) 701-9113 to inquire about availability. Follow the Chamber on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to the Chamber’s weekly eNews emailed newsletter for the latest information on Mitchell Etess and the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year ceremony.

Recent past recipients of Citizen of the Year:

  • 2014: Maria Miranda, Miranda Creative
  • 2013: Alice Fitzpatrick, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
  • 2012: Dr. Grace S. Jones, Three Rivers Community College
  • 2011: Bill Turner, (formerly of) AT&T
  • 2010: Keith Fontaine, The William W. Backus Hospital  
About the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut:
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is a collaborative of business and community leaders dedicated to securing and enhancing the economic vitality of eastern Connecticut. The Chamber works to create value for its members and the region by providing forums for business networking, leadership and discussions of issues that affect the region; providing opportunities for members to showcase their products, services and accomplishments; helping small businesses succeed through educational programs; and working to reduce the costs of doing business in Connecticut.  For more information: