Bernice Jaeger was one of the first women in Las Vegas to penetrate the then male-dominated field of hotel administration. When Bernice started working at the Riviera in 1973, women represented only about one-tenth of Las Vegas hotel administrators across the board. Executives like Inez Rambeau, Bernice’s first mentor, encouraged young women in their goals to attain executive positions.
Bernice Jaeger was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 27, 1934. Bernice graduated from high school, but left college early to marry Ivan Jaeger on June 20, 1955. Ivan Jaeger and his family were involved in the so-called underground gaming industry in the Midwest. When the Midwest gaming industry shut down in 1961, he and Bernice relocated their growing family to Las Vegas.
Bernice earned a degree in hotel administration in 1974 from Clark County Community College. Soon after, Inez Rambeau hired Bernice as her secretary at the Riviera. Over the following years, Bernice worked with a number of prominent hotel directors, including Dick Chappell at the Riviera and Ed Torres at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. In 1985, Bernice met Ira Levy, the new owner of the Continental Hotel and Casino. Impressed by her background and knowledge of the hotel industry, Levy hired Bernice immediately as his assistant general manager, a position she held for twelve years.
Bernice later earned a master’s degree in counseling at UNLV in 2003. Bernice now works for Legal Rehabilitation Services, leading court-mandated group counseling for people in domestic violence situations. In 1981, Bernice was rewarded for her efforts when she received the Clark County Working Mother of the Year award. She was honored again in 1995 with her inclusion in Distinguished Women of Southern Nevada.
Photo courtesy of Bernice Jaegar.
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