Carole Hedinger, New Jersey Lottery executive director, has announced her retirement, which was effective December 31, 2017.
Hedinger began her lottery career as deputy executive director of the New Jersey Lottery in 1994. She became acting director in 2003, serving for a year before moving on to the position of chief clerk at the Ocean County Surrogate Court in 2004. Hedinger served in that capacity until June 2010 when Governor Chris Christie selected her to lead the Lottery as its executive director. She brought three decades of experience as a Certified Public Accountant to her new role.
Charged with shaping the future of the Lottery, Hedinger's tenure at the Lottery was filled with achievements that exemplified her leadership skills and visionary approach, resulting in new product offerings that have positively impacted the gaming industry. The Lottery initiated many innovative industry firsts by using advanced technology, fresh marketing techniques and product development, to engage the public.
As executive director, Hedinger managed significant changes at the New Jersey Lottery, including Lottery's successful transition with Northstar New Jersey Lottery, LLC which included the restructuring of Lottery's operations and staffing to enhance operational efficiency and productivity. The New Jersey Lottery delivered sales of more than $3.2 billion in FY 2017 that contributed nearly a billion dollars in net funds to public education and other state institutions that serve the people of New Jersey.
Under Hedinger's direction, the Lottery achieved financial successes while maintaining a strong commitment to responsible gaming. The New Jersey Lottery is one of the few lotteries in the nation to achieve Level 4 Certification in Responsible Gaming from the World Lottery Association.
Hedinger received the prestigious Lottery Industry Statesperson Award given by the Public Gaming Research Institute (PGRI). Award recipients are selected based on achieving historically significant accomplishments that have contributed to the great success of government lotteries during their years of work in the industry. Hedinger is the first woman and only the fifth person to receive this respected award.
"Receiving the Lottery Industry Statesperson Award is a sincere honor. It validates the pioneering work achieved by the New Jersey Lottery to explore new ideas to create a lasting and positive impact that benefits the State of New Jersey and the lottery industry at large." said Hedinger.
The Statesperson Award complements the PGRI Major Peter J. O'Connell Lottery Industry Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Hedinger in 2016 in recognition of her dedication, contribution and great success in managing a government lottery.
Hedinger has served in several leadership positions including a term as president in 2011 with the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the AICPA Council.
She currently serves as the Region 1 Director for the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.
Hedinger previously served on Gov. Christie's Sports, Gaming & Entertainment Transition Team and Gov. Whitman's Education Transition Team. She is the current Chair of the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital's Community Advisory Board, former member of the Georgian Court University Planned Giving Council and the Board of Trustees for Stockton University of New Jersey, chairing the board from 1997 to 1999.
John White, deputy director of finance, will become acting executive director effective January 1, 2018. "Following Carole as Lottery director is the equivalent of following a legend. She truly knows and understands every aspect of the lottery industry. She has worked extensively during her career to help make the New Jersey State Lottery one of the top performing lotteries in the world," White said.
"Carole's years of exemplary leadership of the Lottery have been invaluable to the State and Lottery's beneficiaries," said State Treasurer Ford M. Scudder. "She is widely recognized across the government-run lottery industry for being an innovative and talented leader."