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Las Vegas, NV (Dec. 21, 2009) – The Women's Chamber of Commerce of Nevada presented MGM MIRAGE Vice President of Corporate Diversity and Community Affairs Debra Nelson with its top award for leadership during the 6th Annual ATHENA Awards celebration held Dec. 11 at Cili's Restaurant at Bali Hai Golf Course.

The ATHENA awards annually recognize women in Southern Nevada for their outstanding professional achievements.

In addition to the ATHENA Leadership award, the Chamber also honored Marissa Hawkins, Owner of Facelogic Spa & Massage Envy, with its "Young Professional Leadership" award; and Melanie Martin, who is known as "Melanie in the Morning" on radio station Sunny 106.5 FM with its "Women in Performing Arts, Entertainment and Media" award.

"The Women's Chamber is very pleased to present this award to Debra," said June Beland, Founder, President and CEO of the Women's Chamber. "The standards for winning this award are set very high, and Debra was given this award because she has a true commitment to helping other women while building her own career."

Honorees are selected by the ATHENA Selection Committee, which consists of Women's Chamber members from throughout the U.S. Applicants for the award are narrowed down to a final five nominees, and winners are selected on a scoring system that reflects the level of commitment to the community.

Nelson, who has worked at MGM MIRAGE since 2005, previously held positions related to diversity management and communications at DaimlerChrysler, the Chrysler Group, and Mercedes-Benz USA. For her contributions at Mercedes-Benz USA, and at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International where she helped introduce the company and its new product to a global market, automotive journalists named her "Woman of the Year" for impacting diversity within the industry.

Additionally, she has held appointments in higher education and broadcast media.

Her substantial board service in the Las Vegas community includes College of Southern Nevada (CSN) Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Nevada, Nevada HAND, Las Vegas Clark County Urban League, KB Home Community Advisory Board and the Urban Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as President.

She is a founding board member of the Chief Diversity Officers Roundtable, established in 2006 at Cornell University. Comprised of senior diversity officers representing America's Fortune 500 companies, the roundtable promotes the practice of diversity within corporate America.

In Nevada, she alone founded the Diversity Professionals Network as a platform for diversity professionals to network, share best practices, and to explore ways to enhance the stature of the diversity profession. In 2007, she was the catalyst for Las Vegas' inaugural Women of Color Conference, which has since become an annual event attracting hundreds of participants and garnering local and national news coverage. She was named one of Southern Nevada's "2008 Women to Watch" by In Business Las Vegas, a weekly business publication.

The Women's Chamber of Commerce supports college students, women in top positions, small-to-large businesses, corporate executives, government employees and all women in the workforce. Its mission is to create an economic community for women through education, training, networking, partnerships and alliance. It also promotes growth, diversity and economic development of women and minority women, to achieve the integration of women into leadership roles.

MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM), one of the world's leading and most respected companies with significant holdings in gaming, hospitality and entertainment, owns and operates 15 properties located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has 50% investments in four other properties in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois and Macau. CityCenter, an unprecedented urban metropolis on the Las Vegas Strip, is a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE and Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World. MGM MIRAGE Hospitality has entered into management agreements for casino and non-casino resorts throughout the world. MGM MIRAGE supports responsible gaming and has implemented the American Gaming Association's Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming at its properties. MGM MIRAGE has received numerous awards and recognitions for its industry-leading Diversity Initiative and its community philanthropy programs. For more information about MGM MIRAGE, please visit the Company's Web site at

Media Contacts:

Yvette Monet
MGM MIRAGE Public Affairs
3260 Industrial Road, Las Vegas NV 89109
Office (702) 650-6942

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