Wendeen H. Eolis (born October 13, 1944) is Chair of Eolis International Group, an attorney search and legal/government affairs consultancy (specializing in partner searches, legal counsel retentions, and attorney career transitions),founder of Eolis Institute for Leadership, an executive leadership consultancy (specializing in negotiation, decision strategies, and executive coaching), and founder of Wendeen Eolis Enterprises, a legal/ business affairs consultancy responsible for setting policy and spearheading EOLIS business operations. Eolis is consulted as a special advisor to corporate boards in evaluation and vetting of lawyers/law firms….

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‘Nowhere near close’: The bond between Trump and Giuliani is less than it appears

By Marc Fisher
April 23, 2018

Before President Trump hired Rudolph W. Giuliani to defend him in the Russia investigation, before Giuliani delivered a hotblooded, fists-clenched speech on Trump’s behalf at the 2016 Republican National Convention, the most sensational moment in the duo’s long history came when Trump kissed Giuliani on the breast.

The former New York mayor was dressed in drag. The kiss was part of a spoof show in 2000 for a good cause. Elliot Cuker, the stage director who made it happen, said he picked Trump to pair up with Giuliani because “he’s a terrific actor, period. There was no strong connection between them.”

On the surface, the president and the man he has now turned to for a defense against special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of alleged Trump campaign ties with Russia share some similarities. Trump and Giuliani are both street-savvy New Yorkers, Yankees fans and political populists with a passion for straight, blunt talk.

But the notion that Giuliani and Trump have a special bond does not comport with the recollections of people who worked closely with both men in the 1980s and 1990s, when the mayor and the real estate developer were two of the biggest names in the nation’s largest city.

“They were nowhere near close in spirit or how they operated,” said Cuker, a dealer in classic cars who was friends with Giuliani for many years. “Back then, Donald was more concerned with his image, his playfulness, a different kind of narcissism, whereas Rudy was much more conservative, more drawn into himself. I never saw a real bond between them. Whatever relationship they had was convenient for both.”

Both men relished being in the public eye, going to great lengths to build their images. Both were mainstays in New York tabloid headlines and regular guests on David Letterman’s TV show and Don Imus’s and Howard Stern’s radio broadcasts.

“Rudy was prepared to work very hard for applause and so was Donald Trump,” said Wendeen Eolis, a former adviser to Giuliani who runs a legal consulting firm in Manhattan. “Rudy became very well known in the later years for being not just blunt, but also critical for effect, and I think it’s fair to say they share that trait.”

But Eolis said the two men were too different to have been buddies. “I believe Donald is savvy about encouraging relationships, both for his business purposes and his personal convenience,” she said. “I do not recall the name Donald Trump coming to Rudy’s lips in the consideration of a government initiative, only as a reaction to coverage of him.”

Others who worked with the two say it was Trump who sought favor from the mayor, although at least on paper the relationship went both ways.

In 1989, Trump was co-chairman of Giuliani’s first major fundraiser in his first run for mayor; the event pulled in $850,000. But Trump also donated that year to Giuliani’s opponent, Democrat David Dinkins. And the developer said on several occasions that his primary motive in the race was making sure that Mayor Ed Koch (D), with whom Trump had had a long feud, did not win a fourth term.

A decade later, when Giuliani was running for a U.S. Senate seat from New York, Trump again held a fundraiser for him, at $500 a head. About the same time, Giuliani let it be known that he was supportive of a Trump run for president as a Reform Party candidate. Some news reports from the time said Giuliani was drawn to a Trump candidacy because the developer in those days described himself as a “liberal.” (Giuliani at the time was a vocal defender of gun control, gay rights and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.)

Things do change, but Trump’s role in Giuliani’s campaigns remained consistent. He raised money for the former mayor, but not exclusively. In 2007, Trump again chaired a fundraiser for Giuliani, who was considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination. About the same time, Trump held a fundraiser for a presidential candidate seeking the Democratic nod: Hillary Clinton.

Trump went on Stern’s show to explain himself: “I’d like her to win on the Democratic side, Rudy to win on the Republican side,” he said. “I have to, you know, make a decision . . . but they’re both great people, Howard.”

Trump and Giuliani first ran across each other in the 1980s, when Giuliani was U.S. attorney in Manhattan and Trump was cultivating his celebrity in service of building a real estate empire.

Trump was the youngster in a New York rat pack of business bigwigs who would hang out together at a members-only spot called Le Club, or in Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s suite at the stadium in the Bronx. The group included Steinbrenner, Fox media magnate Rupert Murdoch, Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, and Roy Cohn, Trump’s first and most important lawyer and fixer.

“Donald was the young guy who hung out with them,” said a New York executive who knew the group well, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Rudy was much closer to Iacocca and Steinbrenner. He and Donald never really socialized. They were very different people.”

As Giuliani entered politics, Trump became a booster of his career, arguing that the former prosecutor would be good for developers and tough on crime.

But Giuliani was at times wary of Trump. In 1989, after Trump bought full-page ads in New York newspapers calling for the execution of “roving bands of wild criminals [who] roam our neighborhoods,” Giuliani, then running for mayor, said that he didn’t endorse the Trump ads but that they contributed to “a healthy debate.” Trump was then days away from co-chairing Giuliani’s first big fundraiser.

A decade later, when Trump proposed building the world’s tallest all-residential tower on Manhattan’s East Side, Giuliani, still mayor, declined to take a position even as many residents denounced the plan as overbearing and aesthetically overwrought. Neighbors criticized the mayor for his uncharacteristic silence but Trump, asked about Giuliani’s reticence, said, “I am very respectful of his stance.”

The building, which has 72 stories although its elevator buttons go up to 90, was completed in 2001 and held the world record for height for about two years.

Trump and Giuliani did occasionally find themselves on the same side in New York City. They positioned themselves against what Trump called “the civics” — the historic preservationists, housing advocates and social-service providers who often fought his real estate proposals.

But the relationship didn’t blossom until after Giuliani endorsed Trump for president in April 2016, after Trump had vanquished most of the Republican field. Giuliani had been openly skeptical of his candidacy before that, slamming Trump’s proposal to ban immigration by Muslims and pushing back when Trump falsely contended that “thousands” of Muslims had gathered in New Jersey to cheer the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

After the endorsement, Giuliani’s tone changed. He praised Trump’s suggestion that Giuliani help lead a task force on radical Islam.

“Rudy saw a path to becoming secretary of state, and from then on, he was all in,” said a former aide to Giuliani who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank about his ex-boss.

Disappointed when he didn’t get the job as the nation’s top diplomat, Giuliani stepped away from Trump for a time, said several former associates. But he was willing to sign up as the president’s lawyer as a possible step toward a top administration position, they said.

Some of Giuliani’s friends worry that he is reentering Trump’s orbit only to be disappointed by a president who seeks his services for this job alone. They say the two men have used each other through the years, but have no real bond.

Cuker, who put the two together for the 2000 kiss, said his purpose in staging the encounter was to humanize the mayor, then in his second term.

“By that point, everyone thought he was such a b——, so I thought people should see that he has a sense of humor,” said Cuker, who directed the Inner Circle show, a charity event put on by reporters who cover New York politics.

The director said Trump took it upon himself to bury his face in Giuliani’s breast. Trump’s instructions had been only to act as if he were attracted to Giuliani’s voluptuous character, “Rudia.”

“He did the kiss himself,” Cuker said. “He was spontaneous and open to it, and those are the earmarks of a real showman.”

Using Card and Board Games to Keep Minds Sharp (Excerpt)

By Amy Zipkin
Dec. 4, 2015

As people age, ways to keep the mind sharp are becoming one of their latest obsessions. A Brain Health Research study released in 2014 by AARP found that those questioned believed maintaining mental acuity (37 percent) was second only to a healthy heart (51 percent) in sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

While many older people are attracted to mind challenges and computer games, others like Mr. Wieder embrace competition in tried-and-true games like bridge, poker and chess.

The American Contract Bridge League, based in Horn Lake, Miss., estimates that 95 percent of its more than 167,000 members are over 55. About 12,000 new members join annually.

The United States Chess Federation, based in Crossville, Tenn., says its membership has grown to 85,000, from 75,000, in the last five years, and the number of those over 55 increased to 16,300 from 14,500. Membership rates range from $40 to $122.

And participation in the main World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas by those 50 and older increased to 4,193 players in 2015, from 2,707 players in 2009. Buy-ins to the various World Series of Poker competitions vary, from as little as $75 at satellite tournaments to as much as $10,000 for some competitions. Typically, the top 10 percent take home some winnings.

While tournament poker is limited to states where gambling is legal, like Nevada and New Jersey, an avid bridge player can play at some 3,300 local clubs or travel to three-day sectionals and seven-day regional events, all under the auspices of the American Contract Bridge League.

Wendeen H. Eolis, 71, founder of Eolis International Group in New York City, a legal recruiting and legal management consulting firm, was the first woman to finish in the money at the main event World Series of Poker, in 1986, and is considered a pioneer in bringing more women into the game. She has stepped away from the intensity of competing at the highest levels but is confident that the benefits endure. “Negotiation is a way of life,” she said.


By Steve Ruddock


January 26, 2015

Almost a decade after Barbara Freer broke the glass ceiling for women, another woman took the next step.

In 1986 Wendeen Eolis became the first woman to cash in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Eolis finished 25th in the tournament, receiving what amounts to a refund on her $10,000 buy-in, and more importantly, a place in poker history.

It was another three years before another woman, Carmen Valenti, made the money at the 1989 WSOP Main Event, and the next instance occurred in 1993, when both Marsha Waggoner and Wendeen Eolis cashed, finishing in 19th and 20th place respectively.

Again, poker’s gender gap may seem pathetic in 2014 (where 282 women played in the Main Event), but just 20 years ago, not in 1955 but 1995, you would have trouble rounding up enough female entrants to fill a single poker table.


By: Nolan Dalla (Noted Author and WSOP Media Director)
Jun 26, 2014

Wendeen Eolis defies description. But I’ll try. She’s been at the center of New York City power politics for nearly four decades. She’s befriended world leaders — from Prince Albert of Monaco to Nelson Mandela. Her work frequently puts her in the company of powerful people.

She is the Chairman of Eolis International a company that evaluates lawyers and law firms for the legal profession, big business, corporate boards, and governments. She established the first attorney headhunting company in the world—45+ years ago—and then established a singular niche in reviewing whole law firms. Her stamp of approval assists lawyers and law firms with promising legal careers and potential clients –often with a simple phone call. (Her silence is a dreaded reference). She’s served as an advisor to mayors and governors, the federal government and government agencies overseas. Since 9.11, Wendeen has been increasingly involved in vetting lawyers for governments and survivors (and in related humanitarian initiatives) in the aftermath of catastrophes—terrorist incidents and weather-related events– bringing her to some of the most dangerous and ravished ports of call. Oh, and she knows a thing or two about poker and the casino industry, too.

Wendeen was the first woman ever to cash in the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, in 1986 and she was the first woman to cash in the main event twice. In 2000 the A & E Biography Channel did a “Biography Special” featuring Wendeen which can be seen on you tube. But her accomplishments in poker haven’t necessarily taken place in front of the cameras in recent years. Rather, they were far more often behind the scenes. Wendeen was one of the first to openly speak out and work tirelessly towards making poker rooms in America smoke-free. She is passionate about the game and the business and is a leading activist in promoting a favorable environment for poker competition as a game of skill and fun.

She has written extensively about the business of poker and the legal and legislative battles surrounding the gaming industry, especially online poker. She writes with the perspective of a unique insider— player, gaming consultant, and government advisor. She supports regulated online gaming.

When you see Wendeen at a poker tournament, she’s almost always surrounded by the most powerful people in the room — be it friends including Jack Binion, Lyle Berman, Mitch Garber, Ty Stewart, and a host of other executives who have made major contributions to the game — to strangers who wonder who “that woman with the funny hat” is.

My favorite Wendeen story (and I have many) is as follows. About 15 years ago, I stood with Wendeen in long hallway at one of the largest poker events in the country. At the time, two of the biggest moguls in the game were Jack Binion and Bob Stupak. As we were talking, Binion appeared at one end of the hall. Quite by coincidence, clear at the other end of the hall, Bob Stupak was seen. Both casino legends caught a glimpse of Wendeen. The immediately dropped what they were doing and instantly paraded towards her. Wendeen, not knowing who exactly to turn towards and greet first (who do you turn first towards among those two giants?) stood as both men gracefully walked up to Wendeen. As if Queen Elizabeth herself was standing at her throne, both greeted her at the same time. All Wendeen had to do was stand there, reach out her hand, and accept simultaneous greetings from the biggest names in the casino business.

That’s who Wendeen is.

Wendeen has met just about anyone who’s famous, especially if they have ever been connected to the legal profession or high level New York politicians. Although an independent politically speaking, she’s advised more Republicans over the years, driven by her close friendships and associations with New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York Governor George Pataki. However, the always pragmatic Wendeen has also worked closely with many Democrats, including officials in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations. Wendeen doesn’t really concern herself with labels. All she cares about is working with top decision makers (she doesn’t like going through intermediaries tom get answers) and reliable people she can trust and those who can get the job done.

Although she’s not a lawyer by trade, she has a worldwide data base that contains lots of information about them. She also knows many of the most successful attorneys and judges in the country, personally and has established herself as a top resource when lawyers or law firms are needed for a complicated matter. Wendeen can make or break careers with either a recommendation or an abstention, making hers a most coveted endorsement.

Naturally, with such power comes fear and even opposition. Wendeen is not short on personal or business “philosophy” and pursues her principles —aggressively. She is certainly controversial. She has acquired some sworn enemies along the way. But her friends are aplenty and she considers them “her treasures.” Anyone who has dealt with Wendeen has a definite opinion about her!

And she most certainly has lived a life full of adventure-for a fascinating book that may one day come to pass. I deeply appreciate Wendeen taking time from her busy schedule, traveling the world, to join “Facing the Firing Squad.”

Visit Wendeen Eolis’ business website HERE

What are some of the things you stand for?

Civility at the negotiating table, and dancing as fast as I can.

What are some of the things you stand against?

Obsessive needs for control (including my own, on occasion) and white carbs, which never seem to forgive my indulgence.

What living person do you admire the most, and why?

Alvin Toffler—the futurist’s sage advice in the 70’s “Computerize your data base and work from a home-office,” And so I did!

What historical figure do you admire the most, and why?

Descartes, whose words, “I think, therefore I am,” provide a constant reminder of a human’s most distinguishing trait.

What living person do you despise?

Richard Cheney for an unconcealed high opinion of himself while making clear only his inability to tell the difference between his truth and world reality.

If money were not an object, what profession would you chose?

Every evolving moment of my career as a negotiator; I like when the alarm clock rings, calling me into action.

What is it about yourself that you are most proud of?

Learning to respect, deeply, the positive impact others have had on my life—especially including my parents.

What is it about yourself that you’d like to change?

A long list of manageable faults–if only to be less predictable.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

A safari in South Africa, where the “big five” animals laid in wait to amaze and entertain us–as no human can.

What’s the most unusual time and place you’ve ever visited?

Israel March ’82 on the eve of Israel’s return of the Sinai to Egypt.

Name a place you’ve never visited where you still want to go.

The bucket list is overflowing; I would be happy to draw straws between sightseeing and massages–in Thailand.

Favorite book, favorite movie, and favorite musician.

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass contains my favorite poem of all time — Oh Captain, My Captain

Movies rarely move me, except to hit the road when violence erupts on the screen.

Musician: Alan Gilbert, conductor of the NY Philharmonic, mezmerizes.

Favorite Painter /Composer

Painter: toss-up between Renoir and Monet and my older sister’s charcoal portraits from grade school days are right up there.

Composer: Leonard Bernstein for equally for Mass and West Side Story as performed during his 70th birthday celebration at Tanglewood.

What upsets you the most?

Imperfection in my work, not getting my way at home, even if I don’t deserve it, and getting lost while driving on the road.

What bores you?

I have the attention span of a gnat for idle chatter, except as a segue to change the subject of an unappealing conversation.
My favorite quality in a man or a woman:

Promises to love, cherish, and protect—kept; with family, friends and lovers.
Do you believe in an afterlife and why do you believe it so?

If happy celebrations are guaranteed, I am all for it.

Note: Nolan Dalla currently is a host of “Poker Night in America’ on CBS Sports.


Instructor: Wendeen H. Eolis
December 2011Power Negotiating at the Poker Table – Play to Win!

Bring in the big bucks playing poker! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned tournament player, you can learn how to win — no matter who is at the table. Come hear the negotiating secrets and people-reading system that led the “Grand Dame of Poker,” Wendeen Eolis, straight to the top. Learn the value of well-placed “semi-bluffs,” the power of your position, and more, from the woman who has “cashed” seven times at the World Series of Poker.
Lecture page on The Learning Annex.

Winning Deals: Master the Art of Reading People

Take command at any negotiating table and ensure winning deals! Accomplished executive, experienced politico and internationally-recognized “Grand Dame of Poker,” Wendeen H. Eolis is an extraordinary “people reader” who’s worked with lawyers, executives, entertainers, mayors, governors, princes and presidents. She’ll teach you to extract important information and make logical arguments so you can read bosses, clients and adversaries quickly, and win every negotiation.
Lecture page on The Learning Annex.Negotiating a Faster Promotion with the Eolis People Reading System

Negotiating promotions is about proving your value! Use your people reading skills to determine what is important to your boss in the short term and long term. Wendeen will teach you how to practice the Pep Principle and obey your listening laws. In short, smart questions beat presumptive answers.
Lecture page on The Learning Annex.Negotiating a Job Offer with the Eolis People Reading System

Negotiating a job offer successfully these days requires more than meeting hiring standards! In today’s market it’s about showing, on a comparative basis, how you are the better candidate. Wendeen will teach you how to focus on the big picture, and the details, as the interviewer perceives them and read the signals on both points to promote artful compromises.
Lecture page on The Learning Annex.


By IMGL Staff


September 14, 2011

What is the Impact of Black Friday Indictments on the Online Gaming Industry?

This panel will discuss how the recent Department of Justice indictments regarding PokerStars, Absolute & Full Tilt have affected the online gaming industry and the players, how the indictments will continue to impact the industry and players and what regulators are doing, or should being doing, about those indictments and those affected by them. The discussion will focus on the impact from the perspective of North America and the EU and will include a real life case study focusing on Full Tilt and the repercussions for a major gaming company, what impact will this have on players and how do they deal with it?

Moderator: Michael Lipton, Q.C., Senior Partner, Dickinson Wright, LLP, Canada
Speakers: Wendeen H. Eolis, CEO, Wendeen Eolis Enterprises, Inc., New York
Joseph M. Kelly, Professor, Buffalo State College, State University of New York and Associate, Catania Gaming Consultants, New York
I. Nelson Rose, Professor of Law, Whittier Law School, California
Stefan Rapp, Professional Poker Player, Austria
Sue Schneider, President, eGaming Brokerage, Missouri


By IGA Staff
June 22, 2011

Leader of the Year Award Nominees

Alberta Bosco – Betfair
Becky McMillan – BetPack.com
Bev Giwelb – Betboo
Britt Boeskov – Unibet
Celia Ho – Entertasia Technology Company Limited
Christina Thakor-Rankin – Virgin Games
Daniela Attard – Betfair
Dawn Higgins – Rank
Dawn Wagner – Best Bet Consulting
Delaney Gordon – GM at Grosvenor Casino Piccadilly
Elin Delvert – Unibet
Emma Lindley – GB Group
Jane Dodd – Napoleons Casino
Jennifer Weissman – Harrah’s Entertainment
Jill James – Genting UK
Karin Klein – bwin Interactive Entertainment AG
Kathy Swindley – bwin.party digital entertainment
Louise Amos – BSkyB
Lyndsey Barrett – Ritz Club Casino
Mellisa Blau – Live Gaming Technology
Michelle Winfield – GM Mecca Huddersfield Mecca Bingo
Michelle Cummins – Casinos Austria International
Nicky Senyard – Income Access
Noa Wolfson – AspireGlobal (Neogames)
Nancy Krause – Best Bet Consulting
Patti S. Hart – International Game Technology
Rossi McKee – Casino Technology
Sara Jolly – bwinparty
Susan Luke – OpenBet
Sue Price GM Bury New Road Grosvenor
Tamar Yaniv, Director B2C Poker – Bwin
Tammy Schuiling – Chartwell
Tatiyana Platonova – Storm International
Tracey Collins – General Manager at Grosvenor Casino Southampton
Tracy Hanwell – GM Genting Casinos
Una Murga – SpacebarMedia
Virginia McDowell – Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.
Wendeen H. Eolis – eolis ent. and Eolis Inernational Group  

Leader of the Year Award Finalists

Britt Boeskov – Unibet
Celia Ho – (CEO) Limelight Company
Christina Thakor-Rankin – Virgin Games
Delaney Gordon – Grosvenor Casinos
Jennifer Weissman – Harrah’s Entertainment
Kathy Swindley – bwin.party
Louise Amos – BskyB
Lyndsey Barrett – Ritz Club Casino
Michelle Cummins- Casinos Austria International
Michelle Winfield – Mecca Bingo
Patti S. Hart – International Game Technology
Sue Price – Grosvenor Casinos
Susan Luke – OpenBet
Tamar Yaniv – bwin.party
Tracey Collins – Grosvenor Casinos
Wendeen H. Eolis – EOLIS wendeen eolis ent.