After the June 5 announcement that American Gaming Association (AGA) president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Geoff Freeman, would be leaving the casino sector trade lobby group to become the new president and CEO for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) on August 1, the body has now named general counsel and industry services senior vice president, Stacy Papadopoulos (pictured), as interim CEO until such time as a replacement for Freeman is found, according to a Wednesday press release.

The announcement earlier this month by both the AGA and GMA, communicated that Freeman, who has been with the Washington, D.C. trade group since May 2013, and has led the lobbying effort in Washington, DC, to repeal the federal ban on sports betting, would retain his position through the end of July, during which time the succession process will be launched.

In the Wednesday press release, the AGA announced the formation of a seven-member search committee that would be responsible for selecting its next chief executive. Led by AGA board of director’s member and Chief Executive Officer of Penn National Gaming, Inc., Tim Wilmott, the committee’s members include: Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International; Mark Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp.; Trevor Croker, CEO and managing director of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd.; Greg Carlin, co-founder and CEO of Rush Street Gaming; Bill Lance, Jr., secretary of commerce of Chickasaw Nation; and Ron Reese, senior vice president, global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Of Freeman’s departure, Wilmott said, “We are grateful to Geoff for his leadership over the last five years and we wish to thank Stacy for taking the helm of the AGA while we identify its next CEO.”

The search will be led by Leslie Hortum, managing director for executive consulting firm Spencer Stuart, which will support the search to find the next CEO of what is the premier national trade group which represents the $261 billion U.S. casino industry.