Join the Nevada Treasury for our 2024 Women + Money: The Financial Empowerment Summit where we’ll empower Nevada women by providing in-person access to crucial financial information, valuable resources, and new mentors and friends. Invest In Yourself – You’re Worth It!


This is one event that’ll be worth every penny! Nevada Treasury, in collaboration with dynamic community partners, is hosting the Women + Money Financial Empowerment Summit!

This one-day event will take place on Friday May 3, 2024. It’ll be a day filled with empowering sessions on leadership, financial planning and investing, entrepreneurship, saving for college, and so much more!

The summit encourages women of all ages, cultures, and financial situations to be in community with one another as they learn and grow together and successfully navigate the complexities of financial security.

For information regarding available Sponsorship Packages, please send an email to

Invest In Yourself – You’re Worth It!


Jan Jones Blackhurst
First Female Mayor of Las Vegas

Jan Jones Blackhurst is a long-time political and business leader who has left an indelible imprint on the lives of millions of people. In 1991, Jan broke the glass ceiling as Las Vegas’ first female mayor. Under Jan’s leadership tourism grew from 15M – 35M and downtown Las Vegas was revised with the Building of the Fremont Street Experience, the federal and county court houses and the Clark County Government Headquarters.
She then joined Caesars Entertainment and was where she grew the industry’s first Responsible Gaming practices to include an ambassador model for the gaming industry and the first industry code of commitment. Jan is also known and respected for her efforts to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, advancing environmental stewardship, advocating for important social issues and giving millions of dollars to individuals, families and communities in need. She speaks extensively at universities nationwide and helped establish the International Gaming Institution Center of Excellence at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
In 2019, Jan joined Caesars Entertainment’s Board of Directors and as Chair of ESG
Committee. She also became Chief Executive in Residence at the UNLV International Gaming Institute, where she was a popular faculty member and key player in the “Expanding the Leaderverse” initiative. She became Executive Director, UNLV Black Fire Leadership Initiative January 2021.
Under Jan’s Leadership at Caesars Entertainment Corporation:
• Caesars was the first casino in the industry to roll out a code of commitment under its corporate integrity standards.
• Energy, water use and greenhouse gas emissions dropped significantly across the Caesars Empire over the last eight years of her tenure.
• Employee diversity increased, with 41 percent of management positions held by women and 57 percent of employees from diverse backgrounds.
• Employee engagement hit a high, driven by a volunteer program in which employees donate more than 400,000 hours per year to both company and community causes.
Under Jan’s guidance, Caesars Entertainment earned a 100 percent perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for ten consecutive years. Jan also channeled her passion for charitable causes in her role as Chair of the Caesars
Foundation, which strengthens communities through philanthropic activities and corporate gifts totaling $66 million since 2013.
Before joining Caesars in 1999, Jan served two terms as Mayor of Las Vegas. She was the city’s first female chief executive and one of its most popular mayors, winning reelection in 1995 by a 72 percent margin. While in office, Jan presided over an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural expansion. She spearheaded a massive redevelopment effort in the city’s once-neglected downtown neighborhood and was among the first mayors in the country to advocate for LGBT rights and issues as early as 1991.
Jan has served on the Board of Directors for the Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the Global Fairness Initiative, and Sunrise Hospital. Additionally, she serves on several boards including the Nevada Resort Association, Las Vegas Stadium Authority, Chairwoman of Public Education Foundation, and Nevada Donors Network. She has received many awards and accolades, including: the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); the Woman of Diversity Award for “100 Years of Influence – Women Shaping the First 100 Years of Las Vegas”; Outstanding Service in a Land based Industry from Totally Gaming; and PR News CSR Professional of the Year. The Las Vegas Business Press also named her one of its “Women Who Mean Business.” Jan was named a Distinguished Nevadan by the Board of Regents in 2021. Jan has been honored by the American Diabetes Association and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation and was named Humanitarian of the Year in 1998 by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2014, she was one of the first women to be inducted into the American Gaming Association (AGA) Gaming Hall of Fame. Most recently, she earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Chamber of Commerce, the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence from UNLVino, the Diversity Hero Award from PR Week and was honored by the ACLU for Community Equality. She has been recognized for her contributions to public education in Nevada by her namesake, Jan Jones Blackhurst Elementary School and has an honorary doctorate from University Nevada, Las Vegas. Jan was appointed to the Caesars Board of Directors on June 2019, Esports Entertainment Group on May 2022, and Hospitality Group of World Choice Investments on March 2023.
Jan Jones Blackhurst holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and attended the University of Southern California’s School of Food Marketing Management.

Taylor Abbey
Vice President of Institutional Marketing and Investor Relations

 Ariel Investments

Based in Los Angeles, Taylor is responsible for overseeing Ariel’s institutional sales and expansion efforts on the West Coast. Taylor joined Ariel in 2017, where she collaborated with the firm’s current co-CEO and President on company-wide strategic initiatives for three years. Beyond Ariel, Taylor is actively involved in the community. She co-leads the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s director’s circle and serves on the board of directors of Jazz at the Lincoln Center. Prior to Ariel, Taylor spent two years in GE Capital’s leadership development program. She holds a BA in economics from Smith College. 

Alisha Alexander
Founder and CEO
Speakeasy Candle Co.

Alisha Alexander, the creator and owner of Speakeasy Candle Co., Las Vegas premier storefront featuring candles inspired by cocktails and exclusive candle-making workshops! Before delving into her entrepreneurial venture, she boasts a decade-long career in Apparel Buying and Product Development. Alisha’s talent for spotting opportunities and implementing innovative tactics solidified her brand as a preferred supplier for Fortune 500 companies and top-notch resorts. Within its inaugural year, Speakeasy Candle was nominated for Best of Las Vegas Woman-Owned Business and earned the title of Best Candle Shop in Las Vegas! This expedition has equipped Alisha with a profound comprehension of the trials, victories, and complexities of initiating, financing, and managing a small business. She fosters connections among entrepreneurs, encouraging the exchange of ideas, resources, an experiences through collaborative efforts and networking!

Karmin Bailey
Manager/Supplier Diversity
Southwest Gas

Karmin Bailey is the Supplier Diversity Manager for Southwest Gas. Karmin brings over 23 years of experience in various roles in finance, procurement, compliance and supplier diversity.

Recognized as an Outstanding Diversity Champion by Columbus Business First in 2020, Karmin strives to think beyond compliance and achieve measurable results in supplier diversity programs.

Karmin has served on the Global Board of Directors and the Diversity & Inclusion subcommittee for the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Karmin is a graduate of The Ohio State University with dual degrees in Accounting and Finance, and is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Public Finance Officer and Contract Compliance Administrator.

Kimberly Bailey Tureaud
Owner & Publisher
Las Vegas Black Image Magazine

Kimberly Bailey Tureaud is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada and the daughter of Bob and Anna Bailey.  She received her graduate degree in journalism from the historic Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia.  Currently, Kimberly is the owner and publisher along with her husband, Charles Tureaud, of the largest distributed black magazine, Las Vegas Black Image Magazine, in the state of Nevada. It has been publishing now for eight years.  Also, her company, Cultural Diverse Advertising & Events produces the largest diverse events in the state that includes: The Las Vegas Taste & Sounds of Soul that just celebrated its 15th year and The Las Vegas Culture Fest that will celebrate its 11th year this October 2016.  Also, she assisted the Springs Preserve with developing the business model for their Springs Preserve Black History Festival.     

Kimberly serves for the last 24 years as the creator and host of one of Las Vegas’ top business talk radio broadcast on KCEP 88.1 FM called “Enterprising People.”  Kimberly’s radio broadcast focuses on business development and she conducts live interviews of top CEO’s and business authors from around the country.  Some of the business development experts she has interviews included but not limited to: Rich Dad-Poor Dad’s Robert Kiyosaki, Ken Blanchard, and Brian Tracy just to mention a few.  

Kimberly Bailey Tureaud is the mother of two boys, Jonathan and Brandon, and is the wife to Charles Tureaud.   

Kimberly’s local and national notoriety affords her and her company the opportunity to accomplish targeted goals for their clients. Her motto is: “Keep It Moving (KIM)”…  

Stephanie Barrett
Head of Decision Support & Global Commissions, Aristocrat Technologies

After graduating from college, Stephanie dedicated many years to being a stay-at-home mom before being thrust into the workforce due to her youngest son’s life-altering medical condition. Since entering the workforce, Stephanie has had numerous roles across various companies and is currently serving as the Head of Decision Support and Global Commissions at Aristocrat Technologies. In this role, Stephanie leads a team responsible for tackling complex business problems, driving strategic initiatives, and maximizing profits. As a key lead for the finance organization, Stephanie provides financial guidance to the Gaming business to help them to achieve their short and long-term objectives. Prior to assuming this role, she served as Senior Director of Commercial Finance for Class Three Gaming Operations and Game Sales.

Stephanie is also incredibly involved in the Aristocrat organization, having served on the Americas Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and as the Co-Chair of the Employee Impact Group Inspirando Latinas. She is currently the host Aristocrat’s Breakfast of Champions internal panel series, which serves as a platform for employees to hear the life stories and achievement from some of Aristocrat’s top talent. Stephanie is also the Founder of Her Competitive Advantage (HCA): the first-ever and only recruiting platform connecting current and former collegiate female athletes with companies and recruiters that value their unique skillset. More details can be found at

In 2017, Stephanie was crowned Mrs. Nevada-America and represented the state of Nevada in the Mrs. America Pageant, where she placed in the Top 5. During her time as Mrs. Nevada-America, she and her family worked closely with various charitable organizations across the globe, inspiring and empowering women everywhere to give back in meaningful ways.

Stephanie and her husband, Adam, have three children, Cash (12), Paisley (11), and Taj (9). In her spare time, she can be found spending time with her family, assisting her husband with his youth basketball program, and serving as an active philanthropist in the local Las Vegas community. With a deep passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Stephanie aims to motivate and inspire others to unlock their potential, pursue their passions, and create a positive impact throughout the world.

Myisha Boyce
President and Managing Member M.Y.S. Firm

Myisha Boyce currently holds dual roles as the President and Managing Member of M.Y.S. Firm and Supplier Diversity for the National Football League (NFL). Previously, she served as the Chief Community Engagement Officer for the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee, where she spearheaded the planning, leadership, direction, development, and coordination of all community impact initiatives and official Super Bowl LVIII events. Additionally, she provided operational and fiduciary oversight for the Host Committee’s corporate social responsibility and civic engagement endeavors. 

As the founder and president of M.Y.S. Firm, a woman- and minority-owned professional services organization based in Las Vegas, Myisha has over a decade of experience leading high-stakes programs and diverse teams across both public and private sectors. 

Myisha has held notable positions such as Chair of Allegiant Stadium’s Community Advisory Board and membership on the Board of Directors for Access Community Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution, and StartUpNV, a Nevada-focused statewide business accelerator and incubator. She also served as a legislatively appointed Commissioner and Chair of the Legislative Subcommittee within the Nevada Department of Business & Industry’s Commission on Minority Affairs. 

Having earned her degree in Education from the University of California, San Diego, Myisha is dedicated to fostering and strengthening strategic professional partnerships that mutually benefit businesses and communities. 

Constance Brooks
Vice President, Office of Government & Community Engagement, UNLV 

Constance Brooks joined UNLV in August of 2022, and serves as vice president for government and community engagement. 

Brooks, who earned both a master’s and Ph.D. at UNLV, has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of government affairs and community engagement and has a deep knowledge of higher education in Nevada. Most recently, she served as the vice chancellor of public affairs and advancement for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). In this role, she was a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and was the chief advocate for NSHE, leading strategy development in external affairs, communications, and advanced strategic initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. 

Prior to NSHE, she served as vice president of government affairs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, MGM Resorts International, and the College of Southern Nevada. Brooks also served in a number of capacities with NSHE, including as vice chancellor for government and community affairs. She also has been an adjunct professor at UNLV.   

With her broad array of both industry and higher education experience, Brooks will help advance the interests of UNLV at the federal, state, and local levels. She also will work closely with her colleagues to bring a more cohesive synergy between government affairs and community engagement, which will allow for more integration in these areas. 

Brooks earned a Ph.D. in public affairs from UNLV in 2012. She earned a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in administrative practice and planning from UNLV, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Southern Illinois University. 

Shalimar Cabrera
National Director of Executive Leadership
Executive Director, U.S. VETS-Las Vegas

With non-profit management experience since 2003, Shalimar has been commended for her innovative leadership in the field of homeless veteran services. Shalimar is the Executive Director for the Las Vegas sites of United States Veterans Initiative (U.S.VETS), a national non-profit organization dedicated to the successful transition of military veterans and their families.
Shalimar began her career in homeless veteran services as an Outreach Specialist, bringing veterans off the streets and out of the deserts, camps, and tunnels of Las Vegas and into transitional and permanent housing. She then went on to lead a state AmeriCorps Program that celebrated highest Member retention among other awards in the State of Nevada for four years, before accepting a promotion to lead the National AmeriCorps Program of U.S.VETS across multiple U.S. cities. Shalimar has been serving as Executive Director of U.S.VETS – Las Vegas since 2008, managing a multi-million dollar budget and supervising a large team of over 60 staff, plus intern students, who provide services in two residential facilities for over 300 individual veterans, plus one veteran service center and scattered site programs in Las Vegas to assist over 500 veteran households annually. She and her dedicated team have developed highly successful programs for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families to include outreach, service-enriched housing, rapid rehousing, homeless prevention, and employment and training programs.
Shalimar’s values are leadership and impact. She is well known for her transformational leadership style and culture coaching, strong administrative skills, and effective client-centered service delivery, as well as her expertise in fundraising and community and event organizing. Shalimar is also the Chairperson of the Las Vegas Veterans Stand Down, coordinating outcome-driven services to meet the needs of hundreds of veterans each year. She also currently serves on the Southern Nevada Homeless Continuum of Care Board. Shalimar is an alum of Leadership Las Vegas Class of 2021, a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Emerging Leader, and alum of the FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy. Shalimar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, with a concentration on Management & Community Practice, from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Jo Cato

Periwinkle Group

Jo Cato, a dynamic entrepreneur with Jamaican roots and Nigerian heritage, began her journey working as a maid in a Las Vegas hotel; with determination and grit, she has successfully launched multiple businesses transcending borders, demonstrating that where you start, and boundaries are merely steppingstones to success. As the founder & CEO of the Periwinkle Group, Jo has pioneered multicultural brand development and integrated marketing. Periwinkle Group, with its offices in Las Vegas, Massachusetts, Nigeria, and Ghana, is a testament to Jo’s strategic and unwavering determination. Jo’s ventures include Grab and Go Vending, an airport concession and vending machine business, and Cruzin Vegas, Nevada’s only black woman-owned mobile billboard company. 

Jo’s diverse background has greatly influenced her entrepreneurial ventures and community involvement. Her Jamaican and Nigerian roots have instilled in her a strong work ethic, determination, and passion for creating positive change. These values are evident in Jo’s businesses, which strive to make a global impact while promoting diversity and inclusivity. 

Jo’s contributions extend beyond entrepreneurship; she has served on many boards and supported various causes, as a cornerstone of the community, and as a symbol of progress. She is a committed community leader driving economic growth. As a founding executive board member at the African Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, she advocates for changes that empower businesses within our community and bridge connections for the African and Caribbean Diaspora in Southern Nevada. 


Jo has been recognized for her expertise and business acumen. She is a Fellow at the Certified Institute of Marketing (London) and was honored as the SBA statewide woman-owned business for 2024. She is a two-time National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman of Distinction awards! She holds a master’s in economics from George Washington University and an executive MBA from Arizona State University. Additionally, she has earned certificates from Cornell University in Revenue Management, Strategic Economic Development, and International Marketing. 

 Jo is an accomplished author whose book Get Noticed: How to Reach and Retain Clients, an Amazon Bestseller, was nominated for the NAACP Image Award—Self-help category. 

Jo values family moments in her spare time and engages in mentoring initiatives for returning women ex-offenders through her “Return to Entrepreneurship” mentorship program while enjoying travel and reading. 

Dawn Christensen

VP of Communications & Corporate Responsibility, Nevada Resort Association

Dawn K. Christensen serves as vice president of communications and corporate responsibility for the Nevada Resort Association, the advocacy voice of Nevada’s largest industry. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic communications agenda for the organization, including media relations, social media, public outreach and crisis communications. She also oversees the Association’s corporate social responsibility efforts, aligning members’ focus areas under collaborative industry-wide approach.  

Prior to joining the Resort Association, Ms. Christensen was the executive director of national diversity relations for MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies.  Ms. Christensen was responsible for building and enhancing MGM Resorts’ relationships with strategic diversity and inclusion partners at the local, state and national levels as well as the development and implementation of the company’s external diversity and inclusion strategy in support of MGM Resorts’ corporate social responsibility efforts. She was also responsible for The MGM Resorts Foundation’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) from 2016-2018. Under her leadership, the event reached record corporate sponsorship levels with sell-out crowds and achieved consistently high attendee satisfaction ratings while attracting nationally recognized speakers, including Suze Orman, Lisa Ling and Donna Brazille.  

Ms. Christensen previously served as vice president of public affairs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) where she was responsible for the strategic communications and government affairs agenda for all aspects of the LVCVA’s public affairs initiatives, including media relations, issues management, crisis communications, community relations and internal communications programs.  

Ms. Christensen’s career in news, corporate communications and public relations spans 30 years. She previously served as vice president of communications and government affairs for The Public Education Foundation, a Nevada nonprofit organization assisting the Clark County School District. She was associate director of public relations at B&P Advertising, Media and Public Relations and held the position of director of public relations for KB Home Nevada, Inc. In addition, she served as the director of communications marketing for Caesars Entertainment.  

Her public relations career also includes working as an account executive with The Rogich Communications Group and as a public information officer for the city of Las Vegas. Ms. Christensen spent five years working in television news as a reporter and producer in various markets, including KLAS-TV Channel 8. 

Ms. Christensen is active in supporting community and industry organizations and is a graduate of the 2016 Leadership Las Vegas class. She was a founding board member of Silver State Equality and the Foundation for Women’s Leadership & Empowerment and is a member of Nellis Air Force Base’s Civic Leader program. She previously served on the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Corporate Advisory Council and served two terms on the Human Rights Campaign’s National Board of Governors. In 2009, she helped establish Ya Es Hora Nevada, a local coalition of community partners volunteering to hold free citizenship workshops for permanent legal residents.  

Ms. Christensen was named one of Vegas Inc.’s “40 under 40” in 2012, and was also honored her that year by the Human Rights Campaign with its national “Diversity & Inclusion Leader of the Year” Award. She received a Women of Distinction Award from the Southern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2018 and was inducted into the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada’s Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2007, the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada named her “Woman of the Year” in recognition of her community work. 

Ms. Christensen attended the University of Southern California, where she graduated cum laude with Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism (with honors) and history as well as a minor in women’s studies. 

Monica Coburn
Managing Director
Nevada Business Advisors

After a successful career in the banking and finance industry, Monica Coburn left her corporate career in senior management and launched Nevada Business Advisors in the summer of 2019.  

Receiving numerous awards throughout her career including a recipient of the Woman of Distinction Award by the National Association of Women Business Owners Southern Nevada, the Urban Chamber of Commerce Award for Women In Politics and Community Service and a Presidential Award for her volunteerism, her full circle moment was being named as the 2023 Woman Owned Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the State of Nevada.     

Monica has served as a mentor and guest expert for several business programs including Emerging Leaders (now known as SBA THRIVE), the Vegas Chamber’s EDGE program and the Small Business Opportunity Program with Clark County.  Monica is also the co-founder of POWHer of WE, a Nevada based women entrepreneur group with chapters in Las Vegas and Reno/Sparks. 

She was named the 2023 Business Coach for the SBA T.H.R.I.V.E. Program for the Las Vegas cohort and serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including the Nevada Business Opportunity Fund,advisory board member for Enterprise Bank & Trust (NV) and an alternate member of the Business Development Advisory Council for Clark County.   Previously, she served on the founding board of Directors for B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation and Dress for Success Southern Nevada. 

One of her favorite quotes on money is “Teach her about how money really works, and she can change the world.” 

Lori Colvin
Vice President/Controller/Chief Accounting Officer
Southwest Gas Corporation

Lori Colvin is the Vice President/Controller/Chief Accounting Officer of Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (“SWX”) and Southwest Gas Corporation. As the principal accounting officer, she oversees financial reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley (“SOX”) Section 404 compliance, income taxes, and more than a dozen functions in total (with more than 50 individuals).

Lori oversees compliance with rules/regulations of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Internal Revenue Service, regulatory commissions and others. Areas of focus include those involving significant interpretation or judgment; complex transaction support; quality information for investors; debt/equity raises; advisory services to leaders throughout the organization; company accounting/tax positions; and administration of significant balances related to utility rate base, gas purchases/other regulatory mechanisms, and deferred taxes. In addition to filings with the SEC and state/federal agencies, she oversees financial statements of the company’s various employee benefit plans and its charitable foundation.

Lori worked at Nevada Power Company and Deloitte & Touche LLP before joining Southwest in 1999. She has held various management roles, including Assistant Controller, before assuming her current role in 2018. Career highlights include implementing the company’s inaugural SOX program; acting as key leader to facilitate strategic initiatives of the SWX Board of Directors, including acquisitions/dispositions; and appointment to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) Power & Utilities Task Force on Revenue Recognition, leading to published industry guidance.

Lori received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with high distinction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the AICPA. She serves on the Board of Directors of Communities in Schools of Nevada (“CIS”); holds Chair positions on the Accounting Leadership Council of the American Gas Association (“AGA”) and the CIS Finance & Audit Committee (incoming); and is former Chair of the AGA’s Accounting Principles Committee.

JC Cudiamat
Senior VP, Relationship Manager
Enterprise Bank & Trust

JC Cudiamat is currently connected with Enterprise Bank & Trust as a Sr. Vice-President/ Relationship Manager.  In this capacity, JC works with mid-sized businesses with revenues from $ 5.0MM up to $ 150.0MM, assisting owners with their financial needs to ensure the long-term success of the business and help families secure their financial futures.  JC continues over 20 years in banking, having worked at both global and regional banks in the areas of commercial lending, treasury management, card products, and small business. 

 She also serves as the Treasurer of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Risk Management Association, which helps its member financial institutions’ ability to assess and manage risk through education, products, and community.  In addition, JC sits in the Board of Transition Services, Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to provide meaningful work and experiences for people with developmental disabilities.  She has volunteered and continues to volunteer at other charitable organizations such as Las Vegas Rescue Mission, Three Square, Neighborhood Housing Services, and Opportunity Village. 

Born and raised in the Philippines, JC immigrated to the country more than 20 years ago.  She loves to travel in her spare time, both locally and internationally, and also enjoys bikram (or hot) yoga, live concerts or shows, and hiking.  More recently, JC tries to catch any sports game when traveling. 

Rose Davis
Director of Corporate Services & MBE Development,
Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council

Rose Davis has dedicated over two decades to passionately championing and influencing diverse businesses for inclusion within corporate America’s purchasing and supply chain strategies. She has over 25 years of experience in supplier diversity, procurement, business development, accounting, and finance serving in the energy, manufacturing, retail, and government sectors.   

Rose serves as the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council’s Director of Corporate Services and Minority Business Development (Nevada). Rose has more than doubled the number of certified minority business enterprises impacting the community in Nevada with jobs, sales tax revenue, and innovation. She has strengthened the corporate members in Nevada supporting supplier diversity and inclusion strategies. Rose serves on the Stadium Benefits Oversight Committee providing oversight of the Community Benefits Plan for Allegiant Stadium. Over the years, Rose has received several awards for her zealous advocacy of small businesses including the 2023 Nevada SBA Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, 2019 WRMSDC Rock Star Award, 2017 Urban Chamber of Commerce Women in Business & Politics Award, and 2014 Edison Electric Institute Supplier Diversity Hall of Fame Award. She enjoys coaching and mentoring small businesses, teaching financial literacy, and taking early morning walks. A Las Vegas native, Rose received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from UNLV. She is a Certified Management Accountant.  

Stephanie Dorsey
Chief Executive Officer
Margins Capital

Stephanie Dorsey started her career as a medical malpractice defense attorney for a mid-sized law firm in Baltimore, MD.  She represented hospitals, nursing homes and doctors in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas.

After two years of practice, she realized that she was more interested in how her clients operated rather than resolving the legal issues that they faced.  To test this theory, she left the law and joined the Peace Corps to become a small business volunteer.  While in Ecuador, she taught Afro-Ecuadorians micro-finance and started three community banks with Afro-Ecuadorian women’s groups.

When Stephanie completed her 2 year assignment with the Peace Corps, she pursued her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.  After business school, Stephanie joined ING Direct, the country’s largest online bank at that time.  She stayed on through Capital One’s acquisition of ING Direct and found a passion for technology and product management.

In November 2021, she was recruited to take on a new challenge as the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Metric Collective, the number one lead generation portal in franchising.  When deciding what to do next, Stephanie focused on finding a solution to a problem that hit close to home.  She founded Margins Capital so that people like her, who have historically been excluded from the alternative investment ecosystem, could have access to investing in alternatives.

Jhone Ebert
Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Nevada Department of Education

As the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jhone Ebert is proud to lead Nevada’s education system. Her responsibility is to ensure that each of the 500,000 students at the state’s 750 schools has a pathway to thrive in school and life. Reappointed by Governor Joe Lombardo in January 2023, one of her proudest accomplishments is the successful revamp of the State’s 54-year-old funding formula to the more equitable Pupil Centered Funding Plan. The new formula is getting a $2.6 billion dollar boost from the largest education budget in state history. This includes $140 million dollar investment in literacy for our youngest learners. Jhone Ebert has expanded career and technical education opportunities to ensure students are college and career ready, spearheaded effective educator retention and recruitment efforts, and turned Nevada into a leader for computer science education. Jhone is the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards, including the UNLV College of Education Alumna of the Year, the International Society for Technology in Education’s 2020 Annual Impact Award, the National School Boards Association’s Technology Leadership Network 20 to Watch, the CCSD Excellence in Education Hall of Fame Award, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. 

Michelle Eckmann
Chief Financial Officer Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada

After completing her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Michelle began her professional career in the audit practice of Ernst & Young in Charlotte, NC. A few years later she joined the CFO Group at Bank of America and benefitted from senior leaders at the bank offering stretch assignments throughout her 15-year career there that allowed her to provide direct Finance support different lines of business and functional areas of the bank while partnering with and learning from great business leaders. Her role as BFO for Commercial Banking in the west included an unexpected move to San Francisco. She moved to Las Vegas in 2008, working remotely for the bank for the next seven years. 

In 2016, Michelle leveraged the knowledge she had gained in nonprofit accounting as Treasurer and Finance VP of the Junior League of Las Vegas to make a career change from banking to working in the nonprofit sector. She joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada (BGCSNV) as Finance Director and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer later that year. Through its 13 locations, BGCSNV fills the gap between school and home by providing welcoming, positive environments where kids and teens have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults. In May 2020, Michelle left BGCSNV to join the Alexander Dawson School as Chief Financial Officer. While there, she was key in managing through the financial impacts of the pandemic, developing and executing COVID protocols as the school began to reopen to in-person learning in June 2020 (with a virtual option for families who chose it), and overseeing finance, HR, financial aid, and facilities. 

As a member of the Junior League, Michelle has had tremendous opportunities to learn, grow, lead, serve, mentor, develop new projects, and try out new ideas. She has served on the Board of Directors for eight years and was League President in 2013-14. She has chaired or co-chaired numerous committees from gala to placement and communications to four different community project committees and the investment oversight committee.  

Michelle has been recognized for her volunteer service over the last 20 years. In San Francisco, she won impact grants for some of her favorite nonprofits based on having the third- and first-most volunteer hours amongst Hands On Bay Areas volunteers. She received the Outstanding Provisional Award in 2008 based on her participation in the many community projects offered by the League in Louisville and the 2010-11 Heart of Gold Award from Junior League of Las Vegas. Bank of America recognized her as Team Bank of America Silver State Network Volunteer of the Year in 2009 and with Nevada’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Volunteer Service Award in 2012. She was honored by HELP of Southern Nevada for her support of the Shannon West Homeless Youth Center at its annual tea fundraiser in 2018. Michelle was a member of the 2012 class of Leadership Las Vegas. 

In June 2022, after working for nearly 30 years, Michelle decided to take a “work break” to just enjoy life for a year or so. During that time, she traveled to 40 countries, went to a lot of concerts, and continued volunteering. Michelle has traveled to 94 (and counting) countries/territories, all seven continents, and all 50 states.  

In August 2023, she rejoined Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada as its Chief Financial Officer. 

Malika El Bakkal Lees
VP Community Manager, JP Morgan Chase

Malika El Bakkal Lees is a seasoned banker with more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Currently she serves as Chase’s Community Manager in the Las Vegas region. In that role, she is the local extension of JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to advancing racial equity and closing the racial wealth gap by building and nurturing relationships with community
leaders, nonprofit partners and small businesses at the neighborhood level.

As a Community Manager, she hosts financial health workshops, sharing tools and resources to help improve the financial wellbeing of underserved, underbanked communities. The main goal is to provide financial health education and promote resources available to community members.

As a community manager, Malika serves the community in ways she wishes were available to her as a young adult. She was raised
in Casablanca, Morocco, by her paternal grandmother who instilled in her the values of financial independence and education. She witnessed the devastating effects of financially instability when her father lost his job at the age of 40 without having an emergency fund, a backup plan or a college education. This challenging experience led her to immigrate to France for a college education and a better life.

Malika received two master’s degrees: Business Law and Business Maritime and Transportation Law. In 2006, she immigrated to the United States to pursue the American dream.

Prior to her current role as Community Manager, Malika held several positions at Chase and as a branch manager, she led the opening of a new branch in Las Vegas. She is a strong culture carrier and is the Co Chair of the Las Vegas Volunteer Leadership
Group, a member of multiple business resource groups and the Nevada Market Leadership Team. Her mission is to play a key role in making JPMorgan Chase the workplace and brand of choice for employees and the community.

She is an avid volunteer and currently serves on the
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Financial Wellness Advisory Board, Opportunity Alliance Nevada’s Financial Advisor Committee and Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada’s Resource Committee.

Ivette Fernandez
Vice President of Government Relations,

Ivette Fernandez has over 25 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  She currently serves as the Vice President of Government Relations for TKO- a premium sports and entertainment company majority owned by Endeavor, that comprises UFC- the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE- a global leader in sports entertainment.

Prior to joining TKO, Ivette worked for Endeavor- a global entertainment and sports company comprised of leading businesses, including UFC, PBR, IMG, WME, Frieze, and New York Fashion Week: The Shows.  Prior to Endeavor, Ivette held various roles for Stand Together, The LIBRE Institute, News Corp and Pfizer Inc.  Before joining the private and non-profit sectors, she worked for President George W. Bush at The White House, as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and in the U.S. Senate for two of Alaska’s senators.

Ivette has been recognized for her contributions to the community by numerous entities, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska; LATINO Magazine; and The Latino Coalition.  In 2023, she was honored by the Clark County Commission during Hispanic Hertiage Month for her company leadership position and service to the Las Vegas community.  Additionally, she was honored with the United Way of NYC’s 2012 Women’s Leadership Council “Woman of Distinction Award,” and selected one of PODER Magazine’s 2013 “20 under 40: Latinos Going Places.”  In summer 2008, Ivette was the feature of LATINA Style Magazine’s article “Inspirational Latina, Ivette Fernandez,” and was 1 of 15 nationwide recipients in 2006 recognized as a Hispanic American leader by the Government of Spain’s “Young Hispanic Leaders Program,” where she was honored by HRH Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.

Ivette is the Chair of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE Board of Directors; and a Member of the Vegas Chamber Executive Women’s Council, Women in Sports & Events (WISE) Las Vegas Chapter, Hispanic Scholarship Fund Las Vegas Advisory Council, and Junior League of Las Vegas.  She was selected to be a Member of the 2024 Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee for Community Affairs; and is the former Commissioner on the Nevada Equal Rights Commission and Board Member and Vice Chair of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino.

She participated in a cultural study abroad to Argentina in college and was selected to be a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student to Sweden in high school.  Ivette has traveled to over 30 countries and 30 states in the U.S. and speaks three languages.

Ivette was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in 2000, won the title of Miss Alaska USA and Miss Congeniality and competed in the 2001 Miss USA Pageant.  In 1999, she was selected to be Alaska’s Cherry Blossom Princess in the world-renowned Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, and was crowned Senorita Latina of Fairbanks in 1990.

Ivette received her Bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and her Master’s degree from Georgetown University.

Bronwen Gregg
Director, Sales Enablement External Events & Partnerships, Insight Global

Bronwen Gregg has been recognized as Vegas Inc 40 Under 40, CDC Gaming Report’s 10 Women Rising in Gaming, and a LinkedIn Top Personal Branding Voice. She is Director, Sales Enablement overseeing external event & partnership strategy for Insight Global, one of North America’s largest recruiting and talent services firms. 
After supporting Insight Global’s government services division in Virginia with a focus on Army INSCOM and higher/professional education, Bronwen helped open the Las Vegas office where she built and led the Casino Gaming Portfolio with an emphasis on the emergence of legalized sports betting and iGaming. Following her unique success with industry engagement, she was promoted to a nascent role with the mission of empowering Insight Global sales teams and elevating the company’s brand through networking and industry event strategy, partnerships, and ROI optimization. 
Bronwen is also a founding Board of Directors member for the startup Her Competitive Advantage (HCA) which is the first and only recruiting platform connecting current and former collegiate female athletes with companies and recruiters that value their unique, transferrable skillset. 
As the biracial daughter of an LGBTQ+ family with low socioeconomic status and disabilities, Bronwen’s biggest personal passion is advocating for equity, especially gender equity in the global workforce. She currently serves as President of Women in Sports & Events (WISE) Las Vegas as well as Fair Game Podcast Co-Host for Global Gaming Women (GGW); WISE and GGW are both nonprofits dedicated to empowering the advancement and connection of women in their respective industries. Bronwen also leads external engagement strategy for the Women’s Leadership Council at Insight Global and has a rich history of previous nonprofit board and philanthropic work. 

Latoya Holman
Chief Development Officer
Public Education Foundation

Latoya was born and raised in Sacramento, California and she is the first in her family to attend
college. Encouraged by her parents to pursue multiple talents, Latoya enjoys playing the piano,
acoustic guitar, and singing. Her day-to-day life is spirited by the love and joy that she receives
from her one-eyed dog, Willa, who was adopted through the Animal Foundation (pictures of
one-eyed Willa are available upon request).
Latoya is the Chief Development Officer of the Public Education Foundation where she serves
as an ambassador and principal fundraiser for the nonprofit which supports teachers, students,
and families of the Clark County School District. She secures resources to support our teachers
to reduce the amount of money that they spend out of their own pockets, fundraises for the PEF
Scholarship PLUS program which raises $5 million annually towards post-secondary
scholarships, and works to gain support financially for the Teacher Pathway Program, which
aims to reduce the current teacher shortage which directly impacts the education of our youth.
Latoya previously served as the Director of Community Projects & Community Outreach for the
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Foundation, which fundraises to support
the fallen officers fund, provides community safety programs, and works to strengthen the
relationship between the community and our police officers. Latoya led and coordinated all
marketing and DEI initiatives. Latoya also served as an official media spokesperson for the
LVMPD Foundation.
Latoya is a founding member of the Human Rights Campaign Las Vegas (HRC). HRC is the
largest LGBT civil rights organization in the country with more than 4 million members. Latoya
has been serving on the board in numerous capacities for 16 years. She currently serves as a
member of the National Board of Directors and is a member of the National Executive
committee for HRC, lending her voice as a proud African-American ally, business woman and
advocate to the Equality Movement. Latoya was a member of the cultivation committee which
helped fundraising efforts for what is now the Robert L. Forbuss LGBT Center. She has also
delivered multiple keynote speeches at HRC galas and corporate diversity programs, both
locally and across the country. As an extension of her work as a national LGBTQ advocate,
Latoya serves as Vice Chair to Jim Obergefell (Supreme Court -Obergefell v. Hodges) for
WebQ, which is an organization that represents LGBTQIA+, and allied communities, to cultivate
systemic equity in the design of startups, emerging technologies, institutions, and policies.
With a passion for civil rights, Holman has worked with Project REAL, a 501(c)(3) non-profit
organization which encourages students to learn more about the importance of the law. She has
led presentations and tours for more than 3,000 students, helping them identify career paths for
themselves and develop a respect for our justice system. For years, she has been a powerful
advocate for arts education in Southern Nevada by serving on the board of Nevada School of
the Arts, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides world-class music instruction and
a life-changing experience to students of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, Latoya takes
pride as a member of the Board of Trustees with Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada and works to
uplift girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Her
service with the GSSNV includes mentoring Sydney Ramenofsky, who went on to become a
Gold Star Award recipient, the highest honor possible for a Girl Scout. Latoya believes that her
human experience aligns with this Girl Scout Mission and will be a part of her continued life
journey. Latoya is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University HBCU which is a part of the Atlanta
University Center. She later obtained a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management.
Latoya is a proud lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Lori Hoover
Chief Deputy Treasurer
Nevada Treasury

Lori Hoover serves as the Chief Deputy Treasurer.  Lori is a Certified Public Accountant and has served in State government since 2012 at the Division of Internal Audits and the State Controller’s Office.  Her responsibilities as Chief Deputy Treasurer include working closely with the Treasurer’s divisions – Debt Management, Investment Management, Cash Management, Unclaimed Property, and College Savings.  Lori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.  


Elizabeth Lopez, MBA
City of Henderson
Economic Development Officer

In the dynamic landscapes for the city of Las Vegas, Henderson, and Southern Nevada, Elizabeth Lopez has emerged as a pivotal figure in economic development, driving growth and fostering innovation with unwavering dedication. Over the last decade, Elizabeth has been at the forefront of economic development initiatives that have catalyzed significant transformations within the region.  Her strategic vision and have been instrumental in promoting community development and propelling the area towards a prosperous future. In her many endeavors to attract businesses to consider Southern Nevada, she has also helped many entrepreneurs and business owners through her efforts.

Elizabeth’s passion for innovation of community upliftment is perhaps most evident in her efforts to nurture the tech, start up, and entrepreneur ecosystem in southern Nevada. From the humble beginnings of the southern Nevada ecosystem breakfast, which grew from 12 attendees to over 300+, to the grassroots rise of Tech Alley, going from 40 to 3000+ participants Elizabeth influences undeniable. Her visionary leadership has not only catalyzed a tech community, but also ignited a spark for her to focus on her passion projects.

She has also worked in Financial Planning and Analysis and Casino Accounting Auditing, during her previous tenure at 3 major gaming MGM properties.

Elizabeth’s journey in real estate, finance, economic and business development is fueled by a solid educational foundation as a first-generation graduate—a testament to her Rebel spirit. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and further advancing her expertise with an Executive MBA from UNLV in 2020, Elizabeth’s academic achievements have equipped her with a profound understanding of the financial and strategic facets of economic growth.

Elizabeth’s passion for community service extends beyond her professional achievements. She has actively participated in various boards and committees, focusing on raising awareness and generating scholarship opportunities for underrepresented youth.

Elizabeth Lopez stands as a respected leader and a beacon of positive change in her community. Through her thought leadership, Elizabeth continues to inspire a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Brooke Malone
VP of Investor Relations
Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance

As Vice President of Investor Relations, Brooke manages investor recruitment and recognition efforts. In collaboration with Business Development teams she develops and implements the organization’s funding strategy in alignment with regional business attraction efforts. She specializes in relationship building, external relations, and strategic growth.  

Brooke has always found passion in community building. Before joining the LVGEA team, she served as Director of Development for Housing for New Hope, where she secured partnerships with new businesses, individuals, and foundations. In prior positions at United Way and Habitat for Humanity, she had the pleasure of working with more than 400 companies, where she fostered relationships with local businesses, community partners, and national retailers to generate donations for the organization’s largest fundraising entity. She has also served on the board of the Urban Chamber of Commerce and was a member of United Way’s Young Philanthropist society.  

Brooke graduated from Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication/ Media Studies. When she’s not on the job, you can find Brooke trying out a new recipe, playing tennis, or traveling.  

Layke Martin
Executive Director
Nevada Cannabis Association

Layke Martin is an attorney and professor. She serves as the Executive Director of the Nevada Cannabis Association, where she coordinates legislative and policy agendas, educational programming, and community outreach. Layke previously served as the Assistant Dean for External Relations at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, overseeing the law school’s career development, alumni relations, communications, event, and development departments.  She currently teaches several courses at UNLV’s School of Public Policy and Leadership and has presented at national conferences on topics related to leadership and advancing women’s careers in the legal profession.

After graduating from UNLV, Layke attended law school at Boston University and practiced business litigation with a Las Vegas law firm.  The State Bar awarded her Young Lawyer of the Year in 2015.  She received Vegas Inc.’s “40 Under 40” Award in 2016. Layke and her husband Zach live in Las Vegas with their three children.  

Dr. Tya Mathis-Coleman
Deputy Treasurer
Nevada Treasury

Dr. Tya R. Mathis-Coleman is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a proud product of the Clark County School District and the Nevada System of Higher Education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Reno and she received both her  Master of Public Administration and her Doctor of Public Policy degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

Thanks to her parents, giving back to her community is an important part of her foundation. Tya is a passionate public servant of Southern Nevada. She volunteers with the BCON, Les Femmes Douze debutante program, the Junior League of Las Vegas with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for CASA, Age-On and the UNLV Alumni Association. 

Mathis-Coleman serves as the Deputy Treasurer overseeing the College Savings Division for the State Treasurer’s Office. Responsible for helping Nevada families plan, save and pay for post-secondary education. She feels privileged to work for an organization with the same values as her own. Tya believes in the tremendous impact that a person can have on the lives of young people. She strives to make a difference in the lives of others daily. 

Tya enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is the daughter of Raymond and Dr. Beverly Mathis.  Tya is married to Dr. Sebern Coleman, Jr. and they have one daughter, the love of her life, Hunter Grace. 

Staci McIntosh
Senior VP, Group People & Culture,
Aristocrat Technologies Inc

Staci McIntosh has 20+ years of broad experience as a Human Resources executive in both public and private sectors. She has worked for organizations ranging from 1,000 to 82,000 employees, and she has interviewed or coached over 1,000 individuals. She is currently the Senior Vice President for Group People & Culture at Aristocrat Technologies, supporting corporate function CEO leadership committee executives and their teams.

Staci entered the workforce as a high school teacher and school administrator. After discovering her love for human resources in all disciplines, Staci became the Assistant Superintendent/CHRO for Spokane Public Schools. A consistent tourist to Las Vegas, Staci fell in love with Nevada, and in 2011 she relocated to become the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Clark County (Las Vegas) School District.

What motivates Staci the most is helping executives elevate their leadership skills to enhance culture and provide maximum impact on revenue growth. She also gets a great deal of satisfaction supporting employees’ personal development, believing that all people can achieve their dreams, regardless of background or life experience. Staci sees the potential for each person to succeed, even if they don’t yet see it in themselves.

When she’s not working, Staci loves to write. She is the author several books providing strategies for career advancement and practical financial decisions. Staci lives in Henderson with her husband Jim and dog Jake. They enjoy spending time with their extended families and their son Ben, their daughter Kendall, and their grandsons Mikie and Stevie.

Staci holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. In 2007 she earned her Education Doctorate in Leadership from Washington State University.

Michelle Mercado
NV Region, Vice President
Regional Banking Senior Manager, Wells Fargo

Michelle Mercado leads the 11-branch Northwest Vegas Valley consumer banking district in the Nevada region of Wells Fargo Bank. In her role, she inspires more than 100 team members to create exceptional service experiences for customers. She is also focused on fostering career development for employees.

Prior to her current position, Mercado led multi-branch teams for another financial institution in New London, Conn. and throughout California. She
also worked in the learning and development function after starting her career as a branch manager over 20 years ago.

Mercado holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from
California State University, Fresno and has completed the CBA Executive Banking School. She also launched and serves as the Chair of the Wells Fargo
Nevada Disabilities ERN helping to enable team members with physical challenges. For many years, Mercado has had a connection to and currently
serves on the board for United Way of Southern Nevada to support the ongoing needs of the community.

Jacki Miller
Chief Financial Officer
Smart City

Jacki Miller is the Chief Financial Officer of both Smart City Networks and Smart City Telecom. Currently, she oversees Smart City’s finance, accounting and human resources departments as well as legal & regulatory for Smart City’s telecommunications business. She has provided impressive leadership for technology, tourism, and hospitality businesses throughout her career.

Ms. Miller previously served as the SVP of Finance & Accounting at Switch (SWCH), a publicly held developer and operator of data centers. She has held various positions in finance and accounting at Acciona Solar Power, Fontainebleau Resorts and several resort developers in Hawai’i.  Ms. Miller began her finance career in Chicago with Deloitte and Touche.

She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Nevada and has served on the board of the Las Vegas Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) since 2013, as well as having served as the FEI Chapter President in 2015 and 2017.

Ms. Miller is a trustee and treasurer for Collaboration Center Foundation, which serves children and adults with disabilities in Southern Nevada.   She serves as Advancement Chair for her son’s Boy Scout Troop and treasurer and past President of the Notre Dame Club of Las Vegas.

In addition to her role at Smart City, Miller and her husband John cofounded Cast Wines, a boutique winery producing hand-crafted wines in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma.  They live in Henderson with their four children and two Labradors.

Monica Moradkhan
Vice President,  Community Relations Wynn Resorts

Monica Moradkhan joined Wynn Resorts, Limited in November, 2017 as Vice President of Community Relations. In this role, she is responsible for the company’s long-term community engagement strategy and objectives. Prior to her role at Wynn, Monica was Director of Development and External Relations for UNLV’s Division of Student Affairs, and previously served as Executive Director of a state legislative caucus shepherding legislation on public safety, housing, economic development education, throughout three Nevada Legislative sessions.  

During her undergraduate studies, Monica participated in a tourism conference in Finland that fueled her passion for the tourism and hospitality industry. Monica holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Over the past two decades Monica has built a “second career” of volunteerism and service for the Greater Las Vegas community. She currently co-chairs the Nevada Corporate Giving Council and The Nevada Resort Association CSR Coalition. Additionally, Monica served on the Board of Directors for Opportunity 180 and Leadership Foundation of Greater Las Vegas. Monica is an active member of St. Joseph Husband of Mary Roman Catholic Church.  

Dr. Kim Nehls
Assistant Dean of Lee Business School

Dr. Kimberly Nehls is the Assistant Dean for External Relations of Lee Business School and a Lecturer for Marketing and International Business at UNLV. She teaches multiple classes each semester and is the recent recipient of the Lee Business School Teacher of the Year (2022), Undergraduate Faculty Research Mentor Award (2022), and UNLV Student Government Faculty Achievement Award (2021). In her current role as Assistant Dean, Kim is responsible for community outreach and engagement, fundraising, events, and communications.

Prior to her full-time roles in the business school, Kim served as Executive Director of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). While in this role for 10 years, Kim doubled the membership, conference attendance, and conference proposal submissions while working closely with the staff, board of directors, and volunteers. She earned the Association’s Service Award in 2018.

Kim earned a Global MBA from Duke University, a PhD in higher education and a master’s degree in communication from UNLV, and bachelor’s degrees from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is back in school completing her second PhD – this time in business administration from University of Denver. Her research and professional interests include university philanthropy and marginalized populations in business and education.  She publishes her research in both marketing and higher education journals.

Kim loves to travel and has climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked Machu Picchu in Peru, visited the Taj Mahal in India, watched the sunrise over the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and been a bridesmaid in a Muslim Nigerian wedding in Dubai. However, Kim’s greatest accomplishments are her 23-year marriage to her husband, Cory, and her three busy teenagers, the oldest of whom is attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Rachel Oliver-Cobbin
Director of Student Ministries, Mountaintop Faith Ministries

Little did North Carolina native, Rachel Oliver-Cobbin know, when she was singing in church at age four, that today, she’d be a much sought after conference motivational speaker and psalmist, singing and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moving to Las Vegas just five years ago, she has performed in venues, theaters and hotels throughout the city including Myron’s and the Troesh Studio Theater at the Smith Center, The West Las Vegas Library Theater, Silverton Hotel and Casino, Treasure Island, The Nevada Room and Noteriety. She recorded a tribute song during the pandemic written by Merald “Bubba” Knight, of Gladys Knight and the Pips, entitled THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE, on the Pipco Music Family Label, and played the role of Sophia in the 2022 Broadway in the Hood production of The Color Purple.

Rachel is a veteran entertainer with 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry, having won numerous awards, and titles.  She is an accomplished singer, performer, actress, beauty queen and entrepreneur.  She began competing in scholarship pageants at the age of fifteen and by 1985 had won seven titles.  In 1986 Rachel was crowned Miss Black Massachusetts and then went on to earn the 1986 Miss Black America crown.

From 1986 to 2002 Lady Rachel worked as an actress and singer in regional theater and national tours of many Broadway shows including “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God”, and Little Shop of Horrors”.   During this time, Oliver-Cobbin won the Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Ensemble in the California premiere of the Broadway musical Swing, in the role of Ann Hampton Calloway!  Her work as a voiceover artist includes television, movies and radio. Her collaboration with Emmy Award-winning composer Scott Liggett landed her on a radio jingle that earned her the National Silver Microphone Award 2002.In 1991, she became the fourth female lead vocalist for internationally renowned R&B recording artist, Atlantic Starr debuting on their Warner Brothers Reprise album, Love Crazy that produced one of the biggest hits of the group’s career, Masterpiece. She recorded five albums with the band, one of which was the Arista Records soundtrack for the blockbuster movie, Home Alone. Rachel toured with the group extensively throughout the country and around the world, sharing the stage with the likes of the Mighty O’Jays, Cameo, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, and Patti Labelle to name a few.  Her television appearances include Soul Train, Showtime at the Apollo, The Arsenio Hall Show, Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and most recently TV One’s award-winning docudrama series Unsung.

Rachel continues to use her talents through her company Southpaw Entertainment where she trains, and mentors aspiring singers, actors, beauty queens and public speakers. Oliver-Cobbin is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism.  She is a 34 year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serves as an active member of the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter. She also holds membership in the Las Vegas Chapter of the Society, Inc. Supporting the Arts.  Rachel is Director of Student Ministries at Mountaintop Faith Ministries, and a guest teacher in CCSD.  Oliver-Cobbin is married to Keith J. Cobbin, a UMC Department Manager, and the mother of UNR freshman Journalism and Pre-Law major and Drumline Member of the Pride of Nevada Wolfpack Marching Band, Cameron, and Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts Sophomore Vocal Major and Varsity Basketball standout Raina. They reside in Southwest Las Vegas.

Janet Quintero
VP of External Affairs
United Way of Southern Nevada

As Vice-President of External Affairs at United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN), Janet is instrumental in convening nonprofit conversations with local leaders and elected officials to strengthen our community. In her role, Janet coordinates advocacy efforts, enhances UWSN’s community relations, and manages community focused programs. 

With a rich background in community outreach and advocacy, Janet cultivates strategic partnerships to advance United Way’s mission by developing innovative programs like the Spanish Language Nonprofit Connection. Throughout her career, Janet has served in a variety of leadership roles including Secretary for the Latino Youth Leadership Foundation and Immunize Nevada Outreach Committee Chair. Janet is also an alumna of the United Way LEAD program and Jameson Fellowship and a current board member for Puentes, a nonprofit focused on addressing disparities and inequities affecting historically marginalized communities.

Recently, UWSN has been awarded a $1 million dollar grant from the federal government through the Congress’ FY23 Appropriations process to support language access across Southern Nevada in partnership with local nonprofits. This proposal was born from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, after recognizing there were language barriers to even the most basic programs. Janet led the development of this proposal and is now looking forward to addressing the need for inclusive language practices in partnership with the sector. 

“As a Latina and Mexican immigrant, I am proud to use my voice and all it represents in my role as a Vice president at United Way” said Janet Quintero “I am grateful to work for an organization that values diversity and is actively working to guarantee everyone has equitable access to resources.”

Richelle Rice
VP of Social Media/Digital Marketing
Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee

Richelle is an Emmy award-winning communications professional with extensive experience in digital marketing and TV news. As the Vice President of Social & Digital Marketing at Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee, Richelle is responsible for leading the social media and digital marketing efforts for the biggest sporting event in the world. She moved to Las Vegas in 2003 to cover crime for NBC News. During her time in Vegas, she made significant strides in her career, notably with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where she launched the department’s social media channels. 

Richelle’s career trajectory led her to spearhead the creation of the social media division at one of the largest PR firms in Southern Nevada. She has conceived and executed digital marketing strategies for brands ranging from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas to The Palm Restaurant Group, Four Seasons, and the Vegas Golden Knights. Richelle’s experience extends to managing social media crisis communications, orchestrating influencer and brand ambassador programs, and delivering impactful results through paid social media campaigns.

Juanny Romero
CEO of Mothership Coffee Roasters
NV Commissioner on Minority Affairs Board

Step into the world of Juanny Romero, where every day is a masterclass in breaking barriers and
leading with heart. This powerhouse of a woman, a vibrant force of nature, stands tall as the CEO
of a distinguished woman- and minority-owned coffee brand. Her story is not just one of success;
it’s a testament to the indomitable spirit of a daughter of immigrants, who has turned challenges
into stepping stones on her path to greatness.

Juanny’s journey is marked by her relentless pursuit of excellence, not just in the quality of coffee
her brand offers, but in the very fabric of its creation. Aligning with phenomenal female farmers,
she ensures that every bean tells a story of ethical sourcing and social change, a narrative she’s
passionately committed to. Her leadership style? Unapologetically fierce, imbued with a warmth
that radiates from her belief in connection, community, and the transformative power of a simple
cup of coffee.

But let’s not forget the accolades that underscore Juanny’s extraordinary contributions. A shining
star, recognized on the illustrious VEGAS Inc’s 40 Under 40 list, she’s not only been named
Entrepreneur of the Year NAWBO 2021 but also stands as a proud Leadership Las Vegas Alumni
2023. Her efforts have earned her the title of SBA National Runner Up Small Business Person of
the Year 2023, a testament to her skill, dedication, and the positive impact of her work.

Yet, it’s her role as the Nevada Commissioner on Minority Affairs that truly underscores her
commitment to broader societal change. In this pivotal role, Juanny leverages her platform to
advocate for minority communities, ensuring their voices are heard, their challenges are
addressed, and their contributions are celebrated across Nevada and beyond.

Juanny Romero isn’t just a businesswoman; she’s a luminary in the landscape of American
entrepreneurship, a beacon for the next generation of women leaders. Her story is one of
resilience, empowerment, and the sheer joy of crafting connections that transcend the
ordinary—turning every sip of coffee into a celebration of the unstoppable MOTHER in us all.

Tricia Scarlata
Executive Director
Head of Education Savings,
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Tricia Scarlata, executive director, is Head of Education Savings for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.  She is an advocate for educating families and their financial professionals on the importance of investing for college, and she leads the firm’s 529 plan strategy, product and distribution efforts across client relationships. 

Tricia offers over 25 years of investment industry experience, and has appeared on television, radio and print media including Bloomberg TV, Asset TV, Nasdaq TV, Morningstar and Investment News. Before being appointed Head of Education Savings, Tricia spent eight years leading the overall integrated marketing strategy for the education savings business. She partnered with sales, marketing, service, investments and public relations to gain alignment and ensure the 529 marketing strategy and program is continuously on the radar and promoted internally and externally. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan in 2014, she spent over 12 years as a marketing consultant for college savings plans, retirement plans and separately managed accounts at Oppenheimer Funds, Bernstein Investment Management, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. She started her financial services career in 1996 at PaineWebber as an internal sales consultant for the Managed Account Services business, eventually managing a group of 25 internal sales consultants nationally.  

Tricia holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Fordham University. She is Series 7 and 63 licensed and resides in Garden City, NY. 

TrinaMarie Shaw
Mrs. Nevada 2022 & 2024
Empowerment Champion For Future Generations Broker/Realtor

TrinaMarie Shaw boasts 15+ distinguished years as an HR Leader and has seamlessly transitioned into a Broker Associate Real Estate Consultant, amassing over 6 years of experience in the field. With over a decade of business expertise, she offers a fresh perspective to real estate and was recently acknowledged as one of the Top 20 Real Estate Professionals. She also co-owns B&T Capture and Design and provides HR Consulting on the side.

Her passion for photography, fashion, beauty, and art infuses a unique creative flair into her real estate endeavors. Her innate
understanding of people and property presentation sets her apart in the industry. Beyond her professional accolades, Trina Marie was crowned United States of America’s Mrs. Nevada 2022. She remains deeply committed to philanthropy and community service, advocating for vital causes such as mental health awareness, sustainability, and financial literacy, and she was part of a board that helped the nonprofit raise almost $ 1 million from grants for funding.

In her free time, she channels her energy into making a tangible impact on individuals and communities, empowering them towards healthier, sustainable, and financially secure lives. Trina Marie Shaw’s boundless enthusiasm, creative vision, a knack for personal branding, and unwavering dedication to clients and community mark her as a visionary in real estate and a catalyst for change in every
endeavor she pursues.

EDUCATION: Master of Science in Human Services (Capella University), a Bachelor of Science w/a emphasis in Human
Resources (University of Nevada Las Vegas), and a degree in Business AND Commercial Photography (College of Southern
● 4th Runner up for United States of America’s Mrs. 2023, United States of America Pageants
● United States of America’s Mrs. Nevada 2022, United States of America Pageants
● Nevada Proclamation by Assemblyman Cameron (CH) Miller (2022)
● Black History Month Recognition by Nevada State Treasurer’s Office (2022)
● Top 20 Realtors by Deluxe Version Magazine (2021)
● Woman Who Wow by Real Vegas Magazine (2020) recognizes women of influence making a difference in the community
● Featured on the covers of MyVegas Magazine (2019) and Youth News (February 2022 Issue)
● Heart of Gold Award by the Junior League of Las Vegas (2020) recognizes a select couple to a few members who
significantly impact the organization.
● Best of the Year – Celebrating Luxury Professionals by Deluxe Version Magazine (2015)
● Best of Human Resources Award by the late Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid.
● 22+ years of serving and giving back to Southern Nevada in various leadership positions; below mentions a few
● Advocacy/Speaker/Teacher to eradicate mental health stigmas, sustainability, and financial literacy
● Board Chairperson, Solutions of Change, a mental health nonprofit (2021-2023)
● Nevadans Making A Difference, Recognized by Nevada State Treasurer’s Office (2022)
● Board Member/Brand Ambassador of Solutions of Change, a mental health nonprofit (2020-2023)
● Board Member of National Association of Black Journalism – Las Vegas Chapter (2018-2020)
● Board Vice President of Urban League of Young Professionals – Las Vegas Chapter (2015-2017)
● Member of Junior League of Las Vegas (2016+) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization (2009+)
● Author of several mental health articles for Real Vegas, MyVegas, and New Model Management magazines.
● Blogger – – A blog focused on mental health, sustainability, and financial literacy
● Podcaster – Better Homes & Therapy – A podcast focused on better homes, mental health, and building stronger communities
HER FORMS OF THERAPY consist of spending time with her husband, friends, family, golf, basketball, fitness, photography,
music, art, fashion, and tennis.

Rachel Shiffrin

Rachel is an escape game junkie. She has played hundreds of rooms – including more by herself than she should probably admit. She started Escapely in 2020 by designing virtual escape rooms for companies forced into remote work during the global pandemic. She has grown that into a company with more than 60 employees and multiple product lines, like in person events and a retail escape room game. She lives and breathes for Escapely and can’t believe this is her job. Other passions include tennis, wine, and red velvet cupcakes.

Latoya Silmon
News Anchor
KSNV News 3

Latoya Silmon is an award-winning journalist with five Emmys and two Edward R. Murrow awards for her work.  She anchors the noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts, weeknights on KSNV News 3.  She joined the team in October of 2016.

While at News 3, Latoya co-anchored five hours of nonstop coverage of Las Vegas’ darkest hour- the One October mass shooting.  She also covered Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the entire Sinclair Broadcast Group, field anchored the NFL Draft coverage in Las Vegas and hosted numerous specials.

Latoya’s other career highlights include reporting from the Coretta Scott King Funeral in Atlanta, covering presidents, and moderating a forum on the “War on Terrorism.”  The forum aired LIVE on C-Span.  She is also featured in the documentary “Hate Crimes in the Heartland.”

She graduated from the University of Houston with a dual degree in broadcast journalism and public relations.  She also studied Spanish at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.

In her spare time, Latoya loves to run, read, and give back to the community.  She is a proud member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the Junior League of Las Vegas.

Amy Stephenson
Director of the
Governor’s Office of Finance

Amy Stephenson has worked her way up through the ranks of State of Nevada government in her 22-year term. She has had the privilege of being mentored through her two decades of service by great state leaders in her roles with the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Public Safety, Department of Wildlife, and the Department of Veterans Services. 

She was appointed as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Finance on July 20, 2022 by Governor Sisolak and reappointed when Governor Lombardo took office in January 2023. Stephenson’s responsibilities are grouped into three main missions: Executive Budget preparation, fiscal management, and economic analysis for the State of Nevada. Additionally, Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 353.190 establishes the Budget Director as the Cleark of the State Board of Examiners (BOE) to assist with the examination and classification of all claims to the Board, and to oversee quarterly reporting and post-audits of claims. 

Stephenson has a strong track record of successfully managing and building highly productive teams, improving business processes, directing budget planning initiatives, and developing compliance measures. She has a substantial understanding of how to lead in fast-paced, challenging environments and excellent interpersonal skills to build lasting partnerships. 

Stephenson is a U.S. Navy veteran who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the State of Nevada’s Certified Public Manager’s program. 

Dr. Dorian Stonebarger
Director of Strategy & Public Policy
Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Dorian Stonebarger is the Director of Strategy and Public Policy for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development where she collaborates with local, state, and federal government agencies to further diversify and strengthen our economy.  Prior to GOED, Dorian served as the Chief Policy Advisor to Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Brian Knudsen. During her tenure with the City of Las Vegas, she spearheaded the City’s first affordable housing ordinance and guided legislative efforts to create Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Dorian previously served as the Program Director for Three Square Food Bank, overseeing all childhood nutrition programs, the central kitchen, community engagement, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program efforts. She implemented Three Square’s school catering entity, created initiatives to combat childhood hunger, and assisted in the passage of legislation to ensure that Nevada’s most at-risk students have access to breakfast every morning.  Dorian and her husband own two popular Arts District bars, ReBAR and Davy’s, and are opening a third downtown business called Arty’s Steakhouse in the Historic Commercial Center. Dorian holds a Doctorate in Public Policy, a Masters in Urban Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, all from UNLV. She is a member of the Governor’s Council on Food Security, and a member and former board member of the Junior League of Las Vegas.   

Michelle Tavarez
Captain, Major Violator/Narcotics Bureau,
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Michelle Tavarez is a Captain with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where she has served for over 21 years.  Michelle is currently the commander of the Major Violator/Narcotics bureau where her responsibilities include overseeing the investigation and apprehension of the most violent offenders in Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Drug Task Force (focusing on transnational drug trafficking), the Overdose Response Team, and the Narcotics Street Teams.

Upon her initial promotion to Captain Michelle was the commander of Spring Valley Area Command, where she had roughly 200 officers and civilian staff under her direction.  Spring Valley spans a total of 46 square miles, encompasses 170,000 residents and includes the tourist corridor on Spring Mountain commonly referred to as Chinatown.

Prior to her promotion to Captain, Michelle was the Administrative Lieutenant in LVMPD’s newest station, Summerlin Area Command.  She was responsible for overseeing the patrol detectives, the FLEX team (a plainclothes unit that specializes in confidential informant buys, search warrant service, and surveillance operations), the Community Oriented Policing team, the Summerlin Enforcement Team, and the Area Command Information Officers.  Michelle also worked in an auxiliary position as the team leader for LVMPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.  This position is responsible for the leadership and direction of the team during dynamic hostage/barricade situations.

Michelle had the honor of being a founding member of the leadership team responsible for opening Summerlin Area Command.  As the day shift Lieutenant, she oversaw the shift through a difficult year of civil unrest, COVID-19, and an unprecedented economic downturn.  Prior to the opening of Summerlin Area Command, Michelle was assigned as the day shift Lieutenant in LVMPD’s Southeast Area Command.  Here she helped lead a long-term project that turned one of the city’s highest crime complexes into crime free multi-housing.

Prior to her promotion to Lieutenant, Michelle was a Training and Counseling Sergeant in LVMPD’s police academy.  At this time, LVMPD was experiencing their largest hiring push the agency had seen in a decade.  The pace at which the academies operated was astounding, ultimately hiring over 600 officers in roughly one and a half years.  Preceding her time at the Academy, Michelle revitalized the recruiting section.  She was brought in as the first recruiting Sergeant the agency had since the economic downturn experienced in 2008.  Michelle was responsible for rebuilding the section and jump starting the hiring initiative previously mentioned.

Michelle also served as a Crisis Negotiator for six and a half years with LVMPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.  She has responded to over 150 dynamic incidents of suicidal subjects, barricaded individuals, and hostage takers all around southern Nevada.  She assisted in the negotiation of a barricaded subject on a transit bus which shut down the iconic Las Vegas strip for several hours.  Michelle acted as a primary negotiator during a 23-hour stand-off in which a mother suffering from mental illness took her two small children hostage.  Most recently, she helped lead the team through a 29-hour hostage barricade where an ex-felon took a 4-year-old and the child’s babysitter hostage, the longest standoff in LVMPD’s history.

Michelle has held several diverse assignments throughout her career giving her a balanced view to speak from which includes: Law Enforcement Support Technician in the Clark County Detention Center, Patrol, the Problem-Solving Unit, Radio Systems Bureau, Missing Persons detective, Sexual Assault detective, Mounted Patrol Unit, as a Sergeant in Recruiting and the Police Academy, as a Lieutenant in Patrol, Public Employee Assistance Program Cadre, and operating as the Watch Commander, as a Captain leading Spring Valley Area Command and covering for the SWAT Bureau Commander.

Michelle began teaching early on in her career, understanding the importance of education and mentorship.  She has instructed both internally with LVMPD as well as externally Nationwide.  Michelle was granted the responsibility of creating the lesson plan and implementing the training for her entire agency when LVMPD upgraded to a new radio system.  She has been asked to speak at several events during her career to include luncheons honoring women in law enforcement, LGBTQ panels, school community events, Women’s Leadership Conferences and Crisis Negotiation training.

Michelle obtained her bachelor’s degree from Liberty University majoring in Criminal Justice and graduating Summa Cum Laude.  Law enforcement runs in Michelle’s blood as both of her parents retired from LVMPD; her father as a Police Captain in 2015 and her mother as an Abuse and Neglect Specialist in 2018. She is most proud of her four young children who range in ages from five to ten years old, and her ability to balance both her professional career and motherhood.

Alicia Taylor
Mortgage Solutions LLC

Alicia Taylor, a Las Vegas, NV native, boasts over three decades of experience in the mortgage lending and real estate sector, demonstrating a consistent history of success. In 2004, she established Mortgage Solutions LLC, a comprehensive mortgage banker/brokerage firm, followed by the founding of Clear Sky Realty LLC, a specialized real estate agency, in 2014. Widely recognized as a seasoned and esteemed business professional, Alicia has been featured in prominent local and national business publications, including INC Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She is sought after for her insightful perspectives on the mortgage and real estate industries, and her ability to explain complex financial matters in a simple and easy to understand manner.

A seasoned leader accustomed to the limelight, Alicia’s accomplishments include being selected from a pool of over 19,000 candidates to participate in the inaugural season of the Oprah Winfrey Network ‘OWN,’ where she secured 3rd place finish. With a fervent dedication to promoting financial stability among Americans, Alicia engages with audiences directly, delivering speeches to various organizations on the significance of financial

Alicia attributes her passion for financial literacy to her upbringing, where she witnessed family and community members making detrimental financial decisions leading to hardships and even the loss of homes. These experiences have fueled her commitment to providing families with the necessary financial knowledge and support to avoid such pitfalls. She regularly engages youth groups and students at her alma mater, UNLV, understanding the significance of instilling financial responsibility at a young age.

Alicia is currently serving in her tenth year as a Legislative appointee to Nevada’s Mortgage Advisory Council ‘MAC,’ she contributes her expertise to shaping legislation impacting the mortgage lending sector in the state. Despite her demanding schedule, Alicia remains committed to her mission of empowering individuals to take control of their financial futures, recognizing that financial empowerment is a crucial step towards overall
life mastery.

Kirsten Van Ry
 Chief of Staff
Nevada Treasury

Kirsten Van Ry serves as the Chief of Staff for the State Treasurer’s Office. Born and raised in Nevada, Kirsten holds degrees in political science and mathematics, and a law degree from William S. Boyd School of Law. Kirsten serves as the Vice Chair of the Legal Committee for the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators and a member of the Public Advisory Board for the National Institute of Public Finance. Prior to joining the Office, Kirsten served as the Deputy Chief of Staff under former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison. Kirsten’s previous positions include experience in legislative and community relations in Las Vegas and Carson City.

Jennifer Varrato
Director II, Employee Onboarding & Development Leadership & Professional Learning Division Clark County School District

Jennifer Varrato is an experienced educator with over 25 years in the field of education. Currently serving as the Director of Employee Onboarding and Development in the Clark County School District, she oversees the design and implementation of a comprehensive induction program that supports over 1800 new teachers hired in the district each year.  She considers welcoming and onboarding the new teachers of Clark County School District a privilege and every year it provides her an opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate. Her department’s vision is centered on the idea that as a larger collective we can all “be greater together” and she is committed to instilling a sense of belonging and recognizing the value that each new teacher brings to the organization. Passionate about fostering growth and professional development, Jennifer believes that investing in educators is key to creating a thriving learning environment for students. Jennifer Varrato brings empathy, insight, and a commitment to equity to her leadership role, ensuring that the needs of new teachers are prioritized and supported. 

Dr. Christina Vela
Chief Executive Officer
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children

Dr. Christina Vela, Chief Executive Officer of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, has more than two decades of professional and progressive human and social service experience that includes developing and administering foster care, homeless and supportive services to children, youth, transition age-youth and their families. 

She has worked at the non-profit level as the Executive Director and the Chief Program Officer for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a Manager for the Clark County Department of Family Services, Social Services Program Specialist for the State of Nevada and a Program Specialist for the Federal Administration for Children and Families-Children’s Bureau in Washington DC.  More recently, Christina has been the Coordinator for the State of Nevada Coalition to Prevent the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.  

Christina holds her Doctorate in Public Policy and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is a proud alumnus of Emerge Nevada, Leadership Las Vegas Class of 2013, Jameson Fellows and Clark County Leadership Academy. 

Dr. Vela was selected as a 2024 National Board Member for the Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) and currently sits on the Clark County Juvenile Justice Community Advisory Committee and the City of Henderson Housing Advisory Committee. In 2023, she was awarded the Million Dollar Master Award for outstanding fundraising leadership. In 2021, judges selected Dr. Vela as the Humanitarian of the Year Award for Vegas Inc’s Angel Awards. She also received the 2020 NAWBO Women of Distinction Award, the 2020 Vistage Member Excellence Impact Award, and Vegas Inc.’s 2018 Women to Watch coveted award. Christina is a National Board Member for The Family Focused Treatment Association and a member of the Nevada Forum of the International Women’s Forum. She was a member of the Board of Trustees for the CASA Foundation of Las Vegas and has led St. Jude’s Ranch for Children to receive the Women’s Chamber of Commerce Athena Award and a bronze medal for volunteerism from the Governor’s Point of Light Awards. 

Donna Velez
Vice President
Private Banking Officer, Nevada State Bank

Donna Velez has over 20 years of banking experience, including four years as a retail market manager. Donna has worked at Nevada State Bank since 2003 when she joined the bank as a part-time teller. Since then, Donna has held positions in retail banking, service and sales, and then later as a business center manager. Her experience enables her to serve as an advisor to her clients, providing comprehensive and strategic relationship banking for affluent clientele. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from UNLV and an MBA from the Executive MBA program at UNLV. In addition, Donna is graduating from the Pacific Coast Banking School in August 2024, continuing her personal development journey. 

Donna is active in the Las Vegas community and is a board member for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation. She also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plans of Nevada and is a Las Vegas Leadership graduate. 

Shawna Wells
7Gen Legacy Group

With 20 years of experience as a devoted educator, Shawna Wells is the Senior Vice President at the Pahara Institute, where she coaches and advises leaders working toward transformational change in public education. Throughout her career, Shawna has worked with hundreds of executive leaders across the country to build management systems that honor and implement real diversity and inclusion solutions. 

Shawna is founder and CEO of 7Gen Legacy Group, where she helps Black people, people of color, women, and those acting in allyship live their dreams now and pass those skills on to future generations. As an articulation of her personal legacy, Shawna is also the founder and CEO of B is for Black Brilliance, and author of a children’s book by the same name, dedicated to centering, uplifting and affirming narratives of Black creativity, innovation and genius.  

 She serves on the board of several organizations working to impact the lives of Black women, Black communities and Black students including The Highland Project and The University of Vermont College of Education and Social Services. 

Abbi Whitaker
The Abbi Agency

Coming Soon

Lisa Windom
Preserve Manager
Springs Preserve

Lisa Windom is a native of Nevada who has held several leadership positions in non-profits throughout the valley. Currently she is the Manager of the Springs Preserve, overseeing a 180-acre cultural institution with a mission to build culture and community, inspire environmental stewardship and celebrate the vibrant history of the Las Vegas Valley where she is spearheading the effort to develop the state’s first Science Center. Lisa is active on several boards including, Junior League of Las Vegas Endowment, Assistance League Community Advisory Board, and Nevada Museums Association.