Browsing articles in "Meet Your Neighbor"

Meet The Neighbor – Rob Jensen

Aug 28, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

Rob Jensen has high expectations. At least, that’s how the 89144 resident and seasoned luxury real estate exec speaks of himself. It’s also why he has achieved many successes in his life, which include founding the Rob Jensen Company, a high end real estate group in which Jensen is also the President and Broker. His drive in the real estate market has even landed him on television once or twice on such hit shows as Bravo’s Million Dollar Listings, in which Jensen and one of his listings on the lake became part of the show. An episode of HGTV’s House Hunters also led viewers to Las Vegas and featured Jensen touring homes with a couple of eager buyers. He’s also appeared on MSNBC and has provided written content to The Wall Street Journal among others. But to fully understand his passion for sales and natural leadership ability, we’ll have to roll back to Jensen’s childhood years.

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Since an early age, he’s been fascinated with the “art of the deal,” whether it be selling gum or selling fireworks in high school, the latter of which was ultimately the reason he did not go on his eighth grade field trip. Jensen’s leadership abilities were also evident early on when he organized every kid in his neighborhood to help build the largest snow fort imaginable in his family’s front yard in Eugene, Oregon. So when he finally put his skills to the test in the real estate game, it’s no wonder that he would make many new friends and eventually lend his expertise to a variety of causes in the community. The list includes Smiles for Survivors, Boys Town, Three Square, Nevada Cancer Society and more. Rob Jensen discusses his successes, giving back to the community and why there’s magic in Las Vegas.

So how did you actually get into the real estate biz?

“A friend was getting into business and brought me along for some appointments and I could tell it would be a great fit. The rest is history. Real estate has also been a way to meet some great people in this town.”

You’ve also made it a point to “pay it forward.”

“For me, giving to the community is two-fold. First, I am very fortunate to live the life I live. I was given a lot of great opportunities growing up and have a great family and parents. There are a lot of people that are not so fortunate with having the right people in their life or lacking the finances or health to succeed and I’m in a great position to be able to help. Secondly, being a competitive person, there is sometimes a tendency to focus inward. Helping others and focusing outward is a good way to quit thinking about one’s self and puts everything into perspective. It’s a win-win!”

Can you tell us about any experiences you’ve had with the charitable organizations you support?

“I have been a supporter of Smiles for Survivors since they were founded. As the son of a dentist, you can always say that I was raised to give this organization my support. What they do is nothing short of amazing. They are the only organization in the United States that educate the public about the oral side effects of cancer treatment, and here in Las Vegas they have a network of dentists that perform restorative dental procedures pro bono to help needy breast cancer survivors. This year, it’s exciting because my company is their first-ever platinum sponsor of Blow Out Breast Cancer, which is on October 5th at Square Colour Salon + Spa. It is rewarding to see a much-needed organization grow over the years and I love supporting their mission.”

If you weren’t in your present career, what would you do?

“If I wasn’t in real estate, maybe I’d have a career with investing. It really fascinates me these days. As a kid I used to be big into magic and doing magic shows. There’s something special about creating a feeling of wonder in someone. I bet that’s why David Copperfield still works as much as he does. There’s always magic in Vegas.”

Any words of wisdom or advice you’d give others?

“I read this quote the other day and had to save it: ‘You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.’ ”

 

Meet The Neighbor – Diane Fearon

Aug 28, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

There aren’t many times you can actually say something is a “sure thing,” but with 89135 resident Diane Fearon as the newest CEO of the Communities In Schools of Nevada (CISN), you can bank on her success.

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When the board appointed Fearon as CEO of the organization, they knew that her wealth of knowledge as a business executive would take CISN to new heights.  Her business acumen includes being the founding President and CEO of Bank of George, where she took the company from $21 million in capital to $108 million in assets during her tenure. She has also served as a director for the bank, chaired the bank’s Loan Committee, Community Reinvestment Act Committee as well as other executive and management groups.

From her career beginnings in 1988 as a Loan Adjustment Department Manager to becoming an Executive Vice President for Bank of Nevada before joining Bank of George, Fearon has also played a part in developing partnerships between the private and non-profit sector. She’s dedicated her time and expertise serving as Vice Chairman of Habitat for Humanity, board member with the American Diabetes Association and as a committee member with Shade Tree and Nevada Public Radio.  So, to Fearon, taking this next step with CISN was just another way to give back and making a tangible difference.

CISN currently supports nearly 25,000 students across 40 school sites in Southern Nevada and Northeastern Nevada, providing critical services such as medical and dental care, mental health counseling, food, clothing, tutoring, career exploration, academic development and other programs.  CISN also advocates for at-risk students at partner schools. All of this adds up to decreasing the dropout rate and increasing graduation rates, which means a higher economic benefit to the community.  Diane Fearon talks about her new career with CISN, what motivates her and a look at the person behind the success.

Why did you choose to become a part of CISN?

“Reducing our high school dropout rate is critical to the future of Nevada and it’s easy to get discouraged by how far we need to go.  I’m encouraged by the talented and dedicated folks coming together to make progress.  It’s also extraordinary to represent an organization that does so much with modest means, and has the hard data measurements to back up our fantastic ROI.  For every $1 invested, we return $11.60 in economic benefit to our community.  The prior banker in me loves that!”

Any experiences so far you’d like to share about CISN?

“Since joining I’ve had the chance to meet and begin to work with a significant number of committed and capable volunteers at all levels who are making a positive difference in the educational outcomes for Nevada K-12 students.”

Why do you feel it is important to give back?

“I think there are generally two types of individuals in the world – those who multiply the potential of those around them, and those who diminish the potential of those around them.  I strive to always be a multiplier.”

Of your many career accomplishments what stands out?

“I would have to say being named the CEO of CISN positions me for tremendous professional and personal growth while enabling me to have a great deal of satisfaction in being involved in improving the future of Nevada’s students – who are our future.”

Speaking of personal growth, is there something you’d like to share that others might not know?

“I’m the proud mother of four; my adult step-children, Natasha and Alex with husband Mike Majewski and my two nine-year old cats, Scout and Rudy.”

Any favorite hobbies?

“I love to travel and have had the chance to visit some fascinating destinations such as the base camp at Mt. Everest in Tibet, China, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Costa Rica, Croatia, Italy, England and Portugal…and that’s just the beginning!”

Any words of wisdom you live by?

“Probably John F. Kennedy’s quote – ‘to those who much is given, much is expected.’”

 

Meet The Neighbor – Larry Davis

Aug 28, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

For many, the topic of death is not an easy one but 89128 resident Larry Davis has devoted the past 34 years to serving and honoring those who have died.  Davis is the General Manager of Palm Mortuary’s Downtown location.  As a young man he received a personal and spiritual calling to help families dealing with the loss of a loved one. Having had the opportunity to work at each of the Palm Mortuaries in the Vegas Valley, Davis has become very familiar with the people that make up the community he has called home since 1995. His devotion to supporting others has led him to create a monument dedicated to the civil rights movement in Las Vegas called the Garden of Dreams.  As part of the program, a scholarship is offered with the Public Education Foundation to help local students obtain their educational goals and to encourage them to pursue their careers in Las Vegas while contributing to the city. Founding a new program and developing a monument is not easy, but Davis knows a thing or two about hard work.

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Upon graduation from high school he began his career at a family-owned mortuary in Southern California where he learned to respect the industry.  After attending mortuary science college, he spent the next 15 years working for Pierce Brothers Mortuaries in Southern California which includes the location in Westwood Village where famous entertainers like Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and Jim Backus are laid to rest. He took a leap of faith by leaving his family and friends to move to Las Vegas, and has since become entrenched within the community, lending his support to a number of organizations including Nathan Adelson Hospice, United States Veterans Initiative and Keep Memory Alive. Davis talks about his prized accomplishment, and living to the fullest in Las Vegas.

What was your inspiration in creating the Garden of Dreams?

“I think it stems from an innate desire to help others.  That drive was really fundamental in coming up with the idea for the Garden of Dreams.  I wanted to create a space that invites people to reflect on our journey toward equality for all.”

Tell us about the monument and scholarship fund.

“The monument, which resembles a giant granite torch, is engraved with the words dignity, equality, justice and freedom.  It is a tribute to the equality movement and a symbol of Palm Mortuary’s commitment to educating young people who demonstrate the ideas of civil rights heroes.  A college scholarship will be awarded to one student each year, funded in part by the sale of pavers along the monument walk and burial cremation plots surrounding it.  There are 14 granite stars, representing the 14th Amendment.  We will hold an annual dedication to recognize a significant contributor to the civil rights movement locally or globally.”

You have to be proud of creating the Garden of Dreams.

“I am honored that the community has been so supportive.  When I drive downtown on Las Vegas Boulevard and see this permanent monument to civil rights that I had dreamed of and is now built, I feel incredibly proud.”

As part of the community, what would be your most memorable experience?

“Believe it or not, my most memorable experience was fairly recent.  We worked with Metro and the family of a fallen officer on his arrangements and just being able to help and honor a community hero with his loved ones is something that will always stay with me.”

What do you think makes you successful?

“For me, being successful isn’t about wealth or material things. It’s about being able to help people in their most difficult times.”

What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day?

“I enjoy going out to dinner with friends but mostly spending time at home with my husband Lee Cagley and taking our two dogs Maxwell and Bentley for a long evening walk around the lakes in Desert Shores.”

Meet The Neighbor – Fafie Moore

Aug 28, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

There’s no question that the Las Vegas real estate market has undergone a rollercoaster existence for several years now. Fafie (pronounced Foffee) Moore and her husband Jeff, residents and partners in Realty Executives of Nevada and Realty Executives Intermountain Region, continue to roll with the punches and have maintained a successful business. Their success has been the inspiration for supporting many local artistic programs and nonprofit causes.

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Moore began her career in real estate in 1981 after her job with the Arizona Department of Education was eliminated due to budget cuts. A friend suggested becoming a realtor. In her first year, she sold a house every two weeks, and that was during a time when interest rates were 18% and qualifying was difficult for potential home buyers. To this day, Moore considers the period “the best training possible.” She and her husband used their real estate savvy when determining their moving date to Las Vegas twenty-four years ago. It was on Thanksgiving Day, because they thought people would not be buying houses that day.

With the philosophy that everything thrives and grows when it is fed and nurtured, Moore has been passionate about supporting the community. The Moore Family is a benefactor of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Las Vegas Philharmonic. She also supports the Goodie Two Shoes organization, which provides socks and shoes for children who cannot afford them. For many, these are the first new shoes they’ve ever owned. Moore also serves on the committee for the Kick Off Your Heels Luncheon (KOYH), which takes place annually during the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Fafie Moore talks about her passion for these causes and provides some secrets to her success.

Why has it been important for you to support the community?

“Las Vegas has been very good to us and we feel that it is our responsibility to return the favor by making our home community a better place.”

You’ve helped a number of organizations. Tell us why you gravitated toward Goodie Two Shoes.

“It’s such a simple thing to provide socks and shoes. If a child doesn’t have them, they don’t go to school, they don’t go outside to socialize and they miss out on so much. The joy of seeing a young person put on their first pair of new shoes is a very moving experience.”

There seems to be a trend going with the Kick Off Your Heels Luncheon.

“Actually, ladies attend the luncheon sans heels in support of Shriners Hospitals for Children. Susan T. Spencer will be our keynote speaker and the event will also feature a live auction. I am serving on the committee and this year’s event will be held on October 15th at TPC Summerlin.”

Any experiences through this event you’d like to share?

“The true joy of chairing the KOYH luncheon is to meet the child ambassadors that have been helped by the Shriners Hospitals for Children and to hear the gratitude in the voices of their parents for the gift of a solution for their child’s issue. Seeing a little girl in a party dress who was in critical condition just a year earlier is what it’s all about.”

You also support the arts in the community?

“I believe culture is critical to the future maturation of our community. Jeff and I love to support events at The Smith Center and tell people all the time that Las Vegas has this new treasure in the desert.”

How do you unplug after a busy day?

“I enjoy watching movies, sewing and making online photo books of our children and their families, including our six grandchildren.”

What makes you successful?

“I love what I do and I do it for the right reason. Also, my parents taught me to never be a quitter or a liar. I have found that to be very sound advice. Many times, success follows your last failure.”

Meet The Neighbor – Jeffrey R. Gordon

Jul 29, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

“In this life we cannot always do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

-Mother Teresa

 Life can take you in many directions. Take 89074 resident Jeffrey Gordon, for instance. He’s been in leadership roles throughout his career, from being the General Manager of a local radio station to the President and CEO of an outdoor advertising company. He’s also been at the helm of a professional basketball team both in Wyoming and in Las Vegas, and for the past fifteen years he has been serving as the President and CEO of the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF). In each of these positions, he has had an opportunity to meet and work with many people throughout the community, including industry leaders, politicians, athletes, parents, students and others. But it’s his work with the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation that has made the most profound impression of all. What he’s learned and has since shared with those around him is that real courage does not always roar. It takes courage to continually take the path least taken to make a difference, and it’s quite another form of courage to do it with grace, dignity and selflessness.

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Jeffrey Gordon has served on a number of boards and supported many charities including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Special Olympics. He continues to be drawn to organizations that assist special needs children, so the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation was an inspired choice. This husband and father of five children is passionate about helping others that have not been able to help themselves. He believes strongly that a positive attitude can be the catalyst in creating positive outcomes and encourages that mantra in others. Gordon talks about his indelible experiences through the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, his cherished accomplishments and why there’s always time for a ride on his Harley.

What is the most influential experience you can recall at the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation?

“I’ve been involved for over fifteen years, so I could share hundreds of experiences. Like the young man who struggled for the first ten years of his life not knowing a truly healthy day. He wanted to come one more day to Camp Cartwheel, our three night camp experience designed to help children with cancer or other critical illnesses, as well as their siblings, enjoy time away from the stress and hospitals they endure on an ongoing basis. I had the privilege of driving him to camp even in his much weakened state. We talked about his life and love and gratitude for his parents and all those who loved him. When I drove him home, he said he had the greatest day of his life. At that moment, it reminded me of the heartfelt quote that courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow. The young boy passed just two weeks later and I will never forget the lesson that I learned that day.”

What drives you to succeed in life?

“I feel every experience we go through is to prepare us to help someone else. I also strongly believe in maintaining a positive attitude. A positive outlook can cause a chain reaction of events that can create extraordinary results.”

You have received many distinguished honors for your efforts in the community.

“I am very proud of the awards which have been a team effort in helping to make things happen. The Citizen of Distinction Award was presented by the Mayor. I have also received the Philanthropist of the Year Award, the Toastmaster International Award for Leadership and Service and recently the key to the city, which was presented by Mayor Carolyn Goodman.”

What makes you most proud?

“Being a good father, helping others and living a healthy lifestyle.”

Does that include de-stressing with your Harley?

“I love to ride my bike and go on long trips. I continually surprise others when they see me in my leathers.”

Meet The Neighbor – Amy Rossetti

Jul 29, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

Have you ever heard of someone described as a great “closer?” They’re the type of person that has super powers when it comes to persuading and motivating others to “seal the deal.” Meet Amy Rossetti, who may possess the many talents of a good closer but is better known as a great opener. Rossetti has put her super skills to the test and played an influential role as part of many “opening teams” that have launched some of the community’s most recognizable businesses.

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Throughout her career, Amy has opened ten restaurants and casino resorts including the Bellagio, Wynn, Encore and The Cosmopolitan, while also securing valuable partnerships in conjunction with these properties such as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, New York City Wine & Food Festival and Top Chef Masters. She currently serves as The Cosmopolitan’s Vice President of Public Relations and has earned acclaim for cultivating relationships with top media outlets. Her successful efforts have earned her a Gold Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, and she’s also been a recipient of Vegas Inc’s 40 Under 40, which annually recognizes influential local individuals in the business community.

While Rossetti has experienced much success in her career, she is passionate about donating time and resources to community organizations such as Communities in Schools of Nevada as a member of the Board of Trustees, and she participates in the Mentor Program at her alma mater, UNLV. She has also worked alongside organizations such as The Today Show’s Lend a Hand Project benefitting the Culinary Training Academy of Las Vegas, Three Square Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and the James Beard Foundation. Amy Rossetti talks about making a difference in the community and why travel and adventure are in her blood.

Tell us about your experiences with Communities in Schools of Nevada.

“The philanthropy group is comprised of diverse, influential, like-minded individuals with a common goal to make a difference in the dropout crisis in Nevada. We determine student needs and establish relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations to provide needed resources to keep kids in school. We recently launched another facet of the program called The Community.”

Tell us about “The Community.”

“Co-chairs Alyssa Anderson, Courtney Schorr and myself helped to launch The Community this past April to give young philanthropists in Las Vegas the opportunity to meet others with a common purpose. Our goal is to develop a platform to create education advocates while making giving accessible and social through a series of events created for our members, by our members.”

What or whom has inspired you to get involved in philanthropic efforts within the community?

“Throughout the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have four inspirational mentors: Elizabeth Blau, Lisa Marchese, Susie Lee and Elaine Wynn. I always think about how their time, dedication and commitment made such an impact on me both professionally and personally. Collectively, they introduced me to many opportunities within the community and my heart led me to what I was passionate about.”

What do you enjoy doing in the free time that you have?

“I am a collector of vintage cookbooks, specifically from the 1940s. I love the way the books were written during that time. Women were learning to cook for their men as they were returning home from the war. My grandfather was a spy and later recognized as a World War II hero. I know that’s why this era truly resonates with me.”

So maybe that’s why you’re always ready for a bit of adventure?

“My bags are always packed, so there is always a good chance I’ll be traveling!”

 

Meet The Neighbor – Daniele Dreitzer

Jul 29, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

How many times have we used the words “if only”? If only I had chosen a different road, taken a friend’s advice, remembered someone’s birthday, paid more attention to my children, made someone else’s life a little easier… if only. We’ve all thought it at some point or another, but we would do well to take a page from 89012 resident Daniele Dreitzer, who strives to make every moment count. It’s not easy, but Dreitzer is willing to look at things from a different perspective, forge new territory and take risks to make a difference every day.

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Truth be told, what Dreitzer does every day would be considered difficult by any circumstance. In her role as Executive Director for the Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas, maintaining a positive, motivational outlook would be considered a gift. Each day she and the many volunteers and staff of the organization reach out to people who are at one of the lowest, most challenging points in their lives. Dreitzer is no stranger to nonprofit work. Her entire career has been spent in the field, starting back in high school when she volunteered at a soup kitchen in her hometown of Chicago. Since then, she has honed her talents working with other charitable organizations and has been recognized for bringing people and organizations together to make a difference.

When she’s away from the office, Dreitzer is a proud mom of thirteen year old daughter Julia, in whom she hopes she has instilled her sense of community and “do it now” attitude. We had an opportunity to talk to Dreitzer about her work with the Crisis Center, her influence on those in the community (including her daughter) and about her unique way of unwinding after a busy day.

What drew you to pursuing a career in the nonprofit sector?

“When I was volunteering at a soup kitchen just before going away to college, I realized that for what it was going to cost for me to go to school for one year, several of the people in that soup kitchen could have a place to live, food, etc. In that moment, I realized how fortunate I was and decided that I would use my education to try and make the world a better place, and that’s what I’ve continued to want to do every day.”

Tell us about your experiences with the Rape Crisis Center.

“We are there to offer hope and support. Every single person that I’ve had contact with touches my heart. Whether it’s a victim who calls on the hotline because it’s the first time since the assault that they’ve been alone and need a friendly voice on the other end of the line, or a parent who has just learned that a child was sexually abused and is trying to get them help, or an older victim who just didn’t think things like this could happen to someone their age, each story is uniquely impactful.”

What do you think makes you successful?

“I am not usually daunted by the fact that something has never been done before. I love to problem solve and believe in bringing people and organizations together.”

How have your philosophies influenced your daughter?

“I am so proud of my daughter. The amount of confidence she has as a thirteen year old girl is amazing. I hope I’ve had something to do with that. She hates injustice and unfairness of any sort because she has grown up seeing a lot in the community and helping at different organizations.”

We understand you have a unique way of unwinding?

“I don’t think of myself as a violent person at all but I take body combat at the gym once a week. I think of some of the perpetrators I hear about at the Center and when we’re punching and kicking during the class I visualize them and it releases a lot of stress!”

Why is it important for you to give back?

“In the end, I never want to look back and say if only I had done that it would have made such an impact. I just want to do it!”

 

Meet The Neighbor – Dr. Todd Newton, DDS, Dr. Robert Nisson, DDS, Dr. Corry Timpson, DDS

Jul 29, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

You’ve probably heard of the term “band of brothers” used to refer to those that have shared a camaraderie and kinship while serving together in the military. Residents Doctors Nisson, Timpson and Newton have created a band of dentists that are committed to paying homage to the veterans in our community while also initiating a special program called Freedom Fridays that provides unemployed vets in the greater Las Vegas area with free dental services.

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Warm Springs Dental was established in 1990 by Dr. Nisson. After the practice began to grow, Nisson convinced his dental school roommate Dr. Timpson to join him. Soon the small office was overwhelmed with patients seeking treatment, during which time Dr. Newton joined the practice. In just a few short months, it was clear that the team of three dentists and their staff needed a bigger office, so the practice was developed at Warm Springs and Stephanie across from Green Valley High School. In 2002, the three dentists joined forces again to open a second (satellite) location called Anthem Village Dental, located in the Vons center of the Anthem community.

Since the doctors have enjoyed the support of the Henderson and Las Vegas communities for the past twenty-two years, they decided to give back in a way that shows their appreciation for the men and women that fought for our freedom, particularly in these tough economic times.  This band of dentists understands that tough times can be even harder for veterans who have fought for our country and been unable to find consistent employment to support themselves and/or their families after returning home. The doctors talk about the Freedom Fridays program that provides comprehensive dental care to vets and about their own lives and aspirations.

Tell us about Freedom Fridays and why it’s such an important program.

Dr. Newton: “Warm Springs Dental and the specialists and contributors of the program provide highly detailed and comprehensive treatment without restrictions of cost and barriers of insurance to a growing number of vets in the area.”

Dr. Timpson: “Treating our unemployed veterans shows our gratitude and appreciation for our vets and their service to our country.”

Dr. Nisson: “The program offers a luxury that many vets can’t afford, which affects their health and self confidence. It also affects their ability to get back into the workplace. Your smile plays an important role in that process.”

How do vets get into the program?

Dr. Newton: “Vets living in Clark County, Nevada who are unemployed and in need of dental care should contact Angela Alegna at American Helping Heroes or Karen Lewis at the Las Vegas Urban League. You must qualify through one of these two organizations to get into the program. Visit FreedomFriday.org for additional information.”

What does giving back mean to you?

Dr. Nisson: “We, along with our staff, give up our Fridays to do this pro bono work. It’s a great feeling and makes us less selfish. We all need to realize the importance of giving back.”

Dr. Timpson: “I was never in the military, but Freedom Friday gives me a sense of giving back to our country a little.”

Dr. Newton: “My personal reward is attached to the deep emotions provided as I sit with a deserving vet and become aware that we are both fighting back the impulse to simply let the tears fall. If the reward is measured in goose bumps, I have been paid in millions.”

Any personal aspirations?

Dr. Nisson: “Provide dental services to third world countries!”

Dr. Newton: “Expand Freedom Fridays to cities across the United States.”

How do you relax after a busy day?

Dr. Timpson: “I do yard work at my home. That’s where I do my best thinking. I also enjoy spending time with my family.”

Dr. Nisson: “I’m home with my wife and family, playing with the kids. I also like to fix things.”

Dr. Newton: “Stop moving for ten minutes, then work out. Otherwise, enjoying my USC season football tickets.”

 

 

Meet The Neighbor – Lydia Ball

Jul 2, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

By Callie Thomas

There’s no doubt that energy is a powerful thing. Whether it’s the energy you put toward building and maintaining relationships, pursuing a life goal or career, or motivating yourself to stay fit, energy is a vital resource for life. In its purest and simplest form, energy touches our lives daily by creating light, powering our cars and keeping us cool. 89144 resident Lydia Ball is excited about energy every day, particularly as she is currently the Executive Director of Clean Energy Project (CEP), where she gets to talk about energy and energy policy on a daily basis.

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It takes a very compassionate person to not only consider the complexities of our dependency on energy but also to try and maintain a healthy environment. It takes a passionate person such as Lydia, whose interests are rooted in engaging and educating the public and working within local, state and federal policies to create a balance between the private sector and government. By combining her knowledge and her continuing efforts with CEP, she is making a difference in each of our lives.

Originally from the Midwest, Lydia is now a twelve year local resident who is dedicated to improving the community she is proud to call home and where much of her life has been formed. Ball has fallen in love with Las Vegas for many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s where she fell in love with her husband, who incidentally works as a Project Manager at Bombard Renewable Energy. It is also where she has become part of a group that continues to influence change such as investing in natural resources over fossil fuel. Lydia spoke with us about the efforts of CEP, maintaining a healthy balance between work and family and why getting outdoors and working out is her antidote for life’s challenges.

What is the goal of CEP?

“The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization instills a clean energy economy through education and engagement with policy leaders, community leaders and citizens on the economic benefits of developing clean energy.”

What is your role with the organization?

“As Executive Director, I assist in establishing and implementing our strategic goals, act as a spokesperson to media and conduct education and outreach to regional, state and local policy makers and support the progression of the group’s mission.”

What motivates you to help and serve the community?

“I believe I’ve always had a service-based value system. As early as ten years old, I volunteered as a coach to Special Olympics teams and have always looked for ways to have fun by helping people.”

You also worked for Senator Reid’s office?

“Yes. There I learned how the balance between government and the private sector reduces risk for business and helps stabilize our economic growth. I don’t think government is the answer to our problems, but it has an important role to play with new economies that allow business and the environment to work hand in hand.”

It is easy to see your passion for the work.

“I love talking about energy. It has taught me to embrace my inner nerd. And yes, my husband and I talk about energy at dinner all the time!”

What accomplishments are you most proud to have achieved?

“Nothing I do is in a vacuum. My accomplishments are the result of the enormous support of my husband, family and community. In the last six years, Nevada has not only made the choice to not build three large coal plants but has also been ground zero for clean energy technologies projects.”

How do you unwind after a busy day?

“Having fun in life has always been my priority. I love spending time at home with my husband and dog, and I enjoy being outdoors. Whether I’m hiking, biking, walking with my dog or at a yoga class, it always brings me back to center.”

What do you think makes you successful?

“I honestly enjoy what I do, so it is easy for me to work hard, and I am driven to education and learning every day.”

Meet The Neighbor – Colleen P. Page

Jul 2, 2013   //   by wagona   //   Meet Your Neighbor  //  No Comments

 By Callie Thomas

When’s the last time you spent “quality time” with your spouse, your children, brother, sister or friends? Was it somewhere between picking up dinner on the road, dropping the kids off to practice or coming home after ten hours of meetings and deadlines? This is probably why “quality time” has become so precious—and necessary. 89135 resident Colleen Page has figured out a way to spend important time with her family and still make a difference in the community. Does that make her a magician? Probably not, but she is pretty smart.

Colleen Page DS1D0736F

The stay at home mom of two has made a point to become involved with not one but two charity leagues that ensure one-on-one time with her son Christopher, age 16, and daughter Shannon, age 14. Meanwhile, local charities reap the rewards of much needed support from the mother-son and mother-daughter duos.

For the past two years, Page and her son have been involved with the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL), where mothers and sons volunteer and serve at various philanthropies in Vegas. She is currently the VP-Elect Philanthropy with the organization. Page is also involved with the National Charity League (NCL), where she and her daughter also assist a long list of local nonprofit organizations such as the Animal Foundation, for which Page serves as the NCL Liaison. Each of these alliances has had a huge impact on the quality of time and the immeasurable rewards attained by the Page family as part of these groups. Organizations that are served through the League and YMSL include Joy Prom, Opportunity Village, Shade Tree, Baby’s Bounty, Child Haven, CCSD, Three Square, Golden Retriever Rescue and many more.

Colleen Page gives us a glimpse into her everyday life, tells us why Las Vegas is so special and talks about instilling community awareness and service in her children.

What did you set out to accomplish by being a part of these organizations?

“I really believe giving back to the community should just be an extension of yourself every day. I’m proud of my family and having my children see and learn about things outside of their Summerlin community.”

What is the mission of the leagues?

“Both organizations are focused on serving and supporting those in need as well as fostering relationships between mothers and their children. At YMSL, each mother-son team is required to serve at least twenty hours of community service in support of approved philanthropies each year. The vision of the NCL group is to develop strong women leaders serving and impacting communities as a result of building strong mother-daughter relationships.”

You must have some profound experiences working with the charities.

“My son and I volunteered with YMSL for Joy Prom. This is a full scale prom for disabled children and adults. The event is put on entirely by volunteers. The boys are hosts and are paired with a disabled person. They do an amazing job making someone feel special and important for the night, and sometimes that is a hard thing to teach and learn. My son and I will always remember this special night.”

What is a typical Saturday like around your house?

Taking the kids to their various activities, going to the movies at Red Rock, my husband making salmon from a Page family recipe I love, or eating out with friends.”

Why is Las Vegas so special to you?

“About twenty years ago, my husband and I went to Hawaii and then Las Vegas for our honeymoon. We were here and witnessed the implosion of the Dunes. It was amazing and I remember thinking what a great city this was… but I never thought we would be raising a family here. It has been a wonderful city.”

What does giving back mean to you?

“Most days, everyone is so busy running around with work, kids, sports, etc. that it’s hard to stop and remember the simple things in life. Being involved in these organizations helps me find balance, and I hope my children are learning from this entire experience.”

 

 

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