ConveneNV 2018 Speakers
Transforming Our Community
Framing 1:10 - 1:15pm
Emcee: Dr Halleh Seddighzadeh
Dr. Halleh Seddighzadeh is an international counter-trafficking advisor and Traumatologist specializing in the psychological treatment of torture, complex traumatic stress and dissociative conditions, specifically in survivors of human trafficking, radicalized youth, war refugees, genocide, gender based violence, terrorism and most recently survivors of cults and spiritual abuse. She has worked in refugee settings and crisis affected communities with child and adult survivors of trafficking and torture in the Middle East. She frequently provides consultation and training to law enforcement agencies, service providers, faith-based organization, prosecutors, investigators, medical practitioners and the business sector internationally and domestically on trauma-sensitive best practices.
PANEL 1 “Transformative Sustainability Quick-fire Panel” 1:15 – 2:00 PM
Moderator: Jeremy Aguero, Applied Analysis
Jeremy Aguero is a principal analyst with Applied Analysis, a leading economic, fiscal and policy research firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has performed countless economic and fiscal impact assessments for projects of local, regional and national significance. Aguero has acted as lead staff for the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. The committee’s 16-months of public hearing ultimately culminated in a Special Session of the Nevada State Legislature where Senate Bill 1 paved the way for a $1.9 billion NFL stadium and $1.4 billion convention center expansion and Assembly Bill 1 provided increase funding for police officers within the regions tourism corridor and throughout southern Nevada.
Aguero has taught hotel law and data for policy analysis as distinguished professor of practice at UNLV and he currently serves on the board of Nevada State Bank. In addition to serving on the R&R Foundation board, Aguero is the treasurer of Nevada Child Seekers and chairman of Opportunity Village’s ARC Board. He has been honored as the Hispanic of Year by the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce and Alumni of the Year by the Boyd School of Law.
Speaker: Yalmaz Siddiqui, VP of Sustainability, MGM Resorts International
Yalmaz Siddiqui is Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at MGM Resorts International and holds a Masters in Environment & Development from the University of Cambridge in England, and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in Canada. He is responsible for leading a range of environmental sustainability initiatives for the company, including materials management, food waste reduction, environmentally preferable purchasing and sustainable events.
Prior to joining MGM Resorts, Yalmaz was Senior Director, Sustainability at Office Depot, where he set strategic direction and helped integrate a series of social and environmental sustainability programs into the global organization. During his ten years with Office Depot he helped the company grow sales of environmentally preferable products from $1.2 Billion to $3.2 Billion, reduced carbon emissions by over 40%, and reach a ranking of #1 greenest large retailer America in Newsweek magazine's green rankings for three consecutive years. A global expert in sustainable purchasing, Yalmaz was the Founding Chair of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, a widely recognized, multi-stakeholder organization creating a methodology and recognition program for this emerging area of sustainability action.
Speaker: Dr. Karen Wayland, Executive Director, Clean Energy Project
Dr. Karen Wayland is Executive Director of the Clean Energy Project, a non-profit that advocates for clean energy policies in Nevada, the West and nationally and supports the clean energy business community. Before that, she was a senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she established the State, Local and Tribal Policy Office in the Energy Policy and Systems Analysis Office and was a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary. She served as a senior advisor to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and was named by Roll Call magazine as one of Capitol Hill’s top ten energy staffers to know. She was the Legislative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council for five years and chaired the national environmental community’s climate and energy coalition. She also worked for Senator Harry Reid, where she covered energy, nuclear waste, water, and Native American issues. She directed the Earth and Marine Sciences Program at Earthwatch, a nonprofit organization that funds scientific research by recruiting paying volunteers. Wayland has appeared as a commentator on major TV and radio programs, including CNN, MSNBC, and the Diane Rhem Show. She holds a Master’s of Science from the University of Connecticut and a Dual Ph.D. in the fields of geochemistry and resource development from Michigan State University.
Speaker: Raymond Hess, Director of Planning Services, RTC of Southern NV
Raymond Hess directs the Metropolitan Planning Organization at the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. In this capacity, he also oversees a regional sustainable communities initiative known as Southern Nevada Strong. These efforts require extensive coordination with federal, state, regional, and local stakeholders to improve economic competitiveness, increase transportation choices, and invest in complete communities. Prior to joining the RTC in 2012, Raymond worked for the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (IN), the City of Brooksville (FL) and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from the University of Florida and a Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University. He is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners and a League Cycling Instructor through the League of American Bicyclists.
Speaker: Mauricia Baca, Executive Director, Get Outdoors Nevada
Mauricia Baca has over 25 years of experience working across a wide range of environmental issues. Prior to becoming Executive Director in 2010, Ms. Baca worked with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for five years in their Nevada Chapter. The latter three years were spent leading the southern Nevada office. Ms. Baca served as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2000 through 2004 in the Wildlife and Marine Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Ms. Baca’s non-profit and community outreach experience includes working in New York City as the city-wide community organizer for the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphanger’s Campaign, a mass transit advocacy organization. Ms. Baca serves as Chair on the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Advisory Council, and as a member on the Transportation Resource Advisory Committee for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the City of Henderson Comprehensive Planning Healthy Communities Stakeholder Group.
Ms. Baca has served on the Transportation Task Force for Southern Nevada Strong (2013 – 2015) and as Vice-Chair for the Las Vegas Healthy Communities Coalition Natural & Built Environment Committee (2013-2015). In 2016, Ms. Baca was honored as Citizen Planner 2016 by the American Planning Association, Nevada Chapter. In 2017, Ms. Baca was honored with the Carolyn M. Sparks Founders Award. Ms. Baca is an alumnus of the Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, Class of 2013.
PANEL 2 “Transformative Resiliency” 2:05 – 3:00 PM
Moderator: Sue DiBella, Director, Office of Community Engagement, UNLV
Sue DiBella directs the university’s Office of Community Engagement, working to support, facilitate, and promote collaboration, partnership, and engagement between the university and its many constituent groups. Previous to leading the Office of Community Engagement, she served in several roles at UNLV, including executive director of communication and planning for the research division, editor of the university's research magazine, and assistant director of the media relations office. Early in her career, she worked as a journalist in Las Vegas and served as a part-time public speaking instructor at UNLV. DiBella holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in communication studies from UNLV. Her scholarly interests include the effectiveness of research communication and media coverage of science, and she is the co-editor of the book, Implementing a Comprehensive Research Compliance Program: A Handbook for Research Officers.
Speaker: Chief John Steinbeck, Clark County Office of Emergency Management
John C. Steinbeck was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief on Feb. 1, 2014 having been with the Clark County Fire Department since 1990. Prior to being promoted to Deputy, Chief Steinbeck held the rank of battalion chief, captain, fire engineer and firefighter. For a large portion of his career, he specialized in Technical Rescue which includes high angle, confined space, swift water, trench, vehicle and machinery extrication, and structural collapse. Chief Steinbeck has also been with Southern Nevada’s Urban Search and Rescue team which is sponsored by FEMA. His deployments for search and rescue missions included New York City shortly after 9-11 and New Orleans for the aftermath caused by Hurricane Katrina. He also is a Structural Collapse Technician Instructor for FEMA.
Currently, Chief Steinbeck serves as Emergency Manager for Clark County and is in charge of the Office of Emergency Management. In addition, he oversees Homeland Security for the Fire Department and Nevada Task Force. Chief Steinbeck is on the Board of Nevada Child Seekers, which is an organization dedicated to protecting children in Nevada. Chief Steinbeck is on the Board of Nevada Child Seekers, which is an organization dedicated to protecting children in Nevada. He has been married to his wife, Lynette, for nearly 24 years and they have four children.
Speaker: Scott Emerson, CEO United Way of Southern Nevada, Former CEO Red Cross
Appointed President and CEO of United Way of Southern on February 1, 2018, Scott is committed to uniting our community to improve people's lives. A dedicated community advocate and problem solver, Scott will bring partners and donors together to create measurable community impact.
Scott served 31 years with the American Red Cross in Missouri and Nevada where his role includes leading and modernizing the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is currently serving as the American Red Cross’ Divisional Chief Operations Officer & Southern Nevada Executive Director. Scott has proven himself as a dedicated leader, growing resources and developing strategic partnerships to improve local services for our community. He has a rich history of collaborating and building coalitions to improve services to the community; most notably earning a partnership award from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) for co-joined efforts between the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
Scott is the recipient of several awards including the Non-Profit Administrator of the Year from the American Society of Public Administrators, Golden Hand Service Award from the Cultural Diversity Foundation, Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership (the highest volunteer leadership award in the American Red Cross) and Spirit of Excellence for Direct Service Beyond the Chapter. He is a graduate of the Non-Profit Management Certificate program; a partnership between the United Way of Southern Nevada and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Using information from United Way’s recently-launched information hub, Community Connect, Scott will also lead the organization’s efforts to creative innovative solutions fund community work using data and research, both of which are critical to solving Southern Nevada’s greatest challenges
Speaker: Cynthia Sanford, Registrar, Clark County Museum
Cynthia Sanford is the Registrar at the Clark County Museum in Henderson, NV. Before joining the museum in 2013, Cynthia worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and the Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington, NC. She received her Master of Arts in Anthropology and Museum Studies in 2000.
PANEL 3 “Transformative Steps Toward Ending Homelessness” 3:15 – 4:15 PM
Moderator: Brian Knudsen, Principal, BP2 Solutions
Brian Knudsen has over 15 years of experience in city and state governments as well as time spent as the Chief Executive Officer of a large nonprofit organization. Brian's experience covers multiple functions of government and nonprofit organizations and has focused on creating efficiencies, strategic planning, and policy development. Most recently, Brian has focused on community organizing and education policy and strategy.
Speaker: Scott Adams, City Manager, City of Las Vegas
Scott D. Adams serves as City Manager for the city of Las Vegas and previously served as a deputy city manager, overseeing the departments of Economic and Urban Development, Community Services, Cultural Affairs and Parks and Recreation.
Mr. Adams has also held the position of chief urban redevelopment officer and director of the Office of Business Development (renamed the Economic and Urban Development Department) for five years.
Prior to his service with the city of Las Vegas, Mr. Adams held numerous positions in the field of urban economic development, including that of:
- Director of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Director of Planning and Economic Development with the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Executive Director of the New Orleans Regional Medical Center, Inc.
- Executive Vice President of the Greater Norfolk (Virginia) Corporation
- Executive Director of the Jacksonville (Florida) Downtown Development Authority
- Assistant Executive Director of the Center City Commission in Memphis, Tennessee
- Planning and development positions in his hometown of Jackson, Michigan
A 1977 urban planning graduate of Michigan State University, he was given the American Institute of Planners Award as the top graduate. He is a certified manager with the International City Managers Association; a member of the International Economic Development Council and the Urban Land Institute and a past member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Speaker: Dr. Alison Netski, UNLV School of Medicine Psychiatry Chair
Alison Netski is the department chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the UNLV School of Medicine. Dr. Netski is a graduate of the University of Nevada School of Medicine and completed Psychiatry residency at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency Program. She is board certified from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine. Dr. Netski specializes in the treatment of adults with a broad range of psychiatric illness including mood, psychotic and anxiety disorders. She also has expertise in management of psychiatric illness in patients with co-occurring medical illness and provides consultation services at University Medical Center. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Netski, is actively involved in education of psychiatric residents and medical students. Dr. Netski’s areas of special interest include patient rights and community mental health.
Speaker: Angela Quinn, CEO, FirstMed Health & Wellness
Ms. Quinn has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and healthcare. Most recently, Ms. Quinn led a team on the $22MM business planning, implementation and expansion of a rural critical access hospital (CAH) in southern Nevada, playing a key role in transitioning the CAH from near bankruptcy to profitability in three years. Ms. Quinn was also a member of the strategic planning team for the transition and implementation of downsizing a CAH into a rural health clinic in frontier Nevada.
With over $120MM in federal project management experience – with zero out of compliance and, or audit findings – Ms. Quinn is recognized as a highly skilled community partner and leader in all aspect of an CEO role including but not limited to financial management and forecasting, strategic initiatives, collaborative and innovated partnerships and policy and government advocacy.
Speaker: Ariana Saunders, Behavioral Health Coordinator, Clark County
Ariana's work as Behavioral Health Coordinator encompasses the planning, development and delivery of key behavioral health programs throughout Clark County. She evaluates service delivery gaps within the behavioral health community and support coordinating efforts to address system wide challenges utilizing a regional
approach. Ariana collaborates with the behavioral health community in Southern Nevada, regional behavioral health coordinators statewide and other key community partners
supporting behavioral health efforts.
Previously Ariana has worked as Chief Compliance Officer for Urban Pathways where she delivered and coordinated their compliance and quality improvement plans, ensuring compliance with regional and national legislation. Ariana delivered a strategic plan and quality improvement analysis for HeatShare Human Services. This includes selecting the appropriate methodologies as well as statistical models used to assess program performance.
PANEL 4 “Transformative Steps to Address Human Trafficking” 4:20 – 5:20 PM
Moderator: Dr. Halleh Seddighzadeh
Speaker: Lieutenant Ray Spencer, Vice & Sex Trafficking, LVMPD
Raymond has vast experience in law enforcement and tackling sex trafficking. In February of 2017 Raymond was selected to lead the LMVPD Vice and Human Trafficking Section. Currently he supervises the LVMPD’s operations in the FBI Innocence’s Lost Task Force. This task force is responsible for the recovery of juvenile victims of prostitution. Las Vegas currently leads the United States in juvenile recoveries. Raymond is the lead law enforcement official responsible for police operations for the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force.
He previous positions include Commander for the Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) where he was responsible for overseeing the task force operations for the State of Nevada. He was selected to become the Administrative and Operations Lieutenant of the LVMPD‘s Bolden Area Command. In this capacity, Raymond oversaw all criminal investigations in the area of the Las Vegas Valley that historically has had the highest violent crimes.
In February of 2015 he took over as the Commander for the Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and is responsible for overseeing the task force operations for the State of Nevada. The ICAC Unit is one of 61 such Task Forces nationally. NVICAC operates in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force and various other law enforcement agencies located throughout the State of Nevada. The NVICAC employs both overt and undercover methods in
the investigation of state and federal crimes pertaining to computers and the Internet as they are employed to sexually exploit or endanger children. As part of this assignment Raymond was cross deputized with both the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Speaker: Gwen Migita, Social Impact & Inclusion Vice President & CSO, Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Working with more than 70,000 team members at more than 40 domestic and international resorts, Gwen sets the strategy, direction and management goals for the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives including Responsible Gaming, Diversity & Inclusion, environmental sustainability, community involvement and global philanthropy. She also has oversight for the Caesars Foundation, a private entity funded by resorts owned or operated by Caesars Entertainment.
Gwen leads the industry in assessing macro trends and issues that may affect the business and development goals. She is on the forefront of utilizing customer data and spending behavior to show that strong CSR programs deliver a positive financial outcome. Her work involves human rights, social safeguards, food scarcity, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and context based targets.
Gwen is currently a Corporate Advisory Board member for the World Resources Institute (WRI), Sustainable Brands and serves as Trustee Chair of Impact NV. She and her wife Cuc Vu enjoy parenting their budding social justice advocates: Max (4) and Ava (2) in their pseudo spare time.
Speaker: Dr. Alexis Kennedy, Professor of Criminal Justice, UNLV
Margaret Alexis Kennedy is an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her areas of research interest include trauma, child abuse, sexual assault, exploitation through prostitution and domestic violence. Dr. Kennedy received her law degree in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology in 2004. Her doctoral dissertation on cross-cultural perceptions of child abuse won two American Psychological Association Awards (Divisions 37 and 41) and a Canadian Psychological Association Laureate. Dr. Kennedy has testified in court, spoken throughout the United States and is quoted frequently in the media on issues of exploitation and abuse. She has received grants to study crime in Clark County, Nevada and has led a number of task forces. She was the facilitator for the Southern Nevada Sex Offender Management Task Force and has been involved in the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking task force since its inception in 2006. Her work in Clark County has included Juvenile Justice Girls Research at the Clark County juvenile detention center and in specialty family courts, juvenile division. She recently received a $623,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to study human trafficking in Las Vegas. She is an active mentor to UNLV students and a number of nonprofit organizations both locally and nationally
RECEPTION Sustainability Awards Ceremony & Reception 5:30 - 7:00 PM
EMCEE: Tina Quigley, RTC
As general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Tina Quigley knows what it means to think big. In a city of 2.1 million residents and 42 million annual visitors, Quigley is at the forefront of visionary thinking and planning for the future. She recognizes that an enhanced multi-modal and technologically advanced transportation infrastructure will help ensure that Southern Nevada can continue to attract tourists, residents and new business. She has embraced and pushed for sweeping technological advances; she has advocated for future planning; and she has built critical partnerships to well position the region for ongoing and sustained economic vibrancy. With more than 25 years of experience in air and ground transportation management and a licensed pilot herself, Quigley leads the only agency nationwide that is solely responsible for a region’s public transit system, traffic management, roadway design, construction funding and transportation planning.
EMCEE: Councilman Scott Black
Scott Black is a native of Southern Nevada. He was born in Henderson and spent the majority of his childhood in North Las Vegas, attending Lincoln Elementary, Jim Bridger Junior High and Rancho High schools.Scott earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix following a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from UNLV.
Scott had a successful, 12-year career with United Parcel Service, working in operations management, human resources and sales. In 2003, Scott started his own small business in North Las Vegas, which he continues to run with Leana.
Scott is committed to service in the community and has served for 20 years as a Boy Scout leader. He also is very active in serving as a youth leader for his church. He enjoys camping and hiking with his family, and is an avid bicyclist and vintage Volkswagen enthusiast. Scott is proud to call North Las Vegas his hometown and is excited to serve the residents and businesses of Ward 3.
Boards and Commissions
- Member of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition
- Member of Southern Nevada District Board of Health
- Member of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority Board