Economic Development Speakers

Tuesday, September 12th 10:30 am -11:45 am

Entrepreneurship Technology & the University Connection

Shavonnah Tièra Collins

Shavonnah Tièra Collins

Managing Director, RedFlint Vegas

Shavonnah has a diverse background including being part of the initial organizing team of Startup Weekend Las Vegas and teaching Starting Entrepreneurial Ventures at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Lee Business school. She has a background in startup ventures and is heavily involved in the entrepreneur community. As a second-generation Las Vegan, Shavonnah is committed to helping companies start and grow in her home town.

Matt Westfield

Matt Westfield

Entrepreneurs Assembly

  • Serial Entrepreneur- Software, Horticulture, Graphics, Promotional Products, Non-profits
  • Owner/Partner in 4 unrelated for-profit companies, on 4 Board’s
  • Founder- Entrepreneur’s Assembly (www.EA-Global.org ) – Award-winning Nevada non-profit dedicated to mentoring startups with systems and accountability. 5 Nevada chapters & African Affiliates (www.EA-Africa.org)
  • Biz Plans/Corp Strategies/Executive Summary development/funding since 1992
  • Charter Judge- Reynold’s Governor Cup Biz Plan Competition– Sontag Business Competition
  • Business Plan Mentor- Winners: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence, University of Nevada Reno Innevation Center
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Adams Hub incubator, Carson City
  • Adjunct Professor – University of Nevada, Reno– College of Business
  • Chairman Emeritus – JOIN Inc. – a private non-profit with 8 chapters around Nevada(2006 to 2012)
Zach Miles

Zach Miles

UNLV Office of Economic Development

Zach Miles serves as the Associate Vice President. Miles also serves as the Director of the Nevada Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UNLV and Executive Director for the UNLV Research Foundation.

In these capacities, Miles manages the assessment, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property owned or controlled by UNLV and assists start-up companies in building a strong business foundation and seeking capital.

Prior to joining UNLV, Miles served as the deputy executive director of Technology Venture and Commercialization at the University of Utah. Miles has also co-founded, advised, and served as general counsel for a number of Utah based start-up companies.

Miles holds a bachelor of science degree from Weber State University, where he majored in microbiology and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Leith Martin

Leith Martin

Center for Entrepreneurship, UNLV Lee Business School

Leith Martin currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the founder of multiple companies in the Southeastern United States and Las Vegas. Leith received his BS Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Alabama. He also completed the Owner President Management (OPM) program at the Harvard Business School, which is specifically designed for entrepreneurs.

Fred Steinmann

Fred Steinmann

UNR Center for Economic Development College of Business

Dr. Frederick Steinmann is currently an Assistant Research Professor and Leadership and Economic Development Specialist in the Department of Economics/University Center for Economic Development in The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno. He began his professional economic development career with the Reno Redevelopment Agency in the City of Reno, Nevada. Since then, he has worked for the Nevada Small Business Development Center, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and for the Carson Economic Development Services Department in the City of Carson, California. Frederick has also worked as a Senior Associate for David Paul Rosen & Associates, one of the elite economic development and public policy consulting firms in California. Frederick earned his Doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Development, with areas of study including economic development, public policy, public finance, and real estate development, from the University of Southern California with the successful defense of his dissertation titled, “The Twilight of the Local Redevelopment Era: The Past, Present, and Future of Urban Revitalization and Urban Economic Development in Nevada and California.” As a doctoral student at the University of Southern California, Frederick also received the William A. Carlson Fellowship from the California Redevelopment Association in 2008. He also earned a Bachelor’s of Science and Masters of Science in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is currently a member of the International Economic Development Council, the American Society for Public Administration, and the American Planning Association.

MODERATOR: Barbra Coffee

MODERATOR: Barbra Coffee

City of Henderson

Barbra Coffee serves as the Director of Economic Development/Tourism for the City of Henderson. She is responsible for the city’s economic development and tourism strategy, which includes local business retention and expansion programs, business and tourism attraction, small business and entrepreneurial development. In addition, Coffee oversees the city’s destination marketing efforts and the Henderson Convention Center operations.

Before starting with the city in June 2013, Barbra was the Economic Development Director for the city of College Park, Ga.While director, she oversaw the development of more than 200 acres of city-owned property and coordinated the activities of the College Park Business and Industrial Development Authority, focusing many of her efforts on downtown redevelopment and corridor revitalization.

Barbra has also managed economic development for a number of other municipalities. From 2003-2009, Barbra held numerous positions while coordinating and implementing several different redevelopment strategies for the city of Goodyear, Ariz. Her career in Goodyear culminated as a Senior Development Manager for their Economic Development department, where she coordinated business recruitment and marketing efforts for the city. Prior to her time in Arizona, Barbra was involved in the revitalization efforts of downtown Houston and the Main Street Project of Marlin, Texas.

Barbra actively participates in several international and national organizations that focus on key aspects of economic development and redevelopment. In 2003, she joined the International Council of Shopping Centers and from 2011-2013 served as their Georgia State Alliance Co-Chair. In addition, she is a member of NAIOP and the Urban Land Institute.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, followed by a Master of Liberal Arts in International Studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. In 2008, she earned her Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council and attained her Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) credential from the National Development Council in 2012.

Tuesday, September 12th 2:30 pm -3:45 pm

Envisioning the Future: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies

Frances Sakaguchi

US Dept of Commerce – Economic Development Administration

Frances Sakaguchi is currently the Economic Development Integrator serving the eight states of the Seattle Regional Office for the Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. Her responsibility is to provide potential grantees and other community stakeholders with integrated, easily understood information and resources for economic development and capacity building. Previously Frances was the Regional planning lead for EDA’s Planning Partnership Program, Local Technical Assistance and University Center Programs. Over the past three decades, Frances has worked for several federal agencies in various capacities from a wildlife biologist, land resource manager, planner, FEMA DAE, and lead program manager. She has managed several federal funding programs at the local, regional, and national level. In addition to her federal experience, Frances has worked in the private, and nonprofit sector.

Pam Borda

Pam Borda

Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority

Pam Borda is the Executive Director of the Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority (NNRDA). NNRDA covers Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander and White Pine Counties. These five rural counties constitute 41% of the state or 45,457 square miles of the states 110,567 square miles. Pam’s region consists of many very small communities ranging in size from a few hundred to larger Cities like Elko at 20,000+.

Pam has over 20 years of strategic planning experience prior to joining NNRDA and is a strong advocate of planning. Pam was an executive with the largest consulting firm on the west coast for many years prior to moving to Elko and developed strategic plans for all levels and branches of government throughout the western states. She was also the first Executive in Nevada State Government to complete a comprehensive strategic plan for the Executive Branch.

Pam’s strategic planning for the state of Nevada received national attention and her methodology was studied and adopted by the National Defense College.

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon

Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance

Michael Gordon came to Las Vegas from Cape Town, South Africa in September 2006 on a Rotary International Ambassadorial scholarship. He received both his LL.B. (Bachelor’s degree) and LL.M. (Master’s degree) in Private Law from the University of South Africa.

Gordon is a double alumnus from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduating in 2008 with a Master’s in Public Administration and in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Public Affairs. During his time as a student, Gordon served three terms as President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) as well as one term as Chair of the Nevada Student Alliance, the overarching student government association for all NSHE student government organizations representing the more than 105,000+ higher education students in Nevada.

As a policy analyst at UNLV he researched and analyzed the academic infrastructure needs of the university while serving on the Faculty Senate, University Policy Committee and the Top Tier Community Engagement subcommittee.

He is a graduate of the Leadership Las Vegas Class of 2012 and serves on the boards of The Salvation Army of Southern Nevada as well as the Rotary Club of Las Vegas.

Ron Radil

Ron Radil

Western, Nevada Development District

Radil was appointed the Western Nevada Development District’s Executive Director in February 2005. Since 1982, he has worked for multi-jurisdictional organizations in Nebraska, Kansas, and Nevada. WNDD provides technical assistance to public and private sectors regarding economic and community development with a primary focus on diversifying the economic and tax base of the nine county WNDD region: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Humboldt, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and Washoe.

MODERATOR: Bob Shriver

MODERATOR: Bob Shriver

Former Director with the Nevada Commission on Economic Development

Principal, Bob Shriver Consultant Services

Bob Shriver provides significant and proven expertise in economic and community development, taxation, business recruitment and retention, as well as resource development. He has worked in every aspect of economic development for over 30 years.

He is former executive director of the State of Nevada Commission on Economic Development (1996-2005). Shriver was the founding executive director of both the Northern Nevada Development Authority and the Western Nevada Development District. As director of NCED, he created the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. He worked for 12 years as chief marketing, recruitment and government relations director at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. He has significant knowledge of the manufacturing and supplier support networks statewide and regionally. Shriver now works closely on sustainable economic wealth creation strategies for Nevada and its communities as well as a consultant for rural/suburban communities in the State. He currently consults for the City of Fallon and is the director of the Highway 95 Regional Development Authority which includes Fallon, Churchill County, Mineral County and Pershing County.

Wednesday, September 13th 10:15 am – 11:30 am

UAS Drones

Dr. Chris Walach

Dr. Chris Walach

Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems

Dr. Chris Walach retired from the U.S. Army in 2008 as a senior Lieutenant Colonel, Battalion Commander and Master Aviator of an Apache Longbow Helicopter unit with two tours of duty in combat. He is a decorated combat aviator with more than 600 combat flight hours. He holds a Master of Science and Doctor of Management (DM) from the University of Maryland, University College. He has been interviewed and appeared on national and international news networks as an expert military analyst and has been interviewed or quoted by numerous global newspapers. His combat unit he commanded during the Iraq War was highlighted in the Google E-Book, Tip of the Spear (Hellfire and Brimstone) and in a 2013 DreamWorks movie. He has holds a FAA commercial helicopter pilot’s license with an instrument rating and is rated in four single and twin-engine advanced military helicopters. He is an inventor, published military writer, business management scholar presenting evidence-based research at two international academic conferences and a former small business owner. Dr. Walach is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and currently serves as the Director of the FAA-Designated Nevada UAS Test Site.

Thomas A. Wilczek

Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Art Eggers

Art Eggers

College of Southern Nevada

Professor Eggers has been faculty at College of Southern Nevada (CSN), since 2003, teaching Electronic Engineering, Computing and Information Technology in the School of Advanced & Applied Technology (AAT). Art is the Lead Faculty for the new UAS Technology Degree. He is retired Air Force and received a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. His last military assignment was at the Nevada Test Site performing underground nuclear-effects testing. He was recently employed as a Department of Energy contractor in Design Engineering and IT.

Founded in 1971, CSN is the state’s largest, most ethnically-diverse higher education institution, offering more than 200 degrees and certificates in over 130 areas. AAT is dedicated to Career & Technical Education. AAT’s mission is to produce a well-prepared, entry-level workforce for the high-tech, high-demand professions required by business and industry partners across Las Vegas.

Jonathan H. Daniels

Jonathan H. Daniels

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.

Jonathan Daniels is a performance–driven professional unmanned systems (UxS) innovator, consultant, professor and research roboticist. A recognized industry expert, Mr. Daniels represents ASTM on the Remote Identification Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). He is the Technical Lead for the ASTM F38.01 Design, Construction and Verification of Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Standard and the New Specification for Vertiport Design. He is the President of the Nevada AUVSI Chapter and the Chairman for the UAS Industry Advisory Committee (UASIAC) for southern Nevada. Mr Daniels is the President of the not-for-profit Nevada Alliance for Defense, Energy and Business. Mr. Daniels retired from the Army as a field grade warrant officer in 2012 after 23 years of service. He is the CEO of Praxis Aerospace Concepts International (PACI), a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) headquartered in southern Nevada. PACI provides practical solutions for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) response robot systems through a family of companies.

Rachel Dahl

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.

MODERATOR: Ken Chapa

City of Henderson

Wednesday, September 13th 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Nevada’s Craft Beer Culture Driving Business Opportunities: From Agribusiness to Urban Renewal

Mark Foree

Mark Foree

Truckee Meadows Water Authority

Mr. Foree was appointed the General Manager of the Authority in May 2009. Prior to that time, he served as the Director of water Operations. Mr. Foree has over 30 years of experience in the water industry including extensive experience in planning, engineering, operations and maintenance of complex water treatment and distribution systems. Mr. Foree is a registered professional Civil Engineer in Nevada and California and holds the highest level of operator certifications (Grade IV) for both water distribution and water treatment in the State. He also is a Nevada registered Water Right Surveyor. Mr. Foree also serves on the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) Board of Directors and the WaterStart Board of Directors.

Kelvin Hickenbottom

Kelvin Hickenbottom

Deputy State of Nevada Engineer

Kelvin Hickenbottom has been with the Division of Water Resources since 1990 and Deputy State Engineer since August 2006. Before his appointment to Deputy State Engineer he was the Chief of the Surface Water and Adjudication Section and has acted as an administrative hearing officer for the State Engineer. He has worked in all aspects of the Division of Water Resources and has many years of experience in processing water right applications. He possesses a B.S. from Utah State University in Watershed Science and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University.

Nathan Allen

Nathan Allen

WaterStart

Executive Director of WaterStart, a cluster of global leaders in the implementation of water innovation based in Las Vegas. Formed in 2013 through a partnership between the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Desert Research Institute and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, WaterStart is a non-profit, public-private-partnership that aims to make Nevada a global water innovation hub and channel to the U.S. water market.

Allen’s professional portfolio includes experience in environmental sustainability, business development and research. His interdisciplinary acumen in higher education ranges from ground-up, innovative sustainability solutions to large-scale experimentation. Prior to joining WaterStart, Mr. Allen served as CEO and Principal of TerraSwell, which he founded as a response to environmental science and sustainability challenges encountered in the field. Allen’s experience in applied science includes previous positions as a Research Scientist and also as a Coordinator of Sustainability for the University of Arizona Biosphere 2, under which the Model City Research Program was launched. The expanse of this program included IBM Smarter-Buildings lab, hybrid fuel recharge stations, and urban water harvesting demonstration sites. Allen is a former Solar Technician for Arizona start-up Technicians for Sustainability.

John Entsminger

John Entsminger

Southern Nevada Water Authority

John J. Entsminger oversees the operations of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which serves more than 380,000 customer accounts, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for acquiring, treating and delivering water to local agencies that collectively serve 2 million residents and more than 40 million annual visitors. He was appointed general manager by both agencies’ Boards of Directors in early 2014, having previously served as director of environmental and water resource law and senior deputy general manager. Entsminger joined the organization in 1999 as an attorney.

Entsminger has spent his career addressing the unique water challenges facing Southern Nevada. He has been instrumental in developing inter basin and international agreements protecting Lake Mead water elevations, including the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines and Minute 319 to the 1944 U.S. – Mexico Water Treaty. In April 2014, he was appointed by Governor Sandoval to serve as Nevada’s lead negotiator on Colorado River matters.

On the national front, Entsminger serves on the Boards of Directors of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the Water Research Foundation, and the Desert Research Institute Foundation Board of Trustees.

Committed to public involvement, Entsminger works closely with a committee of community stakeholders tasked with making recommendations on issues related to funding, planning and facilities construction and maintenance. These recommendations will guide future organizational initiatives, including a renewed commitment to maintaining its vast water systems.

Entsminger is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and of the University of Colorado School of Law, where he was awarded the Charles N. Woodruff Natural Resources Law Fellowship. He and his family have been in Las Vegas for nearly 20 years.

MODERATOR: Mike Baughman

MODERATOR: Mike Baughman

Lincoln Co. Regional Dev. Authority

Dr. Mike Baughman has served as the Executive Director of the Lincoln County Regional Development Authority (Nevada) since 1994. In this capacity he has worked to expand and diversify the economy of Lincoln County, an area of 10,600 square miles of which 97 percent is federal land primarily administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Dr. Baughman has managed permitting of numerous energy and water resource development projects located on public land. Most recently, he has participated in efforts between the City of Caliente, Lincoln County, the Nevada Division of State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management and the International Mountain Bicycling Association to secure in approximately $2 million dollars for the construction of nearly 50 miles of mountain bike trails on BLM administered, City of Caliente and Nevada Division of State Parks lands. Dr. Baughman earned a doctorate degree with an emphasis in Environmental Policy from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. His masters and undergraduate degrees in resource economics were awarded by the University of Nevada Reno. Dr. Baughman is recognized by the International Economic Development Council as a Certified Economic Developer.

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