Commerce doesn’t seem dull to JA youth
21 November 2011
VEGAS INC Coverage
More about Junior Achievement:
The business world is usually more appealing to grown-ups than kids, and that’s why it’s always interesting to attend a Junior Achievement event. The young people at these gatherings never talk about business as though it’s boring or just for adults.
The mission of Junior Achievement — to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy — is a pretty basic one, though not easy to fulfill. The Southern Nevada chapter celebrated some of the successes at its annual “Inspire and Admire” breakfast Nov. 10 at the Aria Resort & Casino.
As hoped for such an event, the local business community was well represented. And it wasn’t just the 400 people on hand — it was the broad range of support they reflected.
US Bank Senior VP Denette Corrales is current chairman of JA’s southern Nevada board, and U.S. Bancorp Chairman and CEO Richard K. Davis served well as the event’s motivating keynote speaker. So the bank’s local team was on hand, with top regional execs Ken Ladd and Lori Soren positioned at the entrance bright and early.
A bunch of their industry peers also walked the talk. Bankers John Guedry, Diane Fearon, Steve McCracken, Sandi Milton, Steve Linder and Larry Seedig, and probably a few I missed, all turned out to support the cause. So did Michael Minden, Rick Mazer, Dulcinea Almazan, Kevin and Chad Orrock, Vince Alberta, Matt Engle, Doug Hensley, Taber Thill, Allison Copening, Scott Seegmiller and D.J. Allen.
Among the most impressive members of the crowd, though, were the students from Walter Bracken Magnet Empowerment School and the One Hundred Academy of Excellence, who got a chance to speak as well as to hear from Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight D. Jones and media personality Nathan Tannenbaum, a JA alum. KLAS-TV reporter Calvert Collins kept things moving briskly along as emcee.
Alan Diskin is president and Jodi Manzella is chief operating officer of Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, an organization worth helping if you get the chance.
Republic Services saluted “National America Recycles Day” with seasonal style by playing host to a tailgate party just prior to the UNLV-Boise State football game Nov. 5. Despite the fact that UNLV was playing one of the nation’s better teams, most of the game was fun as well. Energized by a vocal crowd of Boise State visitors, the stadium was rocking, and it actually was one of the Rebels’ better performances of the season.
Republic execs Joe Burkel and Bob Coyle were all over it, proudly showing off one of the shiny new trucks designed to handle recyclables. But it was Director of Government Affairs Jennifer Simich who really seemed to be carrying the ball by handling event details.
By the way, this writer is all in favor of the single-container recycling system that everyone’s been discussing. Yeah, it’s a political issue now, but it would make life much easier for a guy who goes through as much newsprint and plastic as I do. And there is little doubt that it would dramatically increase local participation in recycling efforts. Bring it on.
Finally, and not a moment too soon, UNLV opened its 2011-12 basketball season Nov. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center against Grand Canyon University and then a more formidable and dreaded rival, the University of Nevada-Reno on Nov. 14. We always hear that UNR prefers to be referred to simply as “Nevada,” so as an irritant, Las Vegans conspicuously avoid calling them that. Sorry, UNR.
Runnin’ Rebels basketball is a big part of the hometown fabric, and as such, it draws a houseful of business people eager to break out red winter wardrobes. Hang out in the concourse long enough, like I did, and you’ll see UNLV President Neal Smatresk with the usual pre-game jitters, but also a parade of supporters like Tom Kummer, Annie Sliman, Jay Kornmayer, Stephanie and Steve Stallworth, Russell Swain, Rick McGough, Lori Soren, David Kirvin, Bill Doak, Vince Alberta, Rich Abajian, Bill Wells, John Barr, Bob Orgill, John O’Reilly and Nasser Daneshvary. Gov. Brian Sandoval made it to the opener, and former senator John Ensign was there for the UNR game, along with his mobile device.
I dropped by the Las Vegas Events suite to pay respects to hosts Pat Christenson and Dale Eeles, who’ll soon enough be rustling up NFR action. It begins Dec. 1 this year.
They say that UNLV games are a good place to talk business. Let me know if you ever want to chat at halftime. I’ll be in the concourse, of course.
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