• Laura Lawson Visconti

    Laura Lawson Visconti

    Laura Lawson Visconti is a travel-obsessed author, Sony Alpha photographer and social influencer with a personal reach of over 150k. Based in Lake Tahoe, Laura runs a boutique social media agency called GEOGRAPHY CREATIVE, and is also the co-founder of specialty coffee roastery DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF. When she's not on the road, Laura can be found exploring the mountains she calls home.

  • Sarah Best Chensky

    Sarah Best Chensky

    Sarah Best Chensky is the Executive Director of Global Sales for MGM Resorts International.  Focusing on the International market, Sarah spends much of her time in market with their clients to ensure the company has a full understanding of the economic climates and changing distribution. Responsible for all territories outside of North America, finding Sarah in the U.S. can, at times, prove to be a difficult task.

    Prior to joining MGM Resorts in 2015, Sarah was with Loews Hotels & Resorts for 12 years where she headed the Sales and Marketing team and led the Santa Monica beachfront hotel to record revenues.

    Sarah was formerly the President of the Los Angeles Business Travel Association where she also chaired several committees, and most recently served as an advisor to the organization.

    A Kentucky native, Sarah graduated from the University of Kentucky and still bleeds blue for the UK basketball team.  She is based in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband Greg and three “bonus” children.

  • Heather Sheppard

    Heather Sheppard

    Account Supervisor, Fahlgren Mortine

    Heather has developed and implemented campaigns for global brands including Krazy Glue, Donatos, the Wyoming Office of Tourism and TravelNevada. Her work has been recognized with local, regional and national awards in public relations and tourism marketing. Heather is considered a leader in social marketing and influencer engagement, with expertise in social media law, brand social tone and social analytics. In 2016, Heather was named Central Ohio PRSA's Rising Star and PRWeek's Young Professional of the Year, the highest local and national honors for a young PR professional.

  • Don Newman

    Don Newman

    Don Newman is the Executive Director of the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority and Elko Convention Center, a position he has held since 2006.

    Don has worked in the hospitality, gaming and convention industry throughout Nevada for more than 35 years.   A longtime resident of Las Vegas, he began his management career at the Red Lion Inn & Casino in Elko, before returning to Las Vegas where he held positions in the convention general contracting industry.

    Don, a Commissioner with the Nevada Commission on Tourism was appointed to serve by Governor Brian Sandoval in August, 2011.  In addition, he proudly represented rural Nevada as a Commissioner on the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission.

     Don enjoys travel, golf and life in rural Nevada.

  • Juston Berg

    Juston Berg

    Juston Berg is the Project Lead at Blockchains LLC and responsible for the ideation, development and launch of Blockchain powered solutions.  Prior to joining Blockchains LLC, Juston worked at Microsoft where he was a Demand Planner for the Microsoft Surface.  Juston is a native Nevadan and graduate of the University of Nevada Reno.

    Juston has a passion for decentralized information systems and believes that blockchain technology will change the world.

  • Anthony Badowich

    Anthony Badowich

    “Anthony Badowich is a Strategic Campaign & Account Manager at AdParlor – Canada’s largest Facebook Marketing Partner, based in Toronto.

    In 2018 he has managed over $15.6 million dollars in digital advertising spend across Facebook & Instagram and is experienced with many of the new digital initiatives rolled out by the platforms.

    With wholistic experience in digital marketing ranging from organic & paid media, to email, and end-to-end funnel consultation, Anthony has a successful track record of driving growth in organizations ranging from startups to large multi-national corporations.”

  • Nikki Velez

    Nikki Velez

    Senior Director of Digital Engagement, LVCVA

    Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nikki is very familiar with the city, so it’s only fitting that her career blossomed with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor’s Authority.

    Nikki received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2010. When she wasn’t studying she spent her time on the field playing collegiate soccer. After college, she started her marketing career with MGM Resorts then moved to a local Las Vegas agency where she worked with international hospitality clients. In 2016, Nikki started with the LVCVA and she has quickly made her impact with the company in the Digital Engagement department. Currently, the Senior Director of Digital Engagement, she is a true leader to her team which she has help grow since the start of her tenure.

    When Nikki isn’t promoting the Las Vegas brand she enjoys traveling or relaxing with a good book in the company of her long-time pet companion, Boomer.

  • Brian Killingsworth

    Brian Killingsworth

    Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

    As CMO, Brian oversees the team’s marketing , strategy, branding, communications, content, digital, analytics, retail, fan development, youth hockey and will promote the Golden Knights brand within the community and internationally. In addition, he will work to integrate and cross promote the domestic wineries owned and operated by Bill Foley as well as his Rock Creek resort properties in Montana and Idaho.

    Killingsworth joined the Golden Knights after spending the last two seasons as Chief Marketing Officer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. He oversaw all aspects of the Buccaneers brand, including marketing, advertising, content, digital, broadcasting, analytics, research, youth programs, community relations and events and entertainment.

    Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Killingsworth served as the Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy for the St. Louis Rams for three seasons. With the Rams, he oversaw the team’s marketing efforts, including marketing operations, branding, creative services, advertising, content, merchandise, concessions, research, youth programs, concerts, events and also explored new revenue opportunities.

    Killingsworth spent 10 years with Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays as the Senior Director of Marketing and Promotions prior to his time in the NFL. With the Rays, he oversaw all marketing, advertising, promotions and digital and social media for the team.

    The Tampa, Florida native graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2000 and earned his MBA, Marketing & Management degree from the University of South Florida in 2002.

    Killingsworth and his wife, Emily, have two sons, Cruz and Finn.

  • Stephen Ascuaga

    Stephen Ascuaga

    Stephen Ascuaga is the Corporate Director of Business Development for Peppermill Resorts Inc., which employs over 5,000 team members and operates 6 casinos statewide, plus the iconic Peppermill Coffee Shop located on the Las Vegas strip.

    Stephen has been involved in northern Nevada tourism for almost 30 years and has served on the board of directors for the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority and the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. He currently is the chairperson of the Regional Air Service Corporation (RASC) and sits on the Executive Committee of the Nevada Resort Association.

  • Dan Ferguson

    Dan Ferguson

    EVP Digital Interactive @ Groove Jones

    Dan is the EVP of Digital Interactive at Groove Jones, an award-winning creative and technology studio that specializes in creating digital experiential content and interactive campaigns for world-class brands like - Amazon.com, American Airlines, AT&T, FX, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Nestle, Samsung, Toyota, & Lexus. The Groove Jones team is recognized as industry leaders in the development and deployment of mixed reality AR/VR experiences. Brandweek Magazine named Dan “Marketer of the Next Generation" for his work with brand engagement.

  • Kelly Campbell

    Kelly Campbell

    Kelly Campbell is the Senior Director of Marketing for the Tahoe Region of Vail Resorts, the leader in mountain resort, destination-based travel. In her role, Kelly leads the brand strategy and positioning for Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood Mountains.  She believes the key to driving strong business results is attributed to two main factors; building a high performing team and using a targeted, data-driven marketing approach.

    Prior to falling in love with Lake Tahoe and joining Vail, she held marketing leadership roles in advertising, communications, and business development for publicly traded companies Primedia and HD Supply as well as boutique digital marketing agency, Geary Interactive.

    When she isn't geeking out on brand strategy, you can find Kelly hiking, skiing, and practicing yoga in beautiful South Lake Tahoe.

  • Jennifer Cunningham

    Jennifer Cunningham

    Executive Vice President, RSCVA

    Ms. Cunningham works closely with the CEO, executive staff, the Board of Directors and community stakeholders to develop and execute strategies relating to all aspects of the RSCVA, including sales, marketing, special events, and legislative initiatives. With more than 30 years of experience, she has long been an integral part of the northern Nevada gaming community.

    A Reno native and active member in the community, Jennifer serves on the EDAWN Board and the Regional Air Service Corporation Board.  She is a former board member of the Education Alliance of Washoe County, the Educational Foundation and the Marketing Committee of the Reno Arts and Cultural Commission.

    Ms. Cunningham is a recipient of the American Marketing Association’s ACE Awards “Marketer of the Year” distinction and was selected as “Travel and Tourism Advocate of the Year” by NACE and was recently awarded the Thomas C. Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Advertising Federation’s Reno chapter.


    Jennifer holds a Master’s Degree in International Marketing from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Managerial Sciences and Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno.

  • Virginia Valentine

    Virginia Valentine

    President and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association (NRA). The NRA is an industry trade association representing Nevada’s resort/casino industry. The NRA advocates for the industry on state and local government regulations, lawmaking, and policies effecting gaming and the tourism industry.

    Valentine formerly served as the chief executive officer for Clark County, Nevada. The County provides regional and municipal-type services to over 2 million residents. In her position as the County’s chief executive officer, she was charged with carrying out the policies established by the seven-member Board of County Commissioners. She provided administrative oversight for 38 diverse and geographically dispersed departments and agencies (including McCarran International Airport, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, and the Clark County Water Reclamation District), and more than 12,100 full-time and 4,000 part-time employees. Ms. Valentine served as an Assistant County Manager prior to being appointed county manager. Ms. Valentine served as the Las Vegas, Nevada, City Manager from 1998 until 2002 during a time of rapid growth. She facilitated a citizen’s committee which considered and then recommended expanding the city council by adding two new council seats to better represent city residents. She served under Mayor Jones Blackhurst and Mayor Oscar Goodman. Before joining the City of Las Vegas, Ms. Valentine was a Senior Vice President of Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, (PBSJ) a national consulting engineering firm (now known as Atkins). While at PBSJ, Ms. Valentine was responsible for overseeing the Public Works and Environmental divisions in the western region.

    Ms. Valentine was the first Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Clark County Regional Flood Control District. As general manager of a newly created agency, she developed all the District’s programs including master planning, capital improvement, flood plain management regulations, flood warning system, and the District’s first National Pollutant Discharge Elimination storm water discharge permit.

    Ms. Valentine began her career as a consulting engineer in the private sector. She is a registered professional engineer.

    Appointments & Boards
    Nevada Department of Transportation, Board of Directors
    Las Vegas Monorail, Board of Directors
    Culinary and Bartenders Pension Trustee
    RTC Transportation Advisory Resource Advisory Committee
    Clark County Public Education Foundation, Board of Directors
    I – 11 Coalition
    Children’s Advocacy Alliance, Board of Directors
    Vegas Strong Fund, Board of Directors

  • Todd Skelton

    Todd Skelton

    Head of Destination Marketing, Western US & Canada, TripAdvisor

    For the last 9 years Todd Skelton has work for TripAdvisor where in 2017 he was promoted to the Head of Destination Marketing for Western US & Canada.  Based in Santa Cruz, CA. he manages a team that works primarily with Destination Marketing Organizations and Non-profits.

    Prior to TripAdvisor, Todd worked for Kayak.com as the Southeast & Key Accounts Sales Manager, interfacing with travel goliaths like United, JetBlue, Hotels.com & Marriott.  Todd also worked at SideStep.com, which was part of a $200 million acquisition by Kayak.com.

    Before he broke into the media space Todd owned an Automotive Performance shop, taught scuba diving at Cal State Monterey Bay, worked as a research diver on the island of Moorea collecting clown fish.  Between the working on cars and diving, he found time to go to college where he graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Marketing.

    When Todd isn’t traveling for work he enjoys surfing, mountain biking and hiking with his Family.

    Interesting fact about Todd: He was a Union butcher for 12 years.

  • Kevin Bagger

    Kevin Bagger

    Executive Director of the LVCVA Research Center

    A lifelong Las Vegan, Mr. Bagger grew up immersed in tourism and has
    administered marketing programs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
    Authority (LVCVA) since the mid 1990’s. Dating back to his teen years working as
    a lifeguard at the Las Vegas Hilton, Kevin has been fascinated by the diversity of
    the travelers visiting his hometown and has devoted his career to tourism at both
    the resort and destination level.
    As the Executive Director of the Research Center of the Las Vegas Convention
    and Visitors Authority, Kevin Bagger monitors local, national and global market
    trends of the tourism and convention industries, and assesses Southern Nevada
    visitor behaviors and characteristics to steer strategy and messaging across the
    disciplines of sales, marketing, advertising, PR and convention center operations.
    During his two decades at the LVCVA, Kevin has participated on two Ogilvy
    award-winning research endeavors in support of Las Vegas advertising efforts,
    including the iconic What Happens Here Stays HereTM campaign.
    Before joining the LVCVA, Kevin’s experience spanned consulting for gaming
    industry and advertising clients, including financial and operational analysis for
    several iconic resorts of Las Vegas. A proud graduate of the University of
    Nevada-Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Kevin has served on
    several industry boards and committees including the board of directors of the
    Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), the research council for the
    Center for Exhibit Industry Research (CEIR), the research sub-committee of the
    U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and the Destinations Council board of
    advisors for the U.S. Travel Association.

  • Rick Murdock

    Rick Murdock

    Rick Murdock is the Vice-President of Governmental Affairs at THE ROW.  With over 35 years at the Eldorado, he has grown along with the company and is well versed in all aspects of tour and travel in Northern Nevada as well as the hospitality and gaming industry.  Having recently completed full two terms on the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority Board and as Chair in his final year, Rick has become very passionate about air service to our region.  He also resides on the boards of the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Reno Tahoe Regional Air Service Committee and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and is always eager to promote Reno-Tahoe.

    Mr. Murdock is happily married to his wife, Thea.  They have three daughters who are thriving and still love to call Reno home.

  • Trevor Meers

    Trevor Meers

    Trevor is Editorial Content Director of Meredith Corporation’s Travel Marketing Content Studio, where he leads teams creating the bi-monthly Midwest Living magazine and multiple content marketing programs. Meers has led the Content Studio from a single client three years ago to a current client list that includes the state tourism offices in Nevada, Montana, North Carolina, Michigan and Illinois. Meers’ teams produce state travel guides, digital microsites, TV segments and short documentary films. Midwest Living has been recognized three times by the Society of American Travel Writers for best general-interest travel content and won gold in SATW’s 2018 competition for documentary film. Meers was a finalist for Folio’s 2017 National Editor of the Year. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Drake University.

  • Ross Borden

    Ross Borden

    Ross Borden is an American entrepreneur and executive producer based in California. He founded Matador Network in 2006 with $11,000 and grew it into one of the largest travel media companies in the world. Ross works on media campaigns and Matador-produced video and influencer projects for brands like Visa, REI, Chevy, Heineken, Subaru, Intel, General Motors and Destinations like Visit Las Vegas, Visit California, Destination Canada, Turkey Home, Brand USA, Tourism Ireland, Visit Scotland and Innovation Norway. He is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs, DMOs and small businesses win on the Internet.

  • Zhang Qing

    Zhang Qing

    Overseas Project Manager

    Zhang Qing brings more than 15 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry to the role.

    Having worked for Ctrip for the past 8 years, Zhang Qing was initially employed as the Japan and America area Product Manager, before moving to her current position in Destination Marketing Department.

    From 2009 to 2010 Zhang Qing worked as the Product and Purchase Manager for the Beijing based luxury travel company HH Travel Service. Before that role she was employed as the Themed Travel Department manager for Caissa International Travel Service, a post she held for four years. From 2000 to 2004 Zhang Qing was a Japanese tour guide and tourism operator for the Peace International Travel Agency.

    Zhang Qing earned her Master of Tourism Management degree from Beijing International Studies University, and graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences of Beijing Union University. She speaks three languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and English.

  • Chad Hallert

    Chad Hallert

    Vice President of Performance Marketing for Noble Studios.

    Winner of the Direct Marketing News’ 40 Under 40 award and an expert in Digital Marketing, Analytics and Optimization, Chad Hallert brings more than 15 years of digital marketing leadership experience to his role as Vice President of Performance Marketing at Noble Studios.

    With more than a dozen certifications in digital marketing - including Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Bing Ads and Optimizely - Chad has a proven track record in driving organizational growth, performance and profitability.

    An award-winning marketer, Chad was has received multiple industry awards including W3, Davey, ACE, Gold Adrian, Technologist of the Year by the Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network 20 Under 40.

    As Noble’s VP of Digital Performance, he oversees the Strategic Services team and works with global brands such as Autodesk, Newport Beach, Renown Health, Tahoe South and others to maximize the performance and ROI of their digital marketing investments.

    Widely published, Chad has provided expert commentary to Mobile Marketer, Marketing Sherpa, Internet Retailer and Chief Marketer. He has appeared as a featured speaker at BrightEdge’s Share, the eTourism Summit, Lyris Future Vision Email Marketing Conference, the American Marketing Association,  and numerous Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology events. He also teaches courses on digital marketing at the University of Nevada, Reno.

    Chad holds a master’s degree in Internet business systems from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., a bachelor’s degree in human ecology from the University of Nevada, Reno and a revenue optimization certification from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

  • Laura Fernandez

    Laura Fernandez


    Laura Fernandez joined Pandora Media Inc., the world’s most powerful music discovery platform, in 2012 when she was hired to launch the Las Vegas market.  After executing many unique first to market solutions for Destination Marketing Organizations, Travel Brands and Casino Operators, Laura transitioned into a National role, launching the Travel, Tourism and Casino Vertical at Pandora.

    Laura’s focused on identifying and testing specific Pandora product and targeting solutions that are now efficiently and effectively meeting the goals of marketers across the country.  With the industry constantly evolving, Laura will continue to partner with brands in order to challenge Pandora on new ways to help marketers capture attention of Travelers who are engaged on music service every day.

    Laura received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science from West Virginia University.  Outside of work, she enjoys living in Las Vegas with her husband J.C. and being an avid equestrian specializing in Hunter and Jumpers.

  • Marily Mora

    Marily Mora

    Marily Mora, is the President and CEO for the RenoTahoe Airport Authority, and is responsible for leading and directing the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), and the Reno-Stead Airport (RTS), with an operating budget of $46 million. Formerly the Assistant Director of Aviation for Oakland International Airport, Ms. Mora was recently named the new CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority following a five-month long nationwide search. Mora brings 24 years of airport management experience from three international airports including San Jose, Oakland and Reno-Tahoe International where she served as Chief Operating officer for 12 years before moving to Oakland in 2011. Marily Mora is a true aviation professional and is prepared to lead both Reno-Tahoe International and Reno-Stead Airports in to the future. Marily understands the importance of strengthening air service, pursuing business development and leading a customer service organization. Her community involvement included past Chair of the Washoe County Human Services Advisory Board, Past Board Member of the Nevada Women’s Fund, and past member of the Development Committee of the Reno Air Racing Foundation. She is a graduate of the 2003 RenoSparks Leadership Class and a 2002 Nevada Women’s Fund Woman of Achievement. Mora is an Accredited Airport Executive and has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California-Davis and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

  • David Peterson

    David Peterson

    David Peterson is the Interim Director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (NDTCA).  Since joining the Nevada Division of Tourism back in 2001 David has held various positions.  Serving as Director of Research he built the agency’s first research program, to the Chief Operations and Finance Officer for DTCA, establishing the department’s first policies and procedures.  He was named Deputy Director for DTCA in January 2017 which required him to coordinate the activities between the various agencies with DTCA as well as other State agencies in Nevada.  Prior to joining the Division of Tourism, David was the Financial Analysis Manager, Northern Nevada, for Park Place Entertainment’s Caesars Tahoe, Reno Hilton and Flamingo Hilton properties.  He graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, with a Bachelor of Arts in International Management and Spanish.  David is also a Nevada Certified Public Manager.  He has served as a board member of the Greater Western Chapter of Travel and Tourism Research Association (GWTTRA) as well as the State Employee Benefits Advisory Committee and the National Council of State Tourism Directors Research Task Force Committee.  David is an avid skier, hiker and mountain biker who loves exploring everything that Nevada has to offer with his lovely wife Kelly and their three kids!

  • Phil DeLone

    Phil DeLone

    With more than 35 years of experience in tourism, hospitality industry sales & marketing, and non-profit association management, Phil DeLone serves the northern Nevada destination of Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe as President and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA).

    After graduating with a degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1981, DeLone enjoyed more than a decade with MGM Grand Hotels, serving the company in several key Sales and Marketing executive positions in Las Vegas, Washington, DC and Reno.

    In 1991 DeLone was selected and appointed Chief Executive Officer of Safari Club International (SCI) – a global non-profit membership organization representing the worldwide safari industry. SCI owns and conducts an internationally attended exposition recognized by Tradeshow Week Magazine as one of the top 100 tradeshows in the commercial industry.

    DeLone spent 16 rewarding years with Silver Legacy Resort Casino as Executive Director of Sales for the mega-resort joint venture of Eldorado and MGM Resorts International. Returning to SCI in 2012 as Chief Executive Officer, DeLone returned SCI to financial soundness and operational stability.

    In 2017 DeLone was identified by the Board of Directors and community stakeholders to lead the RSCVA, an organization charged with driving tourism and bringing visitors to Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe via tourism marketing, convention sales and the promotion of special events and regional attractions.


  • Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison

    Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison

  • Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve

    Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve

    Hillary L. Schieve was elected as Reno’s Mayor on November 4, 2014. She was sworn in on November 12, 2014, as the 28th Mayor of the City of Reno. Prior to being elected Mayor, Hillary was elected as At-Large Reno City Council Member on November 6, 2012, and was sworn into office on November 14, 2012.

    Hillary brings to the Council her entrepreneurial experience as an employer and local business owner, as well as her out-of-the-box thinking which helped her businesses prosper during the economic downturn. Hillary is the owner and operator of three businesses in the City of Reno. She wants to use her business knowledge to help eliminate bureaucratic red tape and spur job creation.

    Hillary’s other key issues are economic growth, public safety, regional cooperation and senior services. One of her major issues is the reformation and revitalization of downtown. Hillary has made it a priority since assuming office to put funding toward creating a downtown environment that attracts residents, students, businesses and visitors. She was named in Politico Magazine’s “America’s 11 Most Interesting Mayors” article. The piece refers to her as “The re-inventor” for her role in the positive transformation of Reno, which is “becoming a hub for tech entrepreneurs and companies, pulling coders and data analysts from far more expensive Silicon Valley four hours to the west.”

    In September 2017, Mayor Schieve was selected as Chair of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment, and Sports (TAPES). She is the first woman to Chair the committee in more than 25 years. Another national and local issue the Mayor is passionate about is mental health and addiction; as such, she hosted a community conversation on the topic in October 2017.

    Hillary’s business success landed her the Reno Gazette-Journal’s (RGJ) 2011 "Entrepreneur of the Year" award. Hillary was also named by the Nevada Young Professional Network and the RGJ as a "Twenty Under 40" award recipient for her business expertise and her community service endeavors. Just to name a few of her many accomplishments and awards, she is also a recipient of the "Humanitarian Award," as she was recognized for being an outspoken public advocate for diversity and equality for all underserved groups. She was also honored with the "Harvey Milk Award" by Build Our Center (now called Our Center) in May 2016. She is also a two-time recipient of the Nevada Women’s Fund, presented by NV Energy, "Women of Achievement" award in 2013 and 2015.

    Hillary is one of the four founding members of the Midtown District. Most recently, she has worked diligently to reform and revitalize downtown Reno and has, in partnership with the Reno City Council, formed an Operation Downtown group focused on reimagining and revitalizing the downtown corridor.

    Hillary was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She attended Reno High School. Hillary grew up figure skating, where she competed nationally in pursuit of an Olympic dream, but was stricken with kidney failure. As fate would have it, her sister saved Hillary’s life by donating her kidney for a transplant operation. Hillary continues to be a strong advocate for organ donations and has lobbied nationwide to promote organ donor awareness.

  • Jay Baer

    Jay Baer

    Jay Baer helps businesses clone their customers. He has created five multi-million dollar companies, and is a 7th-generation entrepreneur.

    He is the President of Convince & Convert, a consulting firm that helps the world's most iconic brands like The United Nations, Nike, 3M, and Oracle use technology to win new customers, and keep the customers they've already earned.

    A New York Times best-selling author of five books, Jay is the host of the award-winning Social Pros podcast.

    He's also an avid tequila collector, and a certified barbecue judge.

    Hang on to your seats….here comes Jay Baer!

  • Adam Sacks

    Adam Sacks

    Adam Sacks is the founder and President of Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company dedicated to quantitatively-based consulting to the travel sector. Over the past twenty-two years, Adam has worked with hundreds of destinations, industry associations, and companies around the world in the areas of opportunity and risk assessments, policy analysis, and economic impact.

    Adam’s work has provided the foundation for billions of dollars in capital investment decisions by hotel companies, developers, and investors. Destination marketing organizations around the world rely on Tourism Economics data and scenario models to inform global marketing investment allocations.

    Adam also supports trade associations in the aviation, hotel, and broader travel arena with forecasts widely considered to be an industry standard. And by examining the economic merits of travel facilitation, taxation, and tourism promotion initiatives, Adam’s work has influenced local, regional, and national government policies.

    He is an authority on measuring the economic impact of visitor activity and has analyzed the impacts of cruising, gaming, timeshare, hotels, new attractions and destination marketing.

    Adam regularly presents to corporate strategic planning teams on the threats and opportunities facing their businesses and is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Travel & Tourism Advisory Board.

  • Tony Manfredi

    Tony Manfredi

    Executive Director, Nevada Arts Council

    Anthony (Tony) Manfredi joined the Nevada Arts Council (NAC) as Executive Director in September, 2017. Manfredi provides the strategic direction and leadership for the organization, assessing and overseeing current programming, optimizing business development opportunities for artists, arts organizations and the public, representing the agency and state in regional and national forums, and managing the staff and budget housed within state government. His professional background combines 24 years of strategic planning, management, marketing, creative, and fundraising services for both local and international businesses and organizations.  Tony is a graduate of the University of San Diego with the degrees in Communication Studies and Art. Previously, he was Senior Vice-President Content and Marketing for Reno’s PBS Member Station, KNPB. During his time at KNPB, Tony helped manage steady revenue growth and reduced overall department expenses while analyzing the effectiveness of, and changing where necessary, past fundraising activities.

  • Sherry Rupert

    Sherry Rupert

    Sherry is the Executive Director of the State of Nevada Indian Commission, appointed by Governor Kenny Guinn September of 2005. On October 10, 2013, Sherry was sworn in by Governor Brian Sandoval as the first American Indian woman to be appointed a member of his cabinet.

    Mrs. Rupert is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and is past President of the Native American Chapter of the University of Nevada, Reno Alumni Association.

    Sherry is the Chairwoman of Nevada’s Indian Territory, a marketing arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, and was awarded the 2007 and 2008 Excellence in Tourism Award as well as the 2011 Statewide Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for her success in promoting and advancing tourism in Indian Country. She was also awarded the 2009 Human and Civil Rights Award from the Nevada State Education Association for her work in the advancement of Indian education in the state.

    Mrs. Rupert was elected President of the Board of Directors for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), January 2014. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism.

    Mrs. Rupert was named to the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (US TTAB) in June 2013. The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce and the White House on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States.

    Sherry is an American Indian of Paiute and Washoe heritage. She is also a proud Native Nevadan, born in Carson City and raised on the Washoe Reservation in Gardnerville, Nevada.

  • Peter Barton

    Peter Barton

    Administrator, Nevada Division of Museums & History

    Appointed in December 2006, Peter Barton serves as the Administrator for the Nevada Division of Museums and History, overseeing the development, operations and programs of Nevada’s seven state-sponsored museums. A graduate of the State University of New York with a degree in American history, Peter has spent 40 years developing and managing museums and historical organizations. With a special interest in transportation history he has developed a number of railroad museums, including the acclaimed Altoona (PA) Railroaders Memorial Museum, a museum that rather than celebrating advances in technology breaks from tradition and explores railroad life and labor in what was America’s largest railroad community. During the 1990’s while living and working in western Pennsylvania, Peter played a role in developing and expanding the Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Commission, one of America’s early National Heritage Areas. He also served as an organizer and Board member of the Allegheny Ridge State (PA) Heritage Park and served a term as President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations (PFMHO). Barton also spent several years as vice-president of Christopher Chadbourne and Associates of Boston, MA, project managing museum exhibit design projects for a variety of clients including the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (U-505), Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington (Donald W. Reynolds George Washington Education Center), the US Marine Corps (National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, VA), and the Smithsonian Institution. For his efforts in developing innovative and engaging museum experiences he is the shared recipient of three internationally recognized Awards of Merit from the Themed Entertainment Association (THEA). In addition to his professional work Barton advises on numerous cultural resource and museum development projects, serves on the advisory Board of the MOB Museum in Las Vegas, and served as support staff for Nevada’s Sesquicentennial Commission (2012-2015).

Additional Speakers

  • Kerry Bubolz