RENO, Nev. — Hundreds of residents and business professionals attended the Northern Nevada Business View's second annual Sierra Nevada Powerful Women Awards banquet Wednesday at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno.
There, NNBV staff and event sponsors helped unveil this year's Top-20 Sierra Nevada Powerful Women winners, in addition to honoring the following women:
• 2019 Sierra Nevada Women of Exemplary Achievement: Randi Reed, Britton Griffith, Valerie Clark, Carey Serfontein and Corinna Osborne
• 2019 Sierra Nevada Powerful Matriarchs: Judge Karen Howze and BJ North
• 2019 Sierra Nevada Powerful Community Leader: Isabelle Rodriguez Wilson
• 2019 Sierra Nevada Powerful Young Woman: Emilie Rodriguez
Wednesday's luncheon served as the culmination of the NNBV's second annual Sierra Nevada Powerful Women Awards. Back on April 10, the NNBV announced the Top-40 Sierra Nevada Powerful Women finalists, a list whittled down from 132 nominees thanks to nearly 8,000 votes this winter/spring from NNBV readers and the Northern Nevada community.
Watch for announcements in January 2020 in the NNBV and on social media as to when the 2020 nomination period begins.
If you'd like to learn more about the Sierra Nevada Top-20 Powerful Women contest and awards banquet, including swag bag and sponsorship opportunities, email NNBV Publisher Dawn Gowery at email@example.com.
Below are details on each of the 20 winners this year, including short bios and their answer to the question, "What does POWER mean to you?":
Bayo Curry-Winchell, MD | Urgent Care Medical Director, Saint Mary's Medical Group
She completed her medical residency at UNR in 2015, after which she took a position with Saint Mary's Urgent Care as a physician and as Medical Director. In 2015, she also started volunteering as the Assistant Medical Examiner for the Washoe County CARES program, examining victims of child abuse. She is active with Washoe County Medical Society, sitting on the board of directors. In 2018, she was awarded Northern Nevada's Top 20 Under 40 by YPN, and over the past few years she has worked with the Women and Children's Center of the Sierra to bring awareness to their work.
“To me, power is the ability to motivate. It requires commitment, strong relationships, teamwork and purpose.”
Shanda Golden | Founder, #goldentampon
#goldentampon was founded in 2017 by Shanda Golden and is now an annual event that distributes tampons and pads for homeless women. Shanda believes that by working together and providing feminine hygiene products for our sisters in transition, we can help homeless women restore their dignity. To date, #goldentampon has collected over 3,500 boxes of tampons and pads for homeless women in Reno. All donations go to support Volunteers of America, Northern Nevada. Recently, the city of Reno proclaimed May 1, 2019, to be “GOLDEN TAMPON DAY” Mrs. Golden is a wife, mother, social activist, pinup model and photographer.
“What power means to me is always doing one's best for the right reasons! GOD IS GREAT.”
Lysette Perez | Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) Specialist, West Wendover High School
High school students in the small town of West Wendover sometimes struggle to believe they can succeed, but Lysette inspires her students in the JAG Nevada program to reach graduation and connect to meaningful careers and future success. As a JAG Specialist at West Wendover High School since 2014, Lysette has watched her program enrollment increase, her students thrive, and her community's respect for JAG grow based on student outcomes. A graduate of West Wendover High School herself, Lysette knows the obstacles facing her students and is a shining example of what a powerful woman can accomplish!
“Power means being able to elevate yourself with the intent of empowering those around you. Power is not a self-proclamation of being better than others — it is the ability to raise others up to be the best that they can be. Power to me is striving everyday for greatness!”
Tiffany Banks | General Counsel, Nevada Association of Realtors
Tiffany also leads the Nevada Realtors' Leadership Academy. She has served in leadership roles and volunteers at several nonprofits, including Board Member for YPC of Big Brothers Big Sisters; Young Lawyers Section of the Nevada State Bar; and the Boys and Girls Club, among others. Tiffany worked her way through school with a variety of interesting jobs. She became a beer school graduate, NASCAR pit spokesperson, PGA tour liaison, production assistant on a major TV show and a Secret Service staffer who helped guard President Bush Sr. Tiffany is proud wife to Garrett and mom to children Beckett and Brooklyn.
“True power comes from the ability to lead from the heart while inspiring others to find the power within themselves. Women who know who they are, refuse to compromise on their values, and help lift others, will leave a lasting legacy of love and accomplishment.”
Jen Eastwood | Director of Public Relations at Foundry
Jen is an accomplished public relations professional with more than 17 years of public relations and marketing experience. As Director of Public Relations at Foundry, she leads the agency's public relations division, including research, planning, strategy development and media relations for clients including the Barracuda Championship, Inn of the Mountain Gods, National Championship Air Races, Ormat Technologies, Reno Rodeo, The Discovery and more. Jen is a Reno native and graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. She proudly serves on the boards of Nevada Women's Fund, My Hometown Heroes and Nevada Neon Project.
“Power has many definitions. To me, being a powerful woman means using influence to create impact and raising up others along the way. Power is choosing collaboration over competition. Power is helping other women rise so we can all shine.”
Iris Key | Director of Development & Communications, Washoe Legal Services
A native Nevadan and UNR alumna, Iris has dedicated her career to effecting positive change. Iris has worked in nonprofits for 28 years, including 20 years implementing meaningful system changes on a national level to improve court supervision of drug-involved youth. She's been nationally recognized for her work improving the lives of youth and families. Currently, she focuses efforts locally, working for the region's pre-eminent legal aid provider. At Washoe Legal Services, Iris's work to secure funding makes it possible to help thousands of people each year with critical resources and services — primarily to children, domestic violence victims and seniors.
“I believe power is the ability to make things happen. For me, it's the opportunity to further causes I believe in and by being authentic and straightforward, motivate others to affect change.”
Suzanne Hendery | Chief Marketing Officer and VP of Marketing & Communications, Renown Health
Suzanne joined Renown Health from Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. At Renown, she advances the strategy and mission of the organization by growing reputation, engagement, loyalty, referrals and volumes. Suzanne has over 25 years experience in business strategy, marketing, program development and collaborative innovation. Suzanne earned her Master of Arts in Marketing Communications from the University of Connecticut and her bachelor's degree in Media Systems and Management from Westfield State University in Mass. She is a guest lecturer at Harvard University's Masters in Management program, American Marketing Association Health Care Executive Board, and Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development.
“Power is having a voice and advocating for others. A leader invests power and influence back into their team, their customers and their community, and uses power as a platform for collaboration, support, progress, lively debate, and overall works to increase the wellbeing and livelihoods of others through action.”
Fayth Ross | Executive Director, Urban Roots
Since moving to Reno in 2006, Fayth has been entrenched in the nonprofit scene, working as a fundraiser and program director. Now, Fayth is executive director for Urban Roots, channeling her expertise into the Reno nonprofit's work to change how kids eat and learn. In addition to growing healthy minds and bodies through gardening, Fayth is past president and current board member of the Sierra Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals and serves on 5-2-1-0 Healthy Washoe, an initiative devoted to creating environments that support healthy choices. Fayth and her husband have three children, who enjoy Urban Roots' programming.
“Power comes through empowering others. Power means patience, listening and empathy. It means funneling energy and vitality into others while giving room for autonomy and growth, enabling others to develop their own power. Power is a potent blend of vulnerability and tenacity blended with the ability to see the possible.”
Cortney E. Young | Mediator, Blanchard Krasner & French
Cortney Young is a Mediator at Blanchard Krasner & French. Prior to joining BKF she spent over a decade with the Litigation and Trial team at Chapman Law firm, which resolved millions of dollars annually in eminent domain and real property claims. Her approach to dispute resolution combines years of litigation experience with a pragmatic problem-solving style. She has resolved disputes ranging from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of millions. Cortney's practice is focused on resolution of a variety of disputes, including asset valuation, eminent domain, securities, probate and trust disputes, divorces, foreclosures, landlord-tenant, employee disputes, and complex civil litigation.
“Power is action. Not quitting is the most powerful thing you can do. There will always be someone who says no — they won't get your idea, your dream, your vision. Your power isn't for others to decide. In the face of doubt, you'll find your power in simply moving forward.”
Ali Banister | Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Carson City Juvenile Services
Ali has played an active role in building mental health services in Nevada. She recently was appointed to serve on the State of Nevada Mental Health Commission. She also recently received her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration- Criminal Justice and completed her dissertation on Trauma and Juvenile Justice in Carson City. Ali has implemented multiple front-end services and programs to divert delinquent youth out of the system. Such programs and services include the Juvenile Justice Assessment Screening Triage Team (JJASTT program), The Parent Project, The Family Engagement Program, School Resource Officers, Co-Occurring, and the Leadership and Resiliency Program.
“Power means different things to different people; however, the term commonly relates to the use of one's resources and ability to make meaningful change in the world we live. To me, power can relate to leadership. A powerful and effective leader has the ability to direct, influence and inspire the behavior of others.”
Kelly Wilmoth | Vice President of Construction/Residential Lending, Heritage Bank of Nevada
Kelly currently holds the position of Vice President of Construction/Residential Lending at Heritage Bank of Nevada. She began her career at Nevada State Bank and moved to Business Bank of Nevada. Until joining Heritage Bank in 2011, Kelly previously held the position of Business Development Officer with Community Services Agency and Development Corporation (CSA). She developed a nationally recognized program with CSA/EITC tax preparation program for low-income individuals and the University of Nevada, Reno. She also wrote and implemented Financial Literacy in Title 1 Schools and Job Corp. She currently serves on the AVA Ballet and Junior Achievement boards.
“Power is not determined by your position but the ability to lead and influence. It impinges on personal development, character, and actions. Power has the capacity to greatly affect a situation. It is not intended to control but influence a greater global vision.”
Jenny Lesieutre | Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Land Management
Jenny grew up in a military family and moved to Nevada in the ‘80s, calling it her “true home state.” A civil servant for the Government since 2004, Jenny is a Public Affairs Specialist at the Bureau of Land Management, where she previously held several high-level positions. This year, Jenny celebrates 25 years with the Reno Rodeo Association, serving as a Director since 2015. One of the first 50 women voted into the association, she has served on and chaired multiple committees. A life-long equestrian, Jenny is passionate about public lands and keeping our western heritage alive for future generations.
“True power is having the confidence to adapt to change, serve with integrity, take every life experience, good or bad, as a gift and realize that you are never too old to learn. Above all else, strive to empower others whenever and wherever possible.”
Renea Louie | Vice President, Pro Group Captive Management Services / Executive Director, Business Council of Douglas County
Renea is long-time Vice President of one of the Nevada's most successful firms, and for 20 years has worked as executive director of a large business council. She's also an active member of many community Boards. Renea has quietly raised more than $4 million for at risk-youth and is always available as a mentor. As a wife, mother, grandmother, coach and community leader, she leads by example. Renea is a consummate professional in all she does, while always showing compassion and innovation when elevating all persons she meets. Renea is unique and rare combination of power, personality and benevolence.
“Leadership and bringing meaningful, positive impact where others can't is power. Power is the ability to effect change and not control, but manage issues, resources, employees and opportunities to achieve a larger purpose for good and community, not self. It must be respected at all times and never abused.”
Jacki Hallerbach | Executive Director, Western Industrial Nevada (WIN)
Jacki is the Executive Director of WIN. Before that, she served as ED for Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network. She supports several community organizations, including Wooster AAA Boosters, Girls on the Run, Each One. Tell One. and Breast Cancer 2 Bikini, where she is one of the original members. Jacki has lived in Reno since 1994, working in marketing, gaming and high tech. She is a graduate of Thunderbird, American Graduate School of International Management and the University of Arizona, where she majored in Russian. She is the mother of two college age girls and married to Boris Hallerbach (IGT).
“POWER means helping to build community by making connections that foster growth, inclusion and integrity for people and organizations. Power is the equity we build when we help others realize their potential and when we reach out to bring people together. Power grows when it is shared.”
Lori Windfeldt | Creator, SOBER SALLY; Executive Director, Each One. Tell One.
Lori is creator of SOBER SALLY, a web resource and community of recovery. By bringing others together and vowing to end the shame and stigma of mental illness and addiction, with great hope it will no longer be a barrier to anyone seeking help. Lori works with clients as a Recovery/Accountability Coach, is co-host of the “Recovery Brothers with Sober Sally” radio show and volunteers her time to the Breast Cancer 2 Bikini, Each One. Tell One. and Karma Box Project programs. Lori's primary job is wife to Ty and mother to Katie (16), Cole (12) and Madison (6).
“Power is having the ability to be heard; creating a formula in thought and communication that allows me to feel comfortable being vulnerable and honest with others, so my message is clearly and unmistakably delivered and heard.”
Ann Silver | CEO, Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce
Ann is originally from New York, New York, and is the eldest of five. She's previously held positions in Nevada government, private industry and as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada and J.O.I.N. Ann is the first female CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce and previously held positions as General Manager of Radio City Music Hall and Senior VP of Human Resources & Labor Relations for Compass Group, the world's largest food service and restaurant corporation. She's a graduate of Cornell University and Notre Dame University School of Law.
“Power in itself is not an asset; it's an instrument that must convey integrity, humility and compassion. The exercise of power should demonstrate the ability to motivate others, to listen intently and to show respect for those you work for and with each day.”
Kerry Eaton | Partner, Drinkwater Eaton Law
Kerry is a partner at Drinkwater Eaton Law Offices. Her practice focuses on providing corporate legal services to local, regional and national companies. Kerry is a proud alum of UNR and William & Mary School of Law. While proud of her profession, she is most proud of her service to the community on nonprofit boards and community projects. She is currently Chair of The Nevada Women's Fund, a member of the Nevada State Board of Accountancy and is active with NASBA. When not working, she is an avid Obstacle Course Racer and travels all over the country participating in races.
“Power is the ability to build a foundation upon which success can be built. True power isn't loud or obvious. Most of the time power is a quiet force that over time creates the tools and momentum to effectuate the most brilliant outcome.”
Jennifer Rogers Markwell | Owner, Platinum Wealth Management
Jennifer is an Emmy-nominated former journalist who changed gears in her career when she realized the need to help women and their finances. It started after her grandfather passed away and she wanted to help her grandmother with investing. Her pedigree includes formerly being key financial adviser to more than $300 million under management. She hosts educational workshops to empower women with their investments. She also currently volunteers as 2nd VP for Girls Scouts of the Sierra Nevada board. Jennifer is married and has renewed her wedding vows to her husband 17 times (so far) in the past 5 years.
“Power means to empower. I'm truly honored to support my clients become stronger and more confident through financial planning. Power is to encourage women to take active roles in their financial futures and share that knowledge with younger generations. Surround yourself with ethical, heart-centered professionals who always put client first.”
The bimonthly edible Reno-Tahoe magazine, launched in 2010, celebrates and supports the local food and drink movement, which includes farmers, ranchers, food artisans, chefs, distillers, brewers and more. Edible Reno- Tahoe points readers to healthy food sources and supports environmentally friendly practices. Amanda also hosts two events each year: Good Spirits on June 1 at The Elm Estate, and Wine + Dine on Oct. 16 at Dolan Lexus. She also volunteers for TEDx University of Nevada, Reno and the American Culinary Federation's High Sierra Chefs Association. She has a passion for food, publishing and for making a difference in her community.
“To me, power means influence. People use their influence for personal gain or to make an impact for the greater good. It's important to use one's influence to connect one another and support positive, responsible change. A powerful leader gives back to uplift the community.”
Teresa Di Loreto | Partner, Paradiso Communities
Teresa joined the family homebuilding company, Di Loreto Homes of Nevada, in 1993. In 2016, Teresa became a partner at Paradiso Communities, and Corporate Broker for Legacy Brokerage. Teresa currently serves on the city of Reno Building Enterprise Fund and recently concluded her term as an EDAWN Director. Teresa is a Past President of Builders Association of Northern Nevada, and is currently a Director and Vice Chairman with the National Association of Home Builders. Teresa also serves as Executive Director of the Nevada Military Support Alliance. Her proudest accomplishment is her three children — Colton and twins Aidan and Alivia.
“Power means having the ability to take passion and create an opportunity by committing to hard work that can ultimately make a difference or positive impact on someone — using these strengths, guided with empathy and selfless energy toward the path and desire to earn respect for oneself and of others."