Phil MacDougall hired as new WIN leader – NNBV people briefs, Sept. 2019

Phil MacDougall

Phil MacDougall

EDITOR'S NOTE: Northern Nevada Business View people briefs are published on a monthly basis and compiled from submissions emailed to the newsroom at Please note that submissions are published at editorial discretion, and some briefs may publish online only due to print space limitations. Below are people briefs for September 2019.

Phil MacDougall

Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) has hired Phil MacDougall as its new executive director, where he is responsible for working with the board to manage operations of the organization, including board facilitation, event planning, financial management, corporate sponsorships, marketing and member retention/recruitment.

MacDougall has extensive experience in all of these areas, having worked in similar roles for NBA's Sacramento Kings and Arco Arena Entertainment Facility, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, California Asian Chamber of Commerce, California Museum of History, Quarry Park Adventures and Ebara Technologies.

He completed his degree at Richmond University in London, England, with a focus in international relations; and received his bachelor's degree in political science from Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.

Annalisa Holcombe

Western Governors University announced the appointment of Annalisa Holcombe as President of WGU Advancement, effective Sept. 16. She brings more than 15 years of experience in higher education, fundraising and community relations to WGU's nonprofit fundraising organization.

Holcombe joins WGU Advancement after serving in various roles for more than a decade at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, most recently as Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Westminster College and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law.

Travis Coombs and Michael Keller

Nevada-based contracting firm CORE Construction announced the promotion of Travis Coombs to Vice President of Northern Nevada operations. Since entering the construction industry in 2001, Coombs has established trusting relationships with design partners, building partners and clients. Coombs joined CORE in 2013 and has served in several departments. In his new role, he will now lead business strategy and development in Northern Nevada.

Alongside Coombs' promotion, Director of Pre-Construction Michael Keller relocated from CORE Construction's Las Vegas office to its Reno office earlier this year to support the firm's strategic vision for the future and expand its influence in the Northern Nevada community. Prior to working for CORE, Keller served as an Owners Representative and Construction/Program Manager for a variety of public sector clients lending him a unique perspective to his role as Director of Pre-Construction.

Pam Becker

Western Title Company, Nevada's largest provider of title insurance, recently welcomed Pam Becker to the team. Originally from San Francisco East Bay, Becker came to Reno 30 years ago.

She enjoys riding mountain bikes along the Truckee River and along back hill trails with her husband, Brian. She's been in the title and escrow field since 2004 and joins Western Title's Kietzke South office as a commercial escrow officer.

Stephanie Casteel

Snell & Wilmer announced that Stephanie “Stevie” Casteel has joined the Reno and Las Vegas offices as a Partner in the firm's Private Client Services practice group.

Casteel focuses her statewide practice in wealth transfer and tax planning and exempt organizations with an emphasis in sophisticated estate and gift planning techniques, nuptial agreements, charitable planning, including private foundations, supporting organizations and charitable trusts, and domestic asset protection.

Prior to joining Snell & Wilmer, Casteel was the founding partner of Wallace Morrison & Casteel LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, and South Lake Tahoe. She received her J.D., with distinction, from Emory University College of Law, and her B.A. in Economics, with High Honors, from Agnes Scott College.

Marcos Franco

Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment announced Marcos Franco has been named parts manager. Franco brings 11 years of experience to his new position, most recently serving as parts manager at Westrux International in Fontana, Calif.

As parts manager, he is responsible for overseeing the parts department, including purchasing, inventory and scheduling. Franco puts specific focus on customer experience and satisfaction.

He attended Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., where he studied Police Science. He is Navistar Dealer Certified in parts. Franco also enjoys coaching Little League.

Ken McKim

Ken McKim recently started his own business, Nobel Patient Advocacy, as a Board Certified Patient Advocate, in August 2019 after seeing a need in the Reno/Sparks community for focused, dedicated and reliable support for people struggling to deal with the healthcare system.

McKim offers liaison services, records consolidation, and doctor visit preparation and recap. He also offers transportation to patients to attend medical appointments, notetaking before and during the appointment, and assistance with filling prescriptions. For more information, visit

Kelly Gold

Rancharrah, the 141-acre master planned community, announced recently that Kelly Gold will lead efforts for the health and wellness division at The Club at Rancharrah as the Spa and Fitness Director. Gold has nearly 20 years of experience in spa management.

Before joining The Club at Rancharrah, Gold was the Spa Director for the Lahontan Golf Club in Truckee. Gold started her career with the Lahontan Golf Club at a grassroots effort, much like Rancharrah will be, building the spa amenities from the ground up and creating a legacy home for the members of the club.

Louie Llamas

Stark & Associates has announced Louie Llamas as its newest Associate.

Prior to Joining the Stark team, Llamas spent the last 35 years in the hi-tech world of Silicon Valley. He has held Executive Management positions with Seagate, WD, Hitachi GST, DNR Direct, Unigen Corporation, Elliptical Mobile Solutions and Flextronics, as well with other hi-tech firms and successful start-ups. He also has three years of law enforcement experience as a Special Agent with the FBI prior to moving to the Bay Area in 1983.

Llamas was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and has a BS in Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Tony Lillios

EO Reno Tahoe, the local branch of the international Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), recently welcomed Tony Lillios as a new member.

Lillios is an integral coach in personal development who is passionate about people living less limited lives and growing into bigger versions of themselves. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded and grew several companies, most notably the mobile case and accessory company, Speck Products. His companies have been featured on the Inc 500 Fastest Growing private companies list for many years with the highest rank of No. 41.

Tony was last part of the EO San Francisco Chapter in 2005 and was approved by Global to rejoin into the EO Reno Tahoe Chapter.

Mike Kazmierski

Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), will be honored with the Good Scout Award by the Nevada Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America on Oct. 24 during a 12 p.m. event at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

Kazmierski, a Wisconsin native, is a retired Army Colonel and former Commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Carson, Colorado. Under his command, Fort Carson was recognized as the best of all 270 installations in the Army.

He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and Economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; a Masters Degree in Business Administration; and a Masters Degree in Military Arts & Science.

For more information, sponsorship details and tickets for the Oct. 24 event, contact Nevada Area Council Executive Director Paul Penttila or Executive Assistant Tracy Ladd at 775-787-1111.

Daniel S. Judd

Daniel S. Judd has joined Allison MacKenzie Law Firm as a new associate attorney. Judd will focus his practice on the areas of family law, divorce, guardianships and estate planning. He is a former law clerk for both Allison MacKenzie and the Honorable James T. Russell, District Court Judge of the First Judicial District Court in Carson City. Additionally, he served the community as a Deputy Sheriff in Carson City.

A Douglas High School graduate, Judd attended Western Nevada College before transferring to UNR, where he obtained his BS in Criminal Justice-Pre-Law in 2013.

Pursuing his dream of becoming an attorney, Daniel attended the University of Wyoming College of Law, and in 2017, he obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree. In 2018, he was admitted to the practice of law in Nevada.

Heidi Gansert

The directors of Plumas Bancorp, the parent company of Plumas Bank, appointed Nevada Sen. Heidi Gansert to the Plumas Bancorp and Plumas Bank Board of Directors. Gansert is an engineering graduate of Santa Clara University who holds an MBA from UNR.

She has over 30 years of management experience and currently serves as the Executive Director of External Relations at UNR. She also serves on the boards of EDAWN and Reno's newly created Downtown Reno Partnership.

Gansert currently serves in Nevada's part-time legislature as a state senator; she previously served as Chief of Staff to Gov. Brian Sandoval, and prior to that as the assemblywoman representing District 25 in the Nevada State Legislature.

Timothy Baker, Melissa Piasecki and Lisa Calvo

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) recently announced a trio of senior educational and academic leadership roles.

Timothy Baker, M.D., will serve as the new senior associate dean for academic affairs; Melissa Piasecki, M.D., previously executive associate dean and senior associate dean for academic affairs, will take on an expansion of her role as executive associate dean; and Lisa Calvo, M.D., will serve as interim associate dean for medical education.

In his new role, Dr. Baker will oversee all UNR Med academic programs and support services related to medical student, physician assistant and resident education.

Expanding the role as executive associate dean, Dr. Piasecki will oversee institutional vision, stability, growth and excellence. Piasecki will continue to lead the school's accreditation process, as well UNR Med's Continuous Institutional Assessment office, Office of Statewide Initiatives and the Savitt Medical Library.

Dr. Calvo, meanwhile, will lead UNR Med's Office of Medical Education and will be responsible for educational activities across the four-year undergraduate medical education curriculum.

Janet Kavandi

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), announced that former NASA astronaut and Glenn Research Center director Janet Kavandi will join the company as Senior Vice President for its Space Systems business area.

After 25 years with NASA, Kavandi retired last month as director at Glenn, having led the center's Moon to Mars work. She is joining SNC in a period of growth for the company's space initiatives and two years before the first of six missions for SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft to service the International Space Station under contract with NASA.

Kavandi was tapped for NASA's astronaut corps in 1994 and went on to fly three space shuttle missions from 1998 to 2001, logging more than 33 days and 13.1 million miles in space. She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in April 2019. Kavandi earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington.

Jim DeVolld

Renown Health Board of Directors Chair Jim DeVolld has been awarded the prestigious 2019 Commitment to Community Award for Trustee Excellence from the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA). Each year at the association's annual meeting, the Nevada Hospital Association publicly acknowledges one trustee who exemplifies exceptional leadership and characteristics.

DeVolld was nominated by President & CEO of Renown Health, Anthony D. Slonim, MD, DrPH and his senior leadership team at Renown Health.

After eight years serving in various roles with Renown Health's board of directors, DeVolld — who works as managing director for the commercial banking division at First Independent Bank — was elected as chairman for a two-year term, effective Jan, 1, 2019. A lifelong Nevadan, DeVolld grew up in Yerington before moving to Reno 31 years ago.

Paul Stowell

City National Bank recently announced that Paul Stowell, Nevada regional executive for the bank, has joined the Board of Trustees for the Nevada Museum of Art.

Stowell will serve a minimum of a three-year term and will be a member of the Museum's Las Vegas committee responsible for the fundraising efforts and building of a new Museum facility in southern Nevada.

Stowell also serves on a number of nonprofit boards and community groups, including the Nevada Corporate Giving Council, JDRF of Southern Nevada, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

Hector Aparicio

Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment and Silver State International announced Hector Aparicio has been named rental account manager of their local leasing divisions — PacLease and Idealease.

Aparicio has worked for the dealerships for over six years, most recently as a leasing service adviser, where he was responsible for scheduling service appointments and overseeing technician assignment and customer service. In his new role, he will be responsible for managing the Idealease and PacLease rental fleet.

Aparicio received his Associate Degree in business management from WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, where he received the Marine Achievement Medal. He is a member of the American Legion and is the president of Sparks National Little League.

Carrie Kester and Stacey Berger

Agents Carrie Kester and Stacey Berger of the Kester-Berger Team with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates have earned the nationally recognized Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation from the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors.

The Kester-Berger Team joins more than 15,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES designation. They were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations, and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older. For more information, visit

Samantha Olson

The Grove at SouthCreek in Reno announced Samantha Olson has been named Director of Sales. She will be responsible for inbound and outbound sales for the variety of events held at The Grove, including weddings and corporate events.

Olson, who earned a BS in human development and family studies from UNR, started her career in event sales at The Grove at SouthCreek in 2011, eventually moving into corporate event coordination and sales. Previously, Olson was the Director of Business Development for a national linen rental company.

Olson is an active member of the Reno Tahoe chapter of the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE).

Kelly Hocken

Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment and Silver State International announced the promotion of Kelly Hocken to office manager.

In her new role, Hocken will be responsible for managing day-to-day office operations including overseeing administrative staff members, maintaining file organization system and communicating with internal team members.

Previously, Hocken was senior administrative assistant where her responsibilities included assisting the controller with lease billing, collections and preparation of financial reports and statements. Hocken has been with the company for 14 years.

Julianne Holt

Sierra Nevada Properties agent Julianne Holt has been awarded the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation by the National Association of Realtors. To earn the designation, a real estate professional must complete a comprehensive course in seller representation.

Holt was also awarded the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. For more information, visit

Sierra Nevada Properties also recently announced the following real estate agents have recently joined the company: Tourine Johnstone, Nathan Horstman, Jason Steinmetz, Claire Pierce and Lauri Mookini.

Amanda Rea

Home At Last, a program of the Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA), has presented Amanda Rea, Loan Officer of Guild Mortgage in Reno, with the prestigious “Centennial Award” for her work in helping more than 100 Nevada families obtain homeownership through the Home At Last Down Payment Assistance Program.

Rea specializes in Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans. She has been with Guild Mortgage since 2012. When she is not assisting homebuyers, Rae enjoys taking in the sights of Lake Almanor along with her husband, 10-year-old and dog.

Nikolai Vasquez

Matt Clafton, vice president and general manager of Alston Construction Company, Inc., announced the company has hired Nikolai Vasquez as a field assistant in the Reno office.

As field assistant, Vasquez's responsibilities will include providing general job-site assistance to the superintendent, coordinating with subcontractor crews and communicating progress work, performance and event to management team. Vasquez graduated from UNR with a BS in agriculture sciences.


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