Bryan Allison named CMO at The Abbi Agency – NNBV people briefs, Oct. 2019

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 October 2019.

Bryan Allison

Bryan Allison, a veteran marketing and media executive based in Henderson, Nev., has been named chief marketing officer of The Abbi Agency.

Allison will oversee multi-channel marketing strategy, including coordination and execution of social media, digital marketing and content development. In addition, Allison will oversee the agency's office in Las Vegas to grow and foster client relationships.

Allison started as the first employee of and helped grow the company to hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue. His experience also includes more than two decades as an executive of The Greenspun Corporation, the major Southern Nevada publisher of print and digital products. In addition to his role at The Abbi Agency, Allison serves as a member of the Nevada State Board of Museums and History.

Joel Grace

Joel Grace has been named a partner in Reno Land Inc. Grace, who joined the company in 2017 as vice president of development, has been active in real estate, finance and business development in Northern Nevada since 2002.

Previously, Grace worked in commercial finance as a vice president of Umpqua Bank. He also worked with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada as vice president of attraction and undertook trade missions with the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Grace earned a bachelor's degree in sports management and marketing at New Hampshire College. He earned a master's degree in business with a correlate in finance from Southern New Hampshire University.

Eric Medgyesi

RE/MAX Realty Affiliates agent Eric Medgyesi, of the Olson Real Estate Group, recently earned his Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) designation. The ABR designation is reserved for real estate buyer agents who wants to focus their attention on directly working with buyer-clients throughout all stages of the home-buying process.

In order to gain the ABR designation, agents must fulfill a variety of requirements, including: completing a two-day core designation course and one ABR elective course,be a member in good standing with REBAC and the National Association of Realtors, and successfully pass the ABR final exam.

Jay K. Morgan

Jay K. Morgan, MD, FAANS, was honored as the 2019 Arthur J. Lurie, MD, Distinguished Physician Award winner for outstanding healthcare contributions to the Northern Nevada community. Renown Health honored Dr. Morgan at the annual Magic Gala, presented by Greater Nevada Credit Union, on Oct. 19.

Dr. Morgan joined Sierra Neurosurgery Group in 1993; more than 25 years later, Dr. Morgan is a business partner in the long-standing surgical group and has been instrumental in developing the practice of neurosurgery in Northern Nevada.

Dr. Morgan has previously served as Chairman of Neurosurgery with Renown between 1995-2004 and 2008-2016. Dr. Morgan is currently an Assistant Professor at the UNR School of Medicine and serves on the board as President-elect for the Washoe County Medical Society.

The Arthur J. Lurie, MD, Distinguished Physician Award is in memory of a pioneer in cardiovascular surgery who performed the first open-heart surgery in Northern Nevada at Renown Health in 1977.

B.J. Sullivan

Clark/Sullivan Construction announced that after more than 40 years of service and leadership in the construction industry, Bernard “B.J.” Sullivan retired Oct. 1.

Sullivan established the company with co-founder Dave Clark in 1981, after the duo purchased CHS Construction, of which both Sullivan and Clark had been previously employed. Following Clark's retirement in 2005, Sullivan took over operations and sustained the company through the economic downturn.

In addition to Sullivan's efforts for Clark/Sullivan Construction, Sullivan was President of the Northern Nevada Chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) in 1990 and served as a Board Member and President of the Rotary Club of Reno.

Sullivan has also been involved in other organizations and nonprofits such as the Sovereign Order of St. John, National Automobile Museum, High Sierra Industries, and Nevada Museum of Art. He plans to continue his involvement with community organizations for years to come.

Julie Nobis

Creative Coverings National Linen Rental & Sales has hired Julie Nobis as its new Director of Business Development. She is responsible for national, regional and local sales and business development throughout the country.

Nobis brings years of event experience to Creative Coverings, working most recently at Duncan Golf Management. She also previously owned the Tannenbaum Alpine Event Center and co-owned Red Carpet Events & Design.

Shannon Horrillo

University of Nevada, Reno Extension recently welcomed Shannon Horrillo as its new associate director.

Horrillo, along with providing primary support to Ivory W. Lyles, the director of Extension, will develop training and leadership programs for new faculty and be the primary communication link between faculty and the community. She will be charged with providing leadership for effective programming and finding new grant and funding opportunities for Extension programs.

Previously, Horrillo worked as a statewide 4-H director for University of California Extension, where she provided visionary leadership for the implementation and evaluation of the 4-H Youth and Families programming. In 2018, she was awarded the California 4-H Association Specialty Award for recognition of youth development professionals.

Vivek Bhardwaj

KPS3 has hired Vivek Bhardwaj as a web developer. His responsibilities include working with the development team, coding websites and developing apps for a wide range of clients and projects.

Bhardwaj joins KPS3 from Noble Studios, where he held the position of UX/UI Designer. He was responsible for managing clients' web presence, auditing interfaces, creating wireframes and quality-checking websites. Before that, Bhardwaj held positions as a web developer for OCG Creative and as a web developer for Unravel Labs.

Bhardwaj earned his B.S. in information systems from UNR in 2019 as a web developer.

Diaz Dixon

The Board of Directors of Eddy House recently appointed Diaz Dixon as its new CEO. Before joining the Eddy House, Dixon served as CEO for STEP2 for 14 years and was instrumental in building the multi-million-dollar campus.

Prior to that, he was on the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as the Treasurer of Nevada Academic Appointment Diversity and Publicity Taskforce (AADAPT) and consulted for the Cultural Competency and Diversity Network in Washington, DC under President Bush's New Freedom Initiative.

Apart from his community service work, Dixon was also previously Assistant Athletic Director at UNR. Dixon has a bachelor's from UNR and a master's degree from the University of Iowa.

Celina Mikolajczak

Panasonic Energy of North America in Sparks this month announced that Celina Mikolajczak joined the company as vice president of battery technology. She leads a team of engineers and technical staff who work to continuously improve lithium ion cell manufacturing and to bring the latest cell technologies to mass production.

Prior to joining Panasonic, Mikolajczak served as a technical consultant and director of engineering for Uber. Before that, she served as a senior manager for cell quality and materials engineering for Tesla.

Mikolajczak holds a B.S. degree in engineering and applied sciences from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and an M.A. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University.

Chase Houston

NAI Alliance Senior Associate Chase Houston and his team won this year's NAIOP Northern Nevada Developing Leaders Award. The award is given to the team that presents the best new development proposal to a board of judges.

The award honors up-and-coming commercial real estate professionals, 35 years of age and under, for their valued contributions and commitment to the industry. The award is presented to those who have shown exemplary achievements and demonstrated outstanding professional accomplishments in the commercial real estate industry.

Patricia Richard

Patricia Richard, chief of staff/assistant vice president of constituent relations at UNR, has been elected president of Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) for the 2019-2020 term.

Other officers elected to the 2019-20 board include: JP Glenn, president-elect/VP of membership; Joy Heuer, executive director of Girls on the Run as secretary; Pat Cantwell, senior account executive at KTVN Channel 2 as VP of sponsorships; Alexia Jobson, public affairs manager of REMSA/Care Flight as VP of programs; Jackie Shelton, vice president of public relations at Estipona Group as VP of marketing; Rick Thomas Sr., vice president and Northern Nevada executive of Nevada State Bank as treasurer; Scott Horejsi, loan officer with Fairway Independent Mortgage as director at large; and Kerri Garcia, executive director of marketing & communications for the University of Nevada, Reno as past president.

Mike Dietrich

Greater Nevada Credit Union recently named Mike Dietrich as chief administrative officer. Dietrich will oversee digital services, information technology and cybersecurity and the people services department, which includes people resources, training, staffing and administrative services for GNCU as well as its wholly owned subsidiaries, Greater Nevada Mortgage and Greater Commercial Lending.

Previously, after working for Microsoft and LinkedIn, Dietrich served as the state of Nevada's chief information officer. Dietrich previously worked for GNCU as vice president of information technology from 2007 to 2011.

Earlier this summer, GNCU also announced the hiring of 16-year credit union veteran Danny DeLaRosa as chief development officer.

Ty Whitaker

Entrepreneurs' Organization Reno Tahoe has named their 2019-2020 Board of Directors, with Ty Whitaker, of The Abbi Agency, serving as president.

Other 2019-20 officers include: Forum Chair/ President Elect, JoAnn Blake, The Continuum; Membership Chair, Relina Shirley, HIDEit Mounts; Membership Co-Chair, Brian Gifford, Brian Gifford & Associates; Membership Co-Chair, Nate Pearson, TrainerRoad; Learning Chair, Noah Chubb-Silverman, Noah's Park Tree Care; Learning Co-Chair, Ian Anderson, Henriksen Butler; Communications Chair, Betty Scott, Aspen Leaf Interiors; Integration Chair, Michelle Sherven, WETLAB; Finance Chair, Amy Allen, J.A. Solari and Partners; Strategic Alliance Partner Chair, Dan Oster, NAI Alliance; and Community Support Chair, Doug Erwin, EDAWN.

Brad Spires, Doug McIntyre and Marissa Lostra

The Nevada Association of Realtors recently named Keith Lynam of Las Vegas as Realtor of the Year and announced its newly elected officers for 2020, led by incoming President Chris Bishop (Las Vegas).

Other officers for 2020 include: President-elect Brad Spires, of Carson City; Vice President Doug McIntyre, of Reno; Treasurer Marissa Lostra, of Elko; and Lynam as Immediate Past President.

Board members and officers for 2020 will be installed Dec. 13 at the association's annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Heather Simola and Stacey Sept

Nevada Rural Housing Authority has appointed Heather Simola as director of Real Estate Operations and Stacey Sept as director of Community Development.

Simola was previously the NRHA's Real Property Administrator and provided asset management oversight to a property portfolio spanning roughly 600 rental units in rural Nevada. In her new role, she will supervise oversight of the physical, fiscal, and regulatory operations of NRHA's real property portfolio in addition to increasing involvement regarding public and private financing sources.

After serving as director of Human Resources of the NRHA for nearly four years, Sept is now responsible for managing NRHA's Community Development Department and providing oversight for real estate acquisition and disposition efforts, project development, rehabilitation project initiatives, rural outreach and facilitation of affordable housing demand.

Don Weir and Joe Dutra

Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada announced recently that in recognition of their work in Nevada, Don Weir and Joe Dutra will be inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Leaders Hall of Fame on Nov. 13 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

For the past 34 years, JANN has recognized members in the community who have been instrumental in advancing education, business and the economy in Nevada by inducting them into the Business Leaders Hall of Fame. Weir and Dutra exemplify these attributes and will be joining over 50 laureates who have been inducted over the past 34 years.

The Hall of Fame Gala is open to the public. To learn more or to reserve tickets, call Kristin Reagan at 775-323-8084 or go to Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada's website at

Mario Mongolo

Jobs for Nevada's Graduates (JAG Nevada), a statewide high school dropout intervention and work readiness program, recently welcomed Mario Mongolo as the new Regional Coordinator in Northern Nevada based in JAG Nevada's Reno office.

He will be responsible for the coordination of JAG programs throughout the Northern Nevada region.

He first found his passion for teaching while serving in the U.S. Navy. After transitioning out of the military, he started his teaching career at Swope Middle School to run the Creative Learning Systems Lab. To learn more about JAG Nevada, visit

Nathan Shirey

Matt Clafton, vice president and general manager of Alston Construction Company, Inc., announced recently the company has hired Nathan Shirey as a project engineer in the Reno office.

Shirey will be responsible for determining project responsibilities including phases and elements, identifying project specifications, monitoring progress and preparing project status reports.

Previously, Shirey was a project engineer for a construction company and oversaw a four-story senior living apartment complex. He graduated from the Oregon Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering.


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