Adam Hosmer-Henner graduated from Duke University with degrees in economics and public policy before earning his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In November, the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network announced the winners of its 14th annual Twenty Under 40 Awards. With the region’s economic future in mind, we are conducting interviews with each of the 2020 winners, to be published throughout the year.
Who are you?
Name: Adam Hosmer-Henner
Profession/Title: Partner at McDonald Carano
Years in Reno/Northern Nevada: 8.5 years
Q: What do you see as the top one or two biggest economic development opportunities for Northern Nevada in 2021 and beyond?
Adam Hosmer-Henner: The area is extremely well positioned with respect to healthcare and energy. I would say those two sectors have tremendous growth opportunities for our area. And we already have strong companies and leaders in those areas who are driving it forward as well as a positive regulatory climate. We have an opportunity to come out of this pandemic even stronger through those areas and others.
Q: Why is it important for younger professionals to have a seat at the table when it comes to the business community in Northern Nevada?
Hosmer-Henner: Our area has benefited a lot in the past from very strong, forward-thinking leadership. From Gov. Sisolak and (former) Gov. Sandoval to (Reno) Mayor Schieve and (former Reno) Mayor Cashell, they have been focused on looking ahead to economic challenges in the future and looking ahead to an economy that was less dependent on tourism and gaming.
I think that we should be very appreciative of that forward-looking approach. And the next generation of business leaders has to take that similar approach to making sure that we are future-proofed as far as we can be, and build upon those strong diversified foundations to make sure that the business community is even stronger than that which we inherited.
Q: What under the radar industries have the biggest opportunity for growth in Northern Nevada?
Hosmer-Henner: I’m not sure if this actually counts as an under the radar industry, but I think the largest growth segment that we might be able to benefit from is the deployment of actual private and public capital. In Gov. Sisolak’s State of the State, he talked about a state infrastructure bank.
I think we have underutilized our investment capital, especially public and private finance. Starting to open up those capital opportunities in our area could lead to very large developments and very large-scale projects like we’ve seen with the Tesla Gigafactory, as well as some of our other projects.
Q: Where do you see the greater Reno-Sparks region in five years?
Hosmer-Henner: Certainly more crowded than it is now. I think we’re going to continue experiencing population growth. And I think that one of the biggest challenges coming up for our region is capitalizing on strong economies as well as the opportunities from weaker economies to really turn the city into a place that’s stable and sustainable for the future.
Q: If you could change one thing for the better or improve one thing about your community, what would it be?
Hosmer-Henner: I think I want to have a stronger connection between the university, downtown and the river walk — to make the people who live here visit those areas more often than I think they currently do. We really have tremendous resources between the university and downtown and the midtown and river areas. And I think they haven’t fully capitalized on making them large-scale, walkable districts that people want to visit.
Q: Why do you feel Northern Nevada is better positioned to bounce back from the COVID recession than other regions?
Hosmer-Henner: We already had a large number of people who’ve been working remotely after moving here from California or other regions. Fortunately, we were set up to deal with the pandemic in a way that perhaps other urban centers weren’t. But I think moving forward we have the flexibility and regulatory climate to allow businesses to adapt expediently.
I think that ... when they’re forced to through the pandemic, this is a city and region that can certainly accommodate them and accommodate those adaptations. I think more than a lot of other metro areas, we’re well positioned to change and pivot with the times.
Note: This interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity.