Twenty Under 40 Q-and-A: High Fives Foundation’s Roy Tuscany
Who are you?
Name: Roy Tuscany
Profession/Title: High Fives Foundation founder and CEO
Years in Reno/Northern Nevada: 16==================
CHECK IT OUT: Roy Tuscany featured on SportsCenter
Recently, Tuscany was featured on SportsCenter an in interview with Kenny Mayne about the High Fives Foundation. The interview came after ESPN released the article, “Has the coronavirus ruined the high-five?” Go here to check out the video.
RENO, Nev. — In November, the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network announced the winners of its annual Twenty Under 40 Awards.
With the region’s economic future in mind, NNBW Reporter Kaleb M. Roedel sought to conduct a Q-and-A with each of the 2019 winners. Read this week’s Q-and-A below:
Q: What do you see as the biggest economic development opportunities for Northern Nevada in 2020 and beyond?
Roy Tuscany: I really see more and more going back to the community — that’s art, that’s food, that’s culture. One thing we have as an opportunity from a standpoint of economic stability is not getting rid of casinos, but not letting that be the only avenue that exists in town. By focusing on food, culture, community-based stuff, I think that strengthens what we do. The other viable way for economic stability for Northern Nevada is to really hone in to why so many people live here — the outdoors. Mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding … just adventuring into areas of the outdoors … I think it’s immersing businesses within outdoor sports to give people that experience. I think we have such a great opportunity here — within a 30-minute drive you can do so many different aspects of sport. And if we can find ways to put financial stability through outdoor sport … we’re sitting on a goldmine here.
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?
Tuscany: Because if not, the same decisions will continually be made and complacency will take over. We talk about this a lot in the ski industry world, where the majority of that industry has been led by the same people for so many years. So, why have things not changed? It’s because the same decision-makers are in place. I’m not saying that they’re not valid, and I’m not saying that experience doesn’t lead to success. I think that many people are afraid of change. But change is inevitable. It’s really, how do you move forward from change? I think the younger professional is able to adapt and overcome change, and we understand that change is inevitable. As a group, as leaders, if we can show people to be comfortable with change, being comfortable with being uncomfortable, then there’s an opportunity for more insight and innovation and new ways for people to help grow things by saying, hey, change is all right. I think as long as young professionals steward what has been created and then create ways for new growth, new innovation and new technology, then it allows for us to build on what was already put in place.
Q: What under-the-radar industry or industries have the biggest opportunity for growth in Northern Nevada?
Tuscany: Look at Denver and look at Reno — look at growth patterns, look at industries, and you can see what the marijuana/hemp business has done for the Denver area. We’re seven to eight years behind in Reno. I believe … there are opportunities from other cities that are paralleling the growth of Reno and Northern Nevada. I really believe that the biggest industry that is untapped is mobility and accessibility. I think we can do a great job here in Reno because many of our landscape here is new and it’s easy for us to provide universal accessibility and mobility things for people to deal with. I think there’s a huge opportunity for Reno to really set a precedent as a universal, accessible area, and through that providing mobility.
Q: Where do you see the greater Reno-Sparks region in five years?
Tuscany: Denver. I really do. A lot of my business has me in the Denver area multiple times in a year. And you can see many of the same industries that work there are starting to trickle down here. I believe Reno will be the premier outdoor location for folks as individuals get priced out of ski towns, especially with the Airbnb and VRBO markets, and just the lack of housing that already exists in those small communities. There’s not a single place in the country that you can live in a city like Reno and have access to the mountains like you do in less than 30 minutes. You live in Denver, you have a minimum two-hour drive. You live in Salt Lake City, you’ve got about an hour drive.
Q: If you could change one thing for the better about your community, what would it be?
Tuscany: If I had a magic wand, I would love to improve the homelessness. There are many factors to it. There are parts of Reno that could be cleaned up. It can’t be fun to be a homeless person here because of the temperature change — we see drastic deltas between highs in the day to lows in the night. Being outside has got to be horrible. Reno is cleaning up and as it cleans up I would love to just say, hey, here’s an entire area for affordable housing for you all to live in and be apart of and embrace that community. To continually improve, as more and more people come to the area, we’ve got to figure out a way to combat the homelessness.
Reno-based design firm MBA Architecture and Design is assisting on the $47 million Caesars Entertainment project in downtown Reno.