Board and Staff
Ryan Arnold is President of ARC Consulting, a Las Vegas based government affairs firm focused on government relations at the local and state level. Working within all Southern Nevada jurisdictions and many state agencies, such as the Nevada Department of Transportation, Ryan provides a wide range of services that include traditional lobbying, issue advocacy, and guidance on entitlement and zoning work.
Ryan sits on the executive board for Get Outdoors Nevada and has served on the Las Vegas Centennial Committee since its inception in 2003, where they’ve been responsible for the distribution of over $15 million in grants. Always looking for ways to stay connected to his hometown, Ryan stays active in a variety of other community efforts and organizations.
While not a native of Nevada, Ryan moved from California to Las Vegas with his family when he was just one year old. After graduating from Boulder City High School, he went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1997. When Ryan isn’t working, he is logging miles on his bike as a competitive cyclist and enjoys traveling or anything outdoors.
Dr. Nancy E. Brune
Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities
Dr. Nancy E. Brune is the Executive Director of the Guinn Center, a statewide policy research center providing independent, data-driven analysis on issues of tax and fiscal policy, education, economic development, and natural resource security. She serves as a Senior Fellow at the UNLV Boyd School of Law.
In 2016, President Obama appointed Brune to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She is the author of over 75 peer-reviewed journal articles, reports, essays, blogs, and op-ed pieces on various topics. Brune received her Ph.D., Master of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees from Yale University and her Master of Public Policy and B.A. degrees from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Guinn Center, she was a Senior Policy Analyst at Sandia National Laboratories. Brune has consulted for the Harvard School of Public Health, JPMorgan Chase, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the World Bank.
The product of a Mexican father and an English mother, Brune was raised in a household that emphasized public service. Brune serves as Vice Chair of the Knowledge Fund Advisory Council, (an initiative of GOED), as well as the Chair of the Institutional Advisory Council of the College of Southern Nevada. She was appointed by Governor Sandoval to sit on the English Mastery Council and the Jobs for America’s Graduates-Nevada board of directors. She is a member of the Nevada Children’s Commission and the Clark County Department of Social Services Citizens Advisory Committee. Brune is on the board of Southern Nevada Public Television, Get Outdoors Nevada, and Goodwill Industries of Southern Nevada.
As the President of IMI and with 15 years spent growing businesses, Justin possesses a unique collection of marketing, strategy and leadership skills.
In addition to serving as a Board member for Get Outdoors Nevada, he is a 2015 Grad of Leadership Las Vegas and a veteran Wish Granter for the Make a Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada.
Justin hails from Boston and attended Cornell University. He lives on the Westside and is proud parent of twins Parker & Reed and Harley the Pug.
Simpson Coulter Studio
Board Secretary, Sean Coulter, AIA is principal and design director at Simpson Coulter | STUDIO. His leadership brings over 25 years of experience on large-scale projects for various public and private entities. Sean attended Louisiana Tech University and obtained both a B. Architecture and B. Art degree, which inspires his intensive approach to design. His oversight of the design team at Simpson Coulter | STUDIO infuses this unique background into the creative process ensuring that clients receive a holistic design that successfully balances functionality, innovation, and craft in its execution. His diverse professional portfolio has established him as an expert in his field, and his leadership in these typologies has resulted in multiple award-winning projects that have propelled the firm’s standing as experts within their community.
Sean believes that architecture and community-building are intertwined and strives to offer his expertise past the boundaries of his immediate professional environment. He has served as president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Las Vegas and Nevada State Chapters and was awarded the AIA Nevada Service Award in 2010 for his contributions to the profession. He has been an adjunct professor and juror for UNLV’s School of Architecture and has served as a professional advisor for Clark High School and the Las Vegas Academy. He also encourages his staff to volunteer and provide mentorships that students and young architects rely on for future success within the field. In his spare time, Sean enjoys photography, biking, and nurturing his unhealthy obsession with Star Wars.
John Curran is the Real Estate Portfolio Manager for Downtown Project, the $350 million private redevelopment effort founded by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. The goal and purpose of Downtown Project is to help make downtown Vegas a place of inspiration, entrepreneurial energy, creativity, innovation, upward mobility, and discovery, through the 3 C’s of collisions, co-learning, and connectedness in a long-term, sustainable way. John oversees the property management of roughly 100 properties and serves as a project manager on a variety of different developments. He also acts as a liaison with the City of Las Vegas, assisting with matters of entitlements, permitting and licensing.
John received a B.A. in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to complete a Masters of City Planning at Penn Design. After eight years on the East Coast, he ultimately missed the mountains and sunshine of his hometown of Las Vegas, and returned in 2013. He also serves as the Chair of the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission and on the executive board for the Meadows School Alumni Association. Outside of work, he can usually be found skiing, hiking, biking or playing softball.
Board Treasurer, Starla Lacy is the Vice President of Environmental, Safety and Land Resources at NV Energy.
She joined NV Energy in April 2006 as the Environmental Services Director and acquired the Safety and Land Resource program areas in subsequent years. Ms. Lacy has over 25 years of experience in the environmental, safety and natural resource fields with a focus on sustainable business practices. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Management and an undergraduate degree in Economics.
In addition to her position as Treasurer for Get Outdoors Nevada, Starla also serves as Treasurer for the industry organization Western Energy Supply and Transmission Association (WEST Associates). She was recently appointed to a second term serving on the Governor’s Sagebrush Ecosystem Council and she is also an Industry Council Member on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board.
Raised in the desert of southeastern New Mexico, Starla enjoys the beauty of Nevada’s landscapes by hiking and camping with her husband and their three enthusiastic dogs.
Southwest Gas Corporation
Kevin Lang is the Director of Engineering Services for Southwest Gas Corporation based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kevin has been with Southwest Gas for 14 years. He has held various engineering and operations positions at the Company’s Southern California division and in the corporate headquarters in Las Vegas.
His current job responsibilities include oversight of natural gas pipeline safety compliance, design standards, environmental programs and compliance, metering and regulation, corrosion control, SCADA systems, communications support, land rights acquisition, pipeline security, and mutual assistance programs. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining and Minerals Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Nevada.
Kevin enjoys his time outdoors with his family and three dogs hiking and exploring Nevada back roads, byways, and trails.
Michael Ross Advisors
Michael Ross PE LEED-AP is a registered civil engineer with a career spanning over 36 years of experience in environmental engineering and land development. Most of his experience is in the development of large master planned communities in the Las Vegas valley including Anthem and portions of Summerlin. Formally a director with G. C. Wallace Engineering he was involved with the management of a large professional engineering company. Mike is an avid hiker and river rafter.
Nevada Mining Association
Dylan Shaver is the Vice President of the Nevada Mining Association, a position which puts him at the head of government and public affairs efforts for one of Nevada’s most important and longest-serving economic sectors. He brings nearly twenty years of Nevada political experience to this role at NvMA, a group he’s been proud to represent since 2011. This job has allowed him to see a side of Nevada that most people don’t get to experience, and witness firsthand the coexistence between economic and recreational opportunities presented by the multiple use doctrine on our public lands.
Dylan grew up in Southern Nevada and every weekend would explore Red Rock, Valley of Fire, Lake Mead and other outdoor opportunities with his family. He left Las Vegas to go to the University of Nevada, Reno, and enjoy the wonderful outdoor experiences that Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River afforded him during his education and career since.
Today, Dylan lives in Reno with his wife, Christina, and two children. As a family they know the affordable and accessible opportunities that outdoor recreation avail to them.
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Paul Schmitt is the Senior Vice President for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and oversees the Mountain West Region including offices in Nevada, Colorado and Texas. He has led Whiting-Turner in Las Vegas for the past 25 years and has grown the company to be one of the largest and most highly-respected construction firms in the State.
In addition, Schmitt has lead Whiting-Turner's efforts in community and philanthropic support. Under his leadership, Whiting-Turner has been active as contributors to several local non-profit organizationas.
Schmitt graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA. He resides in Las Vegas with his wife, Sarah, and his two sons. An avid cyclist and outdoors enthusiast, Schmitt serves the local community as a Board Member for Get Outdoors Nevada and as Vice Chairman of the City of Henderson Bicycle Advisory Committee.
Mike Shohet is the Executive Vice President of Real Estate for Nevada HAND, a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to the development, construction, and management of quality affordable housing for low-income Nevadans. Nevada HAND provides “more than a home”, it creates opportunities to live well by providing affordable housing solutions with supportive services to Nevada’s working families and seniors.
Mike has spent 23 years in various roles in the real estate development industry including the last 15 years here in Las Vegas. Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University in Canada and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Mike is a past president and current board member of the Southern Nevada Chapter of NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association. In 2017, Mike was recognized nationally by NAIOP for his outstanding leadership as a Chapter President. By appointment of the Clark County Commission, he also serves as a member of the Clark County Building Department Enterprise Fund Advisory Committee.
In his leisure time, Mike coaches ski racing for the Brian Head ski team and is an avid mountain biker, rock climber, and hiker. He enjoys sharing all of those experiences with his fiancée, Jen, and kids, Sophie and Ethan.
As the Market Director, Government Affairs for Republic Services, Southwest Area, Jennifer Simich keeps the company connected to its 420,000 single-family residences and 21,000 commercial, industrial and multi-family customers by managing its community relations programs and working with community leaders to make sure their constituent's waste management needs are met. Additionally, Jennifer represents Republic Services at the legislature.
Jennifer is a native Las Vegan and is active in the community. She has served as a board member for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, the Vegas Young Professionals, the Henderson Boys & Girls Club auction committee and The Blind Center of Nevada Fashion Show Committee. Jennifer also is a founding member of the Las Vegas Chapter of Keep America Beautiful and is on the United Way's Women's Leadership Council and the advisory council for the USO.
Jennifer was named one of the top business executives under the age of 40 by In Business Las Vegas and was also awarded the Athena Award for Young Professional Leadership from the Las Vegas Women's Chamber of Commerce. Jennifer has a bachelor's of science degree in political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Throughout the past twenty-eight years, Thomas Tait has put to practice his broad knowledge of tourism development in eighty cities within forty-three nations. In conjunction with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and McCarran International Airport, a significant portion of his efforts were focused on tourism and air-service expansion for Nevada’s cities while serving as the Executive Director of the Nevada Commission on Tourism. That post he held for eleven years after serving as its director of marketing.
Since 1996, Tait has performed over thirty C-level destination and eco-tourism assignments on behalf of the US State Department's Eastern Europe and Central Asian partner nations. He was SVP, marketing, of the Lake Las Vegas Resort project from 2001 to mid-2005 and President of the Nevada Tourism Alliance from 2008-2011.
Tait was named a Distinguished Nevadan in 1984 by Governor Richard Bryan; presented the Gary Collie Award for Outstanding Service to Victims of Crime by America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh in 1985; named a Distinguished Nevadan by Governor Bob Miller in 1998; presented with the Global Citizen Award by the National Council for International Visitors in 2001; and, conferred by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce its Citizen Achievement Award for 2004 and 2005.
Rod Taylor has over 30 years of marina experience beginning at Lake Shasta located in Northern California. Rod spent every weekend, holiday and vacation at the lake enjoying the outdoors especially water sports including fishing, boating and skiing. Achieving the status of Certified Marina Manager in October of 2001, Rod is experience in all aspects of marina management and outdoor tourism. Working at Forever Resorts since 1995 Rod is responsible for multiple full-service marinas with wet slips, boat rentals, fueling stations, dry storage, lodging, retail, raft tours, food and beverage.
Involved in business development, project planning and over site, Rod has led projects in marina construction and restoration and worked in partnerships with agencies such as the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, United States Forest Service, United States Coast Guard, Army Corp of Engineers and State Parks.
Rod sits on the board of directors for the Clean Marinas Program as Past President, a Trustee Board Member on Get Outdoors Nevada and Co-Chairperson n the Lower Water Colorado River Trail Alliance. Rod oversees properties that are certified to ISO 14001, Clean Marina certified. Rod is a member of the International Marina Institute, Marine Recreation Association, Association of Marine Industries, Leave No Trace, United States Green Building Council and America Outdoors.
Southern Nevada Water Authority
Greg Walch is the General Counsel of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD). He is a member of the SNWA and LVVWD Executive Team, overseeing the legal department of both agencies. Greg’s work emphasis is on forging relationships among Colorado River stakeholders to help foster new solutions to supply and demand issues impacting the sustainability of the Colorado River Basin.
Greg received a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University in 1985, and thereafter worked with Layne Western Company as an engineer designing and overseeing construction of water well systems for industrial and municipal clients. Having tired of math, Greg obtained a law degree in May 1992 from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law, and has since practiced environmental, water, land use, mining, eminent domain and administrative law throughout Nevada. In 1996, Walch co-founded the law firm now known as Cotton, Driggs, Walch, Holley, Woloson & Thompson and is recognized by Chambers USA, Mountain States Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell for his work in environmental and natural resources law.
Walch and his wife Shauna have two sons, Rowan and Quin. Various combinations of family members like to hike, ski, fish, bike, relax, walk the dogs, cook, photograph the outdoors, work in several different community organizations, and generally spend as much time as possible at the family cabin in the mountains.
Howard Hughes Corporation
Board Chair, Tom Warden, joined The Howard Hughes Corporation in 1999. He is Senior Vice President of Community and Government Relations in Summerlin for The Howard Hughes Corporation.
Prior to joining Hughes, he served for three years as director of public communications for Clark County, Nevada. Tom also worked for seven years as a news anchor and reporter with KLAS TV in Las Vegas and earned an Emmy Award for investigative journalism while at the CBS affiliate.
Tom grew up in a Detroit suburb and his broadcast television career took him to West Palm Beach, Buffalo, and Boston before landing in Las Vegas.
Tom serves on numerous nonprofit, environmental and professional association boards.
LVVWD - SNWA (retired)
Richard Wimmer retired in January 2010 as the Deputy General Manager of Administration for both the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the retail water utility serving most of the Las Vegas Valley, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the regional agency responsible for acquiring, treating and delivering water for Southern Nevada. Dick joined the Water District in 1985 as the Director of Information Systems and was Deputy General Manager from 1989 to 2010. His responsibilities included Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Support Services, Energy Management and Public Services, as well as the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, a cultural and educational community resource created through a public/privatepartnership.
Dick currently serves on the Executive Committee of the board of trustees of Get Outdoors Nevada. Actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America for many years, he serves on the Executive Board of the Las Vegas Area Council and formerly served as Council Commissioner and Vice President of Program. Dick also served as a Scoutmaster in Las Vegas for almost 20 years. Dick was the first Chairman of the Henderson Bicycle Advisory Committee as the city worked to be designated a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists.
A Utah State University graduate, Dick has been a resident of Las Vegas since 1971. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children and ten grandchildren. He spends most of his time now cycling, hiking, scuba diving, skiing, managing a few investments and playing with his grandchildren (not necessarily in that order).
Mauricia Baca has over 25 years of experience working across a wide range of environmental issues. Ms. Baca became Executive Director in January 2010.
Previously, Ms. Baca worked with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for five years in their Nevada Chapter. The latter three years were spent leading the southern Nevada office. Ms. Baca served as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2000 through 2004 in the Wildlife and Marine Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. Ms. Baca joined the DOJ through their Attorney General’s Honors Program.
Ms. Baca’s non-profit and community outreach experience includes working in New York City as the city-wide community organizer for the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphanger’s Campaign, a mass transit advocacy organization. Ms. Baca serves as Chair on the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Advisory Council, and as a member on the Transportation Resource Advisory Committee for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the City of Henderson Comprehensive Planning Healthy Communities Stakeholder Group.
Ms. Baca has served on the Transportation Task Force for Southern Nevada Strong (2013 – 2015) and as Vice-Chair for the Las Vegas Healthy Communities Coalition Natural & Built Environment Committee (2013-2015). In 2016, Ms. Baca was honored as Citizen Planner 2016 by the American Planning Association, Nevada Chapter. In 2017, Ms. Baca was honored with the Carolyn M. Sparks Founders Award. Ms. Baca is an alumnus of the Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, Class of 2013.
Jeanne Tinsman grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, and has been entranced by birds from the beginning. She has a Biology degree from Shippensburg State College, and her final semester was an internship at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA. That led to a second internship stint, and finally a full-time position.
Her early career continued with seasonal jobs including counting migrating raptors in Veracruz, Mexico, and banding birds in Louisiana. Jeanne’s path west continued to the coast, where she worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s California Condor Program at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Ventura, California.
Marriage slowed down the career path, but not the journey. We moved from southern California to northeastern Nevada, West Virginia, New Jersey and back to Nevada. Along the way bird studies continued, including surveys at Salton Sea NWR, banding songbirds at Ruby Lake NWR, involvement with Partners in Flight in Nevada, leading walks in beautiful West Virginia and most recently, banding hummingbirds at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Jeanne also maintains strong interests in all things outdoors, including dragonflies and damselflies, butterflies and wildflowers.
Currently Jeanne is the Chairperson for the Nevada Bird Records Committee and vets reports on the citizen-science website Odonata Central. She is seeking to renew her bird banding permit as well.
In Nevada, Jeanne has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation at Hoover Dam. Jeanne has been with Get Outdoors Nevada since August 2017.
Education Program Director
Aaron Leifheit, a central Illinois native, grew up exploring the forests of Illinois and was lucky to have a family that took yearly camping trips ‘Out West.’ These experiences helped him develop a passion for protecting nature and sharing outdoor places with others.
During college at the University of Illinois, Aaron was nominated for Teaching Assistant of the year, and won the River Management Societies’ yearly award for student research. After graduating with a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Aaron relocated in 2005 to Boulder City to work as Environmental Education AmeriCorps with the National Park Service at Lake Mead.
After volunteering, Aaron spent 6 years with the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association as an Environmental Education Specialist, where he managed interpretive programs for at risk youth, led astronomy night hikes, and created the Mojave in Motion classroom science program.
In 2013, Aaron joined Get Outdoors Nevada as the Education Program Director, where he leads an amazing and talented team that strengthens community through nature and science programs. In addition to working on efforts such as Meet Your Mojave, Next Generation Science Standards, Mojave Max, and Families in Nature, Aaron also facilitates the CHOLLA workgroup and conducts Certified Interpretive Guide trainings.
Aaron loves learning, and spends his personal time tinkering with a variety of projects, such as making Kombucha and cutting boards, collecting silver age comic books, old novels and Grateful Dead shows, and of course hiking, backpacking, and exploring beautiful Southern Nevada.
Director of Community Engagement
Raised in Las Vegas since the age of six, Jessica calls Nevada home. She developed an appreciation for the outdoors at a young age camping and hiking with her family. More of a fish than a land mammal, Jessica spent her childhood swimming her way through all the wonderful city and county pools and developed a love for the parks and recreation field. She built a career there for many years before developing the urge to do more and be a part of something great. In 2014, she was hired on as a program manager for Get Outdoors Nevada working in both the volunteer and education departments. In 2015 she was promoted to Volunteer Director having found a niche in organizing and running volunteer events. Her involvement in the organization continued to grow and expand landing her where she is today as the Director of Community Engagement.
Jessica is a mom of three amazing children and three wonderful dogs. Now with a family of her own, she loves to introduce her kids to the amazing wonders that the Las Vegas Valley has to offer. She has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a master’s degree in business management and leadership. She still enjoys teaching swimming on the side and volunteers her time in the summer to Camp Cartwheel, a summer camp run by the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. For Jessica it’s all about making a difference and impacting the lives of as many people she can.
Education Program Director
While not a native to Nevada, Shelly has called the Silver State her home for over 25 years and has chosen to raise her family here. Nevada’s outdoor resources have provided a unique and beautiful space that has allowed her three boys and two large dogs to grow and explore. Even though, Shelly loves to travel, she always makes it back home to Nevada!
Shelly Kopinski began her tenure with Get Outdoors Nevada (GON) as an AmeriCorps volunteer in 2014 where she began her career in interpretation and was able to utilize her love of the outdoors while expanding her knowledge of Southern Nevada. Shelly received her B.S. in Natural Resources from Oregon State University and began working for GON full-time in 2015, then becoming the Education Program Manager in 2016.
Working for GON has intensified Shelly’s connection to her community and she enjoys the opportunity to replicate that through educational programming. Providing new experiences, perspectives, opportunities, and resources to youth outdoors enables her to introduce a natural world without limits!
Bertha Gutierrez is the volunteer manager at Get Outdoors Nevada, after joining the team in September 2017 as a volunteer coordinator. Originally from El Salvador, she moved to Las Vegas from Northwest Arkansas at the end of 2016 and fell in love with the Mojave Desert. Her love for nature and service inspired her career change from the non-profit financial counseling industry to joining GON, where she hopes to create opportunities to connect the community to Nevada’s outdoor spaces through service.
She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Art from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR. She enjoys getting involved with the community and has served as mentor in several programs ranging from high school journalism to photography and art. She currently serves as mentor in a reading program at a local elementary school.
Bertha is a painter, photographer, and music lover. She enjoys attending music festivals, hiking, and traveling. She is aunt to 12 nieces and nephews (and counting) and the mom to a Siamese cat named Dwayne “The Kitty” Gutierrez.
Donovan joined the Get Outdoors Nevada team in August 2018 as an Education Program Coordinator. Before joining the organization, Donovan participated in an educational outreach program titled “Rebel Science Camp,” overseen by UNLV’s College of Sciences. As a Rebel Science Camp student leader, Donovan led fifth-grade students through a series of hands-on activities encompassing fields of geology, hydrology, chemistry, and climate change. From this experience Donovan discovered his passion for teaching and helping young students discover and apply their curiosity for geoscience.
In his role at Get Outdoors Nevada, Donovan conducts Mojave Max presentations in elementary school settings and work with at-risk groups in afterschool programs. He will teach students about desert tortoise biology and habitat and inform students about the importance of protecting Nevada’s public lands. In his new role Donovan has the wonderful opportunity to apply his passion for teaching and present programs that motivate young individuals to protect and enjoy Nevada’s public lands.
As a student in the Earth and Environmental Science degree program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Donovan aspires to pass on his knowledge to create a public concerned about the quality of the Earth, its resources, and ways to protect it for future generations. In the future, Donovan would like to continue his education to become an environmental law lawyer or an elementary school teacher.
Donovan is driven to educate young students and help them discover the same passion he has for geoscience.
Education Program Coordinator
Cheresa Taing, a native-born to Las Vegas, is an Education Program Coordinator for Get Outdoors Nevada and has worked in interpretation since 2015. Cheresa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) and is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation.
Cheresa feels deeply connected to the outdoors - especially to the Mojave Desert - and has always been passionate about protecting it. A deep-rooted affinity towards environmentalism, empowered her to share her love for plants and animals in the form of education. Through native gardens, Cheresa’s ambition is to work with students to create habitat for local and migratory wildlife.
In her free time, Cheresa enjoys learning and trying new activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, and motorcycling. She loves visiting art galleries, improving her drawing in art classes and traveling internationally. She serves as a volunteer for Sierra Club’s Inspiring Outdoor Connections, where she co-leads nature outings for urban youth. She also volunteers with Dr. Scott Abella’s ecology laboratory at UNLV, where she has assisted with planting native plants. One day at a time, Cheresa hopes to inspire local youth to become the next leaders in environmental stewardship.
Volunteer Program Coordinator
Volunteer Program Coordinator
Jami Jones was raised in the Washington DC area. She began her career as a dancer with a diverse range of companies ranging from Eastern Folk Dance to competitive Ballroom & Latin Dance. Jami shared her love of dance in many of DC’s inner city schools working as a teacher for Citydance DREAM and DARE Dance, nonprofits that provided tuition free dance classes, performance opportunities and tutoring to Washington DC youth. The life changing power of physical activity in a child’s life reinforced her respect for the importance of outreach programs that promote health and wellness. In addition to dance, Jami also worked on event committees to organize the entertainment in live shows, festivals, dance congresses, private/corporate parties as well as The DC Pride Festival.
In 2007 Jami was hired as an original cast dancer in Le Reve at The Wynn. In Las Vegas Jami has performed in a variety of shows including Human Nature’s “Jukebox” at The Venetian. While in Vegas Jami has had stellar exposure and involvement in the planning and producing of live events and fundraisers. She graduated from TISOH Hospitality school for Events and Management. Jami has a passion for live events and craves the fast paced movement of event production. She works to connect specifically to each event and produce from a place of creativity that makes each event unique to their hosts and attendees. A popular quote that helps lend assurance of the importance of flexibility in event production is, “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” — Dalai Lama. Some of the greatest moments in our lives have come from quick thinking to adjust on the spot without resistance and complaint.
Jami is delighted to have the opportunity to work Special Events with Get Outdoors Nevada. The organization combines many of her great loves of community outreach, exploring nature and promoting healthy adventures in the great outdoors for all walks of life.