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Vol. 2 | ISSUE 13 | june 2018

In This issue:

THE GREAT

CONNECTOR


LETTER FROM THE

PUBLISHER by Chris O’Sullivan Well, summer’s almost here! I’m starting to believe that Reno should be included in The Pacific Northwest. After a really wet spring, I’m hoping for a fantastic summer. This month we’re taking a look at our transportation infrastructure. After what seems like an indeterminately long time, the SouthEast Connector will be opening with a family day, walk/ bike/run event on June 30th and the official road opening on July 6th. After spending half a day out there shooting photos with Marcello, it felt almost surreal. After all of this time, this road was actually coming to fruition. It’s a beautiful stretch of road with gorgeous views of Mount Rose from the eastern side of the valley. It’s a far cry from the “freeway” some have named it, lined with greenways and lakes, a future sports complex, NO overhead lighting and a 45 MPH speed limit. Veterans Blvd will be an enjoyable road to traverse the valley from north to south and vice versa. This is coming to you from a 20-year resident of Hidden Valley! I welcome the opening of the road and look forward to the additional access we’ll get to things like the IMAX, Summit and even Lake Tahoe.

We’ll also look this month at the current increases in traffic demand in the Truckee meadows, as well as projects already underway. This month also marks the launch of our southern Nevada edition of bizNEVADA! Las Vegas has been champing at the bit for BizNEVADA to get started down there and this month Craig Ruark is piloting our maiden voyage. Our launch party was on June 12th at the Innevation Center in Las Vegas and I’m sure it was a hit! One last editorial rant before I go. In our Vegas edition, we are covering the construction well underway of Interstate 11 from Phoenix to Las Vegas. This road also has future plans to connect Las Vegas to the Reno area (somewhere east of here) and eventually reach from Mexico to Canada as a main Interstate artery. I am a great supporter of One Nevada. Meaning that, other than a competitive rivalry between UNLV and UNR (GO PACK!) I believe that we should think and act as one State. A four or six lane I-11 would help to connect north and south economically, traversing the desert with just a five hour route for goods and services. Let’s get creative and let’s get it done. This would have a huge impact on commerce in Nevada. Perhaps Elon Musk would even get on board if he could use the road for his autonomous 18 wheelers. What do you say Mr. Musk? I’m much more excited about a quality freeway from Reno to Vegas than I am about a hyper tube! Happy Independence Day.

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INTHISISSUE PG 4-7

VOL. 2 / ISSUE. 13

The SouthEast Connector: Connecting Communities and Improving Mobility

BizNEVADA PUBLISHING TEAM PUBLISHERS: Richard Moore and Chris O’Sullivan GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Kaylyn Dazey EDITOR-IN- CHIEF: Corrine Casanova PHOTOGRAPHER: Marcello Rostagni COVER PHOTO: Photo by Marcello Rostagni COVER PHOTO CAPTION: Doug Maloy, SouthEast Connector RTC Project Manager; Michael Moreno, RTC Public Affairs Manager; Brian Stewart, RTC Director of Engineering. ADVERTISING Chris O’Sullivan chris@biznv.com Richard Moore richard@biznv.com FEEDBACK/IDEAS We welcome your feedback and ideas regarding BizNevada. Send a message to info@biznevada.com

PG 8-10

Why Back Pain in the Workplace is Costing You

PG 11-13

Hot Topics: RTC Project Updates on 4th and Prater BRT & Virginia Street BRT Extension Projects

PG 14-15

Sierra Air: Where the Customer is King

PG 16-17

Packing a Punch: A Recent RTC Travel Demand Study

PG 18-19

Calendar

PG 20-21

Panty Drop: Inspiring Women from the Bottoms Up

PG 22-23

Changing Lives: The Washoe CASA Foundation

PG 24-25

The 3 C’s: Communication, Connection & Collaboration

@ 2018 Richard Moore and Chris O’Sullivan. All rights reserved.

PG 26-27

CONTACT US info@biznevada.com www.biznevada.com

PG 28-29

In the Trades: The Impact of a Booming Economy The Nevada-Sized Hole In Your Company’s Security

EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS Jeffrey Benjamin Corporate Training Breakthrough Training BreakthroughTraining.com 775-337-1600

Credit Card, Merchant Services PaidRight GetPaidRight.com 775-393-9669

Kyle Reeves Digital Marketing Revolution Online Marketing RevolutionReno.com 775-335-0091

Brian D. Wheeler Financial Advisor Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Agency BoulderBasin.MassMutual.com 775-870-1552

Govind Davis Digital Marketing Big M Marketing bigm-marketing.com/ 415-992-7711

Mike Menath Insurance Menath Insurance MenathInsurance.com 775-831-3132

Brent Forbush Certified Public Accountants Forbush & Associates ForbushAndAssociates.biz 775-337-6001

David Spillers Printing Digiprint DigiprintCorporation.com 775-786-4464 Ward Sutton Golf

Tim Kirk

Hidden Valley Country Club HVCCReno.com 775-857-4735 Workers Compensation EMPLOYERS EMPLOYERS.com 775-327-2700 KJ Smith Background Checks Employer Lynx EmployerLynx.com 775-883-3733 Ron Ford HVAC Sierra Air SierraAir.com 775-800-5500

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 3


The SouthEast Connector:

Connecting Communities and Improving Mobility by Corrine Casanova

The long-anticipated SouthEast Connector is slated to open July 6, 2018. This is a Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County road improvement project which involves construction of a new 5.5 mile road which includes seven bridges, two signalized intersections and a multi-use path for recreational users. The new roadway will be three lanes in each direction from the intersection of Greg Street/Sparks Boulevard to the existing intersection of Veterans Parkway/South Meadows Parkway. The RTC refers to it as an environmental project with a 4 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

road going through it as it improves and enhances the environmental ecosystem in the Truckee Meadows while providing recreational opportunities. Discussions about the SouthEast Connector have been in the works since the 1970s although the alignment wasn’t approved by the RTC Board of Commissioners until 2008. It was formerly referred to as the Tahoe/Pyramid Link prior to being named the SouthEast Connector in the early 2000s. Since its inception, the idea has been to provide an alternative


way for commuters to travel between South Reno and east Reno/Sparks. For many, future transportation issues weren’t a pressing concern. But, the RTC knew the value of planning ahead and the time required to make the SouthEast Connector a reality. The project is 100 percent funded through voterapproved local RTC-5 funding which comes from the local fuel tax. According to RTC Executive Director, Lee Gibson, the fuel tax is adjusted each year to keep pace with inflation and maintain its purchasing power. “In 2008, the voters approved a fuel tax indexing ballot measure. In 2009, the legislature enacted fuel tax indexing and was implemented in 2010. The RTC sold bonds against future fuel tax revenues to fund regional road projects, including the design and construction of the SouthEast Connector. In 2012, the RTC made the decision to issue a fourth bond and accelerate the construction of the SouthEast Connector. Coupled with proceeds from earlier bonds, the RTC was able to fully fund the construction and divided it into two phases. The vote of the people, fuel tax indexing and the bonds were all approved in a period when the RTC was in a deficit

and the nation in a recession. It was a conscious effort by the RTC and the voters to keep and create construction jobs in the community. Today, the region is importing construction workers from all over to meet the demand of building as a result of the current economic growth. Through the fuel tax the RTC was able to fund transportation infrastructure during the recession. One of the reasons the RTC is doing better economically is that we are able to get projects completed while most communities do not have the funding revenues needed for transportation infrastructure projects. The result today is diversification of businesses which has helped us create a more diversified economy. The benefit of that will be when we have the next economic downturn, it will be spread across different industries,” said Gibson. The total investment for the SouthEast Connector is $300 million, the agency’s largest road construction project to date. This amount includes design, permitting, right-of-way acquisition and construction. There are many stakeholders in the project. Doug BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 5


Photo by Marcello Rostagni

Maloy, RTC Project Manager, explained, “At the end of the day this project benefits all who live and work in the northern and southern parts of Washoe County. It’s more than just the commute time being condensed. Their benefit is in their commutes and the other things they do. The RTC doesn’t own roads, so the City of Sparks, the City of Reno and Washoe County will each own and operate different parts of the SouthEast Connector.” There are two phases to the project. Phase 1 construction was completed in July 2014 and consisted of the building of two bridges: the Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Clean Water Way Bridge; and the new roadway from Greg Street to south of Clean Water Way. Kiewit Construction was the contractor for this phase and it was designed by T.Y. Lin International Group. Phase 2 construction began in June 2015 and consists of the building of five bridges at the Yori Drain, Boynton Slough, Rosewood Lakes, Mira Loma and Huffaker Narrows; and a new roadway. Granite Construction was the contractor for Phase 2 and it was designed by CH2M (now Jacobs Engineering). 6 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

Unique challenges of the project include the many and varied environmental aspects of the project particularly because it is in a floodplain. Maloy explained, “For every shovel full of dirt we placed to construct the roadway above the floodplain we had to remove a shovel full of dirt. We are restoring and replacing wetlands that we removed including portions of those wetlands located within the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course at a two to one ratio. The RTC is creating a better more sustainable and diverse wetlands that were there previously and are doing that by planting trees, cat tails and other plants that will survive and do well in this environment. The RTC worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Because they were constructing in a floodplain, the RTC was required to obtain a 404 Permit from the Army Corps and abide by everything in the permit. Other stakeholders include the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection who regulate and serve to protect the waters in the adjacent Steamboat Creek that flow to the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake. “Working with the many stakeholders we have been able to provide major transportation and


environmental benefits to the community without creating adverse impacts,” Maloy stated. Brian Stewart, RTC Director of Engineering, sees intrinsic value in the project not just from a transportation standpoint. He is of the “road runs through it” philosophy. “This is a road that is not only connecting Reno/Sparks. It is really connecting the community and Washoe County. There’s an economic benefit in this but also a recreational benefit too. The shared use path that runs along it connects the Truckee River to the multi-use path in South Reno.

Photo by Marcello Rostagni

Expect to see hiking, biking and running along the 5.5 mile stretch. It is separated from the road to make it a safer more enjoyable experience.” Because of the complexity of the project, communication and public engagement is key. According to Michael Moreno, RTC Public Affairs Manager, “In the course of planning and construction we have held 350 meetings and presentations to keep the public informed about the project and get their input. It has been very beneficial to have that dialogue with the community. They are stakeholders and this helps them to feel they are engaged and part of the process. The connectivity and mobility of Reno and Sparks is significant considering all the growth that is taking place. Our freeways are at capacity so this regional roadway will be very beneficial for the region.” The RTC will be holding a grand opening event to celebrate the official opening of the SouthEast Connector. They would like the public to see firsthand why they refer to this as an environmental project with a road going through it. For more information visit www.SouthEastConnector.com. BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 7


WHY BACK PAIN IN THE WORKPLACE

IS COSTING YOU by Jacqueline C. Cox, RN, BSN, MPA, CNHC and President/CEO of SpecialtyHealth If the current trends continue, over 43 percent of the U.S. population will be obese—adding $344 billion to annual healthcare spending. The trends indicate that citizens are paying more but are getting sicker. According to a report by PBS News Hour, healthcare costs will hit $3.35 trillion this year, which works out to $10,345 for every individual. Yet, it’s estimated that $2.24 trillion (70%) of the costs are spent on preventable diseases. Lifestyle (nutrition, fitness, stress management and sleep), the foundation to prevention and good health, are only paid after someone is diagnosed with diabetes (blood sugars of 126+) or a heart attack. Patients must be morbidly obese (BMI 40+) before being approved for lifestyle coaching or gastric bypass surgery. What’s wrong with this picture?

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Employers say they can’t budget for prevention programs but keep paying for chronic illnesses while health plan costs escalate! When will we stop giving lip service to prevention and start spending our healthcare dollars where they will count, on prevention? Prevention identifies health risks before someone becomes diabetic or has a heart attack.

How does healthcare of Americans affect employers?

Employers are faced with an increasingly aging, deconditioned and obese workforce: • • • • •

9% or more have diabetes, reaching epidemic level 17% smoke despite the warnings of increased risk of heart & lung disease 50% are sedentary 63% are classified as overweight or obese BMI>30 50% have insulin resistance and other metabolic conditions

Obese workers file twice as many workers compensation claims and lose 169.4 more work days, costing the employer $53,782 more for an indemnity claim. Medical claims are costing employers $43,588 more than the normal weight employee.

Back pain in the U.S.

Each year in the U.S. $2.2 trillion is spent on back pain. It’s the most expensive healthcare problem next to heart disease, type 2 diabetes (DM2) and cancer. It’s the most common reason for prescribing opioids and for a medical appointment. It’s the most expensive industrial claim, reason for disability, and musculoskeletal problem by far.

Obesity and back pain, is there a connection?

Increased abdominal fat seen in an obese, insulin resistant person increases the load on the spine, narrowing the spinal canal and dramatically increases weight on the spine. More studies suggest there is a connection between back pain, obesity, insulin resistance, DM2, degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis affecting the spine.

A different approach

Have we been looking at back pain in the wrong way? Are there non-surgical solutions to acute back pain? A recent study comparing incidences of BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 9


inpatient back surgery with SpecialtyHealth’s “Back on Track” Program suggest alternative treatments. Most patients recover in 90 days unless they have metabolic problems interfering with the body’s biomechanics and ability to heal. Patients receive a neurological examination to make sure all is well, along with metabolic testing. There are no routine MRI’s, CT scans or narcotics. The unique part of this program addresses any metabolic issues and provides the patient with structured exercises and physical therapy. Patients complete a health questionnaire and an advanced blood test to determine if they’re insulin resistant or have other metabolic issues. A team of health coaches make lifestyle change recommendations. Compared to typical treatments, the results are great. Costs are lower than fusion surgeries and the long-term outcomes are far better.

Study Results:

The following are the rates of patients who underwent inpatient back surgery compared to the “Back on Track” program results: National 4.3% Nevada 5.4% Reno, Nevada 9.95% (672 fusion surgeries 2011-2012) Back on Track 1.37% Isn’t it time to look at back pain treatment through a different lens?

Sources:

The American Public Health Association, George C. Benjamin. NHI Survey 2014 and Chose wood, L. Casey (July 19, 2012. CDC – NIOSH science blog – Safer and Healthier at Any Age; Strategies for an aging workforce; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 2012-07-25 The Duke University Study; 10,000 Duke University employees found that Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best indicator of work-related claims frequency and severity. Study by the University of Nevada, School of Medicine and school of Public Health Bonnie Ferrara, MD and Scott Hall, MD.

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Hot Topics: RTC Project Updates on 4th and Prater BRT & Virginia Street BRT Extension Projects by Corrine Casanova, photos courtesy of the RTC Planning for the future takes time. Typically, the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) looks at least 20 years ahead when planning future transportation projects. The RTC recently completed the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, the region’s long-range blueprint for transportation projects. According to Michael Moreno, RTC Public Affairs Manager, “Some common perceptions from the public are that we move too slowly. People often want things to happen in the next year or two. The reality is it’s a very long process for planning, design, programming of funding, and construction.” When it comes to innovations in public transit, the RTC launched its electric bus program in 2014. They were the first public agency in the state of Nevada to operate electric buses. These buses offer zero emissions and a quieter ride. In 2018, expect to see 17 new electric buses which will replace existing diesel buses. Currently, there are 70 buses in the RTC fleet, including four electric buses. Despite much of the RTC funding being from a fuel tax, they recognize that electric buses are much more economical to operate than fuel-powered buses. Lee Gibson, RTC Executive Director explained, “One of the problems during the most recent recession was that the gas prices went through the roof. The RTC had to cut back service because of the increase in fuel costs and we simply didn’t have the money to operate our regular schedule. That’s when we began considering electric buses. Per kilowatt hour, electricity is fairly stable versus fluctuating fuel prices. The math

doesn’t lie. A diesel bus gets about three miles per gallon while an electric bus gets the equivalent of 22 miles per gallon. By purchasing these electric buses, we can manage our fleet more economically so the next recession won’t hit us so hard.” Two of the projects that are on the hot topic list are the 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project and the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project. These projects will improve safety and mobility for all users traveling on these corridors whether on foot, bike, wheelchair, transit or by car, and first responders. The following are project updates:

PROJECT:

4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project RTC Project Manager (PM) Warren Call, P.E. RTC Deputy Project Manager (PM) Jeff Wilbrecht, P.E. Design Firm: Wood Rodgers, Inc. Construction Contractor:  Spanish Springs Construction

SCHEDULE

Planning: Complete May 2012 Environmental: Complete February 2014 Preliminary Design:  Complete December 2013 Final Design:  Complete July 2016 Construction:  January 2017 to September 2018 Total Project Estimate: $57,807,102 Total Amount Approved:  $57,807,102 Funding Source:  Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ), RTC Sales Tax, RTC Fuel Tax, TIGER 6 Grant, Small Starts Grant BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 11


ABOUT THE PROJECT

A 3.1-mile Bus RAPID Transit line in the 4th Street/ Prater Way Corridor linking the business districts of Reno and Sparks. It will extend the RTC RAPID service to the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor between RTC 4TH STREET STATION and RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA transit terminals. Five new all-electric buses will provide the service. The project includes: • • • • • •

eight RAPID passenger stations (four in each direction) off-vehicle fare collection transit signal priority underground utility project real-time schedule information at stations and a bus charging facility conversion of the roadway from two lanes in each direction with no center turn lane to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane new sidewalks and bicycle lanes

Besides the transportation aspect, the project also tells a story. According to Moreno, “The RTC collected oral histories from corridor residents. When we introduce a new transit service in the fall, to be named 12 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

the Lincoln Line, our electric buses will incorporate historical vintage photos that will be wrapped on the exterior of the buses and on the RAPID passenger stations that will illustrate that history. The RTC is being recognized nationally for our innovation. When we share with peers across the industry about integrating our buses with our Reno/Sparks history, they are impressed with our creative and innovative approach. We are very proud our bus designs recently won the Indigo International Art award.” “Those oral histories along with the images that accompany them, have the potential to tell stories that have never been told,” shared Amy Cummings, RTC Director of Planning, “These are stories of people who lived, worked or went to school in that corridor. Each story is tied to that particular [RAPID] passenger station. Many of these stories have never been explored. It’s a unique opportunity to engage the community in our unique past.” You can listen to the transcripts at renohistorical.org or go to the UNR Special Collections Department to hear them. Pedestrian safety is an important aspect of the project. “Putting in crosswalks with flashers for pedestrians and sidewalks improves safety for everyone. It also slows down car speed which supports our Zero Fatalities/Vision Zero initiative,” said Cummings. Visit http://4thPrater.com  for more information and to sign up for project updates.


PROJECT:

Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project RTC Project Manager (PM) Doug Maloy, P.E. Design Firm: Nichols Consulting Engineers (NCE) Construction Contractor:    Sierra Nevada Construction Inc. (Construction Manager at Risk for Pre-Construction Services)

SCHEDULE

Planning: December 2014 to October 2015 Environmental: December 2014 to Spring 2018 Preliminary Design:  December 2014 to June 2017 Final Design:  June 2017 to July 2018 Construction:  Spring 2019 (Tentative)

THE FINANCIALS

Total Project Estimate: $70,000,000 Amount Approved:  $5,640,142 Funding Source:   RTC Fuel Tax, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Grant

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Addresses critical transportation needs including improving transit connectivity, efficiency, and timeliness through connecting RAPID to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), improving safety, correcting ADA-sidewalk deficiencies and improving traffic operations. The corridor contains numerous vacant or underutilized buildings and lots. North Virginia Complete Street improvements and RTC RAPID service extension (Maple Street and northern terminus of RTC RAPID), consideration of possible widening North Virginia between 8th & 9th Streets.

LATEST NEWS

The RTC is seeking a Small Starts Grant for Federal Fiscal Year 2019. The application has been submitted and they are awaiting review and approval by the Federal Transit Administration. The RTC is continuing

work on the Environmental Assessment. Next, RTC will begin the final design (June 2018), followed by utility relocation (fall 2018), in anticipation of starting construction in spring 2019. At this time, RAPID service to N. Virginia Street is slated for fall  2020. According to RTC Executive Director, Lee Gibson, “This project is a $70 million investment in the city of Reno. It is not only designed to provide more transportation such as walking, biking and our bus service. It will help us connect our Midtown District, Downtown Reno and UNR together, which we don’t have now. It will change the ability of those Midtown businesses to tap into students, faculty and administrative staff at UNR. I like the idea of alternative transportation that will help fuel those connections. This project is critical in moving that forward.” As both of these projects indicate, when it comes to transportation, planning takes time and planning. Visit  http://virginiastreetrapidextension.com  for more information and to sign up for project updates. Michael J. Moreno RTC Public Affairs Manager Ph: (775) 335-1869 Mobile: (775) 771-6453

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 13


WHERE THE CUSTOMER IS KING by Corrine Casanova If you have been in Reno/Sparks for any time at all, you have most likely spotted the white vans with the red and blue Sierra Air Inc logo driving around town. Or, maybe you’ve seen the commercials on one of the local television stations. Sierra Air has installed over 40,000 heating and cooling systems and serviced over 300,000 systems in the Northern Nevada community since 1986. The founder and president, Ron Ford, has led the company since its inception. He has seen his share of ebbs and flows in the business due to the economy’s impact, which included the Great Recession of 2008 when Sierra Air was on the verge of closing their doors. Through it all, he never wavered and stuck with his business acumen of putting customers first. That philosophy pulled Sierra Air through the hard times and has made it into what it is today. Sierra Air is a locally owned and operated company with deep roots in Reno. Owner Ron Ford developed an interest in the field while metal working in high school. He was one of the first graduating classes of Wooster High School in 1965. Following high school, he entered the Sheet Metal Worker Union #26 as an apprentice. He then served his country in the Army during the Vietnam era where he trained military recruits in sheet metal working. After serving his time in the military, he worked for Reno Sheet Metal to learn and master all phases of commercial and residential sheet metal work. After his in-depth exposure to the business, Ford then decided to start his own heating and cooling empire. His first business venture was Valley Heating & Sheet Metal and, after seven successful years, decided to expand his services and reach in the community. In 1986 he started Sierra Air with then partner Richard 14 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

Lenzora. The company quickly grew to become one of Northern Nevada’s largest and most prominent HVAC retail contracting businesses. Rickey Hayes, marketing manager, explained that, although many people think Sierra Air is in the HVAC business, the company is truly in the customer service and home comfort business. Sierra Air has earned a


strong reputation for providing customers with friendly, reliable service and practical solutions that result in year-round comfort and savings. Hayes gives all the credit to Ford. “Ron has built this culture from the top down. He knows if he takes care of his employees, his employees will take care of his customers properly,” said Hayes. “Taking care of his employees starts with the basics, which includes feeding them. Sierra Air has a fully stocked kitchen for all 80 employees. The kitchen is fully stocked weekly where all employees are welcome to eat breakfast or lunch. People in the field are encouraged to pack a lunch from the food provided by Ford.” “It’s not a small feat buying food for 80 team members. It’s the little things like this that shows he cares. He goes out of his way to make sure the employees are well taken care of,” added Hayes. In addition to providing superior service and maintaining a happy workforce, Sierra Air has not gone unrecognized by leaders within the industry. Recently, Carrier Corporation selected Sierra Air as their “Elite Leadership Dealer” for the northern Nevada area. This provides Sierra Air access to Carrier equipment and training that is not available to any other dealer. Over the last five years, Sierra Air has won the prestigious President’s Award for continuous increases in sales and overall customer satisfaction scores. Customer satisfaction continues to be the driving force behind Sierra Air. If customers are unsatisfied with their service, Sierra Air will continue to provide support and service until customer satisfaction is achieved.

“At the end of the day, we know if we do a great job our biggest marketers will be our customers when they tell family and friends about our service,” said Hayes. “To ensure this happens, we have something in our office called the CRS, which is customer resolution system. We jot down every customer issue and we work on it until we know the customer is 100 percent satisfied. This is not an easy task. But, we do it because of Ron and the culture he has created here. Ron was born and raised here and is the face our business. We never want him going out to dinner with his wife or being at his grandson’s baseball game and being approached by someone who wasn’t happy with Sierra Air’s service. We don’t want our company to have that reputation. As much as Reno is growing, it still is the Biggest Little City. We know word of mouth is important here and always will be.” In addition to customer service, Sierra Air also takes philanthropy seriously. When Sparks High School needed new helmets for their football team, Ford chose to support the program and donate helmets to ensure that the players had safe and reliable protective gear. “Ron knows the community has been great to him and his employees, so he figures the least he can do is to do our best to give back to the community itself. I as a marketer probably spend 20 percent of my time talking to high schools and doing other philanthropic work. This fall, we are partnering with the 2018 Northern Nevada Walk to End Alzheimer’s. We are constantly giving back to the community,” said Hayes.

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 15


Packing a Punch: A Recent RTC Travel Demand Study by Corrine Casanova The RTC Planning Department conducts a travel survey every decade to review how people travel throughout the Washoe County area. The latest study used a different travel demand model from previous surveys. Dr. Xuan Wang, Senior Technical Planner, RTC Planning Department, was the project lead on the 2015-2016 Washoe County Travel Characteristics Study. “The computerized travel demand model tool that we used looks at land use, economic data, population and employment growth and helps to forecast traffic demands on our roads. It provides statistics about how people travel in our region,” said Wang. The study includes a household travel survey, visitor survey and travel survey. It has become a valuable tool for private developers in the area as it provides very specific information that could be helpful to them as they plan and develop the area. Recently, the results were shared at a Transportation Planning Coalition meeting . The study’s purpose was threefold: • •

Collect socio-demographic and travel behavior data from residents and visitors Build and improve Travel Demand Model with recent data (previous survey was conducted in 2005-2006) Provide data for transit, corridor and regional transportation studies

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• The Household Travel Study included: • 163,198 households in Washoe County were surveyed • Goal of 1% of households (1,631 households) • 10% of surveys had GPS • Households were sampled geographically and demographically • There were 2,154 completed household surveys, of those sampled, 225 had a GPS. Here is a sample of the key statistics in the report: Total Household trips: 1,476,000 Average Daily Household trips: 7.3 Average Daily Person trips: 3.4 Average Trip length: 15 minutes, 8 miles Average home to work trip length: 19 minutes, 12 miles Vehicle occupancy: 1.7 Most popular mode share: Private vehicle (driver, passenger, carpool, motorcycle): 86% The Visitor Survey consisted of visitors who are staying at least 24 hours in the area, 421 samples were collected utilizing a tablet survey. The interview sites varied throughout the Reno/Sparks region. This study included demographic information like: • Household income (majority had $75,000 or more) • Home location (43% were from California) • Traveling party size and characteristics (2.5 people with estimated spending of $500 per trip) • Travel modes to Washoe County (51% using auto/


van/truck) Trip Activity for one day visit: (38.1% entertainment or cultural activity) A Transit Survey was conducted with 1,209 RTC bus commuters which is about 4% of the total 28,330 daily ridership. The on-board surveys were conducted during face-to-face interviews using tablets with realtime geo location coding. •

Michael Moreno, RTC Public Affairs Manager, “We plan these types of projects for the region so that we can create the necessary transportation and infrastructure that is needed when we do our longrange transportation planning with a 20-year horizon. There are many moving parts we need to gather to make it all work. We work with our regional partnersthe City of Reno, the City of Sparks, Washoe County, the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency, and the Nevada Department of Transportation, among others, and the community to help develop the regional transportation plan for the Truckee Meadows.” If you would like more information on the study, go to https://www.rtcwashoe.com/mpo-reports/2015-2016washoe-county-regional-travel-characteristics-study/

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 17


June 2018 Cale RENO+SPARKS CHAMBER

FERNLEY CHAMBER

JUNE 19 4PM Ribbon Cut: Hampton Inn & Suites 200 Legends Bay Drive

JUNE 28 5PM Coldwell Banker’s Client Appreciation BBQ Event In Town Park

JUNE 27 4PM Ribbon Cut: MariChuy’s Mexican Kitchen

JUNE 22

JUNE 13 4PM Ribbon Cut: Clark & Associates 5470 Reno Corporate Drive

JULY 13 7AM-2PM Chamber Golf Tournament Toiyabe Golf Club de Patio at 4925 Kietzke Lane

NCET

JUNE 20 2-4PM Biz Café: Daniel Price, Breadware How IoT is Transforming Business and Our Daily Lives Rounds Bakery JUNE 27 11AM-1PM Keith Anderson, Trinity Applied Internet CRM: Tiny Acronym, Big Business Impact Atlantis Casino Resort Spa JULY 11 5:30-7PM Nevada Nano 1395 Greg St. #102

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TUESDAY MORNINGS Tuesday mornings Fernley Ambassadors The Golf Course at Fernley

WIN

7-9 AM WIN Breakfast

Tracy Spears: Diversity and Inclusion: The Business Case for Building a Diverse Team Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

CARSON CHAMBER

JUNE 14 5-7PM Chamber Social Mixer Carson Nugget JUNE 14 8AM-5PM Carson City Leadership Institute Carson City Chamber 1900 S. Carson St.


endar of Events CARSON VALLEY CHAMBER

MAY-SEPT Every Tuesday Minden Farmers Market 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Mindenw JUNE 7-10 10AM-3PM Big Mama’s Show & Shine Car Show Lampe Park, Gardnerville JUNE 17 Mike Tice Annual “For the Kids” charity golf tournament Genoa Lakes Golf Club

ONE MILLION CUPS EVERY WEDNESDAY 9AM The Innevation Center

BNI MEETINGS

TUESDAY 7AM Mimi’s Café BizClub Zero Swill Coffee Napa Sonoma South

WEDNESDAY 7AM Napa Sonoma South Meadowood Courtyard WEDNESDAY NOON Wildcreek Golf Course Famous Dave’s Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors

THURSDAY 7AM Swill Coffee Lakeridge 19th Hole The Plaza Hotel, Carson City Mimi’s Café Napa Sonoma South THURSDAY 11:30AM Famous Dave’s

OTHER EVENTS

JUNE 13 Noon-1:30 Inspire Reno – Women and Money 615 Riverside Drive JUNE 16 11AM-11PM Relay for Life of Reno-Sparks UNR, Knowledge Center Lawn JUNE 25 7PM Laugh for LEAD Laugh Factory, Silver Legacy JUNE 25 7-9PM Inspire Reno - When the Going Gets Tough: Navigating Hard Ties with Positivity 615 RIVERSIDE DRIVE TBD JULY 8 6:30PM Swingin’ and Singin’ in the Park Wingfield Park Ampitheater 4050 S. McCarran JULY 18 5-7PM Breakthrough Networking Legends Grill

For more complete and up-to-date calendar information, visit www.bizNEVADA.com/events -calendar

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 19


Panty Inspiring Women

Northern Nevada

START UP by Corrine Casanova Panty Drop creates an intimates shopping experience that feels special and seamless for women of all shapes and sizes. Headquartered in Reno, they have a premium panty subscription box that sends three pairs of underwear every three months based on their personal preferences. Every carefully created box comes with free shipping and returns. What makes this business unique is that it caters to women of all sizes – from XS to 6X. But, it turns out the mission of this company is much more than providing women with fresh underwear on a regular basis. It’s about inspiring women to be the best they can be and closing the gender leadership gap. Julie Arsenalt is the creator of the service. I sat down with her to learn more. 20 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

Q: Where did you get the idea of Panty Drop? JA: I worked in the startup world for six years in San Francisco. While there, I had this revolutionary idea that women of all shapes and sizes should be able to shop for apparel in the same places both online or offline. It sounds like a no brainer, right? But if you really go in and start looking around and talk to women you realize that this is not the reality. One of my friends who was a size 14 hated going to the mall while in high school because she couldn’t get the same styles in her size. Q: What is the problem you are trying to solve? JA: Most women view shopping for intimate apparel as a chore. They never get around to it and their underwear is a mess. It’s faded, outdated and stretched out before they bother getting a new pair. And women in bigger sizes don’t

have the selection choices that other women have. So I decided to start this size inclusive business to essentially help women of all shapes and sizes have pretty underwear that is fresh and up to date delivered to your doorstep every three months. Q: Who did you pitch your idea to? JA: We pitched our idea at StartupNV in early 2017. I’ve pitched before and every time there is a new question or a different phrasing of the question. What’s true for all entrepreneurs is true for me. Your best pitch is always your last one. Your story evolves as you get new questions. Q: What was the result of that pitch? JA: The result of the pitch to StartupNV was helpful feedback and introductions to other local investors in their network.

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Drop:

om the Bottoms Up

Q: What is the local start-up scene like in Reno? JA: It is growing which is exciting. I like to think of ourselves as pioneers in some ways. It’s a fun place to be and there is lots of energy. There is something special about having the community here which is really on a curve or the inflection point where the curve is getting steeper and more and more stuff is going on all the time. There are more resources for entrepreneurs and passionate people that are saying we want this startup community to grow. Q: What kind of mindset is essential when creating a startup? JA: You have to be open to new ideas and get ready to be pushed. For example, if you are looking for venture funding, realize that venture capitalists expect high returns on their investment. They want 10X and 20X returns. It is not easy to grow 20 percent each

month. That is really aggressive growth. You need a business model that will support that growth. Q: How important is giving back in business? JA: For us, extremely important. We’ve teamed with Pledge 1% and our nonprofit partners to help underrepresented women find the skills, confidence, and opportunities they need to succeed. I got tired about talking about giving back and decided to do the Pledge 1% right rom the start. What this means is we pledge 1% of product, time and sales to our giving partners. Patagonia has been a mentor in this respect because of their giving back program. Q: What can Panty Drop customers expect from your service? JA: The customer experience is really important to us. Tony Hsieh

of Zappos is on of my mentors. We want a high level of control over fulfillment and even what the shipping box looks like and how it is packed is super important to us. We want to do the right thing for the customer. That’s why we offer free shipping and returns with a no questions asked return policy. Q: What is the future of Panty Drop? JA: For me, it’s about continuing to build a business that has an impact in women’s lives. We do this by setting the standard for size inclusivity in the industry. There aren’t any major brands that are size inclusive. We need to be better at this in the intimates industry. We need to see more women of power taking leadership roles. For more information on Panty Drop, go to pantydrop.me.

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 21


Changing Lives: The Washoe CASA Foundation

by Corrine Casanova Imagine two children being removed from their home because their parents are unable to pay the rent, have domestic violence issues along with drug/ alcohol issues in the household. These children are real but their names have been changed to protect their identity. Here’s their story: Mike and Maria were initially removed from their home due to neglect and sent to Kid’s Kottage and from there they went to live with a relative. The relative was unable to provide long-term care for them so they returned to Kid’s Kottage. Then Maria and Mike were moved to another relative’s home. In between each move they went to Kid’s Kottage. They would bounce back and forth between Kid’s Kottage and foster homes with a green trash bag and take only possessions they could carry. After both of their parents relinquished their parental rights, they went to a family who was interested in adopting them but the permanent placement did not come to fruition. So, back to Kid’s Kottage they went and eventually landed in their twelfth placement. Then serendipity intervened when Maria and Mike received ski passes acquired by their Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). At this point, the children had had three social workers and had gone to six different schools since leaving their parents. That’s when they landed at another foster home. Once in this new placement, using their ski passes at a local resort, on the chairlift the two children met a couple and struck up a conversation. As they exited the chairlift, they boldly asked the adults if they wanted to adopt them. And that’s when their lives changed forever. That twelfth placement was their last placement. The couple contacted social services and inquired about the children. They went through foster parent training and eventually adopted the children. The 22 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

children are now thriving. And as they say, the rest is history. These are the types of stories that you can expect to hear through the Washoe County CASA Program which trains Court Appointed Special Advocates who work one-on-one with abused or neglected children in the foster care system. Though the outcome is not always a storybook ending, the purpose of CASA is always the same. According to Susan, a Washoe County CASA volunteer, “CASA works to reunify kids with their family and help them succeed and break the cycle. The only focus is on what’s best for the child. We work strongly for reunification with parents. When the kids are in foster care, the parents are working their own plan too. Kids love their parents and want to be with their parents.” She admits that sometimes the home the parents provide might not be up to her standards, however, she knows before it is approved it must be a place where the children are safe and meets the reunification goals. She places trust in the system. On an average day in Washoe County, more than 900+ abused and neglected children live in foster care because they cannot live safely at home. After law enforcement or social services remove these children from their homes into temporary foster care, they are often placed with caregivers they have never met. These children are removed from everything familiar, while entering a world filled with social workers, lawyers and judges making lifealtering decisions on their behalf. Often the CASA is the only constant in their world for the period of time they are in transition. The CASA program trains volunteers to work one-onone with their appointed child, advocating for their best interest throughout the court process. “Judges are so appreciative of CASA volunteers. They know they’ve spent a lot of time with these kids and probably know them better than anyone else. We become the eyes and ears for the Court and paint a


picture of how that child is doing. It is so important to work together as a team with the Court, social worker and others on the child’s team. Judges appreciate that we are non-biased and all come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences that we bring to the table,” said Susan. In Washoe County, there are 100+ CASA volunteers and over 900 kids who need a CASA. It is the ultimate goal to provide a CASA volunteer for every child in Washoe County in the foster care system. Thus, there is a tremendous need for CASA volunteers. Without the support of a responsible and caring adult like a CASA volunteer who acts as an advocate, children face a higher risk of returning to unsafe homes or remaining in long-term foster care. In advocating for abused and neglected children, CASA volunteers provide children in foster care with a voice and a chance for a better life. Statistics show children with CASAs in the system are more successful in life, do better in school and have healthier relationships because their life has been enhanced by a CASA. Changing lives is what CASA is all about not only for the children, but the volunteers too who have an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life when they need them most.

BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 23


The 3 C’s:

Communication, Connection & Collaboration by Corrine Casanova Whether you are in a Business Communication 101 class or involved in a complicated public works project, it all comes down to the same three issues: communication, connection and collaboration. One organization has created a Transportation Coalition to look at how transportation issues impact northern Nevada’s commercial real estate development interests. The NAIOP Transportation Coalition was created in 2016 by Shirley Folkins-Roberts of Panattoni Development, Randi Reed who is the executive director of the Northern Nevada Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Lee Gibson, Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) Executive Director and Bill Hoffman, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) Deputy Director. Together, they saw a vital need for it in the community. The coalition is a healthy mix of key people from both the private and public sectors who communicate, connect and collaborate about transportation issues as they pertain to regional development. It has expanded from about 20 to over 75 people on their invitation list since its inception and the group meets monthly. Depending on the agenda, there are typically about 30-40 members at each meeting. “What we are doing is trying to get private and public developers and entities to communicate. It may sound trivial, but communication is key for any kind of relationship. We are the catalyst to the conversation as we are neutral in this matter. We don’t take sides, we just want to see the region progress proactively,” explained Reed. Gibson and Hoffman are two key members of the coalition. The coalition is proving invaluable to both. As Reno-Sparks continues to grow, (projections are 24 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

nearly 150,000 more people over the next 2 years) and there are more orange construction cones on our roadways, transportation has become more of a hot topic. For example, the Reno Spaghetti Bowl, the I-80/I-580 interchange, was built between 1969 and 1971 for a metropolitan population of about 130,000 people. As the population has swelled to over 420,000, this interchange is a focal point of


discussion. According to Gibson of the RTC, “The Reno Spaghetti Bowl is the number one crash site in the state so that means we have more accidents in this location than in some of the big interchanges in Las Vegas so as we look to the future, our plan is really going to focus on improving that interchange, widening I-80 and improving 395. We are working closely to make sure we get through the environmental design and construction process in a timely manner.” Before construction can begin on any project, research needs to be done on any potential environmental effects that may occur. This can be a lengthy process. Because of their involvement in the coalition and the relationships they have developed, NDOT was able to cut down an anticipated 10-year environmental research project for the Reno Spaghetti Bowl to about 3.5 years. NDOT’s Hoffman explained, “Typically what happens is that a state DOT will have plans for a giant project and then go do the environmental work and put together a plan they think will work. At that point they send it out to the public and the public gets to comment on that. What we did with the Spaghetti Bowl project in over 100 meetings was take a proactive approach. Instead of creating a plan and then waiting to find out what people thought, we shared bits and pieces of a project and asked how it would affect entities like the GSR and the tribal community. By doing this, we have essentially shaved seven years off the project. We wanted to be very transparent and be absolutely certain they understood what we are proposing. We’ve gone back and forth and as a result all stakeholders are on board with the exception of the Reno-Tahoe

International Airport.” The coalition has helped to educate NDOT too on what developers have to go through to get their projects completed. Instead of NDOT being reactive to new development, the coalition allows them to be more informed and proactive. Monthly coalition meetings help to facilitate this. Because the coalition membership is diverse, it provides an opportunity for members to develop relationships with entities that they probably never would have. Hoffman said, “Thanks to NAIOP and the coalition, NDOT now has access to information we would have never had before.” The coalition is unique in its approach. “We are definitely grass roots. When we started out we were all just getting to know one another and evaluate everyone’s different needs. There was a lot of dialogue initially, but now we include action items at most meetings. There are so many things we can do as long as we work collectively,” said Reed. Recently, the RTC published a Travel Demand Study which looked at the socio-demographics and travel behavior data from residents and visitors. The link was sent to all coalition members and provided valuable data to assist in regional planning. What does the future hold for the coalition and its members? “For us, it is important to keep the communication going, as the public and private sectors have different mindsets when it comes to development. Working collaboratively allows everyone in the region to win. NAIOP will continue to be that driving force because we are non-partial and advocacy is the root of our organization,” concluded Reed. BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 25


In the Trades: The Impact of a Booming Economy by Corrine Casanova

IN THE TRADES: THE IMPACT OF A BOOMING ECONOMY by Corrine Casanova During the recession here in northern Nevada, construction essentially became a dead industry. Because of this, many skilled workers were forced to leave the construction industry and pursue very different opportunities. Over 20,000 jobs were lost in the construction industry alone by the year 2000 in the Reno area. As Nevada had the nation’s highest unemployment rate at the time, many construction companies needed to reinvent themselves. To keep afloat, construction companies needed to become lean and mean and have a diverse portfolio. And that is precisely what Clark/Sullivan Construction did. Fast forward to today. Now construction is Nevada’s fastest growing sector. Pain points accompany that growth. The skilled worker shortage in the trades is one of those painful realities. Jarrett Rosenau, President of Clark/Sullivan’s Nevada Operations, 26 · ISSUE 13 · JUNE 2018

explained, “We’ve got some big vacuums in the industry due to the recession we experienced in 2008. For example, locating qualified superintendents has been problematic. This title comes with experience and it’s a progression. When the recession hit, people that had been in the trades for 30 years simply left the industry. They didn’t want to take jobs from younger people who needed a job at that time so they either retired or went back to school to learn something new. We are now feeling that huge vacuum in terms of qualified tradesmen. In 2007, the average union carpenter age was 42 and now it is 49.” To combat this talent gap there are educational institutions that are laser focused on getting youth into the trades. The Academy for Career Education (ACE) is a tuitionfree charter and trade school in Reno. They aim to infuse the standard, high school core-curriculum with


career-applicable training methods in construction and engineering. Through their curriculum, they are addressing the gap in skilled labor. They’ve been operating as a full-time accredited institution since 2002 and have over 450 graduates, the majority of them working in the industry. ACE Director, Leigh Berdrow, shared the vision of ACE as being the kids going on to get continuing education or work in the industry. They’ve had 16 graduating classes so far. They work closely with Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) as students attend TMCC and get college credit as part of their high school education. They also work with the Nevada Builders Alliance, the Builder’s Association of Northern Nevada (BANN) and the Association of General Contractors (AGC). ACE targets middle school aged children as they have students in grades 9-12. ACE’s goal is to have their students either find work in the industry or continue with secondary education. Statistically, 38 percent of the students continue with secondary education while 34 percent go right into the industry or the military. So far, there has been 16 graduating classes with a 93-96 percent graduation rate. “There are more job offers than students graduating at this point. Many of our juniors and seniors are offered work on a part-time basis and then often work for those employers. When employers line up to meet the high school graduates, it is too late. These kids have already been scooped up,” said Berdrow. One of the biggest supporters of ACE is the AGC who banded together to build the ACE school. Clark/Sullivan’s Rosenau is the current chairman of the organization whose mission is to support their members, enhance the image and awareness of the construction industry and quality of life through skill, integrity and responsibility. It’s a natural fit for organizations like AGC and construction companies like Clark/Sullivan to partner up with educational institutions like ACE to promote that young talent for our future workforce. In fact, ACE worked with AGC to receive a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Science, for a virtual training tool which allows students to use heavy equipment in a safe manner. This fall, this tool will be housed at AGC which is located right down the street from ACE.

there has been a bad connotation with the people that work in the construction industry. People don’t realize that we are a diverse workforce. We are a skilled workforce first and foremost with varying degrees of education. There are many engineers in this field. We also are becoming more and more technology driven. Today, all our drawings have hyperlinks and technology plays an important role in our growth.” Recruitment of construction workers isn’t always easy, especially here in northern Nevada. Rosenau explained, “Reno can have huge temperature swings. Working in the trades isn’t for the faint of heart. They are out in the elements and there is often a lot of wear and tear on the body. Some of these tradesmen are wizards, the most fantastically talented and creative people you’ve ever met.” No matter what the economy, Clark/Sullivan has a diversified portfolio when it comes to the types of projects they have (they have a mix between public works and private) as well as the location of the projects. They have two locations: one in Reno and one in Sacramento and a total of about 120 employees.

A skilled workforce is something Jerry Hogan, Vice President/Chief Estimator at Clark/Sullivan, sees as vital in the industry. Without it, it’s impossible to make accurate job bids as talent is often the largest cost and variable when quoting a job. From a grass roots level, he sees a need for a rehaul of the image of a construction worker. He explained, “I’ve got news for you. It’s not a gorilla with a hammer. In the past BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 27


THE NEVADA-SIZED HOLE IN YOUR

COMPANY ' S SECURIT Y by K.J. Smith The only thing worse than doing no background screening for your workforce is thinking you’re doing background screening, when in truth you’re not. This, sadly, is the case for a vast number of businesses in Nevada. How could this be? Because they are trusting national background searches in order to learn about prospective and current employees. Many of these national background screenings are offered by reputable, if not overly thorough, companies. The reports are clean and professional. They are turned around in a short period of time. And in many cases, they come back to the employer giving the prospective hire a clean bill of health.

There is only one problem. Most of these national background searches don’t include vital information from Nevada. That domestic violence rap? No. Doesn’t show. That dipping into the till? That fraud case? The time spent in the county jail? Missed, missed and missed. This is because, by law, the State of Nevada doesn’t report to national databases. They are only one of a handful of states in America that don’t and unsurprisingly, Nevada’s independent spirit means they are included among them. What does this mean? It means that if you’re hiring a Nevadan to fill a job in Nevada, then your national background screening is virtually useless.

The worst part is you think it’s doing the job.

There you are, unknowingly whistling in between sips BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 29


of your coffee as you walk the hallways of your office, waving at many employees who should have never, ever received a company badge. I was talking to a human resources director at a large company recently, and they were explaining how they hadn’t got a ‘hit’ on any of their background checks for quite some time. A ‘hit’ is what happens if something is flagged as troublesome on a background check. It can be a number of issues depending on the report that can vary from criminal activity to civil litigation to serious credit issues. I think this HR director was essentially boasting about how they were recruiting so well. But when she told me she was relying on national background checks to do these screens I had to break the news to her and watch as literally the color drained from her face.

We took over screening for them, and predictably, we started getting hit after hit.

The basic reality in background screening is that with the employment rates being at such lows, hits are going to come at a much higher percentage because many of those who don’t currently have a job, don’t have them for a reason. You absolutely have to be screening new hires, and our firm recommendation is that everyone in your organization should be screened at least once and then re-screened on an annual basis. After all, people change as do their life situations. That wonderful, perfectly balanced individual you hired three years ago may have recently gotten a driving under the influence violation and had her license revoked. Now, she is putting your company at risk every time she picks up donuts for the office. So how should you go about ensuring that your background screening processes are rock solid?The first step would be to get an evaluation of your current processes. Just because you have a human resource professional in your office doesn’t mean they should be fully expected to be an expert on the topic. The truth is I have been spending 100% of my time over the past 20 years focused exclusively in the area of background investigations, as has much of my staff. However; with the ever-shifting legal landscapes it can be a challenge even for us to stay on top of the intricacies and details...all who matter a great deal. Not only do you need background screening, but you need a customized, comprehensive approach. We

offer more than 25 screening options, not necessarily because we want to manage all of those variables, but because businesses and organizations are so unique that they need catered solutions. By getting a comprehensive review of your current employment screening practices, you can be confident that who you are hiring and retaining are going to add positively to your culture and productivity.

Hiring the Nevada Way

There is an ongoing push to “shop local” when it comes to business services. In the field of background screening, that may be imperative if you want trustworthy results in a timely manner. The Nevada Repository which houses criminal records for all counties and courts (Municipal, District & Justice) in the state, requires background screening companies to hold a Private Investigators License for Nevada amongst other stringent requirements for online access. National criminal databases combine criminal records from automated court systems that allow open access. This excludes many courts, especially lower courts and courts located in areas that have not yet created online systems. Nevada’s repository is not available to these databases. Therefore, a National criminal search will not include records from the majority of Nevada courts. This isn’t necessarily a major issue if you’re hiring a secretary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but it certainly is a major issue if you’re bringing on an accountant in your office in Nevada. Not only will a Nevada background screening organization have the proper credentials, but they’ll also have the relationships and understanding of the bureaucratic infrastructure required to make sure your background screening is based on the most accurate findings possible.

Secure Equals Productive

Although background screening can seem to be one of those bothersome tasks that are non-productive for your organization, the opposite is actually the case. The truth is the extra effort you put into assuring a safe and secure workplace will pay great dividends. Study after study shows, employees that feel safe and secure at their place of work, are the most productive employees of all. Make sure you’re playing it safe...and productive. Review your background screening processes today. BIZ NEVADA MAGAZINE · WWW.BIZNEVADA.COM · 29


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26 · ISSUE 12 · MAY 2018

bizNEVADA North Vol. 2 Issue 13  

Nevada's Favorite Business Monthly

bizNEVADA North Vol. 2 Issue 13  

Nevada's Favorite Business Monthly

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