Celebrating 30 Years BE PART OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL
Some Places were Meant to Inspire | Discover Our Community
SOME PLACES WERE MEANT TO INSPIRE. DISCOVER OUR COMMUNITY. Thirty years ago, the master-planned community of Summerlin was in its infancy, envisioned as a place that would set a new standard for quality of life in Las Vegas. From the simple to the spectacular. From the silence of daybreak to the roar of the crowd. From the glow of The Strip to the awe of Red Rock Canyon. From quiet neighborhoods to buzzing blocks of fashion, dining, sports and entertainment. No matter where you turn, Summerlin presents inspiration in every direction, beckoning you to be part of something beautiful. While the past three decades have been full of milestones, we want to take a moment and celebrate our community of 100,000-pus residents by giving you a peek into Summerlin life.
All in the Family | Fafie Moore & Tanya Murray
All in the Family
Combined, mega-Realtors Fafie Moore and her daughter, Tanya Murray, have sold real estate in Southern Nevada for more than 57 years. Long-time Summerlin residents, this mother-daughter powerhouse is responsible for collectively helping hundreds of families find their dream homes – many of them in the very community they, too, call home. According to Moore, who moved to Las Vegas in 1989 with husband, Jeff, the couple was among Summerlin’s earliest buyers, recognizing the value of a master-planned community from their time living in Phoenix. “Even though Summerlin Parkway was originally considered the ‘road to nowhere,’ we recognized that Summerlin would grow into what it is today – the very best place to live in Southern Nevada,” said Moore. “Everything here is well planned, from landscaping and amenities to schools and shopping centers. We can walk to Starbucks, to the grocery store, and all our doctors are nearby. Downtown Summerlin is a five-minute drive from home so we can easily enjoy a night out at one of our favorite restaurants or meet friends at Las Vegas Ballpark for a fun evening of baseball and catch-up. From personal experience, it’s easy to sell the Summerlin lifestyle.” Speaking of Downtown Summerlin, both Moore and Murray agree it is a gamechanger, especially for their out-of-town clients who only know the Strip as a great place to dine and play. “I always make it a point to take my clients for lunch or a drink at Downtown Summerlin so they can see first-hand just how vibrant and convenient it is,” said Murray. “When they see the movie theatres, the Ballpark, the department stores and stores like Trader Joe’s, clients better understand the scope of the destination, and it helps them to imagine their life as a Summerlin resident.” According to Murray, the beauty of Summerlin is its adaptability to virtually every family unit or lifestyle. “From young families to empty nesters, and everyone in between, Summerlin has a home for every life cycle. Home buying decisions for families are often influenced by schools, and in Summerlin, there is a school, park and shopping center in nearly every village, not to mention an amazing trail system that runs through the entire community. As an avid walker, I especially appreciate Summerlin’s plentiful trails. The community represents master planning at its finest.” “Summerlin’s natural beauty is another selling point,” said Murray. “Especially for Californians relocating here from the land of ocean views and lush green landscaping, Summerlin is a pleasant surprise. They are in awe of the majestic Red Rock mountains, the interesting colorful desert landscapes and the beautifully maintained streetscapes, parks and trails.” Moore, who has sold real estate through 9/11, the economic downturn of 2008 and now, the coronavirus pandemic, well understands that master-planned communities, by their very nature, are built and designed to better hold their value. “Whether it’s a terrorist attack, war or infectious disease, communities like Summerlin fare better because their boundaries are clear,” she said. “You know what Summerlin stands for and it’s obvious where it begins and ends because the community is so clean and well-maintained.” Both mom and daughter have a long history of chairing the annual “Kick Off Your Heels” fundraiser at TPC Summerlin during the annual PGA TOUR tournament, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. “You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy this fun event that is headlined each year by our city’s most successful and savvy women, along with inspirational kids from across the country who have been treated at a Shriners Hospital.” “It’s a beautiful event,” said Murray of the fundraiser on which she and her committee work long hours. “But the opportunity to put it together in my own backyard, makes it even more meaningful. I love sharing Summerlin with everyone who attends. A day at TPC Summerlin in the October sunshine amidst a group of charitable women is a window into the community’s heart and soul.”
Thunderbird Flyover | Brigadier General Novotny
If you saw the awe-inspiring Thunderbird flyover last weekend to honor all the Southern Nevada hospitals and first responders helping to fight the coronavirus, you have a Summerlin resident to thank for making it happen! Brigadier General Robert G. Novotny of the 57th Wing Commander at Nellis Air Force Base, who is responsible for all the uber cool activities and initiatives at Nellis, including the Thunderbirds, the Red Flag and Green Flag exercises, 38 squadrons and more than 130 diverse aircraft, oversaw the planning and development of the flyover as a way to unite the community while expressing gratitude and respect for those on the front lines of the pandemic. Novotny and his wife, Dawn, who recently returned to Las Vegas for the third time during Novotny’s storied military career, are preparing to put down roots of the permanent kind in Summerlin. All this in advance of Novotny’s retirement from the U.S. Air Force after 28 years that took he and his family around the world more than once. The Novotny family’s first stint in Las Vegas from 2003 to 2005 put them in The Hills village in Summerlin near Lummis Elementary School. “Everyone told us to live in Summerlin because of the schools, and based on the great experience of our kids, we couldn’t agree more,” said Gen. Novotny. After assignments in Rhode Island, Alabama, Japan and Washington, DC, the family returned again to Summerlin again in 2011, this time choosing to live in The Canyons village to be closer to Sig Rogich Middle School and Faith Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School. “We upgraded a bit from our first Summerlin home, but continued to love Summerlin for all the same reasons as the first time around: beautiful trees and landscaping, good schools, and a true sense of community.” In 2013, Novotny was deployed to Afghanistan, then assigned in 2014 to serve as Commander of the 48th Fighter Wing south of Cambridge in England. He went on to serve a two-year stint in Virginia from 2016-2018 before returning to Las Vegas and Summerlin – for the third time. Today, the couple is preparing to move into what is expected to be their “forever home” in the village of Stonebridge. “We keep moving south and west and look forward to the amazing views we will enjoy from our new home,” said Gen. Novotny. “We have lots of retired military friends here so it really is the beginning of what we anticipate will be a great next chapter in our lives.”
THE BRAINCHILD OF SUMMERLIN RESIDENT AND BRIGADIER GENERAL ROBERT NOVOTNY
The Novotny family includes two adult children: son, Hunter, who recently returned to Las Vegas after graduating from Texas A&M University; and daughter, Kaitlyn, a pre-med student at Texas A&M whose aspirations are to return to Las Vegas to attend medical school and eventually practice as an orthopedic surgeon. “Despite the fact that our kids have literally traveled the globe, they, too, have a love affair with Las Vegas and Summerlin. It really is our family’s home sweet home.”
Professional Executive Coaching Couple | Lisa & Jesse Ferrell
Professional Executive Coaching Couple LIVING BEST LIFE IN SUMMERLIN
According to Summerlin super couple, Lisa and Jesse Ferrell, whose firm, JessTalk, has logged more than 183,000 hours of executive coaching and professional speaking services for thousands of clients worldwide since its founding in 2001, the community is the perfect place to call home. The Ferrells, who live within walking distance of Downtown Summerlin, just west of the 215 Beltway, thrive on the energy of the retail and dining destination that is home to their favorite restaurants, including Jing, True Food Kitchen and Frankie’s Uptown. “Everything we want is right here, so we rarely have a need to leave our Summerlin nest, other than trips to the airport when our work takes us out of town,’ said Lisa. “And given that we are literally one minute from the 215, getting just about anywhere is quick and convenient. We especially love our view of Red Rock Canyon and proximity to this beautiful area that we visit at least monthly. It’s hard to find anything we don’t love about Summerlin,” she said. The Ferrells love story with Summerlin is wrapped around their own love story. The couple met when Lisa sought professional coaching from Jesse, who worked with her for more than a year before realizing his client had fallen for him. The rest, as they say, is history. The couple married, and together, has built a thriving business with the entrepreneurial and outgoing spirit they share. Jesse, whose passion for his work, is evident with every word that crosses his lips, says the pillar of the couple’s work he is most excited about is professional speaking. Together, the couple has traveled the globe running workshops and providing training to individuals and companies of all sizes. Lisa’s work focuses primarily on workshops to empower women, and together, they provide executive and personal success coaching. Their newest project, a virtual class called The Breakthrough Success Plan, helps individuals to visualize and achieve their goals and dreams utilizing a variety of tools, resources and techniques. Jesse, who frequently uses The Color Code personality test to help clients better assess and understand their personality and communications styles, says that if Summerlin was a color, it would be Impossible to assign it only one. You know, the test that assigns yellow to fun-lovers, white to those who are kind and gentle, blue to those who have integrity and seek appreciation, and red to hard-driving overachievers for whom getting things done is everything. “Summerlin is so thoughtfully planned and multi-faceted, the community has the ability to speak the language of everyone and it is beyond healthy,’ said Jesse. “Summerlin’s parks, trails, and happy places at Downtown Summerlin are yellow; its office towers and business centers are red; its neighborhoods, homes and landscapes are white; and its schools and civic centers like the library and hospital are blue.”
A Five-Star Community | Michelle Brown
A Five-Star Community FOR THE BROWN FAMILY
Brown recalls the very first Summerlin Patriotic Parade when she and her neighbors and their kids would decorate their bikes and throw out candy to a handful of other neighbors who would sit on the sidewalk. “Today, more than 50,00 people attend and we marvel at the amazing floats and performances. The Parade’s evolution is a good analogy for how the community has also grown and thrived.”
Michele Brown moved to Summerlin 24 years ago and has been working as a counselor at Palo Verde High School a few years after it opened. To say she loves her school and her community is an understatement. Equally passionate about both, Brown is particularly proud of Palo Verde’s five-star rating, which she explains is very difficult to achieve in a public, non-magnet school with a large student population.
You could say Summerlin is a family affair for Brown whose twin sons, Austin and Cameron, live just two minutes away. Her brother and sister-in-law live up the street; and her niece and family live nearby. Daughter Erika lives and works in California, but Brown considers the short one-hour plane ride a blessing, making it easy and convenient for frequent visits.
“Luckily, we have amazing leadership with over 61 ways kids can earn college credit,” Brown said. “Added to that is our talented and dedicated staff, students and parents and our International Baccalaureate program which is almost like having a private school within a public school. It’s a program that offers a rigorous curriculum and includes community service projects that gets kids thinking about global issues and encourages them to act in a local way. It’s amazing to watch what students accomplish each year in this program.”
Brown, who says she doesn’t leave Summerlin unless it’s to travel outside the state, says a typical week includes all the things she loves about the community: hiking at Red Rock Canyon; walking her dog; taking her niece and nephew to the library; eating and drinking at Downtown Summerlin; and visiting with friends and family.
Brown, who raised her three adult children here, was initially attracted to Summerlin because of its focus on family and a strong sense of community. “Summerlin was in its infancy when I moved here, but I was confident its master plan included everything that was important to me: parks, schools and community amenities like the library. I was sold. Growing up, my kids played every sport imaginable, from t-ball, baseball, soccer, football, dance and cheer. Looking back, I feel like we all grew up with Summerlin,” she said. “And what a fantastic ride it’s been.”
“Just when I couldn’t imagine life in Summerlin getting any better, we got the Vegas Golden Knights at City National Arena and the Las Vegas Aviators at Las Vegas Ballpark! What’s not to love?,” she said. “It gives me great comfort and joy to know my kids, my family and future grandkids will have the opportunity to enjoy Summerlin’s beauty and its remarkable sense of community for years to come,” said Brown. “Like Palo Verde’s five-star rating, it’s easy to give Summerlin high marks. For the Brown family, the community is definitely five-star!”
Sports at the Heart | James & Irena Sullivan
Sports at the Heart OF THIS SUMMERLIN FAMILY
Little Isla Sullivan may not yet be born, but her soon-to-be parents are busy preparing her nursery for her July 2020 arrival and can’t wait to take her on stroller trips to nearby Fox Hill Park. Dad James Sullivan, and Mom Irena Sullivan, are longtime Summerlin residents who met on a blind date in 2015 at Grape Street at Downtown Summerlin. At the time, Irena was preparing to move into her second Summerlin home in The Paseos village, and James was also a community resident. Today, the couple has a bustling household that not only includes preparations for little Isla, but also James’ nine-yearold daughter, Gabby, as well as Irena’s nephew, niece, sister, and mother, who live just down the street. “Summerlin is all about family, and we can attest to that,” said Irena. “With trails that connect our neighborhood to nearby parks and schools, this is the perfect place for our growing family.” James makes his living as a sports marketing agent for many leading sports figures, including several Las Vegas Raiders and some of our city’s most popular Vegas Golden Knights, among them Reilly Smith and Ryan Reaves, to name just a few. James is also the co-founder of the Battle For Vegas celebrity softball game played at the Las Vegas Ballpark, which last year raised $136,000 for charity and featured Reilly, teammates and friends from the Raiders. “Several Knights have put down roots in Summerlin for all the obvious reasons, including proximity to City National Arena and the community’s stellar quality of life,” said James. “It’s nothing but convenient and easy to live so close to City National Arena and Downtown Summerlin, where several Knights recently partnered with Wolfgang Puck to reimagine the bar and grill to a new sports-themed venue –Wolfgang Puck Players Locker. We can’t wait to spend more time there,” he said.
Welcome Baby Isla BORN JULY 18, 2020
For Irena, Downtown Summerlin was a game-changer that gave her back more time for friends and family. “I no longer had to go to the Strip for make-up, a quick outfit, or birthday gifts,” she said. “That’s just one of the reasons we love Downtown Summerlin. But if you ask the kids, the parades are the big draw. From the Halloween and Chinese New Year Parades to the Holiday Parade, Downtown Summerlin is the best. No one does holidays quite like Downtown Summerlin!” James and Irena, who, along with extended family, are frequent patrons of Las Vegas Aviators games, can’t wait to take little Isla to Las Vegas Ballpark, yet another amenity that helps to make family time so enjoyable and memorable. “Summerlin is like baseball and apple pie - all rolled up into one. It’s hard to beat the community’s signature quality of life,” said Irena. “With sports and family at the center of our lives, there is no better place for us to be.”
Palo Verde High School Senior Headed to Air Force | Travis Meyer
Hundreds of Summerlin residents may recognize Travis Meyer as their favorite “bagger” at Albertson’s on W. Charleston Blvd. With a friendly face and super helpful approach, Meyer’s Albertson’s shopper “fans” checked in with him weekly, keeping up with his latest achievements at Palo Verde High School as he served them each week. And there was always lots to talk about for this one-time Albertson’s employee of the month. Meyer played on Palo Verde’s varsity football team; he was enrolled in multiple Advanced Placement classes, ultimately passing all his AP exams for college credit; he served on the student council; and he was a member of the math and science clubs and the National Honor Society. Meyer was even a candidate for Palo Verde High School Valedictorian Class of 2020, an achievement featured in a local magazine that caught the attention of many Albertson’s shoppers. But there is a really big piece of news that Meyer hasn’t had the chance to share with all those he served at Albertson’s since he left his position there at the urging of his family as the pandemic heated up. Drum roll, please! Meyer has been accepted as a cadet at the United State Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs! With basic cadet training scheduled to start in late June, Meyer’s family wanted to be sure he remained healthy for this amazing opportunity and next chapter of his life.
Palo Verde High School Senior HEADED TO AIR FORCE ACADEMY
For Meyer, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. His father, Anthony, recently retired from a full and adventurous military career as an F16 pilot, flew missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I always thought it was so cool that my Dad continually put his life on the line to protect our country,” said Meyer. “His path has obviously influenced mine, and I am grateful for his inspiration. I am not planning to follow exactly in my dad’s footsteps and hope to do something with cyberspace and computer science with a military focus.” As an Air Force “brat,” Meyer and his family have lived all over the world with two stints in Summerlin. The family counts as home South Carolina, Arizona, Texas, and South Korea. Meyer attended Sig Rogich Middle School in Summerlin before moving to Korea in 9th grade. The family returned to Summerlin the following year, allowing him to attend the same high school for grades 10 through 12. And while graduation from Palo Verde High School 2020 is one for the history books. Meyer is grateful for his time in Summerlin and the sense of community he enjoys here. Join us giving Travis Meyer, Palo Verde High School Class of 2020 a shout-out! Well done, Travis, and congrats on being accepted to the Air Force Academy! May the force be with you!
Weekend Walks | Dulcinea and Pio Rongavilla
CREATE IDEAL SUMMERLIN LIFESTYLE FOR THIS ACTIVE FAMILY
You could say that Dulcinea and Pio Rongavilla are the consummate Summerlin family. The couple, who married in 2013, moved into The Canyons village home Pio purchased in 2001. Dulcinea, who moved to Las Vegas from Phoenix in 2005 for a career opportunity, had already become a Summerlin fan, having purchased a Summerlin condo upon her arrival. Today, the couple, along with three-year-old son, Cristiano, fully embrace the Summerlin lifestyle with weekend traditions that they’ve been practicing for years. Every Saturday and Sunday, the family walks from their home to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on W. Charleston Blvd., strolling through Cottonwood Canyon Park that feeds directly into their neighborhood. “Diane at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has been working there for the 14 years I have been patronizing the store,” said Dulcinea. “She still has ‘puppicino’ treat ready for my dogs on every weekend visit. You could say Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is our version of a ‘Cheers’ bar where everyone knows our name and our dogs’ names, too. You gotta love Summerlin!” After getting caffeinated, Pio usually heads over to Lifetime Athletic for a workout, while Dulcinea and Cristiano usually head to a Fit4Mom class with a group of other stroller-pushing Moms who are now fast friends. After their respective workouts, the family typically meets up at Lazy Dog for an afternoon brunch before heading over to the Farmers Market at Downtown Summerlin to buy fresh fruit and veggies. “This itinerary has literally become our standard Summerlin weekend plan and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Dulcinea. “Other favorite family spots at Downtown Summerlin are City National Arena and Las Vegas Ballpark,” she said, noting that among Cristiano’s first words were “Las Vegas Ballpark!” “We drive or walk past the Ballpark so many times, it’s no wonder those words crossed his lips first,” said Dulcinea. “Cristiano is also a huge VGK fan, and we hope to start him in skating lessons this summer.” On the rare occasion Dulcinea and Pio have a night out without Cristiano, their go-to spots are Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen and T-Bones at Red Rock. But most nights out are family nights, and Cristiano’s picks are usually Shake Shack, Maggiano’s, California Pizza Kitchen and Pancho’s, which Cristiano refers to as “baby shark’s restaurant” because of the shark hanging in the lounge. Dulcinea and Pio, who met in 2010 and mastered the art of long-distance dating for years because of Pio’s travel and work schedule, considered Southwest Airlines their personal “uber.” In fact, Pio was such a frequent traveler, he was featured in Southwest’s in-flight magazine in 2012. “Those years of commuting during our relationship were obviously worth it,” said Dulcinea. “Our little life and our little family in Summerlin are perfect. We expect the community to be our forever home.”
Fame, Film, Fins & Family | Pam Eichner
Fame, Film, Fins & Family
KEEP LIFE FASCINATING FOR THIS SUMMERLIN RESIDENT!
Film actor, shark diver and mother of two sets of twins are just a few of the descriptors that make Pam Eichner a most fascinating Summerlin resident. Two years ago, Eichner, along with her husband, Jonathan, and the couple’s 16-year-old twins, moved from their long-time home in Park City, Utah to Summerlin and haven’t looked back. Accustomed to Park City’s magnificent mountain views and abundant wildlife, Eichner chose her home in The Ridges, in part, for its immediate access to the adjacent BLM wilderness area where she spends most mornings hiking and marveling at bunnies, lizards, birds and colorful blooming cacti. “We never grow tired of watching all the critters and flora and fauna from our backyard,” she said. “And, we love walking through our neighborhood at night. With no light pollution, it’s incredibly peaceful and serene.” From a family perspective, Eichner says Summerlin reminds her of Southern California, where she grew up in the 1970s. “It’s kinder, gentler and everyone in the community has been so welcoming.” Daughter, Sarah, is a second-degree black belt in Karate, while son, Matthew, plays baseball for Bishop Gorman High School where both attend school. Eichner says her twins are living their best lives at a top-notch school in a community that has provided them with many opportunities to advance their passions and their interests. Las Vegas Ballpark is a favorite summer outing for the Eichner family who praises the ease and convenience of getting in and out of the firstclass stadium that also offers a first-rate experience. “Here, we can make a last-minute decision to go to the Ballpark and have a wonderful evening,” she said. “In any other metro area, going to the Ballpark is an all-day commitment that requires significant advance planning.” Eichner, who has many Hallmark movies to her credit, travels frequently to Utah, a favorite locale for Hallmark and other Christian movies. Given that summer is typically a busy filming season, Eichner jokes that she often spends the month of July wearing a down parka on sets embellished with artificial snow. A self-professed food snob, Eichner and her family are adventurous eaters and take advantage of Las Vegas’ rich culinary scene both on and off the Strip. In Summerlin, Eichner family favorites include True Food Kitchen at Downtown Summerlin and Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen. “Summerlin offers the best of two worlds,” said Eichner of the community’s proximity to nature and accessibility to the Strip and the Airport. The family travels often for the twins’ sporting events; she travels constantly for filming gigs and occasionally to Cape Town, South Africa, where her first set of twins, 30-somethings Andrew and Brian Chaplin, live and perform in their wildly successful international electro hop music band – Locnville. In fact, it was Eichner’s previous and long-time residency in Cape Town where her passion for great white sharks was ignited decades ago. As an experience diver, she frequently participates with research crews, helping to tag sharks and secure biopsies for conservation studies. As a member of Fins Attached, she is committed to doing her part to keep the seas full of wildlife. Just like the Japanese/Italian fusion fare Eichner craves, her life is a fusion of adventure, fun, fame and family. And according to Eichner, herself, there is no better place for it than Summerlin.
The Higgins Family Legacy | Thomas Olsen
The Higgins Family Legacy NOW LIVING IN SUMMERLIN
Twenty-five-year-old Thomas Olsen grew up in the historic heart of Las Vegas near the Medical District where the city got its start decades ago. His grandfather, Dr. Gerald Higgins, famed Las Vegas orthopedic surgeon and UNLV sports team doctor, was easily one of the most recognized figures in local history. Dr. Higgins’ ten children have mostly made their homes and raised families here as well, spawning a fierce family legacy that includes doctors, lawyers and CEOs, including Olsen’s mother, Mary Beth Higgins, who heads up Affinity Gaming. The Higgins family legacy just happens to also include a professional athlete given that Olsen is goalie for the Las Vegas Lights of the United Football Club. A 2013 graduate of Bishop Gorman High School, Olsen helped his high school win a high school state soccer championship before going on to play soccer on scholarship for the University of San Diego. Upon graduation in 2017, his professional career was off and running. In the Major League Soccer draft, Olsen was selected by the Colorado Rapids, where he played for three months before joining the Las Vegas Lights. Now in his third season with the Lights, Olsen is itching to get back out and start playing what he born to do in the heart of the city at Cashman Field not far from where he grew up. Despite living near downtown Las Vegas for years, Olsen longed to join friends and many others in his family now living in Summerlin. After sharing a home near The Mesa Park with a few buddies, he decided he preferred a more urban-inspired location. So, when the opportunity arose to move to Tanager, the luxury apartment complex at Downtown Summerlin, the decision was easy. Today, Olsen walks just about anywhere he needs to go. “When I lived in San Diego as a college student, walking was my preferred mode of transportation,” said Olsen. “I easily prefer a more urban lifestyle, and that’s exactly what I enjoy about living at Tanager. The vibe here is younger and hipper and it suits me better than living in a residential neighborhood.” A self-described sports nut, Olsen says he loves just about anything with a ball – or, now, a puck. In addition to soccer, he loves basketball and like the rest of Las Vegas, has become a hockey fan because of the Vegas Golden Knights. He is looking forward to catching more games of all kinds at Downtown Summerlin’s newest hot spot – Wolfgang Puck Players Locker – where he hopes, one day, his Las Vegas Lights jersey, will find a permanent home in the restaurant’s sports memorabilia display. Until then, this hometown boy continues to pursue his “goals,” literally!
Entrepreneurs and Friends | Jennifer Higgins/Megan Wilkes
Entrepreneurs & Friends PUTTING VEGAS-THEMED VODKA ON THE MAP
The trails that connect The Cliffs village of Summerlin to the adjacent open space and ridgeline are more than just a popular walking place for community residents. If you ask Jennifer Higgins and Megan Wilkes, co-founders of Vegas Baby Vodka, those trails are a popular place to conduct business for the two entrepreneurs and long-time friends who both call the Summerlin village home. They frequently meet up – dogs in tow – and the conversation ultimately drifts toward the business venture they founded two years ago. In 2019, Vegas Baby Vodka secured distribution with Southern Wine & Spirits, participated in the popular food/wine/spirits event, Vegas Uncork’d, as well as a major event for local nonprofit JDRF – all of which helped to put the Vegasthemed vodka on the map. The first retail outlet to sell Vegas Baby Vodka was Roy’s Liquor just outside of Summerlin, and poplar outlets like Total Wine in Reno are starting to grow the brand statewide. Wilkes, a long-time Las Vegan who moved to the “edge” of town near Rainbow Blvd. in 1976, attended Bishop Gorman before attending UNR and UNLV. Over the years, she inched closer to Summerlin, landing in the community 20 years ago. Today, she and her three young adult children, one of which is still at home attending Faith Lutheran, enjoy all that Summerlin offers. The oft-used hiking path is literally across the street; she takes regular cooking classes at Sur La Table at Downtown Summerlin; works out at TruFusion; shops at Trader Joe’s; and her daughter skates at City National Arena. “Our universe is pretty much Summerlin,” she said, of the fact that the community is one-stop for just about everything her family needs. Higgins, who moved here ten years ago from Winter Park, says Downtown Summerlin is a little piece of her home in Florida. “I grew up taking the family boat across the lake to the shopping center across the way, home to Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor and just about every brand name you could think of,” said Higgins. “Downtown Summerlin feels like home, and I especially love the Farmers’ Market. I have made friends with many of the vendors and try to get there as often as I can. The Market embodies the strong sense of community that I feel in Summerlin.” Higgins’ three adult children include two sons, ages 26 and 28, who are also working for Vegas Baby Vodka, and a daughter who attends the University of Texas at Austin. Higgins hopes her daughter will eventually join the business, truly making it a family affair. In fact, it is the “weird” city of Austin that is the inspiration for Vegas Baby Vodka. According to Higgins, the idea for the vodka was born when she was in Austin visiting her daughter while sipping her favorite cocktail, a classic Cosmopolitan. Launching a vodka brand was both exhilarating and intimidating, but she tackled it with gusto, starting first with licensing and trademarking before venturing into manufacturing. Vegas Baby Vodka is distilled in Bozeman, MT, where the water is exceptionally smooth and the perfect foundation for the perfect vodka. So next time you’re looking for a special spirit, check out Vegas Baby Vodka. Your neighbors, Jennifer Higgins and Megan Wilkes, will thank you.
Fun is Always in the Forecast | Janice Gallagher-Spencer and Trish Spencer
Capt. Trish Spencer, who oversees the Downtown Area Command for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), knows a thing or two about a demanding, stressful job. That’s just one of the reasons why this 25-plus-year veteran of LVMPD first moved to Summerlin in 2002 – because it felt more like the peaceful Oklahoma community where she grew up. She especially appreciated serenity of The Vistas village situated along the western edge of the valley – far away from the daily stressors of her job. Trish, and wife, Janice Gallagher, who recently moved to the village of Reverence, Summerlin’s northernmost tip, are enjoying the quintessential suburban life with sons, Jace, 11, and Jedd, 8. The couple, who met in 2004, waited to marry until 2013 so their boys could take an active role in the ceremony. At a beautiful and intimate wedding in the heart of downtown Las Vegas within the gorgeously decorated back yard at Park on Fremont, the Gallagher-Spencer family became an official clan. Janice, who has her own business, Specialty Home Edit, is a professional decorator, finisher and organizer. She loves helping her clients improve their home spaces and their lives with beautiful touches and improved organization. A stay-at-home mom for ten years, Janice is now loving the challenges and the opportunities of putting her eye for beauty and innate organization skills to good use to help others.
Fun is Always in the Forecast FOR THIS SUMMERLIN FAMILY
According to Janice, the family rarely leaves Summerlin, because everything they need or want is within walking distance or a short drive away. Jedd, who attends Staton Elementary School, has played baseball with Summerlin South Little League for five years. Jace, who was accepted this fall to Hyde Park Academy, a math and science magnet school, is also interested in theatre and music. He attends the Kids Shine program at Veterans Memorial Leisure Center, and both boys have long participated in summer camps there as well. The family has grown up taking advantage of Summerlin’s resident-only events that have become holiday and seasonal traditions. “The Easter Egg Hunt and Hometown Holidays” are among our favorites,” said Trish. “We ride our bikes along the Summerlin trail that parallels the 215 Beltway; we hike often in the foothills behind our neighborhood; we run every day in Reverence Park; and we take advantage of the Reverence community center and pool,” said Janice. “All the amenities in our immediate neighborhood and throughout Summerlin help us maintain our active, healthy lifestyle.” The family loves to travel and documents each trip with copious photographs, thanks to their interest in photography. And while the Gallagher-Spencer family is big on adventure, the boys’ list of favorite dining spots is always predictable when the family is at Downtown Summerlin. “California Pizza Kitchen, Pieology Pizzeria, Earl of Sandwich and Crazy Pita are the kids’ picks,” said Janice. “When Trish and I are in the mood for wine, Grape Street is our spot. But when it comes to having fun with the kids, we all love the Wednesday events and activities at Dave & Buster’s. What’s not to love about an arcade and video games? Count us in!”
Summerlin a Family Affair | Dr. Spoon and Family
SUMMERLIN A FAMILY AFFAIR
For the Spoons
Dr. Edward Spoon, a popular OB-GYN in Las Vegas knows a thing or two about family. Having delivered more than 5,000 babies over the past 25 years, many of them at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Spoon has made a career of helping families to grow. In fact, he delivered the very first baby born at Summerlin Hospital the day it opened – October 16, 1997. Dr. Spoon remembers the community’s mascot, Summerlin Sam, showing up bearing gifts for the hospital’s first baby that celebratory day. Dr. Spoon and wife of 36 years, Susie, host a home-cooked family dinner every Tuesday night for immediate and extended family, which includes both Grandmas, along with the couple’s two adult daughters, their husbands, babies and four dogs. “Like clockwork, everyone knows to set Tuesday night aside as family night,” said Dr. Spoon. ‘It’s a tradition we all have come to cherish. I miss about ten percent of those dinners because the babies I deliver can’t be scheduled, but fortunately, we live but a few minutes from the hospital, so it all works out,” he laughed. Dr. Spoon, who moved from Reno to Las Vegas at age four in 1965 with his family, fondly recalls the days when he rode bicycles through the desert along the Strip and went shooting with his father where Summerlin now exists. Susie, an Air Force “brat,” also grew up in Las Vegas after moving here with her family in 1970. And while the couple attended rival high schools – Western and Bonanza, respectively – they didn’t meet until they both attended University of Nevada Reno as college students. Susie has a long history as an educator and has taught at Faith Lutheran Academy in Summerlin for more than 10 years. Married in 1984, the couple has two daughters who have followed in their footsteps. Jordan, a dermatology physician assistant, practices in the valley; and Sydney, a dietitian, works at a Las Vegas hospital and has taught several nutrition courses at UNLV. Both live in Summerlin with their husbands, Jordan Grangard and Phil Fetter, truly making the community a family affair. And speaking of family, daughter Jordan and her husband welcomed identical twin daughters, Addison and Ella, on March 1, 2020 at Summerlin Hospital – with the help of Dr. Spoon aka Grand Papa. The couple and their twins are currently living at the Spoon home as their home in Summerlin’s Mesa Ridge neighborhood nears completion. “We love having our daughter and her adorable little family with us right now,” said Susie. “Especially during the quarantine, it’s given us time to really focus on our grandbabies and lend a helping hand. It’s been a really beautiful and positive experience.” The Spoons, who live in the custom home they built in Canyon Fairways in 2002, say this is their forever home. “We love our view of the lush greenbelt with tennis courts and playgrounds that runs through our neighborhood and connects to TPC Las Vegas,” said Dr. Spoon. “While not huge golfers ourselves, we appreciate living near the golf course activity and the beauty it offers,” said Dr. Spoon. “It’s semi-secluded but still feels part of the community. We do all our shopping, banking and errand-running at the nearby Trails Village Center, so everything we need is just a short drive away.” “We have a busy, bustling house, and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Dr. Spoon. “After all, family is everything.”
Summerlin Fireworks a Symbol of True Love | Lori and Paul
Summerlin Fireworks a Symbol of True Love
Summerlin residents Lori Nelson-Kraft and Paul Kraft grew up in Michigan four miles from each other but never met. Fast forward to Las Vegas when in 2012 their chance meeting at Red Rock Resort changed the course of their personal histories. Lori, who at the time was an executive at Station Casinos, was overseeing and hosting an event for her alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, in the stunning Grand Villa Suite at Red Rock. Paul attended the event to visit with his brother who is an executive at the university. Lori, who says she was having an “off” night, turned down Paul’s offer to join him for a drink that night, but fortunately, he persisted with an email a week later and one drink turned into a budding long-distance relationship that lasted more than eight months before Paul permanently relocated to Las Vegas. Paul, who was living in Southern California, had recently brought Wahoo’s Fish Tacos to Las Vegas as the popular brand’s then Nevada franchisee. With their Michigan roots as a foundation, a shared passion for fitness and an active lifestyle, and their busy and successful careers, the couple grew their relationship over the next several years. Then, on the evening of July 4, 2017, while soaking in the signature Grucci fireworks show from Red Rock’s backyard pool area, the same fireworks show which Lori had managed over the years for Station Casinos, Paul casually popped the question. “Why don’t we get married on the balcony where we first met overlooking the fireworks show next Fourth of July,” he asked. Lori recalls her initial sarcastic response which quickly melted into sheer joy: “Is that a proposal?” she quipped. So, on July 4, 2018, in front of their closest friends and family members, Lori and Paul said “I do” in the same suite where they met. On cue, they ushered their guests to the balcony to take in the spectacular Red Rock fireworks show that made their Independence Day wedding one for the books with jaw-dropping, fireworks-infused photos to match.
FOR MICHIGAN NATIVES
“As soon as the fireworks started, our guests finally understood why we were getting married on the Fourth of July and on a Wednesday, no less,” said Lori. “It all came full circle at that moment.” Lori, who first moved to Summerlin in 2001, was drawn to the community for its vision as place where quality of life was second to none. When her then employer, R&R Partners, also made the move to Summerlin, her decision to put down roots in the community was further reinforced. “I became a Summerlin junkie from day one,” she laughs. “And with Downtown Summerlin, the Ballpark, City National Arena and more, my expectations for Summerlin have easily been met and then some. Everything from family to friendship to career is here within reach.” Paul, who sold his Wahoo’s franchise a few years ago and now manages a small real estate portfolio, shares his wife’s passion for the community and its encouragement of a healthy, outdoor, active lifestyle. The couple is generally out the door each morning at 5 a.m. for a walk with rescue Labrador, Stella, headed for their morning coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts where their order is always ready and waiting. While Lori enjoys fitness memberships at Lifetime and 24Hour Fitness, the couple can often be seen on runs throughout the Willows, and a perfect Friday night date generally includes dinner out, and typically within walking distance. Paul is an avid golfer whose favorite Summerlin courses include Bear’s Best and Red Rock Country Club. It’s no wonder Lori describes the couple’s lifestyle as “Summerlin fit.” Lori, who is now Sr. VP of Communications and Government Affairs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, says “Downtown Summerlin is our jam. We frequently walk there with Stella for meals, drinks, shopping and just hanging out. Outside of work, we are happily and contentedly living in the Summerlin bubble,” she said. “We never intend to leave. We want to ensure we have a front row seat to the fireworks show – year after year.”
Coming Soon to Summerlin! | Jean Robert Bellande and Family
High Stakes Gambler, International Beauty Queen, Twin Babies COMING SOON TO SUMMERLIN!
Professional poker player, nightlife promoter, reality TV star (Survivor) and man-about town, Jean-Robert Bellande, aka JRB, has a relatively new persona to add to his eclectic, exciting and high-profile life: Dad and Family Man. In 2007, JRB met Veronica Llamas, his dream girl and a runner-up Miss Mexico, during a boys’ night out at Tao nightclub. He lost touch with her for several years, then ran into her six years ago at her bachelorette party. At the time, Veronica was engaged to be married to another man. So, upon that fateful sighting, JRB went to work and knew what he had to do to win her back. With the help of her family, he was successful in convincing her to call off her wedding. She then spent several weeks in Europe with JRB during what would have been her honeymoon. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, after a magical beach resort wedding in Mexico, JRB and Veronica are parents to one-year-old twins, Axel Cash and Isabella. While JRB has primarily lived in The Residences at Waldorf Astoria on the Strip, he and Veronica are nearing completion on their new home in Summerlin at Mesa Ridge. Moving to the “burbs” is a big step for JRB. He and Veronica are now looking forward to having a yard, being close to the best private schools in Las Vegas, and taking part in all the family activities at Downtown Summerlin. “We’ve already started doing ‘dinner and a movie’ at Downtown Summerlin and love the vibe there,” said JRB. “Summerlin feels right for us now. It’s close enough to the Strip for me, but far enough away for my family. Veronica is a LifeTime Fitness fan, and she loves all the conveniences and fun Downtown Summerlin offers.” For JRB, who plays super high stakes, Las Vegas has been his home for 15 years. “I wish I had moved here sooner, he said. This city is so exciting and is really a place where anything is possible. My life is proof of that.” While not a sports better in the formal sense of the word, JRB says watching any game – be it football, hockey or basketball – is more fun when it has a little sizzle – a few bucks on the line. A long-time Raiders fan whose love affair with the team started when he was a kid and the team was in LA, JRB is looking forward to the team’s launch in Las Vegas. His one sports regret? Not learning to play golf at an earlier age. But living in Summerlin, the options for catching 18 holes are endless. JRB, who grew up in New York City and also lived in Taiwan and California with his family, is comfortable with change. This former bachelor, turned married man, turned father and soon-to-be suburbanite, knows a thing or two about change. Welcome to Summerlin, JRB, Veronica, baby Axel and baby Bella! You’re gonna love it!
Living Best Lives in the Community | Chrysta and Caitlyn Magtibay
Summerlin’s “Pool Girls”
Rogich Middle School students and sisters, Chrysta and Caitlyn Magtibay, might look familiar. That’s because they have been featured on billboards and in ads for the master-planned community of Summerlin. Answering an open casting call at The Gardens Community Center for Summerlin residents in 2011, Armi, the girls’ mother, recounts the fun and excitement for the family of having Caitlyn selected. “It was so fun seeing Caitlyn in the local newspaper when the campaign launched,” she said. Fast forward to 2016 when a second open casting call went out to Summerlin residents where both girls were selected to be included in the community’s marketing campaign, appearing together having some “sisterly fun” in a swimming pool. “We were elated and thrilled to see both girls larger than life on billboards as we drove around town. The opportunity to participate in the campaigns has just been the icing on the cake because there are so many things our family loves about Summerlin,” said Armi. “Caitlyn swims with the Las Vegas Swim Club at the Pavilion Pool next to Rogich Middle School, and it’s so close, she can walk there,” said Armi. “The school is almost next door, and we bounce back and forth between The Arbors Tennis & Play Park, The Paseos Park and The Vistas Park. When the girls were little, nothing beat the splashpad on a hot day at The Paseos Park. And community events like the Patriotic Parade and Hometown Holidays have long been family traditions for us. We have marked our girls’ growth with annual photos on Santa’s lap.” The Magtibay family has twice lived in Summerlin, returning to the community after a stint in Texas as a result of a job change for dad, Arne. “We moved here the first time around in 2006 from Illinois to escape the winter blues and another job opportunity,’ said Armi, of the family’s home in The Paseos village. “We then lived briefly in Texas before returning a second time in 2015, settling in The Vistas where we now call home.” Armi, who has worked for Nordstrom for 18 years, was able to transfer to the Nordstrom Rack at Downtown Summerlin in 2015. “You can literally say we live, work and play here,” she said. In addition to Nordstrom Rack, of course, the family’s favorite spots at Downtown Summerlin include lululemon, Starbucks inside Macy’s, Earl of Sandwich and Bath & Body Works. Hockey is another passion of the family, who loves to watch the Vegas Golden Knights practice at City National Arena. Caitlyn, who will attend West Career & Technical Academy this fall as a ninth grader studying digital media, recounts the day when, as a four-year-old, her show & tell at preschool was that she had a “fake family.” She showed the Summerlin ad in which she appeared as the little sister in a family of models – all part of her “fake family.”
LIVING BEST LIVES IN THE COMMUNITY
Chrysta, who is a cheerleader at Rogich Middle School, joins her sister as a regular volunteer at The Wishing Place, the Summerlin headquarters of Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, where they make posters with messages of hope for wish kids. No doubt the Magtibay girls, along with their parents, are living their best lives in Summerlin.
The Smith Family Love Affair with Summerlin | Courtney and Jason Smith
When Courtney and Jason Smith moved to Las Vegas in 2005, they figured it would be a lark - a fun, twoor three-year adventure as they both launched their careers. Jason landed a clerkship in Las Vegas after graduating law school, while Courtney, an audiologist, also secured a job right away in the Entertainment Capital of the World where musicians, entertainers, DJs and those in the noisy nightclub industry needed help protecting their hearing. Fast forward 15 years and the Smiths, who now number five with the addition of Carson, a seventh- grader at Faith Lutheran; Sam, a fifth-grader at Las Vegas Day School; and the newest member - family poodle Aaron, are still in Las Vegas, living their best lives in Summerlin. In fact, Aaron enjoys daily walks at nearby Gardens Park, which the Smiths have lovingly dubbed “The Central Park of Summerlin.” According to Courtney, Jason, who is the best dog dad on the planet, has made fast friends of other doggy parents he sees on his daily walks. Courtney, a gymnast who can still do a mean backflip, and Jason, a basketball player, who can still dunk with the best of them, both enjoyed collegiate athletic careers at the University of Iowa. With sports playing a central role in their lives, the family embraces the city’s growing evolution as home to professional sports. In fact, a return to Las Vegas Aviators and Vegas Golden Knights hockey games are at the top of the family’s post-COVID-19 wish list.
The Smith Family LOVE AFFAIR WITH SUMMERLIN
The Smith kids have participated in several summer sports camps at the Veterans Memorial Leisure Center next to Palo Verde High School; they have taken golf lessons and golfed with the family at Red Rock Country Club and Siena; and according to Courtney, the kids are enjoying the family’s new backyard pool to the point of exhaustion. “I literally have to drag them out at 10 pm every night,” she said. In addition to sports, the family’s newest interest is musical theatre, thanks to their uber-talented son, Carson, who is bringing music and theatre into the home with his passion and penchant for the dramatic. In Summerlin, the Smiths enjoy frequent bike rides with pit stops at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf; they walk often to La Strega for dinner; and Downtown Summerlin boasts Courtney’s favorite store – H&M, which she says is on her must-always-visit list. A family favorite dinner spot is Sushi Loca topped off with fro-yo from Menchie’s – again, both within walking distance of home. A Smith family fun fact is their recent trip to Dubai, courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres. Last year, Courtney attended the Ellen Show with a friend in LA. The show just happened to be one of Ellen’s famous “Giveaway” shows, and everyone in the audience won a trip to Dubai! “Taking the kids to Dubai was a global adventure we could only dream of,” said Courtney of the once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Jason and I just get the giggles when our kids say they can’t wait to go back. Yeah, right - not! Thanks, Ellen, for spoiling us and our kids!”
Summerlin Resident and Holocaust Survivor Embodies “A Life Well Lived” | Ben Lesser
A Life Well Lived 91-YEAR-OLD SUMMERLIN RESIDENT AND HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR
Nearing his 92nd birthday, Summerlin resident Ben Lesser is a true hero, not just for his impressive age, but for his personal story of perseverance and triumph. Born in Krakow, Poland, Ben and his family are victims of the Holocaust. Only Ben ultimately survived after enduring five hellish years: four concentration camps, including Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau, two death marches and two death trains. After liberation from Dachau as a teenager, Ben slowly healed, eventually recovering physically from his near-death experience. At age 18, penniless, uneducated and unable to speak English, he made his way to New York City, and two years later to Los Angeles, where he ultimately succeeded in living the American Dream as a Realtor with two successful real estate offices: Ben Lesser & Associates. He and wife, Jean, just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and have been blessed with two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Ben and Jean’s move to Summerlin 25 years ago, was the beginning of his second career as a volunteer and advocate to keep alive the memory of the six million people who lost their lives in the Holocaust. In fact, it wasn’t until 1995 that Ben first spoke of his experience as a Holocaust survivor. He was invited by his grandson, Adam, to share his personal story with Adam’s classmates. That single experience was the beginning of Ben’s renewed commitment not to let the lives lost ever be forgotten. Since then, he has dedicated his life to preserving their memory via his foundation, ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (zachorfoundation. org) which preserves the memory of the Holocaust by providing educational tools for school curriculums. Ben went on to write a book about his life, “Living a Life that Matters, From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream,” and most recently has been working on his Zachor Holocaust Curriculum – the first-ever curriculum fully developed and facilitated by a living Holocaust survivor. It will be released next month and is available for free to school districts, teachers, students and anyone interested in learning about the Holocaust. It includes Ben’s StoryFile, an interactive, artificial intelligence tool that will allow future generations to “talk” to Ben, even after he passes. Not content to rest on his laurels, Ben’s foundation is ever evolving for our current world by expanding its educational programs to promote global tolerance. I-SHOUT-OUT.org is today an anti-hate, anti-bullying campaign powered by ZACHOR that strives to put an end to intolerance. Decades before Ben and Jean moved to Summerlin in 1995, the couple frequently traveled to Las Vegas to visit friends, and along the way, they started to acquire property. The couple believes Summerlin is the perfect place to live with its fresh air and immediate access to Red Rock Canyon – a place Ben considers “paradise.” While they have called the community home for 25 years, they are still continuing to invest in the area. Talk about the American Dream! Even into their 90s, this couple continues to inspire us all!
It’s a Beautiful Life for Summerlin Couple | Lance Robins and Cary Vogel
With an eye for the aesthetic, interior designer Cary Vogel, and his business partner and husband Lance Robins, know a thing or two about beauty. The couple, who have lived in Summerlin for 12 years and have operated their company, Interiors by Cary Vogel, for over a decade, have made beautiful scores of homes in the community, the valley and throughout the United States. Cary and Lance, who met over 33 years ago in New York City and still maintain a residence in the Big Apple, appreciate both the community’s natural and manmade beauty – from well- manicured medians and streetscapes to jaw-dropping views of Red Rock Canyon. They moved to Las Vegas in 1988, right before the mega-resort explosion on the Strip, and haven’t looked back, reveling in the city’s maturation with the addition of arts and culture at The Smith Center and now, professional sports. Their first home was near W. Sahara where it ended near Hualapai. “It’s hard to believe that vast expanse of open space where we used to walk our dog is now Summerlin,” said Lance. Today, the couple frequently walks a four-mile loop near their home, they bike ride everywhere, and they take advantage of their neighborhood’s direct access to acres of open space and federally protected lands to the west. “Every time I pull out of my driveway with a view of the mountains, I have to pinch myself,” said Cary. “Summerlin’s master plan is so thoughtful and well-designed, it maximizes the area’s natural views from multiple vantage points – including our home. Even retaining walls are beautiful in Summerlin” he said.
It’s a Beautiful Life
FOR SUMMERLIN COUPLE
“If it wasn’t for work, we would rarely leave Summerlin,” said Lance. “But fortunately, many of our clients, who share our appreciation for all things beautiful, live in Summerlin. It’s just one of the reasons we love this community.” A weekly tradition for Lance and Cary is enjoying breakfast at SkinnyFats at Downtown Summerlin. “Almost all the restaurants we frequent on a regular basis are in Summerlin,” said Cary. “We’re so passionate about good food in beautiful places, we invested in the new Wolfgang Puck Players Locker at Downtown Summerlin.” ‘More than three decades ago, we moved here for a good opportunity, and the city continues to be the land of opportunity for us,” said Cary. “Even during the pandemic, business is booming, and we are booked well into 2021. As folks have been stuck at home, they are using their homes in different ways and have more time to focus on ways to make their homes true sanctuaries and serve a variety of purposes – from offices to entertainment centers. Even we are surprised at how our business has continued to thrive – despite the virus. Summerlin is indeed a beautiful place that has afforded us a beautiful life. For that, we are most grateful.”
Cox Exec Enjoys Life in Summerlin as Dog Dad, Golf Fanatic, Doting Uncle | Derrick Hill
When Cox executive Derrick Hill visited Las Vegas in 2013 to check out the city for his next potential promotion with the country’s largest private telecom company, the decision to move to the Entertainment Capital of the World was a no-brainer. On that beautiful October day, it was a perfect 65 degrees in Las Vegas and 10 degrees in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was currently residing. So, Derrick gladly packed up his two Doberman Pinschers and moved west, settling first in Red Rock Country Club. Now living in his second Summerlin home in The Paseos village, Derrick still claims Red Rock Country Club as his home course, but also occasionally plays at TPC Summerlin. An all-around sports enthusiast, Derrick is especially proud to work for a company invested in the community as the technology partner of choice for the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena, the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium and the Las Vegas Aviators at Las Vegas Ballpark – right here in Summerlin. In his role as board chairman of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, he is interested in promoting economic growth and, it will be workforce development, industry diversification and that when the time is right, professional sports that will help our city to recover economically and emotionally from COVID-19. Now dad to just one Doberman Pinscher, Major, Derrick and Major happily log three to four miles daily on the trails around his home. “During the lockdown, Cox Business Las Vegas initiated a new program to encourage employees to stay fit and healthy, while building camaraderie with each other as many employees continue to work from home,” he said. Called the Walk for Health Challenge,” the program sets a goal for employees to walk 100 miles in 30 days with a larger goal of logging 300 miles between June 1 and September 7. “It’s been motivating and fun to compare notes with each other on our daily calls. Fortunately, the Summerlin trail system offers many options, so I can choose different routes to mix it up and always keep things interesting.” Derrick’s best kept secret might just be he is learning to play the piano. But not just any piano – a beautiful Baby Grand that is today his pride and joy and adorns his living room. Derrick’s 15-year-old niece, Victoria, and 11-year-old nephew, Nicholas, also play the piano and challenge their uncle to a “play-off” before their frequent trips to Las Vegas. “We all agree to learn the same piece of music about a month before they arrive, and once they’re here, we have a blast playing for each other”
Cox Exec Enjoys Life in Summerlin AS DOG DAD, GOLF FANATIC, DOTING UNCLE
A native of Chicago, he is active member of The Crossing Church and enjoys taking his extended family that still lives in the Windy City to service, including Victoria and Nicholas, along with Darrell, his 16-year-old nephew, a straight-A student who aspires to attend West Point. To say Derrick is a doting uncle is an understatement. He takes great pride in the accomplishments of his beloved niece and nephews. An educator for 38 years in Chicago, Derrick’s mother is the inspiration for his active involvement in the Las Vegas education community – both at UNLV and CCSD, where Cox Business is actively partnering on technology solutions for schools and students. As an inspirational leader on a national council for inclusion and diversity for his employer, Derrick considers himself a social justice advocate and believes a balanced approach to curbing systemic racism and supporting law enforcement is the best solution to help our country evolve and grow. For this community influencer and business leader, Summerlin is bar none the best place to live in Las Vegas. “I love the amazing views of Red Rock Canyon to the west and the entire valley to the east,” he said. “My ultimate Summerlin happy place? La Strega! Chef Gina Marinelli is the bomb!”
Young Professional Thrives in Summerlin | Reem Awad
Thirty-four-year old native Las Vegan Reem Awad gave up the convenience of luxury, high-rise living for the “burbs,” two years ago and hasn’t looked back. This accomplished, fun-loving professional was especially motivated to buy a home in Summerlin when she adopted Zeus, a nearly 100-pound German Shepherd mix rescue. An avid animal lover who grew up with big dogs, Awad sought a home with a yard and access to trails and parks to keep her big “boy” healthy and active, and Red Rock Country Club met all her needs. In fact, she bought her home and adopted Zeus – all in the same week.
THRIVES IN SUMMERLIN
An active participant in her family’s successful and diverse business enterprises headed by her father, attorney, developer, banker and business owner Jason Awad, Reem attended the Meadows School before heading to the University of San Diego where she graduated with a business degree. A few years into the family business, Reem pursued more education and earned her Executive MBA from UNLV. At the time, she lived at Turnberry Towers downtown – close to where she grew up. But after realizing most of her world was in Summerlin, including her office, grocery shopping, gym and family, she made the switch from high-rise dweller to homeowner. While Zeus prefers the parks and trails, Reem is all about Summerlin’s social scene which includes, of course, Downtown Summerlin. Popular dining and drinks spots for Reem and her friends are Wolfgang Puck Players Locker, Grape Street, Vintner Grlll, Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen, Hearthstone and Blue Ribbon Sushi, to name a few. TruFusion is Reem’s number one workout place, next to romping with Zeus, of course. “Summerlin is all about possibilities,” she said. “Who knew Summerlin would have its own Ballpark and be home to the Vegas Golden Knights? What we couldn’t imagine a few years ago is part of what keeps me excited about my life in Summerlin. New and exciting requires a lot of room, but Summerlin’s got it, and I am happy to be along for the ride.”
Best Friends, Business Partners Living their Best Lives While Helping Others | Adrienne O’Neal & Susan Dow
Best friends, business partners and fellow military brats, Susan Dow and Adrienne O’Neal met at a therapist training program in 2008, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Today, the dynamic duo are co-owners of Red Rock Counseling as licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and love their work helping others. Susan, whose father was an Army officer and grew up all over the country, moved to Las Vegas about 27 years ago, settling in Summerlin. She and longtime partner, Dr. Michael Benassi, have two grown children who also live in Las Vegas. Her interest in mental health began in 1994 when she became a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, working on the front lines in the fight against the opioid epidemic. Now, she and Dr. Benassi provide confidential office-based opioid treatment as part of the many services offered at Red Rock Counseling. “About eight years ago, I was chatting with Adrienne in her kitchen, complaining about the limited scope of my then practice,” she said. “Adrienne did what a best friend should do. She told me to stop complaining and do something about it, so I enrolled at UNLV, finished my bachelor’s, then went on to earn my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. And the rest, as they say, is history.” Together, Adrienne and Susan founded Red Rock Counseling in late 2018. Today, the practice is thriving. According to Adrienne, they outgrew their first office space at Downtown Summerlin and are now located in a business park across the street. “Through our affiliation with UNLV and other graduate mental health degree programs, we have several graduate student interns who are able to provide quality counseling services for as little as $40 an hour. It’s one of the ways we are helping patients – new and old – to weather these crazy times.”
Best Friends, Business Partners LIVING THEIR BEST LIVES WHILE HELPING OTHERS
Adrienne, whose father retired from the military 41 years ago in Las Vegas, moved to Las Vegas when she was 20. Her first career was in advertising, but she eventually went back to graduate school, earning her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from UNLV in 2004. Surrounded by extended family, Las Vegas and Summerlin are now family affairs for Adrienne whose mom, brother and various relatives have all relocated here. “Today, Buffalo is about as far east as I go,” she joked. “Everything I need or want is right here in the community.” Self-described professional golf lesson-takers, Susan and Adrienne laugh about their lack of golf prowess but say they “look really cute in their golf outfits!”�Bear’s Best is their course of choice. When not working or golfing, the two love to take advantage of Summerlin’s great restaurant scene. Both Vintner Grill and Trattoria de Reggiano at Downtown Summerlin top their list. As the world becomes more enlightened on the importance of mental health and accepting of the fact that everyone’s got “stuff,” we could all use more professionals like Susan and Adrienne! So glad Summerlin is their community of choice!
Summerlin’s Favorite Optometrist Enjoys a Busy Career, Boasts a Blended Brood of Seven Kids | Dr. Jennifer Mallinger
Dr. Jennifer Mallinger, an optometrist who owns and operates Mallinger Family Eye Care in The Trails village, had her “eye” on Summerlin as the perfect place to launch her practice and her career. In 1997 after graduating from Optometry school in Southern California, she settled into life and practice in the master-planned community that was then in its infancy. Fast forward to today, and it was a decision for Dr. Mallinger that has proven to be a good one – both personally and professionally. Named a Best of Summerlin winner in 2016 and 2019 as Best Doctor, Dr. Mallinger has grown her practice alongside the community. In 2011, she married local homebuilder Tom McCormick at TPC Summerlin, and the couple, in a beautiful blend of “yours and mine,” boasts a brood of seven children, ages 14 to 22. All seven children attended St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in The Pueblo village, and all seven have either graduated or currently attend Bishop Gorman, including two who are still students there. Of the five Bishop Gorman graduates, their current whereabouts include the University of Washington in Seattle, UNLV, University of Colorado at Boulder and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. With several kids in college and two at a private high school, Dr. Mallinger jokes that the she and her husband are obviously not retiring any time soon!
Summerlin’s Favorite Optometrist ENJOYS A BUSY CAREER, BOASTS A BLENDED BROOD OF SEVEN KIDS
Fortunately, both Dr. Mallinger and her husband have been diligently working throughout the pandemic as “essential” workers. While Dr. Mallinger was forced to close her doors to seeing patients in person, with the exception of emergencies, she readily embraced telemedicine via a telehealth platform which both she and her patients have appreciated. In fact, Dr. Mallinger believes that post-pandemic, the trend is here to stay. In Summerlin, the family enjoys Las Vegas Aviators season tickets at Las Vegas Ballpark, and when they can’t get to a Vegas Golden Knights game at T-Mobile, Arena, they watch it at City National Arena on the big screen inside MacKenzie River Pizza. Dr. Mallinger’s go-to spot at Downtown Summerlin is Grape Street, while McCormick’s first choice is Frankie’s Uptown for a pre-baseball game beer. The kids grew up playing baseball at The Trails near Dr. Mallinger’s office, and the family has fond memories of attending Friday Night Lights concerts there, as well. “As a family, we have spent a lot of time over the years at Dave & Buster’s, and we love catching movies at Regal Cinemas. In fact, it’s a Christmas tradition for our family to watch a holiday movie there where we take up almost a whole row! Downtown Summerlin has something for all nine of us that comprise the Mallinger-McCormick clan! And that speaks volumes!” Thanks, Dr. Mallinger, for keeping our eyes healthy and happy in Summerlin!
Top Of Their Class | Meet the 2020 Summerlin Children’s Forum Scholarship Recipients
Top Of Their Class
Summerlin, meet the future! Hats off to four outstanding high school graduates, each residents of Summerlin who are recipients of Summerlin Children’s Forum (SCF) scholarships for 2020. The Forum, a nonprofit organization established in 1997 by leaders of Summerlin® and its developer, The Howard Hughes Corporation®, has funded annual scholarships, enrichment grants and special educational programs totaling more than $600,000. The annual scholarship program is open to all graduating high school seniors who live in Summerlin.
MEET THE 2020 SUMMERLIN CHILDREN’S FORUM SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Collectively, these students are an impressive bunch with can-do attitudes and big plans as difference-makers in their respective fields. Check them out! This year’s scholars include Eshaan Vakil, a graduate of Ed W. Clark High School, who has been accepted at Harvard University where he plans to study international relations and technology with the goal of addressing disparities in education and technology in underserved regions. In 2016, Vakil founded the Alliance for Academic Quiz Bowl, a nonprofit that today has 200-plus volunteers working in underserved areas of Las Vegas organizing academic camps for kids, while promoting participation in national academic quiz bowls. Sonia Agrebi, an International Baccalaureate graduate of Palo Verde High School who is headed to UNR, has been politically active throughout her high school career. She plans to study political science and hopes to eventually intern at the Nevada State Legislature with plans to pursue a career in law. Mackenzie Gabany, also a Palo Verde High School graduate, is headed to Northern Arizona University’s Honors College where she will study exercise science with a career goal of earning a Masters’ degree in athletic training and a Doctorate in physical therapy.
Mackenzie Gabany Eshaan Vakil
And finally, Nicola Lai, a graduate of West Career and Technical Academy, will attend the Honors College at UNLV where she plans to study accounting with the goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant. She is active in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, an initiative of the IRS that provides free tax preparation consultancy to underserved citizens. Congratulations, students!
Summerlin Super Mom Cedits Community with Family Success | Cecilia Cutler
Summerlin Super Mom
Summerlin Super Mom Cecilia Cutler knows a thing or two about social media fame. She has been recognized while traveling in multiple states, including Utah, Washington, New York, Arizona, Texas, California, Hawaii and even Cancun, Mexico! And she laughs, “it has nothing to do with my own social media presence, it’s all about my daughters’ success as social media influencers. It’s fun to be recognized as their mom wherever we go.” Daughter Destiny (@dthompsy and trulydestiny.com), who has a liberal arts degree from Utah State University, has hundreds of thousands of followers as a high-profile blogger with a meticulously curated social feed. Cassidy (@cassidyandersonxo), who recently graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication, and Macaily (@MacailyCutler), who also attended the “U” and is now a master aesthetician, also enjoy strong social media followings while pursuing other career options and raising families. All three daughters, who are married, two with children, live out of state, while son Jordan works full-time and is pursuing a finance degree in Utah. Cecilia and husband, Jonny, a contractor, are native Las Vegans who first met in high school at Southern Nevada Vocational Technical Center. They dated briefly in high school, broke up, then eventually reunited. Today, Cecilia and Jonny are celebrating 24 years of marriage and now that all four children have left the nest, they enjoy “date nights” four to five nights a week – all of them in Summerlin. While nights out always include dinner, the Cutlers are also big movie fans and go to the movies two to three nights a week. “Every time we get in our car in the early evening, our GPS tells us how many minutes to Downtown Summerlin,” she said. “We have many favorite dining spots there, from Maggiano’s, True Food Kitchen, Pieology and Five Guys. We remember attending the grand opening of Downtown Summerlin and thinking, ‘Wow! Now we won’t ever have to leave Summerlin’. And that has pretty much come true!” The Cutlers, who first moved to Summerlin in 1997, landed in The Arbors village. They moved to The Vistas village in 2004, and just last year, moved to Reverence. Along the way, all four kids attended a variety of Summerlin elementary schools, eventually graduating from Sig Rogich Middle School and Palo Verde High School. Cecilia credits Summerlin’s good schools and family orientation with the success of her own family. “All three daughters cheered middle school through high school and held captain positions while bringing home many trophies and ribbons. Our son broke outstanding records on the wrestling mat for Palo Verde and was a three-time Nevada placer before taking home the state championship his senior year. All four kids went on to participate in Division One college sports, which we truly believe is attributed to the outstanding programs at their awesome schools.”
CREDITS COMMUNITY WITH FAMILY SUCCESS
A self-described domestic engineer, Cecilia fondly reflects back on her days as “room mom” at her kids’ schools. She and Jonny spent days and nights building high school homecoming floats and attending every game and assembly where the kids performed. Today, she loves her role as “nana” to four grandchildren and has happily traded the bustle of a busy family for peaceful walks through Reverence, where she and Jonny also enjoy desert rides on their off-road vehicles, swimming in their new backyard pool, working on new home projects and enjoying the gorgeous Reverence clubhouse. Cecilia, who is considered her family’s resident interior designer and party planner, can decorate a room or plan an “off-thecharts-cute-theme-party” for her grandkids virtually from her phone. “You might say we have this long-distance thing down,” she said. “Despite the miles, we remain as connected as ever.” “While all of our kids have left Las Vegas, we promised them we would never move away from Summerlin, because even for our adult kids, Summerlin will always be home.”
Summerlin a Home Run for the Hershisers | Orel Hershiser
Summerlin a Home Run FOR THE HERSHISERS
Lucky for Summerlin, Orel Hershiser became a community resident about 15 years ago when he married wife, Dana, who was living and raising two children here. For the power couple, whose children are now all grown, Summerlin’s draw is its people. “While the community has many great attributes, it’s our neighbors, our friends and the friendly folks we see out and about every day who make Summerlin what it is today,” said Orel. ‘We have so many great friends here who make our lives fun and full.” The Hershisers, who previously lived near Palo Verde High School where Dana’s kids graduated, recently moved to the village of Stonebridge. They were drawn to Richmond American’s Scots Pine neighborhood for its exceptional hilltop location, single-story floorplans and ability to customize their home to suit their lifestyle. Orel gives credit to Brian Wedewer, the Hershisers’ neighbor/real estate agent/best friend, for helping the family land at Scots Pine – a neighborhood they are already in love with. Working with popular Las Vegas interior designer Jill Abelman, the couple is nearly finished with all their personal touches, including converting a part of their kitchen to an area more suitable for entertaining and adding a conversation pit to the backyard – perfect for taking in stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip and beyond. The couple maintains dual residencies in LA and Summerlin, typically spending summers in Southern California for Orel’s job as the Dodgers’ full-time broadcast color analyst. With a storied 18-year career in Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the LA Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, Orel knows a good ballpark when he sees one. “Las Vegas Ballpark is a wow,” he said. “It’s so great to have such an exceptional ballpark right here in Summerlin. I, and everyone else I know, is looking forward to baseball’s return and spending some time there.” Other community “wows” for Orel include its cooler temperatures, its adjacency to Red Rock Canyon and Summerlin’s overall aesthetic. “Everything here is well designed, the landscaping is well maintained, and Summerlin’s standards for cleanliness keep everything looking top notch. And that starts with pride. Regardless of where you live in the community – an apartment or a mansion – it’s evident everyone here is proud to call Summerlin home.” If you’re a Pancho’s lover, you have Orel to thank. A longtime fan of Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Orel convinced the restaurant’s owner to consider a move to Downtown Summerlin. Today, Pancho’s is a popular and casual eatery for thousands of Summerlin families. Orel jokes that with his distinctive name, it’s hard to stay too far under the radar. “It’s obviously helpful when making a restaurant reservation,” he laughed. “But again, I am always so awed by the friendliness and graciousness of everyone I meet in Summerlin. This is a warm and inviting community. Like everyone else we bump into here, Dana and I are proud to call it home.”
Chicago Native Hits Stride in Summerlin | Dana Berggren
Chicago Native Hits Stride IN SUMMERLIN
Self-described “solopreneur” and Chicago area native, Dana Berggren, moved to Las Vegas in 2002. Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, she attended the University of Illinois, then while living in the City she began dating someone she had known since the age of 13. Dana’s typical path would have been to move back to the suburbs after marrying to raise kids. But having never really left Chicago, she needed an adventure. “Our family frequently vacationed in Las Vegas, so I was very familiar with the Strip and a friend suggested we look for homes in Summerlin,” Dana recalls. “As we drove west on Summerlin Parkway, I was awe struck by the beauty of the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon, the sunshine and blue skies. I knew that this was the place.” Summerlin is truly a family affair. Soon after Dana moved to Las Vegas, she was joined by her brother and his family as well as her mom, who are all now Summerlin residents. Dana, a commercial real estate broker, left corporate commercial real estate in 2014 to start her own independent brokerage. While on the hunt for the ideal office space, she recognized the growing demand for flexible office and coworking. So, in 2017, she opened The Coop, a shared workspace with a focus on community and collaboration. Located in the Hills Center Business Park across the street from the popular Trails Village Center, The Coop offers adjacency to neighborhood coffee shops, retail and services – yet another reason for its growing patronage. “A city girl at heart, I originally had my eye on Downtown Las Vegas, but ultimately chose Summerlin for my coworking space,” said Dana. “Having a cool workplace close to home and being able to collaborate with dynamic business owners, remote workers, and entrepreneurs has been so fulfilling.” The Coop’s mission to support locals is evident with its locally roasted coffee, custom furniture and artwork, and monthly breakfasts for coworkers catered by Summerlin eateries. Dana, who divorced in 2018, credits the couple’s childhood connection — which allows them to remain close as they co-parent daughters, Maura, 15, and Bryn, 12, who both attend public schools in Summerlin. She now resides near Downtown Summerlin and is an avid daily runner who will take the heat of a Las Vegas summer over the bitter cold of a Chicago winter any day. She typically runs along the Summerlin streets, but will occasionally run on the trails, drop in at a local gym or partake in a bootcamp. “Being so close to Downtown Summerlin is a plus for a mom of two teenage girls,” she said. “We frequent the Farmers Market, we dine at local restaurants, and shopping is our favorite pastime. There is no shortage of ways for the girls to spend my money,” said laughed. A plethora of outdoor venues are some other Summerlin perks Dana and the girls appreciate. “Sagemont Park near our house is our new favorite Summerlin spot. In fact, we had a perfect view of the Fourth of July fireworks there.” And she cannot wait to get back to live music shows at Red Rock Resort and Aviators games at Las Vegas Ballpark. A proud graduate of the Metro Chamber Leadership Las Vegas Class of 2011, Dana said the program taught her much about Las Vegas and deepened her connection to the city’s strong sense of community. “I am so thankful that I chose the adventurous route in life. Summerlin is a wonderful place to run a business and raise a family.”
Talented Arts Duo Loves Living, Creating in Summerlin | Bill Wright and Lisa Faulkner-Wright
The couple that creates together, stays together and thrives together. That could easily be the mantra of Bill Wright and his wife, Lisa Faulkner-Wright, who moved from Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas in 1990, eventually settling in Summerlin in 1998. The Wrights, whose artistic creations have been featured in the Summerlin Festival of Arts since 2001, are veterans of the art festival world, traveling all over the Southwest U.S. to showcase their works for the past several years. Bill, a potter who is also serving as President of the Nevada Clay Guild, has a fully furnished ceramic studio in their home, complete with kiln and pottery wheels. His expertise, coupled with a recent surge in in-home pottery studios fueled by the pandemic, has created yet another career for Bill as a ceramic and kiln consultant. Today, his services are sought by DIY potters throughout Southern Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Lisa, a painter, who transitioned from pottery to painting around the time the couple moved to Las Vegas, now works in two mediums – oil and watercolor. She also boasts her own in-home studio, but says she prefers plein air painting outdoors. Ironically, Lisa’s start as an artist was as a potter. She graduated with a BA from Cal State Sacramento and then an MFA in ceramics and print making from University of Wisconsin Madison before launching a teaching career at Sierra Nevada College in Tahoe, where she met Bill in a Raku workshop. Today, the couple’s work is featured in the Worthington Gallery in Springdale, Utah, just outside of Zion National Park. While it was a job in the thriving construction industry that drew the couple here, it’s the quality of life they enjoy in Summerlin that keeps them in Southern Nevada. The couple walks almost daily on the trails near their home, and according to Bill, they don’t even have to cross a street to get in a good long stroll. Bill says they adore the community’s beautiful landscaping, and while the mountain views are different than those in Tahoe, they have come to appreciate the ruggedly gorgeous Red Rock peaks to the west of their home where they also love to hike.
Talented Arts Duo Loves Living, Creating IN SUMMERLIN
Parents to three grown children and ﬁve grandchildren, the Wrights’ youngest daughter, Elizabeth attended the Alexander Dawson School before graduating from Palo Verde High School. Today, all three children live and work in Las Vegas, each inheriting from their parents an artistic bent. Daughter Melissa is a gifted craftsperson, quilter, costume maker and seamstress; son Eric excels at drawing and photography and daughter, Elizabeth is a talented musician. While the Trails Village Center is the couple’s go-to spot for coffee, grocery shopping and errand-running, Downtown Summerlin is another hot spot for the Wrights with The Apple Store, Lazy Dog (Lisa’s favorite), Macy’s and Dillard’s topping their list of favorite shopping and dining places. With the urge and drive to continue creating in their respective mediums, the Wrights are the quintessential artistic couple. Celebrating 33 years of marriage and hundreds, if not thousands of paintings, pots and ceramic works of art between them, the Wrights are looking forward to sharing with the community their latest creations at the Summerlin Festival of Arts in October 2021 - when things are a little more “Wright” with the world.
Summerlin is Sanctuary to Gaming Executive, Nonprofit Leader | Sheila Marcello and Jeff Victor
For Jeff Victor, former president of Fremont Street Experience, who has worked alongside downtown gaming magnate, Derek Stevens, since 2015 as his right-hand man, the year 2020 has been a blur, but also a whirlwind. On October 28, Stevens’ Circa resort/hotel/casino opens in downtown Las Vegas as the first new resort property to open in all of Las Vegas in over 11 years and the first new hotel/casino to be built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas in the last 40 years. “Circa is truly a bright spot in a difficult year,” said Jeff. “We are thrilled to create 1,500 jobs in such a fun and beautiful place. From the sports book to the pool, from a diverse array of restaurants and the lounge on the tippy top of the tower, there is so much to explore at Circa. I can’t wait for the city to experience it.” Thanks to his beautiful Summerlin home, Jeff has a place to retreat at the end of every crazy day. A place where he and wife, Sheila Marcello, enjoy spending time in their pool, hanging with their dog, Enzo, and unwinding as they recap each other’s busy days. Jeff, who relishes the vibrancy of downtown, says he has the best of two worlds. “I love my work environment, but I also love escaping to Summerlin every day. There is no better place to live than Summerlin.” “Summerlin is truly a sanctuary,” said Jeff, who first lived in Henderson before moving to The Ogden in downtown Las Vegas to be close to work at The D. But when he re-connected with Sheila at a Vegas Chamber Leadership Las Vegas holiday party in 2014, his world, and the place he calls home, changed – for the better, he said. The couple fell madly in love, and cemented their relationship in a quiet, private beach-side ceremony in Maui, Hawaii one year ago in September, after dating for five blissful years. ® Sheila, who moved to Summerlin in 2005, is the Corporate and Community Development Manager at Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, located literally around the corner from their home. Jeff jokes that Sheila will sometimes take the scenic route through nearby Summerlin neighborhoods on her mini drive to work so she can listen to a full song on the radio!
“My work is so meaningful,” said Sheila, who worked for years in gaming and hospitality, opening Crystals at CityCenter, the Cosmopolitan and the Downtown Grand. “While I loved my exciting career, when the opportunity to work at Make-AWish presented itself, I jumped at the chance to do something near and dear to my heart, and I haven’t looked back.”
Summerlin is Sanctuary to Gaming Executive, Nonprofit Leader
Like Jeff, Sheila loves the quiet time they spend at home, but says she and Jeff are big foodies, so they also enjoy tasting their way through Downtown Summerlin, Red Rock Resort and supporting local Summerlin restaurants, including Vintner Grill, Jing and Grape Street. “While Summerlin is exceptional for many reasons, the fact that it has its own downtown puts the community in a league of its own,” said Sheila. She especially enjoys working with many Make-A-Wish partners at Downtown Summerlin, including Maggiano’s, California Pizza Kitchen and Macy’s – all big contributors to the nonprofit that grant magical wishes to kids battling critical illnesses. “Working with our community partners towards such a rewarding and important goal makes my job that much more fulfilling.” When not working, dining, shopping or relaxing at home, the couple enjoys hiking at Red Rock Canyon and golfing at neighboring courses. They also enjoy spending time in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes, and entertaining friends on the weekends. The couple love living in Summerlin and everything it has to offer. “We live in a natural and stunning setting, thanks to Red Rock Canyon, and we’re only a few minutes away from everything we need and enjoy.” says Sheila, “We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”
“You’ve got mail” | Robert Glaser and LeeAnn Inadomi
“You’ve got mail,” was a real thing for Robert Glaser and LeeAnn Inadomi in the late 1990s when they were email pen pals after being introduced by a mutual friend. LeeAnn, who was raised in South Pasadena, Calif. but was then living in Washington DC, enjoyed a busy and thriving career in politics after graduating from ULCA, eventually working for the Clinton administration for eight years. At the time she and Robert began trading emails, LeeAnn had left the political scene for a job with a major consulting firm. Robert, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, had moved to Las Vegas in 1984 upon graduation from the University of Utah to begin working for Valley Bank before joining a wealth management firm where he is now vice president and senior director. This cross-country couple frequently met up in various cities throughout the country during their long-distance courtship before marrying in late 2001. They ultimately bought a home in Summerlin in 2002, the same home where they raised two children. Son, Noah, 18, is now a freshman at the University of Utah, while daughter, Emma, 17, is a senior at Bishop Gorman High School. Both kids are stellar athletes and as a result, sports have been central to the family’s life in Summerlin – specifically, baseball and volleyball. Noah started out with the Summerlin North Little League before advancing to various club teams, and ultimately, Bishop Gorman’s varsity baseball team. Emma, who enjoyed an eight-year stint with Nevada Ballet Theatre, followed her passion for volleyball and today, plays on Bishop Gorman’s varsity team, which won the state championships three times in the past four years. She has also played on Bishop Gorman’s flag football team for two years. According to LeeAnn, both kids swam on the Summerlin Seals swim team as small children where they learned to compete. “The community’s many sports leagues, fields and recreational opportunities were not only difference makers - for Noah and Emma, Summerlin’s sports orientation was ideal. Their lives have been defined and enhanced by athletic competition,” she said. Robert concurs, and also gives Bishop Gorman a shout out for well preparing the kids academically for college and beyond.
“You’ve Got Mail” WAS A REAL THING FOR ROBERT GLASER AND LEEANN INADOMI
Robert, an avid cyclist who spends considerable time on the community’s award-winning trail system, enjoys a five-minute commute to work given his company’s 2016 move to One Summerlin in the heart of Downtown Summerlin. “It’s not hard to get clients and others to meet up for lunch at Downtown Summerlin, given all the dining options,” he said. “Even for those who live on the other side of town, a trip to Downtown Summerlin is considered a welcome opportunity. And with a spectacular view of Red Rock Canyon and the Spring Mountains, our clients appreciate our office location even more when they experience it.” Both LeeAnn and Robert stay active by walking on the trails around their home, while LeeAnn enjoys the occasional Red Rock hike with girlfriends. During the pandemic, the Glaser-Inadomi family added a new member to their clan. Moose, a Cavalier Spaniel/Poodle aka CavaPoo, has easily made Lazy Dog the family’s go-to dining spot since their “pandemic puppy” can tag along. As die-hard baseball fans, the family has missed Aviators games at Las Vegas Ballpark the most this past summer, and they are already looking forward to the team’s return next year. “Las Vegas Ballpark is a spectacular amenity and one that we are always proud to show off to visiting family and friends,” said Robert. “We can’t wait to hear the words, ‘Play Ball.’ It’s a big reason 2021 can’t get here soon enough!”
Golf Tournament Exec and Outdoor-Loving Family | Kristyn and Patrick Lindsey
Golf Tournament Exec and Outdoor-Loving Family LIVING BEST LIVES IN SUMMERLIN
April Fool’s Day 2015 was a big one and no joke for Kristyn and Patrick Lindsey who packed up their little family and moved from Miami, Florida to Las Vegas for a job opportunity. Patrick, who had been working for the PGA TOUR in Florida, was asked to head up the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the popular FedEx Cup event that draws some of golf’s biggest names to TPC Summerlin. “Kristyn and I and our son, Wes, were driving from Miami to North Carolina, our home state, to visit family, when the email showed up on my phone,” said Patrick. “While no one probably expects to get transferred to Las Vegas, we were up for the adventure and the change, and we can both easily say, it’s far exceeded our expectations. Las Vegas, and Summerlin, in particular, have proven to be a great place for our family and we are fortunate to call the area home. And apparently all our family and friends agree. During our first year here, we had a steady stream of house guests!” According to Kristyn, who echoes Patrick’s sentiments about the area, more than any other place the family has lived, Las Vegas has provided a supportive community comprised of other families who are now friends. “Our son, Wes, has special needs, and we are surrounded by other families like us. We feel connected and loved and understood. From our school, Richard Bryan Elementary School, to the Summerlin Hospital and the medical community; from our kids’ Kindermusik classes to our friendly neighbors, we are warmly enveloped. Who knew Las Vegas would be so welcoming?” Since moving to Summerlin, the Lindseys added a second son, Caleb, who, according to Kristyn, runs the house and their lives. The couple, who met in college through a mutual friend, moved to Miami together to attend graduate school at St. Thomas University and Barry University. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State, Kristyn earned a graduate degree in education, while Patrick, who graduated from UNC Greensboro, earned an MBA in sports administration. While golf is literally his job, Patrick still enjoys playing with clients and friends, but says boating at Lake Mead and camping at nearby State and National parks are among the family’s favorite activities – once the golf tournament is over, that is. “Being active outside is our preference,” he said. “We hike at Mt. Charleston and Red Rock, we wander the sidewalk trails that connect our home to neighbors and friends, we swim at Summerlin’s community pools, and we take classes at the Community Center,” says Kristyn. “Summerlin is ideal for our kids and our love of the outdoors.” The family is looking forward to the return of the many community events in Summerlin once the pandemic subsides. “Trick ‘r’ treating at Downtown Summerlin, the holiday parade, and movies on the lawn have been some of our favorite activities,” said Kristyn. “We kick started the holiday season with all the fun events and activities in Summerlin. We also missed baseball at Las Vegas Ballpark this summer and are looking forward to its return next year. While the recently completed 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open had no fans, Patrick says the focus shifted to keeping players, volunteers and staff safe and healthy while still putting on a first-class PGA TOUR-quality event. “Thanks to our partnership with the Golf Channel, we were able to share the all the action with golf fans around the world, while simultaneously amplifying the important message about the work done by Shriners Hospitals that provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.”