The B.S.:

Host Committee’ initiative captivates Goodman — and others

Bruce Spotleson

Bruce Spotleson

VEGAS INC Coverage

I took some notes at events in the past couple of weeks. Now, if I can just decipher them.

You’ve probably heard by now that a few “Host Committee” meetings are being conducted around the valley, led by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, and drawing a cross-section of the community’s business and civic leadership. The invitees who showed up at Las Vegas Events on Oct. 20 certainly seemed in positive-thinking full support.

Goodman is leading these discussions on behalf of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The Host Committee will be a voluntary advisory group, with a goal of enlisting community support to help boost our competitiveness and marketing effort as a destination.

Goodman is obviously very engaged with this project, holding other meetings at Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, with others planned for the future. The general consensus around town is that locals are much more willing to step up and help out these days. Tough times have a way of bringing people together.


A few hundred other community-minded folks shared breakfast Oct. 20 at Paris Las Vegas, the site for the annual American Red Cross “Everyday Heroes Awards.”

Dave Courvoisier served as master of ceremonies for the program, which gave out a dozen awards to humans and even one to Duffy the dog. Both humans and canines alike had done some incredible, life-saving things.

Give a pat on the back to CEO Scott Emerson for quickly improving the profile of the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross. If you’d like to feel good about our society and our community, get on his mailing list and show up next year.

(Please be aware that he may coax you into sending the Red Cross a donation.)

Little Duffy was to receive a medal for his heroism, but it was attached to a dreaded collar, and once he spotted that, I couldn’t get close enough to put it around his neck.


Christine Spadafor shared her philosophy and experiences with a focused and attentive audience at the third annual NevadaGives Philanthropy Summit Oct. 19 at Canyon Gate Country Club. Spadafor, the chief executive officer of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and a Harvard-educated attorney, is duly credited with leading a dramatic turnaround at the nonprofit. NevadaGives is an informational resource that seeks to raise the awareness of philanthropy and volunteerism in Nevada.

Originally hired as a consultant to St. Jude’s, Spadafor later stepped into the CEO role.

She shared her views on how the recent economic environment has actually created opportunities for nonprofits.


Les Olson Company held its annual open house at its headquarters on Lincoln Road on Oct. 19. The company, which was founded in Utah and prides itself on service, has built strong market share since arriving here eight years ago — as obvious by the variety of local business leaders who showed up for food and beverage and to binge on Larry Olson’s M&Ms.

As usual, Larry proved a gracious host, as did group members including Sue Bingham and Scot Olson. They proudly showed off some rather gee-whiz office equipment, while demonstrations and tours were conducted by Chuck Burt and Mike Augason, two of the company’s key sales managers.


The SIR Awards were handed out at a luncheon at the Orleans on Oct. 20. This is an annual recognition program for the construction industry, part of our long partnership with the Associated General Contractors.

Current AGC President Boyd Martin found out a couple of days earlier he’d won the “Contractor of the Year” award. There was no question he’d truly earned it. And in terms of nice guys finishing first, Kevin Burke and Tony Dazzio had to be proud that their Burke Construction Group was the winner of the J.A. Tiberti Pioneer Spirit Award, named after the late civic leader who was a pillar of the Las Vegas construction industry.

If you’re wondering — or even if you’re not — “SIR” stands for skill, integrity and responsibility.


Bank of Nevada threw its annual rooftop Octoberfest celebration on Oct. 20. Although no cash was dispensed, there was plenty of German food and beer. Hosts for the evening were CEO Bruce Hendricks and President/COO John Guedry, two highly regarded veterans of the local banking industry. Much of Guedry’s most recent industry experience was with City National Bank; he spent most of the past year as managing director of the CB Richard Ellis office before joining Bank of Nevada two months ago.