40 Under 40 Alumni: Shaundell Newsome and Wendy Albert

Shaundell Newsome, founder of Sumnu Marketing, poses in the company’s office Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. STEVE MARCUS

Shaundell Newsome

Founder & Visionary/Sumnu Marketing

Where were you when you received your 40 Under 40 award? I was in Las Vegas and was president and CEO of Newsome Marketing Enterprises, my own firm.

Where are you now? I am still in Las Vegas and now a partner with my daughter, wife and niece with our rebranded family owned business, Sumnu Marketing.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment since you were awarded? Our firm won SBA Nevada Family-Owned Business of the Year in 2015. But I think my biggest accomplishment was surviving the Great Recession. All of my mentors told me I would hit a hard spot in business. Since I got off to such a great start in 2006, I did not believe them. The recession took us to the brink, losing 60 percent of our revenues. This taught me not to get too high in good times or too low in bad times.

What do you want to accomplish? I want to change the course of my family and community. Having my daughter become the president and CEO of our firm has already moved our family-owned business into the next generation. I am accomplishing what my father wanted: to build a legacy.

Who is your business hero, local or global? Locally, my heroes are Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta. I had the incredible experience of being a part of the brand explosion with Station Casinos. That’s what encouraged me to launch my business.

If you ran Las Vegas, what’s the first thing you would do? I would ensure that we celebrate the history and true diversity of Las Vegas. As a 30-year resident, I feel like we spend so much time focusing on the Strip that we don’t celebrate the neighborhoods and surrounding cities that create a wonderful quality of life.

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Wendy Albert

Wendy Albert

Senior Director of Marketing, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

Where were you when you received your 40 Under 40 award? In 2010, I was nearing my 10-year anniversary at the property, which had rebranded and remodeled from Desert Passage to Miracle Mile Shops.

Where are you now? I’m still at the forefront of everything marketing-related for Miracle Mile Shops, including all advertising, public relations, tourism outreach, promotional initiatives and partnership opportunities with our property neighbors, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Hilton Grand Vacations Elara. As both retail and the Las Vegas landscape continue to change , I’ve helped facilitate efforts to introduce experiential elements and marketing programs to guests.

What have you learned the hard way? Change often involves living outside of your comfort zone. Some of our best decisions, yielding the most favorable results, were risky ones.

Who is your business hero, local or global? Richard Branson from Virgin Group. He is a visionary, a risk-taker, a collaborator, a philanthropist and is the self-proclaimed “Dr. Yes.” I’m a fan of his business acumen and how it manifests itself throughout all of the Virgin brands. Even with all of his unprecedented success, he’s remained grounded and giving, and has a firm grasp on what really matters in life.

If you ran Las Vegas, what’s the first thing you would do? One of my passions outside of work is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. I’ve been involved with the organization for almost 15 years and its cause is close to my heart. So I would continue to explore ways to improve the quality of life, educational opportunities and health care for youths in our community.