Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 | 6 a.m.
As the first woman to chair the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Pat Lundvall takes her position seriously.
“I never paid much attention to gender issues, to be quite candid, but any time you are the first at anything you end up with the honor but also a responsibility to make sure you don’t mess up or make anybody else look foolish,” she said.
Her work with McDonald Carano Wilson is a testament to her keen sense of judgment, as she oversees complex commercial litigation, or business disputes characterized as “high stakes, high emotion with lots of adversity.”
Growing up in Nebraska, Lundvall, a long-time boxing fan, calls her position with the athletic commission a “thrill,” especially since she has had a hand in helping to set regulatory guidelines for today’s fastest-growing sport – mixed martial arts.
“I do believe it’s the regulation that has given that sport legitimacy,” she said. “It’s like being involved with football in its infancy.”
For the coming year and beyond, Lundvall said the primary focus for the commission is to constantly improve fighter safety. Preliminary talks with the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute could yield future research partnerships with regards to head injuries. Meanwhile, always keeping an eye out for new ways to test for performance enhancing drugs is also a top priority.
“We want to make sure the audience sees a fair and legitimate competition,” she added.
By Brian Sodoma, Contributing writer