Sunday, March 25, 2018 | 2 a.m.
It’s a good day. So far.
VEGAS INC’s “40 Under 40” event, at which we recognized 40 young Las Vegans who have been contributing not only in their business careers but in their community and social endeavors to the betterment of Southern Nevada, was this past week. ( I recommend getting a copy of Las Vegas Weekly for complete details about these up-and-coming Las Vegans).
If you couple the “40 Under 40” with the hundreds and thousands of chronologically diverse Las Vegans who have come together on short notice to rally for Len Jessup and UNLV and against some members of the Board of Regents who would have had Len gone, then you have to conclude that Southern Nevada is starting to pull together in the right direction.
And that is a reason for celebration in a community that for too many of the past 10 years have had little to celebrate.
I remember a time when you couldn’t find 40 young Las Vegans, let alone the kind who can influence so many others in the business, social and civic community. Today, we are just like so many of our much older cousins across the country in that we have a committed cadre of youthful residents who are taking it upon themselves to build a city in which people in my generation could have only dreamed of living.
Las Vegans, young and old, came together around the public airing of what should have been some private grumbling by a few members of the Board of Regents. For whatever reasons, some aren’t happy with Jessup’s successful leadership of Las Vegas’ growing university.
Time will tell if Chancellor Thom Reilly’s effort to move all job-related discussion to a future date will give Jessup the time and space he needs to continue down the successful road he is paving toward UNLV’s future. I hope President Jessup uses the time he has to move UNLV forward in such a fashion that this city will look back on this episode as just another of our unfortunate but necessary growing pains.
That ball is in Len’s court, as he is hearing some siren calls from others who recognize his substantial abilities even while some people in Nevada do not.
I mention this unpleasantness not to rehash a few dark days but to shed light on the bright future I see for Southern Nevada.
When I attended the 40 Under 40 awards event at Red Rock Resort this past Thursday night, UNLV was one of the many topics being discussed among those who are moving and shaking up our business community. I was heartened to hear from so many of these folks who were both keenly aware of what was going on and anxious to weigh in on possible solutions.
Of course, UNLV was just one topic. There was plenty being talked about — all around a common theme: how fortunate we all are to live in Las Vegas at this time and how we can each play an outsized role in making the future happen faster, better and with fewer bumps along the way.
In the past, such discussions could have been around a kitchen table — and a small one at that. Today, in 2018, there are hundreds of people all around our city having similar conversations and coming up with myriad ideas, solutions and action plans to make it all happen.
And that, my friends, is the kind of progress that will make Las Vegas’ future so much brighter for so many people.
Yes, it is a good day. And this is just the beginning.
Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.