Las Vegas Sun

November 19, 2018

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Findlay Good Works:

Organization supports the valley by helping prepare its leaders

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Christopher DeVargas

Participants of the Leadership Foundation of Greater Las Vegas. Bottom row, from left, are Kelli Vaz, Jarom Gray and Abby Quinn. Middle row, from left, are Brian Connett; Jacqueline Walton; Cara Clarke, executive director of the Leadership Foundation of Greater Las Vegas; and Shellie Keller. Back row, from left, are Nicole Lavoto, Vicky VanMeetren, Alexis Mussi and Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson.

What does your organization do?

Cara Clarke, Leadership Foundation of Greater Las Vegas

• Title: Executive Director

• Agency address: 575 Symphony Park Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89106

• Agency phone number: 702-641-5822

• Agency website: leadership.vegas

• Hours of operation: Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Leadership Foundation is laser-focused on this premise: A great community needs strong, capable and informed leadership committed to its success.

The Leadership Foundation is the only organization in Southern Nevada dedicated full time to preparing and engaging leaders at every level so they can positively address challenges and create a bright future for the region.

The Leadership Foundation has the following six programs for this purpose:

• Leadership Las Vegas: The 10-month program helps professionals from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds develop a deeper understanding of the region, and how they, as leaders, can engage and take on challenges to improve the community.

• Leadership Advance: For people who want to develop their leadership skills and learn about community leadership challenges. Class members develop their leadership acumen with the guidance of a facilitator and become more effective in their professions.

• Focus Las Vegas: These mini two-hour seminars keep leaders informed on important community topics such as mental health, recidivism and education.

• Vegas Young Professionals: Developing the next generation of Las Vegas leaders and connecting them with each other and the community. VYP has more than 2,000 members between the ages of 21 and 39 and focuses on building connections, professional development, mentorship and community engagement.

• The Public Policy Leadership Series: A six-week course in partnership with the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs that educates leaders who want to serve in public office, so they better understand the tenets of good public policy, functions and inner workings of government, and the roles and responsibilities of public office.

• Access Las Vegas: A two-day course for executives new to Las Vegas to help them quickly get up-to-speed on how our region works while making invaluable community connections.

What is Findlay Good Works?

Good Works is a twice-monthly series in Las Vegas Weekly in which we highlight the efforts of nonprofit groups that are making a difference in our community. You can check out the good work of more organizations by visiting facebook.com/FindlayAutoGroup.

When and why was it established?

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce created the Leadership Foundation as an investment in the future.

What services might the community not know about?

The Public Policy Leadership Series. We started this program three years ago to help leaders who want to serve in public office better understand its roles, responsibilities and functions, such as understanding how the state budget works. Term limits mean Nevada is losing institutional knowledge and experience, so the Public Policy Leadership Series helps bridge that gap and inspire people to want to make contributions via public service at any level.

What can people do to get involved in the cause you serve?

Engage in our programs and encourage others to do so. Also, you can support these programs through sponsorship and with donations to our scholarship fund.

What can Southern Nevadans do to improve our community in general?

Get involved and care for it as your hometown.

I just heard a quote from Kerry Bubolz, president of the Vegas Golden Knights — “The community doesn’t come to you, you have to come to it.” It’s true. What’s equally true is that Southern Nevada is a welcoming place, so whatever your passion, there are plenty of ways to get involved. And if you need help doing so, reach out to the Leadership Foundation and we will assist you.