Approximately 600 Las Vegas business and community leaders came together for the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance’s (LVGEA) 2017 Annual Awards Dinner on Sept. 28, which celebrated the region’s achievements over the past year. Held at the Aria Resort and Casino, the biggest night in economic development honored those who have made an impact through the LVGEA’s core values: innovation, leadership, partnership and job creation:
“Tonight’s event is about those who are working with the LVGEA to build a new Nevada,” said LVGEA President and CEO Jonas Peterson. “It is a great time for the community to be fired up about the progress we are making together.”
Innovation Award Winner
Switch is a technology infrastructure company whose core business is the design, construction and operation of the largest and most advanced data centers in the world. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Switch is built on the intelligent and sustainable growth of the connected world and the Internet of Absolutely Everything™.
Other nominees of the LVGEA’s Innovation Award included the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Hyperloop One.
Leadership Award Winner
While he has held important positions within the business community, including Chief Financial Officer of Station Casinos, Christenson has been a powerful advocate for many years on issues that shape economic development in Southern Nevada. With education being a top priority, he currently serves as the chairman of the Clark County School District’s Community Implementation Council.
Partnership Award Winner
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)
The RTC is a regional entity that oversees public transportation, traffic management, roadway design and construction funding, transportation planning and regional planning efforts known as Southern Nevada Strong.
Jobs Award Winner
Fanatics is the market leader for authentic, officially licensed sports merchandise and offers the world’s largest collection of timeless and timely gear from every pro and college team. The company recently opened a warehouse in Las Vegas, projecting the creation of 374 jobs over the next five years.
Also during the event, Peterson gave economic development updates and highlights from the past 12 months that have helped transform the region.
“At the LVGEA, we see a region on the rise that is innovative and diverse, growing with new industries like advanced manufacturing, automated systems and more,” said Peterson. “Not only do we believe that we have a winning hand to play, but that the odds are in our favor. Our investment in growing the economy is going to pay off in generations to come.”
Top 10 highlights:
1) To-date, the LVGEA helped facilitate 24 business expansions and relocations since January, projecting the creation of more than 4,900 new jobs in the community over the next five years. As of the first quarter of 2017, Nevada has the fastest private sector job growth in the United States.
2) The LVGEA’s Board of Directors reached 50 members this year, completing its two-year long “Drive to 50” campaign. Known as the “LVGEA 50,” the board continues to be the largest C-level business board of its kind in the state.
3) The LVGEA hosted its first-ever policy trip to Washington, D.C in July, which included board members, community partners and local chambers of commerce.
4) The LVGEA and the City of North Las Vegas partnered to commission a report by the Urban Land Institute titled “A Way Forward for APEX,” which was completed in February. The report outlined a new vision and five-year plan for the future of the APEX Industrial Park.
5) Many of the policy priorities supported by LVGEA’s Board of Directors during the 2017 Nevada Legislative Session became law, including: restored funding for film tax credits; additional funding for education; financial literacy in schools and various bills to improve transit as well as public private partnerships for transportation. The LVGEA also testified in support of the new stadium and expanded convention center during the 2016 Special Session of the Nevada Legislature, due to its ability to diversify the region’s tourism sector and massive economic impact.
6) The LVGEA released its Southern Nevada Workforce Report Card in March at the B.E. Engaged Summit, which delves into the important evolving workforce needs of the region. The report outlines discussions on how workforce drives the economy and is a holistic approach to how Southern Nevada can bring in, develop and retain local talent.
7) The LVGEA continued to build on its signature events, selling out its first two over a month in advance earlier this year: the State of Economic Development held on Feb. 1 and its Perspective event held on May 24.
8) The LVGEA released its Target Industry Validation Study in March, focused on refining the state’s target industries from 2011. It identifies emerging economic opportunities for the region, in order to coordinate economic development and corporate recruitment and retention efforts.
9) The LVGEA announced for the first time that it has been working on its regional “Workforce Blueprint,” a study designed to better understand the local workforce and where it needs to go. Set to be released in the coming weeks, it will identify the top, in-demand jobs and skills needed to support the economy through 2024.
10) LVGEA convened the Council of Chambers, a collection of Southern Nevada’s top business groups, comprised of local chambers of commerce and the LVGEA. Designed to increase collaboration and build consensus around high-level priorities affecting the business community in the region, the Council of Chambers, in the last year, voiced its support for the extension of the Fuel Revenue Indexing (Question 5), endorsed the Clark County School District reorganization and was the top sponsor for the third-annual Nevada Economic Development Conference.
The Annual Awards Dinner featured Las Vegas headliner Jeff Civillico as the night’s master of ceremonies.
To learn more about the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, visit lvgea.org.