Compiled by Debbie Hall

Jan Baird is the director of sales and marketing at The Platinum Hotel and Spa.Previously she was the director of sales and marketing at Hilton Garden Inn Las Vegas/Henderson and has worked in many different areas in hospitality, including front office and concierge at the former Westin in New Orleans.Baird implements the newest hospitality trends along with maintaining optimal customer service.

As pastry chef of The Cooking Experience by Mise En Place, Chef Colleen Conlon is responsible for the fun and interactive children’s baking class, Le Petit.After graduating with a degree in psychology, Chef Conlon made a decision to follow her culinary dream of cooking and applied to The Mansion on Turtle Creek Resort and worked up to becoming a pastry chef. She’s held executive positions at top restaurants including N9NE Steakhouse, NOVE and STACK.

Solveig Raftery is celebrating the 20th year of her company The Firm Public Relations & Marketing, providing a high-level strategic approach to public relations and marketing in the specialized practice areas of travel and tourism, health care, luxury and retail. As president and CEO, she is involved in devising strategy and developing creative ideas for the company’s clients. She is responsible for The Firm’s growth and new business development while working closely with the executive team.

Michelle Monson is a public relations coordinator at Caesars Entertainment where she oversees dining public relations initiatives for eight properties within the Las Vegas region. Since joining in July 2012, Monson has been involved in the publicity efforts of the opening of the Bacchanal Buffet, Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill, BurGR and Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge Caesars Palace. Monson formerly worked for the Charlie Palmer Group where she assisted with sales activities for 13 national restaurant properties.

VIRGEN Inc., a full-service strategic marketing, public relations and creative arts firm, has recognized their all-female executive department.
Vice President of Communications/Research Analyst Maurella Bell (single image) is responsible for guiding daily operations for several VIRGEN departments as well as the research, analysis and implementation of strategic marketing and media plans.
Associate Creative Director Nicole Christian oversees broadcast production and casting tasks, collaborates with the art team on all aspects of a project, and interacts with the client to ensure brand identity and messaging are maintained.
Director of Accounts Dawn Arbelaez directs the agency in the development and delivery of account solutions and fully integrated marketing campaigns.
Public Relations Director Alejandra Gilbert directs all strategic campaigns for VIRGEN’s public relations department.
Media Director Jamie Delaney oversees the media department while also responsible for managing and negotiating the client’s media buying and planning needs.

Las Vegas native, founding partner and COO, Bri Steck brings experience and creativity to Night School 4 Girls at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Steckwanted to stress the importance of inner-confidence, which is what the class represents. Steck is also a business partner with Hudson News Group at McCarran Airport.Previously, she worked with the top nightlife and entertainment groups on the Strip. Steck studied marketing and entertainment at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Susan Curry, XYIENCE’s vicepresident of operations, is responsible for creating Xenergy energy drink’s flavors formulating XYIENCE’s new line of non-carbonated beverages: Xenergy + Hydration, + Tea, and + Lemonade. All three are available in two flavors and have received great reviews by beverage industry insiders. The new drinks are available now at grocery and convenience stores.

Pam Washington is the founder of A-1 Janitorial Services, a commercial cleaning company celebrating 20 years of award winning performance in the Las Vegas Valley and recently honored with an OYA award by the Southern Nevada Human Resources Association. She is also the author of “Cleaning Business Success; Everything from A to Z,” available in paperback and on Amazon. She’s also CEO of Build My Cleaning Business, a consulting firm for the commercial cleaning industry.

United Way of Southern Nevada has hired Patrice Ross as Chief Human Resources Officer and Chris Cappas as Senior Director for the Volunteer Center.
With more than 15 years of professional experience, Ross has developed an extensive background involving human resources and business experience in a variety of industries such as government-contracted security, convention/trade show industry, manufacturing, retail and temporary staffing. She has served as President of Southern Nevada Human Resources Association and currently serves as an officer of SNHRA as Immediate Past President. In 2012, Ross was honored by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada by being inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame.

Chris Cappas has worked in human resources operations for the gaming industry for the past 15 years and has more than 20 years of leadership positions in retail, manufacturing, airlines and gaming. She ran the largest employment center in Las Vegas and managed operations for recruitment and training for more than 6,000 new employees annually at Caesars Entertainment. In 2011, Cappas was awarded the Bank of America Local Hero Award and Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist.

Tara Popova practices immigration law with an emphasis on employment and investment-based immigration at the law firm of Marquis Aurbach and Coffing. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She was awarded the State Bar of Nevada Professional Development Fellowship and the Outstanding Student in Mediation Community Service Award. Popova holds a bachelor’s degree in international business and management from the Amsterdam School of Business in the Netherlands.

Lauren Anderson is the CEO of Young Black Minds LLC Motivational Speakers Bureau. As a sociological writer, political commentator, motivator, entrepreneur, poet, and human resources professional; she sought out human resources including friends and associates she encountered through institutions, entertainment, and networking. The mission of Young Black Minds LLC is to inspire young people to live beyond their dreams by providing motivational speaking and inspirational entertainment. It is based out of Las Vegas but operates nationally offering a multicultural message.

America’s Matchmaker Patti Novak has opened her first west coast office in Las Vegas. A professional matchmaker, dating coach, author, advice columnist, radio host and relationship expert; Novak starred in the A&E series “Confessions of a Matchmaker.” Novak has appeared on CNN, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,”“The Rachael Ray Show,”the “Today” show and “The Early Show.” Novak is also the author of “Get Over Yourself: How to Get Real, Get Serious and Get Ready to Find True Love.”

Wendy Kraft and Laura Sussman, principles of Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services, established this woman-owned and -operated funeral home in 2009 as an alternative to the growing number of publicly traded, corporate funeral home and cremation chains in Southern Nevada.Now into their fourth year, Kraft and Sussman have provided funeral services, memorial services, cremations, burials, global transfers and advance planning for hundreds of individuals and has become one of the top rated funeral homes in Southern Nevada.

Girl Scouts of Southern and Sierra Nevada conducted the Presentation of the Colors for the opening day of the 77th session of the Legislature in Carson City on Feb. 4. It was the first time in history that Girl Scouts presented the Colors for the opening of the Nevada Legislature.

Vegas PBS announced that Jami Miller has been appointed workforce training and economic development coordinator for the television station. In her new position, Miller will assist the workforce training and economic development division of Vegas PBS in promoting and implementing its online workforce training programs offered through Vegas Virtual Online Education, among individuals, educators, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. Vegas Virtual Online Education offers affordable online education opportunities designed for entry, certification and advancement in the workplace.

Joanne Codi is the program director and sales manager for “Rock Star for a Day” at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. She sells and produces the rock star experience where clients come to the studios and jam with legendary rock musicians. With over 30 years in the music business, Codi has worked as a concert promoter, booking agent and band manager. She has also worked as an independent music producer and TV game show host and producer.

Andrea Behrens, vice president of Nevada Association Services, Inc. – a collections agency for community associations, has been named co-chair of the membership committee for the Community Association Institute’s Nevada Chapter for 2013.She also serves on the education committee for CAI-Nevada.Behrens joined Nevada Association Services, 2004 and is responsible for business development, advertising, community relations, marketing, public relations and sales. Behrens represents Nevada Association Services, Inc. at industry events and homeowners associations’ meetings.

Armstrong Teasdale welcomes Michelle Alarie to its Las Vegas office as an associate in the litigation practice group. Alarie provides counsel in complex commercial matters and focuses on banking, bad faith insurance and coverage litigation, bankruptcy and criminal law. Alarie earned her Juris Doctorate from William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also a member of the State Bar of Nevada.

Lana Layne, the pen name of Michigan-born and Ohio-bred Lisa Jackson who worked as a reporter for The Detroit News and Youngstown Vindicator, has published the fictional novel, “The Accidental Groupie.” Jackson befriended her guitar hero in 1995 after interviewing him and her book is based on her experiences with the legendary guitarist and band.

Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort has hired Maria Jose Norero as its marketing director. Norero will direct LVSSR’s sales initiative, develop and manage marketing partnerships, and oversee special events, advertising, social media and public relations. Norero, who grew up in Las Vegas, earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill.Fluent in Spanish, she also participated in international honors programs abroad and was awarded a grant from the Fulbright Commission to study race relations in Ecuador.

Project 150, a local organization dedicated to helping homeless and displaced students at 15 high schools in southern Nevada, appointed Meli Pulido as executive director. Pulido brings a wealth of experience working with volunteers and charities in addition to 25 years of human resources experience from the city of Las Vegas.In her capacity as executive director, Pulido is responsible for the daily operations of Project 150, increasing sponsorships and engaging volunteers.

Artist and animator Kim Cohn manages the Bally Technologies game studios as director of game development and is one of only a few women in the gaming industry to work in the game development side of the business. She was responsible for developing the popular slot machines, Grease and Cash Wizard, which are on slot machine floors throughout the Las Vegas Valley. A former technical director for Walt Disney, Kim joined gaming manufacturer Bally Technologies in 2002 as an associate art director.

Dr. Nik F. Abdul Rashid is one of a few pediatric hematologist oncologists in the state and has treated patients at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada since 2005. A strong advocate for ensuring children with cancer receive the educational resources they need, Dr. Rashid volunteers with the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation as an educational facilitator, hosting workshops and giving lectures. Dr. Rashid is a member of the Nevada Cancer Research Foundation Community Clinical Oncology Program as a co-investigator for clinical trials available through the Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Rashid is also an adjunct faculty member at Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and University of Nevada School of Medicine.

SK+G Advertising has announced promotions in the media and public relations divisions of the marketing communications agency.

Kristen Kobus has been promoted to media planner/buyer. Kobus evaluates and recommends media opportunities to clients, as well as negotiates schedules, costs and added value with media vendors. She performs post-buy analysis and monitors trends and developments in the media industry.

Kayee Dredla has been promoted to media supervisor. Dredla oversees clients’ media schedules, and determines overall media strategy and placement. She handles media schedules for the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, The Grand Del Mar and Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa accounts.

Nikole Reid has been promoted to public relations assistant account executive. She has been with the agency for two years, working her way up from intern to coordinator prior to this promotion. In her new role, Reid provides support to senior staff on all accounts and is directly involved in campaign execution. She is also responsible for monitoring and compiling media coverage for all clients, as well as managing agency and client social media feeds.

Nevada Women’s Philanthropy has named Nazanin Ford president. Ford has served the organization as the education and events chair, which oversees the annual grant celebration, education salon and member events. She has also served on the grant screening committee for four years. Most recently she served as vice president for the 2012 grant cycle, which ended in early November 2012 with a $350,000 grant to Goodwill of Southern Nevada for the Veterans Integration Program.

Angela Edgeworth has launched a women’s footwear named after her husband, Brian James, offering stylish yet comfortable shoes for the modern woman. Edgeworth founded pediped footwear in 2004 when she could not find a shoe that was both stylish and good for her newborn daughter’s developing feet.Under Edgeworth’s vision, pediped has become one of the largest and fastest growing children’s shoe brands in the country, winning more than 15 industry awards for its product design and quality.

Amy Ayoub, a Las Vegas-based public speaking and presentation skills coach, has been appointed to the national Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Her appointment was made by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), and approved by Congressional Record on March 7. Governor Kenny Guinn selected Ayoub as the first female to serve on the Nevada Athletic Commission in 1999. Las Vegas’ Centennial Committee named Ayoub one of the women responsible for shaping the city during its first 100 years of growth.

Roz Knight, founder and president of City of the World – a nonprofit art organization, is working to create Artz To Go summer program. The program would be designed to include buses drivento various sites in Clark County with teachers and supplies to allow families to participate and create art or music at no charge. City of the World currently offers a gallery for local artists, art classes and a place for events in the revitalized 18b Arts District.