Wayne Cassard is the System Director of Human Resources for The Valley Health System, where he provides oversight and develops strategy for Human Resources and Education for the five hospital system that includes Centennial Hills Hospital, Summerlin Hospital, Valley Hospital, Spring Valley Hospital, and Desert Springs Hospital. Prior to joining The Valley Health System, Wayne lived and worked in California for fifteen years where he held Human Resources executive leadership positions with Tenet Healthcare, Providence Health System, and Kaiser Permanente. He has a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Administration from Nicholls State University. Wayne currently serves on the Board of Directors for Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) and is a Federal Club Member of HRC. Wayne has previously served as Chairman of the Board in California for the Tenet Federal Credit Union and was a Board member with the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs. He was also President of The Healthcare Human Resources Management Association of California and served on their Board for several years before moving to Nevada. Wayne is originally from Louisiana where he met his partner of 24 years, Doug Babin. They have a home in Summerlin and have been Las Vegas residents since 2007.
Tim Hanlon is President of Wells Fargo Foundation and an Executive Vice President of Wells Fargo. He is responsible for national and international charitable giving programs, the company’s Community Support/United Way Campaign, Volunteerism, and Financial Education. A 35-year veteran of the company, Hanlon previously served in management positions in Human Resources, including employee benefits, employee relations, and employment compensation and training. He helped form the Corporate Community Development Group in 1990. Hanlon serves on the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Center-Las Vegas, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Board at The Smith Center for Performing Arts. Tim is a former board member of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Ballet, AIDS Project Los Angeles and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. He is also former Commissioner on the Human Rights Commission of the City and County of San Francisco. He graduated from the University of Detroit where he earned his bachelor’s of arts degree in English. Tim and his husband, Anthony Klatt, reside in Las Vegas.
Donya Monroe has been in the Financial Services and Wealth Management field for over 20 years. Prior to starting her own Independent firm, Monroe Williams & Associates, Inc. Donya worked at Merrill Lynch for many years As a Financial Advisor. Donya was also the founding member of MWA Wealth Management & Investment Advisory group, a RIA firm. Donya also has been an Independent Insurance Agent for 15 years. Donya’s interest and commitment in serving communities that lack economic empowerment and representation was highlighted when she served as President & Executive Director of a local non-profit organization in North Las Vegas which provided low income housing, community development and counseling to low to moderate income individuals and families. Donya has served on a variety of community and educational Boards and was a founding Executive Board Member and Vice President of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Business Alumni Organization. Donya and her partner, April, of 20 years enjoy family, travel and new adventures. As a 32 year resident of Las Vegas Donya is excited about the opportunity to serve as a Board Member of The Center and is honored to serve the LGBTQ Community of Nevada.
Wendy Kraft, founder of Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services, Las Vegas' Gay owned Funeral Home, joined The Center Board in 2014. A long-time community leader, Wendy is currently on the board of the Southern Nevada Continuity of Care Association & LAMBDA as well as on the Steering Committee for Las Vegas HRC.
She is a past Board Member of Jewish Family Service Agency, Senior Citizen Law Project & Hadassah to name a few. She and her wife, Laura Sussman, are the mothers of Elyse, Leah & Emma, three strong, socially conscious women.
Nelson Araujo is a proud Nevada native. Born in Las Vegas to parents who fled the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s for a better life in the United States, Nelson was raised on 28th Street in a single-parent household. His mother, a union member to this day, woke up at the crack of dawn every morning to get Nelson and his sister ready, take them to their caretaker and then go on to work long shifts as a hotel housekeeper. Despite not being able to speak English and lacking transportation, she worked tirelessly to ensure that her children had the basic resources they needed to succeed. Inspired by his mother, Nelson sought to accomplish his dreams of bringing his family out of poverty by succeeding in school. Nelson is the first in his family to graduate high school and obtain his bachelor's degree in communication studies and master's degree in public administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. From an early age, Nelson realized that there were many parts of our community that needed change, so he became involved in community and civic engagement opportunities. In 2007, he began working for the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, where he helped establish and manage the Senator's statewide foreclosure prevention assistance efforts. In 2011, Nelson joined Financial Guidance Center, Nevada's largest HUD-approved non-profit agency. There, he was responsible for oversight of Home Again: Nevada Homeowner Relief Program, a statewide program sponsored by the Office of the Nevada Attorney General intended to connect Nevadans to much-needed housing resources. By the time he left the Financial Guidance Center, the Home Again program had helped 10,000 homeowners. Recently, Nelson joined United Way of Southern Nevada as Senior Director of the Las Vegas Healthy Communities Coalition. He works to create systemic change by bringing various sectors together to collectively change a child's life, from cradle to career. In his spare time, Nelson volunteers for various organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Nevadans through advocacy and activism. Nelson currently serves on the board of directors for the Financial Guidance Center, Nevada Gives and Golden Rainbow. He is also the former Political Committee Co-Chair for the Las Vegas chapter of the Human Rights Campaign. Nelson is a proud son, brother and uncle.
Senator Kelvin Atkinson
Kelvin Atkinson was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the second of three children. Kelvin finished junior high school and high school in Culver City, California. After graduating high school, Kelvin attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he began doing community service. During his second semester of his junior year, Kelvin received a horrifying telephone call from his mother early one morning notifying him that his father had just been murdered. Kelvin was devastated and left school that semester to return to Los Angeles to be with his family. He was very fond of his father, as Kelvin states "he was the best father any child could have, he was my best friend". Kelvin’s grandparents decided to move to Las Vegas in 1991 not wanting to live in Los Angeles any longer after their son was murdered. Kelvin followed and enrolled in UNLV where he continued to study Political Science. Kelvin always knew that he wanted to help people and in 1992 began working for local government. He is still a county employee and has been with them for over 23 years now. In 1996, Kelvin received the greatest blessing of his life when his daughter Haley was born. Haley was in the Clark County School system from K-12th grade, excelled in her studies and is proud to be a product of the Clark County School system. Elected as our representative: First elected to the Assembly in 2002, Kelvin has proven that he is a true leader. He received a grade of "B" from his peers after his first legislative session and is proud that during the session, which lasted 157 days, he never missed a vote. After his freshman legislative session, Kelvin was chosen from a field of 125 candidates, as one of 40 new legislators to attend the Western Legislative Academy (WLA). The goal of the WLA is to help newer legislators become more effective and to build stronger state institutions. Kelvin was such a standout at the academy that at the conclusion of the five-day training, he was elected as the 2003 Class President. After serving a decade in the Nevada State Assembly, Kelvin decided to run for the State Senate and in 2012, Kelvin was elected into the Nevada Senate by almost 80% of the votes. Elected by his peers in the West, Kelvin is presently the Council of State Governments Vice Chairman and will become the Chairman in 2017. He will become the first African American to ever lead this organization in its 83 year history. In October of 2014, after the 9th Circuit Court of Nevada struck down the prohibition of Same Sex Marriage, Kelvin and his partner/best friend of 7 years, Sherwood "Woody" Howard made history by becoming the first same sex couple to get married in the state of Nevada.
Originally from Mexico, Raul Daniels has lived in Las Vegas for than two decades and considers himself a native.
Raul is currently the Director of Sales for 9Group inside the Palms Casino Resort, responsible for planning corporate events, social and charity galas, weddings, and concerts. He is very passionate about what he does, as it allows him to live a balanced life and challenges him every day to utilize his creative skills, food and wine knowledge, customer service experience and, most importantly, contribute back to his community. Raul first came to The Center in 1996 becoming a member of The Center's Youth Group at age 16. He attributes his life’s path and values to the vast influence the Youth Group had on his early years. Raul attended UNLV and Florida International University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and an Associate’s Degree in French. Raul and his partner, Ace Ramos, are planning their wedding and looking forward to starting a family within the next year. Together, they are Federal Club Members of HRC, volunteers at AFAN and Street Teens, and dedicated to supporting the arts in Las Vegas.
Michele Johnson is the President and CEO of Financial Guidance Center (FGC) (formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service) and has served in that capacity for the past 34 years. As a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, FGC serves the residents of Nevada and Utah and has been in the forefront in dealing with the housing foreclosure crisis, serving states with the highest rates in the country, while also creating and expanding asset development programs. Under Johnson’s leadership, FGC has been the recipient of many awards and proclamations, including being selected as the Nonprofit of the Year by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Johnson has volunteered with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) for many years and served three terms as Chair of the NFCC Board of Trustees and Treasurer of the NFCC Operating Committee. A well-respected leader and consumer advocate known throughout Nevada, she has been recognized as one of the “Outstanding Women in Nevada.” Johnson has attended and presented at numerous conferences and workshops, both locally and nationally, speaking on a variety of financial and housing issues. A graduate of Leadership Las Vegas, she was a finalist for the Community Achievement Awards and was the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Southern Nevada’s Financial Stability Award Honoree. Johnson serves on the Boards of a number of state and local organizations. In addition, she recently worked with former Nevada Attorney General Masto, creating and providing administration and oversight for the statewide Home Again Nevada program, providing a call center, outreach campaign, oversight for all Nevada based HUD approved agencies, and provision of housing counseling services and resources to Nevadans through the use of mortgage settlement funds. Johnson has been a resident of Nevada since 1959.
Milo Miloscia grew up part of a big Italian family in New York. In 1990 he moved to Florida for college and in 1996 to Los Angeles. Soon after arriving he was hired to work for famed Hollywood film producer Robert Evans (best known as producer of Rosemary's Baby, The Godfather, and Chinatown). This was an incredible & somewhat surreal time…watching movies weekly with Jack Nicholson & Warren Beatty and listening to stories by some of the best story tellers of all time. It was also during this time that he came out of the closet. He stayed with Mr. Evans until September 1999, when he started a 12+ year long relationship with The Andrew Hewitt Company as Senior Vice President. The company is one of the most successful and long-lived independent promoting companies in the United States. As exclusive promoters at The Hollywood Bowl, he was able to bring the best of today’s pop & rock icons including artists like Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, Radiohead, The Police, The Rolling Stones, Luciano Pavarotti, Sting and Roger Waters to the stage. In Las Vegas a new business model was created by producing stadium and arena shows in small 2,000 capacity spaces hosting such music icons as The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, The Who, Billy Joel, David Bowie and Metallica. This started with The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and continued on the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort. In 2012 the company sold to Live Nation Entertainment, the largest live entertainment company in the world. In December 1999, he met his partner John Nelson and together they moved to Las Vegas in November of 2003. Together they are happy to support AFAN, The Animal Foundation, Charity: Water, GLAAD, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, HRC Foundation, Kiva, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, Mama's Kitchen, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Point Foundation, The Smith Center, Trevor Project, and, of course, The Center. They also share a love for travel, art, architecture and their 3 dogs. Life is good.
Joe Oddo, Jr. is the Manager of Cox Business Retention for Cox Communications. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to a very large Italian-American family, Joe relocated to Las Vegas in 1994. Since 2009, Joe has been the Cox Las Vegas LGBTQ Champion, organizing the company's PRIDE entries and maximizing employee engagement. In addition to his work with the LGBTQ community, Joe is also the Captain of the Cox Southwest Region Diversity Council’s Community & Communications Pillar and remains active in the Cox Charities Grant Advisory Committee. For his outstanding work, Joe has been the recipient of the 2015 ACC Beacon Award for Cause Marketing, the Jim Robbins Leadership Award Winner on multiple occasions, SNAPI Pride Superstar and Community Champion for Cox Communications. Joe also sits on the Vestry for Grace in the Desert Episcopal Church where he is active in Communications and Finance for the Church. Joe and his husband Timothy were the first couple to be legally married at Grace in the Desert in 2014 and are actively working on expanding their family through the Clark County Foster to Adopt program. Joe and Timothy are proud parents to their fur babies — cats Nala & Jasmine and dogs Stella & Chloe with hopes of expanding! Joe Is excited to bring his passions to The Center and humbled to serve on The Board.