The 501 (c) 3 non-profit governing board is headed by Ellen Knowlton, former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division, and a 24-year FBI veteran. A key Mob Museum visionary is board member and previous Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, who once made a name for himself representing such reputed mobsters as Meyer Lansky, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro, among others. Many of these individuals have first-hand knowledge of organized crime and its impact on Las Vegas and society.
Ellen B. Knowlton – Chair
Ellen B. Knowlton served as a Special Agent of the FBI for 24 years, culminating her career as the Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division, and retiring in 2006. She also served in New Orleans and Washington D.C., where she was responsible for hundreds of employees as well as investigative and administrative operations. She was involved in addressing sensitive personnel issues and crises situations following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While serving as Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office, she was responsible for counterintelligence investigations and operations and led delegations to the Middle East and Europe pertaining to terrorism and counterintelligence investigations. Knowlton also served as Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office and as Deputy Assistant Director/Acting Assistant Director of the National Security Division.
Jeffrey A. Silver, Esq. – Vice Chair
Jeffrey A. Silver served as a former Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney in the White Collar Crimes Division and was the resident member in charge of the Las Vegas office for the Nevada State Gaming Control Board during the state’s tumultuous period of developing regulatory oversight. He also has held top leadership positions at various resort hotels including Landmark Hotel & Casino, the Riviera Hotel & Casino and Caesars Palace. Silver has published journal articles, spoken at conferences and testified before the Nevada Legislature and U.S. Congressional sub-committees on gaming law matters. A long-time Nevadan, he is closely involved in community and civic affairs and was honored as one of Nevada’s pre-eminent gaming law practitioners by Wood & White’s Best Lawyers in America, Chamber USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Mountain States Super-Lawyers.
James F. (Jim) Germain – Secretary
Jim Germain is a tourism consultant who was born in Las Vegas and is a member of a pioneer Las Vegas family. Germain joined USA Hosts, Ltd., Las Vegas, in 1982 and served as Director of Sales, Vice President of Sales, Executive Vice President and was CEO for eleven years. As Senior Corporate Officer, he supervised 13 offices in eight states (three offices in Nevada). Prior employment included working in sales for the Flamingo Hilton Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino, and as Director of Sales for the Sahara Hotel and Casino. Germain also was a Hospitality Management Instructor at UNLV, Las Vegas. He serves on several professional and tourism-based boards.
Edward A. Koijane – Treasurer
Edward A. Koijane is a licensed certified public accountant in Nevada, California and Oregon, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Nevada and California Societies of CPAs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pepperdine University. Koijane has spent more than two decades working for “big four” public accounting companies providing tax and accounting services to large, multi-national businesses. Koijane is now a tax partner with Ernst and Young serving as the Las Vegas Office Tax Leader. He stays active in the local community and is currently a member of United Way of Southern Nevada’s Tocqueville Society, executive member of the Young Philanthropists Society and board member of The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Honorable Richard H. Bryan
A native Nevadan, former U.S Senator Richard Bryan began his legal career in 1964 as a Deputy District Attorney in Clark County. In 1966, he was named Clark County’s first Public Defender. He served in the Nevada State Assembly from 1968-72 and in the State Senate from 1972-78. The former prosecutor won his first statewide election as Nevada’s Attorney General where he played a major role in successfully defending Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure in the federal courts. In 1982, he was elected to the first of two terms as governor. In 1988 he was elected to the first of two terms in the U.S. Senate. Senator Bryan is included in The Best Lawyers in America for Government Relations Law and has an AV rating in the Martindale-Hubbell directory. He is a director of the Fennemore Craig law firm and his practice focuses on government relations at the federal, state and local levels, particularly in the area of public land use issues. He serves on many area boards including the Nevada Development Authority, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and Preserve Nevada.
Paul Camacho served as Special Agent in Charge for the Las Vegas Field Office of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation from May 2009 until retiring in 2014. Under his leadership the LVFO garnered unprecedented media attention for its succession of high-impact investigations. As well, Camacho led a successful partnership initiative between IRS CI and the LVMPD targeting the illegal sex trade industry. In coordination with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Camacho implemented a first-of-its kind program to foster strong working relations with the Nevada casino industry. Over the course of his career in IRS CI, Camacho oversaw a number of sophisticated financial investigations involving offshore abusive tax schemes, high dollar Ponzi and investment fraud, wide-scale internet fraud, military contract fraud, organized crime groups, narcotics money laundering, and political corruption. Camacho also consults and speaks at national and international conferences dealing with organized crime, gaming regulations and money laundering. Camacho’s current passion is educating IRS employees and the public on the rich history of IRS CI.
Rob Dondero is executive vice president, R&R Partners, in charge of oversight of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority account for the agency. He manages a fully integrated team that’s charged with filling 144,000 hotel rooms 365 days per year. His portfolio includes UFC, Ford, Bud Light, Major League Baseball, the NHL and more. This experience also makes him a leader in R&R’s business development efforts. He has also developed, negotiated and promoted such special events as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Launch Party; NBA All-Star Game; Latin GRAMMY Awards; Billboard Music Awards; Academy of Country Music Awards; Las Vegas Bowl; NASCAR Champions Week; Miss Universe/Miss America/Miss USA; and the internationally renowned gourmet and wine event, Vegas Uncork’d. A great example of the results that he delivers was the launch of the Professional Bull Riders’ Championship Tour, which propelled bull riding into the mainstream of professional sports, established a fiercely loyal fan base and increased sponsorship revenues by 700 percent with such blue-chip brands as Ford, Wrangler, Bud Light and Coca-Cola.
Jerry Epstein is founder, president and CEO of Engaged Nation, an innovative company that delivers online loyalty reward platforms and business enhancement programs for the gaming industry. Prior to founding Engaged Nation, Epstein spent 25 years working with companies in strategic positioning, brand development and marketing communications as one of the leading authorities in the public relations industry. He served as president and chief operating officer for Zeno, a boutique agency that specialized in research-driven marketing communications campaigns for its clients. Epstein also spent 17 years with Fleishman-Hillard International, Inc., serving as regional president and a member of the operating committee.
As a principal at Lucchesi, Galati Architects, Galati focuses on forward-thinking, strategic solutions that result in organizational and operational excellence. Galati has received numerous honors throughout his career, including the AIA “Nevada Service Award,” the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce “Community Achievement Award for Business” and the American Planning Association “DeBoer Excellence in Planning Award” for his outstanding service on the City of Las Vegas Planning Commission. Galati’s current community work includes membership in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and the Urban Land Institutes’ Executive Committee. Galati authored Admit it! 21 things you already know but apparently have forgotten regarding client service in 2005, A Man in Transition, Reflections on Relationships, Leadership, and Life in 2007 and Business From the Heart in 2010. He also coaches soccer at The Meadows School and serves on the board of the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club.
Carolyn Goodman (Ex-Officio), Mayor
Carolyn G. Goodman, recently reelected to a second term, became the mayor of Las Vegas in 2011, succeeding her husband, then current mayor, Oscar B. Goodman. Carolyn Goodman is well known in the Las Vegas community for founding The Meadows School, Nevada’s first nonprofit, nonsectarian, independent, coeducational, college preparatory school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grades. Recognized nationally by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the National Association of Independent Schools in 2006 with the Seymour Preston Trustee Award for Leadership, Carolyn Goodman has devoted much of her life to volunteerism in Las Vegas. In 1989, the University of Nevada recognized her with the prestigious “Distinguished Nevadan” award and in 2006 bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree (PhD). In 2009, she was named a Sarah D. Barder Fellow in The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth and an Alumna of the Year in Education at UNLV. Carolyn Goodman holds national leadership roles as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and also serves on the board of directors of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Oscar B. Goodman
Known for his trademark, no-nonsense tell-it-like-it-is style, Oscar B. Goodman, the 19th mayor of Las Vegas, served for 12 years before swearing in his wife, Carolyn G. Goodman, as mayor in 2011. Passionate about downtown revitalization, Oscar Goodman is the primary visionary of The Mob Museum. As former chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Oscar Goodman worked feverishly to promote Las Vegas as one of the most exciting destinations in the world. Today, he is still formally engaged with the LVCVA, promoting Las Vegas as the city’s official ambassador. This self-proclaimed “happiest mayor in the universe,” Oscar Goodman is one of the nation’s best criminal defense attorneys and was named one of the “15 Best Trial Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal. He spent more than 35 years defending some of the most notorious alleged Mob figures, including Meyer Lansky, Frank Rosenthal, Anthony Spilotro and others. In 1995, he appeared as himself in the movie, “Casino.” Oscar Goodman has been honored with the Public Leadership in the Arts Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Leadership Award for Public Service from the International Economic Development Council.
Michael Green, Ph.D., is a noted historian and associate professor in UNLV’s Department of History. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNLV and obtained his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. Green is the author of nine books about the history of Las Vegas and Nevada as well as broader topics in American history. His books on the Civil War era include Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party during the Civil War and Lincoln and the Election of 1860. His works on Nevada include Las Vegas: A Centennial History with Eugene Moehring; Nevada: A Journey of Discovery, a middle school textbook; and the oral history, A Liberal Conscience: Ralph Denton, Nevadan. His college-level textbook, Nevada: A History of the Silver State, is near publication and he is writing a history of the Great Basin in the twentieth century. Green is also active in writing and speaking in the community. He writes the “Politics” column and blog for Vegas Seven, “Nevada Yesterdays” for Nevada Humanities and KNPR, and “Inside the Beltway” and “Books” for a newsletter, Nevada’s Washington Watch.
Christopher L. Kaempfer, Esq.
Christopher L. Kaempfer is a senior partner of Kaempfer Crowell Renshaw Gronauer & Fiorentino and founder of the firm’s land use and governmental relations department. Over the years, Kaempfer’s practice has been devoted primarily to the areas of land use and zoning law, administrative law, government affairs, construction law and sports law. Since 1986, he has been actively involved with the Las Vegas 51s. Kaempfer has achieved an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell and has been named to Best Lawyers in America, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in Real Estate and Zoning & Land Use Law, Nevada Legal Elite and Mountain States Super Lawyer. In his spare time, he coaches softball at The Meadows High School and is honorary J.A.G. Commander for Nellis Air Force Base Support Team. Kaempfer is also active in Major League Baseball’s Baseball Assistance Team, an organization whose purpose is to aid former members of the baseball family.
Kara J. Kelley
Kara J. Kelley is president of The Kelley Company, a Las Vegas, Nevada-based firm specializing in branding, business strategy and organizational development. She is the former CEO of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the third largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the nation. Under her leadership, the Chamber became Nevada’s most influential business association and the recognized industry leader. Kelley achieved revenue growth for the LVCC of more than 40% and created a subsidiary, Chamber Insurance & Benefits, LLC, with revenues in excess of $1,000,000, to manage a health care program for LVCC’s 6,000 members. During her 14-year tenure at the Chamber, Kelley also served as chief operating officer, senior vice president, government affairs vice president and government affairs director. Kelley served as a director of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the official destination marketing organization for Las Vegas with a budget exceeding $250 million.
John H. Mowbray, Esq.
John Hammes Mowbray is a native Nevadan and has been practicing law in Southern Nevada for the past 31 years. Mowbray is the managing director of the Las Vegas office of Fennemore Craig, P.C. Mowbray is a current member and past president of the State Bar of Nevada and has served in leadership positions on the boards of the Clark County Bar Association, the Boy Scouts of America, the Clark County Law Foundation and Nevada Law Foundation among others. He has received Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating and has been named to Mountain States Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He received the Lloyd D. George Professionalism Award, State Bar of Nevada, 2009.
Valerie A. Murzl
Valerie Murzl currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Training for Station Casinos, LLC. In that role, she is charged with practicing, supporting, evolving and promoting Station Casinos’ “Beyond the Best” company-wide culture and demonstrating the company’s Champion Service Standards at all times. With more than 30 years of experience in the Human Resources profession, Murzl has received national recognition for her creation of a non-traditional platform of benefits, including 24/7 On-site Child Care, Foreclosure Assistance and a Citizenship Program, among others.
Edward J. (Ted) Quirk, Esq.
Edward J. “Ted” Quirk was a founder of Quirk & Tratos, a Nevada law firm specializing in intellectual property law. He has remained of counsel to Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a major international firm following the merger of Quirk & Tratos into Greenberg Traurig in 2005. Quirk has been listed in numerous Super Lawyers publications and has been included in The Best Lawyers in America each year for the past 17 years. He has been a member of many bar and professional associations, and is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court. Quirk has been active in many non-profit organizations including the UNLV Foundation, the Las Vegas Boy and Girls Clubs Foundation, The Rebel Golf Foundation and The UNLV Research Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the NSHE Health Sciences Foundation, the Assistance League of Las Vegas Philanthropic Foundation and Allied Arts Council. Quirk is the Honorary Commander of the Security Forces at Nellis Air Force Base.
Nancy B. Rapoport is the Gordon Silver Professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law and interim dean at UNLV. She received her bachelor’s degree from Rice University and her J.D. from Stanford Law School. She has previously served as professor and dean at The Ohio State University College of the Law, the University of Nebraska College of Law and the University of Houston Law Center. Her specialties are bankruptcy ethics, ethics in governance and the depiction of lawyers in popular culture. Among her published works are “Enron and Other Corporate Fiascos.” She is admitted to the bars of California, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas and Nevada and of the United States Supreme Court. She currently serves as the Dean of Faculty of the American Board of Certification. In 2009, the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel presented her with the Public Service Counsel Award at the 4th Annual Counsel of the Year Awards. She has also appeared in the Academy Award-nominated movie, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. She is ranked fourth in the country in two categories of pro-am American Rhythm and American Smooth ballroom dancing.
Robert A. Stoldal
Following a career spanning decades in television news, Robert “Bob” Stoldal retired in 2014 as News Director of KSNV News 3 Las Vegas. He has worked at KLAS radio and KSHO-TV, Channel 13, before being hired as a reporter and anchor at KLAS-TV, Channel 8, in 1967. He was promoted to News Director in 1968. In 1978, the station was sold to Landmark Communications. During his tenure as news director, United Press International honored KLAS as “Best Newscast in America.” Stoldal helped launch three 24-hour regional all-news cable channels in Virginia, Tennessee and Las Vegas. In April, 1998, he launched Las Vegas ONE, a 24-hour local news television operation. Following his return to Las Vegas, he was promoted to Vice President of News for KLAS. In 2009, Stoldal was named Vice President of News for the Sunbelt Corporation. He serves on the boards of several community organizations including the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society, Las Vegas Historical Preservation Commission, Preserve Nevada and Nevada State Commission on Cultural Affairs.
As president of Moving People to Action, a speaking and motivational consulting firm, Ayoub, a lifelong Las Vegan, is recognized as one of Southern Nevada’s premier networking experts and is a sought-after speaking coach and corporate presenter. Ayoub serves as a consultant to Leadership Nevada. She also is a former licensed financial planner and has been a successful fundraiser for over 30 years. Governor Kenny Guinn selected her as the first female to serve on the Nevada Athletic Commission in 1999. Ayoub chaired the National Conference for Community and Justice in 1999 and was presented its Community Hero award in 2000. Las Vegas’ Centennial Committee named Ayoub one of the women responsible for shaping the city during its first 100 years, and In Business Las Vegas honored her as one of the Most Influential Businesswomen of 2003.
Keith Copher is president of KMC, Inc., a gaming compliance consulting company. Prior to starting the company in 2010, Copher served 25 years with the Nevada Gaming Control Board where he was involved in conducting and supervising background investigations for applicants for Nevada gaming licenses. In 1996, Copher was promoted to chief of enforcement where he was responsible for investigating regulatory violations by gaming licensees and criminal gaming violations against the licensees and patrons. Following retirement from the Gaming Control Board, Copher was president of a technological testing company. Copher now consults with businesses and speaks internationally at gaming conferences and seminars. He also has appeared on television documentaries regarding cheating at gambling and enforcement of gaming laws and regulations. He is on the board of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.
Alan M. Feldman
Alan M. Feldman, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, is well known in the gaming industry as the voice of MGM Mirage. In this capacity, Feldman oversees the planning and implementation of the company’s corporate and marketing communications efforts as well as its government relations programs. In his 20 years of service, Feldman has become involved in a wide array of industry issues. He is very active in areas concerning responsible gaming and serves on numerous nonprofit boards including Nevada Council on Problem Gambling and the National Center for Responsible Gaming, Las Vegas Performing Arts Center Foundation and Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group. He was awarded the Gaming Professional of the Year 2002 by the Casino Management Association and AGA lifetime Achievement Award in Gaming Communications, 2009.
Former Sheriff Douglas Gillespie
Former Sheriff Douglas Gillespie was a member of the Clark County Sheriff’s Department/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 34 years before his retirement in 2014. During his tenure as an officer, he has worked in a broad range of challenging assignments to include K9, SWAT and Academy instruction. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1988, Lieutenant in 1995, Captain in January 2000, and then Commander in August 2000 and to Deputy Chief in June 2002 to oversee the operations of the Detention Services Division. Upon the election of Sheriff Bill Young in 2004, Deputy Chief Gillespie was selected to serve as the Undersheriff of Clark County. He retired following 26 years, and he was elected Sheriff in 2006, taking office in January of 2007. He was reelected to a second term in 2010 before retiring in 2014. Gillespie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He attended the Session of the FBI National Academy in September of 2001, and also attended the FBI National Executive Institute in September of 2009.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo began his law enforcement career in 1988 as a police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He has served as police sergeant, lieutenant, deputy chief and division commander of the patrol division. During his time as a sergeant, Lombardo was awarded the Meritorious Service Award.Lombardo was promoted to the position of assistant sheriff in 2011. After 26 years on the force, Lombardo retired as a commissioned officer and was elected in 2014 as sheriff of Clark County. In 2006, he completed his master’s degree from UNLV as well as completing the FBI National Academy. Additionally, he is a 2013 graduate of the Major Cities Chiefs Association Police Executive Leadership Development Program. Lombardo maintains professional affiliations to include Major City Chiefs Association, FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, Nevada Commission for Homeland Security, Association of Public Safety Communication Officials International and Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates. He also has served on the boards of LVMPD Foundation, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, NV Communications Steering Committee and MCC’s representative to the public safety advisory committee.
Thomas M. Roche
Thomas M. Roche is the Partner in charge of Ernst & Young’s Global Gaming Practice and the Managing Partner of the firm’s Las Vegas office. He has over 25 years of experience in the gaming industry. Roche was appointed by Governor Robert J. Miller as one of the three members of the Nevada Gaming Control Board in October 1989. As the CPA member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Roche was in charge of the audit division which conducts internal control compliance and tax revenue audits. He is licensed as a CPA in California, Mississippi and Nevada. He is involved in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Internal Auditors, American Gaming Association and International Association of Gaming Advisors.
James Taylor is the Deputy Chief of Special Investigations and Support Services for the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. He previously supervised the board’s organized crime squad for more than a decade where he was responsible for criminal, financial and intelligence investigations of organized crime activity and major casino cheating groups. During his career with the GCB, Taylor has worked on numerous local and federal investigations and task forces involving sophisticated cheating devices, bookmaking, drug trafficking, credit card fraud, money laundering, terrorism and major criminal organizations.
Danny L. Thompson
Danny L. Thompson has served as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO since 1999. Thompson has directed the organization with 125 affiliates and more than 225,000 members state-wide to be one of the most effective labor movements in the country. He has been recognized nationally for his involvement in preventing anti-labor and divisive initiatives such as Pay Check Deception and TABOR from becoming law. In 1980, Thompson was elected to the Nevada State Assembly. He serves on many local, regional and national boards including Council for a Better Nevada, United Labor Agency of Nevada, Children’s Trauma Taskforce and State Workforce Investment. Awards include Electoral Impact Award, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Washington, D.C.; Consumer Legislator of the Year, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association; Legislator of the Year, Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs; Legislator of the Year, Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association; and Distinguished Service Award, Nevada Association for the Handicapped.
Former Sheriff Bill Young
Born in Yerington, Bill Young is a fourth-generation Nevadan. As a small child, his family moved to Las Vegas where he graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in 1974. Young is also an alumnus of UNLV, holding a BA in Criminal Justice and an MS in Emergency Management. He began his career with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a Patrol Officer in 1979. In 1984 he was promoted to sergeant and his assignments included Patrol, Field Training, and SWAT. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1986 and served in Patrol, as Operations Manager of the Communications Center, and in Vice/Narcotics. In 1995, he was promoted to captain and commanded the Support Services Bureau, overseeing the Resident Officer Program, K-9, Air Support, and Search and Rescue. He was promoted to deputy chief in January 1999 and assigned to the Detention Services Division. He took over as the Deputy Chief for Special Operations Division in February 2001. Young was elected Sheriff in November of 2002. After his retirement, Young joined Stations Casinos as the Vice President of Security. Young also serves on the board of multiple organizations: After-School All-Stars, Hope for Prisoners, Nevada Child Seekers, Olive Crest, and AlertID.