The Summit: The Mob in Las Vegas
Join us for a one-day event that centers on the Mob’s four-decade-long reign in Las Vegas. Engage in conversations with historians, journalists, FBI agents, regulators and others on the Mob’s arrival in Las Vegas, its control of the Strip and its eventual dislodging from the casino industry. Dig deep into subject matter involving mobsters such as Meyer Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Tony Spilotro.
Breakfast, lunch, a tour of The Mob Museum’s distillery, and a gift bag are all included.
Oscar Goodman, former Mob defense lawyer, keynote speaker
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.
Jeff Silver, gaming attorney and former member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board
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. Mr. Silver is of counsel with the law firm Dickinson Wright.
George Knapp, journalist
George Knapp moved to Las Vegas in 1979. He has progressed from part-time studio cameraman to investigative reporter and is currently chief reporter for Channel 8’s I-Team investigative unit. During his career, Knapp has been the recipient of countless journalism awards—including the DuPont Award from Columbia University and the Peabody Award.
John L. Smith, journalist and Mob historian
John L. Smith is a longtime Las Vegas journalist and author of more than a dozen books on Nevada subjects, including Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn and Of Rats and Men: Oscar Goodman’s Life from Mob Mouthpiece to Mayor of Las Vegas. The Nevada Press Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2016. That same year, Northwestern University awarded him the James Foley-Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism and he also received the National Society of Professional Journalists Ethics in Journalism Award and the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics from the University of Oregon. Smith’s biography of Las Vegas civil rights activist and politician Joe Neal is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2019. As a freelance writer, his work regularly appears in the Nevada Independent and CDC Gaming Reports, and he contributes commentary for Nevada Public Radio.
Herm Groman, retired FBI agent
Herman Groman, is a retired FBI Special Agent and former director of security at a large Las Vegas hotel/casino. While in the FBI, he specialized in deep, long-term undercover operations as an undercover operative in the areas of organized crime and narcotics. Herman also served as the agent in charge of several high-profile public corruption investigations. Later, he worked as a team leader of an FBI Special Operations Group that conducted surveillances of major terrorist cells and their associates throughout the United States. Prior to his extensive FBI experience, Herman served in the infantry in Vietnam. He was awarded both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for valor. He resides in Las Vegas with his wife. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. His first novel Pigeon Spring, a Nevada thriller mystery, was released in the summer of 2010 and is selling all over the U.S, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. He is writing his second action packed Nevada based novel, Yucca Pointe, which will be published by Total Recall Publishing. He can be contacted on line at his website www.hermangroman.com.
Larry Gragg, historian at Missouri University of Science and Technology
Larry Gragg is curators’ teaching professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. He has made more than 40 research trips to Las Vegas. Among his eight books is Bright Light City: Las Vegas in Popular Culture (2013) and Benjamin Bugsy Siegel: The Gangster, the Flamingo, and The Making of Modern Las Vegas (2015).
Michael Green, historian
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.
Jane Ann Morrison, journalist
Jane Ann Morrison worked for four newspapers over 47 years before retiring in 2018 from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where she worked for 38 nonconsecutive years. She started at the Christian Science Monitor in Boston in 1971, then worked for the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas, before the company transferred her to the Review-Journal. She worked for the Reno Gazette Journal from 1986-1990. During her years at the R-J, she covered police, federal court, gaming, politics and city hall. She became the R-J’s first female general interest columnist in 2003. During her federal court years from 1978-1984, she covered mobster Anthony Spilotro and Mob associate Frank Rosenthal.
Dennis Arnoldy, retired FBI Agent
Photo credit: KJ Anthony Photography
Dennis Arnoldy served as an FBI special agent from 1971-1997. After stints in El Paso, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas, he was assigned to the Las Vegas field office in 1980. He was the case agent who oversaw the bust of the Hole in the Wall Gang when it tried to burglarize the Bertha’s home furnishings store on July 4, 1981. Arnoldy was responsible for Frank Cullotta, the mastermind of the Hole in the Wall Gang who became a cooperating witness in the case. After retiring from the FBI, Arnoldy owned a polygraph examination business and worked as a private investigator.
Geoff Schumacher, Senior director of content, The Mob Museum
As the senior director of content, Geoff Schumacher is responsible for exhibits, artifacts and public programs. Schumacher earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his master’s degree in history from Arizona State University. He started his 25-year journalism career at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a reporter, editorial writer and city editor. He was the editor of Las Vegas CityLife and founded and edited the Las Vegas Mercury. He served as director of community publications for the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 10 years and also wrote a weekly public affairs column for the Review-Journal. He culminated his newspaper career by serving as publisher of the Ames (Iowa) Tribune. Schumacher is the author of two books, Sun, Sin & Suburbia: A History of Modern Las Vegas and Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue. He served as editor of Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State, the official book commemorating the state’s sesquicentennial.
Jeff Burbank, Content development specialist, The Mob Museum
Jeff Burbank is content development specialist for The Mob Museum. He is the author of four books, including Las Vegas Babylon: True Tales of Glitter, Glamour, and Greed, License to Steal: Nevada’s Gaming Control System in the Megaresort Age and Lost Las Vegas.