MBA Research
Serving high school and post-secondary educators and administrators
Not-for-profit, research-based support for all Business Administration educators: entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management/administration, and marketing.


Nevada Futuring Panels

Project Overview

In March of 2019, the Nevada Department of Education partnered with MBA Research and Curriculum Center to convene three futuring panels with over 35 Nevada business executives. In addition to Las Vegas, participants also joined us from Reno, Carson City, Spring Valley, and Henderson. The executives came from a variety of fields, including some in-demand industries in Nevada. Sectors represented by panelists were technology, health care, logistics, natural energy, tourism and gaming, and transportation. We were also joined by a number of entrepreneurs, company owners, and founders. Both for-profit and nonprofit sectors were represented as well.

The Nevada business executives provided their perspectives on:

  • The trends shaping the workforce development needs in the Nevada business environment and some of the skill sets needed to address those trends
  • The general business skills needed by all business professionals
  • Skills needed specifically in the Business Management, Finance, and Marketing clusters
  • Evaluation of ethical leadership traits and ethics scenarios in the workplace and in their industries
  • Evaluation of core skills needed in Business Management, Finance, and Marketing clusters
  • Credentials and certifications needed in business

Some top trends on the minds of panelists:

  • How new technology is affecting the current workforce: AI, autonomous vehicles, machine learning, etc.
  • Big Data – telling the story behind the numbers: collecting, analyzing, conveying
  • Rapidly evolving marketing technology
  • Decentralization and globalization of the workplace: changes in when, where, and how we work; and cultural conflict in the workplace
  • Decline in employee loyalty
  • A lack of necessary soft skills in entry-level workers
  • Workplaces becoming more collaborative with an emphasis on team-based approaches
  • Disruption of “business as usual” with non-traditional delivery platforms

See the Full Report for More Details


Nevada's Futuring Panels brought together businesses of all sizes and introduced us to new faces and potenital partners. The participants enjoyed the process, the networking, and learning about our business and marketing programs. We were able to gain new potiential partners who want to continue to engage with us.

-Melissa Scott, Business/Marketing Programs Professional, Nevada Department of Education



Futuring Panel Participants

Over 35 executives from Nevada joined us during the three-day period in which the futuring panels were held. Most of the participants indicated they were interested in continuing to learn more about CTE and stay connected to Business Management, Finance, and Marketing education in Nevada. We would like to thank the following participants: 

Business Management

Edward (Eddie) Ableser
Tri-Strategies, LTD; Blockchains Educational Reform Initiative

Mary-Ann Brown
Palliative Care Renown Health
Health Care

Bob Cunningham
UAS Flight Operations and Technology Integration GC2IT

Jill Eliott
Senior Vice President
People + Culture + Foundation, R&R Partners

Emily Ellison
Chief Human Resources Officer
Washoe County School District

Glenn Elliott
Executive Leader
Zappos Family of Companies

Sirinda Glasgow
Regional Security Advisor
Trend Micro

Christina Kao
CKO Kickboxing Las Vegas

Joshua Leavitt
Regional Director of Nevada

Jennifer Martinez
Owner/President/CEO Consult
HR Partners

Sonia Petkewich
Taurean Consulting Group

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the futuring panel and hopefully make a difference in the future of Nevada students.

The Bender Group and Bender family take supporting Nevada education very seriously.  Over the years, they have contributed greatly to both UNR and TMCC through a grant from Frank N. Bender Center for Applied Logistics Management (CALM) opened in 2017 at TMCC.  I wish to continue to be involved with the DOE as much as I can whether it is as part of the Business Counsel or another way.

-Rudi Lautz, Director of Finance, Bender Group; NV Finance Panel participant


Futuring Panel Participants (cont'd)


Michelle Baird
Frias Transportation Management

Rosa Hedges
Republic Services

Sarah Hunt
Director of Financial Services
Nevada Hospital Association
Health Care

Rudi Lautz
Director of Finance
Bender Group

Brittney Martino
Strategic Engagement Officer

Krish Mayatt
Finance Manager
GES—Global Experience Specialists

Ken Ortbals
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Information Officer
WestCare Foundation

Debra Solt
Director, Workforce Training and Economic Development
Vegas PBS

Elisheba Stallworth
Senior Analyst, Strategy & Corporate Development
Southwest Gas
Natural Energy

Samantha Virdin-Smetana
Vice President, Trust Officer
City National Bank



I just wanted to take a quick moment to congratulate you on a successful, well-planned, and gracefully executed meeting. All of those personalities, opinions, and diversity is a lot to tackle but it was expertly executed.

-Scott Johnson, VP of Marketing at MyDailyChoice/HempWorx/CBD; NV Marketing Panel participant



Futuring Panel Participants (cont'd)


Mitchell Aguirre
Independent Consultant
F&S Industries LLC

Jeff Belknap
Brand Manager
Prebuilt Marketing

Kathleen Frantz
Vice President
King Makers

Steve Gershman
Director of Business Development
Montevista and Red Rock Behavioral Health Hospitals
Health Care

Ira Gostin
Independent Consultant

Scott Johnson
Head of Strategy and Marketing
Charged Brand

Todd Levy
Director of Marketing and Business Development
Crowd Siren

Kendra Masters
Marketing Director
Max—A Maritz Company

Julio Meza
Director, On Property Experience/Marketing
The Venetian/The Palazzo/Sands Expo

Michelle Orelup
Quality SEO

Barry Parrish
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Brand Management
Metropolitan Airways, Inc.

Joan Paye
Channel Marketing Manager/National Contact Centers
Cox Communications

Phyllis Simon
Proposal and Knowledgebase Management
Centuari Health Solutions
Health Care

Sarah Smith
Marketing Operations Manager
Rakuten Super Logistics

Kathie Taylor
Chief Marketing Officer
In Plain Sight Marketing

Becky Wright
Vice President
Surge Marketing Studio

Thank you to Kendra Masters (Marketing Panel participant) for contributing to our video series: Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace, where young professionals share about the ethical dilemmas they have faced early in their careers.

In this video, Ms. Masters describes a choice she made to maintain integrity in business relationships.

Want to see more and use these ethical dilemma videos in your classroom? Visit our YouTube Channel for the full series. 

MBA Research thanks the following organizations and individuals:

A special thank you to the Nevada Department of Education, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (OWINN), and Lifeworks for helping make this collaboration possible. Also, our deep appreciation goes out to Melissa Scott, Isla Young and Georgina Arze for their leadership, partnership, onsite support, and fierce note-taking abilities!

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