Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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The B.S.:

Cooler weather coincides with busier schedule

Bruce Spotleson

Bruce Spotleson

VEGAS INC Coverage

The triple-digit days are thankfully gone at last — on the morning I’m writing this, at least. This time of year, local Outlook calendars have been filling up fast.

It was a couple of weeks ago now, but it’s not too late to plug the 50th anniversary gala for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, a success at the Palms Sept. 24, when a crowd of about 300 sat down to a dinner, auction and heartwarming program.

Sure, other charitable events in town can attract as many people, but it seems to me that what has always separated the Boys and Girls Clubs from other organizations is the nature of its support. The clubs have always benefited from a base of volunteers that includes a lot of longtime local businesses and families — people with names that get phone calls returned. And a bunch were there for the party.

Among longtime supporters and present and former board members attending were gala Chairwoman Trudi Flangas and her husband, Al; Mary Kaye Cashman of Cashman Equipment; Linda, Steve and Peggy Casey, who for a long time had a well-known water-softener company; Tito and Sandee Tiberti, whose surname is memorialized on fences all over town; Rob McCoy of CenturyLink; Debra Nelson of MGM Resorts International; Barry Becker; Joan and Jim Hammer; and the “Godfather,” gaming-exec recruiter Mark Wayman, who almost always deserves an award for style.

Special guests in the audience included celebrity chef Alex Stratta, who got caught up in the moment and donated an additional 10-person cooking class and wine tasting for auction; and representing the Palms itself, CEO George Maloof and his community relations director, Reggie Turner, both engaged in the bidding and getting others to do the same. Like me, Maloof and Turner were club members in their youth. They turned out all right.

The event raised $170,000, which will be spent on programming and staff, and will go a long way toward keeping the Boys and Girls Clubs around for another 50 years.

Given our recent economy, it’s no surprise that a few membership-based organizations have struggled. The commercial real estate industry has been no picnic, as the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties can attest.

Until just a few years ago, NAIOP meetings were where you first heard every bright new idea in town. Helped by outstanding programs, each breakfast drew several hundred attendees.

You don’t hear quite the same number of bright new-development ideas at them these days, but the breakfasts have kept their standard for quality under current chapter president Sallie Doebler. On Friday, NAIOP teamed with Cox Business to present a symposium, “The Road to 2020,” that talked about improving economic development and the important role of higher education in our economy. Give the NAIOP team credit for being progressive, and for keeping things moving in a crazy time.

And while we’re at it, let’s also give some credit to the Southern Nevada chapter of the Certified Commercial Investment Members, too. Their lunch meetings also have continued to deliver substance over the past couple of years. CCIM’s Oct. 26 program will be at the Rio, and it’s going to be a look at 2012 with Dan Doherty talking about industrial space, Brian Sorrentino discussing the retail outlook and Ryan Martin taking on office space. Showtime is 11:30 a.m.

One other organization worth noting is the Building Owners and Managers Association’s Southern Nevada chapter. This group, which really grew in popularity in recent years, will have its annual TOBY Awards program on Oct. 25. TOBY stands for “The Outstanding Building of the Year.” BOMA’s goal is to “enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research standards and information.” A noble cause, to be sure, and an organization worth checking out if you’re in the industry or simply doing business with it.

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