THE DOWNTOWN VEGAS ALLIANCE(DVA), a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, connects its members and downtown stakeholders to influence growth in the heart of Las Vegas through thought leadership and collaboration. We serve as a catalyst for public/private dialogue to address challenges and create solutions to promote a thriving community in the city’s urban core.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscapes of downtowns across the country, especially in Las Vegas. While business shutdowns wreaked havoc on the economy, at the same time, innovative ideas popped up in our market spurring new business codes and programs that were created to help downtown businesses weather the storm. The Downtown Vegas Alliance was a key partner during this time, helping ensure that everyone had the information and resources they needed to apply for stimulus and grant funding, implement business best practices, and have access to personal protective equipment and expert advice from health industry professionals.
These efforts and many others helped solidify the Downtown Vegas Alliance’s position as the leading voice of downtown Las Vegas and as an indispensable partner for its business community. We provide a private-sector perspective on issues that impact downtown Las Vegas including business and residential development, transportation, homelessness and arts and culture to name a few. We continuously work with stakeholders to improve our overall environment.
The Downtown Vegas Alliance, a nonprofit organization, connects its members and downtown stakeholders to influence growth in the heart of Las Vegas through thought leadership and collaboration. We serve as a catalyst for public/private dialogue to address challenges and create solutions to promote a thriving community in the city’s urban core.
OUR CORE FOCUS AREAS
- Business Development
- Arts & Culture
MEET OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
The board of directors of The Downtown Vegas Alliance (DVA), is pleased to announce the appointment of Shahn Douglas as executive director. Douglas comes to the role with extensive experience and passion for marketing downtown Las Vegas having served most recently as the Chief Marketing Officer for DK Las Vegas, LLC, a joint ownership entity with KRE Capital, LLC and Dune Real Estate partners that purchased a portfolio of five Southern Nevada condominium properties. Four of the five properties sold and/or sold out under Douglas’ leadership including two located downtown: The Ogden, which sold out in 2019; and Juhl, which has only a few residences remaining for sale. “I am beyond excited to serve the Downtown Vegas Alliance as executive director,” said Douglas. “I have lived and worked in downtown Las Vegas for years. This is my neighborhood where I eat, sleep, shop and go about my activities every single day. Having witnessed first-hand downtown’s growth and development, I understand the promising future for existing and new businesses in the core of our city and stand ready to deliver that message in conjunction with the board and members of the DVA.” Douglas also brings a strong penchant for the arts to the position. While with DK Las Vegas, LLC, she oversaw the branding and promotion of Juhl’s Artist in Residence program, which enabled many artists to set their creativity free while immersed in the true urban scene evolving in downtown Las Vegas. Prior to DK Las Vegas, LLC, Douglas served as senior vice president of The Marketing Directors, a condominium sales and marketing company in Orlando, FL, where she developed nationwide strategic sales and marketing plans for nearly 20 multi-family real estate communities. “With her enthusiasm, lived experience in downtown Las Vegas, professionalism and impressive marketing skills, Shahn Douglas is a positive, guiding force for our organization and downtown in general,” said Patrick Reilly, board chair of the Downtown Vegas Alliance and shareholder at Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck. “Shahn brings a wealth of strategic ideas and tactics to the Downtown Vegas Alliance, and we look forward to working together under her leadership.” Douglas was one of 12 top-level valley executives chosen by Vegas Inc for their leadership, and business and civic contributions to the Las Vegas community for the publication’s inaugural C- Suite Honors in 2022. She previously served on the Downtown Vegas Alliance’s board of directors as membership chair. Douglas’ heart is with Make-a-Wish for which she’s been a Wish Granter since 2010. She is actively involved with Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada and is continuing her volunteer work as a wish granter here in Las Vegas.
The Board of Directors is the governing body for the Downtown Vegas Alliance and provides strategic direction and oversight for the organization. The Board is composed of a diverse group of leaders representing a variety of downtown Las Vegas stakeholders including businesses of all sizes and industries.
Chair of the Board
Patrick Reilly is a commercial litigator who handles a wide range of complex and high-profile business cases, including real estate litigation, shareholder and corporate disputes and class actions. A highly effective advocate, he has tried to conclusion dozens of cases before judges, juries, arbitrators and administrative hearing officers. He has been part of some of the most impacting, historic litigation in Nevada. Combining a practical approach with in-depth knowledge, he assists his clients as they navigate their way through an extremely complex web of laws and regulations. Pat is an author for the Nevada Civil Practice Manual and a Master of the Bench in the American Inns of Court. He also serves as a judge for Nevada’s We The People competition, and is an active Rotarian. He previously served on the DVA Board of Directors as Chair of the Operations Committee.
Bill Paredes leads the Southern Nevada corporate banking team that serves companies throughout the region, including gaming and hospitality venues, contractors, manufacturers, healthcare organizations and more, as well as high-net-worth individuals. He is active in the community as a board member and treasurer for Goodwill of Southern Nevada and as a board member for The Economic Club of Las Vegas. Bill has served two terms on the DVA’s Executive Committee as the organization’s Treasurer.
Joe Woody is a licensed owner and Key Employee of the El Cortez Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He currently sits on the parent company’s board and serves as Corporate Secretary and Treasurer since 2008 and as Chief Financial Officer since 2004. Joe has Chaired the IKE Gaming, Inc. Compliance Committee since his appointment in 2008. He has been an active participant in the Fremont East Entertainment District Owners Corporation including his role as accountant and Judge of Election for their annual meeting. Joe is also a member of the city of Las Vegas’s Budget Committee that meets at least annually to review and provide guidance for the city’s financial forecast. Joe served as a member of the Integrated Resources Planning Advisory Committee for the Southern Nevada Water Authority on a project-based assignment to revise water rates for all of Clark County.
Dulcinea Rongavilla provides business owners with strategic planning, expert guidance, and superior customer service in today’s ever-changing employee benefits marketplace. Dulcinea has over 20 years of experience in executive leadership and business development in Nevada and Arizona. From 2010 to 2013, Dulcinea served as the President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, where she was responsible for oversight of a $5 million operating budget, leading 28 board members and nearly 100 employees. Dulcinea is an accomplished professional who serves on numerous prestigious boards and foundations. She is the immediate past Chair of the Neon Museum Board of Trustees and remains passionate about preserving the bright history of Las Vegas.
Cody Sims offers over 20 years of business experience in product development, product management and marketing. Cody has a talent for guiding successful outcomes for internal and external partners through thoughtful and innovative solutions. His experience covers strategic business development, market analytics, market share capture plans, product evangelism, and operational excellence. Throughout his career, he has received numerous company awards including excellence in performance awards from Windstream Communications, McLeodUSA, Cinergy Communications, and Norlight Telecommunications. While at Cox, Cody received six market performance awards, two Marketing Excellence awards, and the president’s “Winner’s Circle” Award. Cody has been a member of the Cox team since January of 2012 and has led the Las Vegas team to marque successes in product deployments, meaningful customer engagements, and critical sponsor partnerships with both the Aviators at the Las Vegas Ball Park and the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium, all contributing to double-digit market growth. In collaboration with the Nevada Governor’s Pandemic Response team, the Elaine Wynn Foundation, Community in Schools, and Clark County School District, Cody helped ensure 100% of all CCSD students and families had access to high speed, broadband internet access for the 2020-2021 school year.
Secretary and Arts & Culture Chair
Corey Fagan has more than 20 years of experience in the event industry and has been leading the First Friday Foundation since 2019. First Friday currently creates platforms for hundreds of artists and sees over 20,000 attendees each month at their events held in downtown Las Vegas. With a background in writing and business development, she has created programs that directly have an economic impact on the neighborhoods serviced. Corey believes that collaboration is the key to success when identifying and meeting needs within the community.
Patrice L. Fontenot is the lead of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Zappos.com, a leading e- commerce brand headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. Having been a Zapponian since 2008, she was instrumental in implementing a DEI team and is the first to officially hold the lead title. Patrice oversees seven Inclusion Groups with active team members both local and out-of-state. She has been afforded the unique opportunity to advocate for others while continuing to help advance Zappos toward a leading company with phenomenal philanthropic opportunities, paralleled with intentional and prioritized DEI strategies. Patrice graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Dillard University, an HBCU in New Orleans, LA, and she also holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern California (USC). With diversity, representation, and education as top priorities, her community service efforts are aligned with her commitment toward advancing our youth, as she serves as a mentor and a counseling volunteer. Though driven by her two children, Christine and Preston, Patrice strives to make the world a better place not only for them, but for the future generation of worldwide change agents.
Members at Large
President & CEO, Fremont Street Experience
Andrew Simon has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment and hospitality industries. Since 2007, Simon served as chief executive officer of sports for Mark Cuban’s AXS TV. Simon created the AXS TV Fights brand and professional sports strategy that grew network distribution by 700% during his tenure and made history with the first nationally broadcast live sporting event from Fremont Street Experience. Before joining AXS TV, Simon worked for COX Communications in Las Vegas as vice president of marketing and sales where he conceived the award-winning “Channel 1 Guy” campaign. Prior to COX Communications, Simon held executive positions with COX Business Services | Hospitality Network, NXTV and Deloitte.
CEO, Fifth Street Gaming & Chairman of Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Seth Schorr is an internationally known hospitality and gaming expert with over 20 years of experience, specializing in building strategic alliances with organizations to align and drive business strategies. As the CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, he owns and operates five casinos and over fifty food and beverage concepts. Schorr also serves as the Chairman of Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, an authentic urban casino resort he developed from the ground up. Schorr is endorsed for his ability to build and scale profitable casinos focused on optimizing business performance, delivering superior guest service, and achieving growth and profitability. He is continually on the forefront of introducing cutting edge technology and processes to create a competitive advantage. Schorr has held various senior executive and board positions at several international hotels, casinos, and resorts, including Bellagio Hotel & Casino, The Mirage Hotel & Casino and Treasure Island. He began his hospitality career in 1991 serving on the executive leadership team with Wynn Resorts where he developed the International Marketing department in Macau, the Interactive Gaming division, and The Wynn Collection of Fine Art. Seth served on the DVA’s Board of Directors for many years as the Communications Chair.
CEO, Co-Founder, and Chief of Security at Protective Force International
Jonathan Alvarez leads a team of over 200+ elite Security Officers, including K9 Officers, Investigators, and Command Staff Officers all with the goal of keeping the State of Nevada safe. Jonathan is a 17-year law enforcement, military, and security industry veteran with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Leadership with honors. He is an Internationally Credentialed Counter Terrorism Practitioner.
President & CEO, The Mob Museum
Jonathan Ullman is responsible for leading the organization that has been named both a “Top Workplace” and “Best Museum” by the Las Vegas Review Journal and ranked #20 on TripAdvisor’s list of top museums in the United States. Jonathan has spent over 20 years in a variety of management and leadership roles within the nonprofit industry. Jonathan’s museum career began at Liberty Science Center, New Jersey’s most visited museum, where he was intimately involved in the strategic planning and operationalizing of the facility following a $109 million capital expansion. Over the years, Jonathan served in numerous capacities with responsibilities including intensive staff management, program oversight, and external relations. Immediately prior to joining The Mob Museum, Jonathan was the president and COO at the National Soccer Hall of Fame, where he led the dramatic transformation of the organization’s operating model. Jonathan has served two terms on the DVA’s Executive Committee as the organization’s Chairman and has helped lead the organization’s growth to help it become one of the most vital resources to businesses in the downtown community.
CCO/Managing Director, Noble Studios
As the Chief Creative Officer for Noble Studios, B.C. LeDoux is responsible for developing high-level brand strategy and messaging, content creation, and campaign concepts tailored to the problems Noble Studios’ clients are trying to solve. With two decades of deep experience in the creative world, B.C. made his mark leading creative teams and developing creative solutions for international, national and regional brands including Atlantis Bahamas, Hard Rock International, Nevada Commission on Tourism and many more. He has led teams that have won countless local, regional and national marketing and advertising awards, including a number of National and District Addy Awards, a Platinum Adrian Award from the HSMAI and “Most Innovative Campaign” in 2015 from the Las Vegas Interactive Marketing Association.