Speaker Date Topic
Alex Stettinski Sep 28, 2020
Downtown Partnership
Downtown Partnership

Alex Stettinski is the Executive Director of the Downtown Reno Partnership (DRP), and will be giving an update on the BID/DRP in particular during COVID-19, and an overview of Downtown developments in the pipeline. 

Alex has an extensive background in the improvement district, chamber of commerce, and tourism/destination marketing industries and served in several leadership roles for the past 18 years. He was executive director of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of Operations & Strategic Planning at Visit West Hollywood. Before that, he was part of the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles at the Downtown Center Business Improvement District and started The Avenues of Art & Design BID in West Hollywood.

Two years ago, he was recruited to start the first BID in Nevada, and this year, the DRP will be awarded an Award of Excellence in the place making/operations category by the International Downtown Association.  He has been very active in this community, educating people about what BIDs are, what they do to improve our communities, nationwide, and why these organizations play a vital role in the revitalization of our downtowns. He is writing a monthly column for the NNBW, and he submits op-ed pieces to RGJ on a regular basis. Since March, five of his articles were published, mostly dealing with the changed role of the DRP and the successes they were able to produce to address the changes.

He has an international background - born in Switzerland, raised in Germany and educated in Germany and the US.

Chris Orr Oct 05, 2020
PBS Reno Wild Nevada Program

Chris Orr has been at PBS Reno, the PBS member station in Reno for more than 20 years. Orr is PBS Reno’s Director of Art and Digital Marketing and the co-host of the travel/adventure series Wild Nevada.  The series has had more than 70 episodes distributed nationally throughout the public television system and has appeared in more than 30 states on local PBS stations.

"Wild Nevada," locally produced by PBS Reno, is a travel-destination series exploring the Silver State. In each episode of the show, hosts Chris Orr and Dave Santina head out on two-day excursions in search of Nevada's hidden scenic and recreational treasures. Along the way, the team hikes, bikes or sight-sees, taking side trips to investigate scenic and historic attractions throughout the state. Chris will join us virtually to share some of the road lessons she has learned from her time traveling with the crew, as well as her work designing its companion website and educational materials for PBS Reno.

Kate Marshall Oct 12, 2020
Nevada Lieutenant Governor
Nevada Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall grew up in working-class neighborhoods in San Francisco as the eldest of six children. She worked throughout high school and college, earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, with the help of scholarships, Pell Grants, and student loans.

After two years in the Peace Corps teaching high school in Kenya, Kate returned to earn a law degree from Berkeley. Kate then chose public service in the U.S. Department of Justice. There she served with distinction, fighting white-collar crime and taking on big corporations.

In 1997, Kate was recruited by then Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa to leave the Justice Department and come to Nevada to set up a state antitrust office.  Kate was elected Nevada’s State Treasurer in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.  One of her proudest achievements as Treasurer was creating the College Kick Start program. In the first statewide program of its kind, Kate partnered with local banks to open and fund college savings accounts for every kindergartner in public school in Nevada—and she did it at no expense to the taxpayer.

Kate was sworn in to office on January 7, 2019. As Lieutenant Governor, Kate is a member of Governor Steve Sisolak’s cabinet and serves as President of the State Senate. Kate is the Chair of the Commission on Tourism, Vice-Chair of the State Board of Transportation, a member of the Board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and a member of the Executive Budget Audit Committee.

Kim Mazeres Oct 19, 2020
Achievement Beyond Obstacles
Achievement Beyond Obstacles

Among the many Youth Services our club supports is the Achievement Beyond Obstacles (ABO) Scholarship Program.  ABO aims to provide support for and award scholarships to deserving high school seniors who have triumphed over hardships, demonstrated personal leadership and courage, and yet show academic improvement.  Reno South Rotary started the program in 1996.  Over the last few years, they joined forces with Reno Rotary, Sparks Rotary, and Reno Central Rotary, forming a 501(c)3 to administer the program. 

In our club, Laurie Leonard, Kevin Melcher, Charlie Dodson, Kim Meyer and Kim Mazeres have been student liaisons.  Kim Meyer and Laurie are currently on the board of the organization.  Every year through our Youth Services Committee, our club provides $5,000 to ABO, and many, many members of our club have provided additional financial support. 

As a club, we have typically had six to eight of the ABO students present to us in April as part of the process of deciding who to interview for the scholarships.  This year, since we were unable to do that, we thought you would still enjoy hearing from a few students.  Last month the Reno South Rotary interviewed four ABO students as their Zoom meeting program.  This week’s program includes several of those interviews.

One of the important components of ABO includes a mandatory Leadership Weekend where the 35-40 students nominated by their high school counselors come together to learn from trainers Dean and Rochelle Whellams.  You will hear students refer to this training in their interview.  Due to the pandemic, we are currently working with the Whellams’ and the school counselors to determine how to proceed with this year’s program.

But even with the pandemic, thanks to the generous contributions of Rotarians, in May of this year ABO awarded a total of $46,000 – $21,500 to 16 first-year students and $24,500 to 13 continuing students.  To learn more about ABO, visit our website at www.abonevada.com .


David Thomas Oct 26, 2020
Black Lives Matter and Law Enforcement
Dr. Kristen McNeill Nov 02, 2020
WCSD Superintendent
WCSD Superintendent

Dr. Kristen McNeill is a native Nevadan who moved to the Reno-Sparks area in 1996. She has worked for more than two decades in public education. She taught grades 2 through 6 before becoming a principal at Lois Allen Elementary School and Marvin Moss Elementary School.

Dr. McNeill became the WCSD Director of State and Federal Programs/K-16 Initiatives in 2008, then was named Chief Strategies Officer in 2010. She assumed the duties of Chief of Staff for the Washoe County School District in 2012, and also served as Interim Superintendent in the summer of 2012.

In September of 2015, Dr. McNeill was appointed the Deputy Superintendent position for WCSD. In that role, she oversaw the areas of Office of School Leadership, Office of Academics, and the Strategies Office. In July of 2019, Dr. McNeill was appointed by the Board of Trustees as the Interim Superintendent, essentially serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Washoe County School District.

She was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Schools for the Washoe County School District in April 2020.

Chris Smallcomb, Meteorologist Nov 09, 2020
Ashley Frey Nov 16, 2020
Frey Ranch Bourbon and Whiskey Distillery
Frey Ranch Bourbon and Whiskey Distillery

Welcome to Frey Ranch, where the know-how of 165 years of farming and custom state-of-the-art distilling methods blend into every bottle of our sustainable Nevada born bourbon. In our lush farm oasis nestled in the Lake Tahoe watershed, each of our slow grown grains are an heirloom and a point of pride, specifically grown for our non-chill filtered 90 proof Bourbon. Grown, distilled, matured and bottled on site, this is a new generation of Frey that is more than a ranch, but a true farm distillery in this 36th state of the U.S.A., raising a whiskey of the land.