Meet the Board
The RSCVA is governed by a 13-member board of directors representing a variety of business and community groups in Washoe County. The groups represented include: gaming, general business, financial industry, air service and motel industries. The cities of Reno and Sparks and Incline Village are also represented as well as the Washoe County Commission.
Cheryl Cairns represents The Northern Nevada Motel and Lodging Association and is a third generation Reno native. Cairns attended Reno High School before moving on to the University of Nevada, Reno. During college, Cairns worked side by side with her parents in their family owned business, Cheryl's Motel And Apartments, which was named after her when she was a little girl. Cheryl later moved to New York City to pursue a successful career in modeling. Fifteen years after heading east, Cheryl returned to northern Nevada to care for her parents and take over operations of Cheryl's Motel And Apartments, which she now owns. Cairns has owned and operated multiple commercial properties in the Reno area, including motel and small hotel properties, and loves to give back to the community. She can regularly be seen driving through downtown Reno handing out meals to individuals and families in need.
John Farahi is Co-Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of publicly traded Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (NASDAQ, MCRI), and has served in those capacities since 1993. He is licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Colorado Division of Gaming. John has served on numerous civic-related Boards and Commissions during his career. He was appointed by Nevada Governor Richard Bryan to the Nevada Commission on Tourism. John also was appointed by the Nevada Resort Association to the Board of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors’ Authority, on which he served for a total of eight years. Additionally, he served for eight years as a Trustee for the Washoe County Airport Authority, and also was a member of the V&T Railroad Development committee, supporting the historical reconstruction of the V&T Railroad from Carson City to Virginia City. Mr. Farahi is also a partner in Farahi Investment Company, which engages in real estate transactions and development. Mr. Farahi holds a political science degree from the California State University at Hayward.
Fred Findlen the Secretary/Treasurer of the RSCVA Board, is currently the General Manager for the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino. Findlen was most recently the General Manager at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort Spa and Marina. Findlen brings more than 25 years of hotel & hospitality experience with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, including domestic properties, international properties and Five Diamond resorts. Findlen began his career as a Hyatt corporate management trainee in 1985 after graduating Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst's Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration program.
Patrick Flynn is the executive director of hotel operations, sales and catering at Peppermill Resort Spa Casino. Flynn has more than 24 years of hotel and gaming experience, ranging from finance to hotel operations. Flynn has served on the council for the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and the board of directors of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association. He earned his B.A. in Business Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno and a Hospitality Management Diploma from the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung was elected in 2012 to represent District 4, which includes Sparks, Spanish Springs, and Wadsworth.
Commissioner Hartung has lived in Washoe County for nearly 35 years. He has been married to his wife, Sandra, for nearly 31 years. They have a have a son, Vaughn and a daughter, Aleah. Together they have raised their family in northern Nevada and have resided in Spanish Springs for 28 years. For more than 30 years, Hartung has been a small-business owner and was a partner in a successful photography studio for 25 of those years. He is a former adjunct faculty member for the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College, where he taught all phases of photography for two decades. He continues his work in commercial photography, and also promotes entomology education and manages several family-owned real estate properties. Throughout the early 90’s, Hartung was active as a community member in the development of Spanish Springs and was appointed to the Spanish Springs Citizens Advisory Board in 1996. He served the Board as secretary, vice chair and as chair for three terms. His goal was to provide citizens with a voice about the future of Spanish Springs. Since then, he has helped guide careful development in Sparks and Spanish Springs on numerous issues, including schools, housing developments, business parks, flood control facilities, sewer services, utility corridors, green energy, parks, transportation, master and area plans and annexation.
Hartung also served on the Washoe County Planning Commission, Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission, RTC Regional Road Impact Fee Technical Advisory Committee and RTC Pyramid Highway Stakeholder Working Group. Additionally, he is a former member of the Washoe County Design Review Committee. His many years in citizen planning have earned him the reputation for being fair, objective and unbiased in his decisions. Hartung is an innovator who brings a fresh perspective to the issues faced by the Washoe County Commission.
As a steward of the County’s resources, Hartung is committed to a shared regional vision of growth and development for Sparks, Reno, Washoe County and neighboring communities. In line with the needs of District 4, Hartung is dedicated to making Washoe County a premier place to live, work and play. In addition, his many years of experience as a small-business owner emphasize his approach to small and medium size business development as essential components, which will help Northern Nevada’s regional growth and provide expanded job opportunities.
Ed Lawson was elected to the City Council in November, 2010, and reelected in 2014. He was born in Sunnyside, WA, and grew up in Las Vegas, NV. He attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
Councilman Lawson worked for the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) for 15 years, holding positions in sales and management and served on the organization's government relations committee. He is active in the Sparks Rotary Club and volunteers time to the community. A champion of economic development, Councilman Lawson also plays a significant leadership role with the annual Kid's Free Fishing Day, which attracts more than 3,000 kids to the Sparks Marina. In 2014, he was recognized as the Public Official of the Year by the Builders Association of Northern Nevada.
Mr. Lawson and his wife Dianne have two sons who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno
Commissioner Bob Lucey is the Washoe County Commissioner of District 2. Commissioner Lucey is known for his professional real estate and investments business. He is also the owner of an animal hospital and in the process of building another. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno and is a fifth generation Nevadan and a longtime resident of Washoe County.
Mr. McGovern the Vice-Chairman of the RSCVA Board, is the representative for The Chamber, Reno Sparks and Northern Nevada, on the RSCVA Board of Directors representing general business interests. McGovern sits on The Chambers Executive Board, chairs The Chambers Business Advocacy Council (BAC) and is a member of The Chambers Political Action Committee (PAC).
Voters elected Hillary as Mayor in 2014. Hillary brings to the Council her entrepreneurial experience as an employer and local business owner, as well as her out-of-the-box thinking which helped her businesses prosper during the downturn in the economy. She wants to use her business knowledge to help eliminate bureaucratic red tape and spur job creation. Hillary’s other key issues are economic growth, public safety, regional cooperation, and senior services.
Hillary is the owner and operator of two clothing stores in the Midtown – a shop with recycled apparel for teenagers called “Plato’s Closet” and a similar clothing store for business professionals called “Clothes Mentor”.
Hillary was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She attended Reno High School and Arizona State University. Hillary grew up figure skating. She competed nationally in pursuit of an Olympic dream, but was stricken with kidney failure. Her sister Amanda Sanchez, a local News Anchor on KOLO Channel 8, saved Hillary’s life by donating her kidney for a transplant operation. Hillary is a tremendous advocate for organ donations and lobbied nationwide to promote organ donor awareness. She founded the world’s largest online organ donor card program.
Hillary’s business success landed her the Reno Gazette-Journal’s 2011 “Entrepreneur of the Year" award. Hillary was also named by the Nevada Young Professional Network and the Gazette-Journal as a “Top Twenty under Forty” recipient for her business expertise and her community service endeavors.
Hillary is a founding member of the Midtown Merchants Association. She is also a board member of the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project for homeless teens.
Hillary serves on multiple boards including EDAWN and the Regional Transportation Commission.
Kevin Sullivan is the Chairman of the RSCVA Board, is the Chairman of the Finance and Human Resources Committee and is the Reno Market President at the Mutual of Omaha Bank. With more than 20 years of banking experience, he previously served as corporate lending manager for northern Nevada, overseeing all commercial loan activity. He serves on The Children's Cabinet board and the board of directors for the Nevada State Development Corporation. Sullivan earned his B.S. in Business Management at the University of Nevada, Reno and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.