Dear NHLA Members,
I am honored to serve as the next Chairman of the Board for the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association. I look forward to the next two years with great excitement.
The Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association brings an abundance of resources, benefits and activities to our hospitality industry. We provide statewide seminars, conferences, networking opportunities, certifications, bowling and golf tournaments, and various divisional activities for the benefit of all interests of our members.
NHLA Women in Lodging was founded in 2015 and we have grown this division to over 200 members. WIL provides the ideal platform to promote women’s leadership as well as professional career development. The program includes a dynamic mentor program with two annual sessions, leadership development opportunities such as the Leadership Chats program with top female leaders in the industry and the new Read to Lead Book Club. We also host many seminars, conferences and networking events as well as philanthropic activities for the women’s charities that we support.
The Emerging Leaders is comprised of professional leaders 40 and younger building a career in the hospitality industry. NHLA provides guidance and support for these members through a dedicated leadership council, quarterly activities, leadership development opportunities and philanthropic support encouragement. The new Horizons mentor program provides the opportunity for the young members to meet established leaders in the industry and spend time learning from them.
We have many committees for members to participate within both in lending their expertise and resources for the membership and developing new contacts and skills.
We have a robust schedule of events and activities scheduled for this next year under the leadership and management of NHLA President Diane Gandy and Vice President Irving Pamblanco. Reopening, moving forward and helping our industry to thrive again is our focus through many programs and initiatives.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, I look forward to working with our teams and meeting our members. Thank you for the support.
Mary Ann Burns
NHLA Chairman of the Board
NHLA Board of Directors:
Chairman of The Board
Mary Ann Burns
Vice President of Hotel Operations
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
2016 Hotelier of the Year
Area Vice President – Resort Operations
Hilton Grand Vacations Club
2017 Hotelier of the Year
Vice President of Resort Operations
2020 Hotelier of the Year
Holley, Driggs, Walch, Fine, Puzey, Stein & Thompson
Resort General Manager
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Vice President of Hospitality
Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor and Four Seasons Las Vegas
Vice President of Food and Beverage
Bellagio and ParkMGM at MGM Resorts International
Sr. VP of Revenue Optimization
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Vice President of Nevada Operations
Jacobs Entertainment, Inc.
2019 Industry Executive of the Year
Blaire Dela Cruz
Vice President of Hotel Operations
Resorts World Las Vegas
The Platinum Hotel and Spa
2019 General Manager of the Year
Executive Director of Hotel Operations
Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Gold Dust West – Carson City
Vice President of Hotel Operations
Tropicana Las Vegas
Siegel Group Nevada
2018 General Manager of the Year
Director of Hotel Operations
Boyd Gaming Downtown Region
California – Fremont – Main Street Station
V.P. of Hotel Operations
The Venetian & Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino
Francisco J. Morales
Hilton Garden Inn Las Vegas Strip South
Bluegreen Vacations Corporation
Matt Tyburski, CAM, CMCA, AMS
Wyndham Desert Blue
NHLA Executive Staff
To ensure full resources, visibility, representation and member benefits, Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association is led by two key executives under the direction of the Chairman of the Board and the Board of Directors.
Diane Gandy serves as President and has over 35 years of hotel and travel industry experience including hotel management, OTA major market management, online marketing, industry sales, event planning and communication. She has worked in executive industry positions in both NNV and SNV.
Diane’s NHLA responsibilities include general organizational management, business development and member resources. She focuses on hotel industry leadership development, benefits, sales, marketing, communications, association programs, educational resources, networking, special events, community engagement and strategic partner development.
Diane launched the NHLA Women Lodging in 2015 and continues to lead the division. Diane was the recipient of the 2015 Southern Nevada Women of Distinction Awards, received a 2017 International Athena Award for Outstanding Women’s Leadership, was a 2018 Inductee in the Women’s Leadership Hall of Fame, received the Leadership Award in Collaboration from the Timothy S Y Lam Foundation in 2019 and the 2020 Stars of the Industry Outstanding Leadership award. She has been featured in the Las Vegas Woman and Vegas, Inc. magazines as a leader in the community. Diane is a founding member and served on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success NNV from 2016-2019; is a member of the International Society of Hotel Associations (ISHA) and is a past member on the board of trustees for The Shade Tree LV. Diane is also the founder and president of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation, a non-profit entity providing scholarships for higher education and continuing education for the hotel industry.
Diane is an accomplished freelance writer and a published author. She has created and managed content for blogs, books, websites and newsletters for several companies and individuals over the past two decades. She provides and oversees all content for NHLA communication channels.
Diane has achieved Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) designation and while managing hotels she held certification as a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), as well.
Irving Pamblanco serves as Vice President of Finance and Operations and has been with NHLA since 1988 when he joined the firm as the business Accountant. He has served several corporate clients including the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association, Nevada Restaurant Association, Nevada Tourism Alliance, the International Food Service Executive Association (IFSEA), and Heffner & Associates, Inc.
Irving’s responsibilities include overseeing all accounting, finance and inventory functions, general operations, database and I.T. management, website updates and maintenance, membership email broadcasts, event participation, and new membership processing.
Irving has achieved designation from the American Hotel and Lodging Association Education Institute for Certified Guest Service Professional through passing the Guest Service Gold course and exam.
NHLA Women in Lodging
NHLA Women in Lodging (WIL) is committed to the professional development of women in the hospitality industry. We provide opportunities for women to obtain leadership competencies through certifications, seminars, classes and conferences. Through educational programming, structured mentoring, networking opportunities and philanthropic endeavors, WIL provides the forum for professional women to gain career momentum and connect with other industry leaders. NHLA members join free. Join now.
WIL Council Members
Chairperson: Jaime Miranda, Venetian & Palazzo, Vice President Hotel Operations, Luxury Services
Vice Chairperson: Chris Breed, Soleil Management, Vice President of Resort Operations
President: Diane Gandy, NHLA
Mary Ann Burns, Boyd Corporation
Dr. Toni Repetti, UNLV
Michele Kline, Kline Hospitality Consulting
Nicole Marshall, Siegel Select
Northern Nevada Council
Under the guidance of the NHLA board and staff, the Northern Nevada council assists in the development, available resources and visibility for Northern Nevada members of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association.
Audrey Damonte, Holley, Driggs, Walch, Fine, Wray, Puzey & Thompson
Jim Kenney, Catalytic Pure Air
Cheraz Ecker, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Debra Lang, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Minden
Jonathan Boulware, Jacobs Entertainment, Inc.
Chris Lynch, University of Nevada, Reno
Mike Jones, Gold Dust West – Carson City
Piper Stremmel, Jesse Hotel, Owner
Janine Ganska, Grand Sierra Resort
Emerging Leaders Council
Emerging Leaders is a division of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association comprised of young industry professionals 40 and younger. Under the guidance of the NHLA staff, it exists to engage young professionals in the Nevada hospitality and support industries through the development of local resources including networking, mentorship, philanthropic and educational opportunities. All NHLA members are encouraged to support the activities and attend events related to Emerging Leaders. These are our up-and-coming leaders.
Emerging Leaders is comprised of a council consisting of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, advisors and members. 2020 Chairperson is Evan Meyer and John Brady is serving as Vice Chairperson. Anthony Lai is chair of the Emerging Leaders mentor program.
Chair – Evan Meyer, Boyd Gaming
Co-Chair – John Brady, Venetian
Mentorship Chair – Anthony Lai, TISOH
Social Media Chair – Mary Vega, Soleil Management
Committee – Mabior Ayuen, Venetian
Committee – Paige Witt, Waldorf Astoria
NHLA Sales Ambassador
|Shannon McCallum, VP of Hospitality, Volan Technology|