Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association Serving the industry since 1979


Chairman’s Message

Mary Ann Burns, NHLA Chairman of the Board Vice President of Hotel Operations, Boyd Gaming

Mary Ann Burns
NHLA Chairman of the Board
Vice President of Hotel Operations
Boyd Gaming

Dear NHLA Members,

I am honored to have been appointed 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 Next Reigning Generation is comprised of professional leaders 36 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. Leadership development will be a key focus.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, I look forward to working with our teams and meeting our members. Thank you for the support and let’s have a great 2019!


Mary Ann Burns
NHLA Chairman of the Board


NHLA Board of Directors:



Mary Ann Burns Chairman of The Board
Mary Ann Burns
Vice President of Hotel Operations
Boyd Gaming
Vice Chairman
Cheraz Ecker
General Manager
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
2016 Hotelier of the Year
Alex Canales Vice Chairman
Alex Canales
Area Vice President – Resort Operations
Hilton Grand Vacations Club
2017 Hotelier of the Year
Chris Breed Secretary/Treasurer
Chris Breed
Vice President of Resort Operations
Soleil Management

Executive Board

Audrey Damonte

Audrey Damonte
Holley, Driggs, Walch, Fine, Puzey, Stein & Thompson

Shannon McCallum
Vice President
Aria Resort and Casino and Vdara Hotel and Spa
2015 Hotelier of the Year

Debra S. Lang
General Manager
Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Minden
2017 Stars of the Industry GM of the Year

Josef Wagner
Vice President of Food & Beverage
Aria Resort & Casino


Cliff Atkinson Cliff Atkinson
Luxor Hotel & Casino
Matt Carter
Director of Hotel Operations
Carson Valley Inn
Eric Eisenberg Eric Eisenberg
Director of Hotel Operations
Boyd Gaming Downtown Region
Kevin Glass Kevin Glass
Resort General Manager
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Niki Gross
Managing Director
Whitney Peak Hotel
Ilse Harley
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Robert Jenny
Hotel Manager
Waldorf Astoria
Soren Jensen Soren Jensen
General Manager
Cancun Resort
Mike Jones Mike Jones
General Manager
Gold Dust West – Carson City
Arik Knowles Arik Knowles
V.P. of Hotel Operations
Tropicana Las Vegas
Jaime Miranda Jaime Miranda
V.P. of Hotel Operations, Luxury Services
The Venetian & Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino
Simon Pettigrew
Sr. Vice President Resort Operations
The Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino
Michael Rounds
Resort Manager
Bluegreen Vacations Corporation
Vicki Savini
General Manager
Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel
Catherine Siefert Catherine Siefert
V.P., Hotel Operations
Circus Circus Hotel & Casino
Matt Tyburski Matt Tyburski, CAM, CMCA , AMS
General Manager
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, President, CGSP   linkedin-logo-tiny

diane-gandyDiane 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, continues to lead the division and serves as an officer on the executive council of WIL. 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, and has been featured in the Las Vegas Woman and Vegas, Inc. magazines as a leader in the community. Diane is a founding member and serves on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success NNV, 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. Diane is also the founder and president of the new 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, Vice President of Finance & Operations, CGSP   linkedin-logo-tiny

irvingIrving 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.

Nevada Women in Lodging

Nevada Women in Lodging is a division of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association. The division is provided exclusively for female hospitality professionals to connect with top leaders statewide while networking, enhancing education, supporting the industry, mentoring and advancing careers, and providing community philanthropic resources. NHLA members join free. Join now.


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

Executive Council:
Mary Ann Burns, Boyd Corporation
Dr. Toni Repetti, UNLV
Ronna Timpa, Workplace ESL
Shannon McCallum, Mandalay Bay, V.P. of Hotel Operations

Carolyn Kelly-Shelton, Bluegreen Corporation, Regional HR Manager
Janice Tanaka, Director of Career Development, MGM Resorts Int’l
Michele Kline, Club de Soleil & Tahiti Resort
Amanda Taylor, Hotel Division Training Manager, Aria

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.

Bill Henderson, Carson Valley Inn
Audrey Damonte, Holley, Driggs, Walch, Fine, Wray, Puzey & Thompson
Jim Kenney, Catalytic Pure Air
Cheraz Ecker, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Debra Lang, Minden Holiday Inn
Niki Gross, Whitney Peak Hotel
Vicki Savini, Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel
Matt Carter, Carson Valley Inn
Mike Jones, Gold Dust West – Carson City
Eric Olson, Whitney Peak
Amy Preston Wendt, Courtyard by Marriott Reno Downtown/Riverfront

Next Reigning Generation (NRG) Council

The Next Reigning Generation (NRG) is a division of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association comprised of young industry professionals under the age of 36. 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 NRG. These are our up-and-coming leaders.

NRG is comprised of a council consisting of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, advisors and members. Anthony Lai currently serves as the Chairperson and Evan Meyer as Vice Chairperson serve in this important group.

NHLA Contributors and Contractors

Ronna Timpa, Ambassador

Ronna, founder of Workplace ESL Solutions, is an active NHLA Premier member and assists with membership sales recruitment and retention. Through her company, Ronna supports NHLA by providing seminars and other direct member services and benefits.

Marleah Ramos, Event Manager

Marleah is contracted to assist with event planning, management and creative design. Marleah previously worked for NHLA for over 5 years.

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