Hello, NHLA Members;
It is with pleasure and honor that I am looking forward to serving as the NHLA Chairman of the Board. Working with top leaders in the industry throughout Nevada and the highly committed team at NHLA is an opportunity for which I am grateful and excited about.
Our association is vibrant, dynamic and relevant to our continuing evolvement and support of the hospitality industry in Nevada. We have all faced many challenges the past two years that we never dreamed of in our entire lives. We are stronger, wiser and more committed than ever to ensuring we stay committed, productive and successful for our members, communities and industry.
As we move forward, under the leadership of NHLA President Diane Gandy and Vice President Irving Pamblanco, we have many of our former popular events on the 2022 calendar such as bowling tournaments and golf tournaments. We have many new events and activities coming up, as well. It is our goal as an association to lead the industry with resources, leadership development, education, certifications, networking, relevancy and purpose through NHLA involvement.
Some of our great programs include our Emerging Leaders and Women in Lodging along with our committees which include Safety and Security, Clean and Green, Technology and Read to Lead book club. All members are encouraged to get involved in as many activities as they like and attend events to broaden networks and hone skills. If your company is a member of NHLA, you are, too!
On behalf of the board of directors, NHLA team and all of our members, I am looking forward to a successful year for all.
NHLA Chairman of the Board
NHLA Board of Directors:
Chairman of The Board
Vice President of Resort Operations
2020 Hotelier of the Year
NNV Vice Chairman
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
2016 Hotelier of the Year
SNV Vice Chairman
Vice President of Hospitality
Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor and Four Seasons Las Vegas
2022 Hotelier of the Year
Francisco J. Morales
Director of Operations
National Hospitality Management
Mary Ann Burns
Corporate V.P. of Hotel Operations
Past Chairman of the Board
Holley, Driggs, Walch, Fine, Puzey, Stein & Thompson
Vice President of Food and Beverage
Bellagio and ParkMGM at MGM Resorts International
Vice President of Nevada Operations
Jacobs Entertainment, Inc.
2019 Industry Executive of the Year
Vice President of Hospitality
Palms Casino Resort
Vice President of Operations
Area Vice President – Resort Operations
Hilton Grand Vacations Club
2017 Hotelier of the Year
Erna Barton, CHA
Hilton Grand Vacations on Paradise
2022 General Manager of the Year
The Platinum Hotel and Spa
2019 General Manager of the Year
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Matt Tyburski, CAM, CMCA, AMS
Wyndham Desert Blue
Vice President and General Manager
Tropicana Las Vegas
Siegel Group Nevada
2018 General Manager of the Year
V.P. of Hotel Operations
Resorts World Las Vegas
2015 Hotelier of the Year
Director of Hotel Operations
Boyd Gaming Downtown Region
California – Fremont – Main Street Station
2022 Mentor of the Year
V.P. of Hotel Operations
Venetian Resort Las Vegas
Director of Hotel Operations
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
2022 Clean and Green Star of the Year
Bluegreen Vacations Corporation
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: Mary Ann Burns, Boyd Corporation
President: Diane Gandy, NHLA
Chris Breed, Soleil Management
Jaime Miranda, Venetian Resort Las Vegas
Michele Kline, Kline Hospitality Consulting
Nicole Marshall, Siegel Select
Kristen Jaeger, UNLV
Austin Bagwell, MGM Resorts International
Gina Arambula, MGM Resorts International
Helen Fafara, Procter and Gamble Professional
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
Jonathan Boulware, Jacobs Entertainment, Inc.
Chris Lynch, University of Nevada, Reno
Piper Stremmel, Jesse Hotel, Owner
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 two co-chairpersons, advisors and members. 2022 Co-Chairpersons are Evan Meyer and Diego Lopez.
Co-Chair: Evan Meyer, Director of Hotel Operations, Boyd Gaming Downtown
Co-Chair: Diego Lopez, Housekeeping Floor Manager, Luxor
Mentor Chair: Diego Lopez, Luxor
Advisor: John Brady, Director of Front Office, Venetian Resort Las Vegas
Mary Vega, Contracts Manager, Soleil Management
Kylie Stubbs, Manager of Guest Experience, Luxor
Omar Quezada-Diaz, Pool Operations Manager, Park MGM