Vegas Inc celebrates exemplary executives with the 2024 C-Suite Honors


Thu, Feb 22, 2024 (2 a.m.)

Each year, Vegas Inc has the opportunity to feature some of the greatest leaders from prominent local enterprises. This year's honorees represent nonprofits, sports, gaming, government and other industries critical to the success of the cities we call home. Each honoree displays leadership and innovation in his or her field while elevating their employees and their businesses. Their expertise and experience solidify Southern Nevada as a world-class community to live and work in. 

The 2024 C-Suite Honors originally appeared in a special issue of Vegas Inc found inside of Las Vegas Weekly. Sign up to get each of Vegas Inc’s special publications delivered to your inbox on the day of their release.

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Ronn Nicolli (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Ronn Nicolli

Chief Marketing Officer, Resorts World Las Vegas

In the early 2000s, a young Ronn Nicolli moved to Las Vegas from Youngstown, Ohio. Though he is now the chief marketing officer of Resorts World Las Vegas, Nicolli hadn’t initially intended to make the city his home. Nicolli said, “Southern Nevada has so much to offer; it’s hard to imagine yourself living somewhere else once you’ve gotten used to calling it home.”

Nicolli soon found that his talents were well-suited for Las Vegas’ unique marketing and nightlife environment. He started as a street team promoter for Wynn Nightlife, but with a degree in marketing, Nicolli had a bigger understanding of the business side of nightlife. He quickly became an invaluable asset to his team, rising to a promotions manager role, then to the executive director of marketing and finally senior executive director of nightlife.

He continued to hone his skills as the senior vice president of creative strategy at Palms Casino Resort before making the move to Resorts World Las Vegas. Now, Nicolli stays busy bolstering a brand relatively new to the U.S. and the first ground-up casino in over a decade. He oversees nightlife at Resorts World in partnership with Zouk Group and directs marketing strategy for the resort.

In the next few years Nicolli looks forward to Resort World’s continued development, as well as the development of his family relationships. When he’s not working, he enjoys going to UFC and boxing events with his family and seeing his kids grow.

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Ryann Juden (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Ryann Juden

City Manager and Chief Executive Officer, City of North Las Vegas

When Ryann Juden became the city manager and chief executive officer of the City of North Las Vegas in 2018, he was given a two-year ultimatum to fix the city’s problems – a $152 million budget deficit, poor bond rating, and labor and political issues – or else, North Las Vegas would be dissolved by the state. Motivated by the challenge and the tremendous detriment that dissolution would be to residents and the state economy, Juden and his team got to work devising innovative strategies to solve these historic problems.

“The City of North Las Vegas was a perfect laboratory for taking theoretical models from textbooks and applying them to explain real life behavior and craft successful strategies to help our community,” said Juden. One model that proved to be very successful was a grownomics approach. “We radically transformed government and made it business friendly to attract new businesses to establish and grow a new tax base to generate new revenues to balance the city’s budget,” explained Juden.

One of the ways Juden did this was by helping push legislation through that brought water to Apex Industrial Park. This allowed the city to recruit major businesses, including several Fortune 500 companies, to come to Southern Nevada. Juden and his team grew the taxable assets within the city from $4 billion to over $12 billion in less than ten years.

While Juden enjoys creative problem solving, he believes that true joy comes from serving others. He exemplifies this by putting the residents of the city and his employees first. Under his leadership, the city opened the North Las Vegas Veterans & Community Resource Center. Juden’s vision also led to the creation of the Dolores Huerta Resource Center, focusing on providing services and resources to the Hispanic community and the North Las Vegas Community Correctional Center and CARE Court to help reduce crime and recidivism in the community.

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Celena DiLullo (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Celena DiLullo

President, Palm Mortuaries and Cemeteries

Palm Mortuaries and Cemeteries have been caring for Southern Nevadans and their loved ones for almost 100 years. As the organization’s president, Celena DiLullo oversees 238 employees at 10 locations. By nature, DiLullo’s career is one of service, and she exemplifies that not only in her work with her community but also in how she leads her employees.

DiLullo’s extensive experience in a broad range of leadership positions in the company have prepared her for one of her favorite aspects of her work – mentoring. “One of my biggest challenges is ensuring that our associates are able to focus on their work life and personal life balance,” said DiLullo. “This balance in our profession can be challenging because the work we do can be so unpredictable and we must always be ready to serve.”

Her teams demonstrated their willingness to serve after the tragic events of October 1 and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. DiLullo was instrumental in ensuring that funeral workers were among the first individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. She did her best to provide her team with PPE while managing the influx of customers and record-breaking numbers of burials and cremations. Though DiLullo regularly witnesses grief firsthand, she also sees how community and family thrive even after the passing of loved ones.

DiLullo also gives back to the community through her support of local nonprofits including Nevada Ballet Theatre, Jewish Nevada, LVMPD Foundation, Nathan Adelson Hospice, Nevada Donor Network, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, and the Injured Police Officers Fund. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Nevada Commission for Women and sits on the Executive Women’s Council for the Vegas Chamber.

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Ken Goodrich (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Ken Goodrich

Founder and Chairman, Goettl Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Ken Goodrich began helping his father with his work as an HVAC business owner when he was around 10 years old. As he held the flashlight for his dad on late-night calls, he was exposed to several truths that have continued to drive him throughout his career. First, that air conditioning in Las Vegas is a necessity and not a luxury. Second, that he had a passion for solving problems and helping people.

When Goodrich officially purchased Goettl in 2013, the company was losing $3 million annually. Goodrich saw the value of the brand’s legacy and partnered with a private equity firm to assist in the strategic growth of the company. In 2018, the team set a goal to increase the company's value 10 times in 1,000 days. They reached their goal early.

Goodrich has excelled at business development and growth and has become an inspiration to many, not only in Southern Nevada, but throughout the nation. His book The E-Myth HVAC Contractor is a testament to his dedication to sharing his knowledge on the industry and entrepreneurship. He has also invested in education by initiating the J. Duncan Goodrich Air Conditioning Technology Laboratory at the College of Southern Nevada and donating funds to provide scholarships to local HVAC students.

Recently, Gov. Joe Lombardo appointed Goodrich to the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. In this role, Goodrich will be able to influence policies to promote economic development, business growth, and workforce adaptability across Nevada. He has also served as president of the Southern Nevada Air Conditioning Refrigeration Service Contractors Association and as a member of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Nevada.

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Kimberly Kindig (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Kimberly Kindig

Chief Executive Officer, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada is the state’s oldest organization dedicated to helping children and families who face childhood cancer. Kimberly Kindig is the foundation’s first CEO. For the past 15 years Kindig has elevated nonprofit missions in Las Vegas, strengthening the city with compassion and expertise. Since Kindig joined Candlelighters in 2019, the organization’s assets have increased by 50%.

Kindig has focused on improving infrastructure to better accommodate the needs of children and teens with cancer and their families. This has included implementing and expanding available programs. Under Kindig’s direction, counseling services have become available to everyone in the family, tripling the number of sessions provided since 2019. The foundation’s scholarship program has also been extended to provide funds to siblings of cancer survivors as well as the survivors themselves. Last year the program awarded $50,000 in scholarships.

As a native Nevadan, Kindig has a deep and strong sense of the local community. “I was born and raised in Las Vegas, and even though I went away for college and graduate school, I always knew that I would come back to my hometown and help build a vibrant community for others like me who called Las Vegas home,” said Kindig. One of the benefits of service in such a tight-knit community is the opportunity to see the long-term effects of her work as children and families return to visit, volunteer or donate.

Kindig is committed to honoring the dedication of preceding Candlelighters leaders by securing the needed funds and tools to prepare for generations to come. Plans are currently underway to open a new office and forever home for the organization. This will provide the needed space to expand programs and serve children and families on their childhood cancer journeys.

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Michelle Sanders (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Michelle Sanders

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The Rogers Foundation

Michelle Sanders’ work has changed the lives of hundreds of young students since The Rogers Foundation was founded in 2015. Before the formation of the foundation, Sanders worked as the general manager and accounts payable manager for Intermountain West Communications Company. During this time, she involved herself in the nonprofit community and handled the accounting side of the philanthropic endeavors of the Rogers family.

As the chief operating officer, Sanders manages the distribution of scholarship funds. A significant benefit of her job is that she does not just act in a supervisory function. Sanders has the opportunity to work directly with the individuals who benefit from these scholarships. Sanders says that the selection process is “grueling” but fulfilling. “Telling [these students] their dreams of a college education are now a reality makes my heart sing,” said Sanders.

By her direction, more than $89 million in scholarships have been awarded to local students and supporting programs. Sanders keeps in touch with these students, maintaining a connection through college and often beyond as the students become productive members of society. She also volunteers at high schools, educating students on scholarship and college opportunities.

In addition to her work with the Rogers Foundation, Sanders is on the Clark County Library District Foundation board and the CORE board of directors. Sanders is also the founder and executive director of Ladies in Training, a modern etiquette program that helps girls aged 13-18 to develop self-confidence, social graces and personal growth.

Outside of work, Sanders enjoys immersing herself in different cultures, traveling, trying new foods and meeting new people.

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Victor Fuchs (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Victor Fuchs

President and Managing Member Helix Electric of Nevada

When Victor Fuchs was a teenager, his family immigrated to the United States from Soviet Union-controlled Ukraine. A modern example of the American dream, Fuchs pursued his education, obtaining a degree in biology from the University of California San Diego before joining Helix Electric. Once with the company, Fuchs honed his skills rapidly, his ambition eventually driving him to move to Nevada and establish the Las Vegas division of Helix Electric when he was only 32.

One of Fuchs’s gifts as a leader is his loyalty to his employees. “My favorite aspect of my job is fostering a workplace where our employees feel secure, supported, and fulfilled,” said Fuchs. “It’s incredibly gratifying to provide reliable work that not only sustains their lives, but also fuels their aspirations and desires.” Fuchs is known for being approachable and asks for honest feedback about ways the business could be improved. He randomly selects employees to join him for a monthly dinner to discuss the organization’s successes and needs.

Philanthropy is an important part of Fuchs’s personal and professional life. His generosity has fostered a culture of community-minded giving, encouraging employees to be involved. Helix Electric hosts three annual charity golf tournaments supporting causes of the employees’ choosing, sponsors local charity events and donates generously to drives and foundations – regularly surpassing its own record contributions. Fuchs and his family founded their own nonprofit, the Emerald Dream Foundation, in 2007. He also involves himself with community leadership, sitting on the board of directors for the Associated Builders and Contractors as well as the Associated General Contractors.

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Stacie Michaels (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Stacie Michaels

Chief Administrative Officer Fontainebleau Las Vegas

Stacie Michaels knew from the beginning of her career that she wanted to work in-house for a casino. After graduating top of her class at New York Law School, Michaels moved back to her hometown of Las Vegas to pursue her goals. Michaels became a partner at Argentum Law and worked at Wynn Las Vegas. There she started as corporate counsel, but over the 10 years she spent at Wynn, Michaels rose through the ranks to become senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.

Within one year of being hired as general counsel for Fontainebleau, Michaels was promoted to chief administrative officer. Of her experience as part of the opening team of Fontainebleau Michaels said it “has been an incredible experience. We have created something very special, and it will be rewarding to see how the resort evolves over the next five to 10 years.”

Michaels believes that Southern Nevada is one of the most dynamic places to live and has immersed herself in the rich and unique culture of the city. In addition to her contributions to Fontainebleau’s launch and operations, Michaels does pro bono work for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, serves on the board of trustees for The Meadows School and Discovery Children’s Museum, and acted as chair of the Nevada Taxicab Authority and a member of the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission.

Working in-house allows Michaels to be exposed to and work in many areas of law. She enjoys partnering with business leaders and team members and looks forward to taking on new responsibilities at the resort including risk management, internal audit, compliance and worker’s compensation functions.

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Sam Joffray (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

Sam Joffray

President and Chief Executive Officer Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee

In 1997 as New Orleans was preparing to host the Super Bowl, Sam Joffray and his event and media solutions company, Concept Matters, served the NFL, the New Orleans Saints, and the New Orleans Chamber. In the 25 years since, Joffray has continued to work closely with the NFL as a vendor coordinating media and communications efforts. Now, Joffray has brought his expertise to Las Vegas for the city’s first Super Bowl.

The Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee is a nonprofit made up of community leaders who collaborated with the NFL to meet all host requirements. As the committee’s president, Joffray was the liaison between the NFL and the City of Las Vegas, Clark County and Nevada to showcase the city as the entertainment, and now sports, capital of the world.

With the help of his team, Joffray kept the focus on the community throughout the planning process. One of the host committee’s priorities was its responsibility to serve the community through programs such as Business Connect, UNLV internships, and NFL Green projects. These programs have contracted with more than 200 local businesses, given college students invaluable hands-on experience and initiated clean environment projects.

“Having no previous playbook to dust off for hosting the first Las Vegas Super Bowl certainly gives us all a rare and daily pride of authorship in all of our work product,” said Joffray. “I look forward to seeing that our work guarantees Vegas gets invited to host one or two more Super Bowls in the next few years.”

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John Connelly (Wade Vandervort / Staff)

John Connelly

Global Chief Executive Officer Interblock Gaming

Under the leadership of John Connelly, Interblock Gaming is developing cutting-edge, innovative technology. Since Connelly’s employment as the global chief executive officer in 2015, the company has recruited top gaming and technology talent, entered new markets and invested in research and development.

Amidst Interblock’s recent acquisitions and the launching of new electronic table gaming products, the 2023 Q2 Eilers-Fantini Electronic Table Game Performance Report identified that Interblock makes up approximately 70% of ETG units within the Game Performance Database. Interblock’s Smart Pit technology with its chipless betting, enhanced security and streamlined decision playing has revolutionized the ETG industry, boosted player engagement and increased casino revenue.

Connelly identified the mentorship of Richard Haddrill, a member of the Gaming Hall of Fame, as playing a pivotal role in his career. “Being given the latitude to make mistakes, explore new areas of business, and assume roles for which I often lacked the necessary experience, but had the confidence of my then-Chairman, provided me with the tools needed for the position I hold today,” said Connelly. He looks forward to continuing to learn in his role, surrounding himself with individuals with a wide range of experience to gain knowledge from.

Connelly serves on the board of Gigi’s Playhouse Las Vegas, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for individuals with Down Syndrome. Last year, Interblock Gaming was the key sponsor of Gigi’s Playhouse’s Las Vegas gala. Connelly has also been involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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