Brian Kunec, Regional General Manager of KBHome, relishes his role with the nationalhomebuilder whose sweet spot is entry-level homesfor first-time homebuyers. In his position, Kunecoversees the company’s homebuilding operations inNevada, Idaho and Washington, including landacquisition, construction, sales and customerservice.
“Our primary market is a range of buyers that includes everyone from teachers to police officers and all those new to the real estate market,” said Kunec. It’s what drives me every day and fuels my passion to deliver a quality and affordable housing product that allows more people to own their own home. Helping others achieve the American Dream is rewarding and meaningful.”
As a member of the Advisory Committee for TheMayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, Kunec is alsopassionate about one of the organization’s tenets -workforce development and programs that trainand prepare young people for solid and lucrativecareers in the construction and homebuildingindustry.
“While there are many challenges to homebuilding,including the price of land and labor shortages, I enjoy working with city officials to explore newideas and opportunities in the pursuit of newand innovative ways to develop affordablehousing.”
He is particularly proud of KB Home’scommitment to the environment, with everyhome built to Energy Star certified standardsand using water smart technology. “As wedevelop our footprint locally and nationally, weare trying to do it in an environmentally smartway.”
Kunec and his wife, Alejandra, are dog parentsto four four-legged “kids,” who keep them busyand hopping: three Golden Retrievers namedMax, Manolo and Lola, and an American Eskimonamed Mateo. Pre-COVID, the Kunecs wereavid international travelers and today, arelooking forward to returning to theiradventurous lifestyle.
A Las Vegas resident since 2003, Kunec wasdrawn to Southern Nevada by the dynamichomebuilding industry, working first for Pulteand Del Webb, before joining KB Home in 2015.A Pennsylvania native, he holds a Bachelor ofArts degree in business and economics fromLafayette College in Pennsylvania. He currentlyserves on the board of the Southern NevadaHome Builders Association, Green Our Planet,Henderson Chamber of Commerce, One NightOne Drop committee, Nevada Care GivingCouncil, and the Las Vegas Bowl committee – inaddition to The Mayor’s Fund. Kunec is also anexecutive committee member of Inspirada LLC,the developer of the 1500-acre master-plannedcommunity in West Henderson.
Approximately 100 children in grades 3 – 8 from the city’sareas of greatest need, including but not limited to theHistoric Westside and East Las Vegas, were selected bythe city of Las Vegas to participate in a July 22 footballcamp hosted by Las Vegas Raider tight end Darren Waller.
Waller worked with Palo Verde High School footballcoaches, John Isolla and Joe Aznarez, and staff from thecity of Las Vegas Parks & Recreation Department todevelop and ensure a fun, educational and active footballcamp experience that was held at All-American Park. LasVegas City Councilmen Brian Knudsen and Cedric Crearkicked it off with words of encouragement to the kids andgratitude to Waller and event sponsors.
The camp included a variety of drills, pep talks and loadsof fun for the kids who were given t-shirts, Raider’s swagand refreshments, along with ice cream and popsiclescourtesy of sponsor The Howard Hughes Corporation.Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock and wide receiverZay Jones dropped by to assist.
The camp was made possible by a donation fromThe Howard Hughes Corporation®, developer ofthe master-planned community of Summerlin®and its urban core of Downtown Summerlin®, tothe Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE. Other eventsponsors included Wilson, Inscriptagraphs, LasVegas Agency, Battle4Vegas and Pepsi.
Children living in Ward 3, home of Gary Reese FreedomPark at 850 N. Mojave Road, are enjoying a brand newplayground courtesy of Make An Impact Foundation, anonprofit dedicated to promoting the education andwell-being of underserved children nationwide.
The organization recently partnered with KVVU Fox 5and the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE to provide thenew playground equipment that was unveiled on June17. Another partner, Miracle Recreation, provided arange of new equipment, including traditional swingsand slides, as well as innovative elements like sensoryplay panels, fitness climbers, and a custom helmetclimber.
To make this exciting new play space a reality, Make AnImpact Foundation joined forces with KVVU FOX5’sSuperBuild program, which brings together communitypartners committed to serving Southern Nevadafamilies. Super Build sponsors, which collectivelydonated more than $90,000 to the Mayor’s Fund tounderwrite the new equipment, included Las VegasRaiders, Barclays, D&L Roofing, Home Depot Foundation,and Les Olson.
“Our partnership with Make An Impact Foundation is the very embodiment of the goal of The Mayor’s Fund to bring the community together for the betterment of our residents,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “Giving our children a new, safe and clean place to play takes a village of community donors who have each stepped up to make it happen. We are so grateful to everyone involved for helping us advance important initiatives like this one.”
On April 15, the West Las Vegas Arts Center, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd., was graced with the installation of two magnificent 15-foot sculptures, “Queen of the Arts,” that were unveiled and celebrated at a community event.
Created by renowned international artists, Gus and Lina Ocamposilva, and selected by West Las Vegas community members in 2016, completion and installation of the sculptures were funded by a gift of $40,000 to The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE from The Howard Hughes Corporation®, developer of the Summerlin® master-planned community, its urban core of Downtown Summerlin® and Las Vegas Ballpark, and owner of the city’s professional baseball team, Las Vegas Aviators.
According to Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, city of Las Vegas, the value of public art is immeasurable. “Public art gives voice to communities; it celebrates local culture and builds community pride,” she said. “We are especially grateful to partners like The Howard Hughes Corporation that have long recognized the role of public art in fostering community pride and spirit.”
According to Councilman Cedric Crear, Ward 5, city of Las Vegas., the sculptures are positioned to become part of the area’s cultural fabric, contributing to the rich African-American history of the Historic Westside. “We appreciate The Howard Hughes Corporation’s contribution that brings these spectacular sculptures to life in this important area of our city,” he said.
“Public art has long been foundational to our commitment to community building, evident in outdoor sculpture throughout Summerlin and other projects we have been involved with over the decades” said Kevin T. Orrock, President, Las Vegas Region, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “We are especially proud to support and celebrate the rich history of Las Vegas’ Historic Westside with these magnificent sculptures at a place where art, learning and history combine to create a meaningful gathering place for the community.”
Since its opening in 1995, the West Las Vegas Arts Center has amplified the voices, perspectives and talents of the community via a number of flagship arts program that honor and recognize African-American heritage. It is home to many arts programs for area residents of all ages with an emphasis on youth, and it provides pivotal opportunities for civil engagement and social justice projects through the disciplines of arts education.
The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE recently identified three focus areas that align with city priorities and that will guide the organization’s work for the next several years.
According to Brian McAnallen, manager, office of philanthropic initiatives for the city of Las Vegas, the declaration will better focus and prioritize initiatives of the Mayor’s Fund as it moves into its third year, synchronizing with the city’s strategic plan through 2037.
The three primary goals include:
By 2031, all Las Vegans will have access to a job and affordable housing.
By 2026, Las Vegas will be the nation’s first 100 percent connected city.
By 2037, Las Vegas will set national standard for early childhood health and education.
“We are intentionally organizing our work around these purposeful priorities by building on the existing work and successes of the city and collaborating with other nonprofits in the community,” said McAnallen. “We plan to organize the Advisory Committee into smaller working groups that support these three goals to identify concrete and specific tactics and strategies for advancing our progress in each area.”
At a June 17 meeting of the Advisory Committee, response to the goals and strategic framework plan was met with enthusiastic support from those in attendance.
“Our Advisory Committee is comprised of many of our city’s most influential and well-respected leaders,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, city of Las Vegas. “They are the key to ensuring our work is well focused and they help with leveraging important relationships. We are excited about the opportunities that lay ahead as we work to improve quality of life for all Las Vegans.”
Thanks to a generous gift of $25,000 from CoxCommunications to The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE,teens and young adults in west Las Vegas now have theopportunity for hands-on learning at the new CoxInnovation Lab at the Strong Future Technology Centeron the campus of the Historic Westside School. The Lab,which includes state-of-the-art computers and software,will help to prepare teens and young adults foremployment opportunities, ensuring they are wellprepared to enter the workforce.
We are grateful for partners like Cox Communicationsthat are helping us to advance Ward 5 initiatives underThe HUNDRED Plan and important city initiatives in theeducational and technology spheres to improve qualityof life, especially in underserved areas like Westside LasVegas,” said Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear,Ward 5. “Public-private partnerships are the veryfoundation of The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE.”
“We’re proud the Cox Innovation Lab at theStrong Future Technology Training Center willexpand access to technology in Las Vegas’Historic Westside, the community that has beenhome to Cox’s Las Vegas operations for morethan a decade,” said Cox VP and Market LeaderMichael Bolognini. “Cox Innovation Labs andCox Technology Centers enable essential digitalconnections.”
The Cox Innovation Lab opened last month aftera brief, socially distanced ribbon-cutting on Feb.9, which coincided with Safer Internet Day.
n an effort to help the homeless population in Southern Nevada, SilverSummit Healthplan recently donated $50,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE. The donation, which supports the city of Las Vegas’ Recuperative Care Center (RCC) located at 1581 N. Main Street in the Corridor of Hope, was used to purchase an ADA-compliant van to safely and easily transport homeless patients to their medical and social services appointments throughout the Las Vegas valley. The van was unveiled at a ceremony on Jan. 20 at Las Vegas City Hall.
The RCC provides a safe place to discharge homelesspatients when they no longer require hospitalization butstill need care to heal from illness or injury. The city ofLas Vegas began working on implementing the centerapproximately two years ago. At the 38-bed facility,patients receive continued medical treatment and anIntensive Case Manager (ICM) to identify barriers tocare, then finds solutions to resolve those barriers tohelp patients facilitate transition into self-sufficiency.
“The Recuperative Care Center is a much-neededaddition to the Corridor of Hope,” said Eric Schmacker,SilverSummit Healthplan President and CEO.“While SilverSummit serves many homelessNevadans, our commitment to the communityreaches beyond our member base. This supportwill help some of the most at-risk populations inour city regain stability and properly heal in asafe environment.”
“This donation from SilverSummit Healthplan will make a real difference in the lives of Las Vegas’ homeless population as we work to help them regain both their health and their independence, said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “This is a wonderful addition to the Recuperative Care Center.”
A $25,000 grant from the San Manuel Band of MissionIndians to The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE wasrecently awarded to support the city’s Vegas StrongAcademies program that provides a safe, caring andaffordable childcare option with emphasis on supportfor distance learning. The grant covers tuition for up to50 students to participate in the program.
According to Dr. Tammy Malich, director, youth development and social innovation for the city of Las Vegas, the city’s Vegas Strong Academies program currently operates in ten locations throughout the city, including select community centers and libraries, to provide a safe and caring place for students to participate in virtual education and receive before- and after-school care. The program is designed for students from Kindergarten to grade eight.
“Community support is everything as wecontinue to navigate the challenges created bythe COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor CarolynG. Goodman, city of Las Vegas. “Thanks togenerous partners like the San Manuel Band ofMission Indians, we are able to enroll morechildren in our Vegas Strong Academiesprogram that provides a safe place for learning.This is especially important for the many LasVegas parents who do not have the option ofworking from home.”
McAnallen, a longtime public affairs professional, previously was vice president of government affairs for the Porter Group.
Brian McAnallen, a longtime public affairs professional, recently joined The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE as its Philanthropic Initiatives Manager.
McAnallen, who previously held a position in government affairs for the city, returns to the city after working as vice president of government affairs for the Porter Group, a federal lobbying firm headed by former U.S. Congressman Jon Porter, as well as a stint as head of his own consulting firm.
In his new position, McAnallen draws upon his extensive experience fundraising millions of dollars for healthcare, political action committees, nonprofits and community organizations, including working to secure grant funding. He is working in partnership with city staff, Mayor’s Fund Advisory Committee members, donors and stakeholders to guide philanthropic and charitable initiatives for the Fund that is now entering its third year.
“The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE is founded on the premise that public-private partnerships better and more quickly advance important city initiatives that improve the quality of life for Las Vegas residents,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “I can think of no better person to help us navigate the complex world of philanthropy, stakeholder and donor relations than Brian, with whom I had the pleasure of working for many years. I am thrilled to welcome him to The Mayor’s Fund team.”
Tom Thomas has a passion for mountain climbing the world’s summits that call to every committed mountaineer. Here in Las Vegas, it’s that passionate commitment to helping others rise to new heights that has guided Thomas through decades of philanthropic leadership and generosity.
An early supporter of the Mayor’s Fund, and knowingfrom experience the power of collaboration, Thomaswas integral in bringing together community andbusiness leaders who, along with his personal gifts,provided the initial $131,100 donation for launching theMayor’s Fund and funding the Courtyard HomelessResource Center. Today, he is an active advisorycommittee member of The Mayor’s Fund.
For more than two decades, with quiet modesty,Thomas has been active with numerous charitableorganizations including Opportunity Village, UNLVFoundation, Greater Good Council, Brigham YoungUniversity President’s Leadership Council and Las VegasRotary Club Foundation, among others. He also serveson numerous boards including Southwest Gas Corp.,Switch, and the Nevada State Bank Advisory Board aswell as serving on the oversight panel for ConventionFacilities in Clark County.
Since 1992, Thomas has been the managing partner ofthe Thomas & Mack Co., an investment managementand commercial real estate developmentcompany, which owns and operates more thanfour million square feet of office and lightindustrial properties in Las Vegas in addition todevelopments in California, Arizona, and Utah. TheCompany represents a 60-year, four-generationpartnership between the Thomas and Mackfamilies – founding families of Las Vegas whosedevelopments and philanthropy have shaped ourcommunity for decades.
Thomas’ legacy for philanthropy is also generational and deeply personal as he carries on the example set by his father, E. Parry Thomas, philanthropist, community civic leader and business icon revered for his influence on Las Vegas.
Thomas’ greatest joy is being with his wife, five children and two grandchildren, enjoying the world’s diverse cultures and beauty.