Vegas Seven

People Issue 20132

  • Justin Hutson

    By Mike Grimala

    UNLV associate head basketball coach Justin Hutson is many things—a defensive strategist, a film-room buff, an X’s and O’s mind—but at his core he’s a builder. Hutson’s most publicized role at UNLV is that of the master recruiter, the guy largely responsible for bringing in some of the most talented players Las Vegas has seen since the Rebel glory days of the early 1990s. And in less than two years on the job, Hutson’s haul of high school stars has helped propel the Rebels back into the national spotlight.

  • Jesika Towbin-Mansour

    When Jesika Towbin-Mansour graduated college a decade ago, she had her eye on the jewelry business. She liked diamonds and money, she jokes in hindsight, and wanted to surround herself with them. Despite an internship under her belt and certification just ahead, it never happened, because her dad put a stop to it.

  • Sonny Ahuja

    By Geoff Carter

    Sonny Ahuja and I are well into a happy-hour round of drinks at the Lady Sylvia when he tells me a story about Wine Street, the kiosk he once owned at the Riviera. One day, while selling personalized bottles of wine to tourists, inspiration struck. “I got this great idea of bottling Nevada desert,” he says. “I bottled it, corked it, labeled it, came up with a funny story and sold a lot of sand.” He shrugs, and adds, “That’s the serial entrepreneur in me.”

  • Ricardo Laguna

    By Michelle Alejandra

    In the words of Jay-Z, Ricardo Laguna is “a business, man.” Even though the 30-year-old often dresses in jeans and a cap like the international BMX racing champion he is, he is well on his way to building an empire. Laguna already has his own line of helmets and bikes, and is internationally sought-after to build BMX competition courses.

  • Connie Yeh

    By Heidi Kyser

    In 2013, taking measure of Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project will require less speculation and more observation. As once-gauzy plans come to fruition, a health clinic will begin taking patients and a business park will emerge from shipping containers. And, if Connie Yeh succeeds, a preschool will open in a former church building on the corner of Ninth Street and Bridger Avenue.

  • Allison Serafin

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    Who knew the State Board of Education could be such a hotbed for high-profile movers and shakers? A place to see and be seen? A place for well-known names like Elaine Wynn and promising up-and-comers such as Allison Serafin?

  • Kate Aldrich and Tim Shaffer

    By Melinda Sheckells

    Two years ago, Kate Aldrich was designing high-end plates for five-star restaurants, and Tim Shaffer was an online merchant specializing in vintage home décor. They lived in Denver, but many of Aldrich’s clients were on the Strip. That made for a hectic travel schedule, so they did the reasonable thing and moved to Las Vegas. They bought a home in the trendy Rancho/Alta area, and new dreams began to stir.

  • Simon Hammerstein

    By Cindi Reed

    Simon Hammerstein is the type of person who inspires extreme assessments. His Web presence shows a celebrated and celebrity-filled life lived under the at-times admiring and at-other-times acerbic eye of the media. Perez Hilton describes him as “NYC’s craZZZiest nightclub owner,” which pretty much sums up both poles of thought.

  • Cee Lo Green

    By Miriam Coleman

    Half a century after the Rat Pack’s groundbreaking Summit at the Sands, the institution of the Las Vegas residency has fallen into disrepair. Outside the still-dynamic world of electronic dance music, the territory has largely been ceded to washed-up rockers and old pros with little pop-culture currency. Creatively fertile stars at the height of their popularity have not made much of a showing recently, but the game may change at the end of February, when Cee Lo Green drops his anchor at Planet Hollywood for a two-month stay.

  • Nick Sherry

    By Matt Jacob

    The quarterback strolls into the athletic-department offices at the Thomas & Mack Center wearing a Santa hat and a big smile. Nick Sherry’s cheery disposition is not what you would expect from someone in the midst of finals week, to say nothing of someone coming off a freshman season in which he threw more interceptions (17) than touchdown passes (16) while experiencing more than five times as many losses (11) as victories (two).

  • Andres Ramirez

    If you can sell a candidate, Andres Ramirez says, you can sell an issue. And if you can sell an issue, selling a product is easy, which is why major corporations have recently turned to hiring political consultants—like Ramirez, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Hispanic Caucus—to advise them on marketing strategies.

  • Bryan McCormick

    By David G. Schwartz

    Bryan McCormick has seen the writing on the wall. He has, in fact, seen the writing on plenty of walls. And as one of the founders of Vegas Vernacular, he believes it’s his job to document as much of that sometimes garish, sometimes obscure, always unique art of the hand-painted sign as possible—before they disappear forever.

  • Sheridan Su

    By Geoff Carter

    Sheridan Su is so chill it’s hard to believe he can run a kitchen. “He’s the only chef I know who isn’t a Type-A personality,” one of his friends says of the soft-spoken 30-year-old. Yet the Los Angeles–born Su has run several prestigious kitchens, including the Cosmopolitan’s French brasserie, Comme Ça, and now his own venture, which has really gotten his culinary reputation sizzling.

  • Otto Ehling

    By Steve Bornfeld

    Kid’s got some nerve—being this good, this successful, this soon. Wait, our bad—he does have 22 years behind the keyboard. We’ll overlook that it’s out of only 24 on the planet. “My dad had me sitting on his lap and playing,” says UNLV pianist/composer/instructor Otto Ehling, on one of those days he wasn’t caressing the keys for Mannheim Steamroller or Cirque du Soleil’s O or at celebrity nuptials. “It’s been a part of me, and it’s weird when I’m away from it.”

  • Shannon McMackin: The Art Instigator

    By Cindi Reed

    Shannon McMackin has just bought an iPad and doesn’t know how to use it. The gallerist hates technology, but in this case, she’s willing to learn. You see, McMackin is about to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she will spread the gospel about Las Vegas artists to galleries there via iPad slideshow.