Vegas Seven

People Issue 20132

  • 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.

  • Susie Lee

    It’s hard to find a silver lining to the recession that has battered the country, but Susie Lee, the board president of Communities in Schools, thinks that hard times have helped reset our schools’ priorities. “It has been an opportunity to focus on what drives the vitality of a community, and, quite honestly, it’s the education of young people. The State of Nevada has woken up to realize that, not only money, but an investment of time and resources into the education of our young is what is going to improve our state.”

  • Style

    Meghan Boyd

    By Elizabeth Sewell

    Fashion sense must be stitched into Meghan Boyd’s DNA. At age 3, she was already astute enough to hide a pair of navy-blue pants her mother had given her. The pants were emblazoned with skiing sheep. “I would put them in the trash or tuck them under a couch cushion,” she says. “They were just embarrassing.”

  • LaVey Ortiz-Kindred

    By Sean DeFrank

    Growing up, makeup artist LaVey Ortiz-Kindred left the girly duties to her mother. “My mom is really great at makeup, and she would try to get me and my sisters into creams, but I just wasn’t into it,” she says. The 30-year-old’s interest wasn’t riled until she watched the movie My Girl, in which Jamie Lee Curtis’ character worked at a funeral home. “I guess I was going through a morbid phase,” Ortiz-Kindred says.

  • Mark Stark

    By James P. Reza

    In 2007, Mark Stark’s world did not look bright. The CEO of Prudential Americana Holdings Nevada had $22.5 million in debt, and the sputtering real estate market made it impossible for him to pay it all back. After a testy bankruptcy and more than a few shot nerves, the real estate pro came out battered but not defeated.

  • Chris Ramirez

    By Geoff Carter

    Listening to Chris Ramirez describe a day on the job is like watching Lawrence of Arabia’s desert campaign unfold in real time. This is how the 40-year-old founder of Silver State Production Services, a one-stop production house for visiting film and television productions, describes a typical working day last fall: “Up at 5 a.m.

  • Marilyn Kirkpatrick

    By Michael Green

    The Great Recession supposedly is over, but Nevada has been recovering much more slowly. The Economic Forum’s projections for Nevada’s revenue are well below what state agencies have requested. So the 2013 Legislature—where, beginning February 4, those scarce resources will be allocated—figures to be a stormy one. At the center of that storm is Marilyn Kirkpatrick, the incoming speaker of the Assembly.

  • Karen Nava

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    At 18, Karen Giselle Nava’s dark eyes shine with the passion of youth and clarity of adulthood. That’s because she was forced to grow up faster than most. Nava began caring for her two sisters, then 5 and 7, during her sophomore year, when her parents moved back to Mexico after her father’s work visa expired. It was the teenager’s choice to take on the responsibility, knowing that their future was in America.

  • Adam Mizzi

    By David G. Schwartz

    Adam Mizzi has worked with plenty of Las Vegas hospitality legends over his 16-year career, but he has taken a different approach to the business than most of them. Instead of the old “bigger and bolder” vision, he sees the future here as smaller and cooler.

  • Pushkin Kachroo

    By Heidi Kyser

    Pushkin Kachroo has published 10 books, the first of which was called Feedback Control Theory for Dynamic Traffic Assignment. This might not sound like cozy fireside reading, but it’s a good example of why the UNLV professor of electrical and computer engineering is Las Vegas’ most sought-after intellectual in the realm of transportation. The book tells us (and, more important, our public officials) how to use real-time electronic information to improve the flow of traffic—instantly.

  • 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.