Vegas Seven

People Issue

  • The People Issue

    Daren Libonati

    By Sean DeFrank

    As a former UNLV place-kicker, Daren Libonati knows the deal: If everything is perfect, you’ve simply done your job; if you fail, that job might not be there for you. The same concept applies to Libonati’s role in bringing headline sporting and entertainment events to Las Vegas in the past 25 years, an approach that’s gone straight and right down the middle every time.

  • The People Issue

    First things first. Why have we left you out of this magazine? You are, after all, intriguing. Every morning—or maybe every night—you wake up and go about the business of making this city fabulous. You are stylish, admirable, energetic. What’s more, you’ve got big plans this year, and the things you do are sure to impact us all, in a butterfly-effect sort of way. Trust us: You were on our short list.

  • The People Issue

    Kimberly Valdez

    By Max Jacobson

    Kimberly Valdez is being modest when she says that her “biggest asset is the ability to give a chef what he wants.” It’s her relentless creativity that has resulted in some of the most innovative desserts in Las Vegas today.

  • The People Issue

    Torrey Sleight

    By Carla Ferreira

    Torrey Sleight is a full-time model who doesn’t have fake breasts and doesn’t do any suggestive poses that she couldn’t show to her family at the dinner table. So you’re not likely to catch a glimpse of her in anything less than a bikini. Sleight grew up in a large family in San Diego and went to school to become an aesthetician. Her family relocated to Las Vegas six years ago and after seeing her older sister dabble in modeling, she began doing trade shows.

  • The People Issue

    Steven Horsford

    When Steven Horsford ran for state Senate in 2004, the economy was soaring. “I didn’t run for office to cut budgets for kids and for seniors,” Horsford says. But he found himself on the frontlines patching a broken budget anyway. The new legislative season will be even worse: The state faces a $2.7 billion shortfall out of a two-year, $8 billion budget. “The decisions made by this Legislature will define this state for the next generation,” he says. “We’re at that crossroads.”

  • The People Issue

    Kyle Markman

    By David G. Schwartz

    Kyle Markman knows how to throw a party. In June 2008, it was his job to set up a celebration for the release of Nelly’s Brass Knuckles at Red Rock Resort. Nelly was so taken by Markman’s personal tour of the resort’s suites, pools and lounges—and the way Markman juggled arrangements and handled VIPs during the bash—that he filmed the entire video for “Body on Me” at the casino.

  • The People Issue

    Brooke Olimpieri

    By Carla Ferreira

    Brooke Olimpieri knows that businesses are built on focus, discipline and the courage to take risks. So when she quit her job at Rain Nightclub last year to dedicate all her time to her clothing line, Filthy Mouth, she understood what she was getting into. Today she puts all the money she makes from Filthy Mouth right back into the company. She’s just launched an online shop, and has plans to expand production.

  • The People Issue

    Lucy Flores

    By Jazmin Gelista

    When Lucy Flores was 13 years old and sitting in a detention cell at juvenile hall, she never thought that one day she would be the Nevada’s first Latina state assemblywoman. She’d been running with gangs, breaking curfew and running away from home. But the mentorship of some tough-minded adults got her focused on bigger things.

  • The People Issue

    Sam Cherry

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Behind every dream-come-true, there is a person who was willing to look like a complete idiot to see it through. Soho Lofts was such a dream, and Sam Cherry was such a person.

  • The People Issue

    Michael Parks

    By Paul Szydelko

    When Michael Parks tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus playing indoor soccer last year, he knew it would be a long road to recovery. Almost as sudden—and just as challenging to bounce back from—was the plummet of Las Vegas real estate values, which Parks endured as a member of the team that handles casino transactions for CB Richard Ellis.

  • The People Issue

    Alex Cordova

    By Jason Scavone

    At the beginning of 2010, Angel Management Group was basically a marketing company working with a few clubs. By the end of the year, thanks to its takeover of Pure Management Group, AMG blew up into one of the biggest nightlife players in town, owning, operating, managing or consulting for 17 Las Vegas venues. AMG Vice President of Marketing Alex Cordova laughs when asked what that means for him personally, and then he deadpans: “Longer work hours.”

  • The People Issue

    Robert Dorgan

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Atop a big studio table at the Historic Fifth Street School, Robert Dorgan’s students at the UNLV Downtown Design Center have mapped an urban dream in delicate castles of wood. It’s a virtual neighborhood, a habitat for the imagination, but it’s clearly inspired by the activity just outside the center, where the real downtown, bruised but unbroken, is proving oddly resilient in the face of recession.

  • The People Issue

    Staci Linklater

    Staci Linklater clearly remembers the day she decided to become a hairstylist. She had just graduated from high school and was at home watching TV. A cosmetology school commercial came on, and something instantly clicked: That’s what I am going to do. A career as a hairstylist, she felt, was the perfect match for both her outgoing personality and her desire to be an entrepreneur.

  • The People Issue

    Hong Sun & Hui Zhang

    By Paul Szydelko

    Hiking the trails of Red Rock National Conservation Area affords Hong Sun and Hui Zhang the cherished freedom to roam and commune with nature. But it’s in the cluttered laboratory on the third floor of the Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) that the husband-and-wife team truly blazes trails and connects with nature. “You feel you are closer to nature when you’ve discovered something, when you’ve unraveled some secret of nature,” says Sun, who along with Zhang has devoted her career to cancer research.

  • The People Issue

    Austin Russell

    By Cindi Reed

    Austin “Chumlee” Russell doesn’t mind if you think he’s the village idiot. In fact, that stereotype has made him famous. The affable Las Vegas native plays himself up to be a lovable doofus on the surprise hit reality TV show, the History Channel’s Pawn Stars. And viewers love it.

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