Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Rex Windom

Rex-Windom-2With a heart of gold and a keen photographer’s eye, Rex Windom’s occupation has always involved obtaining images to help understand people, places or things.

Rex started working as a photographic printer for the Horseshoe Casino. Next, he worked in aerial photo operations for the U.S. Department of Energy. His current job is with NV Energy, providing energy-related images, and assisting with video conferencing and web broadcasts for employees.

“Daily, I have an opportunity to interact with people with diverse backgrounds and needs from almost every department at our company,” said Rex.

Married to Sandy since 1973, the couple has two daughters, Jennifer and Lisa, and four grandchildren Lindsey, Natalie, Cara and Pearse. Rex was born in Louisiana and grew up in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Rex graduated from East Phoenix High and attended Community College of Southern Nevada. His hobbies are centered on imaging–family photography, video, editing and printing.

A United Way Loyal Contributor since 1990, Rex also volunteers and consistently supports the community. “United Way helps to provide me with a feeling that I am giving back to our community,” said Rex. “By volunteering on a regular basis, my family and friends understand it is important to me.”

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | John Fountain

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | John Fountain

John-Fountain-New-2With a heart to help others with his technology knowledge, John Fountain is a graduate of UNLV in Computer Science. Born in Yonkers New York, John grew up from the age of five in wonderful Las Vegas. His parents are both from Cuba and worked for years in the service industry.

John’s wife, Tammy, is a geology graduate from UNLV. She was born in Reno and moved to Las Vegas during her first year of college.  Her family has a longtime Las Vegas and Oklahoma lineage and created Commercial Roofers in Las Vegas.  The couple is proud of their two sons, Jonathon, 24, a 2014 computer science graduate of UNLV and Nicolas, 20, an aspiring salesman for a national retailer.

Passionate about technology, as the Director of Network Technology for Hospitality Network/Cox Business Las Vegas, John’s manages a team that provides internet and TV services to hotels. John’s past positions include time with Lockheed, Sperry and EG&G.

A typical day for John is spent supporting a national hotel network of rooms by getting engaged with customers when problems get escalated, working on developing new business and generally operating a highly-skilled team of engineers.

“They are a great bunch and I am pretty sure I learn something every day,” said John. “Networking is a great area of technology these days with the explosion of internet use.”

Committed to teaching the next generation, John helps children to learn through volunteering his time assembling Science, Technology, Engineering and Math kits. “I just can’t get enough of helping people with technology,” said John.

Everyday John tries to help those he encounters. His support of United Way is just another way that he reaches out into the community to lend a helping hand to those in need.

“Growing up with less than everything, I have had the good fortune of having my family helped by organizations like this,” said John. “So, it’s time to give it back! Thank you for all you do to help those who need it.”

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Ed Skonicki

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Ed Skonicki

Ed-Skonicki-3With a giving spirit and a passion for helping Las Vegas, throughout the years Ed Skonicki has been deeply involved in the community but says the one organization that holds a special place in his heart is United Way. With a history steeped in memories and community work, Ed has participated with United Way since it was “The Community Chest” in Chicago, and served as United Way of Southern Nevada’s (UWSN) board chair from 1994 to 1995. For the past ten years, he has been an active UWSN participant as a member of the Tocqueville Society.

The oldest of three boys, Ed was born in Chicago, Illinois. Much of his family still resides in Chicago including a brother and many nieces and nephews. Dedicated to helping others at a young age, Ed spent 10 years in a seminary program after grammar school and then enrolled in Loyola of Chicago, where he received his Masters of Education degree in 1963. Not too busy to fall in love, Ed married the love of his life, Olympia Raczkowski in 1964. They have an adopted Daughter, Michele (1970) and an adopted son, Jeffrey (1971).

With a career focused on consumer credit and banking, in 1983 the family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where Ed Joined Citibank and then his next stop was New York in 1987. While there, he participated in the national “People to People” program, introducing consumer credit theories to China – an effort which turned out to be ahead of its time.

In 1989 Citibank asked Ed to become the President of Citibank, Nevada NA where he remained until 1995 when they asked him to move to Brussels, Belgium to manage a credit card portfolio in Germany, Spain, Greece and Belgium as well as assist in the initiation of programs in Portugal and Italy. Ed retired and returned to Las Vegas in 1997.

Driven to make a difference in Las Vegas, one of the most memorable moments in Ed’s life came in January 2000, when he became the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada – which provides a variety of services for seniors, children and families. During his four years as Executive Director he helped facilitate the construction of a building for Catholic Charities.

After completion of the building project, Ed retired to spend more time at home, playing golf and traveling with Olympia who sadly passed away in 2008. His daughter Michele now lives in Connecticut with two granddaughters, one grandson and one great granddaughter. His son Jeffrey lives in Nevada along with two more granddaughters.

Reaching out into the community, Ed has served on a variety of boards including: “I Have A Dream” Foundation, Nevada Development Authority, UNLV Foundation and Nevada Banker’s Association.

Ed’s favorite move is “Singing in the Rain” and he is particularly fond of Vintner’s Grill and the variety of dining options at Tivoli Village and Downtown Summerlin.

Since 2011, Ed has resided at Las Ventanas Independent Living Facility on West Charleston but continues to participate in the United Way in any way he can, “I believe that it is one of the best ways to give back to the city that I love.”

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Andrea Smith

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Andrea Smith

Andrea-SmithBorn in Southern California as an only child in an Air Force family, Andrea Smith lived in 13 different places the first 12 years of her life. Nellis Air Force Base was only a stop along the way.

“So much had changed about Las Vegas when I returned here in 1987 from Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend UNLV,” said Andrea. “It took a few years after graduation to realize I was home.”

Growing up in the military, Andrea got used to moving around and meeting new people.  “UNLV and Las Vegas played a big part in changing that for me,” said Andrea.

Today, Andrea’s 12-year-old son Jaxson takes up most of her spare time with school, music and sports. “The latter is no hardship as I’ve always loved participating in and watching sports,” said Andrea. “Baseball and football are my favorites.”

Andrea tries to work out on regular basis, golf and is an avid writer with the hope of publishing a children’s book or fictional novel someday. Living close to her parents affords Andrea and her family the opportunity to connect and travel often.

“An annual fishing trip to Colorado for trout is a must every summer,” said Andrea. “Trips to the ocean are not nearly as frequent as I’d like, but we look forward to them at least once or twice a year when athletic schedules allow.”

Andrea’s favorite restaurant is Archi’s Thai and her movie pick is ‘Top Gun.’ “Being an Air Force fighter pilot’s daughter, I probably shouldn’t admit this – but in college I watched ‘Top Gun’ over and over again until the VHS was worn out,” explained Andrea.

With a career path as diverse as her upbringing, Andrea joined NV Energy on September 13, 2001.  One of her first acts at the company was to plan a short ceremony to honor those killed on 9/11.

“It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I was at the right place, with people who are as passionate about their community as they are to their jobs,” said Andrea. “Our resolve as a company was certainly tested over the next few years, and we’re better and stronger for it. And I dare say, our customers are better off as well.”

For most, electricity isn’t something that is top of mind until it’s not there, or when they feel like they are paying too much for it. “I have the privilege of working with folks who make this complex industry seem easy, and they do so always with our customers in mind,” said Andrea. “They deserve a lot of credit that they don’t always get because it’s so hard to put a value on it.”

The NV Energy communications team’s job is to help customers understand the industry, how to be more efficient in using energy, and to promote the tools and services NV Energy provides to help them do so.

“We haven’t found one perfect way to do this, but we constantly challenge ourselves to be creative and effective in how we go about it,” said Andrea.

With a goal of setting an example of compassion and kindness for her son, Andrea believes in giving both time and resources.

“I’ve supported United Way since 2004 because the organization provides me with a level of comfort that the financial resources are being put to the best use, and I know I’m helping those in my own community,” said Andrea.

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Dan Schwarz

Loyal Contributor Spotlight | Dan Schwarz

Dan-SchwarzA Midwesterner through and through, Dan Schwarz may be  officially a native of Las Vegas by now, but his Midwestern roots are never far away.  Born and raised in the Chicago Suburbs, this father of four leads a robust life of philanthropy, creativity, faith and family. A loving and involved grandfather, Dan has worked in the broadcasting field in Las Vegas for nearly 30 years, working in Commercial Sales offering marketing and advertising solutions to local and national clients. Dan and his wife Cheryl have been married for 26 years and enjoy dining on Italian favorites at Ventano’s in Henderson.

In his spare time, Dan can be seen on the golf course or rooting for the Chicago Cubs or Green Bay Packers. It is no surprise that his favorite film is “Field of Dreams.” He is also very involved with his church, St. Thomas More Community in Henderson. For Dan, he LIVES UNITED in everything he does. Most importantly, he listens and has empathy for others.  He sees himself not as an island, but part of an ecosystem, in which we are all connected, and where our success directly impacts another person’s life. As Dan says, ..”Listen and don’t look the other way, we are all a family and need to help each other.”

Dan is a long-time supporter of United Way. With people like Dan on our side, we can do anything!

Thank you Dan for just being you!

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