Cass Palmer | President and Chief Executive Officer
Palmer brings more than 23 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality industry, government and political arenas, non-profit organizations and union environments to his new role. Before joining United Way, Palmer was the senior vice president, chief human resource officer at Tropicana Entertainment Inc. During his tenure, he played an integral part in restructuring Tropicana Entertainment, which was the first major company in the gaming industry to successfully complete a Chapter 11 reorganization. Palmer has also worked as the corporate vice president of human resources for Olympia Gaming LLC/ Southern Highlands Development Corporation, the corporate vice president of human resources for Boyd Gaming Corporation and the senior vice president of human resources at Bally’s/Park Place Entertainment. Cass’ transition to United Way of Southern Nevada was a very natural one, having sat on the board for 14 years. His position on the board gave him an intimate perspective on the organization, as well as a historical view of its evolution. Cass, a Las Vegas native, has a deep understanding and empathy for his community, fully understanding the challenges and opportunities that are before it. As a trained H.R executive, Cass is a natural consensus builder, a good listener, and a mentor, one who brings energy and a positive outlook to all he does. Keenly intuitive and sociable, Cass loves getting out into the community and listening to our partners, volunteers, donors and stakeholders to understand how they envision the future of Southern Nevada. In his free time, Cass loves to travel with his family, and to learn about new cultures. A golfer and consummate family man, Cass’ favorite dining companions are his wife, daughter and son.
Linda Erath | Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Linda joined United Way in February 2005 as the Chief Financial Officer. She relocated to Las Vegas, in mid-2004, from the San Francisco area where she was the Chief Financial Officer of Insignia Solutions. She has also served as Chief Financial Officer at Time Line Solutions Corporation and served in roles of increasing responsibility for other high-growth blue chip technology and health care businesses. Linda has a deep dedication to fiscal leadership and to transparency. A consummate professional, Linda is responsible for impeccable annual audits and for the oversight of donor funds. Linda brings best-in-breed accounting and financial oversight to the United Way from her for-profit experience at some of the best and most dynamic companies. Linda is an avid traveler, using multiple modes of transportation to take her to near and far adventures. With an adventurous spirit and generous heart, Linda can be found on the weekends entertaining the neighborhood kids at a backyard barbeque or flying in and out of tiny airports at off-the-map locations. Linda leads her finance and accounting staff with grace and high standards of conduct. She received her CPA in the State of Florida while working for KPMG Peat Marwick. She earned her B.A. degree in accounting from the University of South Florida.
Don Waitman | Vice President, Administration
A native of Las Vegas, Don came to United Way in 1994 after a career in retail management. Don holds the unique position of being the longest tenured employee of UWSN, having been a part of the organization for nearly 18 years. During his time with UWSN, Don has held many roles, giving him the unique vantage point of seeing the organization from the inside out, via his perspective working closely with nearly every department. Don provides a deep historical perspective on the organization, and as such is a guiding force on the Executive Team. Don oversees a complex I.T infrastructure and provides direction in the long-term development of technology for United Way. One of his core strengths is the implementation of cost effective, yet innovative business solutions. He also manages all operations and has been the champion of our new building, retrofitting it with fiscal stewardship in mind, yet allowing it to be a community resource and centerpiece. While very modest at heart, Don has many talents. Thoughtful, generous, artistic, yet with a highly technical sensibility, Don lends a hand to all who he encounters. With a deeply loyal dedication to UWSN, Don is often seen at the office on Saturdays and Sundays. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UNLV. Don lives with his wife and son in Henderson.
Danylle Hitchen | Vice President, Major Gifts
Hitchen joined United Way of Southern Nevada in June 2011 with more than 19 years in resource development experience. Before joining United Way, Hitchen served as Nevada Cancer Institute’s Director of Development. During her tenure, she held a key leadership role in establishing and implementing a comprehensive fundraising program. Hitchen has also worked as the Director of Development/Major Gifts Officer at Children’s Hospital of Orange County Foundation. Danylle came to UWSN with United Way experience, having worked in campaign fundraising at Valley of the Sun United Way from 1992 to 1998. As such, she brings United Way Worldwide “best practices” to bear in helping to guide UWSN’s community based agenda and mission. Danylle has both broad and deep fundraising experience, with her particular emphasis on donor engagement and one-to-one communication. Danylle is deeply entrenched in our community, and has served as a volunteer for various organizations and most recently sits on the board of Grant a Gift Autism Foundation. Danylle is a natural athlete, and grew up swimming, diving, dancing and traveling with her family. Today, Danylle unwinds best with the wind in her hair and the salt water on her skin with her family by her side aboard their boat.
Terri Janison | Vice President, Community Development
Terri Janison’s strong interest in what is best for children guides her decisions on both a personal and professional level. A child advocate for over 25 years, Janison has worked in the private and public sectors on behalf of children. As Vice President, Community Development for United Way of Southern Nevada, Janison advocates on education, health and financial stability issues for underserved children and families. Janison served on Governor Brian Sandoval’s senior staff in Community Relations and in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Prior to working for the Governor, she served in an elected position on the Clark County School Board for five years, the last two as president. In that role she lobbied for schools to offer foods of nutritional value to their students and to increase the amounts of time children have to exercise. The combination of both is proven to increase academic achievement. Her involvement with Action for Healthy Kids was instrumental in improving the nutritional standards for students throughout the district and state. Janison serves on the board for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, Governor Sandoval’s State Advisory Board for JAG (Jobs for American Graduates) Hope for Prisoners, and the Vegas PBS Advisory Boards for Keeping Kids Fit and the American Graduate Program.
Vanessa Maniago | Vice President, Branding and Marketing
Maniago’s role includes overseeing all advertising and public relations campaign efforts, brand management and all internal and external communications. Maniago has more than 15 years of experience in advertising, consumer research, marketing, and strategic planning, with her passion being in behavior change public health campaigns. Prior to joining United Way, she served as Vice President, Strategic Development at R&R Partners. During her tenure, she held a key leadership role driving new business and served as strategic architect for a number of award-winning campaigns including Utah’s statewide “Parents Empowered” underage drinking prevention initiative and Nevada’s anti-bullying “Flip the Script” campaign. In addition, she has worked with clients SNWA, Western Digital, RE/MAX, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the LVCVA’s “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign. Maniago was previously a Senior Partner and Management Supervisor for Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide in New York City, where she oversaw the $300 million National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and led the youth insights group there, serving such clients as Hershey’s and Sprite. She also managed a series of national branding campaigns for the New York office of the international ad agency MVBMS/Euro-RSCG. Maniago has been published in “Social Marketing Quarterly” a peer-reviewed journal on breakthrough Social Marketing Campaigns as well as in Joe Duffy’s book, “A Brand Apart” on the award winning, and results-driven , “the anti-drug” campaign. A nurturer at heart, Vanessa has always enjoyed mentoring, and loves guiding and teaching the younger generations in the workplace. In her free time, Vanessa likes to cook interesting foods (right now she is mastering laarb, a Thai salad), hike, swim, read and be silly with her husband and kids, and two dogs.
Bob Welling | Vice President, Resource Development
Welling has more than 25 years of sales experience in the hotel-casino and tradeshow industry, having grown up in sales in the Las Vegas Valley. Prior to joining United Way, his career has included both direct sales responsibility, departmental sales management and senior management roles. Over the past 10 years he served as Corporate Director of Sales for a major Trade Show Service contractor, Executive Director of Sales for the Fontainebleau Las Vegas Resort project and Vice President of Event Relations for the Sands Expo. Bob’s honesty, approachability and affable nature make him perfectly suited to be the key contact for all Workplace Campaigns in Southern Nevada. Bob is deeply entrenched here, a trusted resource in the business community, and being a native, a community minded individual with a deep commitment to bettering Southern Nevada. Welling attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a past member in good standing with International Association of Exhibitions & Events, Professional Convention Management Association, Meeting Planners International, Las Vegas Hospitality Association and served on the board of the Southwest chapter of IAEE. In his free time, Bob likes to conquer the tallest mountains in the West as an expert skier, his favorite destination being Mammoth Mountain, CA. When down at lower elevations, Bob likes to tour on motorcycles, golf and spend quality time with his wife, family and good friends.Welling’s primary role includes leading all aspects of fundraising initiatives including implementing donation and sales projects and overseeing workplace campaigns. Working together with the Resource Development team, he will help increase support of United Way’s initiatives in the areas of education, financial stability, and health.
Patrice Ross | Chief Human Resources Officer
Ross comes to the United Way with over 15 years of human resources and business experience in a variety of industries such as government-contracted security, convention/trade show industry, manufacturing, retail and temporary staffing. She moved to Nevada eleven years ago upon completion of her master’s degree in human resources, which she earned at the University of Nebraska. Since moving to Nevada, Ross had been active in the human resources community. She served as President of the Southern Nevada Human Resources Association (SNHRA) from January 2010 to December 2011. She currently serves as an officer of SNHRA as Immediate Past President. She has also been active as a member of the Nevada State SHRM Council since 2007. In 2012, she was honored by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada by being inducted into the “Women’s Hall of Fame.” In her free time, Patrice likes to travel and go on adventures with her family and cheer on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.