What is the Women’s Leadership Council?

Formed to Change Lives In Nevada

United Way of Southern Nevada Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) promotes community involvement and philanthropic giving among women in our community with the purpose of furthering United Way’s community-based agenda. United Way is in a unique position to leverage the collective giving ability of women leaders in the community. Part of a national network of dedicated women philanthropists who have collectively raised over $1B in supporting United Way’s mission in the areas of Education, Health and Financial Stability, in southern Nevada, the WLC has raised over $1.6M in just seven years, investing their dollars in critical projects which are changing lives. From empowering at-risk teens to graduate, to helping young children learn how to read, to providing underserved students a medical home and preventative healthcare, to supporting on-the-edge women in their quest for employment and financial independence, these dynamic and generous women are truly change agents for the community.

WLC |  Vision and Mission The vision of the WLC is to strengthen the social landscape by engaging women leaders to inspire others in taking action, creating long-lasting change in the community through Education, Health, and Financial Stability. This influential group, led by volunteer co-chairwomen Rhonda Clausen  and Angel Williams, is forging the way to a better future through their gifts of time, leadership and financial support. The mission is to engage and develop our members to be leaders in creating impactful change in our community through Education, Health and Financial Stability.


WLC at Work The Women’s Leadership Council has aligned closely with United Way of Southern Nevada’s key impact areas. Members of the WLC take action in improving the lives of Southern Nevada’s children by their role in a number of critically important community projects.

The WLC Family Engagement Resource Centers The WLC has invested in United Way’s Family Engagement Resource Centers (FERCs). The Family Engagement Resource Centers are located in 4 local high schools and target underserved teens who are at risk of dropping out. Through their involvement, these teens and their families receive support, comfort and resources to strengthen the home-school connection and assist in keeping kids on track to graduate. The FERCs are located in the following schools:

  • Clark
  • Sunrise Mountain
  • Eldorado
  • Silverado

In 2014, the very first cohort of this project reached graduation eligibility. We proudly watched 279 seniors who had been identified by CCSD as 100 percent at-risk, walk the stage to receive their diploma.

Breakfast with Books In partnership with Spread the Word Nevada, the WLC sponsors “Breakfast with Books” once a month. Families are treated to a light breakfast, a book reading, and a free developmentally appropriate and enriching book to build their home libraries. The excitement and smiles on the children’s faces as they choose their new books is truly heartwarming. This important program promotes English literacy and fluency by increasing the number of available tools to promote language acquisition. The participating elementary schools are Jeffers, Paradise, Petersen, Twin Lakes and Whitney.

The Grand “Re-opening” of Martinez Elementary Health Clinic Shuttered in June of 2013, the Martinez Health Clinic needed funding to re-open its doors to serve nearly 2500 children a year. Both “un” and “under-insured”, these children needed primary preventative care, immunizations, and sick care. Without the WLC, CCSD, and Positively Kids, the clinic would have remained dark. Opened in January 2014, the clinic is being visited by many appreciative patients and community members. Learn more about Leah and her story as a patient of the clinic.

WLC Emerging Leadership Award for Women Scholarship The WLC enjoyed the culmination of much hard work in the first ever Emerging Leadership Award for Women Scholarship in June 2014. Two highly-deserving high school graduates wishing to attain post secondary education were granted the WLC Scholarship to assist with much needed college costs, Monica Guiza and Leslie Miranda. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and meet specific GPA requirements.

WLC Annual Suit Drive The annual WLC Suit Drive coalesces our community together for donation of suits and professional items for women in need. These items are donated to agencies serving women in back-to-work programs. While we gathered almost 12,000 items this past November, it takes just one suit to enable success and independence. Through this community event, we really are changing lives, one hanger at a time! Please join us in changing lives for the 8th Annual Suit Drive in November 2015.

WLC Teachers in Libraries In partnership with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, “Teachers in Libraries” will provide 16 hours weekly of free after school homework help for students K-12. With the goal of bolstering student achievement rates by giving children added resources and time, the WLC continues to support children and families in providing educational resources to those who most need it.

Girls on the Run 5K Supporting girls in the lifelong endeavor to increase physical activity and healthy eating, this year the WLC is sponsoring this fun run for girls which incorporates positive youth development curricula. It’s an amazing day of exercise, learning, and meeting goals.

WLC & The Paradise Park Clinic  This year, in partnership with Volunteers In Medicine, the WLC assists in delivering extended services at this clinic to 450 patients, offering education, and treatment to infants, children and adults. Via early screening, detection and treatment, patients will receive needed care.

WLC Stability for Families Continuing to support families gaining independence, the WLC brings one-on-one budgeting, financial literacy and rental counseling to residents working towards leaving transitional housing and living on their own. Through the Women’s Development Center, women learn to establish short and long term financial goals as well as how to manage a monthly budget.



WLC Meeting and Events Calendar

Please mark your calendars. See you there!


September 23, 2015 (Wed)
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

WLC Executive Committee and General Membership Meeting
Executive Committee Meeting 10am – 11:30am UWSN Executive Conference Room General Membership Meeting 11:30am – 1:00pm UWSN Board RoomContinue Reading


October 13, 2015 (Tue)
7:30 AM – 8:45 AM
Dean Petersen Elementary School

Breakfast with Books | October
The Breakfast with Books project is a monthly event held, in partnership with Spread the Word Nevada, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month during the 9 month school calendar at Dean Petersen Elementary School. This is a family event, and each child chooses a book to take home. Through the activities, parents learn expressive…Continue Reading


November 6, 2015 (Fri)
7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
NV Energy

WLC Annual Women’s Fall Suit Drive
Hosted by the United Way of Southern Nevada’s Women’s Leadership Council, the annual one-day suit drive collects suits and other business attire for women in need. The drive helps women prepare for career opportunities and gain confidence to succeed during job interviews and in the workplace. Last year’s drive collected almost 12,000 professional items including suits,…Continue Reading

Screenshot 2014-04-01 10.30.35

May 14, 2016 (Sat)
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Springs Preserve

Flip Through Summer | Family Fun Summer Kickoff
Flip Through Summer was a blast this year! We hope to see you again next year on May 14, 2016 for this special walk down storytime lane. Please bring the whole family to this fun-filled, free community event.  The Third Annual 2016 FLIP THROUGH SUMMER will be a special day of celebration, imagination and will feature new books and…Continue Reading

WLC Executive Committee 2014-2015

As of July 1st, we welcome new 2014 Executive Committee members:

Beth Campbell, Co-chair Annual Luncheon Committee
Robyn Caspersen – Vice Chair
Karie Hall – Co-chair Annual Luncheon Committee
Rosamari McNulty – at large member
Keri Serrano-Long, Co-chair Volunteerism Committee
Monte Smith – at large member
Della Tilsher, Co-chair Outreach and New Member Engagement Committee
Sharon Lipscomb, Co-chair Outreach and New Member Engagement Committee
Rosemary Lato, Co-chair Mentoring Committee
Marilyn Spiegel, Co-chair Leadership Committee

Committee List

WLC Co-Chairs Rhonda Clausen
Angel Williams
Vice Chair Robyn Caspersen
WLC Chair Emeritus Deb Mele-Blanchard
Family Engagement Resource Center (F.E.R.C.) / Mentoring Co-Chairs Sandy Dewees
Rosemary Lato
Barbara Doble
Outreach & New Member Engagement Co-Chairs Janet Linder
Della Tisher
Sharon Lipscomb
Project Funding Co-Chairs Judy Kropid
Robyn Caspersen
Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs Beth Campbell
Karie Hall
Leadership Co-Chairs Shelley M. Dubin
Marilyn Spiegel
Nominating Co-Chairs Deb Mele-Blanchard
Robbie Graham
Volunteerism Co-Chairs Rebecca Howell
Keri Serrano-Long
Members at Large V. Joy Avedesian
Laura Barrett
Susan Best

Carol Brink
Rosamari McNulty
Monte Smith
Linda Staley




WLC Membership List


Please welcome these new members since 7/1/14.

Soraya Aguirre  –  Holland & Hart
Tina Anderson
Sandi Battles  –  UPS
Jill Bell  –  Nevada State Bank
Donna Cashman  –  Deloitte
Michelle Chatigny – Gaming Compliance Advisors, LLC
Wendy Colosi  –  Global Cash Access
Sallie Doebler  –  Korte Company
Laura Erhardt  –  Genentech
Monica Garin  –  Charleston Insurance Group
Mary Guliano  –  Vdara
Marilyn Jentzen
Dawn LaBonte  –  Wells Fargo
JoyceLynn Lagula  –  Gensler
Eva Littman, M.D.  –  Red Rock Fertility
MJ Maynard – RTC
Rosemary Missisian-Serru  –  Weinberg,Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Deal, LLC
Michelle Polisano  –  Sephora
Vijaya Poluri  –  Quivx
Michelle Quinn  –  MCQ Fine Art
Donna Russell  –  PGAL
Rikki Tanenbaum – Golden Nugget
Ronna Wiseman  –  Las Vegas Metro
Emily Wofford  –  Caesars
Janice Wolfenbarger, M.D.  –  Red Rock Fertility

Complete Membership List

Anne Aniello-Wayman
Soraya Aguirre
Tina Anderson
Victoria Joy Avedesian

Sandra Baker
Laura Barrett
Sandi Battles
Jill Bell
Jody Belsick

Philamee Bennett
Susan Best

Linda Bonnici
Elizabeth Brickfield
Carol Brink

Paula Browne
Beth Campbell

Chris Cappas
Diane M. Carlson
Jennifer Caro
Donna Cashman
Robyn Caspersen
Janet Chao
Michelle Chatigny
Virginia Christenson

Rhonda Clausen
Wendy Colosi
Cheryl A. Constantino

Denette Corrales
Jeri Crawford
Rachelle M. Crupi
Krista J. Darnold
Rita DeSimone
Sandra L. Dewees
Barbara Doble
Sallie Doebler
Julie Donohue
Shelley M. Dubin

Doretha Easler
Laura Erhardt
Nikki Etherington

Jill Fournier
Abbie G. Friedman
Monica Garin
Maria Jose Gatti
Mary Giuliano
Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman
Jeanne Goodrich

Tammy Grabel
Robbie Graham
Karie Hall
Danylle Hitchen

Rebecca Howell
Florence Jameson, M.D.
Terri Janison
Marilyn Jentzen
Cathy Jones
Bea Katz
Linda Kirk

Judy Kropid
Dawn LaBonte
Tanya LaCosse

Dee Ladd
JoyceLynn Lagula
Lawrel K. Larsen

Marsha Larson
Rosemary Lato
Ruth Lauber
Cynthia Lee
Janet Linder
Sharon Lipscomb

Eva Littman, M.D.
Holly Lloyd
Malinda Maile
Linda Marvin

Punam Mathur
MJ Maynard
Kristin McMillan
Rosamari McNulty

Josephine Binetti McPeak
Deb Mele-Blanchard
Dianne Merkey
Amy Meyer
Darlene Miller
Rosemary Missisian-Serru
Eileen Moore
Jennifer Morgan

Magaly Munoz-Mejorado
Emily T. Neilson

Janice Paligutan
Jane Ann Pete-Kasick
Shannon Petersen

Kimberly Planchunas
Audrey Plotkin
Michelle Polisano
Darci Poloni Wall
Vijaya Poluri
Jillian Prieto

Kate Puterman
Sharry Quillin
Michelle Quinn
Phyllis Radack

Ingrid Reisman
Donna Russell
Tammy Seichi
Keri Serrano-Long
Monte Smith
Marilyn Spiegel
Linda Staley
Judy Stokey
Rikki Tanenbaum
Jenifer Taylor
Della Tilsher

Lori Ware
Carolyn Wheeler
Angel Williams
Jacquelyn Williams
Ronna Wiseman
Emily Wofford
Nancy Wong

Please, welcome our New Members for 2014-2015!



Ways To Get Involved | Executive Committee Descriptions

Nominating Committee | Deb Mele-Blanchard and Robbie Graham, Co-Chairs
Committee is responsible for recommending WLC members to serve on the WLC Executive Committee and annually nominating a slate of Officers when vacancies occur.

Project Funding Committee | Judy Kropid and Robyn Caspersen, Co-Chairs
The Committee partners with United Way’s Community Development department and the Health, Education and Financial Stability Councils to identify, review,and propose projects to the WLC Executive Committee  and general membership for approval.

Family Engagement Resource Centers (F.E.R.C.) Committee | Sandy Dewees, Rosemary Lato and Barbara Doble, Co-Chairs
The goals of this initiative include site-based strategies in 4 local high schools to increase communication with parents about student requirements to graduate on time and achieve post-secondary success.  Teams are created at Clark, Eldorado, Silverado and Sunrise Mountain to assist AmeriCorps staff members with events and mentoring opportunities. Committee meets to assess and organize a program relative as to how volunteers from the WLC could best assist and mentor high school students in the four WLC high schools with the FERC program to promote their career development and financial stability.

Outreach & Membership Engagement Committee | Janet Linder, Della Tisher and Sharon Lipscomb, Co-Chairs
Committee plans, implements and promotes networking, programs and opportunities for current and prospective WLC members that may include outreach events, follow- up strategies and membership engagement activities.

Leadership Committee | Shelley M. Dubin and Marilyn Spiegel, Co-Chairs
Committee is responsible for planning “members only” events for the purpose of: 1) sharing the interest and promoting the involvement of the members, and 2) educating and inspiring women on relevant or community–based topics.  Events may include, but are not limited to, Breakfast in the Boardroom meetings and Leadership Luncheons that offer intimate one-on-one opportunities to meet with community female leaders.

Annual Women’s Luncheon Committee | Beth Campbell and Karie Hall, Co-Chairs
Committee plans and implements the annual luncheon with the purpose of creating awareness about the Women’s Leadership Council and its mission and accomplishments, encouraging participation and recruiting new members.

Volunteerism Committee | Rebecca Howell and Keri Serrano-Long, Co-Chairs
Committee identifies and coordinates volunteer projects that are in alignment with United Way’s core mission areas. Projects/sub-committee may include but are not limited to: Annual Women’s Suit Drive, Annual Women’s Luncheon and the Women’s Career Development Mentoring. 

Career Development Mentoring Committee | Rosemary Lato and Barbara Doble, Co-Chairs
One on one mentoring with women at The Shade Tree in their “Back to Work” program so they have a positive job-interview experience.

For more information about becoming a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, contact: Lawrel K. Larsen  |  Director, Women’s Leadership/Major Gifts at LawrelL@uwsn.org or 702-892-2319.

WLC Newsletter

featured photos

Featured Photos | Congrats FERC graduates

member news

WLC Member News | May 2015

It’s so nice to rub elbows with such distinguished members of the community. Thank you for everything you do for southern Nevada!



Rhonda and Kirk Clausen


Rhonda and Kirk Clausen were recently honored at the Positively Kids Gala on April 11th. So very impressive!







Ken and Dee Ladd


Here are photos of Ken and Dee Ladd being honored at the Junior League Paint the Town Red Gala on March 21 as the recipients of the Florence Lee Jones Humanitarian Award.




Member News | Nov/Dec 2014

  We were deeply saddened to lose our dear friend Rosemary West, a founding WLC member and former United Way staff member. Her family will remain in our prayers this holiday season.       Recognized in the October 2014 Desert Companion were the Top Lawyers of 2014. These groups of lawyers were selected based…Continue Reading

Member News | May 2014

Nancy Houssels was recognized as one of “eight women who shaped life in Las Vegas and Nevada” by author and historian Michael Green. Nancy is a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Council, as well as a board member of the UNLV Foundation, The Meadows School and Nevada International Women’s Forum, among others. She co-founded…Continue Reading

Nancy Houssels Highlighted for her Impact on Nevada

In an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal from Sunday, March 30th, eight women were highlighted by author and historian Michael Green for their significant impact on the state of Nevada. Read about our very own Nancy Houssels– very impressive! But we knew that already… Nancy Houssels Nancy Houssels was born in California and…Continue Reading

Member News | March 2014

A heartfelt welcome to: Janice Paligutan Barr – Diamond Resorts International Philamee Bennett – Caesars Entertainment Mikey Bilbray Paula Browne – Wells Fargo Roberta Gardner – Wells Fargo Betty Mayer – UNLV Foundation Jane Ann Pete-Kasick – National Security Technologies Ingrid Reisman – Las Vegas Monorail Tara Young – Diamond Resorts International If you have…Continue Reading

from the committees...

From the Committees… | Volunteerism Committee Jan/Feb/Mar 2015

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s centerpieces for the 2015 WLC Luncheon Fashion Show a success. They were delivered to SAFE House, SafeNest, The Shade Tree and Women’s Development Center after the luncheon. We have a new monthly volunteer event with Spread the Word Nevada at their offices located at 1065 American Pacific…Continue Reading

From the Committees… | Leadership Committee Jan/Feb/Mar 2015

On Wednesday, January 28th, 24 WLC members gathered at Made L.V. in Tivoli Village to hear Elizabeth Blau speak. She shared with us her journey from being the “taco girl” during high school in Connecticut, to how she has created successful restaurant concepts and her passion for philanthropy. The next Executive Leadership event is scheduled…Continue Reading

From the Committees… | FERC Committee Jan/Feb/Mar 2015

2014 was our first graduating FERC senior class with 279 seniors participating in graduation ceremonies this past June. This school year we continue the program in four local high schools – Clark, Eldorado, Silverado and Sunrise Mountain. On Thursday, November 13, 2014 the CCSD Board of Trustees recognized the Clark High School Family Engagement Resource…Continue Reading

From the Committees… | Annual Luncheon Committee Jan/Feb/Mar 2015

Thanks again to everyone for another fun, entertaining inspiring WLC Luncheon Fashion Show. The spectacular diamond drop pendent so generously provided by MJ Christensen Diamonds has been awarded! The necklace was generously donated back to the WLC and a new winner was selected. Rachel Fox met with Cliff Miller and received the necklace. CONGRATULATIONS Rachel!…Continue Reading

From the Committees… | Outreach and Member Engagement Committee Nov/Dec 2014

Wednesday, December 10th was the most recent WLC Wednesday at DKNY in the Forum Shops at Caesars. Sephora was there with mini-makeovers. DKNY offered an exclusive discount for the event with a portion of the proceeds going to the WLC. Bring a friend and stop by the next WLC Wednesday!. WLC Wednesdays continues to be a fun way to…Continue Reading

From the Committees… | Outreach and Member Engagement Committee September 2014

The inaugural WLC Wednesday was held on August 13th at Panevino from 5:00 – 7:00 pm with 40 women attending, of which 15 were potential members. Everyone had a fun time getting together in a relaxed setting and having the opportunity to get to know each other better. On Wednesday, September 10th #WLCwine Social Media training…Continue Reading