Young Leaders Making A Difference

United Way of Southern Nevada recognizes and applauds the accomplishments and efforts of this dynamic group of young philanthropists. These leaders are passionate about creating lasting change in alignment with United Way’s community-based agenda goals focusing on Education, Health and Financial Stability.

Young Philanthropists Society is a membership group of young financial contributors who are committed through resources and time to give back to their community through philanthropic efforts, advocacy and volunteerism.

Members of the Young Philanthropists Society benefit by increasing their community involvement, understanding the non-profit agenda and engaging in meaningful experiences that will prepare them for community leadership.

Young Philanthropists Society Mission

To make a difference in children’s lives through volunteerism, mentorship and events by harnessing the energy, commitment and diverse skills sets of the next generation of leaders.

  • Young Philanthropists enjoy a full roster of educational, social, and service events designed to help them improve their leadership skills and expand their personal and professional contacts. Business networking, volunteer and social opportunities, recognition in the leadership giving roster and special communications are some of the unique benefits of being a member of the Young Philanthropists Society.
  • Lunch with an Executive/Leader: Members network and have lunch with high level business and community leaders.
  • Active Community Service and Volunteer Projects: Young Philanthropists and their families come together to provide community service to those in need.
  • Networking and Social Events: Members develop personal and professional relationships through a variety of events throughout the year.

YPS In The Community

The “Piggy Bank”

Launched on Oct. 5, 2012, YPS created the “Piggy Bank” program as an innovative, real-world solution to teach the students at Walter Bracken Elementary School how to save and be financially responsible. A collaboration between UWSN, YPS, Walter Bracken Elementary School, Junior Achievement, Silver State Schools Credit Union (SSSCU), Andson Foundation and various volunteers, the “Piggy Bank” program includes financial literacy curriculum and a kid-friendly bank with a bank teller counter, a TV to showcase each classroom’s savings and decals on the walls with money saving tips.

The only program of its kind in Nevada for elementary school children, the “Piggy Bank” helps children to learn how to save and make smart financial decisions at an early age so that growing up they are armed with the knowledge of the importance of saving. The “Piggy Bank” program inspired the children to save over $42,000 from October 2012 to May 2014.

In January 2014, YPS extends this program to more children with the introduction of the second “Piggy Bank” at Hollingsworth Elementary.

Hollingsworth Elementary

YPS has been a long time friend and supporter of Hollingworth Elementary. This year, YPS again will offer the children of the school a very special Holiday Party. Every child will receive an age appropriate gift and will be reminded that someone out there cares about them. YPS will also host monthly birthday parties for children whose birthdays fall in that month. Birthday parties can be an expensive endeavor for families, and as such, YPS has stepped up to ensure every child feels special on their birthday.

Learning Program for children with Down’s Syndrome

This year YPS expands their reach into the community by their partnership with the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada via the Learning Program, designed to deliver evidence based educational support to children, parents and teachers in the areas of literacy and math. Offered throughout the school year, this program provides additional individualized instruction to children and their caregivers, so that their needs are met and they have the greatest chances for success. YPS’ partnership allows this valuable program to double their capacity and allows for a second age group, 7-8 year olds, to also receive this critical support.

Sports and Nutrition for children

YPS’ commitment to children and their health powers Desert Reign’s Sports and Nutrition Camps for children, expanding current capacity to reach in total over 2500 children in 2014. Camps provide immersion into physical activity and fitness as well as the ABC’s of proper nutrition and healthy eating. These camps aid in helping children succeed cognitively, socially and athletically.

Books & Buddies

A multi-generational reading program that connects all ages to grow the love of reading, Books and Buddies helps facilitate reading and literacy in the home. YPS’ support of this program in conjunction with Spread the Word Nevada allows for expansion of this program to reach an additional 150 at-risk children. Through mentoring, book supplies, and comprehension inquiry, post-test results demonstrate the effectiveness of this important program.


YPS Member List

Executive Members ($2,500)

Not Pictured:
Edward Koijane | Jeffrey D. Mitchell | Robert Murray | Geoff Spataro | 1 Anonymous

General Members ($1,500)

Not Pictured:
Michael Brown | Monica Habart | Kimberly Hopps | Tom Kovach | Michelle Lindsay | Jill Maradiaga | Christopher Mays | Tim McGovern | Tim Olson | Mathew D. Reid | Scott Savarda | Bridgette Villamor | 1 Anonymous

YPS Executive Chart


Co-Chair Emeritus Michael Santos 
Co-Chair  Chelsie Campbell
Co-Chair Chris Way
Vice Co-Chair Justin Micatrotto
Project Funding Committee Chair Robert McPeak 
Membership & Outreach Committee Chair Jordan Sacca
Piggy Bank & Volunteer Committee Chairs Chelsie Campbell & Justin Micatrotto
Leadership and Roundtable Committee Chair JB Hossler
Communication Committee Chair Tivona Betz


YPS Membership Info

Become A Young Philanthropist Society Member:

The Young Philanthropists Society is open to professionals who:

  • Want to connect and make a difference in their community
  • Invest $1,500 minimum annually (general membership) or $2,500 minimum annually (executive membership)
  • Volunteer their time and talent

General Membership | Invest minimum $1,500 annually

  • Receive listing recognition in the annual United Way HEROES publication
  • Eligible to participate as a member of one of the YPS committees
  • Eligible to participate in YPS functions
  • Act as ambassadors at United Way and YPS functions and events

Executive Committee Membership | Invest $2,500 annually

  • Eligible to serve as a co-chair on one of the YPS committees
  • Act as hosts at United Way functions and YPS events
  • Receive photo and name recognition in the annual United Way HEROES publication
  • Receive photo and profile rotating spotlight opportunity on website
  • Invited to attend Executive Committee meetings and provide leadership for the direction of YPS
  • Receive the opportunity to vote on YPS funding opportunities

Become A Member Here
For membership information please contact Liz Vohwinkel, Senior Director of Major Gifts at (702) 892-2344 or

Stay Updated

Stay Connected with the Young Philanthropists Society and United Way of Southern Nevada on Facebook and Twitter.

YPS Upcoming Events and Meetings


October 23, 2014 (Thu)
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Brasilia Ballroom

Community in Blue | Campaign Celebration 2014
Sponsorship opportunities available. Click for info. Join us for a celebration of our donors and workplace campaigns who support us throughout the year! We are hosting our annual 2014 Community in Blue | Campaign Celebration on Thursday, October 23 from 11:30am – 1:30pm at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, Brasilia Ballroom. The event celebrates United Way’s recent…


November 6, 2014 (Thu)
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
TPC Summerlin

YPS Sixth Anniversary Event at TPC Summerlin
Save The Date | More info to come!

YPS Volunteer Opportunities

  • The Piggy Bank- Walter Bracken STEAM Academy | Fridays from 8:15a-10aCalling all YPS members! Come see your dollars in action and help children save at The Piggy Bank! Volunteers help greet the children, hand out stickers and high-fives, and check to make sure that the kids have their deposits ready for the tellers. Please email Hector Lizaola at to sign up for a Friday morning from 8:15-10am on the following dates:

    September: 19th, 26th

    October: 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th

    November: 14th, 21st

    Do not miss out on this fantastic opportunity to interact with children like Fikreabe, who you are impacting through your YPS membership! When asked what he is saving money for Fikreabe proudly replied, “College! So I can become a doctor.” Fikreabe has saved almost $2,000 in a year. “My parents give me money if I get straight A’s on my progress reports and report cards and when I do chores,” he says. Map & directions to Walter Bracken STEAM Academy here.


  • Walter Bracken STEAM Academy Green Apple Day of Service | Saturday, Sept. 27th from 8am-12pmIn the Las Vegas Valley water is a precious resource. Walter Bracken was built over 53 years ago and each outdoor building was designed to be surrounded by grass. Over the past 13 years they have slowly removed the grass and created beautiful gardens that help with educational programs and health and nutrition for the students. There are 3 grass areas left that need to be transformed and water smart. This project day will create additional raised bed gardens in the kindergarten courtyard and replace the grass in the remaining areas at the front of the school. They will need as many helpers as possible and YPS members are invited to register to participate here.
  • Desert Reign Sports and Nutrition Camp | Saturday, Oct. 18th from 9am-12pmThe Desert Reign Sports and Nutrition Camp, funded by YPS for the 2014-15 year, stresses fun and teamwork as children improve their sports fundamentals and learn how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. YPS Volunteers can join Desert Reign for the Saturday, October 18th camp from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Come out for all or part of the day to interact with the children you are directly impacting as YPS members. The camp will be held at Ollie Detwiler Elementary School and scheduled activities for the day include sports & fitness activities and nutrition lessons. To sign up for this group volunteer event, please contact Desert Reign Executive Director Bjorn Berg at (702) 985-5255 or A calendar invitation with details will also be sent for your convenience.


  • Women’s Leadership Council Annual Suit Drive | Friday, Nov 7th 7a-2pCome out and support your fellow UWSN affinity group, the Women’s Leadership Council at their annual one-day suit drive. The drive collects suits and other business attire for women in need, helping them prepare for career opportunities and gain confidence to succeed during job interviews and in the workplace. Last year’s drive collected more than 7,000 professional items including suits, dresses, shoes, handbags and jewelry. Donations will benefit United Way accredited agencies with back to work programs for women. The suite drive will be held Friday, November 7, 2014, 7a.m. – 2p.m. in the parking lot of NV Energy, located at 6226 W. Sahara Avenue. Come by and donate your professional clothing items, or to volunteer, please contact the WLC Volunteerism Committee Co-chairs:

    Rebecca Howell –

    Keri Serano-Long –

YPS Spotlight | Michael Amos

There are many who join groups to meet their peers and form business connections. Michael Amos joined United Way’s Young Philanthropists Society (YPS) three years ago to reach out a helping hand to those in the community who need it most. As a dedicated YPS member, from distributing backpacks, to sitting in a dunk tank,…

Filed Under: YPS

Record-Breaking Savings During Reopening of the “Piggy Bank” at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy

Student savings total $3,317.68 – more than has ever been saved in a “Piggy Bank” day!   Hundreds of children lined up to make their deposits during a record-breaking reopening of the “Piggy Bank” at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy on August 29, 2014. Students saved $3,317.68 during the reopening, approximately double last year’s opening day total…

YPS Spotlight | Brian Maddox

Helping those in need to achieve their dreams, Brian Maddox provides possibilities where none exist through his career and his support of United Way’s Young Philanthropists Society. Brian grew up in Worcester, MA and before college worked several odd jobs throughout the city, which motivated him to obtain a college education with a Master’s degree…

Filed Under: YPS

YPS | Helping Children Learn to Save

United Way of Southern Nevada’s Young Philanthropists Society (YPS) members treated over 100 students at Bracken Elementary School on Wednesday, May 21 to a Root Beer Float Celebration. Students who had the highest participation in the “Piggy Bank” program during the 2013-14 school year got to indulge in the summertime favorite dessert, sponsored by the…

New Affinity Group Members

Welcome to all of the new United Way of Southern Nevada affinity group members that have joined since April 2014. Tocqueville Society Ryder and Julie Donohue David and Elizabeth Fersdahl Ed Ricks Don Wall and Darci Poloni Wall Women’s Leadership Council Sandra Baker Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher Jennifer Caro Janet Chao Samantha Cunningham Julie Donohue Karie Hall Caralee Kecman-Allen Malinda…

YPS Spotlight | Leroy Godfrey

Leroy Godfrey came into our fine town with gusto! He relocated to Las Vegas six months ago to open Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Town Square, which opened on January 17. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Leroy has a passion for steaks, large plated servings and giving back to the community. “I…

Filed Under: YPS
member news

YPS Member News | September 2014

2014-15 YPS Leadership Update

Chelsie Campbell
Chelsie Campbell

Christopher Way
Christopher Way

Michael Santos
Michael Santos

Justin Micatrotto
Justin Micatrotto

We are excited to announce two additions to the YPS leadership team, Chris Way and Justin Micatrotto. Chris joins current Co-chair Chelsie Campbell in a Co-chair role, and Justin joins the team as Vice-chair. Michael Santos will now be serving in a new leadership role, as Co-chair Emeritus, after serving over two years as YPS Co-chair. On behalf of the entire leadership team, we look forward to a dynamic year in YPS!

Tom Owens joins the Contemporary Arts Center Board

The Contemporary Arts Center is a volunteer-run arts organization in Las Vegas whose mission is to develop and provide a central venue for artists and the general community to learn, network, share, and experience all varieties of artistic and cultural expression.

Linasha Jerome, J.D.
Linasha Jerome, J.D.

Linasha Jerome Celebrates Two Big Dates

Lin recently celebrated her birthday on August 7th, followed by her first wedding anniversary on August 17th!

Chris Way Rides the Grand CanyonChrisWay_bike_largeYPS Member Chris Way was among the 60 mountain bikers who pedaled through the beautiful Kaibab National Forest, for the inaugural Grand Canyon Fat Tire Festival, which featured miles of dirt roads and single-track routes. Chris rode an impressive 60 miles, finishing first in his class at 5:46:53!
Rory Vohwinkel’s Soccer Team Wins Summer League ChampionshipRoryV_SoccerLargeRory, who plays goalie for his co-ed soccer team, is pictured below (back row third from the left) with his fellow champions of the the summer indoor soccer league. Rory played soccer throughout high school and has continued to play for fun as an adult.
YPS Co-Chair Around the GlobeMichaelSPortugal_largeMichael Santos visiting family and friends in Portugal this summer!


featured photos

YPS Featured Photos | September 2014

community partners

Thank you to our Community Partners!

Andson Foundation
Bracken Elementary School
Community In Schools
Ernst and Young
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Future Smiles
Hollingsworth Elementary School
JR Achievement
NV Energy
Opportunity Village
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
Silver State Schools Credit Union
Spread the Word Nevada
yps member spotlight

YPS Member Spotlight | Chris Mays

Chris Mays is a man of many talents and exciting adventures. His career path in life took him from coast to coast and eventually overseas to serve his clients, adding several stamps to his passport. As a professional accountant and senior manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Chris gives the “A” treatment to a mix…

YPS Member Spotlight | Daniel Shapiro

Daniel Shapiro As a Las Vegas resident for over 25 years, Dan Shapiro considers himself a native. And although he doesn’t take his career as an accountant for Ernst and Young lightly, he has made it his mission to improve our Nevada education ranking. “I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself.…

YPS Member Spotlight | Leroy Godfrey

Leroy Godfrey came into our fine town with gusto! Having a passion for steaks and large plated servings, his awe of steakhouses dates back to… well we won’t date him, but let’s just say – he has the experience and hospitality know-how that will propel a widely recognized restaurant group’s venue on to the scene…

YPS Member Spotlight | Amanda Hurst

I had the privilege of having coffee with our fellow YPS member, Amanda Hurst, and was so inspired by what I learned. Amanda moved to Las Vegas to attend UNLV. She was the first in her family to go to college and she not only finished undergrad, she received a Masters in Criminal Justice. With…

yps updates

YPS Annual Project Funding

The YPS Project Funding and Executive Committees have approved YPS Project Funding for the fiscal year 2014-15. The following projects will be funded as a result of your commitment to YPS, United Way of Southern Nevada, and our community! The “Piggy Bank” – Financial Literacy and Education for Students A collaboration between UWSN, YPS, Silver…

YPS Update | September 2014

Welcome Back YPS members! It’s back to school time and that means that the Piggy Bank is in full swing! This year, we will have not one, but TWO Piggy Banks in the Valley! The original Piggy Bank at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy is entering its third year, and the second bank, which is scheduled…

YPS Update | July 2014

Hello fellow YPS members, Welcome to our 9th e-newsletter issue!  YPS in Hell’s Kitchen hosted by Caesars Entertainment Regional President David Hoenemeyer! If you did not attend the YPS Leadership Roundtable at Gordon Ramsay Steak on April 23rd, you missed an amazing opportunity to enjoy a signature 3-course meal by star Gordon Ramsay of Hell’s kitchen.…

YPS Update | March 2014

Hello fellow YPS members, Welcome to our 8th e-newsletter issue!  Greetings fellow YPS members! As we close in on spring, there are still plenty of activities we are planning for our members. Just a few highlights still in the planning stages are a tour of UNLV in conjunction with Clark High School to give some…

Letter from the Co-Chairs | January 2014

Hello fellow YPS members, Welcome to our seventh e-newsletter issue! Welcome to the New Year everyone! 2014 brings a fresh start with much work already needing to be done! YPS will be right there at the helm ready to lead the way. We are excited to continue our work with the Piggy Bank at Bracken…