14 Aug

Member Spotlight – Keenan Polan

Welcome one of our new members, Keenan Polan. Keenan is a Partner at 4505 Consulting Group.

Here are some of the Member Spotlight questions to learn more about Keenan:

How long have you been in the area? – I’ve been in Reno for 10 years.

What do you love about your business? – I love connecting with people, helping create strategic partnerships and influencing relationships to help grow the local business community.

If I weren’t at work right now, I’d be…. – Playing golf or hitting the beach in Tahoe with my fiancé, Ashley.

  To me, networking is about…. –Genuinely connecting with people and creating a relationship on a personal and professional level and finding out ways to help them grow in both areas.

What do you get out of YPN? – The top benefit of being a member is meeting new people and continuing to build relationships with people that I have met through YPN and other networking avenues

14 Aug

New Member Spotlight – Kaitlin Ramirez

Welcome one of our new members, Kaitlin Ramirez. Kaitlin is in business development and works for Shayla Gifford Team at Guild Mortgage Company.

Here are some of the Member Spotlight questions to learn more about Kaitlin:

How long have you been in the area? –  I’ve lived in Reno for my entire life, and I am proud to say I am a fifth generation Nevadan!

What do you love about your business? – No loan is the same. I love learning about each borrower and what motivates them most. I believe that a home purchase is an important and scary idea for anyone. Learning how I can support my customers is my main goal.

If I weren’t at work right now, I’d be…. – Surfing behind a boat in Tahoe, or skiing Granite Chief at Squaw Valley!

  To me, networking is about…. – Getting to know someone and learning their “why” I want to learn how I can add value to your business or life.

What do you want to get out of YPN? – Meeting others in my industry! Whether we work for different companies or the same, I want to learn how we can all improve the mortgage process.


24 Feb



Chelsea Hart
[email protected]


RENO, Nev. – Friday, February 24, 2017 – Reno Tahoe YPN announces that we are accepting nominations for our 2017/18 Board of Directors. Interested parties may self-nominate by submitting a resume and Letter of Intent to YPN Executive Director, Chelsea Hart by email at [email protected] by March 31, 2017.

Reno Tahoe YPN Board Members serve a two-year term beginning in July 2017. The Board meets on the second Monday of the month at 5:30 pm. Board Members are expected to actively engage in YPN programs and events, chair a YPN committee and represent YPN in a professional and positive manner within the community.

YPN is seeking young professionals who are actively engaged in our community, have an excellent business reputation locally and who are motivated to continue the growth and outreach of YPN. Board applicants must be current members of YPN in good standing and should be actively engaged in YPN committee work.
Board members will be selected and notified in April and encouraged to work in partnership with the current and outgoing board members through June 2017. They will then begin their official term in July.

To learn more about Reno Tahoe YPN and to become a member or a sponsor, visit www.renotahoeypn.com.

The Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network (YPN)’s mission is to cultivate an informed and involved young professional community in the Truckee Meadows in order to retain and attract young and diverse talent. Reno Tahoe YPN was founded in 2007 for the purpose of retaining and attracting young talent for the greater Reno-Tahoe region. The organization’s focus is to cultivate an informed and active young professional community that collaborates with the community and a variety of established partner organizations throughout northern Nevada. For more information, please visit www.renotahoeypn.com.

18 Jan

WIN at Night

WIN would like to invite the YPN Members to attend their WIN at Night Event

February 9, 2017 at the WIN Member rate of $30 ($35 for non-members).

This event should be a great fit for YPN members. Also, WIN will offer YPN Members the chance to join WIN the next day (2/10/17) at the WIN Basic Membership price of $180, but you will get the Membership PLUS (usually $280).

Basic members pay $15 for each breakfast, but PLUS members’ Breakfast Meeting entrance is included in the membership.

So they will save $165 if they attend all 11 breakfasts for the year.

21 Nov

November Member Spotlight – Rob Thayer – Plumas Bank



What do you love about your business?  I love helping our customers plan their financial future by identifying opportunities and finding the best solutions to help them reach their goals.  Focusing on the customer needs and wants to help grow their business into the future.

What do you get out of being a member of YPN?  Being member of YPN since 2014 has allowed me to network with young professionals that are in the same place in their lives to connect with.  The friendships I have made from YPN are going to be great to grow with in the Reno and Sparks Community.

Your favorite time of day is ________.  Morning I like starting the day out with a work out to get me energized to start the work day.

If you weren’t at work right now, you’d be …I would be spending time with my wife and three boys at Lake Tahoe.  Family means everything to me.

To you, networking is about …”Building relationships with Professionals, Groups and Companies to develop mutually beneficial relationships to help one another grow their business.”


27 Oct

Absentee Ballots and Effective Absente System for Elections

First, I’ll cover a little information about absentee ballots, then I’ll write about an online resource that’s putting Nevada at the forefront of the industry for military and overseas citizens.

If a voter is unable to make it to the polls or just prefers to mark their ballot from the comfort of home or office – request and absentee ballot. Historically a voter needed an excuse to request and absent ballot but those times are long gone (in most states). Nevada is a “no excuse required” absentee ballot state and voters can request an absentee ballot with no reason required. And the best part is that return postage is pre-paid by the local election office.

Voters in Nevada can request and absentee ballot by printing, signing, and returning the one-page form available on the websites for the Washoe County Registrar of Voters or the Secretary of State. The form to request and absentee ballot must be received by your local election office before the close of business on November 1st. Completed absentee ballots must be received by your local election office before the close of polls on Election Day (7pm PT, on 11/8/2016).

As an industry first, Nevada has received national recognition for the innovative Effective Absentee System for Elections. Known as “EASE”, the online resource utilizes procedures afforded to military and overseas citizens to create a one stop shop for voter registration, absent ballot requests, and ballot delivery to the voter. So what makes EASE unique?

For starters, as a one stop shop, EASE seamlessly integrates voter registration, requesting an absent ballot and delivery of an absent ballot into a single online process available 24/7. Normally this requires a voter to engage in multiple communications with their local election office to register, request, mark, and return their absent ballot. Next, EASE makes is possible for a user to complete the process entirely online. This is the key benefit, considering that voters need to sign their documents and that resources such as a printer and scanner (when transmitting electronically), or mail delivery might not be readily available. This is especially true for deployed members of the military and National Guard.

Members of the military, their families, and overseas citizens can transmit receive and return their election materials electronically, per federal and state laws. This significantly reduced the number of ballots rejected due to missing deadline and signature issues. EASE reduces the number of rejected ballots even more by eliminating multiple correspondences with a local election office as well as the need for access to a printer and scanner. EASE achieves this through a simultaneous process and applying an image of the user’s signature, on file with the local election office/DMV, on the user’s election documents.

Nevada’s EASE resource was recently selected as one of four finalists for the IDEAS award by the National Association of Secretaries of State for significant state contributions to the industry. For more information about EASE, including a PowerPoint demonstration, please visit the Secretary of State’s webpage about the system, or contact me directly at [email protected]/(775) 684-5650.

Justus Wendland is a member of the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network and works for the Nevada Secretary of State™s office. Before moving to Nevada in 2012, Justus worked in the same capacity in the Montana Secretary of State™s office to ensure state election and voting laws are compliant with Federal regulations.

26 Sep

Meet our 2016 Power Dinner Speakers

Chip Bowlby

Managing Partner of Reno Land Development Company. An expert in financing, land acquisition, product design, product re-positioning, and marketing of residential projects, Chip Bowlby is one of RLDC™s two managing partners. Previously, Bowlby served as the director of sales, marketing, land acquisition and product development for New Cities Development Group, a large residential real estate developer. Bowlby also served as president of Bowlby and Company, Inc., and regional vice president of property management operations and acquisition for a national single-family and multi-residential builder. Bowlby is based in Reno, Nevada.

Jeff Bryant

Jeff is the Founder of the Polygrarian Institute, an agricultural non-profit focused on cultivating community based food systems through education, research & civic engagement. Working with next generation farmers, the Polygrarian Institute specialized in creating unique agricultural experiences for young professionals through national service while enhancing economic opportunities in our local food system.

A native Nevadan, Jeff grew up in a small military town in the desert and completed his B.S. in Secondary Education with a minor in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Nevada- Reno. After college, Jeff spent time in the Sierra Nevada’s with California State Parks and worked in environmental conservation throughout Nevada with the Great Basin Institute before building local nonprofit Urban Roots, a small teaching farm that focuses on k-12 education through day camp programs and works with dozens of schools throughout northern Nevada.

Jeff currently serves on the Renown Health Community Advisory Committee, Nevada Food & Agriculture Council, and is a founding board member of Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation and was a recipient of the Young Professionals Network Twenty Under 40 Award in 2013. For his work and service to the community, Jeff was recently recognized as the Reno Gazette Journal’s™ 2015 Citizen of the Year.

Ron Knecht

The State Controller, Nevada’s Chief Fiscal Officer, administers its accounting system and may recommend to the Governor and Legislature plans for support of public credit, for promoting frugality and economy, and for better management and understanding of state fiscal affairs. He’s responsible to settle claims against the state, collect debts owed to it, process and record its financial transactions, conduct the final audit and ensure compliance with Nevada’s constitution and statutes and federal laws. He provides the citizens, legislature, governor and others extensive, accurate and impartial financial information and works to assure the citizens money is spent efficiently and cost-effectively. The Controller serves on Nevadas Board of Finance, Executive Branch Audit Committee and its Department of Transportation Board of Directors. Ron Knecht, an economist, financial and policy analyst, and Professional Mechanical Engineer (registered in California), became Controller January 5, 2015.

Before being elected Controller, he divided 44 working years between public service and entrepreneurial small business, all in senior professional and managerial positions, testifying often as an expert witness. He’s been a founder, executive or director for 12 firms, charities, community-service and public-interest groups. Ron was elected to the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education in 2006 and re-elected in 2012. He was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2002, representing Carson City and Washoe City. A graduate of the University of Illinois in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Stanford University in Engineering Economic Systems, and the University of San Francisco Law School, he and his wife Kathy have a teen-age daughter Karyn.

Eric Edelstein

Eric is currently the President for the Reno Aces, Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona.

Diamondbacks and Reno 1868 FC, the future professional soccer franchise to be affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. Owned by SK Holdings, with real estate magnate Herb Simon as managing partner, he supervises all business, baseball, and soccer operations of the franchises at Greater Nevada Field in Reno.

In his first two seasons at the helm, the Aces have achieved franchise records in the important revenue streams of sponsorship sales and group events. In addition, the Aces have launched a significant non-baseball events plan, with a haunted house, ice rink, and numerous other plans set to expand use of Greater Nevada Field into the future. Last March, Edelstein announced a landmark naming rights agreement, signing a 15 year deal with Greater Nevada Credit Union to put the first ever name on Reno’s downtown venue.

Edelstein, 38, joined the Aces in June, 2013, after 10 years with the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, working in Wichita and Northwest Arkansas under the ownership of Rich Products Corporation. Prior to the 2008 Naturals inaugural season, Edelstein orchestrated a smooth transition to Northwest Arkansas by overseeing the construction of the ballpark, sales, marketing and community relations.

Before moving to Wichita, Edelstein served as General Manager of the Jamestown Jammers in Jamestown, NY. The team’s parent club, the Florida Marlins, won the World Series in 2003, earning Edelstein a World Series ring. While with Rich Products, ownership sponsored the Bedlington Terriers Football Club in Northern England, giving Edelstein an opportunity to spend two months consulting with the club during the fall of 2011. He advised on all areas of the operation including event presentation, sales and marketing, and organizational structure. In the fall of 2014, Edelstein continued consulting internationally with the Durham County Cricket Club in Northern England.

A native of Cleveland, OH, Edelstein earned a degree in sport organization management and a minor in marketing from Bowling Green State University. He started his career in professional baseball in high school as an intern for his hometown team, the Cleveland Indians. Over the course of his career, Edelstein has filled many rolls for several professional sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons and the Cleveland Lumberjacks Professional Hockey Club.

15 Sep

November 2016 Member Spotlight – Courtney Pino – EPIC Insurance

What do you love about your business?  The healthcare and insurance industry has been known to get a bad reputation, but I see the exact opposite. I am grateful that I get to work with companies to create unique, cost effective benefits programs that focus on the wellbeing of their company and employees, which in turn allows for an overall better quality of life. I get to help people, what more could you ask for!?

What do you get out of being a member of YPN?  Being an member of YPN has allowed me to connect with other young like-minded people. Most of us are in the beginning stages of our careers and trying to build our networks and relationships. It’s refreshing to be around people that are in the same place in their life and connect on more than just work we actually become friends!

What is your favorite special event in the region? My favorite special event would have to be the Reno Rodeo. I am a country girl at heart, and I love any excuse to throw on my boots and hat and watch the cowboys and cowgirls in action of course the Jack Tent is always a good time too.  Nothing beats the Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West!

Your favorite time of day is ________. Evenings, The workday is done (as long as there isn’t a networking event) and I get to do whatever I want!

If you weren’t at work right now, you’d be …I would probably be spending the day outdoors, doing whatever the day throws at me.

If you could take anyone out for a cup of coffee, who would it be? Why? My Grandpa Joe, My Grandpa was my hero. He passed away 4 years ago due to Alzheimer’s and I miss him every single day. If I got the chance to sit down for a cup of coffee with him, it would be a great day! I would fill him in on everything that has happened since he left, tell him how his family has grown, what we are doing with our lives and how we owe it all to his and my Grandma’s influence on our lives.

To you, networking is about …To me, networking is about building connections, relationships and most importantly, friendships. Some people say networking is how you grow your business, but to me it is much more personal than that. I network to meet people, learn what’s important to them and see if we have shared interests, values, and ideas. And, if it eventually leads to earning their business or referrals down the road, even better! I have met some truly amazing people through networking, and I am extremely proud to now call them friends.

If you were a wild animal, which one would you be and why?  I would be a giraffe. When I am in a crowd, I always find myself standing on whatever I can just so I can stand above everyone and watch. If I were a giraffe, I would never have to worry about seeing everything 🙂


22 Jul

2016 Twenty Under 40 Awards Nominations Open


Who are the region’s most outstanding young leaders deserving of recognition?

Nominations for the annual Twenty Under 40 Awards are open, and the job of spotlighting the Reno-Tahoe area’s most deserving professionals is in the public’s hands.

Local business and community leaders who have made significant contributions can be nominated at renotahoeypn.com. Individuals must be nominated based on the merits of their leadership qualities and contributions to the community.

In addition to supplying basic information such as the nominee’s employer, job title, and contact information, nomination forms must include detailed descriptions of the nominee’s professional successes and community leadership examples. The nomination form and tips for writing a convincing nomination can be found on the official Twenty Under 40 Awards webpage.

The nomination period closes on August 25. Nominees must be no older than 39 by November 1, 2016.

The winners of the tenth annual event, sponsored by RGJ Media and the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network, will be announced on September 12. Nominations will be open through August 25.

Click here to nominate!