Successes & Insights Invite: Nov. 27 2017

Successes & Insights Invite: Nov. 27 2017


On November 27, 2017, the Downtown Vegas Alliance and the city of Las Vegas present an enlightening evening about the future of Downtown Las Vegas, “On Smart Cities Technology,” sponsored by Switch, the Regional Transportation Commission and the Urban Land Institute. Invitation.

November 27 “Successes and Insights” event is free and open to the public

The event, scheduled for November 27, features a slate of nationally recognized Smart Cities leaders and local experts who will discuss the role of technology in improving the lives of residents and visitors in urban downtown areas.  The event is part of The Alliance’s ongoing Successes and Insights series that focuses on economic growth and quality of life in Downtown Las Vegas.

Keynote speaker is Jeff Tumlin, a Seattle based consultant who has developed transformative transportation plans throughout the world and will share lessons learned from other cities and insights on parking, motor vehicle traffic and mobility. Immediately following, Tumlin will join Kate Garman, Smart City program leader from the City of Seattle, Chris Ipsen, chief information officer for Desert Research Institute, and Jorge Cervantes, chief operations and development officer for city of Las Vegas, for a panel discussion moderated by Betsy Fretwell, former Las Vegas city manager and current senior vice president at Switch CITIES.

Monday, November 27, 2017
5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Registration
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Program
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Complimentary cocktail reception 

Las Vegas City Hall, 495 Main Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 – Council Chambers

Welcome: Carolyn G. Goodman, Mayor, city of Las Vegas

Introduction: Tina Quigley, General Manager, RTC of Southern Nevada
Keynote: Jeff Tumlin, Principal and Director of Strategy, Nelson Nygaard

For more than twenty years, Jeff Tumlin has led award-winning plans in cities from Seattle and Vancouver to Moscow and Abu Dhabi. He helps balance all modes of transportation in complex places to achieve a community’s wider goals and best utilize their limited resources. He has developed transformative plans throughout the world that accommodate millions of square feet of growth with no net increase in motor vehicle traffic. Tumlin provides residents and stakeholders the tools they need to evaluate their transportation investments in the context of achieving their long-term goals. He understands that managing parking and transportation demand is a critical tool for revitalizing city centers and creating sustainable places. Tumlin is the author of Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Healthy, Vibrant and Resilient Communities (Wiley, 2012).

Kate Garman, Smart City Coordinator, City of Seattle
Kate Garman runs Seattle’s Smart City program, managing policies, partnerships, systems, platforms and networks that ensure the security and manageability of Seattle’s Smart City environment. Garman previously worked as the Innovation Policy Advisor for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. She served as the legal and policy analyst of the Office of Innovation which included drafting ordinances and policy recommendations to foster a culture of innovation in Kansas City.

Chris Ipsen, Assistant Vice President, Information Technology & Chief Information Officer, Desert Research Institute (DRI)
At DRI, Chris Ipsen manages the Institute’s IT staff that provides complex networking, application and web development, desktop support, cyber-security, and server architecture/management for more than 550 employees. Prior to DRI, Ipsen served as the Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Nevada and as an expert on cyber security. He has successfully proposed legislation in Nevada on four occasions and was appointed by two Nevada Governors to serve on the State Commission on Homeland Security. He also serves on the Nevada Public Safety Communications Steering Committee, the Nevada Technological Crime Advisory Board and the Nevada Cyber Security Committee.

Jorge Cervantes, Chief Operations and Development Officer, city of Las Vegas
Jorge Cervantes oversees the programs and services at the city’s Development Services Center, as well as the Operations and Maintenance and Parks and Recreation departments. Cervantes is licensed as a professional engineer and is one of the first in Nevada to be registered as a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer.

Moderator: Betsy Fretwell, Senior Vice President, Switch CITIES

RSVP:  Include Nov 27 event in your subject line please: 


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  • Dayvid Figler and Rae Lathrop

    DF: Downtown was great as a kid and it is even greater as an adult. I love all of downtown’s hidden gems, its vibrancy, history and sense of connection. Rae is relatively newer to Las Vegas, but just as passionate about downtown. Downtown lends itself to the shared experience, and as a couple we both love seeing this part of the city through each other's eyes. Photo: Lucky Wenzel


  • Rob Ponte

    Some of the best nights I’ve experienced started out with no plan other than walking around to check out what’s going on. The great thing about having so many bars and restaurants downtown is the ability to move around if you’re not feeling the vibe in one place. There are plenty of options just outside the door. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Brandon Wiegand

    The downtown Las Vegas of today has much to attract residents - a burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, growing diversity of businesses, and major centers of art and culture. Plus, living downtown I am easily within walking or biking distance of it all. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Hank Gordon, Chairman of Laurich Properties

    It is always a pleasure to deal with the city of Las Vegas’ economic development department. The staff is really interested in helping create a positive business environment to work with.

  • Jonathan Jenkins, Founder & CEO of OrderWithMe

    As our company continues its rapid growth, we quickly realized the need to set up a formal U.S. headquarters. We explored multiple cities and were about to make the move to San Francisco, and then we heard about the complete reinvention of downtown Las Vegas. Coming from China where things are booming and growing, we love that downtown Vegas now has a similar vibe of energy and change. Not only is there an exciting tech community here and much lower costs than the Bay Area, but we love the fact that almost every industry group brings their conventions to our front door once a year.

  • Andy Hsieh, Owner of Lux Delux

    We love the vibrancy and energy of Las Vegas, and downtown is at the heart of it all. That's why we've launched our mobile platform with a focus on downtown. This is an exciting time in Las Vegas history, where community, commerce and technology are all converging at once. Downtown is our city's hidden gem.

  • Ramesh Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Partnerships of SocialWellth

    We chose to relocate from the suburbs to downtown for several reasons. Our brand image and that of downtown’s mesh perfectly. The new downtown Las Vegas reflects a more hip, startup, social media-style image. Additionally, downtown’s emerging technology corridor, anchored by Zappos, is an environment that enhances our ability to recruit the types of technical skill sets required for our continued growth and success.

  • Mark Brandenburg, President of Golden Gate

    I think downtown Las Vegas is a unique blend of intimacy and great energy. Plus, in contrast to The Strip, it’s so easy to walk around…The Golden Gate has been here for over 100 years and with all the changes going on downtown, it feels like a new era. It truly is a renaissance—the rebirth of a classic.

  • Roberto Mendoza, Co-owner of Banger Brewing

    The city has been great in helping us with the licensing and procedures necessary to start a business. There hasn't been a brewery built in the city of Las Vegas for probably 10 years. So for them it hasn't been a typical ‘cut and paste’ thing. We're something different. It was a team work process to get us opened – a lot of talk and listening on both sides. And now the city started opening up the doors for other breweries once we were up and running. Good news for us and good news for the future. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Alexandra Epstein, Executive Vice President of El Cortez Casino Hotel

    This downtown area… is emerging and where many events are happening.

  • Meghan Mossler, Owner of Stitch Factory

    The city and the department of economic development have been very helpful to us and all the other downtown business owners. It’s such a community here, and everyone asks you what you need. That kind of help launching a business is amazing and priceless.

  • Pamela Dylag, Co-owner of Velveteen Rabbit

    The city is so supportive of new businesses. Things are popping up constantly. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Marc Abelman, CFO & Co-owner of Inside Style

    Downtown is becoming very much in demand…there’s a limited supply. Run fast, don’t walk.

  • Sam Cherry, CEO of Cherry Development

    For a while, downtown was one of the only places in the valley you would see cranes when you drove around. It was nice that city government stepped up and the private sector married with the public sector to create amazing projects that filled the gap. That was very important for us.

  • Johnny Jimenez, Owner of Toy Shack of Las Vegas

    Our business is booming amid the foot traffic on Fremont Street, and we’ve started to see how tourists are falling in love with downtown as they discover it. In the past year, we’re increasingly hearing things like, ‘Wow, next time we’ll stay downtown instead of on The Strip,’ or ‘We’ve visited downtown many times, but this is the first year we’ve actually stayed in a downtown hotel.’ They like that there is more to do within a smaller walking radius.

  • Rich Worthington, President and CEO of The Molasky Group of Companies

    Historically, downtown Las Vegas has not been a top destination for many locals, but in recent years… that trend is reversing itself. Given all the recent openings and progress, there’s much to explore and experience downtown.