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EDAWN Announces Four Additions to 2011-2012 Board of Trustees


The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) welcomes four new members to its 2011-2012 Board of Trustees. Stuart Brady, Business Banking manager with Wells Fargo, Dr. Heath Morrison, superintendent for Washoe County School District, Dr. Stephen Wells, president of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Phyllis Freyer, incoming president of Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) and vice president of marketing and communications for Renown Health have joined the EDAWN board.

To further solidify the link between economic diversification and education in the region, the EDAWN board voted to add Dr. Heath Morrison and Dr. Stephen Wells. They join Marc Johnson, president of the University of Nevada, Reno and Dr. Maria Sheehan, president of the Truckee Meadows Community College.

“The EDAWN board has focused on the task of quality job creation and embraces the significant impact that our education system has on the current and future workforce needs of our employers,” said Stephanie Kruse, EDAWN chair. “Having the leadership of the education community, from K-12 through higher education, directly involved in our efforts will ensure the collaboration needed for the community’s long term economic development success.”

Additionally, as incoming president of WIN, Phyllis Freyer replaces Nancy McCormick who joined EDAWN in March as the new Vice President of Business Retention, Expansion & Workforce.

Stuart Brady is the Business Banking manager with Wells Fargo’s Northern Nevada Business Banking group. He works with mid to large size businesses as well as individuals in Northern Nevada to provide customized financial solutions. Brady has been a Wells Fargo team member for ten years and has been in the financial services industry for 18 years. Born in Ireland, Brady has lived in northern Nevada since 1978 and is active in a variety of community organizations including EDAWN and the Idaho-Nevada Community Development Financial Institution, Inc. He graduated from the University of the Pacific with degrees in international trade and finance as well as from the Commercial Lending School at Southern Methodist University. His background includes extensive experience in owner-occupied and commercial real estate lending, asset based lending, agricultural lending and equipment finance.

Dr. Heath Morrison is superintendent for the Washoe County School District, the second largest school district in Nevada with approximately 63,000 students enrolled in 94 schools. During his first two years at WCSD, Dr. Morrison and the Board of Trustees led the development of the District’s five-year strategic plan, Envision WCSD 2015 – Investing In Our Future. In 2012, he was named AASA National Superintendent of the Year by the America Association of School Administrators in recognition of the district’s rise in graduation rates from 56 to 70 percent. Morrison holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning and a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Maryland. Prior to his position at the Washoe County School District, Dr. Morrison was community superintendent for the Down County Consortium in Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland and also served as a principal in Charles County, Maryland.

Dr. Stephen Wells is the president of DRI of the Nevada System of Higher Education, and represents an important link between economic development and technology commercialization in Northern Nevada. Dr. Wells has served as president for DRI for thirteen years administering one of the world’s largest multidisciplinary environmental research organizations with approximately 500 scientists, technologists, students, and other support staff.  He oversees two facilities in Las Vegas and Reno, as well as satellite research facilities in Boulder City and Stead, Nevada, and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Dr. Wells is a graduate faculty member in the Hydrologic Sciences Program and Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xian, China. He is the recipient of three national awards for research excellence in earth surface processes and history from the Geological Society of America, including the Kirk Bryan Award for best scientific paper and the Farouk El-Baz award for desert research.

Phyllis Freyer is the WIN liaison to the EDAWN board. Freyer has been a Vice President with Renown for more than seven years and has responsibility for the health network’s marketing, communications, foundation and retail operations.  Her diverse duties have included the rebranding of the organization, adding a Starbucks store to the retail operations, helping secure the largest ever donation for the Renown Children’s Hospital and overseeing the acquisition of more than 1000 pieces of artwork.  Freyer is active in the community and has served on several community boards including the Nevada Women’s Fund and WIN, and is a past Chair of the Go Red for Women Event.  She is a designated Woman of Achievement though the Nevada Women’s Fund and was honored at the 2011 Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada Celebrating Women in Leadership Dinner. Freyer has a Bachelors degree in Business and an MS in Healthcare Administration

EDAWN’s board of trustees is comprised of private investors and industry experts that will serve a two-year term. The board also includes volunteer community leaders and elected officials, dedicated to taking economic development in a new direction in Northern Nevada. It is the governing and administrative body for the non-profit organization, supporting its mission to recruit and expand quality companies to Greater Reno-Sparks-Tahoe.


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