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Reno Business Weekly: March 8, 2022



Rail Coalition: Trains are the ticket to zero emissions

By Richard Bednarski

Commute times are increasing across northern Nevada. As the population continues to grow, rush hour could soon rival Sacramento and other large cities. An increase in congestion leads to increased vehicle emissions and the potential for worsening air pollution rises. 

The Nevada Rail Coalition (NRC) was established last year to advocate alongside the Sierra Club for development of both statewide passenger and commuter rail systems. This citizen-based initiative brings together unions, social justice organizations and diverse community associations. 

“The goal is to get cars off the road,” said Anne Macquarie, a transportation activist also with the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club. She has led projects with the Sierra Club for almost 10 years. Before that she was a transportation planner.

“Rail travel is convenient, comfortable and energy efficient means of mass transit,” said Janet Carter, an executive committee member also with the Sierra Club. “Studies have shown that many people prefer train travel over any other form of transportation.” 

Rail travel is limited in Nevada, however, and the NRC is seeking to increase train routes, Carter added. The focus is not solely on passenger rail growth. Moving freight via train is also more efficient than by truck.

Read the rest of this article.

Organizations seeking federal grants may qualify for state matching funds 

The Governor’s Office – in collaboration with the Office of Grant Procurement, Coordination and Management within the Department of Administration – is inviting eligible organizations seeking federal grants to apply for a state-funded match program.  

The state’s Grant Matching Program offers $1 million annually. Funds can be used to satisfy up to 50% of federal grant match requirements. Eligible organizations include nonprofits, tribal governments, local governments and state agencies. To qualify, applicants must have exhausted all other potential sources of matching funds. 

The Nevada Grant Office is now accepting applications. To learn more and apply, interested applicants can visit the Nevada Grant Office website.  

Applications for total federal grant awards of $150,000 or greater are due by March 18, 2022. All other applications are due by June 1, 2022. Applications will be reviewed upon submission and awarded throughout the program period on a first-come, first-served basis.  

The Grant Matching Program was established as a pilot program by the Nevada Legislature in 2019 and made permanent by legislation passed in the 2021 session. 


Business news briefs

University’s Wolf Pack Meats has a new operations manager. Tom Kulas will oversee the operations of the facility, which includes the slaughter, processing and packaging of livestock such as beef, lamb and sheep, swine and goat. The meat facility, at the Main Station farm on McCarran Boulevard, is USDA inspected and harvests about 3,000 animals each year. “I was looking for something different, and I think this position is going to be an exciting new project for me,” Kulas said. “It’s also great to be part of an organization like the University and have so much support.”

The Reno + Sparks Leadership Program starts May 11. Applications are due before April 7. The program has presentations from community leaders. Classes meet the second Wednesday of each month, concluding with graduation in December. Tuition is $2,300. Information here.

Children’s Cabinet gets new events, volunteer coordinator. Gilly Guinn will help produce the Children’s Cabinet’s events, such as its fundraising gala and the Adopt A Family program. She was previously at the Eddy House. “I am excited to join The Children’s Cabinet,” said Quinn. “I love being part of a local nonprofit and helping advance the mission in a community. With my background in events and marketing, I am anticipating many opportunities to connect with donors, volunteers and clients.”

DRI Foundation has new trustees. A host of new people have joined DRI Foundation’s board of trustees, each for a four-year term. They are:

  • Lisa Gallagher, Chief Financial Officer and Cofounder, Praedicat, Inc. 
  • Fafie Moore, Executive Vice President, Southern Nevada, ERA Brokers Consolidated
  • Bob Gagosian, President Emeritus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • Bob McCart, Owner, RKM Management
  • Jim King, CFO, R&R Partners and Chairman, R&R Foundation
  • Karen Wayland, Principle, kW Energy Strategies
  • Terry Shirey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nevada State Bank

“We welcome these new trustees to the DRI Foundation Board and extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to our outstanding current trustees,” said DRI President Dr. Kumud Acharya. “The expertise and philanthropy of DRI Foundation Board Members plays an essential role in funding and promoting DRI research to people and environments in Nevada and around the world.”

California fintech company opens Reno offices. Fintech start-up Kikoff Lending has signed a lease at 200 South Virginia downtown. “As a new company entering the fintech space in 2021, we see a ton of potential to grow the operations side of our business in downtown Reno,” said Cynthia Chen, CEO of Kikoff Lending. “The Reno-Tahoe Region’s growing pool of qualified employees and the appealing quality of life make it attractive to businesses like us and our downtown Reno location puts us at the center of it all.” The company is a personal finance platform that helps clients find credit-building solutions. 

United Construction Company has named Edward Morgan new CFO. Morgan joined UCC with decades of accounting experience. Morgan served as the COO for Taylor Builders, one of the Sacramento region’s largest land developers. “Ed is a highly-experienced leader in construction, operations and finance, which makes him an excellently well-rounded and ideal choice for our next CFO,” said Michael Whittaker, president of United Construction. 

Renown Health announced Susan Lee as new COO. Lee is COO for Renown South Meadows Medical Center. Renown CEO Tony Slonim said, “Dr. Lee expands her role, promotes a spirit of unity across the enterprise, and continues to make progress on achieving goals central to Renown’s success.” Lee will work with Jennifer Allen, director of nursing and the South Meadows medical staff.

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