Organization celebrates 10th anniversary, accept Presidential Volunteer Service Award

HENDERSON — The Henderson Chamber of Commerce Foundation will graduate its 2010 class Thursday, May 13. This year also marks the program’s 10-year anniversary.

“Leadership Henderson has a 10-year tradition of giving back to the community,” said Rebecca Fay, administrator for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the organization which oversees the Leadership Henderson program. “Now, more than ever, professionals in our community are renewing their commitment to helping others and that’s good news for us all.”

As part of the program’s annual graduation banquet, Leadership Henderson will be presented with a “Presidential Volunteer Service Award.” Leadership Henderson is receiving the award in recognition of the program’s effort in raising more than $17,000 within the last 12 months in order to support SAAMS (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) Tops & Bottoms program. Class members of Leadership’s 2009 graduating class developed and implemented the program on behalf of the center in order to help raise funds for the purchase of new clothing for victims of sexual assault.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation (The Council), which is the organization officially recognizing Leadership Henderson via The Rape Crisis Center, was established in 2003 to recognize the contributions volunteers are make in communities nationwide. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. 

“We are so grateful to the alumni of Leadership Henderson who give of their time and expertise to help support a much needed program that would otherwise not be able to sustain itself,” said Lu Torres, executive director of the Rape Crisis Center. “Through the program, The Rape Crisis Center is able to provide victims with new sets of sweat pants, T-shirts, underwear and sweatshirts, which allows victims a chance to begin the healing process as oftentimes they need to submit clothing as forensic evidence in hopes of prosecuting offenders.”

Torres is currently a 2010 graduating class member of Leadership Henderson.

Leadership Henderson is an eight-month program that devotes itself to strengthening and educating community leaders by providing participants with in-depth insights into a variety of issues impacting residents of Henderson and Southern Nevada. More than 200 participants have graduated from the program since its inception in 2001.

Chosen through a selective application and interview process, the participants in the program study such key issues as the history of the Henderson community, local government and infrastructure, quality of life and community amenities, planning and development, gaming and tourism, business and industry, health/human services and other areas vital to the continued growth and development for the city of Henderson.

Leadership Henderson class of 2010 participants include: Tammy Barber (Henderson Police Dept.), Ben Brown (American Pacific Corp.), JJ Christian (JHC Technology Solutions), Stephanie Garcia-Vause (City of Henderson), Todd Hauge (Edward Jones), Dr. John Hawk (Nevada State High School), Laurel Helfen-Lardent (St. Rose Hospitals), Dan Hyde (City of Las Vegas), Mike Kahlloff (United Way of Southern Nevada), Michael Keaton (Emerald Island Casino), and David Kohlmeier (Henderson Police Dept.), Wendy Lincoln (St. Rose Hospitals), Telma Lopez (Southwest Gas), Andy Loughlin (XO Communications), Penny McCollum (College of Southern Nevada), Marilyn Ming (UNR Cooperative Extension), Aimee Moran-Yannis (St. Rose Hospitals), Caron Richardson (The Richardson Partnership Inc.), Steve Roberts (SER Realty), Marcie Smedley (Henderson Libraries), Nancy Smith (Datanamics Inc.), Daniel Stewart (Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll), Lu Torres (Rape Crisis Center), and Mike Zaccagnino (NV Energy).

For more information on the Leadership Henderson program, contact the Henderson Chamber of Commerce at 702-565-8951 or visit