Las Vegas Southwest Rotary Newsletter

July 20, 2015

July 27 Program


Michelle Layton

Executive Director

Downtown Las Vegas Achieves

Downtown Las Vegas Achieves creates the conditions necessary for children to realize their full potential. Comprised of more than 60 organizations and community leaders are working together to create a collective that is focused on supporting and enhancing schools in Downtown Las Vegas.

Raised in Sidney, Ohio, Michelle Layton earned her B.S. degree in Marketing Education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and her M.B.A. degree from the University of Phoenix, Henderson campus, in 2007. Michelle launched her career in Ohio as a High School Marketing and DECA Teacher at Butler County Joint Vocational School District and Lakota Local Schools before relocating to Las Vegas in 2001.

In Las Vegas, Michelle continued her work in the fields of marketing and education in diverse capacities, including as Marketing and DECA teacher in the Academy of Finance at Clark High School, and Director of Education at Sylvan Learning Center. Michelle’s dual experience in business and education was next utilized at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino and Arizona Charlie’s properties. During her tenure in hospitality, Michelle rapidly moved from Training Specialist, creating and teaching leadership classes for employees and management, to Training and Communications Manager overseeing training, internal communications, and employee events. Her crowning achievement at the Stratosphere and Arizona Charlie’s properties was developing, implementing, and managing the company’s philanthropic outreach, entitled “Community Connection.”

In 2006, Michelle was chosen as Community Affairs Director for CBS Television affiliate 8 News NOW. In 2008, KLAS created a new position for Michelle, entitled Community Promotions Director. In this expanded role, Michelle directed all community outreach, sales promotions, events and charitable giving for 8 News NOW. In the past six years, Michelle has built relationships with small and large businesses, Nonprofit organizations, the Clark County School District, local museums, and other community stakeholders, and has served on several boards, including marketing boards for Three Square and United Way of Southern Nevada.

Michelle first learned of Las Vegas Downtown Achieves at the 2013 Symposium, and has served on the teacher-engagement board for the last year before taking the Downtown Achieves Executive Administrator position.

Upcoming Speakers:

August 3: Dr. Barbara Atkinson, Dean, UNLV School of Medicine

August 10: TBD

August 17: Jon Ralston, political columnist, commentator and TV show host


Meeting Happenings

Invocation: Adrienne Cox; Photos: Ted Henderson; Mr. Mic: Eric Colvin; Newsletter: Clinton Pope; Raffle Winner: Roll-over


Rotarians: Michelle Boykins and Mike Thomas from Birmingham, Alabama


Feed the Homeless: Tom Martin announced that Feed the Homeless will be the last Wednesday (July 29) of this month at Christs Episcopal Church St. Louis and Maryland Parkway. Please be there by 5:00. There is a need for clothing so please get whatever you can provide to Tom.

Pars for Polio: Mitchell Horst announced that the Club is seeking 2-4 people to play in the area's inaugural Pars for Polio golf tournament. Essentially it is a golf marathon of which the Club and its members will seek pledges. It will be a competition among area Rotary Clubs. If you are interested, please see Mitchell.


Superstar photographer . . . Bruce Pope was recognized $50 for his son, Chad, placing in Desert Companion's annual photography contest. When asked how his son got into photography he said that he kept buying crap and finally was pretty good at taking photographs.

Name the Rotarian: This person's favorite movie is "The Godfather" and also jumped out of an airplane.  Eric Colvin was recognized $20 for each incorrect answer, ultimately $40 until he guessed Clinton Pope.

Really? An airplane? Clinton Pope was recognized $50 for jumping out of a "perfectly good airplane." He said he and a buddy did it in 1996/1997 and it was a tandem jump so he didn't have to worry about pulling the parachute cord.

Golf is in her family blood . . . Troy Lochhead was recognized $25 for her 89 at Legacy golf club and also her son's ability to hit a golf ball 370/380 yards.

Triplets make you famous . . . Justin Kalb (who was not in attendance) was recognized $50 for his family's feature article in Desert Companion double-publication focusing on Summerlin.

Gifts for the President:

Joanne Blystone gave the President playing chips (ball markers) from her recent travels and Clinton Pope gave him 200 pesos and a half-used mosquito repellant bottle from Cancun, Mexico.

Club Assembly:

Every year, Las Vegas Southwest Rotary conducts a Club Assembly which allows members to discuss the business of the Club and ask questions of the committee chairs.

Highlights discussed include:

- Foundation: Ted Henderson told the Club remains strong in awarding Paul Harris Fellows. We expect to have two more major donors ($10K or more) by the end of this Rotary year.

- Grants: Fred Fukumoto said that we have access to at least $2400 in grant money to expand or create a new project.

- Billing/Payment: Fred Fukumoto explained to the Club that instead of having to send in your billing information to Aric Graham to process a payment via credit card, we now have the ability to swipe your card at meetings. Both Fred and Mitchell have the ability to swipe your credit card before or after any meeting. He thanked Shawn Callahan for connecting the Club to the service.

- Membership: Adrienne Cox and Troy Lochhead spoke to how the Club and District will approach membership this year. Rotary in general is seeing huge membership issues all over the world. The focus will be to not only try to attract interested, committed people but also engage those who have not been attending meetings or coming to events.

- Community Service: Karl Maisner said that the Club has a very large budget for community service projects and is currently reviewing expanding current programs as well as finding new ones to develop. The Club will look for more weekend projects to help boost attendance.

- Vocational: Tom Martin explained we give 4 college students, 2 semesters of in-state tuition as well as participate in sending children to Teen Leadership Camp and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. In addition, we conduct the 4-way speech contest and Dan Stover competition.

- International: Adam Bowler told the Club that it will probably take a more passive approach in that we have not be active in recent years on International projects and the budget is smaller as we focus more on community service. We do invite people from outside the Club who perform service work internationally to come and speak to us as we may be able to provide financial support for their efforts.

- Programs: Clinton Pope said that we will do what we always try to do, find interesting, topical speakers for meetings.

- BUDGET ALERT: Due to increased dues from District 5300 and Lawry's increasing their price per lunch, a quarterly dues increase from $250 to $300 has been approved by the board of directors. If you have any questions please contact Mitchell Horst.


Pass it on...

We encourage you to share this newsletter with your family, friends and co-workers or anyone whom you feel might be interested in Rotary and joining an organization dedicated to building a better world.

Club meetings are Monday's from 12:00pm - 1:30pm at Lawry’s The Prime Rib located at 4043 Howard Hughes Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89169. Please check the Club’s website for meeting times and events at

Yours in Rotary Service,

Mitchell Horst
President 2015-2016