Las Vegas Southwest Rotary Newsletter

November 9, 2015


November 16 Program


Dr. Thomas Piechota

Vice President, Research and Economic Development

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Thomas C. Piechota is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Dr. Piechota received his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1989 from Northern Arizona University, his M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1993 from UCLA, and his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1997 from UCLA. Dr. Piechota has lead various interdisciplinary research and education efforts at UNLV. These include the National Science Foundation funded study on climate change in the State of Nevada, the Urban Sustainability Initiative, the Renewable Energy Education Programs (made possible through NV Energy donations), the 2013 Solar Decathlon team that was 2nd in the world and 1st in the nation, and establishing the Nevada Institute for Personalized Medicine.

His teaching and research interests are in the fields of climate change, sustainability, surface water hydrology, hydroclimatology, droughts, water resources planning, and stormwater quality in urban environments. In 2003, Dr. Piechota received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for the project “Improved Hydrologic Drought Forecasting Using Climate Information.” He has authored or coauthored more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and reports, and his work has been cited more than 2000 times.

Dr. Piechota is a licensed Professional Engineer in the States of Nevada and California. He has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation and various federal agencies. He has served on various professional and community committees including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, and Chair of the City of Henderson Citizen Advisory Committee.


Upcoming Speakers:

November 23: DARK

November 30: Director Donato Cabrera and Jeri Crawford, Las Vegas Philharmonic

December 7: TBD

December 14: TBD


Meeting Happenings

Invocation: Fred Fukumoto; Photos: Ted Henderson; Mr. Mic: Karl Maisner; Newsletter: Clinton Pope; Raffle: Ted Henderson



Magical Forrest School Bus: Ed Guthrie reminded the club that the Club's Magical Forrest bus support event is December 4 at 9:30 p.m. Please sign-up in the book and contact Ed if you have additional questions.

Holiday Party: The Club Holiday Party will be at Eric Colvin's house the night of December 3 at 6 p.m. A sign-up can be found  in the book.

Italian American Club Party: Joanne Blystone said those who attended, Bruce and Beth Pope, Tom and Karen Strawn, Rebecca and Gordie Collett and Tom and Donna Martin, had a great time and she thinks she will help organize another outing in the near future.

Newsletter Support: Clinton Pope solicited support for newsletter development as he is in search of a person to take on the duties when he is unable. Keith Thomas indicated he would be willing to help. Also, Clinton asked who in the Club do not receive the newsletter to contact him and he would work to resolve the problem.

Rotary Polo Shirt: Eric Colvin asked the Club who didn't have a Rotary polo shirt and that he is thinking of creating another run of shirts for those interested. Shirts would be between $30 to $35 each.

Santa Clothes: Mitchell Horst reminded the Club that the Las Vegas Club will be doing a Santa Clothes shopping event on December third. Jordana Lane will be in attendance and if you are interested in participating, please contact her.

Football Squares: Awardees this week were Rebecca Collett and Joanne Blystone.


District Conference? Rebecca Collett was given a $25 gift card for knowing that District Conference will be held in San Diego at the Fortune Grand Hotel May 19-22. Joanne Blystone reminded the Club to attend if you can as District Governor Pote will be doing it a little different this year and there are only 40 hotel rooms at the host hotel.

Birthday Battery Girl . . . Marcia Rands was recognized $75 for not planning to do anything on her birthday and knowing far too much about batteries (even for a person who owns stores that sells batteries).

Birthday Girl & Boy . . . Funny man Scott Baranoff was asked A) Who is from Reno, B) Loves to visit San Diego, C) and listed their trip to Africa as their most memorable. With one guess he named Howdy Wells. That and his great joke garnered him a $100 credit.

Retire time . . . Keith Thomas was recognized $100 for apparently deciding on a retirement timeline after speaking with Tom Martin. Oh that, and a photo of him singing. He spared the Club his "talent."

KNPR giving, late but never over . . . Ted Henderson was asked if it was too late to give to KNPR for a matching number from he and his wife. He said it was not too late and he had matched $2500 so far.

Gifts for the President:

Chris Publow gave Mitchell Horst a long-lost "ball marker" which was a faux playing chip with Jack Woodcock's photo on it. In presenting the gift he said, "Now you can tell people you have a Woodcock in your pocket . . ." He was recognized $50.

Guest Speaker:

Howard Stutz, Gaming Reporter/Columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Howard Stutz was welcomed back to the Club where he gave a comprehensive overview of the gaming industry as is stands locally, nationally and internationally. He spoke to the plight of Fountainbleau, Caeasar's ongoing bankruptsy, MGM Growth Properties and the REIT trend, Wynn and Sands in Macau and the Gaming Commission's decision to ban daily fantasy sports websites in Nevada. You can follow Howard Stutz on Twitter at @howardstutz or read his articles in the business section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


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