Board | Staff


NPF Board of Directors

Susan Fisher | Board President 

Susan is a government relations executive with the law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson. Susan has served on numerous boards, including the executive board of the National Championship Reno Air Races and is a recipient of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) Patrick Henry Award. When she is not advocating clients' issues, Susan can be found at her lovely mid-century home in Paradise Palms. Her spare time is spent either in the garden or in the garage working on the world's fastest CNG-powered vehicle.

Wendy VanVacter | Vice President

Wendy is AVP, IT Risk Management for a Midwest life insurance and annuity carrier. While risk management is Wendy's day job, she spends her free time focusing on her passion for Las Vegas history and historic preservation.  Since moving to Las Vegas full-time in 2012, Wendy has been a continuous volunteer at the Neon Museum and a regular supporter of the Nevada Preservation Foundation.  Wendy resides in Paradise Palms, the first master-planned community in Southern Nevada and the first neighborhood on the Clark County Register of Historic Places.

Chris Brooks | Treasurer

Chris is a fourth-generation Nevadan who was born and raised in Las Vegas. Before starting his current company, Brooks Consulting, LLC., Chris served as Executive Vice President of Energy Services for Valley Electric Association. A pioneer in the renewable energy industry, Chris also founded Las Vegas Solar Electric in 2000 and was a founder and director of Bombard Renewable Energy in Nevada. In addition to his passion for solar and renewable energies, Chris shares a love for old buildings and neighborhoods as well. He has lived, worked, and played in and around downtown Las Vegas for most of his life and shares a 60-year-old home in the McNeil neighborhood with his wife and his two sons.

Jennifer Gaynor | Secretary

Jennifer is a member at the law firm of Dickinson Wright. She is part of the firm's Gaming and Regulatory Law Department and Government Relations team. When she is not up in Carson City representing clients before the Nevada legislature, Jennifer can be found in downtown Las Vegas, where she has made her home since moving here from Washington, DC in 2005. She and her husband, Paul, are raising their son, Parker Jai, to be a proud downtown kid in the Southridge neighborhood.

Greg Ferraro

Greg is the president and founder of The Ferraro Group, a public relations and public affairs company with offices statewide. Greg obtained his bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1985. In addition to his three decades of lobbying activity in Nevada and Washington, D.C., Mr. Ferraro is a political consultant who has managed and/or been an advisor on numerous political campaigns including the last three Nevada Governors. Mr. Ferraro and his wife Carolyn live in Reno, NV with their youngest of three children, who attends high school in Reno.

Jennifer Lazovich

Jennifer is a native Nevadan and a key member of the law firm of Kaempfer Crowell. With close to twenty years of experience in the area of zoning, land use planning and government affairs, Jennifer provides counsel to large casino-resorts, residential, industrial and commercial developers, as well as educational institutions and other prominent businesses in Nevada. She has provided legal services to the nonprofit Liberace Mansion, represented The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and provides pro bono legal services for The Animal Foundation.

Russ Rowe

Russ works in the arena of government affairs focusing on zoning and land use planning and has represented various gaming clients, nonprofits, and public agencies. He obtained his law degree from the University of San Diego and has represented clients before the Nevada legislature since 2001. His extensive board experience includes the Urban Land Institute, AFAN, and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. A 40-year resident of Nevada and a graduate of UNLV, Russ resides in Henderson with his two daughters.

Jesse Wadhams

Jesse is with the law firm of Fennemore Craig, representing various Nevada state agencies including the Gaming Control Board and the Taxation Commission. Prior to joining Fennemore Craig, Jesse was the Director of Regional Government Relations for Newmont Mining Corporation where he developed and executed legislative policy and regulatory strategies. Outside of work, Jesse lives in Reno and is the proud parent of twin boys. He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, camping, fishing, and rooting for the Minnesota Twins.

Catherine Wines

Catherine, the owner and principal architect of R6Studio, is a native of Elko County and proud member of one of the region's oldest families. Catherine earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1998 and went on to earn a post-graduate degree in architecture from the University of Arizona in 2002. In 2015 Catherine purchased the historic Taber Building and operates her firm from one of its second-floor offices. She plans a complete historic restoration of the building. Besides being a full-time architect, Catherine is a strong advocate for the arts and is active in development in the Elko community.

NPF Staff

Heidi Swank | Executive Director

Dr. Swank received her doctorate in anthropology with an emphasis on history and language from Northwestern University in 2006. She has published and presented widely on the ties between history, placemaking, and every day lives. Heidi has almost 15 years of successful grant writing experience, implementing field research and overseeing student research across the globe. As a resident of our older downtown Las Vegas neighborhoods, Dr. Swank has gained significant knowledge of mid-century resources and styles. She has spent almost 10 years researching this and other eras of 20th century architecture.

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Michelle Larime | Associate Director

Michelle has a background in architecture, special events, and various design industries. With a love for “old buildings,” Michelle bought a 1954 ranch house in the Beverly Green neighborhood, where she quickly became involved in NPF’s historic designation campaign. Her passion for preservation ultimately led to her current position with NPF. As the Associate Director, Michelle oversees NPF’s yearly programming, including Home + History, heads up neighborhood outreach campaigns and assists with the daily workings of the NPF office. Michelle is also pursuing her Master's in urban and regional planning with a focus on historic preservation and urban sustainability.

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Suzey Sligh Van Ness | Manager, Events & Giving

Suzey’s background includes 20 plus years of award-winning marketing, events, and development programs with expertise in the fields of entertainment, hospitality, non-profit, museums, education, and cultural institutions.  A native Californian, Suzey and her family moved to Las Vegas in 2005 when she joined a select team tasked with developing the Las Vegas Springs Preserve and Nevada State Museum Complex.  Following the completion of this 5-year project, Suzey accepted a position as Director of Development for The Shade Tree, a non-profit serving homeless women and children in Nevada.  She is excited to be joining NPF to help support the foundation’s development efforts along with NPF’s signature annual event Home + History Las Vegas.  Suzey is also pursuing her Master’s Degree in Museum Studies and Digital Curation.

Contact Suzey at