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Francisco Aguilar interview, April 19, 2019: transcript






Interviewed by Monserrath Hernández. Francisco 'Cisco' Aguilar is a lawyer and the Founding Chairman of the Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory High School. He talks about growing up in Tucson, Arizona in a Mexican household and continuing his passions to engage in social change as a lawyer. His career and community engagement led him to become a lobbyist, a fellow in Germany, and serve on various committees such as the Catholic Charities Board, Opportunity 180 Board, and the Nevada Athletic Commission. His oral history demonstrates his dedication to providing a future to the Latinx youth of Las Vegas.

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Aguilar, Francisco Interview, 2019 April 19. OH-03680. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH FRANCISCO V. AGUILAR An Oral History Conducted by Monserrath Hernández Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez, Elsa Lopez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Monserrath Hernández, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriquez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Francisco Aguilar is called Cisco by his friends and is named for his maternal grandfather Francisco Verdugo, a union organizer in Arizona. He proudly identifies with his Mexican heritage, celebrates his cultural identity through Mexican music and posada, and enjoys teasing his mother about her accent—she insisted in not speaking Spanish at home while he was growing up. Cisco mastered Spanish by taking classes in high school and college. He did not stray far from his childhood home of Tucson, Arizona, and attended the University of Arizona, where he graduated in 2004 from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law with a Juris Doctor as well as from the University of Arizona Eller Graduate College of Management with an MBA. Cisco also received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from The University of Arizona and was elected to serve as Student Body President representing 35,000 students. v Las Vegas would become his adopted home upon meeting Jim Rogers—namesake for the U of A law school in addition to being a prominent businessman and philanthropist in Nevada. Soon after graduation, Cisco would be officing at Rogers’ Channel 3 building and work as his chief of staff when Rogers became interim chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Cisco was soon engaged with the Las Vegas community and built a circle of friends and business contacts. For over a decade, he served as General Counsel for Agassi Graf, the management company for Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, and the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. He was responsible for communications and media, marketing and brand management, strategic partnerships, government and legal affairs. He now serves as Founding Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Cristo Rey St Viator College Preparatory High School, which opens the fall of 2019. Nevada Governors Jim Gibbons and Brian Sandoval appointed Francisco to a total of three terms on the Nevada Athletic Commission [2009-2017]. He served two years as Chairman of the Commission, which regulates boxing and mixed martial arts. In the midst of all his work, Francisco spent a year working at adidas Global Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, through a transatlantic Fellowship with the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH. Prior to the Bosch Fellowship. He is a member of the Nevada, California, and Arizona Bars. In addition, he serves as a member of the board of directors for Sletten Construction Company, the Las Vegas Bowl Executive Committee, MAMBA Sports Foundation, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers Law College Board of Visitors, The University of Arizona Foundation National Leadership Council and Marshall Foundation in Tucson, Arizona. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Francisco V. Aguilar April 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Monserrath Hernández Preface………………………………………………………………………….…………….iv - v Talks about being named after his grandfather and his nickname Cisco; story of his maternal grandfather, a union leader in Arizona who met a tragic death; how he physically resembles his grandfather; how he is like his grandfather in other community ways……………………….1 – 4 Tells story of being strongly encouraged to attend University High School in Tucson due to his academic abilities; its lack of diversity and how he is fairer than the stereotypical Mexican; befriended the few East Tucson Mexicans also attending the high school. His decision to stay in Tucson and attended University of Arizona; got involved in student government and became student body president; mentions Jonathan Fine and J.J. Ricco. Explains his experience lobbying the Arizona legislature for a second student regent on the Board of Regents; inspired him to attend law school. Mentions Joe Valdez, Tucson city manager, who vouched for him; getting to know Jim Rogers, a Las Vegan who donated to the U of A, which became his entrée to Las Vegas……………………………………………………………………………...……….......5 – 9 Speaks more about Jim Rogers; had a job at Wells Fargo and Rogers was starting a new bank; worked for Rogers at Channel 3 at the time Rogers became active with NSHE; passes Nevada Bar, becomes chief of staff to the Chancellor; describes what that was like for him. Introduction to Agassi Prep by Rogers, where he then worked for twelve years; various roles he did while working for Andre Agassi and wife Steffi Graf, a globally recognized couple.……………………..10 – 12 Next position was a result of being involved with the American Council on Germany, which led to being nominated for the Bosch Fellowship; mentions Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto; what to application process was like; World Cup anecdote……………………………………….…13 – 15 Talks about starting to work on Cristo Rey high school before leaving for the fellowship; why it was important to him; background of the Jesuit high school based in Chicago to serve low-income students; mission to give students an in the workplace experience while receiving education. Briefly mentions serving eight years on the Nevada Athletic Commission. How he made calls to inquire about expansion of the Chicago-based system years later and how he didn’t take no for an answer and received an eight-million-dollar commitment from the Engelstad Foundation and was on his way to the goal; how he sold the school to donors; involving the clerics of St. Viator’s Catholic Church; distinguishing the school from Bishop Gorm High School………………16 – 20 Explains how all this is overlaying with his acceptance to the Bosch Fellowship, giving Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf notice; impressive reaction he received in Germany as people learned he worked for Steffi Graf, a superhero. Provides more details of his fellowship, getting acclimated to Germany, etc; assigned a position with Adidas, sustainability department; continued long distance vii fundraising for the new school, Cristo Rey. Travel opportunities. Reconciling his priorities and focusing fulltime on the establishment of the new school………………………………….21 – 24 How the location for Cristo Rey was chosen; tried for Fertitta owned property, Laborers’ property on Bonanza, finally choosing current location across from Broadacres; benefits of the location. Starting the school with freshmen only, a “slow growth model”; opening day to be Sept 3, 2019; starting with academic remediation to get up to college prep level, teaching professional office etiquette; selection of students, 80% speak Spanish; hiring staff.…………………………..24 – 30 Discusses time with the Nevada Athletic Commission and how he came to be nominated in 2009 and serving two terms. Mentions Jim Rogers, Gov. Jim Gibbons, Lorenzo Fertitta, Gov. Sandoval; mentorship of John Bailey and Dr. James Nave. Issue of random drug testing of fighters, impact of marijuana industry; receiving hate mail; asking state legislature for funding changes; some of the fighters who encountered difficult consequences; Manny Pacquiao v Floyd Mayweather fight, considered the richest sporting event to date and the decision related to giving Pacquiao pain reliever; Bob Arum………………………………………………………………………….31 – 38 Talks about coming from an athletic family; Becky Levi was his high school coach; Don Frye; story about Andre Agassi, Perry Rogers, Judge Fleischman and Nike contract. Explains how he identifies with his Mexican heritage; cultural celebrations, posada, Spanish concerts and Mexican music, his mother’s accent, would not speak Spanish at home. Talks about his parents, their expectations regarding education; relocating his parents from Arizona to Las Vegas with Jim Rogers’ help and a job with NVEnergy………………………………………………….…38 – 43 Talks about various neighborhoods he has lived in in Las Vegas over the years; what living in Downtown Arts District is like currently. Mentions Rupert Ruiz, Chicanos Por La Cause, Caesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, his help in the Tucson – Las Vegas connection; currently helping Hope for Prisoners…………………………………………………………………………..……..43 – 46 Speaks about the Catholic Church/religious influences on people; people demanding change; personal conflict when attended a White House event recently; being held accountable for American leadership during his experiences abroad, and why he prefers to say he is from Las Vegas; the significant perception foreigners have and Las Vegas as a brand, R&R and Rob Dondero; his Forrest Gump-like life. Explains that he has sampled Las Vegas mythology, his office with Jim Rogers once belonged to Louis Weiner, Jr………………….…………………....47 – 50 Explains that he learned to speak Spanish in high school and college classes; how Spanish skill assisted him in Germany; “Steffi Graf would like to speak to you.” Spanish language required of teachers being hired at Cristo Rey. Talks about the Fellowship and that they typically do not recruit from the western part of the United States; briefly talks about some of the other participants, one of Colombian heritage from New York, Pat Mulroy and he serve on Catholic Charities Board………………………………………………………………………………….…….51 – 53 Importance of community prioritization of education; opportunities with Cristo Rey; his passion for education, vision of Cristo Rey. Talks about the term Latinx, pros and cons he sees; term Chicano in Arizona experiences. Talks about how people in Las Vegas, unaware of his background, see him as privileged, only because jobs he had with Jim Rogers and Andre Agassi; last thoughts about the Latinx community……………………………………………..……54 - 59 viii 1 My name is Monserrath Hernández. Today is April 19, 2019. We are in the Oral History Research Center and I am with… Barbara Tabach. And Francisco Aguilar. Francisco, can you spell your name for us? Sure. F-R-A-N-C-I-S-C-O, A-G-U-I-L-A-R. Do you go by Cisco all the time? Yes, unless my mom is present and then it’s Francisco. Talk about that. It’s actually a funny story. I was named after my [maternal] grandfather [Francisco Verdugo] who was a union leader in Arizona for the mines and he passed away when my mom was young, and so she named me after him, but I have a cousin who is similar in age to me who also got the same name. He got Frank and I got Cisco. When I would go to school, I would immediately tell the teacher my name was Cisco and my mom would take me to school on the first day every year and tell the teacher, “He’s going to tell you his name is Cisco, but you need to call him Francisco, please.” Finally, in junior high, I convinced her that that was not necessary; that I would follow her direction, but, of course, I didn’t and then it just kind of stuck. What was it like to be named after your grandfather? It’s fascinating. He was a really dynamic individual. People speak of him in a way that I’ve never heard people speak about someone, and it’s awesome for me because I get the benefit of that. I was at a Cesar Chavez breakfast in Tucson a couple of weeks ago to celebrate Cesar Chavez’s birthday; there was an individual there, who I did not know, who was actually friends with my grandfather. Because they were talking about the union movement, I leaned over to the 2 person next to me and I said, “You know, my grandfather was a union leader and I wonder if he knew these people.” And he goes, “Wait. Let me ask that guy.” The guy was actually a friend of his and we spent about two hours after the breakfast just talking about his experience, his interactions, his respect for my grandfather, what he did for the union movement during his time. He was actually murdered—nobody ever knows because my nana didn’t want to figure it out; she was just so distraught about the incident. He was driving home from Hayden, Arizona after a major union negotiation and there were these high bridges that go through the valleys of the mountains and he went off the bridge; his car crashed and he died immediately. Nobody knows, but everybody has suspicion and urban legend is that he was murdered because of the negotiation with the unions and the mines. Had you ever researched that? No, I haven’t. It’s just something that you grow up hearing the oral histories and the stories. Hayden, Arizona is a big mining town and it’s kind of going into disrepair in a lot of ways, but there was a hall there named after him and everybody gets married there; everybody has first communion parties there; any community event takes place in this hall and it’s named after him. It’s interesting to hear people who understand that dynamic. It’s interesting to see people’s reaction, especially the older generation, when you do tell them; because when they do see my middle name, they ask and they start to put it together. It’s really fascinating. I wish I could have spent more time really learning and truly understanding. This gentleman that I met said, “The next time you’re in town I will get a group of us together and we’ll grab lunch and you can ask any questions you want about him and we’ll tell you our thoughts and how much we appreciated what he did for the mining community.” 3 You must do an oral history. You must record that conversation because that’s a legacy that needs to be shared with more people, it seems like. I haven’t told my mom yet because it’s just kind of hitting me. I’ve been processing the whole idea of it is, how do we honor him and how do we keep that memory alive? Participation in this project has started to get my head moving and I’m trying to really understand it. What years was he active, do you know? It was in the sixties. Did he know Cesar Chavez? I don’t know. That was the question I was trying to get to, but I was just listening to these gentlemen speak. I assume they had to know each other. Slowly I think we can try to figure out that connection if there was a connection. But my mom tells stories that as a little girl she would make bologna sandwiches for the miners when they were on strike. They would come over and she would hand out sandwiches. It was really interesting to hear some of those perspectives and those stories. Did you grow up hearing those stories? At what age did you start recognizing this legacy? As I got older, because people started to say I looked a lot like him. I’ve always been active, and so whenever I do public speaking and I would give a speech or something, my nana would get all emotional because she’s like, “You’re a spitting image of him and your emotion that you give when you’re speaking is similar to what he would do and how he would deliver it.” That’s when I started to really recognize it and understand it. I guess it’s a legacy that I have to live up to and try to fulfill given that name. You get to live up to it if you want. You get to choose to do that. 4 Yes, right. It’s interesting because my history in Nevada is that I challenge and go up against the Teachers Union on some of the education policies that we try to—in my previous employment and even currently with the founding of the school, it’s outside the public education norm. I’m still a public education person, but I just think if there’s an opportunity to do something creative in education to benefit families and kids who are similar to me, I’m going to try to do it. Even though they go against the public policy, I still think there is a way to coexist in a lot ways. My mom, when I tell her what I’m doing, she’s like, “Oh, your grandfather is rolling over in his grave.” Because of that challenge and that dynamic and that conflict sometimes in education policy of the Teachers Union has one side of it and I have the other and it’s just constant. Where did you get that idea from to build this new Catholic high school that serves low-income students? When I was a kid, I went to a challenging school in junior high. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, so of course the public schools was where we went and it was a population of students. I was a pretty nerdy kid and I didn’t exactly fit in with the school population, and the teachers there recognized it and they said, “If you go to your neighborhood high school, you’re going to have a really hard time and it’s not going to be good for you.” And I said, “No, no, I’m going to stay with the friends.” Unknowingly to me, they called my mom and said, “We’d like to speak to you about your son.” She immediately thought I did something bad and was in trouble. We went to a meeting and the teachers convinced her I needed to take a placement place for a school in Tucson. I was like, “No, no, no.” It’s a really interesting, dynamic school. It used to be the number-one school in the country and it’s a college prep. In order to get in, you have to 5 test and do all these things. She was like, “Just take the test; just take it.” I was like, “Fine, I’ll take the test.” I took it and ended up getting in. I was like, oh great, what did I do to myself? What was the name of the school? University High School. Then they just kept pressure on my parents to get me to go there, and I was like, “No, I’ll go to the Catholic high school.” Then I called the Catholic high school and said, “I’d like to come there; however, we can’t afford the full tuition.” They kind of blew me off and said, “Okay, call back tomorrow.” And I was like, okay, this isn’t going to work. I went to University High, an incredible experience. It challenged me. I never realized I was different from people until I went to University High because University High was not a very diverse group of students. Coming from the west side of Tucson, I come from this interesting world because people say I don’t look Mexican, but then I was raised in a Mexican culture and environment, and so I feel like I’m in these two different worlds where one says I’m not part of it and then the other says I’m not, but I’m in the middle somewhere. But I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve been and how I was raised. Going to University High first showed me—because every kid I went to school with was brown or black—then showing up in an environment where a lot of the students were not brown or black was culturally shocking to me. I pushed through it and found friends who were like me and were from my side of town; there were about five of us and we hung out and rode the bus together for an hour and a half each way. We finally realized that this was something important to us in order to change the way our families had lived and given us the opportunity to succeed. We all graduated and went to university. It was interesting. That’s when I realized there was a difference between the way I grew up and the way other people grew up. You stayed in Tucson and went to U of A? 6 Yes. I didn’t want to go to U of A, but my parents being, I think, the typical Mexican family were, “You’re not going to go away to college. You have a great university here. You’re going to live at home.” That’s what happened to me. It’s interesting. We just had this conversation and it relates back to the school. There is a principal in town and you should talk to her, too; it’s Lisa Gano Burkhead; she’s the principal at Foothills in Henderson. She has a fascinating story about how her parents came from Argentina and then her brother is a prosecutor and she’s a principal, fascinating story. She ran for office just because she was passionate about her community. You stayed at U of A. Yes. It was a hard decision. I got accepted to Carleton College in Minnesota. I really wanted to go there because it was a small college. It had a lot of what I had had in high school and it was a similar environment. I thought going to a big public university is going to be hard after coming out of University High. Of course, all of my friends were going to Harvard and Yale and USC, all these big schools. I wanted to apply to USC and a counselor told me, “No, no, no, you won’t get in; you don’t have the scores for it.” I thought, okay. It was me being dumb again listening to somebody determine what was best for me without really understanding who I was or what I’ve been doing. I applied to Carleton and got in and visited a couple of times. I called them and said, “My parents aren’t going to let me come. They said it’s too expensive.” They reevaluated my package to make it extremely affordable for me, and still my dad would not sign that paper to say I could go. I ended up enrolling late into University of Arizona; it was July. To apply for fall semester in July took an act of many people on my behalf making phone calls to ensure that I 7 was able to enroll. Then I stayed there. I did kind of piss my parents off; I enrolled as a Mexican American Studies major, because my dad then was like, “You need to have a major where you can get a good job; you can make good money.” I was like, you know what? I’m going to do what I want to do. I quickly enrolled in the program and then after a while I stopped being stubborn. I was like, all right, I enjoy having a good income; I’m going to want it, so I’ve got to figure this out. I was an engineering major. I hated it because nobody spoke to each other. We did group projects and I was like, this is so boring. I switched to accounting and finance and loved it. From there I ran for student body president. I got involved in student government my sophomore year because my roommate was super involved. We were walking down the mall one day and I was saying hi to everybody. He goes, “You know everybody here. You’re going to run for office.” I was like, “No, nerdy kids do that.” He went and picked up a packet for me, filled it out, submitted it, even signed my name. All the sudden he’s like, “Here, you’re running for office.” He worked with my other roommate who was a graphic designer to create these campaign signs and we started putting them up. I was like, “All right, I guess I’ll go do this. This will be fun.” They believed in you. Yes. I won and I was like, oh my God, I won. It was actually interesting because my first interaction with somebody from Las Vegas was during the campaign; it was Jonathan Fine, the Fine family. Jonathan and I were campaigning together throughout this cycle. Unfortunately, he didn’t win. It would have been really cool if he had won. This is before I knew he had any connection to Las Vegas. There is another story about Las Vegas from high school, but we’ll get to that. 8 I started out my term as a senator. Then another friend of mine, J.J. Ricco who was ahead of me, got me to run for vice president. I was like, “All right, I’ll run.” I really enjoyed it. It was a fun experience. Then I ran for student body president. It was really cool because I had my whole family helping. My mom was painting sheets as banners. It was crazy. I ended up winning. From there my life completely changed again because it gave me exposure to a lot of things that I didn’t know existed. It took my vision outside of Tucson. I spent a lot of time at the Arizona Legislature at the time and passed a couple of bills; one was adding a second student regent to the Board of Regents because there was this power struggle that the regents didn’t understand what the students were, and in Arizona they’re appointed. I was like, we’ve got to break this struggle. They take advantage of the fact that students only serve a one-year term. Well, it takes you a year to get up to speed on that board. I thought, you know what? Let’s add a second student regent and let’s make the term two years. The legislature and the presidents were arguing about tuition, and so the legislature was in disagreement with the way the presidents were setting tuition. I went in there and said, “Okay, we’re going to introduce two bills. One bill is to give the legislature the authority to set tuition and one bill to establish a second student regent for two terms.” The university president lost his mind. He didn’t like either them. I said, “Well, there has to be some change here.” We negotiated. He said, “I will support the second student regent, but you’ve got to get rid of your tuition bill.” I said, “Fine.” We got rid of the tuition bill, which was kind of our strategy in a way, and it ended up passing. I thought, people do this for a living? They get to be lobbyists? They get to influence? I was like, all right, I’m going to law school, and I started talking to lobbyists. I was working at 9 Wells Fargo and I started talking to some of the lawyers in the legal department. Then it just clicked and I was like, I’m going to go to law school, and I applied. I only applied to University of Arizona. I was scared. I remember I submitted my application on February fourteenth. I thought, okay, I’ve got to establish myself as different from all these other students, because student achievement-wise I didn’t have the LSAT score to really get into Arizona. I went and got ten letters of recommendation from different people around the community to kind of force… It was really interesting. There was a gentleman who was from Tucson; his name was Joe Valdez; he was city manager and was executive vice president for finance at U of A. He really helped me through the student government process. I would meet with him almost weekly just to talk about things that I was doing, challenges I was facing. He would take me to dinner. One day I said, “Well, I applied to law school.” And he said, “You did?” I was like, “Yes.” And he goes, “All right, let’s go.” He literally walked to the law school into the admissions office and said, “He has to come.” I was like, oh shit. I didn’t go in with him. He was like, “I’m going to go in.” I walked off to class. I remember that day he walked in there and said, “You need to admit this kid.” I was like, holy smokes. I ended up getting in, thankfully. During that process I met Jim Rogers who owned Channel 3 here and has been a benefactor of UNLV. We started talking one day; it was right when I was elected student body president and he had just given his big gift to Arizona, which was a pledge of about a hundred and thirty million dollars. Jim was an interesting individual because he was shy, but, at the same time, very strong and very bold and very dynamic. When you put him in a room and he didn’t control the environment, he was very shy. I was new to that environment, and so we started talking randomly. I didn’t know who he was. The event was to honor him. During the event they said, “Jim, can you please come up to the stage?” I went, oh shit. Again, these moments in my 10 head where I am fascinated. I’m like, all right, I might have screwed this up, but all right. Because he was asking me a lot of questions about the university, my experience. He truly wanted to know and I was blatantly honest, which sometimes I am and it’s not good. Then after that every time he’d see me he would say hello. If he was speaking and I walked in, he would be like, “Hi.” He got to know my parents, which was really weird. Then my first day of law school he told me I was going to work for him and I said okay. My job was to do anything the law school needed to be done, and that’s how I got to Vegas. Elaborate more about working with Jim Rogers. What was the job exactly? I was working at Wells Fargo at that time, too. I was talking about banking and he goes, “Well, I’m going to start a bank.” It was like his third or fourth bank or whatever. Beverly was there at the table, too, and she actually initiated. She was like, “Jim, you should put him at the bank.” I was like, all right. He goes, “Yes, come on over.” I started coming to Vegas and my first summer was at the bank and then the second summer I was at the TV station. During that time he started getting active in NSHE and the regents and doing his thing, which Jim does. He said, “You will stay at the TV station until you pass the Nevada Bar.” When I passed the Nevada Bar, I went over to the chancellor’s office and served in a chief of staff role in helping him keep abreast of what was happening at the TV stations, at the bank, his philanthropy, and just politically as he served as chancellor. [Jim Rogers (1938-2014) served as chancellor of Nevada System of Higher Education from 2005 through 2009.] I wanted to go back to Tucson. Nobody in Vegas would hire me either because they were scared of Jim Rogers. “We can’t hire you,” because they knew of our relationship. It was more than just a boss and employee; he truly was my mentor in a lot of ways, and taught me a lot of things, and took me under his wing. Everywhere he was I was somewhere near there. It was 11 interesting. It was tough on me because the expectations were so high and it was 24/7, but it was an incredible experience that I would have never done otherwise. He taught me a lot. Finally I was like, “All right, I’m going to move back to Tucson because that’s where my family is.” The only people that would hire me was Southwest Gas and that was because I would go back to Tucson to be the lawyer in Tucson. Then a new general counsel came in and she was like, “Well, I’m going to keep everybody in Vegas.” I was like, well, if I’m going to be in Vegas, I’m not going to be at Southwest Gas. It’s a great company; it’s awesome. But I’m not somebody who can sit at a desk and chair eight hours a day. I get pretty antsy. I had breakfast with Jim one day and he’s like, “Do you want to go work at Agassi?” I was like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “They need help legislatively with Agassi Prep.” I said, “Sure. Why not?” He goes, “All right. Give your notice and show up whenever you can.” I called over there and said, “I’m Cisco and I’m coming to work for you guys.” They’re like, “Oh, hold on.” Nobody knew I was coming because Jim had the conversation with somebody in the office. Then they were like, “Oh, okay.” Then I showed up at Agassi and spent twelve years there. What did you do there? I started off as being a lobbyist, spending time at the legislature, trying to get bills passed to help Agassi Prep move in the direction they wanted to move, and then also structurally figuring out how do you fix Agassi Prep because it was a standalone public charter school. It brought up a lot of attention, sometimes good and bad. How do we start to really scale it so financially it can exist in perpetuity? But also, too, how do you create talent within the school in order to ensure that the students are getting the best education they can? Being a standalone school it’s hard because it’s expensive and you’ve got to build infrastructure that every other school has, but for a small twelve-hundred-person school it’s really expensive. 12 Andre retired right before I started, and so he and Steffi [Graf] were in this retirement mode. Our responsibility, too, was to figure out how do you keep those two brands relevant throughout their retirement period? We were able to do in a significant way. We kind of looked at the organization as a whole, did a lot of restructuring. When I started there were six lawyers, and about two or three years