Enjoying the lush desert landscaping of his back yard Pat Shalmy looks back in wonder at his longevity in Clark County. The man who always knew when it was time to move on somehow decided to stay put after he arrived in Southern Nevada in 1979 to "start something brand new" as Clark County’s first comprehensive planning director. In 1984, he became Clark County manager and served until 1997, when he left to become president & CEO of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. In 2001 he joined the Board of Las Vegas Monorail Company and affiliated with the law firm of Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner and Renshaw as director of government and community relations. He shortly "moved on" in May 2002 to become president of Nevada Power Company, where he remained until his 2008 retirement. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Las Vegas Monorail Company. While his extensive Nevada portfolio reflects his educational background—a bachelor’s degree in Urban Geography from the University of Arkansas and a master’s of science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Arizona—it nonetheless belies his upbringing as the son of a Syrian immigrant in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. His Southern accent seems to thicken as he spins stories of his parents, his brother, his friends, and the multiethnic but racially segregated town of his youth. In this interview, Shalmy discusses his youth and early career prior to arriving in Clark County. He explains how comprehensive planning benefits Clark County and why the Clark County Board of Commissioners is so powerful. He emphasizes the importance of government and private industry working cooperatively, especially in times of rapid urban growth. He compares his role as county manager during the building frenzy of the late eighties and early nineties with the responsibilities he shouldered as president of Nevada Power in the boom that preceded the recession of 2009: in both periods he oversaw delivery to a rapidly expanding customer base and had to ensure consistent service and efficient delivery at a stable price. And through it all, he credits Robert "Bob" Broadbent for his wisdom in visualizing a regional and comprehensive planning framework that could drive Clark County growth.
Contributor: Building Las Vegas Oral History Project
Donald L. "Pat" Shalmy oral history interview, 2017 March 10, 2017 March 14. OH-03153. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1xp6z62n
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i AN INTERVIEW WITH DONALD L. "PAT" SHALMY An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Th