“My very first car… Oh, boy, I can't remember the year. It was old. But it was a [Chevrolet] Monte Carlo. Oh, my gosh, I was so excited. . . . It was my pride and joy. I'm a teenager, right? It was freedom. That's what it was.” It might seem incongruous that the aviation director for the nation’s eighth busiest airport ranked by passenger volume would begin an oral history rhapsodizing over the freedom her first car represented. But despite the powerful role she occupies professionally, Rosemary Vassiliadis remains true to her Chicago upbringing in a tight-knit Italian family, in which she was the first female on both sides to go to a four-year college. Rosemary attended nearby DePaul University, where she earned her degree in accountancy. Shortly before she graduated she was a bridesmaid for an Italian friend whose Greek Orthodox groom had asked Billy Vassiliadis to be his groomsman. Over the three days of the wedding Rosemary and Billy became acquainted and began a long-distance courtship that continued for nearly nine years before Rosemary finally agreed to marry Billy and make Las Vegas her home. This oral history chronicles Rosemary Vassiliadis’s Las Vegas career from financial analyst with the City of Las Vegas under Myron Leavitt to working with Randy Walker at Clark County to working with him again as deputy director of aviation at McCarran Airport; she shares how both men mentored her, and how their teaching has in turn inspired her to mentor younger women leaders. She talks about managing the airport in the six days after the Nine-Eleven (9/11) Terrorist Attacks, during which time Walker, who had been attending a conference in Montreal, was grounded there when all North American airports closed; she talks about working cooperatively with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to transport tourists once the other airports opened, and she confides her determination to get her New York passengers home first so they could learn the fates of, comfort, and draw comfort from their loved ones. She walks listeners through the process of planning for Terminal 3, including financing it during the downturn, selecting its art, and seizing the opportunity to thank President Obama in person for making Terminal 3 possible-a “thank you” that resulted in an autographed photograph of the aviation director with the President as they stood on the tarmac in front of said terminal. While Rosemary’s ideas of freedom and transportation have likely matured since she bought her first gas guzzler in Chicago, she has acquired a firm grasp on what it takes to run the eighth-largest passenger airport in the U.S., which in 2017 serves the second-most popular U.S. travel destination (after New York City, according to TripAdvisor). Las Vegas is lucky that Rosemary agreed to serve as her friend’s bridesmaid and to eventually say “yes” to the persistent (and patient) Billy Vassiliadis. In 2017, Clark County School District recognized the couple’s many contributions by establishing the Billy & Rosemary Vassiliadis Elementary School.
Vassiliadis, Rosemary A. Interview, 2017 April 12. OH-03166. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
i AN INTERVIEW WITH ROSEMARY A. VASSILIADIS 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 ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2017 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. 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 the university for the support given that allowed an idea and 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. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE “My very first car… Oh, boy, I can't remember the year. It was old. But it was a [Chevrolet] Monte Carlo. Oh, my gosh, I was so excited. . . . It was my pride and joy. I'm a teenager, right? It was freedom. That's what it was.” It might seem incongruous that the aviation director for the nation’s eighth busiest airport ranked by passenger volume would begin an oral history rhapsodizing over the freedom her first car represented. But despite the powerful role she occupies professionally, Rosemary Vassiliadis remains true to her Chicago upbringing in a tight-knit Italian family, in which she was the first female on both sides to go to a four-year college. Rosemary attended nearby DePaul University, where she earned her degree in accountancy. Shortly before she graduated she was a bridesmaid for an Italian friend whose Greek Orthodox groom had asked Billy Vassiliadis to be his groomsman. Over the three days of the wedding Rosemary and Billy became acquainted and began a long-distance courtship that continued for nearly nine years before Rosemary finally agreed to marry Billy and make Las Vegas her home. This oral history chronicles Rosemary Vassiliadis’s Las Vegas career from financial analyst with the City of Las Vegas under Myron Leavitt to working with Randy Walker at Clark County to working with him again as deputy director of aviation at McCarran Airport; she shares how both men mentored her, and how their teaching has in turn inspired her to mentor younger women leaders. She talks about managing the airport in the six days after the Nine-Eleven (9/11) Terrorist Attacks, during v which time Walker, who had been attending a conference in Montreal, was grounded there when all North American airports closed; she talks about working cooperatively with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to transport tourists once the other airports opened, and she confides her determination to get her New York passengers home first so they could learn the fates of, comfort, and draw comfort from their loved ones. She walks listeners through the process of planning for Terminal 3, including financing it during the downturn, selecting its art, and seizing the opportunity to thank President Obama in person for making Terminal 3 possible—a “thank you” that resulted in an autographed photograph of the aviation director with the President as they stood on the tarmac in front of said terminal. While Rosemary’s ideas of freedom and transportation have likely matured since she bought her first gas guzzler in Chicago, she has acquired a firm grasp on what it takes to run the eighth-largest passenger airport in the U.S., which in 2017 serves the second-most popular U.S. travel destination (after New York City, according to TripAdvisor). Las Vegas is lucky that Rosemary agreed to serve as her friend’s bridesmaid and to eventually say “yes” to the persistent (and patient) Billy Vassiliadis. In 2017, Clark County School District recognized the couple’s many contributions by establishing the Billy & Rosemary Vassiliadis Elementary School. August 14, 2017: Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Billy & Rosemary Vassiliadis Elementary School in The Paseos village, Summerlin, 215 Antelope Ridge Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89138 vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Rosemary A. Vassiliadis April 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Preface…………………………………………………………..………………………………..iv Recalls Chicago upbringing in close, traditional Italian Catholic family, in which she was the first female to attend a four-year university, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy at nearby DePaul University; talks about her first job and about buying her first car, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, during the gasoline crisis of the early 1970s; and remembers meeting her husband, Billy Vassiliadis, when he and she were in the same three-day wedding party (he taking a break from his '74-75 UNLV soccer scholarship). Talks of taking her first accounting job at Zenith Radio Company, eventually working up to corporate accounting before finally agreeing to marry Billy and following him to Las Vegas in 1983. Discusses working for the City of Las Vegas Finance Department as a financial analyst along with Fred James and Chris Stanfield under Myron Leavitt, who also became their mentor; also shares about moving to Clark County in 1996, where she worked with Randy Walker before going to McCarran Airport at the end of 1997 as Walker's deputy director.………………………………………………………………….……………. 1-19 Describes McCarran as a constantly evolving little city, the airport for all cities and towns in Southern Nevada. Recalls being in charge of the airport during the Nine-Eleven (9/11) Terrorist Attacks, when Walker (who had been attending a conference in Montreal) was grounded for six days in the subsequent airport closures; describes the Federal Aviation Administration closures of airspace and airports and sending security directives by fax; talks about working cooperatively with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to transport tourists once the other airports opened, and her determination to get her New York passengers home so they could be with and learn what happened to their loved ones. Discusses how birth of TSA [Transportation Security Administration] affected convention giveaways and security at the airport and how conferences or different groups of passengers call for different amenities…………….………………….…19-34 Talks of the 6,500 acres set aside for a second commercial airport site in Ivanpah should the need arise in the future. Describes decision and planning to build Terminal 3; talks about the art work and artists. Speaks to how chairing monthly meetings of the Airport Operators Council (consisting of McCarran Airport major vendors, the master concessionaire HMSHOST, individual airline station managers, the Metro Substation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, TSA, FAA, Alcohol/Drug, and even the wheelchair pushers) enables McCarran to build a team approach to handle incidents with what they perceive to be unruly passengers; talks about the McCarran team as a family. Discusses women in leadership and merits of Las Vegas and McCarran Airport. Explains history of financing Terminal 3 with Obama Administration bonds and grant programs, the reason she had her photograph taken with President Obama, and how the signed photograph eventually came to hang in her office………………………………...…………34-54 Photograph of the Vassiliadis family 2017………………………………………..…...…………55 vii 1 Today is April 12th, 2017, and Claytee White and Stefani Evans are here with Rosemary Vassiliadis. Rosemary, may I ask you to spell your first and last names, please, for the tape? Absolutely. My first name is one word, Rosemary, R-O-S-E-M-A-R-Y. My last name is V, as in Victor, A-S-S-I-L-I-A-D, as in David, I-S. S: Thank you so much. We're going to begin, if you could, please, tell us about your early life; where you were born, where you grew up, and what that was like? Born and raised in Chicago, in the city, to a one-hundred percent Italian household, very traditional household. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, a housewife. My grandmother, my maternal grandmother lived with us. Chicago was very ethnic in their neighborhoods. We lived in an Italian Irish neighborhood, so very Catholic. I'm Catholic, still practicing Catholic today. I have one older brother, five years older than me. What I tell him now is he was always growing out of the phase I was growing into, so he always thought I was a stupid idiot my entire life until he got married and moved out of the house and I was older in college and then all of a sudden I wasn't stupid anymore. But it's true. When you really think about that five years, that's a pretty big difference. Unfortunately, it's just the two of us. We have a small family, but we're very, very close, probably unusually close. I didn't know better. We were not close when we grew up, but then we became tremendously close. C: Tell me about the food. Food? Food was Grandma. Unfortunately, I don't know how to cook today because my grandmother was in the kitchen and would never allow us in. Everything was made from scratch and everything had an Italian component to it. You just don't eat steak; you have steak and pasta or something, Italian green beans. It was something like that. But, yes, that was her job. I don't 2 eat sausage to this day because we made it at home and I know how it was made. I can't eat it. But back in that day— You saw that. Yes. She would go to the butcher. You didn't have supermarkets like you have today, so you went to the butcher and you picked everything. You picked the fat and...Eh. Then she would make enough, probably, for a half a year and put them all in those little containers and freeze them. We actually had an extra freezer in the basement. Most houses had basements back there. It was all just stuff to take out and eat all during the year. Rosemary (looking at viewer) at her kindergarten graduation Now, where in Chicago did you live? Well, actually in the northwest side, Harlem and Irving area. It was actually in the City, but it 3 was towards the western end of it. I was less than two miles away from half a dozen suburbs as it broke out. One of the things that I do love to tell everyone is we grew up actually right under the flight path under O'Hare [Airport]; little did I know. We never thought it was noise. Back there they had big stone or brick front stairs that led down to the sidewalk. In the evening after it got dark out and you had to be in, we'd sit on the front stairs and we would just look up. It would come right over us. It was who could guess the airline first or who could read the number because that's how close it was. But I never thought it was noise. Now we have an app for that. Yes, we do, yes. I'm in one of the best jobs in the entire world and who would ever have known? It certainly wasn't my career path or a thought process at that time. Oh, how funny. So then you went to school there? Went to school. All the way through? All through college, yes. Where did you go to college? I went to DePaul University. So again, my parents being very Italian would never allow me to go away. I was the first female in my family on both sides to go to college. They did not quite understand me. I'm not sure where I got it myself because the entire neighborhood was like that. Almost every household had a grandparent living with them and it was just very traditional back then where maybe you went to a junior college to get some typing, administrative skills. "Here's your wedding dress." Yes. But that was it. I said, "No, I think I want to be an accountant." I wanted to be a CPA. I was always studious. You had to be because you were afraid not to be. I was able to get into DePaul 4 University and I got my Bachelor of Science in accountancy, which my mother, God rest her soul now, never understood why I would have to do that or what it really meant, poor thing. And numbers? Numbers, yes. My first job… I tell my kids, who don't understand this, on my sixteenth birthday... My dad was very excited. I mean, I was very excited. He took me to DMV [Department of Motor Vehicles] and I got my [driving] license. Then he drove me all around and I put in [job] applications everywhere. That was my sixteenth birthday. It was time to get a job. If I wanted a car, I had to pay for it, and I had to pay for insurance. I was already mumbling about college and that was not something that they had anticipated. I was very lucky. My dad was very proud of me getting into DePaul, and so he paid for it. I was very, very fortunate then. What did he do for a living? He was a salesman for Graybar Electric. There is a Graybar here. It's international, actually. He worked there his entire life. Actually for a very, very long time he was the longest serving employee. He's been gone for quite a while now, but there was one that passed him up. We're from a very loyal, grounded family, very Midwestern, very middle class. Certainly I was his daughter, so I was the apple of his eye and I'm sure I got away with a lot more than my brother ever did. But financially you had to do it yourself. Again, he paid for college, so I didn't ask for anything because anybody who went to college, of course, had to get loans and different things. So what kind of car did you buy? My very first car, by the time I got it I was probably seventeen and a half. I started working right away. That's all I did. I wanted a car. It was freedom. What kind of work did you do? I worked at a photo shop, a photo lab. Back then you had your little cartridges that you turned in. 5 It was a photo shop that had a camera store attached to it. It was pretty cool. You did learn a lot—you didn't know it—cash handling, people. Oh, my gosh, if their pictures got ruined of their vacation, oh, goodness gracious. But that's reality, right? And customer service. Oh, boy, I can't remember the year. It was old. But it was a [Chevrolet] Monte Carlo. Oh, my gosh, I was so excited. But it was a boat. It was a gas guzzler. At that time we had just finished—I didn't have a car at the time—but your license plate and the odd numbers of getting gas and all of that. I, of course, got a car when the gas prices really zoomed up. Now you're working for the car payment. Above: Rosemary’s eighth grade graduation Right: Rosemary’s high school graduation My dad helped me with insurance, but I had to pay him back, so we did a payment plan to that. And gas. At seventeen, now I'm a senior in high school. What did you do on the weekends? You drove around. [Ed. Note: the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo relative to the Arab-Israeli conflict, began in 1973 and extended into 1974.] Right. Used up your gas. 6 That's all you did, yes. So you had to make enough money to fill up that gas guzzler. But you looked good in your car. It was my pride and joy. I'm a teenager, right? It was freedom. That's what it was. Exactly. That's what cars have meant. Rosemary and brother at her first Holy Communion Right. I tell people to this day my car is my apartment, because coming from a traditional background and being traditional I went from my parents' home to married. I wasn't out on my own [when] I went to DePaul. The business school especially is located in downtown Chicago. It's a building. I didn't have campus life. Thank God, I didn't know any better. You still make do as an idiot kid. You go to college and you don't have to go to class. I went to Catholic school, so it was very, very restrictive. You didn't dare do anything. But then you went to college and it's like, oh, wow, I can 7 go here; I can go there. They lure you to the lake because we're only a couple of blocks from Lake Michigan and it was beautiful days. Then your grades suffer and you say, "Okay, I can't do that anymore." I am so lucky to be here. But you look back and you're growing up in each of those circumstances. You don't know it, but, yes. I'm very grateful. I worked hard and I had to work for a lot of it, but it was still a privilege for going outside the box of my family. Right now, today, 2017, I am the only one who has moved away. Wow. I know. Everybody else is still somewhere there, maybe in a further suburb than they were. Your brother? My brother is in the same house that they bought when they got married, their first house after they got married. And all those girlfriends that rode around with you in your Monte Carlo are still there? They are all in Chicago, every single one of them, yes. Isn't that something? So how did you get to Las Vegas? My husband. So you didn't drive the Monte Carlo? Did not—no, it would not have made it, no. How did you meet your husband? I met him—well, he's going to make me be honest. I actually met him in a bar, in a college bar in Chicago. But we met and that was about it. Then probably about six months later, we ended up in the same wedding party, believe it or not. It was just one of those where now you know there was fate. One of his friends married my girlfriend. Again, they got married young. Now we're in college, still in college, early twenties. Bridal parties get to know each other. 8 Did you remember that you had met in the bar? Yes, we had remembered. But you talk. It's a bar. You're in college. You kind of flit around. They're playing Foosball. This is how old I am, the old-fashion Foosball. She [my girlfriend] had a three-day wedding, very, very Italian and Catholic. So you had lots of time to get to know each other. Yes, so really everybody had lots of time to get to know each other. That is very true. Tell me what happens in a three-day wedding. She actually married—well, exactly like I did—a Greek Orthodox person. He didn't want to get excommunicated. So they got it blessed in the Greek Church. They had a little ceremony. You have rehearsal dinner, so we were all together for rehearsal dinner. Then the next day they had just a quick little ceremony just to get it blessed. That was Thursday, Friday. Saturday, the big, very large, she had a huge, one of those unbelievable huge Italian weddings. By Saturday night everyone knew everybody because you're together the whole time. It was very fun. It was very cool. So from there... My husband was attending UNLV [University of Nevada, Las Vegas] on a soccer scholarship. He got a full ride to UNLV back in '74-75, so he played soccer. He was recruited. You're seventeen, eighteen and it's Las Vegas and back then... Then they flew him out here. I'm sure to him it looked like the streets were lined in gold. Back then it's still a small town, but the Strip was already getting very defined. Well, it was already defined, but getting a little bit better. This is '74. He went to UNLV and played soccer. Back then they had that five-year program where you got your degree and your master's. Oh, good, yes. Yes. He got his Master's [degree] in Public Administration. He got involved in many groups and 9 it turned into politics. Actually he ran his first campaign at the young age of twenty-three and won it, so he was bitten forever. During all that all this Chicago stuff happened. He met me. Then got to know me. Again, it's a three-day wedding. Okay, nice, nice. That was in the summer. When he came in for his break, for winter break—by this time our friends, we had a lot of carryover there. He came to where we were all hanging out and he asked me out. We thought, well, okay, let me try this. Obviously something was there. But you're at the point where—well, I was twenty-two, twenty-three. I'm not even sure I knew what I was doing. Anyway, we started a long-distance thing and always just tried to take advantage of breaks. My parents loved Vegas. My parents came to Vegas all the time, all the time. That was my question. What did they think? I remember when I was little my dad was a salesman, so he won trips to Vegas. Oh, really? Yes. From there? Oh, my gosh—Vegas was better than Hollywood. Really? Oh, my gosh. I remember watching my mom pack with the evening gowns, and the sequined purse that matched, and the earrings--stuff that she never wore back there—the mink stole. Everyone had to have a mink stole and the gloves. It was just like, ah. Fast forward, when my group started to turn twenty-one, we all came to Vegas. My birthday is in April, so I was one of the early ones. Then as I became twenty-one, more and more just jumped on. We had come here a half-dozen times. Then enter Billy. Well, now I have to make excuses to come here, which was easy to do, because it was a very inexpensive trip to make [compared to] anywhere else. Well, that's true. 10 So we did this long-distance thing and somewhere in there we got engaged. Of course, I refused to move here. I'm like, "Yes, this is all nice, but I'm not moving." I had a great job after college. I worked at Zenith—again, I'm dating myself—Zenith Radio Company. What did you do there? I was an accountant. I graduated and had become a CPA [Certified Public Accountant]. I started as a cost accountant and moved my way up to corporate accounting. Rosemary’s college graduation And what could be better than that? I didn't think anything. We were making TVs. We got to see Luke and Laura's wedding. The factory was right there. When that happened every single one of us...Our bosses couldn't even say anything. Men and women, guys were watching it at that time, General Hospital, even though they didn't admit it. But for the wedding every single one of us were down in the factory at the assembly line watching it, zoom, zoom, zoom. That was so much fun. Oh, it was like pinch myself. [Ed. Note: The Luke and Laura wedding episode of General Hospital aired November 17, 1981, watched by 30 million viewers.] A video of that would be precious. Yes, yes. I thought I kind of had it made. There was my path. It was all good. I was fulfilled. My 11 parents were proud of me. Actually, I didn't know until after I graduated that I didn't have to pay my dad back. So that was very cool. He was just so proud. "You did it. You didn't just say it, but you did it." Yes, you know how I am when I make my mind up. Billy came back. He won a huge campaign here and then he was hired by Sig Rogich of R & R Advertising back then. I was like, "Yes, that's great. I'm not moving." So he did come back. He took a leave of absence. He came back to Chicago. Now, again, his family is there [in Chicago], so he took a leave of absence [from R & R]. He's from Chicago as well? He's from Chicago as well, yes. He took a leave of absence. During one of those little heart to hearts he said, "Rosemary, I will never have the opportunity here in Chicago that I have in Las Vegas right now. I'll provide for you. I'll do all that wonderful stuff that one does." As I tell all the young people here, thank goodness I was blindly in love—and you have to be to get you to thirty-three years later, to get through some realities in life, if you want to be honest. I was so blindly in love I followed him here. We packed. I had another car. It's a yucky car. It was a lemon. I don't know why I kept it. We packed everything in this little baby U-Haul, attached it to my car, and drove across country. Every time we went over a state line, I think I just started crying, "What am I doing? What am I doing?" Then you're here and I have nobody. I had no job. We had the one car. He had sold his car because he was taking the leave of absence and coming back and needed the money. So we had one car. Now I'm sitting in an apartment thinking, yeah, nah, this is... Where was the apartment? It was at Rainbow [Boulevard] and Charleston [Boulevard], Sundance Apartments. They're still there. Of course, there was nothing past Rainbow. 12 What year was this? At the end of '83. We got married in August of '83. 13 He ended up, actually, getting an opportunity in Chicago. He did pursue that, and it did not work out, so we ended up moving here in October. We stayed for a while. It took that long to get everybody—like, oh, my gosh—this is happening. It was hard. It was very hard. So what was your first job? We got here in October, I think, the very end of October. Of course, my parents flew us home for Christmas. I kind of did a whole lot of nothing until then. I came back after the holidays and started interviewing all over the place. I went to one of those accountants-on-call places because I didn't know where to start. Now, did you find a church? Yes. Well, back then there weren't that many churches. We went to Our Lady of Las Vegas off Rancho [Drive]. There really weren't that many. There was Saint Francis [de Sales] over there [on Washington Avenue and Michael Way]. With politics he got familiar with churches. He wasn't practicing, so he practiced with me. I was just committed. Anyway, that's where we went. Many, many years later Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary off Sahara [Avenue] had a trailer. But I think we had kids by then. That was awhile later. This is the loyalty thing. We're still parishioners of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary, even though we live right by Saint E's [Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church]. I just love Saint Joseph. Our children got baptized in Chicago because of family, but that's where they went to CCD [Confraternity of Christian Doctrine] and got confirmed. It has a lot of sentiment. I just love the church. I think it's beautiful. Loyalty. Yes. That's one of my strongest traits. 14 May 29, 2016: Vassiliadis family at Wrigley Field before Billy threw the first pitch. From left: daughter Lisa, Billy, Rosemary, son Nick So your first job here? My goodness. Anyway, I kept on looking around, and there was an opportunity to go to the City of Las Vegas. I sent in my application and I got called. I had no idea about this, but they had outsourced their finance and accounting department. They had their CPA firm do everything. Now, they were growing, right? This is '84. We had that little baby—it wasn't even a recession—a "softening," in '83, and then we started to grow. I started in April of '84, but you could see where it was going. They created a finance department. They actually hired five of us, five new people, at the same time. I started as a financial analyst at the City of Las Vegas Finance Department. My very first boss was Myron Leavitt. He is absolutely one of my mentors, and I attribute so much to him, because he really taught me. But more than anything, he taught me how to learn. I was in a private company, Zenith, with stocks and earnings per share, and everything was based 15 on that. But government? The only thing I had in government was the one government class that you have to take in your accounting degree. You know the basics of accounting, so that was soothing. But the whole financial analysis and budgets and things, that was different than pure accounting. And state statutes and how the cities are set up by charter versus state law; what he did is, he referred you to the documents. It could be the state statutes, which became my friend; it could be a government accounting called GASB, Governmental Accounting Standards Board. But they released workbooks, if you will, to walk you through how to do that part and this part versus that part and what an appropriation is versus an expenditure or a budget plan and things. Once he knew that you did look it up but you were still confused, you could go in there and he just was marvelous. He did teach me. He would say, "Okay. Now, what does the statute say?" He was very involved in a lot of the financial statutes that were written for this state. He'd say, "What do you think it says?" He'd never demean you. You could say, "Uh, I don't know." "Okay. Now, where do you want to get to? Is that the right place? When it references, look up the history that will lead you to this." I do that to this day, and I hope I teach that. I try to; I think I do. It's absolutely part of my claim to fame, because I'm certainly not always right, but at least I'm prepared. I'm prepared. That doesn't mean your interpretation is always accurate, especially the older you get, but you have that foundation of here is the fact; here is the law; here is the starting point. Then usually you could get there. He did that. I was at the city for twelve years during the most phenomenal time I think that this city ever had. Who were some of the people hired with you, that five? Fred James was one of them. He's at the [Las Vegas-Clark County] Library District. I don't know if you know him. But he is their CFO [Chief Financial Officer]. If you would ask me to recommend someone, he is the one that would come to my mind. You may know his wife, Rose 16 James, one of the most phenomenal people on the face of this earth. She served in government for a long time and then she went to private. Rose McKinney-James? Yes. Oh, of course. But Fred James was one of the ones that—I'm not going to say we all started on the same day, but in the same time period. The other one that did start on the same day, his name is Tony Anderson. I doubt if he's still at the city. He was at the city for a very, very long time. So we were all hired as financial analysts or budget analysts and we all shared an office. In fact, there were five of us in one office. Very cozy. When anybody moans and groans...Yes. Then all five of us had the luxury of my first pregnancy together. That wasn't easy because, again, you're not with family. You're like, I don't know what's happening. Things are happening and I can't help it. We all got very close. But you get very close anyway in that type of circumstance, which is wonderful, just wonderful. And you are very close because they're right there. Oh, yes, they are right there. But the city was growing and just involved in so many things. I was lucky enough to become the financial analyst and the budget analyst for their capital projects. I got involved in just everything, all the new parks that went up, the recreation center that went up, the first pool for back then—well, it was there; Muni pool was already there, but they really made it better and the improvements they put into Lorenzi Park. But all the new parks, Angel Park, all the new parks as we were going west. I was at the city when Summerlin was developed and incorporated and Summerlin Parkway that I now take every day. I just learned so much. I 17 was exposed and was privileged to be part of so many things. That was pretty cool. Who did you work with, with Parks and Recreation? Oh my goodness, it went through a couple of directors. Let me think. Chris Stanfield? Do you remember him? I've heard the name. There was one before him and I'm not going to recall it right now. It may come to me. Did you work with Pat Marchese at all? Yes. And you were in charge of budgeting all of this and planning it out financially? The financial end of it, yes. Getting the budget requests, getting that portion of the budget together, and then monitoring that budget during the year so that the cost didn't go over. But then I worked my way up. Then you get promoted and all of this stuff. They had different titles in the city. They always love to have different titles, so I worked my way up. When I left I was the finance and budget chief, so I was over the financial statement and the budget at the highest level. You were with the city for twelve years? Yes. So at that high point who in the other cities—Henderson, North Las Vegas—who were your contemporaries? Goodness, I'm going to have to think. City of Henderson we didn't really deal with. City of North Las Vegas we dealt with a lot just because of proximity. Henderson, it's [Clark] County and then Henderson, so we didn't really deal with them. I know I should remember them all because I can picture him, but... Everyone was an old white man. I've been the chick on the block. 18 Did you f