Intel: Women attorneys group marks 35th anniversary

The Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys celebrated its 35th anniversary at a luncheon on Aug. 7 at the Las Vegas Country Club.

More than 50 lawyers and judges attended, including former U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, a founder and first president of the organization, which was established in 1979. Joining Berkley were founding members Charlane Bigelow Stead and Eleissa Lavelle and District Judges Sally Loehrer and Susan Scann. Thirteen of SNAWA’s 29 past presidents also were present, among them, District Judges Elissa Cadish, Carolyn Ellsworth and Gloria Sturman.

Berkley recalled that the 12 founding members first met in the children’s playroom of her home. The founders and those who joined shortly thereafter practiced in different fields of law. They found each other to be both legal and collegial resources at a time when there were few female lawyers.

Scann recalled that when she first started her legal career, women were beginning to gain recognition in the legal profession. Bigelow Stead, an engineer before becoming a lawyer, compared the experiences, remarking upon the similar challenges faced by women in both professions. Lavelle, mediator for JAMS, teaches classes in mediation at Boyd School of Law.

She remarked to Berkley that “we started something good.” Lavelle commented that she is in a unique position, having experienced the early days for women lawyers in Nevada, to monitor the perceptions of today’s law students and future lawyers. Berkley summed it up by stating that even though the founding members might not have seen each other for many years, they have forged enduring relationships through their association with SNAWA.

SNAWA has a membership of 350 led by President Kathleen Maynard and 10 board members and committee chairmen. For information, go to


CEREMONIAL GROUNDBREAKING: The Venues Group, a premier special event and entertainment facility group, celebrated the development of its downtown Las Vegas location with a ceremonial groundbreaking event Aug. 7. Executives from the Venue Scottsdale including owner Victor Perrillo and Vice President David Twigger, along with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, commemorated the Venue Las Vegas with a brief press conference and VIP event to reveal information about the space and showcase renderings of its future location, scheduled to open in February.

Since 2006, the Venue Scottsdale has hosted concerts, entertainment shows, charity galas, wedding ceremonies and receptions, meeting conventions and trade shows, as well as social events such as proms, reunions, birthdays and anniversaries. Expanding on its success in Scottsdale, the Venue Las Vegas will offer the same capabilities in the Fremont East District.

The Venue Las Vegas will feature 36,000 square feet of event space with two full stories and a rooftop patio, including six indoor and outdoor event spaces for parties that can accommodate as few as 30 or as many as 2,000 guests.

The state-of-the-art space will include a built-in stage and entertainment hall with full audio and lighting production, on-site gourmet catering, private rooms, outdoor patios, a VIP and billiards area and V2 = Virtue &Vice Lounge, an upscale bar and lounge featuring specialty drinks and small plates. V2 = Virtue &Vice Lounge will be open to the public on a nightly basis unless occupied for a special event.

Founded by Perrillo, the Venue Las Vegas will add 200 jobs to the downtown area at a time when it is experiencing tremendous growth and economic upturn. “I’ve wanted to expand to Las Vegas for many years and purchased this land eight years ago,” Perrillo said. “I waited to build our second location until the time was right. With recent investments the community has made to revitalize downtown, we felt that this year was the perfect time to develop The Venue Las Vegas.”

“We’ve noticed there was a real need for this type of mixed-use special event facility in downtown Las Vegas,” Twigger said. “We began to feel a strong sense of community pride and a commitment to make downtown a success, and we wanted to be a part of it.”


THINKING HOLLYWOOD: Las Vegas-based UFC’s biggest star is not a man. She’s Ronda Rousey, who also aspires to make a lot of money in the movies.

Rousey, the undefeated Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight champ who began her MMA career with Las Vegas-based Tuff-N-Uff, said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine that she has a lofty Hollywood goal.

“I want to be the highest-grossing actor in the world someday,” Rousey told the magazine.

When Rousey, 27, is not in the octagon beating foes with her famed armbar move, she’s making movies. She has three in the works for the next year — “The Expendables 3,” “Entourage” and “Fast and Furious 7.”

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