Southern Nevada Strong summit touts successes, regional focus

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2017
Media Contacts:
Monika Bertaki, RTC (702) 676-1749 office, (702) 354-3561 cell
Sue Christiansen, RTC (702) 676-1891 office, (702) 461-2401 cell

Southern Nevada Strong summit touts successes, regional focus
Oklahoma City mayor highlights how ‘big ideas’ can turn cities into growth ‘magnets’

Click to Tweet: .@SNVStrong “SNS-Working Regionally” summit touts successes, @MickCornett inspires big ideas #okcmayor #SNSsummit2017

LAS VEGAS – With a focus on working regionally, Southern Nevada Strong (SNS) partners outlined progress over the last year at their annual half-day summit, which began with an inspiring “big ideas” keynote address from Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, known for his city’s “pay as you go” infrastructure planning and execution.

The event, attended by 160 leaders and stakeholders in the Desert Living Center at the Springs Preserve, highlighted SNS collaborative efforts to plan, create and sustain neighborhoods by advancing important regional projects. A notable accomplishment is the launch of the UNLV School of Medicine, considered an economic driver that regional partners advanced together. The medical school will contribute to economic prosperity on several fronts and will impact the region for generations to come.

“Southern Nevada Strong is a regional commitment to provide quality education, transportation, housing and employment opportunities via a collaborative effort – the key here, is we have to all work together,” said Tina Quigley, general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), which administers the SNS regional planning effort.  “Today’s summit is an excellent opportunity to hear how our regional partnerships are flourishing and learn how other communities, like Oklahoma City, are advancing similar priorities to improve their citizens’ quality of life, ultimately enabling us to do the same for our community.”

Cornett, one of the most recognized and honored mayors in U.S. history who is often described as the “face” of Oklahoma City’s resurgence, provided insights into how the city overcame national stigmas and outmoded planning to transform the city’s core infrastructure. Funded with sales tax mostly on a “pay as you go” basis, these projects helped elevate the city’s status, attracting new businesses and residents as well as a professional sports team, the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team.

The SNS Summit included several panels and speakers including:

  • UNLV President Len Jessup discussed the medical school achievement and university’s pursuit of Carnegie Tier 1 status, a prestigious classification given to the country’s top research universities. Tier 1 status can stimulate entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic vitality throughout the surrounding region.
  • RTC Director of Planning Raymond Hess presented On Board, the region’s future transit plan, which is evaluating traditional transit options, new high-capacity alternatives such as light rail, and emerging technologies in transportation.
  • Nevada HAND CEO Mike Mullin and Clark County Social Service Director Mike Pawlak addressed the current status of regional housing issues, especially access and affordability, and the connection to opportunities and the workforce. They cited how three nonprofits banded together to develop a $47 million project to build 264 affordable apartments near Boulder Highway with a Boys & Girls Club, charter school and easy access to jobs and shopping via the RTC transit system.

CAPTIONS (Left to Right)
Photo 1: RTC General Manager Tina Quigley, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett were among the speakers at the 2017 Southern Nevada Strong summit.
Photo 2: Community leaders gather at the Springs Preserve on Dec. 13 for the annual Southern Nevada Strong summit.

To view the complete photo album from the event, visit the Southern Nevada Strong Facebook page.

About Southern Nevada Strong
With the RTC as core administrator, Southern Nevada Strong is charged with advancing the goal of building regional support for long-term economic success and strong communities through reliable transportation options, quality housing for all income levels and diverse job opportunities throughout Southern Nevada. This is detailed in the Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan – the region’s first federally recognized plan which has been approved by numerous local and regional governing bodies.  More information is available at

About the RTC
The RTC is the transit authority, transportation planning organization, regional traffic management agency and administrator of Southern Nevada Strong, the regional planning effort for the Las Vegas valley. The RTC’s vision is to provide a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for citizens and visitors. The RTC encourages residents and visitors to use a variety of transportation choices to help reduce traffic congestion, clean the air and improve the quality of life in Southern Nevada. For more information about the RTC and its major initiatives or to download its transit app rideRTC, visit