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Summerlin celebrates women in community

Women’s History Month may be over, but the master-planned community of Summerlin continues to celebrate the accomplishments of women in its community who embody the Summerlin spirit of living their best lives, taking advantage of all the opportunities for happiness and success that the community offers.

“There are so many successful women in the valley and in our community, each one worthy of recognition for their continued perseverance as they defined their own path of success — whether through hard work at home, in the professional world or a combination of both, said Danielle Bisterfeldt, senior vice president of marketing and consumer experience for Summerlin.

“As recently reported by the global analytics firm Gallup, successful organizations create cultures that enable women to maximize their full potential, both in and out of the workplace. I am proud to work with a team that includes so many female leaders actively developing and shaping our community and to recognize today these inspiring women of Summerlin.”

Irena Sullivan

Irena Sullivan, manager for Moet Hennessey, the wine and spirits division of the prestigious LVMH group, was recently recognized by her company CEO with the “Over and Above” award. Sullivan, who has called Summerlin home for more than a decade, appreciates working for a brand that challenges her every day. She manages on-premise accounts for Moet Hennessey’s portfolio of brands, developing activations and experiences that showcase the brands at key hotels and resorts throughout Las Vegas.

She and her husband, James, are parents to two daughters, Gabby and Isla, and the family takes advantage of all the fun events at Downtown Summerlin, City National Arena and Las Vegas Ballpark.

Sullivan’s advice to women: “Take on new challenges even if you’re not ready. When I started at Moet Hennessey, I knew nothing about the liquor industry. But today, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Emmy Kasten

Freelance writer and editor Emmy Kasten came to Summerlin in 2016 from California via her husband’s job transfer. She and her family, which includes her husband, Todd, and kids, Alix and Ian, consider Summerlin the best move they’ve ever made.

As a former editor-in-chief of Vegas magazine, she had the privilege of shining the spotlight on the coolest people, places and things in town. Today, Kasten is a freelance writer and editor. She is most proud of her work as the founder of Little Black Dress, a fashion event that she produced in cities around the world to raise funds for charity. The event has been featured in WWD, Elle, New York Post, CNN, BBC and more.

Kasten’s advice to women of all ages: “Enjoy the ride, take risks and learn from the haters.”

Melissa Kaiser

Melissa Kaiser, CEO of Discovery Children’s Museum, moved to Summerlin in 2017 when her husband, Roy, became artistic director of the Nevada Ballet Theatre. Both Kaisers held top positions with arts organizations in Philadelphia, so it’s no surprise that today they also are considered a cultural arts powerhouse in Las Vegas.

Since moving here, Kaiser has become an avid desert hiker, adventure seeker and landscape photographer, taking advantage of Summerlin’s proximity to unparalleled natural beauty. She is most proud of the work the Discovery Children’s Museum has accomplished around access and inclusivity for all children in our community, becoming the first museum in Nevada to offer reduced admission to families on public assistance and foster care families through the Museums for All program.

Kaiser’s advice to women: “Stay true to your passion and know your strengths, even if you are unsure about how these things will translate into your career.”

Kasha Mackelprang

Kasha Mackelprang, vice president and assistant general manager for Red Rock Resort, has been with the property since 2011 when she first started as director of catering. Fiercely passionate about hospitality, Mackelprang loves everything about the Station Casinos brand and its amazing team of 2,500 employees.

She began her career at The Venetian on the Strip, moving 11 years ago to Summerlin where she loves being close to Red Rock Canyon given that hiking is her favorite hobby and pastime. She is most proud of producing incredible, once-in-a-lifetime events that commemorate momentous occasions in life, from weddings and birthdays to anniversaries and more.

Mackelprang’s advice to women: “RBG said it best — ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.’ Tirelessly work toward finding a seat at all tables and ensure a women’s perspective is heard and included.”

Mackenzie Warren Kay

Mackenzie Warren Kay, attorney and vice president of McDonald Carano, grew up in Green Valley and migrated in 2011 to Summerlin — or “the island” as she lovingly refers to the community — after accepting a job as a TV reporter on KSNV-TV, Channel 3. Settling in The Vistas, first in an apartment and now as a first-time homeowner in Stonebridge, she wouldn’t trade her Summerlin locale for anything. She loves the proximity to Downtown Summerlin, her favorite workout spots, Red Rock Country Club and the neighborhood trails where she and her husband, Rory, walk their chocolate lab, Marvin.

After her stint as a news anchor and investigative reporter at Channel 3, Kay pivoted to law school, graduating from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV. Kay is a relentless advocate for her legal and government affairs clients and appreciates Las Vegas’ small town connectivity that makes it all happen.

Her advice to women: “Do as Dame Helen Mirren does — ‘Be on time and don’t be an arsehole.’”

Pat Medeiros

Pat Medeiros, an active adult resident at Trilogy by Shea Homes, is an ideal example of someone who is today living her best life in Summerlin. When she moved to Trilogy in 2018 to be closer to her children and grandchildren, she had one of those “ah-ha” moments. While Medeiros could easily get down on the floor to play with her grandkids, getting up unassisted was another story.

She took matters into her own hands and, with the help of Trilogy’s wellness coordinator, Michele Chovan-Taylor, started walking — literally taking the first step toward a new life focused on health and wellness. Today, Medeiros is easily walking three to four miles at a time at a brisk pace and going to the gym to take advantage of Zumba and strength classes, something she never imagined would be possible.

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