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ON THE MOVE: Nevada Department of Wildlife names Fisheries Division Administrator


• The Nevada Department of Wildlife welcomes Chris Crookshanks as the Fisheries Division Administrator. Crookshanks brings more than 25 years of professional experience to his new position, which oversees the direction, health and vitality of Nevada’s fish in its network of streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

“As a native Nevadan and lifelong fisherman, I understand my role in this position represents the bigger picture,” he said. “I’m confident that my experience as a steward for Nevada’s fish and aquatic life makes me a great fit.”

Crookshanks was born and raised in Carson City and graduated from Carson High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1995. He began his career with NDOW as a seasonal (biologist assistant) stationed in Winnemucca and worked on the Western Region stream survey crew.

He secured his first full-time position at Lake Mead Hatchery in 1996, raising and stocking trout throughout the Southern Region.

In May 1998, Crookshanks moved to Ely as the Fisheries biologist for White Pine County and married, one week later. He and wife, Chelise, set roots in White Pine County where they built a home; welcomed a son and daughter, Cade and Chloe. They spent most of their time chasing elk in the Schell Creek Range or trout fishing at Comins Lake. After 14 years in Ely, Chris transferred to the Truckee/Tahoe/Washoe County biologist position in 2012. In 2014, he moved to NDOW headquarters where he was promoted to the staff specialist position serving as the state lead for native aquatic species.

“Chris’ experience working with Nevada’s fish populations bring an invaluable resource to the head of the Fisheries Division,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley. “We couldn’t have picked a more capable person for the position, and I look forward to the direction Chris will take Nevada’s fish.”

Chris and his family live in Carson City in the house he was raised in. They also share a home with loveable labrador named Adi. In their spare time, the Crookshanks family enjoys all things in the outdoors including camping, backpacking, and fly fishing.

Rocky Finseth, president and CEO of Carrara Nevada, announced the following staff changes effective Sept. 1.

— Samantha Sato has been appointed to the position of director of legislative operations and affairs. Previously, Sato served as an administrative assistant in the Las Vegas office.

— Ashley Cruz has been appointed to the newly created position of director of strategic planning and initiatives. Cruz has served as an assistant to Finseth since she joined the firm in 2018. Like Sato, Cruz is based in the firm’s Las Vegas office.

“Samantha and Ashley have worked incredibly hard under stressful conditions throughout the pandemic and done a remarkable job in assisting me. During the pandemic, they were at my side helping me maneuver through a very challenging business environment while at the same time keeping our clients engaged and informed. As we emerge out of the pandemic, both continue to accept more and more responsibilities, so the promotion was a natural fit for the two of them. I’m excited for them and their next steps in our organization engaging with our vast array of clients,” Finseth said.

— Replacing Cruz as Finseth’s assistant will be Kelly Knight. Knight has an extensive background in the business world, having seen successful stints at both Altria, a client of the company where she served as a financial analyst, and at PWC in New York City.

“I’ve known Kelly for a number of years, and we have worked on several initiatives at the Legislature relative to mental health and childhood trauma and loss. I was excited when she accepted my offer to join the Carrara Nevada team as my special assistant. She brings a wealth of business acumen into the position, and I look forward to working alongside of her,” Finseth said.

Carrara Nevada is a government affairs firm with over two and a half decades of work in Nevada.


• CenterWell Senior Primary Care, A senior-focused care providers, has announced the addition of Dr. Hayley Kuhn, board-certified in family medicine with more than seven years of health care experience, to CenterWell’s South Nellis location at 2875 South Nellis Blvd.

At CenterWell, patients receive many of their primary care needs, such as lab tests and check-ups in one location. Each CenterWell patient has access to board-certified, or eligible, physicians and Care Teams — behavioral health specialists, clinical pharmacists and resource coordinators — who have been specially trained to meet the unique health care needs of people 65 and older. CenterWell has eight locations throughout the valley and will open two additional centers in 2021.

Prior to joining CenterWell, Kuhn practiced at P3 Medical Group; and provided outpatient primary care at Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu City, Arizona prior to moving to the valley. She graduated from Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland and completed her residency at Mercy Family Medicine in Iowa.

• Optum Care Orthopaedics and Spine has added a new physician to help meet the growing need for health services in the Las Vegas community. Abby Howenstein, MD joins the medical practice as an orthopedic surgeon.


• Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas has announced three new appointments to its growing executive team, with Ali Murray named director of sales and marketing, Lukas Pesek named director of food and beverage and Michelle Wilkos named director of spa and recreation.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ali, Lukas and Michelle to the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas executive team,” said Chintan Dadhich, general manager of Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. “Being able to recruit executives of their caliber speaks to the exciting opportunities ahead. We look forward to their contributions as we continue to elevate the unforgettable experiences and True Waldorf Service today’s discerning travelers seek.”

— As director of sales and marketing, Murray oversees daily sales and marketing efforts while providing strategic leadership and direction to increase revenue and exceed the resort’s business goals. With more than 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Murray brings extensive knowledge of the destination from her previous roles at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and Treasure Island – TI.

— With a vast knowledge of the hospitality industry and experience within the Las Vegas hotel and restaurant sectors, Pesek will contribute to the ongoing success and development of Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas’ food and beverage destinations. Following a 10-year career with world renown celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, Pesek served as vice president of food and beverage at Excalibur and had the opportunity to work at Clayton Hotel, Denver and Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas as director of food and beverage.

— Wilkos brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the award-winning spa at Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. As the property’s new spa director, Wilkos will be responsible for overseeing and creating the overall programming while continuing to improve the guest experience and growing the spa’s business. Prior to joining the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas team, Wilkos opened the spa at ARIA Las Vegas and served as the director of spa and salon operations at Bellagio and TI.

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