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Inspiring people to Challenge the Norm


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Challenging the Norm – Power of One

Please watch my first video blog! Its on Challenging the Norm – Power of One.

The concept of Challenging the Norm is derived from the power of one.  When you look at the great leaders of the past, it was one person, dedicated to their idea that made them great.  All it takes is one person to Challenge the Norm, inspiring others to make significant changes in the world which reflects what they believe needs to be accomplished.  Their sheer passion for an idea, inspires others to join in the movement.  These leaders Challenge the Norm in a way that makes others have no choice but to notice them.

Although there is always an exception to the rule, most leaders have failed numerous times before they attained success.  In fact, some may argue it is these failures in which has created such great success. I believe the difference between the people who fail and the ones who succeed isn’t how many times they fail, but more, their dedication to what they want.  Its the mindset that no matter what happens along the way, they will not give up.  These great leaders have wholeheartedly committed their lives to what they want to accomplish.

So I challenge you, whatever your passions in life may be, to embrace them, to become a leader in that area, to achieve greatness.


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Owen Blake – Providing a Safe and Fun Environment for Soccer Players

owenOwen Blake is the owner of Reno Sportsdome in Reno, Nevada.  The sportsdome is a 35,000 square foot airplane hangar converted into two indoor soccer fields, a workout center, and snack bar.  The arena also houses a speed and agility training track to enhance foot speed, agility, power and flexibility.  Reno Sportsdome offers youth and adult leagues both men, women’s and coed.
Reno Sportsdome gives long time soccer plays the opportunity to continue after their college days.  While also providing newbie’s a place to learn the wonderful sport of soccer. The arena offers a variety of leagues that can fit any schedule, which makes playing even easier.  For anyone who’s played at the Sportsdome, you know just how fun it can be.  Owen’s love for the game is evident at Sportsdome as he ensures a safe fun environment through an indoor soccer rule book.
Owen is sharing his love for soccer with others with this wonderful indoor soccer arena.  Interested in playing?  Visit www.renodome.com to sign up for a league.


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Erin Pieretti – Helping make the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows Possible

erinErin Pieretti isn’t just the Special Events Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, she is a leader for the kids.  The organization provides children a safe place to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with adult professionals, life-enhancing programs and character development experiences, hope and opportunity.
In order to make this all possible, Erin is responsible for fundraising to help keep the doors open.  This is done through creative events which will bring in donations and volunteers.  It is these events which make the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows possible.  Recently, their annual Cioppino Feed and Action raised over a million dollars.  The club has countless other events taking place such as Boys & Girls Club Week and Nite Out, Kickoff to Summer, Ballers Extravaganza, Microsoft Charity Golf Tournament, Vintage Nevada, Day for Kids, Bully’s Community Thanksgiving, and much more.
Erin hard work and leadership play a significant role in the clubs success.  Not only do children look up to her as a mentor, she is inspiring others to become involved in the program.
Interested in volunteering?  Please visit www.bgctm.org.


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Mary Groves – Improving Business Communications

grovesMary Groves is a professor in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her class, Effective Business Writing is designed to give students a greater appreciation of, and real-world practice with, the many forms of business communications.  Throughout the class, students will be asked to write letters, memos, e-mails, cases, reports, proposals, give presentations and much more.
But Mary Groves is teaching more than just effective business writing, she is teaching students how to communicate in the real world.  The skills students are learning are imperative to success in the business world.  And the best part of the whole class, is she makes sure students do each assignment with little to no errors if they want to pass.  Mary Groves is challenging the students in the College of Business to ensure each and every one of them can communicate effectively in the business world.  Her leadership and passion for communication is truly inspiring.
Interested in learning more on her class?  Please visit www.unr.edu/business to find out more.


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Nancy Leuenhagen – Highlighting the Success of Washoe County

nancy“I am extremely proud to be working for Washoe County as the next Community Relations Manager. As a former member of the media, I look forward to continuing the relationships I’ve built with the journalists in Northern Nevada and relaying the great work of the employees at Washoe County.” – Nancy Leuenhagen

Nancy Leuenhagen is making a difference in Washoe County.  As the Community Relations Manager for Washoe County  she is responsible for public relations among the county.  She serves at the Public Information Officer and continues to improve the working relationships with the media in Northern Nevada.   Her passion for her career is evident.  Nancy strives to push out information from the county to keep its constituents informed.

As Washoe County continues to strengthen its involvement in the community, Nancy works hard to highlight all the recent achievements.  For the constituents who can not attend board meetings but are interested in whats going on in the County, Nancy sends out a press release which highlights sections from the agenda.  What I find to be the most inspirational is Nancy’s eagerness to help others.  She is constantly going above and beyond to help others with information requests or the media with current events.

Nancy Leuenhagen is challenging the norm and inspiring those around her.  Want to see what great things are going on at Washoe County? Visit www.washoecounty.us

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Dana Searcy – Making the Reno Air Races a Success

danaSince 2005, Dana Searcy has been making the  Reno Air Races a success.  As the Pilot Coordinator for the Reno Air Racing Association, Dana is responsible for ensuring the races go off without a hitch in regards to the pilots involved in the races.  As a non profit organization, Dana is part of the eight member team who work so hard each year to make the event possible.  Along side with about 2,500 volunteers, the air races run for three days.

The Reno Air Races are held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one week, the high desert north of Reno becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 200,000 spectators and generated more than $80 million a year for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations.

Dana Searcy’s leadership is helping improve the event every year.  Not only is the event a huge contributor to the regions economy, but the foundation has continued to educate the public, especially Reno’s youth, about the world of aviation, emphasizing the role that air racing has had on the evolution of the aviation industry.  The Foundation has provided funding for Flight Rallies in northern Nevada in conjunction with the EAA Young Eagles program, which gives youth the opportunity to take flight with a qualified pilot as an exciting introduction to the world of aviation.  Help make this years’ Reno Air Races a success by attending the races September 11-13, 2013 or find out more on how you can help by visiting www.airrace.org.

Have you experienced the Reno Air Races?  Please share your thoughts in a comment below.

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Justus Wendland – Helping Nevada Implement HAVA

justusJustus Wendland, the HAVA Administrator for the State of Nevada, is driving change in the voter arena. His position was created as a result of the deficiencies identified in the federal election system during the 2000 presidential election. As a result, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 which brought the most sweeping reform to the nation’s voting process.  The law provided funding to help state’s meet these new standards, replacing voting systems, and improving election administration.

Justus is in charge of ensuring Nevada is compliant with HAVA and other federal election laws.  In addition to, being responsible for ensuring the security and integrity of the State’s voting systems through certification, testing, and security procedures.  Justus also seeks to improve access to the election system through voter education and improved ADA access at physical polling locations.

The State of Nevada is seeing a huge impact from Justus’s hard work.  Nevada was the nation’s highest increase in voter turnout in the 2012 General Election, statewide availability of online voter registration (12th of 13 states), and the 2nd state to provide online registration through Facebook.  The Secretary of State and the Legislature have introduced legislation to modernize voting and voter registration, some of which are first of their kind in the country.

Justus Wendland is making instrumental improvements in the voting system in the State of Nevada.  His passion for his career is driving change and improving the voter turnout.  Did you vote in the last election?  Please share your comments below.

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