Inspiring people to Challenge the Norm

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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

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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Randy Gates – Northern Nevada Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness

IMG_5977Childhood Cancer, a tragedy that strikes children at all different times in their lives.  The battle can be a fight that ends in grief for a family or a sigh of relief for the survivor.  Either way, there are organizations across the world working to make the fight more bearable while ensuring the children continue as normal lives as possible.  In Reno, Nevada, firefighters are joining forces to promote Northern Nevada Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness. For Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, the one behind all the kindness, is Fire Captain Randall Gates.

A leader not only in the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District but at St. Baldrick’s.  Through his leadership and passion to the cause, Randall Gates and twenty other members of the district shaved their heads for those brave children.  Together they raised over $3,000 to help support Children’s Cancer treatment and research.  With hopes to make the event even bigger, with more money raised next year.

But St. Baldrick’s is only one little piece of Randall Gates and the Northern Nevada Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness.  He’s working diligently to recruit other fire departments and firefighters to give back to the community in which they live.  Whether it be through station tours, fundraisers, or helping the older generations shovel snow.  Giving back to the community is the ultimate outcome. Randy recognizes the roll he and the others play in the community.  They are leaders at heart.

What I find to be the most fascinating, is the leadership that has emerged.  People look up to Randy because of the leader he is.  So inherently, more and more people have  stepped up to the plate and participated in random acts of kindness. Randy Gates is a leader to other leaders in our community.  Inspiring others to promote the cause they are passionate about.  Do you know a firefighter in your community involved in Random Acts of Kindness?  Please share your comments below.