Takeaways from the 2019 NEW Leadership Nevada Keynote Dinner Featuring Lauralyn Sandoval

Members of the 2019 NEW Leadership Nevada class with Lauralyn Sandoval

Members of the 2019 NEW Leadership Nevada class with keynote speaker Lauralyn Sandoval (first row, center). 

Jul. 19, 2019


This year the National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Nevada keynote address included the voices of students on stage alongside former Nevada first lady Lauralyn Sandoval. The gaming executive requested to shine a spotlight on the outstanding college women who participated in the six-day summer program hosted annually by the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada.


In Sandoval’s June 6 speech, she spoke of using true grit to power through challenges and being aware of one’s own privilege. These two concepts shaped her life as the primary caretaker for two siblings with autism while aiming for careers as an entrepreneur and corporate leader. Sandoval, vice president of new markets at Aristocrat Technologies, emphasized that “anything is possible” while retelling how solid lifelong friendships, compassion toward everyday people, and building businesses from the ground up helped her reach her professional goals.


She encouraged the audience of NEW Leadership students and alumni, faculty, and community supporters to be kind to one another, and especially women, in their networks and workplaces.


After the address, NEW Leadership alumna Lisa Levine moderated a sit-down conversation with NEW Leadership alumnae Aeriel Halstead and Regina Mitchell. Levine (Class of 2011) is director of government relations for IGT. Halstead (Class of 2015) will attend Brigham Young University in the fall and is the Positive Change Trailblazer of Professionals in Philanthropy. Mitchell (Class of 2017) is the Southern Nevada chapter president of the National Federation of the Blind. The panelists shared how privilege and grit played a part in their lives. They credited much of their success to the friendships made with other women during their NEW Leadership Nevada experiences and encouraged community members to continue to support this impactful program, now in its 20th year.


The evening closed with a question and answer portion for the NEW Leadership Class of 2019. Engineering master’s student Rubaiya Murshed was visibly moved by Sandoval’s life story and shared her gratitude in a closing statement.


“Thank you for showing me that anything is possible and that my story and culture are important to making an impact,” she said.


For more information on NEW Leadership Nevada, please visit unlv.edu/wrin or email wrin@unlv.edu.