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In the Trenches for Nonprofits

Lee Business School Alumna of the Year Caroline Ciocca has made a career out of giving back.

People  |  Oct 11, 2018  |  By Brian Sodoma
Caroline Ciocca

Caroline Ciocca, who earned her MBA from UNLV in 2007, is the CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada. (Casey Jade Photography)

Editor's Note: 

As part of UNLV's Homecoming festivities, the UNLV Alumni Association will celebrate the accomplishments of graduates at its annual reception and awards ceremony Oct. 18. You can stream the awards ceremony live here.


Lee Business School Alumni of the Year Caroline Ciocca (’07 MBA) is the CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, an active chapter of the national charity that grants wishes to critically ill children. She began her career in Las Vegas working for The Rogich Communications Group.

Tell us about a moment when someone showed you unexpected kindness. How do you pay it forward?

Las Vegas has always been kind to me. I immediately felt a sense of belonging, so it didn’t take long for Las Vegas to become my home. At the time I thought it was luck, but now I know it was a little more than luck landing a job with The Rogich Communications Group. It was a job that changed my life forever. My experience wasn’t extensive, but Sig Rogich saw potential in me and gave me a chance. That chance was an act of kindness that put me on an incredible career track. To this day, I still reflect on that experience; it played a huge role in shaping who I am today.

Dedicating my career to the social sector is my way of blending business with impact. People innately want to help others, so the most important thing we can do is ask for help and search for ways to serve others. I love to inspire people to get involved, help people find a path to make a difference, and celebrate acts of kindness – big and small – each day. I pay it forward by dedicating my career to making a difference in the social sector. It’s rewarding, challenging, and meaningful work that makes people’s lives better.

A foot in the door

Caroline Ciocca moved to Las Vegas from Massachusetts in 1994 and worked for some of the state’s most highly regarded enterprises. While with The Rogich Communications Group, Ciocca gained valuable experience in a supportive role handling public relations and marketing for political candidates, businesses, and nonprofits. In 2002, she successfully led the Nature Conservancy’s fundraising campaign for Question 1: The Nevada Clean Water, Parks and Wildlife Bond, and helped generate $200 million in support of natural and cultural resources across the state.

Prior to her time at Make-A Wish, she spent more than five years as the director of corporate citizenship for Cash America Inc., where she helped the company partner with more than 25 nonprofit organizations. She also held a leadership position with Aid For AIDS of Nevada

Ciocca is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Las Vegas and an active alumna of the Lee Business School.