Class Notes

Did you get a promotion, add a family member, or find a new calling? Share your latest news with your fellow alumni. We print Class Notes in UNLV Magazine and list them in the online alumni directory.

Timothy Bonenfant

December 7, 2015
Timothy Bonenfant, ’82 BA Music, ’84 Master of Music, ’05 DMA Music, gave a world premiere performance of “Persona No. 4,” composed by UNLV music professor Virko Baley, this summer in Madrid. He previously recorded an album of Baley’s works,Multiple Personae: The Family of Clarinets, which was released in 2014. He lives in San Angelo, Texas.

Barbara Phillips

December 7, 2015
Barbara Phillips, ’81 BA Communication Studies, is retired, but politically active in Clean Energy Project, an energy conservation organization, and in volunteering for 2016 Democratic candidates. Previously, she worked for the public television station KLVX. She plans to take a Danube Christmas market cruise. She and her husband, Ronald Phillips, ’73 BS Management, have spent 10 years traveling around the county in recreational vehicles. Her hobbies include art and creative floral projects.

Ken Edwards

December 7, 2015
Ken Edwards, ’81 BS Hotel Administration, owns Hotel Management Online, which holds worldwide rights to HMBookstore.com, and is managing partner for Tristar Hotel Group, which owns and operates hotels. He oversees development and acquisitions for Tristar. His hobbies include basketball, football, wine tasting, reading, cooking, and spending time in California. He lives in Phoenix.

Denise Miller Cipolla

December 7, 2015
Denise Miller Cipolla, ’80 BS Education, ’80 BA English, ’90 Master of Education, is coordinator of guidance and counseling for Conroe Independent School District in Texas. She previously spent four years as a high school English teacher and 25 years as a high school counselor. Her hobbies include traveling (38 countries so far), scuba diving, cooking, and spending time with grandchildren. She and her husband, Craig Cipolla, ’81 BA Chemistry, ’81 BS Engineering, celebrate their 35th anniversary in November. They live in The Woodlands, Texas.

Marty Gross

December 7, 2015
Marty Gross, ’79 BS Hotel Administration, is vice president for King of Cage, one of the largest mixed martial arts promotions, owned by Lucas Oil. He has spent most of his career in the casino/hotel industry, including top-level positions at Cannery Casinos, Station Casinos, M Resort, the Riviera, and tribal gaming operations. He and his wife, Bonnie, have been married 34 years and have three children.

Nancy Forni Flagg

December 7, 2015
Nancy Forni Flagg, ’79 BA Education, ’92 MA English, recently edited a financial planning book written by Ron Vejrostek. Her company, Finishing Touches Project Management, provides writing, editing, and proofreading services for a variety of local and national clients.

Bill Buckmaster

December 7, 2015
Bill Buckmaster, ’78 Master of Education, has interviewed more than 5,000 newsmakers and has earned the reputation as Tucson’s most trusted voice for news and information. His communications career spans nearly 50 years and includes television anchor positions at KICU-TV, Tucson, where he for 23 years hosted the iconic Arizona PBS news and public affairs program Arizona Illustrated. A one-time broadcast editor for the Associated Press, he has deep roots in radio serving as news director at stations in Las Vegas; Visalia, California; and Sierra Vista, Arizona. In 2010, he formed Bill Buckmaster Communications, which produces a daily newstalk program on Tucson’s KVOI “The Voice.” A five-time Emmy Award nominee, he has earned many honors, including the 2011 Golden Mic Award from American Advertising Federation; Silver Circle Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and the Citizen Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Pima County, Arizona. He even has the rare honor of his name on an asteroid. “20084 Buckmaster” orbits between Mars and Jupiter. Married for 43 years, he has travelled to 100 countries and all 50 states.

Randy Garcia

December 7, 2015
Randy Garcia, ’77 BS Business Administration, is the founder and chief executive officer of The Investment Counsel Co. He is Nevada’s first certified investment management analyst. He serves on numerous community boards, including the 2016 Presidential Debate Steering Committee, the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Las Vegas Area Council of Boy Scouts. He formerly served as chairman of the Nevada Taxicab Authority. This year Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada honored him with its Heart of Hope Award for his many contributions to their work in the community. He and his wife, Staci, have two sons and a daughter.

Ann Occhi

December 7, 2015
Ann Occhi, ’76 AA Nursing, ’79 BS Nursing, ’92 MS Nursing, works as a supervisor for school nurses. She earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix. She was a foster parent for eight medically fragile children and adopted five children. Her hobbies are biking, camping, and being part of a women’s dragon boat team. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Richard Wilson

December 7, 2015
Richard Wilson, ’75 BA Anthropology, ’79 MA Anthropology, worked 31 years as a quality assurance specialist in ammo surveillance for the U.S. Army as a civilian. He lived in several countries including Korea, Panama, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, and traveled on business to many more. He says his anthropology background served him well in dealing with personnel in foreign countries. He was baptized and joined the Pilgrim Home Baptist Church at the age of 61. Woodworking in a field called intarsia is his hobby. He and his wife of 18 years operate a small tree farm in Wicksburg, Alabama. They enjoy traveling around the country, sometimes with grandchildren. The couple lives in Newton.

David Johnson

December 7, 2015
David Johnson, ’75 BA Political Science, has joined the Las Vegas law office of Duane Morris as a partner in its trial and gaming law practice groups. He retired as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Global Cash Access. He previously had served as general counsel for International Game Technology, Anchor Gaming, and Bally Technologies. He has more than 30 years of experience in corporate law, regulatory law, and civil litigation with a focus on the gaming and financial services industries. He earned his law degree from Creighton University.

William “Kevin” Haggerty

December 7, 2015
William “Kevin” Haggerty, ’75 BS Hotel Administration, retired last year after spending 30 years with ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment as general manager and resident district manager at stadiums, arenas, and racetracks that hosted a variety of events including professional football, baseball, and hockey as well as World Cup events. He also spent seven years with Hyatt Hotels as director of convention services in a number of cities. Cooking, golfing, and fishing are his hobbies. He lives in San Diego.