Meet the Executive Team

 

Jaime Cruz

Executive Director
jcruz@nvworkforceconnections.org

Jaime Cruz serves as Executive Director for Workforce Connections. Reporting to the Southern Nevada Workforce Development Area Chief Local Elected Officials Consortium, he serves as the chief staff officer to the Southern Nevada Workforce Development Board (Workforce Connections). Jaime plans, directs, manages and oversees the activities and operations of Workforce Connections including financial operations, grant management, financial analysis and planning, and establishing collaborative relationships with current and potential service providers and partners.
Before joining Workforce Connections, Jaime held various positions within the Tourism, Gaming and Entertainment industry sector. His latest one as Corporate Director of Energy and Environmental Services for MGM Resorts International and oversight responsibilities for the development and implementation of the Energy Management and Building Automation Systems at the City Center Project. Jaime was born in Lima, Peru where he earned a Mechanical Engineering degree and later sailed international waters as a Merchant Marine Officer. He immigrated to the USA in 1988 and became a naturalized citizen in 1994.

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Jaime Cruz

Jaime Cruz

Executive Director

Irene Bustamante Adams

Chief Strategy Officer
iba@nvworkforceconnections.org

A dynamic and self-driven leader, Irene Bustamante Adams, christened the “National Trailblazer” by Emerge America, is one of Nevada’s top talents. Her humble beginning as a migrant farm worker to her newest role as Speaker Pro Tempore for the Nevada Assembly shows the depth of her development as a leader and her commitment to community service.
Irene was first elected to the Nevada Assembly representing Assembly District No. 42 in 2010. The death of her little brother inspired Irene to leave her comfortable corporate position and serve to help her community through the great recession. She is recognized for her bipartisan collaboration to pass key pieces of legislation with a focus on economic diversification. She has quickly risen to various leadership roles within the Legislature and her Caucus.
After college, Irene embarked on an 18-year career with MGM Resorts International, one of the world's leading global hospitality companies. She started as a clerk and worked her way up to a corporate rank with her greatest accomplishment being positioning the Company as a national award winner among other Fortune 500 companies committed to diversity. Her leadership skills assisted in the creation, development and implementation of nationally recognized programs and events.
The second of five children, Irene was raised in the farming community of Kerman, California. Starting at a very young age, she and her siblings worked the agricultural fields alongside her parents. It was there Irene first learned the meaning of a hard day’s work and the value of perseverance.
Irene excelled in school and became the first in her family to go to college. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from California State University, Fresno.
In 2007, Irene became the first Latina in Nevada history to obtain an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree from UNLV.
Active in the community on a local and national level, Irene currently serves on the boards and councils of the Nevada Commission on Service and Uplift Foundation of Nevada.
She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the “Inside Government Badge Award” in 2013 by Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada; the “Woman of the Year” in 2012 by Emerge Nevada; the “National Trailblazer Award” in 2011 by Emerge America; the “Community Service Award” by the Latin Chamber of Commerce; and the “Rising Star Award” by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Southern Nevada.
Irene has lived in Las Vegas for more than 20 years; she is married to Army Sergeant Brad Adams, who has completed three combat tours as a decorated veteran and continues to serve. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Olivia and Alaina.

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Irene Bustamante Adams

Irene Bustamante Adams

Chief Strategy Officer

James Kostecki

Chief Financial Officer
jkostecki@nvworkforceconnections.org

James (Jim) Kostecki serves as Chief Financial Officer for Workforce Connections (Southern Nevada Workforce Development Board). His areas of responsibility include direct oversight of federal agency funding under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)/Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Jim is also charged with providing oversight of the operations budget for the agency as well as resource funds placed within the community. Additional responsibilities include procurement, budgeting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable and cash management, among others.

Prior to his assignment with Workforce Connections, Jim served as a finance analyst for the City of North Las Vegas, where he oversaw the Finance Department areas including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and grant accounting.

Jim is a licensed Certified Public Account and graduated from Illinois State University in May, 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Jim has served in various managerial accounting positions for manufacturing companies prior to moving to Las Vegas in early 2007 from the Chicago Suburbs.

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James Kostecki

James Kostecki

Chief Financial Officer

Melissa "Mel" Evans

Director of Workforce Development Programs
mjevans@nvworkforceconnections.org

Melissa “Mel” Evans has worked in Economic Development for eight years, with 20 years of municipal and state level experience in total. She served as a Senior Economic Development Specialist over the last four years with the City of Las Vegas, and worked in the economic development field in both Arizona and New Mexico, focusing on business attraction, workforce development, business retention and redevelopment. She has experience in finance, marketing, auditing, and human services. Mel worked arduously to achieve accreditation for the City of Las Vegas Economic and Urban Development Department, through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The department is the only organization in Nevada with such distinction.

She holds a Masters Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University and Bachelors of Science Degree in Applied Business from Grand Canyon University. She is studying for the Certified Economic Developer exam through the IEDC. Raised in Olympia, Washington, Mel loves the desert and beautiful sunrises. She hikes Red Rock and Mount Charleston and teaches yoga part-time for the YMCA. She teaches Sunday school to young children and has been a Big Sister since 2011.

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Melissa

Melissa "Mel" Evans

Director of Workforce Development Programs

Kenadie Cobbin Richardson

Director of Business Engagement and Communications
krichardson@nvworkforceconnections.org

Kenadie Cobbin Richardson is the Director of Business Engagement and Communications at Workforce Connections, the Southern Nevada Workforce Development Board. Covering four counties, Kenadie directs a team of Business Engagement Specialists who focus on employer needs which include recruiting qualified candidates for job openings to subsidizing training for employers’ workforce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Kenadie and her staff save businesses time and money.

Kenadie also develops economic and workforce development strategies that benefit employers and individuals that align supply with demand by working with stakeholders in the workforce development system - including other government entities, economic development, community colleges, training providers, nonprofits and organized labor -- to be more effective and responsive to the needs of Southern Nevada employers and workers.

Her credentials include: Certified Executive Coach; Color Code Corporate Trainer, Masters in Teaching from Youngstown State University; and B.A. from DePauw University. Later this year, she will achieve a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification. She was recently inducted in the Women’s Hall of Fame in Las Vegas and awarded the Athena Award for Young Professionals.

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Kenadie Cobbin Richardson

Kenadie Cobbin Richardson

Director of Business Engagement and Communications

Jan Pieri

Senior Human Resources Consultant
jpieri@nvworkforceconnections.org

Jan Pieri, Senior Human Resources Consultant with Prism Global Management Group, LLC. Jan has over 20 years of Human Resources experience; her expertise includes recruitment, employee relations, compensation, benefits, training and development, OSHA compliance and workers’ compensation. She has provided Human Resources services to a wide variety of industries including a Fortune 500 telecommunications company, construction, economic development, non-profit, and government agencies.

Jan holds a degree in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University and is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Southern Nevada Society of Human Resource (SNVSHRM) organizations.

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Jan Pieri

Jan Pieri

Senior Human Resources Consultant