Meet the Team

 

Jaime Cruz

Executive Director
jcruz@nvworkforceconnections.org

Jaime Cruz serves as Executive Director for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board.  Prior to his appointment as Executive Director in October 2017, Cruz served as Chief Strategy Officer for eight years and was instrumental in partnering with local libraries to expand WIOA driven workforce programs.

Cruz understands first hand the barriers many face when trying to improve their careers.  As a young man who immigrated to the United States, Cruz initially worked as a dish washer despite a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Escuela Nacional De Marina Mercante in Lima, Peru. By improving his command of the English language and capitalizing on the growth opportunities he was presented, Cruz was able to successfully return to the engineering field and later transition to the public sector.

Prior to his career at Workforce Connections, Cruz worked on sustainability initiatives for major hotel casino companies in Las Vegas, including overseeing the development and implementation of the energy management and building automation systems at MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter.   He is recognized as a Certified Energy Manager and Certified Sustainable Development Professional by the Association of Energy Engineers, as well as a Certified Public Manager by the State of Nevada.

Cruz became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1994 and has lived in Southern Nevada for thirty years.  He is the proud father of two children, Samuel and Sofia.

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Jaime Cruz

Jaime Cruz

Executive Director

Irene Bustamante Adams

Deputy Director & Chief Strategy Officer
iba@nvworkforceconnections.org

Irene Bustamante Adams serves as the Deputy Director & Chief Strategy Officer for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board.

Prior to joining Workforce Connections in 2017, Bustamante Adams spent 18 years at MGM Resorts International, working her way up from clerk to a corporate position. From 2010 to 2018, she also represented District 42 in the Nevada Assembly, serving as Speaker Pro Tempore in her last leadership role.

Bustamante Adams was raised in the farming community of Kerman, California and woke before dawn to work the agricultural fields along side her siblings. She was the first in her family to attend and graduate college, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from California State University, Fresno. In 2007, Bustamante Adams became the first Latina in Nevada history to earn an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree from UNLV.

Bustamante Adams currently serves on the boards and councils of the Nevada Commission on Service, United Way of Southern Nevada and Uplift Foundation of Nevada.

She is married to Army Sergeant Brad Adams, and has two daughters, Olivia and Alaina.

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Irene Bustamante Adams

Irene Bustamante Adams

Deputy Director & 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

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

Stavan Corbett

External Relations Manager

Currently serves as External Relations Manager for Workforce Connections; he holds local, state and national policy experience, and has served as an education official at local and state levels and has led as an executive in the education and social enterprise sectors.

A native of Las Vegas, Stavan served on the Clark County Board of School Trustees from 2013 to 2015 and was elected to the Nevada State Board of Education where he served as President of the Board.

Serving in executive leadership, case management for youth and families, including the role of administrator at Nevada State College, Stavan has developed and implemented evidence-based programs in the areas of educational instruction, mentoring, life skills, workforce development, substance abuse prevention and juvenile re-entry initiatives.

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Stavan Corbett

Stavan Corbett

External Relations Manager

Jeannie Kuennen

Program Manager

Jeannie Kuennen serves as a Program Manager for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s Workforce Development Board. She performs contract oversight, training and technical assistance for grant awardees.

Prior to joining Workforce Connections in 2009, Jeannie spent over 10 years working with non-profit agencies providing workforce development services. She has over 20 years of experience working in workforce development programs.

Jeannie is a native of northern Idaho and moved to Las Vegas with her husband, Mike, in 2002. She attended the University of Idaho and Western Governors University and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

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Jeannie Kuennen

Jeannie Kuennen

Program Manager

Alletha Muzorewa

Program Manager
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Alletha Muzorewa

Alletha Muzorewa

Program Manager

MaryAnn Avendano

Senior Financial Analyst
mavendano@nvworkforceconnections.org

MaryAnn Avendano serves as a Senior Financial Analyst for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board. She performs high-level internal accounting duties and provides training and oversight for grant sub-awardees.

Prior to joining Workforce Connections in 2006, MaryAnn spent six years doing non-profit and grant accounting at several local non-profit agencies.

MaryAnn was raised in Las Vegas. She graduated from Bonanza High School and attended UNLV where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Accounting.

She is married to Ramon Avendano and is the proud mom of two daughters, Maya and Isabel.

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MaryAnn Avendano

MaryAnn Avendano

Senior Financial Analyst

Gerri Schroder

Project Specialist
gschroder@nvworkforceconnections.org

Gerri Schroder was elected at large to the Henderson City Council in April 2007 and re-elected in April 2011 and 2015, representing Ward I. Gerri served with the mayor and fellow council members as the legislative branch of the Henderson community, responsible for setting policies and making decisions concerning many aspects of local government for Nevada's second largest city, which has been recognized as one of the best places to live in America and one of the nation's safest cities. The City Council also approves the city’s budget.

As Councilwoman, Gerri represented the city as Chair of the Southern Nevada Workforce Connections Local Elected Official Consortium, the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition and the Clark County School District Oversight Committee on School Facilities. She served as the council representative on the Commission on Tourism and was a member of the Henderson Development Association and the Henderson Redevelopment Agency. Gerri previously served on the Governor's Workforce Investment Board Manufacturing Sector Council and the Mining and Materials Sector Council. She is also a member of the Henderson and Las Vegas Metro Chambers of Commerce and the Southern Nevada Child Drowning Prevention Coalition and a former member of the Asian, Latin and Urban Chambers of Commerce.

Gerri has served on numerous local boards and commissions including the National League of Cities Board of Directors and past President of the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities.

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Gerri Schroder

Gerri Schroder

Project Specialist

Alex Cisneros

Facilities Maintenance Technician
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Alex Cisneros

Alex Cisneros

Facilities Maintenance Technician

Vicky Lara

Administrative Specialist

Vicky Lara currently serves as an Administrative Specialist for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board. Primarily she performs administrative tasks to coordinate Project 354 Events, Work Ready Communities Meetings, and Job Developer Meetings; she has had multiple positions during her tenure at Workforce Connections.

Vicky graduated from Virgin Valley High School in 2001 and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004; she holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from UNLV.

Vicky speaks fluent in Spanish, loves to hike, and exercise; she also enjoys spending family time with her husband and two boys.

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Vicky Lara

Vicky Lara

Administrative Specialist