Conference Luncheon Speakers


Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval was elected the 30th Governor of Nevada in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. In 2005 he was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Nevada and in 2002 he was elected Attorney General of Nevada. He has previously served the Nevada Gaming Commission and in the Nevada Legislature.

His accomplishments as Governor include work to make Nevada the most veteran and military-friendly state in the nation, innovative gaming policy and sweeping reforms to the state’s public education system.

The hallmark of the Governor’s administration is his vision for transforming and modernizing Nevada’s education system. An unprecedented investment to reform Nevada’s education system was enacted in 2015 which will provide targeted programs to boost student achievement and equip students and teachers with the tools for success as innovators, job creators, and leaders of the new Nevada economy. 

During the 2015 Legislative Session a comprehensive plan to provide additional support to military veterans and their families through educational, employment and healthcare services was signed by the Governor. In addition to these policy changes, he also pursued substantial funding for veterans initiatives including state-match funding for construction of the Northern Nevada Veterans Home.

Governor Sandoval actively serves as Chairman of several Boards and Commissions for the State of Nevada. These include the Board of Finance, Board of Examiners, Board of Prison Commissioners, Board of Pardon Commissioners, Board of Transportation, Commission on Homeland Security, Board of Economic Development, and the Gaming Policy Committee.

The Governor has also held several national positions during his tenure including the chairmanships of the Western Governors Association, the Education Commission of the States, and the Council of State Governments. He was selected by his peers to serve as the National Governors Association (NGA) 2015-2016 Vice Chairman and 2018 Chairman.

Governor Sandoval received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Nevada in 1986 and his law degree from The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law in 1989. He has three children, James, Maddy, and Marisa. 


Joseph Okpaku
VP, Public Policy

Joseph Okpaku (oh-PAH-koo) is the Vice President of Public Policy at Lyft. Joseph oversees a team of over 30 people that has helped to create and implement, in less than four years, a nationwide legislative and regulatory framework for the ridesharing industry, including legislation in over 40 states and numerous municipalities. 

The Lyft public policy team has also been a leader in helping to shape the creation of the autonomous vehicle policy with a focus on the key role that ridesharing will play in the testing, deployment and adoption of AV technology. Joseph has testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well as at the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection about the role that ridesharing has to play in the coming autonomous vehicle revolution. 

Prior to joining Lyft's public policy team, Joseph served as Chief of Staff for Councilmember Ash Kalra in San Jose, CA. During his tenure with Councilmember Kalra, Joseph advised on all policy matters, including the development and implementation of a first-of-its-kind land use ordinance limiting the growth of payday lending businesses, and an ordinance banning smoking in outdoor dining areas. Joseph also advised on political strategy, oversaw media communications, and coordinated the response to all constituent concerns. 

Joseph, a native New Yorker, also worked for the Division of Enforcement of the New York Stock Exchanges's Regulation Department for six years, where he investigated a large-scale trading violations by member firms. Joseph also spent over four years working as an Assistant District Attorney with a specialization in prosecuting domestic violence crimes in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office under Robert Morgenthau

C.J. Manthe
Director, Department of Business and Industry

C.J. Manthe was appointed as the Director of the Department of Business and Industry by Governor Brian Sandoval, effective September 5, 2017. C.J. oversees 13 diverse state divisions and 12 boards, commissions and advisory committees. The divisions include such groups as the Athletic Commission, Financial Institutions Division and the Taxicab Authority.

Manthe has more than 30 years of management experience in both public and private sectors in the fields of banking, healthcare, public accounting, non-profits and state and local governments. Most recently, C.J. served as the administrator of the Nevada Housing Division for three years, where she led dynamic teams in the Carson City and Las Vegas offices. In this position, she worked with industry partners to revitalize homebuyer programs and helped more than 13,000 Nevadans achieve the dream of homeownership. Prior to her appointment as administrator, Manthe was the Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Nevada Rural Housing Authority.

Previously, C.J. was elected to serve as a council member for the City of Blaine in Washington State and as a county commissioner for Marathon County in Wisconsin. She earned a bachelors' degree in Managerial Accounting from the University of Wisconsin and is a certified public accountant.


Mark Shunock
Mondays Dark creator, Magic Mike Live MC, Vegas Golden Knights In-Arena Host

A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, Mark is a former member of the Canadian Hockey League.After his hockey days ended, he spent almost 10 years living in New York City performing on America’s premiere stages.He earned a Helen Hayes Nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Timon in Disney’s The Lion King. He recently starred in the Broadway Hit Rock of Ages at the Venetian/Palazzo in Las Vegas.You can now see him nightly as the MC is the sexy smash Magic Mike Live at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the in-arena host for the Vegas Golden Knights.

He is the creator of Mondays Dark, Vegas’ premiere variety show for a cause. Twice a month, Mark gathers an eclectic cast of guests for 90 minutes of chat, entertainment and a lot of laughs with a mission to raise $10,000 in 90 minutes. Mondays Dark has raised over $700,000, partnered with over 70 local organizations, and every penny has stayed here in Las Vegas.What’s raised in Vegas at Mondays Dark, stays in Vegas! Mondays Dark has been named “Best of the City” by Vegas Seven and “Best of Vegas” by Las Vegas Weekly.

Mark wanted to help his fellow entertainers and also take Mondays Dark to the next level. January 2017 marked the launch of The Space, Vegas’ first community driven, charity based arts complex. The Space consists of a state of the art raw performance and event space, multi-use rooms, a piano bar, and a back-space 100 seat black-box theatre. In its first year of operation, The Space has held over 150 events and has featured two Tony winners, an Emmy winner, and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Shunock received the 2014 Angel Award for Cultural Advocate/Entertainer of the Year and recently won Best Philanthropist from “Best of Las Vegas” and the Las Vegas Review Journal. He also received The Impact Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Las Vegas Chapter for Mondays Dark.