“Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work – and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.” – Lucille Ball
Las Vegas native Veronica “Ronnie” Wilson is the Executive Director and Chief Development Strategist for Hero School Initiatives. Her vast knowledge, experience and work ethic span 30 years in myriad corporate leadership roles, and a dozen more years in the non-profit industry, Ronnie’s heroism and faith in people go well beyond that.
Ronnie entered the gaming industry as an accountant for the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas in 1973. We’re told she knew Dan Tanna personally. From 1978 to 1992, she was with the Maxim Hotel & Casino. During those fifteen years at the Maxim, she rose from a supervisor in accounting to their Director of Internal Audit and then finally, Controller. In 1992, Ronnie was selected as Chief Financial Officer for JMJ Management and for its resort property, the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Rarer still for a woman in this era and industry, Ronnie became the corporation’s CEO, serving from 1993 until the Aladdin’s closure in 1997 to make way for the new Planet Hollywood Resort.
Ronnie continued to serve as JMJ’s President/CEO until leaping – in a single bound – into the non-profit arena.
Appointed in May of 2000 to the Board of Directors of the Blind Center of Southern Nevada, Ronnie was selected as its President/Chief Executive Officer in September and later as the Executive Director. The Blind Center of Southern Nevada is an organization offering an array of services and programs that address the needs of people with visual impairments. Ronnie led the organization through staggering growth over the next 14 years, including developing sustainable funding for the vision-impaired through an innovative computer and television recycling program.
It was during her sabbatical after the passing of the love of her life, her husband Lou, that she discovered Hero School.
Learning while working. Character, Faith. and Heroic Action not only define Ronnie, they are at the core of her many longtime relationships and her recent desire to lead, grow and advance Hero School Initiatives, the non-profit organization built on these virtues in 1995.
Today, Ronnie leads a tribe of extraordinary entrepreneurs, students, professionals and action heroes as they daily impart “old school” technologies like character, wisdom and “work ethic” through Hero School’s cutting-edge strategic interventions, employment resource programs and Breakthrough Academies for struggling adults, youth and families throughout Nevada.
Ronnie regularly works into the wee small hours and appreciates visits from friends and supporters, especially when they bring her coffee, a donation for the charity and great travel stories. She remains a Director for Boyd Gaming Corporation, is a proud mother to daughter Devon, a UCLA alumna, and is a constant beacon of hope to her loving friends and family as well as every stranger and volunteer.
Ronnie can be reached at (702) 795-7000 or at Ronnie@HeroSchool.us:
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