With guidance from CEO Michael Yackira, Sanchez worked with UNLV to set up a minor in renewable energy with a focus on solar power. A similar program was set up at UNR for geothermal energy.
Sanchez encourages NV Energy's employees to be active in their communities, and last year the firm's 3,000 employees completed 30,000 volunteer hours.
"For me, everything we do with respect to education is special," said Sanchez, who is on the Executive Committee of the Clark County Public Education Foundation. "This is our future work force, and NV Energy needs educated employees, engineers, biologists, geologists. We even have an archeologist that works for us. We need people in finance, lawyers of course, political scientists. That's why we are so focused on education."
In May, NV Energy granted $1,000 college scholarships to 95 Nevada students.
Sanchez has also previously served as chairman of the Latin Chamber of Commerce and is a current board member at Nevada Partners, a organization that conducts job training and youth programs.
Randy Garcia, 58 -- The Investment Counsel Company
Randy Garcia was in his first year of law school on a Fulbright scholarship when he realized he didn't want to practice law for the rest of his life.
Today, Garcia runs the Investment Counsel Company, which Barron's named the top investment firm in Nevada in 2010 and 2011.
"In this field, I felt the opportunities rested on my shoulders and it was a chance to create my own destiny," Garcia said.
Now, Garcia tries to shape the destinies of young Nevadans with support for scholarships and educational initiatives. He funds an MBA scholarship at UNLV, where he is on the UNLV Foundation board of trustees, and also donates money for undergraduate scholarships. Garcia helped pay for a program at Nevada State College that tries to set at-risk youth on the right path through college courses and mentoring, and he has sponsored programs at West Preparatory High School for kids to go to parks, museums and on other cultural trips.
"I'm most passionate about giving young adults an opportunity that they otherwise would not have," Garcia said. "I have strived to create positive, systemic change within the Hispanic community."
Brian Ayala, 47 -- Tags Evolution
For 25 years, Brian Ayala worked for Ayala's Inc., the airport concessions business his father started with a few candy stores that today has 150 employees and annual sales of $13 million.
More recently, Ayala and his wife, Michelle, branched out on their own with Tags Evolution, a jewelry and accessories retail store with locations at McCarran International Airport and the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
Ayala serves on the board of directors for the Latin Chamber of Commerce and Three Square food bank, which distributes 24 million pounds of food to the needy each year.
"I used to buy an extra Subway sandwich for a homeless person and finally a friend said to me, 'You know, you can do a lot more with that money,'" Ayala said.
The friend referred Ayala to Three Square.
Domingo Cambeiro, 71 -- Domingo Cambeiro Corp. Architects
It's hard to go anywhere in Las Vegas without seeing the work of architect Domingo Cambeiro, the mind behind the designs for the Thomas and Mack Center, Terminal C at McCarran Airport, the Clark County Government Center and more than 100 local schools.
Cambeiro, who emigrated from Cuba in 1962, founded his company in 1970 and immediately started employing sustainable practices into his designs.
"I was practicing sustainable architecture even years prior to it being a trend," Cambeiro said. "Form follows function and buildings have to be functional most of all. Then, the architect can add his flare."
For one of his early projects, a housing authority building, Cambeiro incorporated a solar heating system to cut down the facility's energy usage. He experimented with extra insulation, the thickness of walls and grey water recycling.
"I was a firm believer early on of using grass, but not too much," Cambeiro said. "Grass is good to soften the look of building, but I kept it to a minimum and complimented it with desert landscape."
Cambeiro is a strong supporter of education, has raised money through the Latin Chamber for scholarships and also has served as a mentor to younger students.
And he's still designing.
"I still got the fire in my belly, and I love architecture," he said. "I'm fired up every day, and I don't think I'll ever retire."
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