FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 7, 2021
Emerge Nevada Welcomes five New Board Members for 2021-2023
Las Vegas, NV – Each year, Emerge Nevada proudly welcomes new members to our Board of Directors — dynamic leaders who help drive our mission to bring more women to power. After receiving many phenomenal nominations and holding dozens of interviews, we are thrilled to welcome Briana Escamilla, Britton Griffith, Fahima Khalaf, Blanca Ortiz, and Kristee Watson to the Emerge Nevada board!
This powerhouse group will join current board members to lead our organization during an exciting time, as Nevada transitions from the legislative session and heads into midterm elections. Briana, Britton, Fahima, Blanca, and Kristee are committed to empowering more women to run for office and growing our support networks.
Briana Escamilla is the former Nevada State Director for the Human Rights Campaign and has a background in organizing, which she put to excellent use making sure a same-sex marriage ban was removed from the Nevada Constitution through the Yes on Question 2 campaign in 2020. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley and just finished the Fannie Lou Hamer Fellowship at the Sander Phillips Center. A proud Latina lesbian, Briana is engaged to her long-time partner.
TW: @escamillabriana IG: @brianaescamilla
Britton Griffith is an alumna of the Class of 2020. Vice President of Reno Engineering Corporation, a civil design and development services company celebrating over 23 years in Nevada. She is the past Vice Chair of the City of Reno Planning Commission, she has more than 12 years of Business Development and leadership expertise, assisted in the development of Reno’s Master Plan and Code update and Downtown Reno Streetscape Plan. In the past decade, she has served and founded over 20 boards and committees, ranging from youth homelessness to downtown beautification and economic development. She is an acclaimed columnist, community advocate and philanthropist for her community.
TW: @BrittonGriffith IG: @britton.griffith
Fahima Khalaf is a proud first-generation Palestinian-American. She is an Emerge Nevada Class of 2020 alumna, a grassroots community organizer and speaker, and the Vice President and co-owner of Kalifano, an eclectic retail family business of Native American jewelry, crystals, gemstones, high-end fossils, minerals, and recycled metal art. She serves on the Boards of Battle Born Progress, Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada, and Al Maun Neighborly Needs while also representing the Muslim community as a grassroots organizer and advocate. She has led numerous fundraising efforts and events for Underprivileged and marginalized communities in Nevada and around the World. She loves to educate and teach beyond the stereotypes of Islam. She is a dedicated wife, loving mother of four children, avid reader, traveler and succulent gardener. Fahima has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from Regis University.
TW: @Fahimakhalaf IG: @themodernmuslimmommy
Blanca Ortiz is a producer with Mi Tele TV. Previously, a radio host with El Concilio Hispano Media Group, as host and producer of Trabajando para Las Vegas radio show on La Voz de Nevada. In her years of campaigning experience, Blanca has served as the Deputy Coalitions Director for the Joe Biden campaign, Field Organizer and Conventions Manager for the Nevada State Democratic Party, Field organizer for the Elizabeth Warren campaign, Legislative Engagement Organizer for Nevada Conservation League and Field Organizer with Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future to pass a higher Renewable Portfolio Standard for Nevada. Blanca is also a fitness expert and former personal trainer. Proud Nevadense for over 25 years and proud daughter of immigrant parents.
TW: @Blanca4F IG: @blancaortiz2020
Kristee Watson is a stay-at-home mom to two young children and longtime community advocate. As a two-time candidate for Nevada State legislature, Kristee continues to fight to strengthen public education, end gun violence, and make healthcare a right. She has worked with Spread the Word Nevada and volunteers with Moms Demand Action.
TW: @KristeeWatson IG: @kristeeleighwatson
Already, Emerge Nevada has trained more than 250 women since our founding, and 35 of our alumnae are currently serving in public office throughout the state. Our board members bring invaluable skills, experiences, and knowledge that will help elect more women — women who reflect our communities, our needs, and our priorities. From leading campaigns for civil rights to organize their neighborhoods to running for office to fundraising, these women know how to do it all, and will work through the programs and projects of Emerge Nevada to share that expertise with our alumnae and recruits.
Our new board members join Emerge Nevada’s current Board of Directors, which includes:
Board President: Denise Lopez
Board Vice President and Secretary: Kelli Kelly
Board Treasurer: Atiya Boddie
Board members: Carolina Chacon, Kali Fox Miller, Kanesha Lenore Jean-Baptiste, Sena Loyd, Layke Martin, and Nicole Murray.
All this week, we’ll be sharing more about our new board members on social media, so make sure to follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to learn about each wonderful woman.
Thank you for your support,
Denise Lopez, Board President