Shaping the Silver State: Celebrating Famous Women Entrepreneurs of Nevada

On Centre-stage: Some inspiring women entrepreneurs from Nevada

#NevadaEntrepreneurs #WomenInBusiness #EmpoweredInNV

Nevada is not just the land of glitz and glamour; it’s also home to a vibrant community of trailblazing women entrepreneurs, who are leaving their mark across various industries. From the early pioneers, who helped shape the state’s history to the modern-day visionaries leading innovative startups, Nevada has been a hotbed of female entrepreneurship for decades.

Remarkably, Nevada was among the few states to grant women the right to vote well before the passage of the 19th Amendment, laying the groundwork for a culture of female empowerment that continues to thrive today. In bustling cities like Las Vegas, this legacy of gender equality is evident, with over 22% of businesses being women-owned, surpassing the national average.

Despite its glittering reputation, Nevada offers far more than just entertainment. Known as the “Silver State,” it boasts a diverse economy spanning aerospace, defense, healthcare, mining, and tourism – making it an attractive destination for business ventures. Moreover, Nevada’s pro-business environment, characterized by tax incentives, relaxed filing requirements, and robust legal protections for business owners, further fosters entrepreneurial growth and innovation.

Here, we will shine a spotlight on some of the most notable women entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions to Nevada’s business landscape. From pioneers of the past to the disruptors of today – their stories serve as inspiring testaments to the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience thriving in the Silver State.

Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments and journeys of these remarkable women who are shaping the future of Nevada’s business community.

> Pamela & Christina Dylag, Owners, Velveteen Rabbit

Velveteen Rabbit is located in Downtown Las Vegas. And, it is a craft cocktail and beer bar in downtown’s Arts District. Most items on its cocktail menu change seasonally, except for one: the Auto-da-fé, which is garnished with a Communion wafer. The bar offers a range of specialty beers.

The two sisters, Pamela and Christina Dylag, own and operate the bar. It is a Victorian- style space, and interestingly, they have decorated it with antiques, vintage wallpaper, and local art. The Velveteen Rabbit is definitely worth a stop, specially if you plan to attend the neighborhood’s First Friday art events.

> Diana Bennett, Chairman of the Board & Co-Founder, Paragon Gaming

Diana Bennett is a second-generation casino operator. She was instrumental in starting Paragon Gaming, a developer of gaming-based properties.

Under her leadership, Paragon has expanded in Nevada and beyond. Besides, she is also a philanthropist and advocate for lifting others up. She has led charitable efforts through Paragon and supported many Nevada organizations such as Three Square Food Bank, Shade Tree, Communities in Schools Nevada, Child Focus and the Children’s Heart Foundation, among others.

> Ashley Frey, Co-Founder & Chief Storyteller, Frey Ranch Distillery

In 2006, Ashley Frey established Frey Ranch Distillery with her husband Colby.

Having a background in Public Relations and Marketing, she was able to leverage that to help the company grow over the years. She also handles day-to-day operations of the distillery and is closely involved in ensuring the ranch runs smoothly and continues to succeed. She enjoys her work immensely and it’s no wonder the business has grown.

> Elizabeth Blau, Founder & CEO, Blau + Associates

What’s amazing is that Elizabeth Blau started working in restaurants part time at 16 years old. Elizabeth Balu is Founder and CEO of Blau + Associates, which is a restaurant development firm dedicated to creating world-class hospitality experiences. In fact, she she credits the extraordinary culinary landscape of Las Vegas for elevating her career to new heights.

She has spent over three decades revolutionizing Las Vegas into a culinary hotspot. A James Beard Award Nominee and “Iron Chef America” judge, she’s a notable figure in the culinary world. She co-owns Honey Salt with her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla, and they partnered with Buddy Valastro to Open Buddy V’s Ristorante on the Las Vegas Strip. Besides, she also curated five restaurants at Parq Vancouver Resort & Casino, including a JW Marriott Honey Salt. Their most recent partnership with Hunt Realty, Crown Block, sits high above the iconic Reunion Tower in Dallas Texas offering stunning views and diverse menus.

A dedicated member of the Las Vegas community, she co-founded in 2020, the Woman’s Hospitality Initiative (WHI), a Las Vegas-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering women in the restaurant industry. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she co-founded Delivering with Dignity – a program delivering thousands of meals weekly to food-insecure individuals from local restaurants.

> Erica Mosca, Founder & Executive Director, Leaders in Training (LIT)

Erica Mosca started “Leaders in Training” as an official non-profit organization with her own savings. Today LIT empowers over 200 students annually with a 100% college acceptance rate.

Some of Mosca’s former 5th graders are now working full-time at places like PLAN, Teach For America and the United Way of Southern Nevada living out Mosca’s vision of change from the community, for the community. In the past decade Mosca raised nearly $2 million for East Las Vegas youth and parents as a BIPOC woman from a low-income background herself.

Currently Mosca serves on US Congressman Steven Horsford’s Equity Cabinet, the NV State Public Charter School Authority appointed by the NV State Board of Education and supports national US Air Force Spouse initiatives as an enlisted military spouse.

Recently she was awarded the 2022 NAACP Las Vegas Branch Legacy Builder Award and 2021 Asian Community Development Council InspirAsian Award.

> Joy Hoover, CEO + Founder, The Cupcake Girls

Joy Hoover is the CEO and Founder of The Cupcake Girls, a social media contract management company for small businesses. Additionally, she also offers training and coaching on social media for business. She has a passion for helping small business owners grow their business through social media and content marketing strategies.

Besides, she is a sought-after speaker and has been featured in several publications for her expertise in social media for small businesses.

What started as a simple gesture of bringing cupcakes into strip clubs ultimately led Hoover to establish The Cupcake Girls.

The Cupcake Girls is a non-profit that provides support and resources to people in the adult industry and aftercare to those affected by domestic sex trafficking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like