Who run the valley? Girls.

Grow up in a certain era or watch enough Mad Men, you may think women have “their place”. The secretary, the homemaker, the mom. Well, this isn’t your grandpa’s world. This isn’t a television show. Women in Las Vegas are powerful and successful. Their place? In the boardrooms and at the head of some of the most powerful desks in Las Vegas and beyond.

Powerful Women Have Long Been A Part Of The Fabric Of Las Vegas

The valley has always had powerful women. Anne Henrietta Martin led the women’s suffrage movement in Nevada. Her hard work led to Nevada giving women the right to vote six years before the nation passed the 19th amendment. She was also the first woman to ever run for the United States Senate.

Maude Frazier moved to Las Vegas in 1906 to serve as a teacher. She then became a principal and then the Superintendent of the now Clark County School District. She went on to help establish UNLV, then become a state assemblywoman and served as the 22nd ever Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, the first woman to hold the position.

Even women like Patsy Cline, who was the first female country artist to ever headline in Las Vegas or Anna Bailey who was the first black showgirl in the history of the city.

Heck the city itself was birthed thanks in part to Helen Stewart. She ran the Old Mormon Fort which is really the spark that led to the founding of Las Vegas. Her work inevitably led to Las Vegas becoming a population hub that we see today, which is why she is known as “the first lady of Las Vegas.”

The number of powerful women that have left their mark on Las Vegas is far too long to list, but we have done our best to boil it down to five of the most powerful women of the moment in our city.

  • Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman

    Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman on blue background

    Mayor Carolyn Goodman has served as the Mayor of Las Vegas since 2011.

    It goes without saying that Mayor Carolyn Goodman has made her mark on the city. After her husband Oscar met his term limit in 2011, the city decided they wanted the leadership of Carolyn who, in turn, has reached her term limit. She is the founder of highly regarded The Meadows School. Her hard work to try to bring professional sports to Las Vegas during her term has absolutely bore fruit. While many of the pro teams we associate with the city fall outside of her jurisdiction, there is no question that her full-throated support of the concept has helped make the valley the hotbed of professional sports that we see today.

  • Sandra Douglass Morgan, President Of Las Vegas Raiders

    las vegas raiders president sandra douglass morgan gesturing with her hand on dark background

    Sandra Douglass Morgan is only the third female ever to serve as an NFL team president.

    Speaking of women and professional sports in Las Vegas, there are several to choose from. Las Vegas Aces A’ja Wilson and coach Becky Hammon would be amazing picks, but we gotta give the nod to Las Vegas Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan. She is the first ever Black woman, and Asian woman, to ever serve as president of an NFL franchise. Before taking the mantle at the head of the Silver & Black table, she served as an attorney for The Mirage, the city of North Las Vegas and headed the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Plus, she is Las Vegas born and raised!

  • Miriam Adelson

    Miriam Aadelson making heart sign with her fingers

    As one of the richest people on the planet, Miriam Adelson has made sure to affect change wherever she can for organizations and causes she cares about.

    When you hear the last name Adelson, you are unquestionably thinking powerful. Miriam Adelson holds a lot of power as one of the richest people on the planet (ranked 42nd in the world from Bloomberg). Not only locally but internationally as well. She has used her fortune from ownership of Las Vegas Sands to gain favor in Washington DC, support her birthplace of Israel, and most recently buy the Dallas Mavericks from fellow billionaire Mark Cuban.

  • Judge Mary Kay Holthus

    While Department XVIII Judge Mary Kay Holthus recently made headlines for being on the wrong end of a madman’s leap in court, she has been a legal powerhouse in the valley for many years. She served in the Clark County District Attorney’s office for 27 years before making the jump to behind the bench in 2019. She now finds herself presiding over important cases in our community, and will soon be overseeing the case of the “fake electors” case. Plus UFC President Dana White thinks she’s pretty tough.

  • Restaurant Entrepreneur Elizabeth Blau

    elizabeth blau in front of green step and repeat sign

    Elizabeth Blau has been one of the driving forces in revolutionizing Las Vegas dining.

    If you have had a great meal in Las Vegas, chances are you’ve eaten at one of Elizabeth Blau’s restaurants. From Honey Salt to Buddy V’s Ristorante to the former (and very missed) Andiron in Downtown Summerlin, Elizabeth’s eye for culinary excellence has made her an international star. She helped bring Le Cirque to Bellagio, oversaw dining at the Wynn, and has several restaurants in Las Vegas, Vancouver BC and beyond. She has been a driving force from making Las Vegas the “cheap shrimp cocktail” place to one of the top dining destinations in the world.

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