CIS of Nevada Welcomes our New Board Members!

For Immediate Release:
March 31, 2017

Communities In Schools of Nevada Welcomes New Board Members

Jerrie E. Merritt and Ann Simmons Nicholson in 2017

LAS VEGAS – Communities In Schools (CIS) of Nevada welcomes two new members to its state Board of Directors roster ahead of the 2017-18 school year. Joining the board this year are Jerrie E. Merritt, senior vice president and community development manager for Bank of Nevada, and Ann Simmons Nicholson, president and founder of the Simmons Group.

Merritt’s banking career spans more than 35 years, and her community development responsibilities range from liaising with state agencies to working on community and economic development programs. She has served on the UNLV School of Medicine Community Advisory Board and as a mentor for the Clark County School District (CCSD) Reclaim Your Future program. Merritt currently serves on the board of the Urban Chamber of Commerce, The Links Inc., Coalition of 100 Black Women, Valley Hospital Medical Center, Help of Southern Nevada, American Business Women Association, Workforce Connections and The Champions Center Church. Merritt was also honored as a Woman to Watch in 2016 by VEGAS INC.

Nicholson, a recognized expert in strategic planning, talent management, human resources, organizational development and training, will lend her 30-plus years of experience with clients such as Boyd Gaming, Burke Construction, Niagara Water, and dozens of hotels, casinos and schools, to the development of CIS of Nevada. As a 20 plus-year resident of Las Vegas, Nicholson is a board member for Noah’s Animal House, United Way of Southern Nevada and Global Gaming Women. She is heavily involved with CIS of Nevada, Western Veterinary Conference, Safe Nest, along with Southern Nevada Children First, The Core Academy powered by The Rogers Foundation, Safe Nest and the Keep It Alive Foundation, among others.

The new members of CIS of Nevada’s board will join a collection of highly respected individuals that comprise the current board. Officers on the board of CIS of Nevada include Secretary Patricia Curtis (Snell & Wilmer, LLP), Treasurer Tom Edington (Western Pacific Insurance), Vice President Robert Glaser (BNY Mellon Wealth Management) and Chair Susie Lee. The current board is Elizabeth Blau (Blau & Associates), Edward Cecchi (Community Advocate), Tracy DiFillippo (Armstrong Teasdale), Ben Douglass (Community Advocate), LeeAnn Inadomi (Community Advocate), Marsha Irvin (Catapult Learning), William Knowlton (Community Advocate), Dana Lee (Community Advocate), Todd-Avery Lenahan (TAL Studio), Leslie Maple (Barrick Gold Corp.), Punum Mathur (Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation), Jennifer Oswald (NV Energy), Paul Phillips (Cox Business), Linda Richardson (Community Advocate), Amy Rossetti (Rossetti Public Relations), Blaine Tripp (Nothing Bundt Cakes), and Ray Trujillo (PSAV Presentation Services). Elaine Wynn (Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation) is the founding chairperson and Brad Burns (DR Horton) is an honorary board member.

CIS of Nevada is the state affiliate of the nation’s leading and most effective dropout prevention organization. Service nearly 60,000 students in 59 schools statewide, CIS of Nevada removes barriers to education stemming from poverty, giving all students a chance to succeed in the classroom and achieve in life. For more information on CIS of Nevada and its mission, please visit


About Communities In Schools of Nevada
Communities In Schools (CIS) of Nevada is the local affiliate of the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. Working with both schools and the surrounding community, CIS of Nevada does whatever it takes to help kids stay in school and succeed in life. Based directly inside schools, CIS of Nevada connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs.
Operating in 59 school sites in Western Nevada, Southern Nevada, and Northeastern Nevada, CIS of Nevada serves over 58,000 students. Nationally, CIS provides services in more than 2,200 schools in 26 states and the District of Columbia, serving 1.3 million young people and their families every year. As the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, CIS is the only program proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates. For more information, please see our website at

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