Photo caption: Connie Brennan, Publisher/CEO Nevada Business Magazine; Terry Shirey, President/CEO Nevada State Bank; Lyle Brennan, Publisher Nevada Business Magazine; Shannon Petersen, EVP/Corporate Banking Manager Nevada State Bank

Nevada State Bank was proud to sponsor the inaugural Nevada Business Awards, recognizing companies across the state that have persevered through ups and downs while helping their communities. Presented by Nevada Business Magazine, the awards recognized outstanding companies in eight different categories, with an independent panel of judges choosing a northern Nevada winner and southern Nevada winner in each category.

The theme for this year’s awards was “Battle Born,” a term that especially applies to Nevada businesses and entrepreneurs who have experienced a rollercoaster of economic cycles over the past decade. The companies profiled here are just a small sampling of the businesses that help support Nevada’s economy and its communities. For a complete list of the nominees and their profiles, visit  

OTHERS FIRST: Philanthropy and Giving (North)

Nevada Gold Mines

A joint venture between Barrick and Newmont, Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) is the single largest gold-producing complex in the world. Leadership at the organization believes that profitability and corporate social responsibility go hand in hand. In 2020, the company invested $2.35 billion in Nevada communities. In addition, it provided $9.9 million in COVID relief to Nevada’s at-risk populations and invested $5.5 million in education.

NGM is helping to fund the Elko Area Digital Transformation Project, which will bring reliable high-speed internet services to all citizens of Elko, Spring Creek, and Lamoille. It will lend Anthem Broadband $10 million for the project through NGM’s I-80 Fund program, a rural economic development initiative that supports small business development and helps stimulate economic growth in northern Nevada. 

The company’s new employee giving campaign, the Heritage Fund, includes an employee-driven campaign to support nonprofit organizations today and an Endowment Fund to support community needs into the future. Through the Heritage Fund, NGM employees have the option to support non-profit organizations of their choice. The company provided all 7,000 employees with $25 to start their giving account and will match 120 percent of each employee contribution to qualified organizations or to the Endowment Fund. NGM also invested an initial $500,000 to kick off the Endowment Fund portion of the program.

BATTLE BORN: Matured Business (South)

Comprehensive Cancer Centers

In 2002, Southwest Cancer Clinic and Nevada Radiation Oncology Centers, which had been helping patients with cancer since 1974, united under one name — Comprehensive Cancer Centers — to maximize the delivery of cancer-fighting treatments and therapies. Today, Comprehensive is a multi-specialty practice with 15 treatment centers and offices throughout southern Nevada.

Comprehensive has been involved in many advances in cancer treatments since 1974.

Treatments are becoming more targeted and personalized,” said Jon Bilstein, the group’s executive director. “Within the past 50 years, all new cancer treatments have come as a result of research and clinical trials. Comprehensive participates in more than 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical research trials each year, and has helped develop more than 100 FDA approved cancer therapies. Since 2019, Comprehensive has opened six new groundbreaking clinical trials, enrolling the first patients in the world on novel treatments.”

He added, “There is a misperception that you need to travel [outside Nevada] for care. And, in so many instances, particularly when it comes to cancer care, that is simply not the case. With this award, we can make you this promise: We’re not stopping here. We look forward to supporting and strengthening the community for many years to come.”

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Family-Owned Business (North)

Fingerprinting Express

Fingerprinting Express is a family-run business that has grown from one shop to five locations and 20 employees. Rebecca Riersgard and her daughter Monica Pappas founded the company in Reno in 2003, and Pappas took over operations when her mother retired in 2016. Following in the family tradition, Monica's son, Jared Forbes, works at FE’s Reno shop. 

Realizing that customer service would play an important part in the company’s success, Pappas developed their “Culture To Care”™ philosophy. “In line with caring about our fellow citizens and our community members who need support, since our inception in 2003, we have discounted over $750,000 in fingerprinting fees for nonprofits, volunteers and public school teachers,” said Pappas.

In addition to Livescan inkless fingerprinting technology, the company offers several related services, including Notary Public services, passport and visa photos, secure paper shredding, and even mobile fingerprinting and notarizing. They now have locations in Reno and Carson City and three stores in Las Vegas.

“Working with family has different dynamics and challenges than only having employees,” said Pappas. “We hold family accountable to the same policies set for staff. Taking off my ‘mom hat’ and my ‘wife hat’ and putting on my ‘boss hat’ is necessary at times. All-in-all, having family working in the business gives me peace of mind and ultimate trust that our culture, customer service and procedures are followed and set a good example for our team.”

SPIRIT OF NEVADA: Business of the Year (South)

American Nevada Company

Founded in 1972 by Hank and Barbara Greenspun, American Nevada Company was formed to develop the 7,800 acres that today comprise Green Valley in Henderson. From master-planned communities to commercial development, American Nevada Company has grown into a nationally recognized real estate developer with projects throughout the southwest. American Nevada’s story illustrates how vision can change landscapes.

One current project is Fort Apache Professional Park, a 50,000-square-foot medical/office complex on five acres in the southwest valley. The $13 million project will feature six one-story buildings. Across the valley, ground was broken in January for Green Valley Town Center Apartments, located at Olympic Avenue, just west of Mountain Vista Street. The 259,000-square-foot project will contain 23 apartment buildings with 300 rental units, as well as a clubhouse and a co-working space for people working from home.

American Nevada is a strong supporter of the community and has given back in a multitude of ways. Notable contributions include: the Greenspun  College of Urban Affairs and the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, both housed on the UNLV campus;  Barbara Greenspun WomensCare Center of Excellence, in cooperation with Dignity Health; and substantial support for the Three Square food bank, the American Cancer Society, and many more local organizations.