Donors are the lifeblood of every nonprofit and FIT is no exception. Our benefactor organizations and people are those who make it possible for us to fulfill our mission. They provide the means for us to be able to offer vocational education leading to industry recognized credentials. Their generosity not only pays for case management, books and school supplies, but they also give us the means to be able to provide food vouchers to families who are hungry, bus passes to clients to get to and from school and interviews and workforce prerequisites like workboots, tools required for employment and sheriff cards. Our success begins with their generosity and thrives only because of it.
In this section, we will share highlights of some of our special donors: the people who make FIT possible.
Bank of America
In 2020, Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow was proud to be named an awardee of Bank of America's prestigious Neighborhood Builders grant. Bank of America and FIT have similar goals as we both aim to address issues fundamental to economic mobility. This includes our work in providing specialized job training for careers to benefit Southern Nevada's workforce development.
As an awardee, FIT received a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training to cover topics ranging from strategic storytelling to human capital management, as well as access to a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand our impact.
We are incredibly grateful to Bank of America for the honor of being named one of this year's Neighborhood Builders and we look forward to launching pilot programs that we anticipate will have an immeasurable positive impact on our community's continued economic recovery.
The people of Bank of America
Al Welch is Market President for Bank of America in
Las Vegas and has played an instrumental role in the
development of key FIT offerings, including our very
first Young Adult Incentive Program where he served
as keynote speaker during the program's launch.
Dan Giraldo is Senior Vice President, Local Market
Organization at Bank of America and has
contributed significantly to the ongoing pursuit
of our mission by participating on our Board of
Directors since 2016.
Findlay Automotive Group
Since 2014, the family of the Findlay Automotive Group have been benefactors to FIT. Through them, we have been highlighted in many media spots and local talk shows. Through their financial support, we have grown the FIT program and to award tuition scholarships to many southern Nevadans who otherwise could not afford a quality secondary education.
The Findlay Automotive Group was founded in 1961 when Pete Findlay opened Findlay Oldsmobile in Las Vegas. Pete Findlay retired in the 1980s and was succeeded by his son, Cliff Findlay. Today the organization is being led by the 3rd generation of Findlay’s with Cliff’s sons Justin and Robby Findlay in leadership roles while the day to day operations are managed by Tyler Corder, the Chief Financial Officer.
In 1990 Findlay was awarded the Saturn franchise for Las Vegas and the growth of the organization began. In 1992 and 1993 two dealerships were acquired in Arizona. In 1995 and 1996 two additional Saturn facilities were opened. Toyota was opened in 1998 and additional dealerships were added over the ensuing years. The organization now represents 24 new vehicle franchises and includes a total of 33 dealerships in 6 western states.
The Findlay dealerships are frequently recognized by the automobile manufacturers with the highest dealership awards for both sales volume and customer satisfaction. Findlay Automotive Group employs nearly 2300 people and is one of the largest privately held companies headquartered in Nevada.
One of the core principles of the Findlay Automotive Group is involvement in the communities in which it operates. Every one of the 33 dealerships is involved in charities and community organizations in their areas. On a corporate basis the company has been a big supporter of organizations such as the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Heart Association and many other deserving charities.
The People of Findlay Automotive Group
Tyler Corder joined Findlay Automotive Group in 1994 as the Chief Financial Officer and was also named Chief Operating Officer in 1996. He is a graduate of Montana State University and was employed by General Motors Acceptance Corporation for 14 years prior to joining the Findlay organization. Tyler has acted in many community organizations and is past board president for SafeNest, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Red Cross. He also served on the board of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Tyler and his wife, Marsha, reside in Henderson, NV.
It is FIT’s honor to recognize Tyler Corder and the Findlay Automotive Group. Tyler personally has been pivotal in the growth and maturation of FIT. As a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, he participates in setting the policy of FIT and shaping its program. One of his most recent contributions comes in the form of the newly launched Automotive Technology class. Together with other colleagues at Findlay, in particular John Gonzales, Tyler helped us create a brand-new curriculum to put people on the first rung of a career ladder in Automotive Technology. This curriculum is very innovative, combining classroom education at FIT with hands-on learning at Findlay car dealerships. We believe it will be one of the premier classes of all the Standards of Excellence Academy curricula. Additionally, Tyler and Marsha Corder and the Findlay Automotive Group have been major financial contributors.
Tyler has chaired the Gala, our single special event fundraiser, for the past three years. Tyler has also introduced many new people and companies to FIT: people who have become FIT benefactors. Tyler and the Findlay Automotive Group have given of their time, talent and resources to help FIT actualize our mission: to help the unemployed and underemployed in southern Nevada achieve self-sufficient employment and escape dependence on public assistance.
Justin is the Director of Operations for Findlay Auto Group and is a 5th generation Nevadan born and raised in the Las Vegas Valley. Briefly leaving Las Vegas for college, Justin earned a golf scholarship to the University of San Francisco where he graduated cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in Business in 1996. After college Justin quickly entered the family business starting at Saturn of West Sahara in 1997 and graduating from the NADA dealer candidate academy in 1999. After working in various departments for numerous dealerships, Justin was given his first equity opportunity with Findlay Volkswagen in 2002. Under his leadership Findlay VW earned Volkswagens highest awards which opened the door to additional equity opportunities.
Currently Justin is the Director of Operations for 10 Findlay dealerships in Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. In 2014 Justin was awarded the Nevada Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award which is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted awards. Justin is also very active with Las Vegas non-profit organizations. He recently served on advisory boards for The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson, as well as currently serving on the Board of Directors for Southern Nevada Soccer Association and the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association.
Justin and his wife, Melissa, are residents of Henderson, Nevada and have 3 children Jaxson, Maddox, and Drake.
Robby is the Director of Operations for Findlay Auto Group and is a 5th generation Nevadan. He grew up in the Las Vegas Valley and graduated from Bishop Gorman High School. He went on to attend Ivy League, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2003 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. After graduation Robby decided to join the family business he began working at Findlay Volkswagen Henderson. Initially he worked as a sales consultant and later as a finance manager. In 2006 he became the sales manager at Saturn of Henderson. Eventually after completing NADA dealer candidate academy he assumed the position of general manager. In 2009 as Findlay Automotive continued to expand Robby took on the role of general manager at Findlay Toyota Flagstaff. Then in 2011 when Findlay Honda Flagstaff opened he assumed the position of general manager of that dealership as well.
Under his leadership both dealerships were tremendously successful. Findlay Toyota Flagstaff was awarded the prestigious president’s award 6 years in a row. Findlay Honda Flagstaff likewise won the President’s Award for 4 consecutive years. Additionally the Arizona Daily Sun named the Toyota dealership as the “Best Dealer in Flagstaff” 6 year in a row. Currently Robby oversees operations of several dealerships in multiple states. While winning factory and civic awards is a great honor. Throughout his career Robby has carried on the Findlay tradition of giving back to the community. Both dealerships were proud to support great institutions like Northern Arizona University, the YMCA, local schools, the Boys and Girls Club and worthy causes like pet adoption, cancer screenings and a whole lot more.
While in Flagstaff he served on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club as well as the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce. Robby and his wife, Sandy live in Henderson, Nevada and have 3 children.
At MGM Resorts, we have a long-standing legacy of investing in the communities where we operate. As a company we are so proud to align with the efforts of the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) and their Employment Empowerment Project. These supportive services offer a beacon of light for their clients, as they are able to receive one-on-one attention and customized resources.
Like FIT, we understand our responsibility to contribute to the social and economic progress of where we live. Our strategies aim to sustain and build on the best of a community, creating good jobs, strong wages, resilient skills, and workforce development opportunities for our neighbors. As a company, we are passionately committed to active engagement in volunteerism and philanthropic opportunities.
The people of MGM Resorts International
William (Bill) J. Hornbuckle is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), an S&P 500® global entertainment company featuring iconic hotels and casinos, meeting and conference spaces, live and theatrical entertainment experiences and an array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings across the globe. MGM Resorts’ portfolio includes some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry, such as Bellagio, MGM Grand, ARIA, Mandalay Bay and Borgata.
As Chief Executive, Mr. Hornbuckle oversees all aspects of MGM Resorts’ strategy, operations and hospitality and gaming development projects. This includes leading the company’s development efforts in Asia and its sports betting strategy. Mr. Hornbuckle served as President of MGM Resorts since 2012 and became Chief Operating Officer in 2019.
An experienced industry executive, Mr. Hornbuckle started and built his career at Mirage Resorts through a range of senior management positions. He was President and Chief Operating Officer for Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; President and Chief Operating Officer of the Golden Nugget in Laughlin; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Treasure Island and Vice President of Hotel Operations for The Mirage, which he opened in 1989.
A long-time resident of Southern Nevada, Mr. Hornbuckle is active in community service. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Three Square Food Bank, is the Founder of the Bank of George, a local banking and financial services institution, and is President of the Fulfillment Fund. Mr. Hornbuckle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Jyoti Chopra is Senior Vice President and Chief People, Inclusion and Sustainability Officer for MGM Resorts International, based in Las Vegas. She is responsible for leading Human Resources and Social Impact and Sustainability, oversees environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and is responsible for directing enterprise-wide human and social capital initiatives and serves as liaison to the Board of Directors’ corporate social responsibility committee. Ms. Chopra also oversees the MGM Resorts Foundation and community relations.
Ms. Chopra is an award winning talent, diversity, inclusion and sustainability leader. Prior to her role at MGM Resorts, she was Senior Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion and HR Operations and Transformation at Pearson Plc., an education technology and UK FTSE 100 company, where she was a member of the senior and human resources leadership teams.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Chopra served as Chief Diversity Officer and Managing Director of Global Citizenship and Sustainability for BNY Mellon as well as the global leader for communications and public relations at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and as a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch & Co.
Ms. Chopra began her career covering human development and issues affecting women and children at the United Nations. She was born and raised in London, England and holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in Journalism from New York University. She completed the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA with distinction from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.