In 1992, Las Vegas voters elected Jan Jones the first female mayor of the city by a wide margin and won reelection the following term. While mayor, Jones excelled at coalition building and led the city during a period of tremendous growth. Her influence went beyond the mayor’s office, as she served as a mentor to numerous women in the fields of politics and business.
Jan Lyle Laverty grew up in southern California and graduated from the Marlborough School for Girls in Santa Monica in 1967. She went to Europe briefly after high school, but returned to the United Stated and attended Stanford University where she earned a degree in Psychology and English. While in school she worked as a cocktail waitress, moving through the ranks into management for the restaurant, a position she held for ten years. She later went to work for her father’s grocery company, Thriftimart, and appeared in commercials for the business.
After rekindling her high school romance with Fletcher Jones, she married him and together they started a family. She eventually became president of Fletcher Jones management, overseeing operations of the automobile dealerships in California and Nevada.
In 1990, Jan was appointed to the Governor’s Executive Committee on Women. In 1992, she ran for Mayor of Las Vegas on a platform of teamwork and planning, easily winning the office. She served as mayor until 1999, a period of unprecedented growth for the city, including the development of the Fremont Street Experience and the Regional Justice Center. Jones also developed many public/private partnerships in the city, making it one of the best places to do business according to Fortune magazine.
Jones currently holds the title of Senior Vice President of Communications and Government Relations for Caesars Entertainment. She oversees the government affairs of the global company, corporate communications, community relations, and corporate-social responsibility programs. She has developed a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity and promoting environmental stewardship corporation-wide. She has also been proactive in supporting women in the gaming industry and is on the steering committee for the American Gaming Association’s recently formed Global Gaming Women initiative. As a key figure in the industry, Jones received the association’s 2011 lifetime achievement award for gaming contributions.
She is also a member of various community boards and organizations, including the Nevada Public Radio and the Women’s Campaign Fund. She also serves as a director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Campaign Fund in Washington D.C. She is also a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is married to Dana Blackhurst, an education professional.
Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
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