Affectionately known as “Miss Kitty” to friends and acquaintances, Kitty Rodman’s unassuming and modest demeanor has endeared her to many in southern Nevada where she is known as a businesswoman and philanthropist.
A native of Virginia, Rodman came to Las Vegas in the early 1950s and quickly capitalized her willingness for self-improvement into a successful career in the field of construction. In 1953, Rodman partnered with Gus Rapone and Bill Koerwitz, in a new construction company, Sierra Construction Corporation. A second construction company, R-K-R Construction, was established in 1959. In the years following, these two companies were responsible for much of the changing Las Vegas skyline, including the construction of casinos; banks; schools; and buildings at UNLV, Nellis Air Force Base, and the Nevada Test Site
A rising star in the business sector, Rodman still found time to give back to the community. In 1954, she became an early supporter of the Opportunity Village. She continues her support to this day. Rodman rallied for support and the construction of the Las Vegas Easter Seal Treatment Center, which opened in 1966. In recognition of her continued service to the community and the handicapped, the local Easter Seal Society presented Rodman with their Silver Lily Award in 1979. A member of the Executive Women International since 1955, Rodman has also shared her time and wisdom with young women embarking on their professional careers, encouraging not only self-improvement, but also a willingness for community service.
Another beneficiary of Rodman’s longtime support, the University of Nevada Las Vegas named a residence hall in her honor in 1991 and presented her with an honorary doctorate in 1995. Meeting the needs of our growing university, Rodman’s gift to UNLV helped establish the Physical Therapy Program in 1997. Her involvement continues as a member of the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees Executive Committee.
Her breadth of activity and service is seen in our skyline and felt in our hearts as Kitty Rodman has quietly improved the lives of Las Vegans from all walks of life.
Clipping files, Women’s Research Institute of Nevada, UNLV.
Photo courtesy of UNLV Special Collections.
May not be reproduced without the special permission of UNLV Special Collections.