Edward R. Guthrie
Executive Director, Opportunity Village
Guthrie has served as the Executive Director for Opportunity Village since 1994. Prior to coming to Opportunity Village, Ed served as the Executive Director of similar organizations in upstate New York and Maryland for almost twenty years. Under his leadership, Opportunity Village has grown to become one of the top 5 custodial firms in southern Nevada. Opportunity Village serves 400,000 meals each year to the servicemen at Nellis AFB, and owns the 2nd largest document destruction firm in Las Vegas. Opportunity Village has also developed a number of leading edge rehabilitation programs during the last fourteen years, including the Job Discovery program (a school-to-work transition program), the P.R.I.D.E. program (a therapeutic day treatment program for people with severe intellectual & physical disabilities) and a down-payment assistance program to assist people with disabilities to purchase their own homes.
Ed served, for over 10 years on the Board of Directors for NISH (formerly National Industries for the Severely Handicapped). NISH is a national organization that works with 550+ community rehabilitation programs to provide jobs on federal contracts to over 40,000 people with severe disabilities through the AbilityOne program. Prior to joining the NISH Board, Ed was the Western Region representative of the National Council of Work Centers and represented the 100+ community rehabilitation programs in Nevada, California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Utah for six years.
Ed is a strong advocate for services for all people with disabilities in Nevada. He was successful in spearheading the passage of a new “state use” bill, similar to Abilityone, that has dramatically expanded employment opportunities for people with severe disabilities on service contracts with state and local government agencies. Governor Guinn appointed Ed to the Nevada Governor’s Council for Rehabilitation and Employment of People with Disabilities. Ed was also appointed Chair of the Nevada Rates Task Force, which was tasked, by the Governor and the Legislature, with performing a thorough review of all rates paid for health and human services by the State and any political subdivisions. Due in large part to Ed’s efforts, the Governor proposed, and the Legislature passed a rate increase of 7% in FY-2004 and 8% in FY-2005 for all community rehabilitation programs and residential providers.
Ed has previously served as the Chairman of the Older Americans/Disabilities Transportation Advisory Committee for the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), which advises the RTC on the transportation needs of people with disabilities and seniors. He has helped the RTC revise and improve the eligibility process for paratransit services and has assisted the RTC in developing an alternative to paratransit for people attending community rehabilitation programs. Because of his efforts, thousands of people with severe disabilities can access public transportation and are no longer prisoners in their own homes.
Currently, Ed serves on the Interagency Transition Advisory Board for the State of Nevada and was a member of the Nevada Special Needs Affordable Housing Task Force. He is also on the Nevada Community Health Charities Board, and is a member of Las Vegas Southwest Rotary, and a graduate of Leadership Las Vegas, Class of 1998.Ed met his wife, Sheral, at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 1973. They have a son, Jesse, who graduated UNLV and a daughter, Erin, who graduated from the University of Nevada – Reno. He loves hiking, reading, travel and UNLV sports teams.
Chief Development Officer
Foundation Associate Executive Director
For more 30 years, Linda Smith has revolutionized the principles of non-profit fundraising, community relations and event management in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a fundraising specialist for Opportunity Village, now Nevada’s largest organization for people with intellectual disabilities, she has gained an international reputation as an innovative leader, public speaker, and most of all, a humanitarian.
Linda has been a major force at Opportunity Village in planning and developing fundraising strategies, most notably the privately-funded, multi-million dollar capital campaigns to build the Opportunity Village campuses and training centers that have served thousands of disabled people. To date, Linda has raised more than $100 million dollars for Opportunity Village. During her career, she has originated and organized hundreds of innovative events to inform and educate the public. Linda is a willing mentor to non for profits in need of advice locally, nationally and internationally.
The Opportunity Village Resource Development Department, overseen by Linda, generates millions of dollars annually for programs through special events and annual giving programs she has largely pioneered. Career highlights as a fundraiser and administrator are numerous and impressive, and include:
- A five-year effort by Linda to involve superstar vocalist Celine Dion in the Opportunity Village mission, culminating in Ms. Dion’s selection of Opportunity Village as her charity of choice in Las Vegas, and in her performance at a benefit concert on the Las Vegas Strip.
- Creation of the Christopher Smith Endowment for Social Recreation and the Arts, through which people with profound intellectual disabilities have access to programs to enhance their physical and artistic abilities and their self-esteem.
- Capital campaigns and Endowment Campaigns totaling more than $100 million.
Other achievements and innovations include the annual star-studded Concert of Love on the Las Vegas Strip, which has generated millions of dollars; the Great Santa Run a record breaking event featuring thousands of runners in Santa garb and the Magical Forest outdoor holiday spectacular, which grosses more than $1,500,000.00 annually; and the initiation and development of the Opportunity Village Foundation, which governs a multi-million dollar endowment.
Active in various professional associations, Linda was named “Fundraising Executive of the Year” by the National Society of Fundraising Executives, of which she is a charter member. She received the Woman of Achievement Award from the Las Vegas Chamber. She recently received Best Buddies Super hero Award.
Mark L. Whitley
Chief Financial Officer
Associate Executive Director
Mark Whitley joined Opportunity Village as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2009 after a long and extensive search. Mark brings to Opportunity Village over 29 years of accounting and finance experience as a staff accountant, controller, and chief financial officer with larger and medium size companies, all in the private sector. His results oriented broad experiences in all aspects of accounting and financial management and proven success in the development and implementation of strategic planning, financial leadership utilizing sound business practices made Mark the “ideal candidate” as OV’s CFO. Currently, Mark has responsibilities for budget preparation, internal controls, financial reporting, information technology, benefits administration, Board of Director presentations, contract administration, cash management, risk analysis, and a variety of other financial and general management areas.
Mark comes to Las Vegas from North Carolina where he received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Appalachian State University. He earned his CPA certificate in 1982, and joined a telecommunications products distributor as Controller and was later named its Chief Financial Officer. In this role he helped guide the distributor to grow from a small regional presence into a national company with multiple locations and revenues in excess of $350 million.
Mark and his lovely wife recently celebrated their thirty-second anniversary. He is an avid golfer, enjoys running, reading, and watching college basketball. He is also the proud father of a daughter who is an attorney in North Carolina and is currently practicing public law.
Board MembersOpportunity Village Foundation Board of Directors
|Lance Earl – Chairperson
Jeff Cooper – 1st Vice Chairperson
Mark Stark – 2nd Vice Chairperson
Shannon McBeath – Secretary
Bill Oakley – Treasurer
Curt Anderson – Past Chairperson
Thomas A. Thomas
Opportunity Village ARC Board of Directors
|Carl Rowe – Chairman
Terri Peck – 1st Vice
Jeremy Aguero – 2nd Vice Chairman
Steve Hagstette – Secretary
Kevin Bethel – Treasurer
Bob Brown – Immediate Past Chairperson
Kimberly Maxson Rushton
Advisory Board Directors
Michael Gaughan, Sr
Lacy & Dorothy Harber
E. Parry Thomas