Commission Members

The Equal Rights Commission Board Members

The Equal Rights Commission is led by administrator, Kara Jenkins. Similar to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), NERC is also comprised of an appointed board which includes five members who represent the community. The current membership includes:

Connye Harper, Chair

Previously a litigator, Connye Harper’s practice now focuses entirely on preventive counseling, policy development, staff training regarding labor and employment issues, conflict resolution and nonprofit management. With over 40 years of experience, she is a recognized expert in the field of employment practices, including implicit bias, age discrimination and sexual harassment, and she has been quoted in many newspaper articles and magazines addressing these issues.

She has been a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan since 1976 and a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers since 2004.

She currently serves as Chapter President of the Southern Nevada affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, Vice Chairman of the 20 Pearls Foundation, a 501c3 Nevada nonprofit and a member of the Board of Directors of ACLU Nevada. Ms. Harper holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, a BA degree in Journalism from the University of Michigan and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has also successfully completed several courses in Pepperdine Law School’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Previously a litigator, Connye Harper’s practice now focuses entirely on preventive counseling, policy development, staff training regarding labor and employment issues, conflict resolution and nonprofit management.

With over 40 years of experience, she is a recognized expert in the field of employment practices, including implicit bias, age discrimination and sexual harassment, and she has been quoted in many newspaper articles and magazines addressing these issues.

She has been a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan since 1976 and a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers since 2004.

She currently serves as Chapter President of the Southern Nevada affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, Vice Chairman of the 20 Pearls Foundation, a 501c3 Nevada nonprofit and a member of the Board of Directors of ACLU Nevada. Ms. Harper holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, a BA degree in Journalism from the University of Michigan and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has also successfully completed several courses in Pepperdine Law School’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Tiffany Young, Secretary

Ivette Fernandez

Ivette Fernandez has over 20 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She currently serves as the Vice President of Government Relations for Endeavor- the parent of multiple entertainment companies, including UFC, William Morris Endeavor, IMG, Professional Bull Riders and Miss Universe.

Prior to joining Endeavor, Ivette worked for Stand Together, The LIBRE Institute, News Corp and Pfizer Inc. Prior to joining the private and non-profit sectors, she worked for President George W. Bush at The White House, as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and in the U.S. Senate for twoof Alaska's senators.

Ivette has been recognized for her contributions to the community by numerous entities, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Eielson Air Force Base,Alaska; LATINO Magazine; and The Latino Coalition. She was honored with the United Way of NYC’s 2012 Women’s Leadership Council “Woman of Distinction Award,” and selected one of PODER Magazine’s 2013 “20 under 40: Latinos Going Places.” In summer 2008, Ivette was the feature of LATINA Style Magazine’s article “Inspirational Latina, Ivette Fernandez,” and was 1 of 15 nationwide recipients in 2006 recognized as a Hispanic American leader by the Government of Spain’s “Young Hispanic Leaders Program,” where she was honored by HRH Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.

Ivette is a Commissioner on the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, Board Member and Vice Chair of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino,and a Member of the Winning for Women Advisory Committee, Hispanic Scholarship Fund Las Vegas Advisory Council, and Junior League of Las Vegas. She participated in a cultural study abroad to Argentina in college and was selected to be a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student to Sweden in high school. Ivette hastraveled to over 30 countries and 30 states in the U.S. and speaks three languages.

Ivette was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in 2000, won the title of Miss Alaska USA and Miss Congeniality and competed in the 2001 Miss USA Pageant. In 1999, she was selected to be Alaska’s Cherry Blossom Princess in the world-renowned Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, and was crowned Senorita Latina of Fairbanks in 1990.

Ivette received her Bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and her Master’s degree from Georgetown University.

Professor Ngai Pindell is Vice Provost and Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is also a member of the faculty at the William S. Boyd School of Law where he teaches and writes in the areas of property law, wills and trusts, affordable housing, community development,and local government law. He earned his J.D. degree in 1996 from Harvard University. After graduation, Professor Pindell practiced community development law in a nonprofit law firm in Baltimore, Maryland. He was later a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law where he taught the Community Development Clinic before coming to the Boyd School of Law in 2000. Professor Pindell also has an interest in gaming and how gaming resorts affect the cities and communities they are situated in. As Director of Gaming Programs at Boyd, he helped develop the law school's Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in Gaming Law and Regulation. He also holds the International Gaming Institute Professorship and works closely with the International Gaming Institute and the International Center for Gaming Regulation on campus and community projects.

Ngai Pindell

Krista Wahnefried

Krista Wahnefried is an accomplished environmental consultant who is passionate about science, social justice, and education. Krista is an Environmental Scientist with McGinley & Associates, and serves as the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment lead for the Reno, Nevada office. Her professional interests and experiencefocus on environmental due diligence for commercial real estate transactions, natural resources, and hazardous materials management.

Krista is currently a member of the philanthropy committee for the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) association of Northern Nevada, and is a proud supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. As a member of theNevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) appointed in November 2018, Krista looks forward to serving the people of Nevada for years to come.

Prior to her current position with McGinley & Associates, Krista worked as a scientist with several other environmental consulting firms, as a laboratory instructor and teaching assistant at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, as a botanist with the United States Bureau of Land Management, and as a naturalist with the Girl Scouts of America. Krista also owned and operated a small event florist business; her favorite project was donating floral arrangements to “Quinceañera sin Alcohol”in Phoenix, a free program providing education and support to at-risk young women and their families. She has also spent time as a STEM education intern, volunteering with a LGBTQ youth support group, and serving on a civil rights and social action fundraising board. Krista enjoys being politically active and has been involved with several efforts to increase voter registration and participation in her community.

Krista was born and raised in La Cañada Flintridge, California and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University in 2010. She has since lived and worked in a number of areas throughout the western United States. Krista is proud to now call Reno, Nevada her home where she lives withher husband, Nick, and their two dogs Sophie and Porter.