DETR Leadership

Dr. Tiffany G. Tyler-Garner

Director, Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

Dr. Tiffany Tyler-Garner was appointed as director of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) by Governor Steve Sisolak in early 2019. In this capacity, she serves as a member of the Governor’s cabinet overseeing the daily operations of DETR which includes more than 1,000 staff members in several offices throughout the state. Prior to becoming director of DETR, Dr. Tyler-Garner served as the chief executive officer of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Nevada since August 2016. In her capacity at CIS, she oversaw services provided to 68,000 students in 63 schools statewide including programs highlighting workforce development, youth development, reentry, and diversion. Prior to her service at CIS of Nevada, she was a chief operating officer at Nevada Partners where she was tasked with overseeing the administration of programs and services addressing Southern Nevada’s at-risk-adults and youth populations. Dr. Tyler-Garner holds a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; a Master of Science degree in Counseling, from California State University, Northridge; and a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Southern California. Dr. Tyler-Garner’s research interests include dropout prevention, district and school reform, youth development, and program evaluation.

Dennis Perea

Deputy Director, Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

Dennis Perea, deputy director for DETR, is charged with overseeing the department's workforce development initiatives in support of the state's demand-driven business occupations. Mr. Perea has responsibility for ensuring quality delivery of the state's employment and training, and enforcement programs. He has executive oversight of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, Vocational Rehabilitation Division, Research and Analysis, operations and financial management, as well as human resources and public affairs support services. He previously served as administrator for the Equal Rights Commission. He began his employment with the State of Nevada in January of 2007, working for DETR as the chief internal auditor. After his enlistment in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Perea graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Management Information Systems.

Renee L. Olson

Administrator for the Employment Security Division

Renee L. Olson serves as administrator for the Employment Security Division. Ms. Olson was appointed to this position in January 2012 and has been with DETR since 1994.  As administrator, she has served as both an officer on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) and as President of NASWA.  Prior to her appointment as administrator of the Division, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for the department.  As an administrator, she is charged with the oversight of the State’s Unemployment Insurance Program, which is responsible for the collection of employment taxes and the payment of benefits.  She is also charged with the State’s Workforce Development programs which include the federal Wagner Peyser, WIOA, Trade, and VETS programs and an employer-funded program called the Career Enhancement Program (CEP). Workforce Development programs offer job placement and training opportunities that assist businesses in meeting their employment needs and job seekers in returning to work through the State's workforce investment system, Nevada JobConnect. Lastly, Ms. Olson oversees the Commission on Postsecondary Education that is responsible for serving as the approval and licensing authority for degree-granting and non-degree granting for postsecondary educational institutions, both public and private and for-profit and not-for-profit. Prior to her service with DETR she was a Certified Financial Institutions Examiner for the state of Nevada for several years after having worked in banking early in her professional career.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a Certified Public Manager.

David Schmidt

Chief Economist for the Research and Analysis Bureau

David Schmidt has served as the Chief Economist for DETR’s Research and Analysis Bureau since February of 2018. As Chief Economist, he supervises the labor market and economic research activities of a staff of 30, administers the Bureau’s $4 million budget and provides useful analyses to departmental senior staff, other executive branch managers, public policymakers, the general public, and the media. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Schmidt served as the deputy chief financial officer for DETR’s Financial Management Division, where he managed the DETR Financial Management Unit, and DETR Unemployment budget activities. Mr. Schmidt obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Reno, Nevada.

Kara Jenkins

Administrator for the Nevada Equal Rights Commission

Kara Jenkins serves as administrator to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC). In this capacity, Ms. Jenkins oversees the processing of employment discrimination complaints relating to race, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age (over 40), disability, and gender identity or expression, as well as complaints of discrimination in public accommodations and housing. The Nevada Equal Rights Commission has offices in Reno and Las Vegas, and Ms. Jenkins oversees a staff of 15 from both offices. She also provides outreach training to companies and community groups to help equip them to prevent discrimination. Ms. Jenkins was an appointee of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger before serving the State of Nevada as Ombudsman for Common-Interest Communities and now NERC. Ms. Jenkins graduated cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and with distinction from Loyola Law School, New Orleans for her clinical work at Loyola's Law Clinic.

Shelley Hendren

Administrator for the Rehabilitation Division

Shelley Hendren was appointed an administrator of the Rehabilitation Division in 2013, after serving the previous three years as Administrator for the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. As administrator for the Rehabilitation Division, Ms. Hendren oversees Nevada’s vocational rehabilitation and blind enterprise programs which seek to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She also oversees the state's; determination of claims for Social Security disability and supplemental security income. Ms. Hendren graduated Magna Cum Laude from Park University with a B.A. in Communication Arts, and a Journalism Minor degree. Ms Hendren graduated in 2012 from the nationally recognized certified public manager program, "Managing Government in Nevada." Ms. Hendren was one of only 3 percent of applicants chosen to join the United States Peace Corps in 1998.

Kimberly Gaa

Administrator for the Information Development and Processing Division

Kimberly Gaa was appointed as the administrator of the Division of Information Development and Processing (IDP) for the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) in February 2017. As administrator, she oversees information technology and automated computing activities for DETR. These activities include maintaining the DETR telecommunication network, supporting production databases and business applications, managing the hardware infrastructure, and completing strategic technology projects. Prior to joining DETR in February of 2012, Ms. Gaa previously worked in various positions for the Departments of Administration, Military, Motor Vehicles, and Public Safety. She also has experience with the Commission on Economic Development, the State Board of Pharmacy, and Truckee Meadows Community College. Ms. Gaa holds an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement from Western Nevada College, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nevada, Reno in General Studies and Business and is also a Certified Public Manager.