Named the “National Trailblazer” by Emerge America.
Part of a military family committed to service.
The first Latina in Nevada history to obtain an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree from UNLV.
Get to Know Irene.
A dynamic and self-driven leader, Irene Bustamante Adams, christened the “National Trailblazer” by Emerge America, is one of Nevada’s top talents. From her humble beginning as a migrant farm worker to her role as Speaker Pro Tempore for the Nevada Assembly shows the depth of her development as a leader and her commitment to community service.
In 2010, Irene was elected to the Nevada Assembly representing Assembly District No. 42. The death of her little brother inspired Irene to leave her comfortable corporate position and serve to help her community through the great recession. She was recognized for her bipartisan collaboration to pass key pieces of legislation with a focus on economic diversification. She has quickly risen to various leadership roles within the Legislature and her Caucus.
After college, Irene embarked on an 18-year career with MGM Resorts International, one of the world's leading global hospitality companies. She started as a clerk and worked her way up to a corporate rank with her greatest accomplishment being positioning the Company as a national award winner among other Fortune 500 companies committed to diversity. Her leadership skills assisted in the creation, development and implementation of nationally recognized programs and events.
The second of five children, Irene was raised in the farming community of Kerman, California. Starting at a very young age, she and her siblings worked the agricultural fields alongside her parents. It was there Irene first learned the meaning of a hard day’s work and the value of perseverance.
Irene excelled in school and became the first in her family to go to college. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from California State University, Fresno.
In 2007, Irene became the first Latina in Nevada history to obtain an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Today, she serves as the Deputy Director & Chief Strategy Officer for Workforce Connections, a nonprofit that connects Nevada employers to a network of One-Stop Career Centers that provide education, training, and employment opportunities.
Active in the community on a local and national level, Irene has served on the boards and councils of the Nevada Commission on Service and Uplift Foundation of Nevada.
She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including:
“Inside Government Badge Award” in 2013 by Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada
“Woman of the Year” in 2012 by Emerge Nevada
“National Trailblazer Award” in 2011 by Emerge America
“Community Service Award” by the Latin Chamber of Commerce
“Rising Star Award” by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Southern Nevada
Irene has lived in Las Vegas for more than 20 years; she is married to an Army Sergeant who has completed three combat tours as a decorated veteran and continues to serve. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Olivia and Alaina.