BryanBryan McArdle

Program Director/Operations Manager

Bryan is currently the Manager of Entrepreneurial Development at EDAWN (Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada).  At EDAWN the focus is to foster the local environment to support entrepreneurial job creation. Before working at EDAWN, Bryan was the Director of Program Management at NIREC (Nevada Institute of Renewable Energy Commercialization), the Senior Dealer Representative at Windspire Energy, (formerly Mariah Power). Bryan is also co-owner of Reno’s first hookah lounge, Hookava, and is the former co-owner of Filthy McNasty’s Irish Bar; both located in downtown Reno, Nevada. Bryan graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with a degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Science. After opening up his first business with no prior business education, he went back to school to obtain his MBA degree.  Bryan’s interests lie not only in Renewable Energy and Clean Technology but also Entrepreneurship. Bryan is part of multiple organizations that promote both of these fields. He donates his time to speak with young entrepreneurs who need guidance in making their dreams a reality.


ShylaShyla Pheasant

Associate Program Director/Communications Manager

Shyla is an entrepreneur in spirit, accountant by trade, and cowgirl at heart; who was born and raised in the Biggest Little City and is a 3rd generation Nevadan. A graduate from the University of Nevada , Reno, with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (emphasis in accounting), Shyla currently works at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) as the entrepreneurial coordinator. Prior to working at EDAWN, Shyla worked for a family trust office based out of Boston, MA; on a vertical team that managed billions in assets.

In addition to growing the innovative and entrepreneurial community in Reno, NV, Shyla’s true passion is deeply rooted in the western industry and rodeo. As a past rodeo queen, Shyla has traveled over 20,000 miles promoting the sport of rodeo and the Silver State –  locally, regionally, and nationally. Innovation and growth are important, as is our heritage and the history of rodeo . Winston Churchill once said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see”; with a background in both, Shyla’s initiative is to strengthen the western industry through modern business strategies while fostering entrepreneurial growth and success.