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Greg Bortolin is the Director of Communications and Government Affairs at the Desert Research Institute. He is a registered lobbyist in the Nevada Legislature and DRI’s point of contact with Nevada’s Congressional delegation. Reporting directly to President Stephen Wells, he also oversees DRI’s media, marketing and outreach activities. He manages the annual Nevada Medal Dinner, which has raised an unprecedented $200,000 in unrestricted funds after expenses since 2012.
In an effort to establish a marketing and branding effort at DRI, Bortolin reorganized the institute’s communications office to create a webmaster position in addition to public information officers on DRI’s campuses in Las Vegas and Reno. In 2009, Bortolin coordinated a year-long celebration of DRI’s 50th Anniversary, which received national media attention in addition to the creation of a commemorative history. The celebration culminated with Dr. Robert Ballard of Titanic fame being named the recipient of the Nevada Medal.
With the support of NV Energy, Bortolin oversees DRI’s GreenPower program, which has been reorganized to help provide teachers at 140 schools throughout Nevada a curriculum that meets the state’s science standards. The GreenPower program has reinstated DRI’s science box program with “Green Boxes” that that are available throughout Nevada due in large part to more than $300,000 in fund raising for the program in 2012 and 2013.
Bortolin was instrumental in working with DRI President Dr. Stephen Wells to secure funding that resulted in $7 million in federal support for renewable energy programs at DRI and the Nevada System of Higher Education. He headed up DRI’s communications’ efforts in the $10 million Walker Basin research project with the University of Nevada, Reno. He has also played a key role in preserving DRI’s historic cloud seeding program, which has doubled its annual funding to $1 million after state appropriations ended in 2009.
Bortolin came to DRI in 2006 after working as Henderson mayor Jim Gibson’s communications’ director for his gubernatorial campaign.
Bortolin spent four years as Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn’s director of communications and press secretary. He developed a communications plan for the Governor and coordinated the Governor’s media- and public-relations efforts during two legislative regular sessions and five special sessions. He organized and created a Joint Information Center within the Department of Emergency Management that included public information officers from throughout Nevada. He also spearheaded an effort to install a satellite uplink to the capitol’s press room. In 2005, Guinn was named by TIME magazine as one of the country’s best governors.
Prior to his stint in the governor’s office, Bortolin spent five years as the assistant director of communications and manager of media relations at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he served as the university’s spokesman. He coordinated the university’s media relations, managed its home webpage content and oversaw the creative services division. Bortolin helped plan, research and edit “Legacy, 100 years of Athletics at the University of Nevada.” He was twice elected to the Faculty Senate, was a member of the Nevada Silver & Blue alumni magazine editorial board, the Reynolds School of Journalism advisory board and was a member of the Nevada Wolf Pack Hall of Fame committee.
Bortolin spent 10 years working for newspapers as a sports editor, sports copy editor, columnist and reporter. He spent eight years at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was a sports columnist for the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, Nev., worked as a stringer for Sports Illustrated, and had Nevada’s only Associated Press College Football Poll vote. He began his newspaper career as a sports writer at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and had a brief stint as the sports editor of the Roseville Press-Tribune, also in California.
Bortolin earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 1986 and a master’s degree in Education in 2011 from the University of Nevada, Reno.
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