Awards Gala Will Focus on Fighting Hate, Honoring Community Partners

Awards Gala Will Focus on Fighting Hate, Honoring Community Partners
The Nevada chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will bring peace to Paris as it emphasizes a message of anti-hate and community involvement during its 2019 Imagine a World Without Hate Gala (Pictured: Christian Picciolini

The gala will be held at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. Featured guests will include keynote speaker Christian Picciolini and award honorees Don Ross and Punam Mathur.

Picciolini is a former violent extremist turned award-winning television producer, public speaker, author and peace advocate. He helped form the hate movement of the 1980s and ’90s but left it about two decades ago, choosing instead to focus on helping others leave their own hate behind. He founded the Goldmill Group, a counter‑extremism consulting and digital media firm, and now leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention and disengagement network. He won an Emmy Award in 2016 for producing an anti‑hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from extremism; published his memoir, “White American Youth”; and will release “Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism” in February.

He will share his journey during the gala.

Ross, Caesars Entertainment’s vice president of meeting operations for the Las Vegas region, will be honored with the Americanism Award. He oversees the catering, conference services, banquets and meeting services teams for nine Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas, and in that role has been involved in many local charitable events. Those include events for the Jewish Federation, ADL, Opportunity Village, the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, the American Heart Association, Nathan Adelson Hospice, the Festival of Trees & Lights and the MDA Telethon.

He also serves as a board member of the Green Chimneys School in Brewster, N.Y., ADL Advisory Board member, board president for Congregation Ner Tamid, past board president of Anthem Country Club and former board member for the Culinary Arts Management Program (CAMP) at UNLV Hotel School.

Mathur is executive director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation, a private foundation that works to advance fundamental change, primarily related to equity, civil rights and conservation. She also operates her own business as a speaker, trainer and writer. She will be given the Community Partner Award during the ceremony.

Prior to her current role, she was an officer for NV Energy for three years, in the gaming industry for 13 years and in management positions with the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce for six years. She served on statewide committees under Nevada’s past four governors and has a long history of involvement with the Clark County School District and Nevada Department of Education. Mathur was the founding board chairperson for Three Square, has served on the board of United Way of Southern Nevada for more than two decades and is vice chairwoman of the Board of Directors for Communities In Schools. She is also active in several organizations that work to improve the effectiveness of the child welfare and foster care systems.

Tickets for the gala, which also will include a raffle and silent auction, range from $300-$100,000 and are available at or by calling 702-862-8600.

ADL Nevada is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at

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