Board Member Bios

Joe Pellissier

Process Improvement Manager, NV Energy
Phone: 702-402-5870

Joe Pellissier is currently a Process Improvement Manager at NV Energy. Joe has previously held the role of Fleet Manager at NV Energy and has over 30 years’ experience working in the automotive field. He was born and raised in Las Vegas and began working as a Mechanic while in high school. He attended UNLV for two years and transferred to Reno to attend UNR where he graduated with a Mechanic Engineering Degree. In 1986, he was hired by NV Energy to work in the Fleet Department as an associate engineer where he designed trucks and equipment and was responsible for all vehicle and equipment purchases. Joe was instrumental in building the first natural gas fueling station in the State of Nevada and had in excess of 60 vehicles at one time utilizing natural gas as the vehicles primary fuel. Joe returned to school and obtained a Master Degree in Business Administration. After 13 years, Joe left the fleet department and worked in other areas at NV Energy that included field work force management, mobile dispatch and outage management applications, mapping, and new business/customer hookup. Joe returned to the Fleet Department in 2008 as the Fleet Manager. As the fleet manager, Joe managed a fleet of over 2000 pieces of vehicles and equipment within the State of Nevada and North East California. He was responsible for the fuel, maintenance, acquisition and disposal of all vehicles and equipment. He managed three primary garage locations, 14 smaller secondary garage locations, and several mobile field mechanics.  Joe is a strong advocate of utilizing alternate fuel technology, especially electrified hybrid vehicles and introduced over 100 of these vehicles into the fleet over a large variety of vehicle types.  Joe also introduced GPS technology to the fleet adding the GPS functionality to all vehicles and equipment and has been an outspoken champion for utilizing this technology for fleet and quantifying benefits to fleet owners, speaking at numerous conventions and association meetings. Joe holds his Certified Automotive Fleet Specialist certification from NAFA and is working on the Managers certification.  Joe has been published in numerous fleet management publications and has recently been published as part of a team who developed a white paper on Fleet Electrification as part of an initiative by the Edison Electric Institute.

Joe was one of the founders of the Nevada Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Fleet Managers Association (RMFMA) Nevada chapter in 1993 and is currently involved in several fleet management associations. Joe is currently the President of the Las Vegas Clean Cities Coalition and he leads the Southern Nevada Fleet Association. In his current capacity, he helps several departments at NV Energy to improve their processes and reduce costs, including the Fleet Department. Joe recently obtained his Master Lean/Black Belt Certification in Six Sigma and is working towards Project Management Certification. He is very active in the community in particular with Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada.

James Morwood

Vice President
Fleet Services Manager, Las Vegas Valley Water District
Phone: 702-259-8103

James Morwood is the Fleet Services Manager for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority. James has over twenty seven years of experience working in the automotive field with the last twenty four spent working within large fleet organizations. He has experience in privet sector fleets, public sector fleets and in retail automotive service. He has spent the last seventeen years employed by the Las Vegas Valley Water District were he spent four years as a Fleet Heavy Line Technician, nine years as a Fleet Services Supervisor and the last four years as the Fleet Services Manager. In his current position, James manages a fleet of over 2200 pieces of vehicles and equipment and is responsible for the maintenance, acquisition and disposal of all vehicles, equipment, radio communications equipment, fuel, fuel infrastructure and loanable tools. He is currently serving as the Transportation Chairman for the Joint Technical skills Committee in association with the Clark County School District and the College of Sothern Nevada. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Fleet Managers Association (RMFMA) Nevada chapter.

Marty O'Connor

Director of Cardlock Operations, Thomas/Haycock Petroleum
Phone: 702-382-8559

Marty O’Connor has been with Thomas/Haycock Petroleum since 1991 and has served as a Sales Representative and a Sales Manager prior to being named Vice-President of Fleet Fueling in 1999. Marty came to Las Vegas via Bronx, NY where she and her husband owned and operated an Irish Bakery. Prior to her bakery experience, Marty taught elementary and middle school in Ohio from 1972 to 1984. She is a graduate of Ohio Dominican College.


Travis Acord

Account Manager, Altec Industries, Inc.
Phone: 801-698-1600

Account Manager for Altec Industries.  I have been with Altec for 7 years.  Working with Utilities, City and Counties in NV, UT and ID to supply them with aerial lifts and Derricks.  Altec has a broad line of Hybrid technology for running our equipment.  Before Altec I worked in the Automotive industry for 10 Years.  I currently live in Woods Cross Utah.  I am married and have three kids Madison, Payton and Josh.   

Marissa Birch

Business Rental Sales Executive, Enterprise Holdings
Phone: 702-597-4560

Marissa Birch is a Business Rental Sales Executive for Enterprise Holdings, representing National car rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Car Share and Enterprise Rideshare programs. She was born in Pueblo, CO and grew up largely in Susanville, CA. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Journalism School. Marissa has been with Enterprise for 16 years, 9 years in Northern Nevada where she established the Business Rental program for Reno and the surrounding area, and has spent the past 7 years in Las Vegas. She has overseen a large variety of accounts including state and federal government, university systems, public utilities, large private businesses, and recently added car share and rideshare to her portfolio. She has a strong familiarity with the automotive industry and understands the needs and protocols involved with private and public, large and small fleet operations. She currently resides in Henderson with her husband and daughter and is involved throughout the community in various charities and projects.



Debbie Collins

Owner, Big Valley Towing

Debbie Collins is the owner of Vegas Heavy Haul Inc. dba Big Valley Towing. She was born in WI and before moving to the Las Vegas Valley 8 years ago, lived in Southern California. She has her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA where her thesis was on the impact of CARB regulations, diesel fuel and the trucking industry. Debbie and her late husband “Big” Dann Collins started Vegas Heavy Haul Inc in 2006 and later added Big Valley Towing in 2008. While Debbie’s career path led her down the road of healthcare, in 2011 her husband was tragically killed when a tractor trailer hauling an oversized load failed to move over killing him instantly. Despite being told that transportation industry was a “man’s industry” Debbie chose to continue on with the business creating a niche market for Big Valley Towing that specializes in commercial vehicle towing. Debbie currently resides in Las Vegas with her dogs, cats and fish. She is also currently a board member for Speedway Children’s Charity and a member of the Women’s Towing and Recovery Association of America.

Rick Beard

Branch Manager, Colbalt Truck Equipment
. I have held the position of Territory Sales Manager for 1 year with Cobalt Truck Equipment.  As a Territory Sales Manager with Cobalt Truck Equipment my territory covers Las Vegas, Reno, some of California, and some of Arizona. I have over 25 years of sales and management experience



Mike McCandless

Owner, McCandless International Trucks

Mike McCandless has been a member of Las Vegas Community since 1969. He has served all chairs including President of 49ers Lions Club and was a member of Southwest Rotary Club serving as 2nd Vice President before moving to Arizona in 2005. He also served as President of Southern Nevada New Car Dealers Association and later served three, two year terms as co-chairman for NaviStar Ad Hoc committees to do with new product design and function. He has a vast knowledge of Medium and Heavy Duty truck operations in the areas of procurement, service and lowest cost of operation and is the principle Owner of McCandless International and Isuzu Trucks, which has been in business since 1969.

Robert Tekniepe

Principal Management Analyst Planning Division of the Clark County Department of Air Quality (DAQ)

Robert Tekniepe is a Principal Management Analyst for the Planning Division of the Clark County Department of Air Quality (DAQ). Robert has been with Clark County since 2005. He currently directs and oversees efforts in the preparation of long-term State Implementation Plans for nonattainment areas in Clark County, and represents DAQ in citizen- group and public-agency advisory committees including the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Inspection/Maintenance Advisory Committee, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s Metropolitan Planning Subcommittee and Conformity Working Group, and the Clark County Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee. Robert also acts as DAQ’s liaison during state legislative sessions by drafting changes to state statutes, interpreting/commenting on proposed legislative actions related to air quality, and providing testimony in legislative hearings and subcommittees. Prior to working for Clark County, Robert spent 11 years with the State of Nevada as the Southern Regional Manager for audit and investigations in the Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation. Robert received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona in 1977, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 1997, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public and Urban Affairs from UNLV in 2007. Since earning his Ph.D., Robert has maintained his connections to UNLV by teaching graduate level courses in quantitative research methods, research and program design, policy analysis, and management/organizational theory. His research in organizational leadership has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.




Gary Weinberg

Director of Technical Service Western Sierra Services, Inc.

Gary Weinberg is Director of Technical Service at Western Sierra Services Inc, and has provided technical advice to Las Vegas Companies such as Rebel Oil and Haycock Petroleum in Las Vegas. He is providing Expert Witness in litigation cases involving Alternate Fuels and Lubricants. He retired from Mobil Oil Corporation with thirty years of service in 1994 and went on to become Sales Manager for Haycock Petroleum. Gary was instrumental in establishing Las Vegas as a leader in the use of Biodiesel working closely with the Clark County School District and the City of Las Vegas through the initial start-up of B-20. There were over 3500 vehicles at the combined agencies running the product. In 2006 he was recruited by Biodiesel Industries and became Vice President-National Sales Manager and was assigned to the Board of Directors.

Gary was raised on the East Coast in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and spent most of his adult years on the West Coast in California and Nevada. He is married to Marty Beth and they have a combined family including five children.

Ryland Whitaker

Energy Utilization Engineer, Southwest Gas Corporation

Ryland Whitaker received a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University Nevada Las Vegas in 2000. He was then a Registered Engineer in the State of Nevada and Arizona for the 8-10 years and has served as a executive board member for the American Society of Plumbing Engineers for 6 years holding various positions.

He currently works for Southwest Gas Corporation as a Utilization Engineer.  Ryland provides technical information for a variety of projects including working with all non-traditional uses of natural gas including distributed generation and CNG vehicles.  He also acts as a technical expert for the demand side management team on the rebate side of the company.  During Ryland’s first 10 years with the company he provided engineering construction documents for local builders in the Vegas Valley.  Part of his new responsibility is to promote compressed natural gas vehicles and help facilitate the infrastructure upgrades.