Marsha Berkbigler, Managing Partner
Advocacy, negotiation, integrity and presentation are hallmarks of Marsha Berkbigler's successful business career. A respected business manager, legislative and regulatory advocate, negotiator, mediator, and arbitrator, Ms. Berkbigler has represented businesses and organizations and municipal governments in multiple states.
Consistently selected to lead complex projects, Ms. Berkbigler has presented a respected professional image, earning cooperation at all business and government levels and delivering superior results under pressure. She has managed a multi-state department for several companies and assisted in the development of human resources programs in multiple states to assure compliance with various state laws. She has earned recognition for effective lobbying efforts and is known for her ability to clarify and resolve polarizing issues.
Ms. Berkbigler managed a consulting business representing mining and exploration interests, health care including physicians and specialty societies, telecommunications, and other businesses and was Division Vice President of a telecommunications company. She earned respect for her efforts developing and chairing a group of business representatives charged with developing an advertising program to sell voters on an initiative petition changing gold taxation laws.
Ms. Berkbigler worked pro-actively for her telecommunications client, taking preventative measures to avoid legal processes and non-compliance penalties and negotiating compliance resolutions with several municipal governments halting pending litigation and saving her client millions in legal costs while significantly reducing operating costs.
Additionally, Ms. Berkbigler has been an active member of the community, serving on numerous boards and commissions. She has a BA in Business Management, an AA in Paralegal Studies, and certifications in mediation and contract negotiations.
Mendy Elliott, Senior Partner
Mendy Elliott has an extensive career in community, corporate and government relations. Before joining forces with Forte LLP, Mendy served the State of Nevada when she was appointed by Governor Jim Gibbons to serve as Director of Business and Industry in 2007, a post she held until July 2008 when the governor promoted her to serve as his Deputy Chief of Staff.
Ms. Elliott was recruited into state service after a 30-year career in the financial services industry, making her keenly knowledgeable in policies and regulations governing the financial services industry. She spent 24 years of her financial career with Wells Fargo Bank. Among her various positions, she served as a Personal Banking Officer, Branch Manager, and Commercial Loan Officer. Her most recent posts included Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and Private Banking Manager. Additionally, she served as in the capacity of Senior Vice President, Community and Government Relations Department at Wells Fargo where she oversaw all aspects of the bank’s government relations and community relations/foundation programs including serving as the main liaison with the Nevada legislature and the state’s University System. In each of these positions she worked on human resources projects and handled HR issues for her direct staff.
Additionally, Ms. Elliott is an active member of the community, serving in a number of volunteer roles. She is a member of the Athletic Association of the University of Nevada, Reno; Reno Chamber Orchestra; Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce; WIN; United Way of Northern Nevada, Nevada Women’s Fund; KNPB Public Broadcasting, and the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. She hs also served on the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority in an appointed position as Chairman of the Board and the Finance Chairman.
Bobbi Lazzarone, Partner
Bobbi Lazzarone has an extensive career in business. As the General Manager of KUNR at the University of Nevada, Reno she was responsible for the overall management and fiscal health of the public radio station. The position included ensuring she had in place the most qualified employees from administration staff to on-air personnel. She handled recruiting/staffing, employee orientation, employee relations, performance management, salary administration, oversight of the exit of employees, analysis of exit interviews, and compliance with internal policies and procedures.
In addition to overall management responsibilities, Ms. Lazzarone worked with her human resources staff to draft an employee handbook, job descriptions, and position advertisements when necessary.
Ms. Lazzarone has held numerous senior management positions including the Development and Public Relations Director at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Program Director for the American Lung Association, and Senior Corporate Account Executive at KNPB Channel 5 Public Broadcasting. In each of her positions she has written grants and strategic plans, supervised staff, and handled general human resources and business issues.
Ms. Lazzarone has worked on projects throughout the State of Nevada, including working with multiple senior managers on projects benefiting employment, employers, and employees in both Southern and Northern Nevada.
Ms. Lazzarone is an active member of the community, volunteering for numerous community groups, including the Reno Film Festival, Reno Chamber Orchestra Board, Sierra Chapter – Association of Fundraising Professionals Board, Nevada Women’s Fund, YWCA Board, and Facilitator Women’s Financial Information Program for Washoe County.
Ms. Lazzarone holds a Masters in Human Community Sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno, and certificates in Advanced Business Management (2003) and Business Survival Workshop (2009) from the UNR College of Business Administration and College of Extended Studies. She attended both Boise State University and the University of Missouri Journalism School, earning a BA in English and Journalism.
To find out more about Forte's lobbying, economic development, and government affairs services, please contact us today.
2090 Allen Street • Reno, Nevada 89509 • Office: (775) 843-0150