2019 has already been a historic year for women in Nevada. We’ve celebrated the first female-majority state legislature in the history of our country, and locally, we’ve welcomed Ms. Kyle B. Rahn as the first female President and CEO of United Way of Southern Nevada.
For those that know Kyle, she is an inspiration. She is a go-getter who rolls up her sleeves and gets to work on the real problems facing our community. It’s natural for her to step in when she sees the opportunity, most likely because it runs in her family.
“My dad was Mr. Basketball in Indiana, which is sort of the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for a high school basketball player in the state,” Kyle says. “He also was state tennis champion four years in a row, and he was highly decorated in World War II. After that, he graduated college, became a businessman and was in the Indiana State Senate for 10 years. I grew up with an achiever, but if you knew my dad, you never saw a hyped-up, driven person. He was loving and kind and funny. I think that’s where I get my sense of humor.”
Kyle grew up the youngest of five siblings on a farm outside of Muncie. Kyle’s family was extremely active in their community, both in business and in improving lives. They founded a local investment banking firm, and her father and grandfather led United Way campaigns in their hometown.
Kyle started in the family businesses as a child. After college, she developed the first human resources department at her family’s business then ventured out on her own, taking management jobs in the tech sector and launching her own marketing company.
At 45, she was living in Tyler, Texas, caring for her two sons and her husband’s elderly parents (“the joys of my life”) and running a successful direct mail company. Then came the news that her father was dying of Alzheimer’s.
As she managed her grief over her father’s illness, she prayed for an opportunity to serve in the nonprofit sector, and the clear answer was an open position in development at Mercy Ships International in 2007. “Mercy Ships is when I saw abject poverty and mercy in action, people serving on that hospital ship in western Africa for free,” she says, “and that’s when I knew I had found my heart to serve.”
In 2013, Kyle joined the United Way of the National Capital Area which “prepared me for the understanding of how United Way should function in a community,” Kyle says. “It historically is the center of the nonprofit community. That’s why it’s an enormous and important part of every community, not just in America but around the world.”
Next came four years as the senior executive of fund development for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), “working to meet NSBE’s goal of graduating 10,000 African-American engineers per year by 2025,” says Kyle.
“I did the same thing at NSBE that we’re doing here at United Way of Southern Nevada,” she says. “We’re preparing a pipeline where we’re supporting our citizens from early childhood education to the workplace. Because Las Vegas is the fastest-growing city in the country, we, the United Way, need to work with our partners to ensure that our people are adequately prepared for the job growth that will come as a result of this explosive population growth.”
Kyle is ready to help make that happen. After years of living on airplanes and out of suitcases, Kyle says her move to Las Vegas was “entirely calculated.”
“I have never been in a community that has been so warm and kind and open and generous as I’ve experienced here,” she says. “It’s incredible and I love making it my new and forever hometown.”
As published in the Las Vegas Woman Summer 2019 Publication