Today, the Public Education Foundation’s (PEF) Board of Directors announced that Peter Guzman, President and CEO of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, has succeeded Jan Jones Blackhurst as the Foundation’s Board of Directors Chairperson. Ms. Jones Blackhurst becomes the organization’s Immediate Past Chair. Tony Sanchez, Executive Vice President of Business Development and External Relations at NV Energy, becomes the Vice Chair.

“As I step into the role of Chairman of the Board at PEF, I am deeply committed to advancing our mission of ensuring that every K-12 student in Las Vegas has an equitable opportunity to succeed,” Guzman said. “Together with our dedicated team and community partners, as well as our educators, families, and other community partners, we strive to unite our resources to support our public schools and meet the critical education needs of students, families, and educators. I am honored to serve in this capacity and look forward to following Jan Jones Blackhurst’s example to make a meaningful difference for our students,” he added.

Last year, Guzman co-chaired the inaugural Hispanic and Latino Legacy Dinner (HLLD) with Vice Chair Tony Sanchez, raising scholarship funds for four deserving Hispanic/Latino students. Each recipient was awarded a $20,000 scholarship to fuel their educational and career aspirations. The HLLD initiative is part of PEF’s Scholarships Plus program, which will award more than $6.3 million in scholarships in 2024.

As an accomplished Real Estate Investor, Developer, and Broker, Peter Guzman achieved more than $700 million in sales as the Founding Principal of The Opa Group for over two decades. His achievements stand as a testament to his unparalleled dedication and expertise in his field. Beyond business, Guzman’s leadership as the President of the Latin Chamber of Commerce (LCC) has led to the empowerment of the Hispanic community, providing immeasurable services for Hispanic and Latino people across the Las Vegas Valley. Guzman’s philanthropic efforts span across the Las Vegas community, including supporting victims of tragedy through the October 1st LV Victims Fund as well as advocating for environmental conservation through The Nature Conservancy. Guzman holds positions across many organizations, including the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council, The Mob Museum, Nevada State University, the Nevada Governor’s appointed Judicial Selection Committee, and Workforce Connections, emphasizing his commitment to a brighter future for all.

After 32 years as a dedicated member of the PEF Board of Directors, Jan Jones Blackhurst plans to remain involved with PEF. During her tenure as Chairwoman, the organization expanded its programming and revitalized its commitment to uniting the community in support of Clark County School District students, families, and educators. Under her leadership, the Scholarships Plus program grew from awarding less than $1 million a year to more than $6.3 million a year. PEF also embarked on a new partnership with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) to fast-track school paraprofessionals to obtain their teaching licenses and help reduce Clark County’s teacher shortage. This partnership also includes the sale of PEF’s building on Maryland Parkway to UNLV, which additionally resulted in the opening of the PEF Teacher Superstore’s new location, which has provided millions of dollars in free- and low-cost school supplies to teachers and their students.

Blackhurst has been an influential figure throughout our community for many years. For over 20 years, Ms. Jones Blackhurst played a key role in innovating responsible gaming programs, policies, and corporate social responsibility matters at Caesars Entertainment. Leaving a legacy of progress, these changes are now used throughout the gaming industry. From her tenure as the first female Mayor of Las Vegas, where she advocated for the needs of homeless students, to her inspiring engagements as a speaker throughout CCSD schools, she has embodied a steadfast commitment to inclusive education. Jan is a visible presence and inspiration for her namesake school, Jan Jones Blackhurst Elementary School. In her role as a senior executive and board member at Caesars Entertainment, Jan has played a pivotal role in providing Caesars Foundation funding for the Teacher Superstore by directing more than $2 million to support this crucial resource for our teachers and their students.

Reflecting on her departure, Blackhurst said, “It has been an honor to serve alongside the dedicated individuals at PEF and our community’s educators to work collaboratively toward our shared vision of providing quality education for every student. I am confident that the timing is right to transition PEF board leadership, and I will continue to support PEF’s mission in my role as Immediate Past Chairperson.”