George Gault was honored with the Nevada Governor’s Points of Light Award as the Rural Nevada Individual Volunteer at a luncheon held in Las Vegas on Oct. 5. Photo by Barbara Ellestad

George Gault, Mesquite resident and active volunteer in the community, received the Nevada Governor’s Points of Light Award as the Rural Nevada Individual Volunteer at a luncheon held in Las Vegas on Oct. 5.

The luncheon hosted by Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison honored individuals, community-based organizations and businesses for their contribution to communities through volunteer service. Award recipients were selected by a panel of leaders in business, government, and nonprofits from across the state based on criteria showing how their volunteerism exemplifies achievement, need, innovation, mobilization and endurance.

Gault was lauded for his role as a co-founder of Mesquite Regional Business, Inc (MRBI) in 2012. The charter for MRBI encompasses the entire rural area of northeast Clark County including the rural communities of Overton, Logandale, Moapa, Bunkerville and Mesquite.

Based on Gault’s extensive experience in economic development, he helped devise, build and manage MRBI from the beginning. Once MRBI became the official private-public partnership for economic development in Mesquite, he helped recruit its first and second Chief Executive Officer while retaining his position on the Board of Directors.

The companies MRBI has helped relocate to Mesquite will have cumulative and projected capital expenditures exceeding $14 million in the next two years. These business ventures are or will be employing over 500 new employees by the end of 2017.

Gault was a founding member of a non-profit organization called Mesquite Works. This fully-functioning workforce training organization has placed over 35 people in new jobs in the first five months of 2017. Mesquite Works is primarily funded by businesses and individuals and does not rely on state or federal funding.

The organization services Mesquite, Overton, Logandale, and Moapa and the Arizona communities of Beaver Dam, Littlefield, and Scenic.

The region with over 30,000 people had no state or federally sponsored workforce development organization to assist businesses and potential employees. The nearest workforce development program is in Las Vegas, 85 miles away.

As part of the Mesquite Works organization, Gault recruited volunteers to enroll in and be certified as VISTA Volunteers. He served as a volunteer supervisor for the VISTA volunteers who are available to Mesquite Works clients for training, counseling, and job placement.

Mesquite Works is managed by a 21-person volunteer board of directors including local businesses, College of Southern Nevada, three high schools, churches, city council, local media, and the communities at large.

Gault saw a need for a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission would be to beautify and improve outdoor recreational amenities to enhance Mesquite’s social connectivity. He founded the Mesquite Opportunity Regional Fund and chairs its Board of Directors.

To that end, Gault and MORF have worked with consultants specializing in philanthropy and charitable giving to determine appropriate goals and the best methods to achieve the identified projects. Gault further coordinated with community and economic development specialists from the USDA, Rural Development offices in Las Vegas to determine processes to meet the goals.

Gault’s nomination says his “lasting legacy is the volunteer organizations he has been instrumental in creating. He has insisted on established best practices by creating written policy manuals for each organization.

The Governor’s Points of Light Award is given in seven categories: Northern Nevada Individual; Southern Nevada Individual; Rural Nevada Individual; Nonprofit and Community Organization Volunteer Program; Corporate Volunteer Program; Volunteer Program Serving Veterans; and Volunteer Manager.