Brenda Grace Smith

Penn State Grad Finds Endless Opportunity After Relocating to Nevada

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Why move to Nevada? Ask Brenda Grace-Smith this question, and her enthusiasm is both energetic and contagious. She’s also got a list of solid reasons professionals should consider this area, from the amazing economic opportunities afforded in Northern Nevada to its diverse community activities and proximity to other West Coast destinations.

But she emphasizes one main point: opportunity.

In her mind, the Reno-Sparks area is a land of opportunity that professionals across the country need to know about. “I truly believe that you can attain whatever you set your mind to in this community. We are the leader in the nation right now, with the lowest unemployment rate. Jobs are plentiful, and there is something for everyone, in every industry.”

A bold statement, for sure. But one backed by solid statistics. Read on to learn more about Brenda’s experiences since relocating to Nevada in 2012 and why she can’t stop singing its praises.

Relocating to Nevada

Brenda isn’t alone in her assessment that Northern Nevada’s a great place to live. According to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, Nevada enjoyed among the highest rates of personal income growth across the nation in 2018.

And the economy shows no signs of lagging this year. From employment growth to population growth, Nevada continues to vigorously lead the nation with earnings ramping up by 6.4 percent and more than $1 billion added to Nevadans’ pockets. Clearly, economic opportunities abound, and Brenda wants more people to know about them.

But her love of the Reno-Sparks area doesn’t end with the booming economy. She also prizes the warmth of locals and heartily embraces the area’s endless possibilities when it comes to community activities.

“The people on the West Coast are extremely friendly and kind, and everyone looks out for their neighbor. You have to come experience it to understand why Reno-Tahoe is the best place to live!  There’s no place like it. If something is not specifically in Reno-Sparks, it is certainly within driving distance.”

East Coast Grad Relocates

Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Brenda attended Penn State University with the intention of becoming an electrical engineer. But she soon realized that the healthcare field better suited her personality and skill set.

After graduation, she never looked back. “I worked in hospitals, primary care offices, and ultimately in optometry practices for a large national network based on the East Coast.”  

She relocated to Nevada in 2012 following a four-day trip in 2011 during which a couple of job interviews landed her offers. She started off managing a local optometry practice, DeMers Family Vision Group, while continuing to research area businesses and organizations.

During this time, she learned more about Renown Health, and a recruiter thought that she’d make a great member of the Sales and Marketing team at Hometown Health. May 2019 will mark her six-year anniversary with Hometown Health, Nevada’s largest not-for-profit health insurance company. In 2017, she became the manager of sales and marketing there.


Giving Back to Her Newfound Community

Brenda has a life and health insurance license in Nevada and works with most of the area’s insurance brokers. But her job at Hometown Health also allows her to give back to the local community through a variety of programs.

“I work with the Communities in Schools program with Libby Booth Elementary school where I get to utilize grant funding to support the school’s academic needs, as well as volunteerism for school events throughout the year.”

Brenda also networks and participates in a variety of local organizations including Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NCET) and Western Industrial Nevada (WIN), and is also on the Board of Directors for the Northern Nevada Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Reno-Tahoe is a dog-friendly place too, and because Brenda is an avid animal lover and advocate, she volunteers and supports the Nevada Humane Society. As you can tell, there’s no shortage of worthwhile causes and organizations to support in the Reno-Tahoe area for those who are community minded.

The Pulse of Northern Nevada

When it comes to play in Northern Nevada, Brenda’s also found a wide variety of amazing activities to pursue. As she explains, “Reno is the perfect location, because it is merely hours away from some of the most beautiful (and well-known) places in the world. Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Sacramento, Monterey, Napa Valley…. too many to mention.”

She can’t get enough of local places either. “You’ve got Virginia City, which is always fun and Midtown Reno with hip new restaurants and plenty of nightlife. Victorian Square is home to several popular festivals and is currently undergoing fantastic improvements. Carson City has great appeal and is a quick drive to a fantastic meal and entertainment.”

Local Sports, Outdoor Activities, and More

As her excitement grows, she mentions sporting events offered through the University of Nevada, Reno, the area’s tier 1 university. She also recalls fondly checking out Reno’s baseball team, the Aces, and watching soccer games to cheer on the local team, 1868.

But her list of must-see activities doesn’t stop there. “There’s the Sparks Marina, Wilbur May (loved the Dragon Festival last year!), farmer’s markets, skiing, snowboarding, river rafting, hiking, dog-friendly activities, casinos with shows and gambling (if you’re into that!), golfing, fun costumed events, fun runs, museums, and more.”

Ready to learn more about the rich opportunities to work, live, and play in the region? Let’s talk about relocating to Nevada. Contact us today to find out why Northern Nevada is the place you want to be.

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