Silver State Award
Carolyn M. Sparks
Carolyn M. Sparks is a former regent and chair of the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Sparks and her husband, Kenneth, founded International Insurance Services, Ltd. in 1966, and she serves as President. She was appointed by then Governor Richard Bryan to the Statewide Committee for the Funding of Higher Education in 1987. She was also appointed by Governor Bob Miller as the Statewide Co-Chairman of the State of Nevada’s 125th Anniversary Committee for 1989-1990 and in 2004, she was appointed to the Nevada State Taxi Cab Authority by Governor Kenny Guinn.
Sparks served on the board of directors for the Showboat Hotel & Casino from 1991 until it was sold to Harrah’s. She followed her father, Fred Morledge, who was one of the builders and original partners. She was on the board of directors of PriMerit Bank from 1988 until it merged with another banking institution, and she was a long-time member of the board of directors of Southwest Gas Corporation.
As a native of Southern Nevada, Sparks’ humanitarian efforts for the community are many and varied, from her earliest involvement as area chairman for the American Cancer Society and fundraiser for Junior Mesquite Club and Home of the Good Shepherd to her current work with the Nevada Children’s Center. She founded the Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation (now known as the University Medical Center Foundation), the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, the Nevada Children’s Center, and the Nevada Children’s Center Foundation.
Sparks remains active with the International Women’s Forum and the Rotary Club of Las Vegas. She is also a past president of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and remains on the board. In addition, she serves as a member of the board of trustees for UNLV Foundation. In 2014, she received the Distinguished Nevadan Award from the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education.