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Director of Strategic Communications

Mari Nakashima joins The Perkins Company after most recently working as the Communications Director for Governor Brian Sandoval where she managed day-to-day media relations, worked as the primary speech writer, and established the overall messaging strategy for the Nevada’s highest elected official. She worked closely with Nevada’s multiple agencies and divisions and regularly communicated with her public information peers, department directors, and program managers to expand her knowledge of high-profile or priority projects. Fostering these relationships provided her with a unique opportunity to build a network across state government.

Mari Nakashima specializes in brand development, crisis communications, and issues management. She has worked in the political and public policy arena at the state and national level for more than a decade. Most recently she served as the Communications Director for Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.  In that capacity she managed all media relations, expanded the governor’s online and social media presence, served as his primary speech writer, and worked to help build and strengthen the “new Nevada” brand as envisioned by Governor Sandoval and his administration

During her time with the Sandoval administration, Mari led the planning and execution of major media events. Most notably her work supporting three special legislative sessions resulted in Tesla, the NFL Raider franchise and other significant businesses locating in Nevada. In addition, funds to expand the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and provide significant new resources for the hiring of more police officers in Southern Nevada were established.

Mari also regularly coordinated with federal, state, local, non-profit, and community partners to effectively communicate both the governor’s and state of Nevada’s message or priorities. In 2015, she was given the unique opportunity to manage the 2015 Inauguration Ceremony including building the program and statewide media presence. Mari’s experience also includes working with the governor and his team in drafting and refining two State of the State addresses and producing the event.

Prior to state service, Mari worked in the private sector for a local marketing and public relations company where she served as the account representative for both public and private clients. Her experience also includes service in the offices of Congressman Joe Heck, Congressman Dean Heller who now serves as Nevada’s Senior Senator, and the Republican National Committee. She is a native Nevadan, proud graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and mother of two daughters, Darla and Scarlett.