Celebrating Women: Las Vegas leader shares her journey

Local News

Punam Mathur is not just an executive — but a champion for workplace diversity and a voice for those less fortunate. 

“There’s a spirit and a vibe and an energy in this community that anything is possible,” said Punam Mathur, executive director of Elaine P. Wynn and Family Foundation.

Passion pours from her words.

“No one, except for those of us who are here can even begin to appreciate the depth of the roots that give rise to our community,” she said.

As Mathur speaks of her 35 successful years in Las Vegas.

“As I look at it, when I first look here, not only could I have not imagined how it would have unfolded,” Mathur said.

Her journey is anything but simple but her accomplishments are a sign of her constant conviction.

“The first couple of years were really difficult. I had made this impetuous decision, I was broke and miserable,” she said.

Mathur started delivering valley newspapers, mowing lawns and living off ramen and mac and cheese. 

“None of it is by design or plan. As I look at it, when I first look here, not only could I have not imagined how it would have unfolded, it wasn’t even within my realm of consumption.”

Fast forward a few decades and her feats could fill a few lifetimes. 

Mathur operates her own business as a speaker, trainer and writer while serving as executive director of the Elaine P. Wynn and Family Foundation.

“Being able to do good work on behalf of a large organization where you can mobilize hundreds of volunteers and even more dollars to help community causes, that’s a wonderful way to make a living.”

She pushes for fundamental change through an avenue of civil rights, philanthropy and conservation.

“To be in a position to be able to mobilize that and deploy to the community just felt like I was a crossing guard and what a gift,” Mather said.

A few years before, Mathur led NV Energy as a vice president and soared to the top of the ladder at MGM Resorts all while raising a rockstar family.

“I’ve had a lot of great mentors and people who have believed in me, which is really the thing that creates opportunitites.”

But if you ask about her profound community impact, a humble nature still shines through.

“You know I just show up and do the best I can and I’m hopeful that if there’s anyone who can find an example that’s useful then that makes it even better.”

Mathur hopes, above anything else, that her example will inspire other women to step up.

“I think our dreams are the fuel for our souls. So, make your dreams big and fill yourself up with them, because you are worth the full gas tank.”

And always chase the change they want to see in the world.

“We’ve been doing it on every front and in heels, and that’s been true for a long time,” Mather said. “All I can own is I get up every morning and strive to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday.”

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