Thanks and Praise

The Reno City Council members handed in their lists of top five candidates today. I’m thrilled to see that of the six Council Members, I was listed by three — Neoma Jardon, Oscar Delgado, and Naomi Duerr. I feel honored that these Council Members listed me. There were a lot of qualified applicants and I imagine it was very difficult to narrow it down. I do believe that the hundreds of emails, calls, and messages that came in from all my supporters help me get this far. When I announced I was applying for this seat two weeks ago on this blog, it was shared 882 times. Wow! It’s just amazing to see there are that many people out there that believe in me. Thank you for that!

I was also happy to see Britton Douglas get four votes. She shares a similar passion that I have for Reno’s future and she’s a hard worker. From here, the Council Members will narrow the field even more on Wednesday. You can watch this process play out at

Thank you to all the people who called, emailed, and messaged the Council Members on my behalf. Thank you to the 262 people who advocated for me publicly on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Thank you to Doug Erwin, Abbi Whitaker, Caleb Cage, and Jason Stallcop for writing letters of recommendation for me. Thank you to Adam Reed, Abbi Whitaker, and Larry Moen for speaking at public comment for me. Thank you to the 176 people who wrote personal messages of endorsement online and through email. While there’s too many of you to list here, I will not forget that you went to bat for me and I promise to thank every one of you in person. A special thank you to Kristin Stith, Rebecca Venis, Adam Lapidus, Chad Carlson, Jeff Conner, Josh Lantz, Michael Rashmir, Connor Ferris, Bill Attowa, Pat Morrissey, Jessica Hensler, the Diandas, O’Maras, Mcardles, Gorins, Donahoes, Rogers, Gibsons, Lamberts, Kennys, Stallcops, my family, and so many more others for all your extra support. And finally, thank you to my wife, Lesley Klein. She’s just the most amazing partner and supporter I could have ever prayed for. She’s my rock.

Regardless of what happens from here, I want everyone to know that my family and I feel tremendously blessed to have so much love and support from this community.

I appreciate you.


How you can support #KleinforCouncil

First, I’d like to thank everyone for their support. I appreciate all the calls, texts, and shares. My announcement post to seek this position was read over 1,000 times and shared online over 800 times. That is just absolutely incredible and I’m honored to know there is a lot of people out there that believe in me.

What’s ultimately great about this appointment process is that anyone can share their opinion about this Reno City Council seat, whereas only Reno residents can vote in a regular election. Maybe you live in Sparks but you work in Reno or maybe you live outside City limits but your child’s daycare or school is in Reno. It matters that Reno is a great place for the entire region and this is your opportunity to get your voice heard and help the Reno City Council appoint the right person.

The appointment process will work like this:

  • November 21 – The six Council Members will start evaluating the applications individually.
  • November 24 – During a regular City Council meeting at City Hall, Council Members will discuss the process again. The agenda item is listed as J.3. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak. You simply enter in a public comment card and you can say whatever you want regarding this item for three minutes.
  • November 26 – Each of the Council Members will turn in their top five candidates.
  • December 1 – In the morning, the Council Members will meet and narrow the field of candidates to three people. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak before a decision is made.
  • December 1 – In the afternoon, the three finalists will each present their qualifications and answer questions from the Council Members. Then the Council Members will discuss and vote. This is another opportunity for the public to speak before a decision is made.

From now until the decision has been made, you can contact the Council Members and advocate for Paul Klein for the At-Large City Council seat. Any and all support is welcomed and appreciated. You can call, write, email, tweet, Facebook, or speak with them in person. If you feel comfortable speaking publicly in a City Council meeting on my behalf, that would be outstanding. Here is their contact information:

Hillary Schieve: (775) 334-2014 – E-mail: – Facebook – Twitter

Jenny Brekhus: (775) 334-2011 – E-mail: – Facebook – Twitter

Naomi Duerr: (775) 334-2017 – E-mail: – Facebook – Twitter

Oscar Delgado: (775) 334-2012 – E-mail: – Facebook – Twitter

Paul McKenzie: (775) 334-2015 – E-mail: Facebook Twitter

Neoma Jardon: (775) 334-2016 – E-mail – Facebook – Twitter

PaulKlein and Kristin Stith at TEDxUNR

Paul Klein speaking about Reno at TEDx




Paul Klein for Reno City Council

The Reno City Council has decided to fill the vacant at-large seat through an appointment process. I’m all in for this seat and here is why:

I believe in Reno.

I believe in the hard-working families that make up this community.

I believe in Reno’s resiliency and ability to rise from adversity.

I believe in Reno’s future.

This is a town with grit. As a community, we have endured a tumultuous decade and persevered into a leveled economy. Now, we begin a new era on the cusp of economic opportunity. The policy decisions that are made in the next five years will be significant for the next 25 years. Emerging industries are gravitating towards Reno and we need to encompass these opportunities with the right balance of support and regulation. We need to scale our public services and infrastructure appropriately. We need to continue to increase community engagement and transparency. I’m an advocate for an ethical and financially responsible government. As a Councilmember, I will protect our measure of freedom and work to enhance the community’s quality of life.

I have lived in Reno my entire life. I am a product of a military and law enforcement household, Little Flower Catholic School, Reed High School, and the University of Nevada. I’ve played youth sports in Reno, I’ve received college degrees in Reno, I’ve launched businesses in Reno, I’ve started my family in Reno, and I’ve served this community on dozens of boards, commissions and volunteer organizations. I know every nook and cranny of this City. I believe I represent all the hard-working, resilient people of Reno because I am you.

For the last two years, I have worked for the City of Reno government. I fully understand our staff’s capabilities and resources. I have an in-depth knowledge of our liabilities and opportunities for innovation. I have the education, the experience, and the grit that Reno needs to lead us into the future.

I’d be honored to serve as your voice on the Reno City Council and appreciate your support.

The City Council will narrow the applicants down to three candidates before making their decision. If you believe I should be one of those candidates, I ask that you personally contact the City Council Members and advocate for Paul Klein for City Council. I will not let you down. City Council contact information can be found here.

Paul Klein for Reno City Council

The following list summarizes my pertinent education and experience.


  • I have a Bachelor’s degree in pre-law criminal justice and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), graduating December 6th magna cum laude, with a concentration in management and public policy. In addition, I’ve studied international business in San Sebastian, Spain and London, England.
  • I received a Nevada certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).


  • I have owned and operated two businesses, an advertising and public relations agency and a special events firm. The agency worked with businesses of all sizes and industries. We helped businesses increase sales, brand awareness, and expand operations all-the-while winning dozens of national awards for creative effectiveness. While I’m known for my creative strategy and approaches to business, my talent is really in innovating business processes to maximize results. I’ve been able to help companies do this effectively, because I understand supply chain and operations management and how that affects a company’s brand of service delivery to the consumer.
  • For the last two years, I have managed the brand positioning and production of public information materials for the City of Reno through the Office of Communications and Community Engagement. My team’s mission is to innovate the way government engages with citizens. Since I’ve started, we have worked to make Reno’s government more transparent and citizen voices count in policy making decisions. Some of the innovations of our work are Annual Reports, a new government website ( and social media platform (@cityofreno), and engagement efforts like Public Art vs. Pollution, #ThinkReno, and Buy Local.
  • In 2008, I was appointed by the Reno City Council and served two-terms on the Parks and Recreation Commissioner. During my time on the Commission we provided policy advice during the contentious issue of closing Brookside Golf Course. We also enacted the Adopt-a-Park program that is still flourishing today.
  • In 2009, I served as a liaison to the Arts and Culture Commission. During my time on the Commission we provided policy advice on the neighborhood opposed public art piece at Virginia Lake. We also re-designed the public art process plan which is still in action today.
  • In 2010, I was appointed by the Reno City Council to represent Ward 1 on the Priority Service Task Force, which built a report for the City Council to use regarding the priority of City of Reno services from a citizen perspective. This report is still referenced today.
  • In conjunction with the Chamber, I helped found the Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network in order to create a thriving growing workforce in Reno. I served the board as an officer for two-terms. Today, the group has over 300 members and plays an integral part of Reno’s economical sustainability.
  • I am a founding member of the BiggestLittleCity movement. We founded this effort in order to change the perception of Reno and brand it as a great place to live and visit. The campaign has garnered hundreds-of-thousands of impressions and continues to make impacts such as articles about Reno in the New York Times and Huffington Post and the #bigvotelittleexcuse campaign. I also gave a TEDx Talk on the formation of the grassroots effort last January. It can be viewed at
  • In addition, I was on the founding team of two Alumni chapters of the University of Alumni Association, served the American Advertising Federation on the Council of Governors, and served as the Alumni Housing Corporation president for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Nevada.
  • I was named a Twenty Under 40 Young Professional award recipient and honored as the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the University of Nevada in 2010.

Reno must strike while the iron is hot

Imagine Reno 12 years ago. There are 50,000 fewer people, no baseball stadium and no kayak park. We accounted for train-crossing delays in our daily commutes. It was a different looking town.

Through these years our population leaped by 30 percent. In response, we increased our capacity and added more urban anchor points. Then we were hit with a devastating recession. We had too much capacity, economic opportunity was scarce and once again the City had to readdress its scale of infrastructure.

I owned two small businesses through these years and know firsthand that the only thing that keeps your doors open in a volatile market is how you adjust your business model.

It takes a lot of fortitude to lead a city through an economic roller coaster that lasted a decade and Reno’s City Council did just that. Half of that Council termed out in 2012 and the other half will term out on November 4. Their shoes will be difficult to fill. The right leadership at the right time is everything in sustaining momentum. This is why it’s important that Reno votes on November 4. We elected some good leaders in 2012 and we need to do that again this year and again in 2016. That is how Reno can strike while the iron is hot. Drones, manufacturing and supply chain, tech, education and research are magnetizing toward the #BiggestLittleCity. The market is giving Reno an incredible window of economic opportunity and we need leaders who understand that. We need to innovate now in order to sustain a competitive advantage for the next decade. Vote.

Tagged , ,

Change the way you look at a city and the city you look at changes

Eighteen months ago, Reno was used as a punchline across pop-culture. Today, it is used in business strategy conversations. CEOs are asking manufacturing and distribution leads to get in on this ‘thing’ happening in Reno. This ‘thing’ is fashioning global brands like Amazon, Tesla, and Microsoft to shout from Mount Rose that they are in Reno and that’s what’s up.

The big idea behind the BiggestLittleCity brand was to give the community a stage to showcase the way they look at Reno. This gives the rest of the world an authentic representation of the region and changes perception. An effect like this branches out into all kinds of areas of development from tourism to employment. After all, social content is the most powerful component of a brand.

For example, searching the hashtag #BiggestLittleCity on Instagram will populate over 12K posts. These moments are real. They aren’t crafted by a corporation, but rather shared by a community that wants the world to see their BiggestLittleCity. Here is a screen shot of what people were posting on August 15.


 August 22 was a rainbow day in Reno and several people wanted to share it with the world.


On August 26, during Burning Man, the community shared these.


Last weekend, the sky was filled with balloons and the community posted these.


Back in June, before the hashtag reached 11K posts, I grabbed this screen shot. Arts, food, music, and goodness.


Tagged , , , , , ,

Poetry’s not lame

When I was in high school I wrote a poem about an evil commander of the Schutzstaffel during WWII. The story builds and swivels like an episode of the Twilight Zone. After years of imposing fear upon the innocent, the commander wakes up one day to find that he has switched places with his victims. The poem was published in a young-writer’s book and maybe someone somewhere enjoyed it. I learned the dramatics of story by trying to create it. Poetry isn’t lame; it unfolds the imagination.

The City of Reno is restoring the Poet Laureate office. This is a person appointed to promote poetry as both an art form and a means of inspirational public commentary. I know what you’re thinking…and yes, it does seem a bit silly for the City’s Charter to designate such a role. But, it’s unique traditions like these that frame a City’s culture, its brand.

My favorite Robin Williams movie is Dead Poets Society. Williams played an english teacher named John Keating. I think he describes the brilliance of poetry best when he said, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

If you’re interested in applying for Reno’s Poet Laureate, click here with a barbaric yawp!

Bravely branding

To be brave is to be bold. To take a leap toward something special that will surely be criticized. On average, people and certainly companies are more risk averse. We prefer to play it safe. For instance, the most popular wall colors are white and off-white. Neutral and safe. The Circus Circus has a bunch of these walls downtown in an area that is in desperate need of some liveliness. When you’re trying to change the energy of a City, boring does not work.

Last weekend, the Circus Circus offered a few of these walls as canvases to local artists. With paintbrushes to paneling and stencils to stucco, vanilla walls suddenly became infused with flavor. For a long-standing casino property, this was brave..and bold..and awesome for Reno’s brand. For me, the effort alone is worth a virtual standing ovation. The Circus Circus is no small fish and they did something creative to help change the face of downtown.  Who’s going to be brave next?




Tagged , ,

a Year Since the Launch

This June will be a full year since we launched the #BiggestLittleCity movement. That first year was chaos and I loved it. We didn’t know what we were doing, just why we were doing it and that was a really fun space to work in. There’s a lot of theater in creating a movement purely fueled by passion for the place we call home. We did that so well that businesses started supporting us with checks and ad space. We had to get organized to manage all that and take the movement to the next level.

In the last few months we established a board of directors and filled for nonprofit status. We also crafted a formal mission statement: “The Biggest Little City movement is a nonprofit, grassroots community pride project. Our mission is to cultivate and share positive stories of northern Nevada residents, provide tools to businesses that wish to show their city pride, and to serve as an unbiased bridge between regional, public and governmental organizations and the community.

We now hold monthly board meetings and continue to work on helping the #BiggestLittleCity movement grow. The story count is in the hundreds, the social media hashtag count is in the hundred-of-thousands. Instagram alone is approaching 9,000. The more times the hashtag is used to link beautiful captures of the region, the stronger the brand becomes. We need to continue to align the area with the great things that draw people here.

Our latest story features a Nevada grad, Veteran, and themed pub crawl enthusiast. This is Lawrence Tam’s story.


Objections become objectives

Here’s the thing about people: We think that complaining is how you change something. We lean toward this premise because it’s much easier to gripe about something than it is to offer a solution. After all, problem solving is hard. It takes a forward-thinking mindset to look beyond how the problem made you feel in order to discover a way to fix it.

Working in public service, if you encourage the community to share aspirations and be involved in the process you can start to build an atmosphere of innovation. This changes the dynamic of everything in government. Objections become objectives, resentments become resolutions. We improve.

Creating this effect is not as easy as ABC. So, keep it simple. We started asking people what they #ThinkReno can be. People said things like “the most innovative city in the west” and “an arts destination.” Several people shared short but profound concepts like “cleaner” and “inviting.” In one month (April 2014), we collected hundreds of these and combined them all together into a wordcloud to check the pulse of what our community is thinking. It was a small sample size, but this is what came back:



The City of Reno communications team will be collecting these each month. We’ll compare the data and look for trends. Most importantly, we’ll share this stuff with people who move money and make policy. So, tell us what you #ThinkReno can be. Post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and hashtag #ThinkReno. If you’re an overachiever, click here to download a #ThinkReno sign. Print it, write on it, take a picture and post it online. We’re listening.



How To Inspire Grassroots Change In Your City


Rebranding a City: How a community is changing perception with pride for their home.

Originally posted on Online Executive MBA:

Two of our recent MBA graduates, Kristin Stith and Paul Klein, gave an excellent talk at TEDxUniversityofNevada 2014 about being part of the Biggest Little City rebranding effort. This was a group of talented citizens that organized to volunteer time and effort to change the image of Reno, Nevada. The results of the rebranding and grassroots marketing campaign have been impressive.

This is also a great example of a well rehearsed TEDx talk. Kristin and Paul participated in all three of the rehearsals we organized for local speakers starting 3 months before the event. We watched as their talk went from an outline to a script and from nervous reading of lines to a confident performance. The audience loved their talk and if you take the time to watch it, I think you will too. After watch the video, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

View original


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,849 other followers

%d bloggers like this: