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By econnections on December 4, 2012 1:41 PM | Permalink

When longtime Los Angeles residents Eileen and Thomas Raney retired in 2007, they realized they could live anywhere they wanted. Seeking a simpler life and a city with a population far less than Los Angeles, they turned to Las Vegas, which Eileen and Tom had visited often since childhood.

Appreciating Las Vegas for its natural beauty as well as its ease of lifestyle, the Raneys made a new home for themselves in the Red Rock area. Since settling in, the couple has found a wide range of activities and friends to keep them busy. They also added Parker, a labradoodle, to the family. One of the first couples they met in Las Vegas were Flora and Stuart Mason, who introduced Eileen to UNLV Libraries dean Patricia (Patty) Iannuzzi.

Fortunately for UNLV Libraries, Eileen isn’t very good at being retired; when Patty invited her to join UNLV Libraries’ Advisory Board two years ago, she accepted because she believes in and respects the libraries’ mission.

“Patty has a unique and driving vision: to teach students to do research and think critically rather than regurgitate information,” she said. UNLV Libraries is committed to serving as a change agent for how teachers teach and students learn. “It’s a huge and significant expansion of the mission of libraries.”

Referencing Thomas Jefferson and his gift of his own library – filled with “everything which related to America” – to the Library of Congress in 1815, Eileen said libraries are important to the entire community.

“Capturing history is critical. There are oral histories and personal items in Las Vegas that impart knowledge in a visceral way,” she said, adding that if libraries no longer existed at a community level, “you would never know the history of the place you’re in – how it developed and why.”

We live in a digital age, where people think Google has the answer to everything, Eileen said.

“The mistake is thinking our world can be reduced to search engines, tweets and the Reader’s Digest versions of history,” she said. “That’s why libraries are so important. What is available digitally is a tiny percentage of human knowledge.”

Eileen also mentioned how important libraries can be to business leaders, who can understand their marketplace better by conducting research at UNLV Libraries.

“We’re living in a competitive and challenging environment,” she said. “Businesses need to use every option they have.”

It’s good advice, especially when you consider the source. Before retiring, Eileen enjoyed an impressive career that culminated at Deloitte, where she served as a principal and as a member of the U.S. Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.

Today, in addition to her work on the UNLV Libraries Advisory Board, Eileen is a member of SHFL Entertainment, Inc.’s Board of Directors. She also recently chaired the Deloitte Retired Partner Advisory Committee and served as a member of the Deloitte Advisory committee to the National Center for Health Solutions. 

Thomas is a retired principal timpanist and percussionist who is enjoying retirement to its fullest and can frequently be found on Red Rock's golf course.