The early years . . .
Anita Wood was born Anita Rachel Geoffrion on January 7, 1964 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her parents were young (20 and 21) and just starting out. By the time Anita was three, her parents had completed a correspondence course on motel-hotel management and were hired to manage the Golden Gate Beach Motel in Plattsburg, New York. After about a year, they were hired by the Imperial 400, a nationwide motel chain, to manage their property in Schenectady, New York. By the end of 1970, Anita had started school and acquired a little brother named Charles, affectionately called Chad by the family.
Moving to Southern Nevada . . .
In 1971, Anita’s parents were transferred to Las Vegas to run the Imperial 400 here, which was located on Las Vegas Boulevard South and Twain across from where Treasure Island now stands.
Her parents shared a position as onsite managers and the family lived in the motel on the strip. Anita had a motel room as her own bedroom and attended part of 2nd and 3rd grades at Ruby Thomas Elementary School. After about a year, her parents decided they would make more money and work less hours if they took separate jobs at the hotels. Anita’s father eventually settled in at the Flamingo Hilton and worked there for the next 19 years. Her mother spent most of her time working at the MGM Grand, where she worked for about 10 years. She left there one month before the disastrous fire of November 21, 1980. It was the second greatest loss of life in a hotel fire in U.S. history.
Both of Anita’s parents have at least 20 years of membership with Teamsters Local 995.
School days . . .
Initially, after leaving the Imperial 400, Anita’s family moved into an apartment on Washington and Jones. While living there, Anita completed 3rd, 4th and 5th grades at Paul Culley Elementary School. In 1975, her parents bought their first home on Alta between Rainbow and Torrey Pines. Anita attended Garside Junior High School, where she graduated in 1978 with straight A’s and numerous awards, including the Principal’s Award as overall top student.
She attended Bonanza High School during her freshman and sophomore years. While attending Bonanza High School, she joined the National Honor Society and the Forensic Club.
However, her mother knew it was important for Anita to take four years of a foreign language to get into a good college. Bonanza did not offer French 4 so Anita’s mother looked into other options. She eventually found that Valley High School had an excellent French teacher. Valley was also instituting a new program for its top students called the International Baccalaureate. Based upon the system of education in Europe, the IB program allowed students to take exams for college credit and earn a second high school degree.
Anita transferred to Valley High School to take advantage of these opportunities, and it paid off. In 1981, the United States Dept. of Energy gave her a plaque in recognition of being chosen the Outstanding Natural Science Student at Valley High School. At Valley, she remained involved in National Honor Society.
Leaving for college . . .
Anita graduated with high honors in 1982 in the top 10 of her class, earning her regular and IB diplomas, and won a scholarship to Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Anita’s high school studies paid off. Because she passed her AP and IB exams, Anita entered Occidental as a freshman with enough credits to become a sophomore by her second term. She studied hard and also took a job in the box office at Occidental’s Thorne Hall. As a senior, she needed a only few classes to graduate so she started her first “real job” as a secretary for Pacific Mailing Equipment, a mailing equipment sale and repair company.
Anita graduated from Occidental College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature and minors in French and Women’s Studies.
After college graduation . . .
After graduation, Anita began dating her college friend Douglas Wood. She kept her job at PME for a year until she earned enough money to finish paying Occidental College for her schooling. Anita then took a job as an assistant to three managers at a plasmapheresis company called Alpha Therapeutics. In 1988, Doug and Anita became engaged.
During the Christmas holidays of 1988, Doug and Anita travelled to Las Vegas to spend time with her family. During that trip, she re-connected with an old friend who was working as an editor at the Gallery of History, a company which preserved, framed and sold historical documents. In January 1989, Anita was hired at the Gallery and moved back to Las Vegas to take a job as an archivist. She then became a research writer, researching the documents and writing about their historical significance.
Wedding bells . . .
Doug moved to Las Vegas in February 1989 and on August 25th of that year, Doug and Anita were married. Doug started taking auto cad courses at the community college and was soon hired by G.C. Wallace to do mapping in their survey office. The initial pay wasn’t much, but he worked his way up the ladder and the pay scale.
On December 11, 1993, Doug and Anita moved into their new home in North Las Vegas not far from Chad’s house. In 1994 Anita accepted a new job as a receptionist for a construction management firm called Harris Associates. She worked her way up to project secretary, administrative assistant and executive assistant to the vice president. It was during this time that Anita learned about construction contracts, pay applications and project oversight.
Learning about zoning, the hard way . . .
In May 1995, Doug and Anita, along with Carol Kilgore, a neighboring realtor, learned that the vacant land behind their homes was not planned for the park they had been promised but for two-story apartments at a density of 18 units per acre, which had been zoned under a Resolution of Intent (ROI) in 1989. The three spent five years leading neighborhood homeowners in a fight against these high-density apartments that had not been disclosed to nearby residents. When the City of North Las Vegas approved an extension to the ROI in March 1995 without notifying the public, Anita’s group sued. Their work resulted in the Real Estate Commission issuing sanctions against the builder for failure to disclose pertinent zoning information and the City of North Las Vegas prohibiting Resolution of Intent zoning.
Tragedy strikes . . .
Doug and Anita spent much of their free time with Anita’s high school friend and her husband. In February 1996, Anita’s friend died followed by her husband seven months later. They left behind three children: Taelor (11), Jaclyn (9) and Nathan (4). Doug and Anita became adopted godparents and spent much of their free time with the children in the years that followed.
Job changes and surprises . . .
By 2003 Anita was working as a Project Administrator for Premier Mechanical, a local HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) company. There, she learned about construction work from the subcontractor’s point of view.
In November 2004, at the age of 40, Anita learned she was pregnant. She continued working at Premier throughout her pregnancy. She left Premier in early June of 2005 and on June 30, 2005, Doug and Anita were blessed with the birth of their son, Geoffrey David Wood.
After leaving G.C. Wallace in 1997, Doug worked for several surveying firms in the valley: HMH, Summit and AMEC. From 1997 to 2002, Doug served as a trustee on the City of North Las Vegas Civil Service Board of Trustees. In February 2005, while at AMEC, Doug became a licensed PLS (Professional Land Surveyor). He took a new job as Survey Manager at VPoint in late 2005. Doug and Anita then decided the best thing for the family was for Anita to stay home with Geoff. In 2006, Doug was hired as Director of Mapping at Lochsa Surveying, where he stayed until May of 2010. Layed off due to the decline in the economy and the lack of local construction projects, Doug became a stay at home Dad to Geoffrey as he completed kindergarten and first grade. In March of 2012, after almost two years of being unemployed, Doug was hired by Diamondback Land Surveying, where he is currently employed. Geoff, who is now 11, attends sixth grade, loves science and is a member of the robotics club.
The family expands . . .
On April 18, 2006, Anita and Doug obtained legal guardianship of their youngest godchild, Nathan, who was then 13. Nathan had fallen behind at school and Anita and Doug went to work to help him make up the areas he missed. Nathan has come to shine. After one year at Cheyenne High School, Nathan was accepted into the transportation program at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy. He graduated in 2010 and is currently employed by the Blind Center of Nevada. Now 24, Nathan loves to play his guitars (both acoustic and electric) and is a talented artist.
Nathan’s sister, Jaclyn, graduated from Brigham Young University in 2009. She then went on to serve an 18-month religious mission in Southern California. Returning in December 2011, Jaclyn, who is now 30, resides in Provo, Utah and loves photography. She graduated from BYU with her Masters in Social Work in April 2016. She currently counsels drug and alcohol addicted inmates at the local prison.
Taelor, the eldest of the three children, is now 32. He lives in Las Vegas and is a working member of the IATSE union. To Doug and Anita’s delight, he is the father of two young boys: William (4) and Oliver (2).
Anita’s parents are retired and eagerly look forward to each summer when they take off in their RV, explore America and return to Manchester, NH to see family. Anita’s brother Charles is happily married to Theresa, a teacher at Sheila Tarr Elementary School. They are the proud parents of two beautiful girls, Cortney (16) and Hailey (10), both of whom are very close to their Aunt Anita. Charles is a long-time member of the IATSE union.
Serving on Council . . .
In 2009, Anita was elected to serve as the Councilperson for Ward 3 in North Las Vegas. Since her election, she has tackled tough issues and has kept her promise to meet challenges head on. Councilwoman Wood has made it her mission to eliminate the inequities North Las Vegas has faced for decades, be it in C-tax allocations, state representation or the lack of a health clinic in our city. She has committed herself not only to helping North Las Vegas recover from the Great Recession but to emerge from it even stronger. She worked tirelessly with city staff and the rest of City Council to stabilize the city’s finances. She supported the creation of the North Las Vegas Foreclosure Registry and used that as a basis to create the City’s highly successful Squatter’s Task Force, which has cleared squatters from hundreds of homes, making our neighborhoods safer and connecting homeless residents with much needed services. The Task Force was featured last summer on Channel 13 by Darcy Spears and will be profiled this spring on Life with Lisa Ling.
Councilwoman Wood is a dedicated public servant who gives of herself not only to better her community and its residents but to improve the reputation, image and future outlook of our City. She has brought to North Las Vegas numerous initiatives spearheaded and supported by the Nevada League of Cities, including water and sewer line warranties and prescription discount cards. In addition, she has launched measures of her own creation, such as working with residents to protect design standards in the Aliante communities of Prominence and The Fields. She also spearheaded the Junior Leadership Program in which each councilperson has adopted a local high school to help prepare juniors and seniors for life after graduation.
Because she is a full-time Councilperson, Anita represents all of North Las Vegas on important boards like the Nevada League of Cities, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Local Elected Officials Consortium, among several others.
A POWER-certified public official, Councilwoman Wood has served as Mayor Pro Tempore and has been recognized by the Urban Chamber of Commerce, Friends of North Las Vegas Library District, Southern Nevada Child Drowning Prevention Coalition and several other state and community organizations.
Now more than ever before, North Las Vegas needs leaders who are focused on us full time and have demonstrated a true commitment to our community. In the race for Ward 3, only Anita Wood fits the bill.