Experience Brought to the Foundation
Mari Parlade is a zealous child advocate, devoted wife and proud mother of three beautiful children who has faithfully served our children, families and community through her various roles as a Pro Bono Children’s Attorney, Judicial Officer and Child Welfare Strategic Initiatives Manager. Mari’s child advocacy birthed at the University of San Diego School of Law where she was recognized as an Outstanding Child Advocate and Trailblazer by the Children’s Advocacy Institute. Mari brought her passion and advocacy to Las Vegas where she served as a Pro Bono Children’s Attorney for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and received Congressional and Senatorial recognition for her dedication. With a zeal towards making a systemic difference in the lives of children and families, Mari then served as a Judicial Officer for the 8th Judicial District Court for over three years where she presided as an Alternate Hearing Master over Juvenile Dependency, Juvenile Truancy, Juvenile Delinquency, Domestic Violence and Dependency Mother’s Drug Court Hearings. In her capacity as a Judicial Officer, Mari was chosen to lead the Courts Catalyzing Change Initiative addressing disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system.
As a spokesperson for the court, Mari appeared on the Face-to-Face with Jon Ralston show with the Honorable Judge Frank Sullivan to call on the community to partner with the court for the sake of our children and families. Recognized for her pursuit of community, bold leadership and systemic mindset, Mari was recruited to serve as the Legal & Strategic Initiatives Manager for our child welfare division where she oversees the Legal Programs — Appeals, Legislation, Litigation, Fatalities, Records– as well as the Strategic Initiatives — including Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), Education, Political and Faith Initiatives. Due to Mari’s purpose-driven mindset and her pursuit of building a community of support for children in care, Mari has been chosen to serve on several influential national, statewide and local coalitions, including the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) National Faith-Based Advisory Committee; Prevent Child Abuse Nevada Advisory Board; Statewide Collaborative on Education, Child Welfare and the Courts; Statewide Citizen’s Justice Act Task Force; and the Clark County Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission — where Mari served an integral role as the only member sitting on all seven (7) Subcommittees, including co-chairing the Public Education and Awareness Subcommittee with the Honorable Mayor Carolyn Goodman. Due to Mari’s pro-active leadership on the Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission, Mari has recently been selected to serve on all five (5) Subcommittees of the Nevada Coalition to Prevent the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, including a leadership position of co-chairing the Prevention Subcommittee. Mari enthusiastically and effectively blazes a trail to serve children by breaking down silos and strategically aligning pivotal sectors of the community – public, private, faith and non-profit — for collective impact with children as the North Star. Through Mari’s leadership with the faith community, Mari brought the first Wait No More: Finding Families for Nevada’s Waiting Children Event to Nevada where approximately 400 people from over 100 churches united to raise awareness and recruit for adoptive families; resulting in over 100 people stepping forward to begin the adoption process. Mari is now working closely with Olive Crest to bring the internationally recognized Safe Families for Children Program to Nevada so that our faith community can wrap around our children and families in financial crisis and/or social isolation. Mari is committed to building an infrastructure where all sectors — public, private, faith and non-profit — can come together for the sake of building a stronger community for our children.