Someone 2 Know; Mike Whan
We're in the third month of summer - that means it's time for Hot August Nights. The classic car event runs Aug 3-4th in Virginia City and August 7-12th in Reno and Sparks. We paid a visit to Executive Director of HAN, Mike Whan, who is in his fourth year directing the event.
We're in the third month of summer - that means it's time for Hot August Nights. The classic car event runs Aug 3-4th in Virginia City and August 7-12th in Reno and Sparks.
We paid a visit to Executive Director of HAN, Mike Whan, who is in his fourth year directing the event.
On his bookshelf, proudly displayed; dozens of decorative medallions; "A lot of these challenge coins I got when I was at the FBI national academy in 2012," he explains.
Law enforcement - that's what Mike Whan devoted most of his life to. After retirement, he signed on as executive director of Hot August Nights. But, his two career paths actually crossed many years ago. "I worked special events in downtown Reno and throughout Reno. As a police officer, as a police sergeant, lieutenant and deputy chief, and I thought it was intriguing when this position came up."
The popular Hot August Nights - draws crowds in the tens of thousands, and Mike began increasing security at the various events when he took the post four years ago; "I met with the Department of Homeland Security because I've known those people for a lot of years, and so I think, this year, better than any other year we're gonna have a lot more law enforcement presence."
The next order of business for Mike is making sure people have FUN. And while tradition plays a big part in Hot August Nights, Whan says staying current is equally important, that's why three years ago - they added “Drifting”; "People love to see the smoke and the tires and the burning rubber and the noise,” Mike tells us. “This year it's even bigger and better. Years past we had one track, this year we'll have four tracks. We're taking over the whole livestock event center."
Besides the dozens of events per day - every day - for eight days - Mike and his staff are tasked with creating the coveted Hot August Nights memorabilia. From ribbons to posters, and of course trophies...all work that keeps the team busy 40 to 50 hours per week.
“This is a year round job and matter of fact, I'm working today, and I have been for months, on contracts for 2019."
And Whan is the first to admit he could never do it alone. There are five full time staff members and hundreds of volunteers; '"It's an event that could not happen without community support."
Whan also heads up the Hot August Nights Foundation, which has raised almost one million dollars for at-risk kids right here in northern Nevada.
For details on this month’s events, please click link below