MOAC Staff

Board Members

Melissa Clary

Originally from rural Menifee, California, Melissa lost her father from melanoma skin cancer at an early age. Through perseverance and hard work, she overcame, going on to be one of the first in her family to graduate from college. One of six kids, Melissa earned academic honors while balancing extracurricular activities and working two part-time jobs.

Melissa worked as a zoning technician in planning and land use for the County of San Diego while earning her bachelor’s from San Diego State University. After college, Melissa earned a paralegal certificate in business and environmental law at the University of San Diego. She worked as a paralegal before relocating to Nevada to lead parks and recreation planning and development for the City of Las Vegas from 2005 to 2010. Melissa received her master’s in public administration from UNLV and performed doctoral coursework in public affairs.

In 2010, Melissa worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C., where she gained significant federal experience preparing agency budgets, responding to Congressional inquiries, and managing government contracts. She returned to Nevada in 2011 to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A certified Project Management Professional, Melissa is proud to serve America’s veterans through her work in Information Technology infrastructure.

Melissa is active at both the local and state level, serving on philanthropic and nonprofit advisory boards. One of her favorites is Friends of Gem Theater, a nonprofit she founded in Pioche, Nevada to rehabilitate and reopen a historic movie theater built in 1937 in the old mining town. She enjoys fixing up her 1951 Huntridge Neighborhood home and spending time with friends, family, and her dogs. When Melissa is not working or volunteering, she enjoys traveling, trail running, and hiking in the scenic desert.

Pam Harrington
Field Coordinator Trout Unlimited
Pam has worked for Trout Unlimited restoring rivers and streams for 15 years. Prior work includes 13 years at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Water program, and environmental consulting for General Motors and Ford Motor. She and her husband operate a small ranch in remote Northeastern Nevada.
Anthony Ruiz
Anthony Ruiz is the senior advisor of Government Relations and Community Affairs for Nevada State College and currently serves as chairman of the Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission (MOAC). At Nevada State College, Ruiz is responsible for working with local, state and federal government officials and their staffs to successfully execute the College’s mission and Board of Regent approved initiatives. He is also responsible for helping build productive relationships within the business community and with other key local and state stakeholders to help ensure the strategic initiatives of the College are achieved. Before joining Nevada State College in 2018, Ruiz worked at the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) where he held the role of senior director of communications and public affairs. There he managed marketing, public relations and government affairs initiatives while building strategic partnerships to further the LVGEA’s mission of growing and diversifying the regional economy of southern Nevada.
Ruiz was appointed to the Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission by Gov. Steve Sisolak on September 3, 2021 and was selected by members of the Commission to serve as chairman of MOAC on October 28, 2021. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in rhetoric and media studies and political science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where he has served as a member of the College’s board of alumni since 2018. Ruiz is currently in his final year of law school at William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV. Ruiz is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma (OU EDI) and Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas.
Jose Witt
Growing up in southern Nevada, Jose has deep ties to the Mojave Desert, it’s flora and fauna. He grew up exploring the peaks and canyons of Red Rock Canyon NCA and navigating the expansive backcountry of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge by truck and foot. He has ten years of experience in conservation work in various forms including recruiting volunteers in stewardship projects, leading campaigns for public lands protection and most recently, as Executive Director of the Southern Nevada Conservancy, leading a team of interpreters to educate the community about the value of public lands. In his free time, he enjoys long backpacking trips with his wife and dog as well as occasional mountaineering climbs of peaks in the West.
Jerry D. Pfarr

Jerry Pfarr is an accomplished leader, manager and engineer with 40 years of professional experience in surface and underground mining operations.  He was born in Deadwood, South Dakota, the son of a homemaker and a gold miner.  Jerry started his  career as an underground laborer and earned a B.S. in Mining Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  He worked for the Homestake Mining Company starting off as an underground mine planning engineer and rose through the ranks during his 20-years at Homestake as an engineer working special projects, surface mine planning, and advancing to Surface Mine Superintendent.

Jerry then transitioned to Newmont Mining Corporation, the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead.  Newmont is the only gold producer listed in the S&P 500 Index and is widely recognized for its principled environmental, social and governance practices. Newmont was founded in 1921 and has been publicly traded since 1925.

At Newmont Mining, Jerry rose from Chief Mine Engineer and Mine Operations Superintendent to the Vice President Sustainability & External Relations for North America.  He was responsible for environmental compliance, permitting, closure and reclamation, and community relations.  Jerry furthered the Newmont culture by building high functioning teams of people, facilitating their success and fostering trust within and among groups.  Furthermore, he worked tirelessly as a catalyst for sustainable economic empowerment in those communities which played host to the mining operations by executing a legacy fund to foster their future growth.

Of his many accomplishments, Jerry is most proud of his role in creating a public-private partnership with state and federal agencies to protect the sage grouse habitat in the Western United States.  The agreement between the U.S. Government and the State of Nevada protects some of the most critical sage grouse habitat in the largest gold mining state in the nation.  The sage grouse is considered an indicator of the health of the entire sagebrush ecosystem in the same way the northern spotted owl is considered an indicator species for the overall health of old-growth forests.  At the time of its signing, the Nevada Governor said, “this good-faith, public-private partnership represents a significant and meaningful achievement in the cause of sagebrush habitat and species protection in the Western United States.”

Currently, Jerry consults and serves on numerous Boards.  He is married, has three children, two sons and a daughter.  In his spare time, Jerry enjoys golf and taking the occasional trip with his family as Captain of his Airstream.