Key Note Speakers

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Keynote Speaker Bio


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Dale Lesinski


Speaker Bio


Sara Nichols


Company: Newmont Mining Corp. 

Title: HSLP Specialist Carlin Surface 


Sara Nichols has been in Safety and Health for the mining industry for 14 years.  Sara worked at Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. for 8 ½ years in many Safety and Health roles including Compliance, Contractor Management, and Industrial Hygiene.  She is currently the HSS Specialist for the Mine Division at Newmont Mining Corp. Sara held the Chair position for the Nevada Mining Association Safety and Health Committee from 2012 to 2014 as well as the IH Subcommittee Chair for four years.

shane owen

Shane Owen


Company: Newmont Mining Corp. North America 

Title: Sr. Manager Occupational Health and Hygiene 


Shane Owen has been working in the mining industry for 35 years; 24 of which has been in Health and Safety. Shane is the Senior Manager of Occupational Health and Hygiene for Newmont Mining Corp. North America. He has a B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health, and a B.A.S in Management. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, a Certified Safety Professional and a Certified Mine Safety Professional. Shane was the first Chairman of the Nevada Mining Association’s (NvMA) IH Subcommittee, a position that he held for 10-years. He then went on to Vice Chair & Chair the NvMA Safety and Health Committee for a total of 8-years.

John pereza

John Pereza


Company: Mine Safety & Health Administration 

Title: Assistant District Manager 


John received his degree in Mine Safety from Marshall University and has served in a variety of capacities within MSHA including time as an electrical inspector and accident investigator. He has been involved in regulatory, training and policy development for MSHA. John served for many years as the Conference and Litigation Representative for the Western District prior to taking on his current position as MSHA’s Assistant District Manager for Administrative and Technical Services. John is a current SME member, a former ISMSP member and is a past member of the National Association of Electrical Inspectors. Prior to coming to work for MSHA John worked in the mining industry in Arizona for 18 years and has a variety of mining experience including underground and open pit mining, milling operations, in-situ and solvent extraction processes and performing safety audits.  


Donna Pryor, Esq.


Company: Husch Blackwell 

Title: Partner 


Donna Pryor, a member of Husch Blackwell’s Energy & Natural Resources group, focuses on commercial and administrative litigation related to mine safety and occupational safety and health. She also assists clients in crisis management and strategic communications related to workplace health and safety issues.  Donna has extensive experience in the production of precious metals, aggregates, cement, industrial minerals, coal, salt, potash, phosphate, granite, limestone, and oil and gas. 

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Mark Savit, Esq.


Company: Husch Blackwell 

Title: Counsel 


Mark Savit is a member of Husch Blackwell’s Energy & Natural Resources group.  Mark has built a successful career representing clients in the Energy and Natural Resources industry, specifically in regards to mining safety and environmental issues.  Mark represents clients in government investigations and regulatory matters and litigates improper enforcement actions and whistleblower cases. He has extensive experience in mining; health, safety and environmental law; industrial disaster response; and regulatory and legislative services.

diane watson

Diane Watson


Company: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 

Title: Supervisory Responsibility Under the Mine Act 


Diane Watson is the Supervisory Special Investigator for MSHA’s Western District. She has a total of 26 years of mining experience starting at Homestake’s McLaughlin Mine; a surface gold operation in Lake, Napa and Yolo Counties, California. Diane has been with MSHA for 20 years where she specializes in Miner’s Rights, Law Regulation and Policy and applicable standards. Diane heads a team of dedicated special investigators who investigate falsification of records allegations, egregious violations and discrimination complaints by mine workers. Diane was one of the first women on the National Mine Rescue Team and traveled to China in 2006 to compete and train rescuers. Diane provides specialized training to the mine industry and oversees the district’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program. Diane believes transparency in government is paramount.