Kathy Sisolak was born Katherine Won Ong in Ely, Nevada as the youngest of four children and the only girl. Kathy’s family left Ely soon after she was born, moving to Las Vegas, Nevada so that Kathy’s father could work at the Fremont Hotel on Fremont Street as a card dealer. Her father was the first Chinese dealer on Fremont Street. Kathy’s mother worked for Clark County, Nevada as a data processor.
Kathy attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with an emphasis in finance. Upon graduation in 1981 she started her public service working for Clark County, Nevada in the budget office. She eventually became the budget manager where she directed the preparation, implementation and control of Clark County’s $1.8 billion annual budget. She left the County in 1996 to establish the firm of Hobbs, Ong & Associates, Inc., a financial advisory firm specializing in municipal finance. Since establishing the firm, Kathy has worked on, structured, and managed the sale of more than $32.4 billion of tax-exempt and taxable debt. State and local governments use tax-exempt bonds as a way to finance a myriad of capital projects, such as roads and streets, water and sewer systems, flood control projects, park improvements, court houses, airport improvements, convention centers and other building expansions. This unique specialty has assisted local governments obtain low cost financing that ultimately saves taxpayer money.
Kathy was also on the Board of Directors of Employers Holdings, Inc. She retired from the Board in 2018. She was initially appointed to Employers Insurance Company of Nevada (formally the Nevada State Industrial Insurance System) by Governor Kenny Guinn. She was also the Chair of the Board of the Nevada Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). She was appointed to the Nevada PERS Board by Governor Sandoval on July 1, 2011. She retired from the PERS Board in 2019.
Kathy got to know Steve Sisolak at the neighborhood gym and started dating her future husband in 2013. She first met him many years prior to dating him during his time as a Board of Regent then as a Clark County Commissioner. They married in December 2018 soon after Steve was elected as governor for the State of Nevada.