JULIE BOBZIEN, Executive Director
Ms. Bobzien has been with VARN since 2013, and has been the Executive Director since 2015. She previously held the role of Finance & Grants Manager. She is a member of Nevada’s Access to Justice Commission and Treasurer of the Board od Directors of the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV).
Before coming to VARN, she spent ten years working in the political and legislative arena for campaign organizations and elected officials. In particular, for four years, she held the position of District Director for the Nevada Senate Majority Leader and managed all aspects of the district office in southern Nevada.
Ms. Bobzien has a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In her spare time she loves to read, travel, and spend time with her husband, daughter, and two stepsons. Email Julie Bobzien.
VICTORIA S. MENDOZA, Esq., Managing Attorney/Pro Bono Coordinator
Ms. Mendoza received her undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame. She has been licensed to practice law in the state of Nevada and the state of California. (Her California license is currently inactive.) She has served as a law clerk for the Second Judicial District Court and a staff attorney for the Nevada Supreme Court.
Prior to joining VARN, Ms. Mendoza practiced commercial litigation, bankruptcy, family and probate law with the Hale Lane law firm (now known as, Holland and Hart), the Silverman and Decaria law firm, and her own law firm, Victoria S. Mendoza, Esq. Ltd. Ms Mendoza has also served on many non-profit boards, such as, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Nevada Hispanic Services, Step 2, the Nevada Women’s Fund, and Pack Paws. She is a past president of Northern Nevada Women Lawyers Association, and a former board member of the Board of Governors for Nevada Trial Lawyers. She is also a member of Soroptimist International of Truckee Meadows.
She has been named a Women of Achievement by the Nevada Women’s Fund and been the recipient of several Pro Bono awards for her work with Washoe County Senior Law Project and Washoe County Law Library’s Lawyer in the Library. Besides her legal and community work, Ms. Mendoza has participated in the Team in Training Program with the Leukemia Society of America by running marathons, riding century bike rides, and completing triathlons while raising thousands of dollars for the Leukemia Society. For her efforts with the Leukemia Society, she has been named a Leukemia Society “Rock Star” and a winner of the Leukemia Society “Triple Crown”. Email Victoria Mendoza.
SUELEN PEREZ, Bilingual Legal Assistant
Suelen Perez, joined VARN on Nov. 1st 2017. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Dietetic Nutrition in 2010 from the University of Nevada, Reno and later decided to pursue a new career goal as a Paralegal. She returned to UNR to obtain her Paralegal certification in 2017.
Suelen is bilingual in English and Spanish, and she is a Legal Assistant at VARN. She previously collaborated with ESL in- home program of Northern Nevada as an ESL volunteer instructor, where she taught English as a second language to the Carson City and Douglas county community.
Suelen loves to travel back to her hometown in Guadalajara, Mexico to enjoy the nice weather and the delicious food, and In the United States she enjoys visiting friends and family in San Jose, CA where she grew up since the age of 2.
On the weekends it’s all about family and her three dogs: Ernie, Santiago, and Daisy. Email Suelen Perez.
REBECCA SMOKEY, Senior Legal Advocate/Caseworker
Rebecca Smokey is the Senior Legal advocate/caseworker who interviews clients for legal services, gathers documentation and provides summaries to attorneys for case consideration. Rebecca is knowledgeable in the dynamics of domestic violence providing direct service, case management, crisis intervention, lethality assessments, safety planning , and information and referrals to victims and families. Rebecca also provides outreach services to social service and domestic violence agencies, courts, victim witness specialists, and is a representative of the Partnership of Community Resources. Rebecca served on the Nevada Council for Prevention of Domestic Violence with the Attorney General, Domestic Violence Task Force Teams, Native American Women’s Coalition, Tribal Representative for the Washoe Tribe for 14 yrs, and served as the chair of the Burial Committee for the past 7 yrs. Rebecca is a Native Nevadan and grandmother of 4 who is active in their sporting events, community and tribal events and enjoys camping, swimming, walking, volleyball and being around family & friends. Email Becky Smokey.
GLORIA GUARINO, Receptionist
Gloria joined VARN in March of 2018 as a part time Receptionist. She works at VARN through the AARP ‘s Senior Community Service Employment Program, and has been with AARP since 2014. Prior to working at VARN, Gloria worked for RSVP. Gloria was raised in California until she moved to Nevada in 1981. She was self-employed at an excavation & trucking company from 1979 to 1999. She worked at Western Nevada College from 1999 to 2011 as both a Work Study and a Clerical Trainee. Gloria has 2 daughters and 8 grandchildren, and she loves to spend as much time as possible with them. Gloria has just found her biological family on her mother’s side, which has been a very exciting journey! Gloria loves the ocean and warm, sunny weather. She loves riding motorcycles and horses, local events, and music festivals. Email Gloria Guarino.