The party never truly started until Neysa Tonks made an appearance.
An outgoing, energetic and driven demeanor made her well-suited for life in Las Vegas and a career in IT sales. Known as a top producer in her field who worked at Micros, Cisco and, most recently as a global account executive for Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider Technologent, she excelled at forming strong customer relationships. But she was also a popular face across the city, and a single mother who worked tirelessly to provide for her three boys -- Kaden (24), Braxton (17) and Greysen (14).
On Oct. 1, those sons lost their mother and the channel lost a cherished friend when a gunman opened fire on concertgoers gathered outside the Mandalay Bay Resort, killing Tonks and 58 other people in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. She was 46.
[Related: GoFundMe: In Memory Of Neysa Tonks]
Vegas lost an "icon" in Tonks, friends said, describing her as someone who could build friendships with anyone and charm those around her with her infectious laugh. Her influence on others was clearly felt, and perhaps best illustrated at her celebration of life held last month, when the memorial service drew between 2,000 and 3,000 people to the outdoor pool area of the Red Rock Casino.
"It was jam-packed, standing room only. Wall-to-wall people," Technologent Executive Vice President Marco Mohajer told CRN. "You couldn't let anybody else in. People from all around the globe had flown in just to be at that event. She was very well-loved."
City council members made that day, Oct. 9, Neysa Tonks Day in Las Vegas, and a GoFundMe campaign created in her honor raised $250,000 in just 16 days – clear testaments to the rich legacy she wove during her life.
With a demanding sales job, a flourishing social life and three children at home, time was usually at a premium for Tonks. But her ability to juggle those responsibilities and find time to help others around her consistently amazed co-workers.
"It's an understatement to call her a 'boss lady' from what I've seen her do, in terms of raising her kids to be amazing people, as well as enabling and empowering her customers," said Patricia Scull, a Google Cloud sales representative who worked with Tonks at Cisco.
Matt Taite, a Cisco systems engineer who was partnered with Tonks across her sales accounts, said family and friends were always priority No. 1 in her life – even as she excelled professionally.
"The reason why she worked so hard and the sales life she chose with the companies she worked for was to have the success that she could provide a good life for those kids," Taite said.