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Funds to Support Tahoe Basin Fire Rescue Helicopter Project

What started as an annual company meeting for Chase International turned into an unprecedented 20-minute event that raised $100,000 to support “Operation Save the Tahoe Basin” fundraising project to purchase a Fire Rescue Helicopter. Before the meeting on March 23, Chase International representatives and EKN Development Group, developers of the former Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay, Nevada, spearheaded the idea before the annual meeting.

“As stewards of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s most significant revitalization project, we feel it is our duty to support initiatives that positively impact the entire region,” said Ebbie K. Nakhjavani, President and CEO of EKN. “We collaborated with Chase International, which oversees the sales and marketing for our project, to discover ways to be effective. When we heard about Operation Save the Tahoe Basin, there was no question that we had to be involved.”

During every annual meeting, Chase International sets aside time to unveil their yearly project as part of their “Chase Cares” company-wide mission to support the communities in which they live. For this annual meeting, they invited Scott Lindgren, Fire Chief for the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, to educate the agents and staff about his District’s (and others in the Basin) initiative to raise money to purchase a Fire Rescue Helicopter. In brief, his presentation acknowledged that there are no dedicated aerial resources within the Basin to assist with fires and emergency rescues, and there is a desperate need to have an aggressive, immediate response helicopter.

“Everyone in the room, many of whom were personally affected by the recent Caldor and Tamarack fires, was shocked to hear the lack of aerial support and the benefits that Operation Save the Tahoe Basin could provide,” said Mike Dunn, VP Development for Chase International.


Within moments after Chief Lindgren’s presentation, Dunn announced that if every agent donated just $62 that Chase International could raise $20,000. He then revealed that EKN would match that amount if that occurred. To add to the sizzle, Shari Chase, Founder & CEO of Chase International, announced that CHASE CARES would match every dollar raised by the people in the room and said, “Let’s do it now!”

“The room burst with a mind-blowing scene of the participants pledging donations at every level,” said Dunn. “The passion we have for our community is what Chase International is all about.”

Twenty minutes later, agents and staff of the Chase International Family of Companies, CHASE CARES and EKN raised $100,000.

“There is no better cause than to protect our environment and our homes from fire, said Shari Chase. We are so proud to partner with Tahoe Fire Chief Lindgren to support his dream of purchasing a desperately needed response helicopter for our region. Thanks to everyone for a magnificent effort.”

“We are so appreciative of the energy that Chase International and EKN put forth to jump-start the fundraising for this critically needed resource to help save the Tahoe Basin from catastrophic wildfire,” said Fire Chief Scott Lindgren. “The exposure we will receive from everyone who participated will be the key to our success.”

Chase International unveiled Chase Cares – Tahoe Douglas Fire District Helicopter Fundraiser the following day. For specific details and to donate to the Fire Rescue Helicopter project, visit

About EKN Development Group

EKN is a Newport Beach-based real estate development firm specializing in premier hospitality, retail, mixed-use, and high-density residential developments. In 2021, EKN purchased the Tahoe Biltmore Hotel and Casino in Crystal Bay, Nevada, with an existing Tahoe Regional Planning Agency permit and plans to revitalize the property into a 15-acre Lake Tahoe Alpine Resort starting Spring, 2022. In addition, EKN currently has over 1,400 hotel keys in development, 350 multifamily residential units, with associated restaurants and other amenities in developments across the United States.