Reno resident and court reporter Monique McAllister finally took the plunge when she decided to do her 40-Over-40 photo session.

“I have not had a professional portrait in decades and I wanted it to be different and fun,” McAllister said. “It was a wonderful experience including the clothes, makeup, hair, jewelry, and shoes. The whole day was wonderful. I can’t pick one thing–well, maybe walking in six-inch heels.”

An admittedly huge Elvis fan and mother to a son, daughter, stepson, and stepdaughter, Monique, 52, offered this advice to young mothers.

“Some of the best times in your life will leave the biggest mess,” she said. “Leave the cleaning for later. Enjoy the moment.”

While traveling through Europe is on her bucket list, Monique is most passionate about helping her kids get through Scouts to earn their Eagle Scout distinction.

Like motherhood, Monique has learned a lot about life along the way and her perceptions of attractiveness have definitely changed over the years.

“(Then) it was more about looks, what you drove or what you wore—all superficial,” Monique said of her past definition. “Today I would describe myself as someone comfortable in my own skin, interesting to talk to, and someone who enjoys laughing.”

Best described as someone who knows what they are doing, and a person to tell anything to, Monique reflects on what she would tell her 20-something self.

“Listen to your heart. Follow your dreams.”

Explore Monique’s Gala testimonial at


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December 21, 2023

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