Catherine Farahi


Catherine Banayan Farahi’s career weaves together a dedication to the arts, community leadership, and educational advocacy. Born in Tehran, Iran, Catherine moved to the United States and embarked on her artistic education, achieving dual bachelor’s degrees in Music and Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Reno, supplemented by minors in French and Italian. 

Upon moving to Reno, she dedicated two decades to teaching piano, fostering a love of music in her students. She also performed in several operas with the Nevada Opera choir. Catherine served on the boards of both the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Reno Chamber Orchestra for many fulfilling years.

Catherine’s philanthropic efforts display a steadfast commitment to community enrichment. She served as Chairman of Hadassah as well as the United Jewish Appeal, and served on the boards of the Sierra Nevada Educational Foundation and Hillel of Northern Nevada. 

She has also made significant contributions as a trustee serving on the board of the Nevada Museum of Art, where together with her husband, John, she spearheaded an influential arts and culture mission to Israel. Currently, she serves as a founding board member of the Alliance Francaise Reno, promoting French educational programming that was previously unavailable in the region.

Catherine has been a supportive partner to John, as the broader family developed Monarch Casino and Resort, the parent company of Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno. As a dedicated mother of four, she imparted the value of education to her children, all of whom graduated with master’s degrees from Columbia Business School. What makes her most proud, is seeing her children still gather around her table for home cooked meals together. Her culinary art was recognized when she was recently featured on the cover of Edible Reno-Tahoe for her Persian cuisine. 

Today, Catherine continues to pursue her love of the arts, often with the tiny fingerprints of her grandchildren.