2017 Flinn-Brown Fellows selected by Arizona Center for Civic Leadership

September 12, 2017

By Matt Ellsworth

Arizonans from Kingman, Clifton, and many cities and towns in between have been selected for the 2017 cohort of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy, the flagship program of the nonpartisan Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

The 33 Flinn-Brown Fellows, who come from different walks of life and political perspectives, share a commitment to state-level public service and leadership. The Fellows, who are competitively selected for the program, will participate in a 12-part seminar series this fall led by renowned Arizona policy and political experts, beginning a long-term affiliation with the Flinn-Brown Network.

The 2017 Flinn-Brown Fellows, among them the first Fellows from Kingman and Clifton as well as residents of Flagstaff, Tucson, and the Phoenix metro area, increases the size of the Flinn-Brown Network to 293. The network functions as an ongoing personal and professional support system for the Fellows as they pursue roles as state-level elected officials, state-agency executives, policy advisors, or members of state boards or commissions.

“The Flinn-Brown Network continues to expand its reach across the state with this latest group of high-potential leaders who are prepared to dedicate their time, energy, and skills to the advancement of Arizona,” said Nancy Welch, Arizona Center for Civic Leadership director. “The connections made through the network enhance the opportunity to impact the state’s policy and political landscape.”

The newest Fellows represent both the private and public sectors and work in business and industry, government, nonprofits, and education. Flinn-Brown is designed for accomplished individuals ready to pursue roles in state-level civic leadership in the next three years.

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, administered by the Flinn Foundation, was launched in 2010 to strengthen civic leadership throughout Arizona, with a unique focus on state-level service. The Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy is sponsored in partnership with the Tucson-based Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization founded by Dr. Robert S. Flinn and his wife, Irene P. Flinn, in 1965 with a mission, “To improve the quality of life in Arizona.” Along with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture in Arizona, and the Flinn Scholars Program. The Thomas R. Brown Foundations supports solutions to community and state issues through strategic grants and educational programs.

2017 Flinn-Brown Fellows
(Listing includes name, position and city of residence)


Clare Aslan: Associate Director, Landscape Conservation Initiative, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
Candida Hunter: Senior Director of Tribal Affairs, First Things First, Kingman
Daryl Melvin: President, Melvin Consulting PLLC, Flagstaff
Janet Regner: Director of Community Services, Coconino County, Flagstaff


Laura Dorrell: Clifton Town Council/Gila Health Resources Urgent Care Manager, Clifton


Lynné Almy: Governing Board Member, Phoenix Elementary School District #1, Phoenix
Elizabeth Alvarado-Thorson: Human Resources Director, State of Arizona, Phoenix
John Barwell: Attorney, Polsinelli PC, Phoenix
Michael Beller: Administrator, Arizona Department of Administration, Phoenix
Sarah Coles: Family Physician, Banner University Medical Group; Assistant Professor, Department of Family, Community, and Preventive Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix
Mark Davis: Owner, 48 Development Co., Phoenix
Lenay Dunn: Senior Research Associate, WestEd, Phoenix
Serida Fong: Sr. Business Development Manager, Charles Schwab and Co., Inc., Scottsdale
Jarret Hamstreet: Principal, Golden Barrel Advisors, Scottsdale
Aaron Lieberman: Principal, Impello Ventures, Phoenix
Fletcher Montzingo: Budget Manager, Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, Phoenix
Robert Navarro: Assistant Director, Budget and Finance, Arizona Department of Child Safety, Phoenix
Debbie Nez-Manuel: Executive Director, Morning Star Leaders, Inc., Scottsdale
Sarah Pirzada: Budget Analyst, Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, Phoenix
Marie Raymond: Education, Families and Youth Development Manager, City of Tempe, Tempe
Sam Richard: Partner, Creosote Partners, Phoenix
Blake Sacha: Adjunct Faculty, Grand Canyon University, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Gilbert
Kyle Sawyer: Intergovernmental Relations Specialist, AHCCCS, Phoenix
Travis Schulte: Legislative Liaison, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Phoenix
Prescott Smith: Director of Community Outreach and Public Affairs, Technical Solutions, Phoenix
Charlene Tarver: President and CEO, Tarver Consulting Group, LLC, Phoenix
Christine Thompson: Project Manager, Achieve60AZ, Phoenix
William Valencia: Strategic Initiatives Director, ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Phoenix
Marge Zylla: Government Relations Officer, City of Tempe, Tempe


Zachary Brooks: Special Projects, University of Arizona Office of Global Initiatives, Tucson
Mike Holmes: Operations Program Manager, Pima County Attractions and Tourism, Tucson
JP Martin: Executive Director, Global Chamber-Tucson, Tucson
Anita Simons: Administrative Law Judge, Arizona Department of Transportation Executive Hearing Office, Tucson