Arizona Center for Civic Leadership names 2016 Flinn-Brown Fellows

September 7, 2016

By Matt Ellsworth

Arizona Center for Civic Leadership names 2016 Flinn-Brown Fellows

The independent, nonpartisan Arizona Center for Civic Leadership has selected 36 individuals as the 2016 cohort of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy, a group of Arizonans from across the state and all walks of life and perspectives who share a commitment to state-level public service.

The Flinn-Brown experience begins with Fellows, who are selected competitively, studying major issues facing the state and gaining an understanding of numerous perspectives on politics and public policy to inform their leadership. They participate in a 12-part seminar series led by Arizona policy and political experts, a leadership master class, and executive coaching.

Fellows also join the Flinn-Brown Network, an ongoing support system for personal and professional growth in public service. Flinn-Brown Fellows are expected to pursue roles as state-level elected officials, state-agency or public-policy-organization executives, policy advisors, or members of state boards or commissions. The 2016 cohort brings the total membership in the Flinn-Brown Network to 260.

Two respected former legislators will play major roles in the seminar series. Chris Herstam, a principal at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, has served as a lead consultant and assisted with curriculum development since the Academy began in 2011. During this year’s seminars he will be joined by Stan Barnes, founder and president of Copper State Consulting Group, in providing Fellows with policy and political commentary.

“With their decades of experience and numerous state-leadership roles over that time, Chris and Stan bring valuable perspectives to the Fellows on both policy issues and politics. We are fortunate to be able to draw on their expertise,” said Nancy Welch, Arizona Center for Civic Leadership director.

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

Since Flinn-Brown’s inaugural cohort participated in the Academy in 2011, the initiative has established a reputation for rigorous learning and has fostered a strong network to help expand the cadre of state-level leaders with the knowledge, skills, and commitment to address Arizona’s long-term issues.

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.

2016 Flinn-Brown Fellows
(Listing includes name, position and city of residence)


Joanne Keene: Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

Cynthia Seelhammer: County Manager, Coconino County, Flagstaff


Markay Adams: Integrated Services Administrator, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Phoenix

Sean Berens: Associate, Perkins Coie, Scottsdale

Joe Brophy: Partner, Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, Phoenix

Breanne Bushu: Development Manager and Policy Advisor, Center for the Future of Arizona, Phoenix

Sharon Carpenter: Majority Research Analyst, Arizona House of Representatives, Phoenix

Ron Carpio: Chief of Health and Family Services, Terros Health, Phoenix

Ian Danley: Executive Director, One Arizona, Phoenix

Alexis Danneman: Associate, Perkins Coie, Phoenix

Joel Edman: Law Clerk, U.S. District Court, Phoenix

Greg Esser: Associate Director, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, Phoenix

Chris Glover: Council member, City of Mesa, Mesa

Eric Hammons: Senior Consultant, Point B Management Consultants, Phoenix

Marie Isaacson: Benefits Director, State of Arizona, Phoenix

Matthew Isiogu: Budget Administrator, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Phoenix

Dana Kennedy: State Director, AARP, Phoenix

Gail Knight: CEO, Community Excellence Project, Phoenix

Sara Larsen: Financial Affairs and Compliance Officer, Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Phoenix

Kathryn Leonard: State Historic Preservation Officer, Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, Phoenix

Ed Maldonado: Attorney, Law Office of Edward Maldonado, Phoenix

Alex Ong: Assistant Director of Business Operations, Arizona Department of Child Safety, Phoenix

Paul Perrault: Vice President and Director of Research and Evaluation, Helios Education Foundation, Phoenix

Ruth Soberanes: Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Arizona-Mexico Commission, Office of the Governor, Scottsdale

Marcus Steele: Senior Financial Analyst, Office of Finance and Budget, Arizona Department of Child Safety, Phoenix

Mikel Steinfeld: Appellate Attorney, Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office, Tempe

Josh Tucker: Legislative Liaison and Public Information Officer, Arizona Department of Housing, Glendale

Nick Vasquez: Emergency Physician; Medical Director, Banner Baywood Medical Center Emergency Department, Chandler


Elvia Bustamante: Supervisor, Casino Del Sol, Tucson

Joe Erceg: Southern Arizona Director, Arizona Small Business Association, Tucson

Diana Gomez: Director of Public Health, Yuma County Public Health Services District, Yuma

William Kovacs: Marketing and Communications Director, Sándor Vineyards, Tucson

Fred Lomayesva: Assistant Attorney General, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tucson

Laura Oldaker: CEO/Executive Director, By Your Side Senior Care/Academy for Caregiving Excellence, Tucson

Juan Padres: Economic Development Specialist for International Trade, City of Tucson, Tucson

Adam Weinstein: President and CEO, The Gadsden Company, Tucson