August 2021 Network News

August 23, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

Network News

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Dawn Wallace

One of the most awe-inspiring moments of every Olympic Games is the Athletes Parade. Watching each athlete march into Olympic Stadium under the cover of their country’s flag—I’m always struck by the joy and exhilaration on their faces and how powerfully their emotions exude from the screen. The remarkable history of the Athletes’ Parade is worth reading, especially how the opening and the closing ceremonies have evolved over the last century.

I’ll also admit that in my household, the parade provides an opportunity for a much-needed world geography lesson. Beyond the experience of learning about the lesser-known countries (many thanks to Google), we also saw athletes participating through a special team construct, the Refugee Olympic Team. Consisting of 29 athletes, from 11 countries, competing in 12 sports, the Refugee Team marched into the arena under the banner of the Olympic flag in the second position, immediately after Greece. Throughout the Olympics, I was incredibly moved to hear the personal stories of these incredible athletes, displaced by their home country’s political turbulence or those who fled from authoritative regimes seeking shelter and safety. 

One athlete, Iranian Kimia Alizadeh (taekwondo), known as the “Tsunami,” barely missed out on the first-ever medal for the Refugee Team this year. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, she was Iran’s first female Olympic medalist and shortly after her bronze win, publicly spoke out about the required wearing of the hijab scarf and sexist mistreatment by Iranian officials. She defected and was granted refugee status by Germany.

I share her as an example as a self-reflection of what may have been a version of my own story. I myself was born in her country of birth, that since my early childhood has oppressed its people economically, strangled civil liberties of men and women who dissent autocratic rule, and elevated institutional sexism to obscene levels—all through the pretext of religious dogma. While certainly not destined to be an Olympic athlete, I think often of my own circumstances and what my life could have been had the United States not embraced us as refugees and given us a pathway to citizenship.

We have all seen the horrific images coming from Afghanistan—and of the people left behind. My heart breaks for the Afghan people, those who have no choice but to accept the despotic rule of the scourge of the Taliban, and those who must seek refuge for themselves and their families outside of their home country. The United States has a long tradition of special humanitarian concern for the oppressed. I hope that as our leaders contemplate this serious problem and our country’s response, they look not only through the lens of the core values we all hold dear as Americans—freedom, liberty, justice, diversity—but through the frame of reference of our humanity and the God-given right of human dignity.

Upcoming Events and Webinars

Please join us Wednesday, August 25 for a CivEx conversation on recent state actions to expand gaming in Arizona. This webinar will highlight key components of the amended state gaming compact and associated law changes enacted by the Legislature earlier this year.

Kirk Adams, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, will host the conversation with panelists Anni Foster, general counsel, Office of the Arizona Governor; Governor Stephen Lewis, Gila River Indian Community; State Representative Jeff Weninger; State Senator Rebecca Rios; and Amilyn Pierce, vice president of government affairs, Arizona Diamondbacks.

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 29 for a CivEx on exciting work in rural economic development featuring our 2013 Fellow, Mignonne Hollis.

Finally, we are always more than happy to help promote your work through social media, so please reach out to me if you would like us to publicly recognize a professional accomplishment, event, or program with which you are involved.


Save the Date: 2021 Annual Flinn-Brown Convention

Flinn-Brown Convention

Join us on Nov. 12 at the Heard Museum for the annual Flinn-Brown Convention. We will feature keynote speakers and breakout sessions during the day, a lunch program celebrating our 10th anniversary and annual Fellows awards, and an early-evening networking reception in the beautiful Piper Courtyard.

This year, our theme is “Media and the Message,” and we will focus our sessions on the role of the media in communicating and influencing public policy, showcasing the inter-relationship between the media, the public and policymakers, understanding diverse media platforms, and identifying opportunities to expand information access. With your help, we hope to make this an event to remember!

Corporate Sponsorships

To maximize participation in this special Convention and to provide a quality professional learning opportunity to Fellows, we are pursuing sponsorship opportunities to fund national speakers, breakout session participants and a small portion of our Network reception. Sponsors may showcase their support through presenting, reception, and breakout sponsorships, which includes prominent logo display, brand recognition through social media and recognition on the event website and program. To find out more about sponsorships, please see the brochure.

Promotional Materials/Swag

If you would like to promote your organization through free promotional items, please let us now. It is an excellent way to market organizations represented by the Network and we are happy to collect and distribute to event participants. Please contact Dawn or Sara if you would like to donate.

Update Directory

We will be updating the Fellows directory for the Flinn-Brown Convention. Please email Danielle with any updates you would like to include. This would be a wonderful opportunity to submit a new headshot. 

Please refer to the online directory to verify your current information.

Fellows Council Book Recommendations

Each month, we feature suggestions from Fellows to create a virtual Network library of books about public-policy issues, the practice of leadership, professional development, or other areas that would be a worthy share. This month, recommendations come from 2011 Fellow Lea Márquez Peterson and 2012 Fellow Jennifer Carusetta.

Lea Marquez Peterson The Energy Switch

Lea Marquez Peterson (2011)

The Energy Switch: How Companies and Customers are Transforming the Electrical Grid and the Future of Power

Jennifer Carusetta

Team of Rivals

Jennifer Carusetta (2012)

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Fellows Spotlight

Kathryn Leonard

Kathryn Leonard (Phoenix, 2016)
State Historic Preservation Officer, Arizona State Parks

1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization?

I currently serve as the State Historic Preservation Officer, appointed by Governor Ducey in September 2016. The State Historic Preservation Officer is a bit of a unicorn position in state government, as it draws authority under both state and federal statutes. Under the State Statute, I administer the State Historic Register and the State Historic Preservation Act—a series of statutes that prescribe the manner by which state agencies consider the effects of their actions on historic properties. My office also certifies eligibility for participation in several financial incentive programs for owners of commercial and residential historic properties. Lastly, we also coordinate the very popular Site Steward program, which provides state and federal land managing agencies with over 600 trained volunteers to assist them with monitoring archaeological sites to prevent looting and destruction.

At the national level, I work with federal agencies under the National Historic Preservation Act to ensure that they are complying with regulations involving consultation with stakeholders and tribes with regards to potential impacts to historic properties—including archaeological sites and sacred sites—for federal undertakings occurring in Arizona. Under the National Historic Preservation Act, I also administer a program to review and list nominations of significant properties to the National Register of Historic Places. In partnership with the National Park Service, the SHPO administers grant support to local communities who have certified historic preservation programs and also serves as the state liaison for certifying the eligibility of qualified rehabilitation.

I love the fact that the work of the SHPO touches all levels of government with such diverse program offerings. As you can imagine, I am constantly monitoring a wide range of urban and rural public policy issues ranging from transportation, energy and water infrastructure development and public land use (i.e. ranching, mining, recreation) to downtown revitalization, affordable housing, and economic development. And all of this policy work occurs through the lens of conserving and enhancing Arizona’s rich heritage. 

2. How has the Fellows Network been useful to you?

My work at SHPO has benefitted tremendously from the Fellows Network. The wide reach of historic preservation work makes it so that there is hardly a project that I engage in that DOESN’T have some sort of connection to another Fellow. I was thinking about this just the other day, as I sat around a table at lunch in Sierra Vista with Mignonne Hollis, Billy Kovacs and Demion Clinco who are all active players (at the federal, regional, and local levels) on the long-term effort to provide for an adaptive reuse of the Mountain View Officer’s Club at Fort Huachuca, one of the last remaining properties nationwide that tells the story of segregation in the United States armed forces. Of course, as an appointee of the governor, I am always engaged with the Fellows that work in his office, including Daniel Ruiz, Sarah Pirzada and Matthew Gress.  And wouldn’t you know, this week I even found myself on the phone with Dana Kennedy, talking to her team at AARP about partnership opportunities with the Site Steward program, which draws its volunteer base from Arizona’s extremely active retirees.

I’m fortunate to work in a field that has broad appeal to many of the Flinn-Brown Fellows. I routinely work with Sharon Carpenter at the Legislature to assist her with answering any questions legislators have about SHPO’s regulatory programs. I’ve also worked with Cheyenne Walsh at Heritage Alliance and Rep. Joanne Osborne, who led the successful effort to reinstate and FUND the popular Heritage Fund grant program through which SHPO will distribute up to $3 million for qualified historic preservation projects this year.  

Even the most casual of conversations with Fellows can lead to significant policy developments. At one of our Friday sessions, fellow classmate Fred Lomayesva and I talked about federal funding for tribes to assist them with historic preservation review.  A year or so later, Fred called me up and said that his employer, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, was ready to take the first steps to becoming an NPS-certified Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Fred and I worked together to write the application and in 2019, Pascua Yaqui joined the 10 other Arizona tribes who have federally-recognized tribal historic preservation programs.

3. What do you see as potential opportunities strengthening civic health in Arizona?

Would I be too transparent if I proposed that Arizona’s civic health could be improved through enhancing the public’s engagement with heritage assets that convey Arizona’s unique story?  I have found through my experience working with diverse constituencies, that—politics aside—most people agree that we have a beautiful state with rich history that is worthy of preservation. Using the preservation of Arizona’s heritage sites as the locus for discussion of issues—about education (e.g. the Dunbar School, Old Main at UArizona), healthcare (the Bertram Goldberg tower at Banner University, the Lescher and Mahoney-designed State Hospital), science and technology (Lowell Observatory), justice and incarceration (the city of Phoenix Courthouse), the military (Fort Huachuca), mining (the Lavender Pit in Bisbee), tribal government (the Navajo Nation Chapter House), and housing (the Coffelt Lamaroux Homes in Phoenix)—has the potential to defuse contentious dialogue on policy issues by contextualizing them within a historical framework. Arizona’s story is ultimately a place-based story of adaptability and resilience. I firmly believe if we can get people off of their devices and discussing policy issues in spaces that matter, we will have opportunity to “elevate” civil discourse through an understanding of our shared history. Historic Preservation projects and initiatives provide the perfect backdrop for civic engagement as the very enterprise of preservation is to make the past relevant for the future.

4. Can you please share your favorite historic places to visit in Arizona?

There are just too many to choose from!  But here are a few of my favorite itineraries:

In the North:

Stay at La Posada Hotel in Winslow. Mary Colter designed this masterpiece for the iconic Fred Harvey Company.  It was lovingly rehabilitated in the 1990s using Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

While you’re there, check out the Painted Desert Complex at Petrified National Monument, designed by noted modern architect Richard Neutra and the well-preserved ruins at Homol’ovi State Park, an ancestral village of the Hopi Tribe.

I find that these three properties provide the visitor with a wonderful snapshot of Arizona’s diverse heritage assets.

Heading South:

I have a special place in my heart for Casa Grande Ruins, as I worked for a year or so doing archaeological data recovery on an ADOT project nearby. Tucson has so many great historic places. You could stop for lunch at Hotel Congress or Maynard’s, which is located in the old Southern Pacific Train Station, take a picnic lunch to the funky DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun, or explore some eclectic historic districts like Barrio Viejo, El Presidio, or the postwar Sunshine Mile. Driving south, you can visit two National Historic Landmarks that tell very different stories of Arizona—the Church at San Xavier del Bac and the Titan Missile Museum. Stay overnight in Tubac to experience the history of the Spanish presidio (and do some shopping and art gallery browsing) and then head over to Tumacacori Historical Park in the morning to experience an NPS-interpreted mission, located along the beautiful Santa Cruz River.

I could keep going… The Verde Valley has some amazing historic destinations, and Cochise County is an absolutely treasure trove of history.

If you missed a Fellows Spotlight, you can view them on the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership website now.

Fellows In The News

Elvy Barton (Chandler, 2013) was featured in a KNAU news story about a forest thinning project the Salt River Project will be partnering on. 

Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) was recently featured in the Arizona Office of Tourism’s Grand Connection series. She was also quoted in a article regarding six project funding requests Congressman O’Halleran secured for Arizonans.

Erin Carr-Jordan (Chandler, 2013) was quoted in an ASU News article about the work that ASU and other partners are doing to help close the internet access gap.

Juan Ciscomani (Tucson, 2011) is running for Congress in Arizona’s Second Congressional District.

Julie Erfle (Phoenix, 2013) was quoted in a KJZZ article about a bipartisan infrastructure bill that was recently filibustered in Congress.

Daniel Hernandez, Jr. (Tucson, 2011) was featured in a Jewish Insider article regarding his bid for Congress in 2022.

Aaron Lieberman (Paradise Valley, 2017) was quoted by the Jewish Journal in an article regarding the Legislature’s Holocaust Education Bill (HB2241).

Amanda Lomayesva (Tucson, 2015) was quoted in a Legal Sports Report article regarding guidelines for Arizona sports betting.

JP Martin (Tucson, 2017) is now the director of small business and community engagement for the city of Tucson, Ward 1.

David Martinez III (Phoenix, 2011) is now director of community engagement at Vitalyst Health Foundation.

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) was mentioned in an AZMIRROR article about Luis Grijalva, a DACA recipient who recently competed in the Tokyo Olympics.

Nicole Pasteur (Washington D.C., 2013) is now communications advisor at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Marie Peoples (Webster Groves, Missouri, 2015) recently received the Presiding Judges Award for her leadership in criminal justice.

Rebecca Perrera (Phoenix, 2020) was appointed auditor for the Laveen Community Council.

Lea Márquez Peterson’s (Tucson, 2011) article, “Here is What it Will Cost You to Achieve 100% Clean Energy,” was published in Prescott eNews earlier this month.

Sarah Pirzada (Phoenix, 2017) is now chief operating officer for Governor Doug Ducey.

Christian Price (Maricopa, 2012) was mentioned in a Gila Herald article about funding for rural and tribal infrastructure.

Janet Regner (Clarkdale, 2017) is now an Arizona redistricting consultant with Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally, PC.

Daniel Ruiz II (Phoenix, 2015) is now chief of staff for Governor Doug Ducey.

Larry Sandigo (Phoenix, 2018) was recently selected for the Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 2021 Class.

Career and Professional Opportunities

Arizona Community Foundation is hiring for several positions such as, community investment coordinator, philanthropic advisor, and senior accountant, among others.

Arizona Sustainability Alliance is seeking an executive director to provide strategic leadership and vision and assume operational responsibility for achieving the organization’s goals.

ADP is seeking a government affairs director to communicate regularly with federal regulators and tax administrators to help ensure company policies adhere to statutory requirements.

Arizona State University is seeking an associate director of annual fund and development communications for Sun Devil Athletics. This position interacts daily with donors and prospective donors, connecting them to Sun Devil Athletics.

HonorHealth Foundation is looking for a vice president-grants to manage all aspects of the HonorHealth Foundation grants division.

LISC-Phoenix is hiring an assistant program officer for equitable economic development to work on innovative community development initiatives. Learn more here.

Maricopa County is seeking a human services director and an assistant director of community services.

First Things First is hiring for several positions including CEO and fiscal operations director. Learn more about these positions here.

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is seeking a new president and CEO to coordinate and implement the many activities of the chamber.

Events & Conferences

Arizona Town Hall and Vitalyst Health Foundation are hosting a forum called “How Should Arizona Spend Federal Pandemic Funds?” Sessions will be held through Aug. 25.

The 2021 ENGAGE Nonprofit Conference will be held virtually every Wednesday in August from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. 

The Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2021 will be honored on Aug. 26.

The University of Arizona WRRC Annual Conference will be held virtually Aug. 30-Sept. 1. This year’s theme is “Tribal Water Resilience in a Changing Environment.”

The Arizona Housing Coalition is hosting its annual conference, The Power of We, Oct. 26-27 at the Mesa Convention Center.

Did you miss a previous CivEx? Now you can find webinar recordings on our website. View past events.