The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation has selected 27 civic leaders from around the state for the 2022 Flinn-Brown Fellowship.
Meet the 2022 Flinn-Brown Fellows, learn about their careers, public service, and communities they represent, and connect with them on social media.
U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Ft. Huachuca
Alanna is a sixth-generation Arizona cattle rancher. She grew up in Cochise County and returned after graduating from the University of Arizona with degrees in natural resource management and Spanish. Alanna currently works at the U.S. Army’s Fort Huachuca as an executive liaison assistant to the Commanding General. She advises on public policy concerns at the federal level with Congress, as well as the state level with the Office of the Governor and the Arizona State Legislature. Part of her portfolio includes the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, a collaborative partnership that works to advance sustainable land management around military installations.
Dave Engelthaler is the director and professor of TGen North, the infectious disease arm of the nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute. Dave oversees a number of research groups working on detecting and understanding infectious diseases such as COVID-19, tuberculosis, and valley fever. His team at TGen also provides genomic services to CDC, state, local and tribal health departments, and Arizona healthcare institutions. Dave was previously the Arizona State Epidemiologist. He has started for-profit and nonprofit businesses, sits on multiple local and national boards, and proudly led the establishment of Flagstaff as “America’s First STEM City.”
The Honorable Andrew Hettinger
City of Page
Andrew Hettinger is the presiding magistrate for the Page Magistrate Court. He has served as a full-time judicial officer in Arizona for the last five years. Andrew graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Brigham Young University and graduated with a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He is a certified mediator, Certified Public Manager, and licensed attorney in Arizona. Andrew has served as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona for over seven years and currently volunteers as the president of the men’s group with his local church congregation.
La Paz County
The Honorable Monica Timberlake
Valley of the Sun Real Estate
Governing Board Member, Quartzsite Elementary School District
Monica Timberlake is a realtor for Valley of The Sun Real Estate. She lives in Quartzsite, where she is serving her third term as a governing board member for the Quartzsite Elementary School District. She also serves as the La Paz County Director for the Arizona School Boards Association. It is Monica’s goal to see that all children in Arizona receive the best education possible regardless of zip code, and she was named the 2022 Advocate of the Year by the Arizona School Boards Association. Monica is the mother to two amazing children and has one beautiful grandbaby.
CEO & Founder
Read Better Be Better
Originally from England, Sophie Allen-Etchart began her career in business in London, before moving to Peru to manage an international team working on a comprehension curriculum designed to complement the national schooling system.
In Phoenix, Sophie spent two years managing Junior Achievement programs and noticed that many of the 20,000 students being served lacked foundational reading skills.
Sophie founded Read Better Be Better just after the “Move on When Reading” law was passed. This school year, the program inspired over 2,500 children to love literacy and learning.
In 2017, Sophie was recognized as one of Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
Executive Vice President
Center for the Future of Arizona
Amanda Burke, Ed.D., is executive vice president at the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA). She focuses on innovation and systemic change that will advance the shared priorities of Arizonans and the long-term future success of the state. Prior to joining CFA, Amanda was the director of education innovation and policy at Arizona State University. She began her career as a high school English teacher in South Los Angeles and believes that education changes lives and creates opportunity. Amanda is active in the community and lives in Phoenix with her husband and their two young boys.
Amanda earned her Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Innovation and a Master of Educational Administration from Arizona State University. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
Michael Deiana Jr.
Education Program Manager
Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry
Michael Deiana Jr. is an education program manager for the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation & Reentry (ADCRR), a dedicated public servant who spends over 50 hours a week working to improve his community, and a lifelong learner.
Before stepping into his current role at ADCRR, Michael worked for former Congressman Matt Salmon and then served for several years as a middle- and high-school math teacher while earning three master’s degrees. He then transitioned into teaching people in prison with moderate to severe mental health needs before being promoted into his current role.
When he’s not working, Michael enjoys continuing his formal education, watching Netflix, discussing politics, going on walks with his wife, trying the best food spots in Arizona, and being an avid sports fan.
The Honorable Brannon Hampton
Vice Mayor, City of Goodyear
Goodyear Vice Mayor Brannon Hampton was elected to his first four-year Goodyear City Council term in 2017. Currently, he represents Goodyear on many regional and national boards and committees.
Brannon is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Prior to joining Edward Jones, he was employed at Arizona Public Service for over 17 years in various roles. Brannon volunteers his time at several nonprofit organizations.
Brannon received his MBA from Grand Canyon University. Before achieving his MBA, he received his bachelor’s in business administration, and associate’s in mechanical maintenance engineering.
Brannon and wife, Rebecca, and their three children live in Goodyear.
Healthy Communities at Vitalyst Health Foundation
As the director of Healthy Communities at the Vitalyst Health Foundation, Gabriel Jaramillo has the opportunity to work on a variety of areas affecting Arizonans and is excited to expand on the work he is doing in housing. Gabriel’s passion for housing and community development grew through his career in banking and his work for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.
Gabriel graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in History and Public History from Grand Canyon University. Gabriel has lived in Phoenix for the past 22 years where he and his wife are raising their four children. He and his wife are active members in their community and enjoy playing soccer, fishing, and spending time with family.
Grants & Community Engagement Director
Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture
Sarah León joined the city of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture in July 2018 and is currently the grants and community engagement director. Prior to joining the office, she spent over 15 years collectively in the community and arts nonprofit sectors in Arizona and Washington, as well as in arts administration for the city of Seattle.
Born and raised in Phoenix, she spent her most formative years in Maryvale, Sunnyslope, and west Van Buren, where she now lives with her partner and two young children. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Texas at Austin.
Equality Health Foundation
An Arizona native, Tomás León serves as the President of the Equality Health Foundation and board advisor for Arizona Asian and Hispanic Chambers. He recently led Equality Health LLC’s marketing and strategy. Tomás excelled as the President and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, where he created and launched an award-winning national equity of care campaign to eliminate health care disparities.
His awards include AZ Business Magazine Diverse Business Leaders to Watch, Diversity MBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging Leaders Award, Wellness Council of Arizona’s Executive Champion for Worksite Wellness Award, and achievement honors from the Arizona Healthcare Executives and the Diversity Leadership Alliance. He is eager to use his two decades of collective experience to help build an inclusive economy and a more vibrant and healthier Arizona.
The Honorable Adam Lopez Falk
Community Program Officer
Arizona Community Foundation
A fifth generation Arizonan, Adam Lopez Falk joined the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) as community program officer in August 2021. In this role, Adam advances ACF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work by deepening connections to Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color-led nonprofits, with a focus on Central and Southern Arizona and the borderlands of Arizona and Sonora.
Prior to ACF, he oversaw statewide operations for Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute. Adam also served three terms as an elected school board member in the Alhambra Elementary School District.
He lives in Phoenix with his wife, Angelina, and daughter, Arizona.
Chief Operating Officer
Boys & Girls Club of the Valley
Kim Madrigal is the chief operating officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. Her leadership philosophy is to serve missions greater than herself. Kim’s service includes training thousands nationwide in leadership development with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and teaching at the Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Kim’s passions include family, nature, running, cheese, developing others, and learning. Her education includes studies in leadership coaching as a Woodruff fellow at Georgetown University, achieving a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in educational leadership and cultural studies, a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Toledo, and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University.
Director of Economic Empowerment
Greater Phoenix Urban League
Jerry McPherson serves as the director of economic empowerment for Greater Phoenix Urban League (GPUL), where he directs the civil rights organization’s workforce and entrepreneurship initiatives to support historically marginalized communities.
Jerry previously served as President of GPUL’s Young Professionals auxiliary organization. He holds the designation of Certified Public Accountant and was recognized by both the Phoenix Business Journal and CPA Practice Advisor as one of their “40 under 40.”
Jerry earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Virginia State University. He is a graduate of the National Urban League’s highly selective Emerging Leaders program, led by Duke University Corporate Education, and the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Leadership Academy. Jerry is also a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard.
Arizona State University
Chris Richardson is employed by Arizona State University as Deputy Chief Information Officer. He has been leading the transformation of ASU (rated No. 1 in innovation seven years in a row by U.S. News and World Report) into a Smart Campus and is a champion for initiatives like the ASU Mobile App (which is currently being modified to serve the public sector beyond ASU), the ASU Smart City Cloud Innovation Center (powered by AWS) and the ASU/Cox Collaborative. Chris is co-host of The Urban Complex: Smarter Cities for a Stronger Tomorrow podcast. Formerly, Chris was with Honeywell for 12 years as they built a complex connected ecosystem.
Founder and Chair
HEAL PAC (Health Equity and Access through Leadership)
Dr. Hiral Tipirneni is a physician, healthcare advocate, and the Founder/Chair of HEAL PAC, an organization focused on health equity through leadership. Her unique background highlights the intersection of clinical medicine, community health, public policy, and political leadership. She has spent her professional life working on diverse teams as an effective problem-solver focused on improving lives, advocating on behalf of vulnerable communities, and, most recently, addressing the impact of public policy on the social determinants of health. For 26 years, Hiral and her husband have lived and worked in the Phoenix area, taking in Arizona’s beauty alongside their three children and a bevy of dogs.
Voter Education Specialist
Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission
Avery D. Xola is the voter education specialist for the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission. Currently, Avery is responsible for educating the residents of Arizona on the electoral process. Avery graduated with a political science degree from Arizona State University in 2018 while interning at the Office of the Secretary of State under Secretary Michele Reagan. In 2021, Avery graduated with a master’s degree in public administration from The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions at ASU. Avery has a background in campaign management, is a published writer, and an Air Force veteran.
Tanque Verde High School
Amy Cislak holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Linguistics from Boston College, a M.Ed. in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University where her educational research was appropriately titled, “Rejecting the Status Quo.”
No stranger to innovation, Amy actively seeks out and collaborates with business, corporate, and university leaders in the community and around the country to create strategic partnerships that benefit students, including the first honors college/high school partnership in Arizona. Due in part to these collaborative efforts, Amy was named Arizona Education Leader Trailblazer of the Year by A for Arizona in 2018, a Southern Arizona 40 under 40 Awardee in 2018, and was the Principal of the Year in Tucson Unified School District in 2017.
SARSEF (Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation)
Julie Euber is CEO of SARSEF. Previously, she served as TGen’s manager of education and outreach. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and English from Indiana University and earned her Master of Arts in Anthropology from Arizona State University. Julie is an alum of City Year New York and the American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. She was 2020 President of YNPN Phoenix and received a Tucson 40 under 40 award in 2021. She is in the Lead Tucson class of 2022 and serves on the board of the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence.
Office of U.S. Senator Mark Kelly
Charlinda Haudley is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She is the deputy scheduler and the assistant to the state director in the Office of U.S. Senator Mark Kelly. She obtained her Master of Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her doctorate from the University of Arizona.
She received accolades for her community involvement including the Special Contributions to Indian Education Award, Tucson’s 40 under 40 Award, and the Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Award. A key leader in her community, Charlinda serves as the tribal community engagement representative with the University of Arizona’s American Indian Alumni Club and is part of the board of directors for Higher Ground. She currently participates in the two programs, the Civic and Political Leadership Academy and the LEAD Tucson Class of 2022, which are affiliated with Greater Tucson Leadership. Charlinda is a member of the Tucson Young Professionals organization as well.
Assistant Vice President
Tech Launch Arizona
University of Arizona
Doug Hockstad serves as the assistant vice president of Tech Launch Arizona, the University of Arizona’s technology commercialization organization, providing services to find commercial applications for university research and support the creation of startups based on UArizona technology. Doug joined UArizona in 2013 with more than 25 years of experience in high-tech markets, primarily in the software industry, including both established company and startup experience. Prior to UArizona, his experience includes tech transfer at the University of Michigan and serving on the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) board of directors, helping to set the strategic direction of the AUTM organization.
Campus Vice President, Desert Vista Campus
Pima Community College
Edgar Soto received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of New Mexico in 1993, and a Post Baccalaureate Certification in Education from the University of Arizona in 1994. In 1999, he received his master’s degree in multicultural education from Northern Arizona University.
Edgar is a bold advocate for increasing college completion rates and closing equity gaps. He believes all students should have equal access to complete a college education or a credential of value. With a clear path and a little support, Edgar believes we can ensure our students get a high-quality education that will help them live a productive and meaningful life—and all our community will share the benefits of their success.
Commercial Real Estate Associate
Kevin Volk was born and raised in Tucson. After graduating from Salpointe Catholic High School, he moved to Rhode Island to attend Brown University. Following college, Kevin worked as a fifth-grade public school teacher in California with Teach for America, continued as an educator in Aguascalientes, Mexico, on a Fulbright scholarship, and worked on a U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia. After returning home to Tucson, he worked as the general manager of a local retail store before joining the family firm, Volk Company, as a commercial real estate agent. Kevin now focuses on adaptive reuse development and building affordable, sustainable housing.
The Honorable Sherri Jones
Program Development Specialist
Arizona Department of Economic Security-Child Care Administration
Governing Board Member, Florence Unified School District
San Tan Valley
Sherri Jones has worked with or on behalf of young children for over 20 years in Arizona, cultivating valuable community engagement skills across Arizona’s rural, urban, and tribal communities. She has been a part of statewide initiatives focused on children from birth through school age, supporting continuing education for educators, and a variety of concerns impacting Arizona families.
Sherri is a governing school board member for the Florence Unified School District. She serves on the Arizona Department of Education African American Advisory Council and the Leading for Change Board. Sherri received her Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University.
Santa Cruz County
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Vail School District
Darcy Mentone has worked in the Vail School District since 2002. She began as a fifth-grade teacher and student achievement teacher. She went on to serve as the assistant principal at the nation’s first 1:1 laptop high school before founding Vail’s first Career and Technical Education (CTED) focused high school as the principal.
While serving as principal, the state announced cuts to CTED funding. Darcy actively advocated for its preservation. Darcy enjoyed advocacy and public policy so much that she took a position as director of communications and public affairs for Vail, focusing on public relations, community outreach, and education policy.
Chief Executive Officer
April Rhodes is president and CEO for Spectrum Healthcare Group, a statewide nonprofit organization meeting the whole health needs of Arizona’s populations.
April has served at the forefront of health care and human services management for nearly two decades. April has a Master of Advanced Study in marriage and family therapy from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration from University of Arizona. April is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist.
April serves on multiple boards in Arizona and is considered a subject matter expert on leadership, whole-person healthcare, and criminal justice and mental health related community-based services.
The Honorable Reetika Dhawan
Vice President of Workforce and CTE
Arizona Western College
Governing Board Member, Southwest Technical Education of Yuma
Reetika Dhawan is an accomplished individual with a diverse background in education. Holding master’s degrees in both physics and applied math, she is currently seeking her doctorate in instructional design. As vice president of workforce and CTE at Arizona Western College, her current role has given her many unique opportunities to engage in transformative leadership. She has also served on numerous boards and received multiple accolades for teaching and administration, including the Vice President Innovation Award, Teacher of the Year, and Heart of Yuma Leadership Award. Reetika is also a governing board member for the Southwest Technical Education of Yuma. Reetika is passionate about education and making a difference in the lives of others.