Five dedicated Arizona leaders were honored May 3 by the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at its annual Flinn-Brown Convention, which brings together Flinn-Brown Fellows for a day of learning and celebration.
The award winners include a current Arizona legislator, a decades-long public servant, and advocates for public health, rural Arizona, community colleges, youth services, and historic preservation in northern, central, and southern Arizona.
Jack Jewett Award:
Arizona Rep. Daniel Hernandez, a dedicated advocate and practical legislator with a policy mind, is in his second term in the Arizona House of Representatives, representing South Tucson, Sahuarita, Green Valley and Santa Cruz County. He has championed education, small business, health care, and gun-violence prevention, and is the co-founder of the LGBT Caucus. Previously, he served on the Sunnyside school district’s governing board. Hernandez has a practical approach to difficult issues, finds common ground, and builds relationships with others. He also encourages many to run for office while remaining active in the Flinn-Brown Network.
Network Builder Award:
Over her decades of service in the city of Phoenix, town of Queen Creek, Coconino County, and many other jurisdictions, Cynthia Seelhammer has demonstrated how to build networks of people that can get things done. Flinn-Brown is only one network she has helped develop over her public-service career. Her example of inclusion and fostering professional development among employees—from receptionists to executives—and particularly providing opportunities for women, resonates in any institution. Seelhammer was given the 2017 Gabe Zimmerman Civic Leader Award by the Center for the Future of Arizona.
Marie Peoples has led public health in Coconino County, the nation’s second-largest geographically; has been elected to the board for Coconino Community College, where she advocated for funding parity and supported rural outreach, especially among Native American learners; and has expanded her leadership as deputy county manager. As chief health officer for the county, she brought new visibility, programs, and partnerships and introduced a greater use of data to design initiatives. As deputy county manager, she is responsible for the county’s award-winning Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, a collaboration of government, treatment providers, residents, and other partner organizations.
Fernando Shipley is a former mayor of Globe and a recently elected city-council member who owns a State Farm business and is a promoter of health care, rural development, early childhood education, downtown Globe revitalization, and youth services. He was a champion of and spearheaded development of the Cobre Valley Youth Club, which continues to expand services to help young people prepare for success in college and the workforce. Shipley has also chaired the First Things First Gila Regional Council and has been a leader in the National Association of Latino Elected Officials.
Demion Clinco is CEO of Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, is a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives, and is chair of the elected Pima Community College Board of Governors. He is one of southern Arizona’s foremost quality-of-life advocates for his dedication to historic preservation, education, and community colleges. As a consultant and volunteer, he has worked tirelessly on preservation projects throughout southern Arizona, including Fort Huachuca landmarks. He is the driving force behind Tucson Modernism Week and a long-time advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Flinn-Brown awards are selected by the Flinn-Brown Fellows Council, a group of Flinn-Brown Fellows focused on strengthening the broader Flinn-Brown network, with nominations coming from council members, Arizona Center for Civic Leadership staff, and other Fellows.
The Jack Jewett award is named for the retired Flinn Foundation President and CEO, who led the organization from 2009 through 2017 and envisioned the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.
The 2019 Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy and its cohort of 30 Arizonans recently concluded its 14-session seminar series. Across Arizona, there are now more than 350 Flinn-Brown Fellows, many in state-level leadership roles, with wide-ranging expertise and experience.
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