July 2022 Network News

July 28, 2022

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

For the last two years, I’ve spent a good part of my summer in a lovely beach town in California. Nestled in the sweetest little bungalow, 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean, and mere minutes from a charming Main Street, it felt no less than a tropical paradise. Not entirely a vacation—we are busy preparing for Academy after all—but a quiet respite from my home office and a change of pace from the day-to-day sameness of a hot Arizona summer. 

Post-pandemic life, and its effect on the culture of work, has been relatively positive in how organizations have reimagined their values, behaviors, and work practices. For many of us, this new flexibility and, more importantly, the affirmation and acceptance of remote work as a viable construct, seems to be tipping the scales in an encouraging way toward healthy work-life balance.

Despite this optimistic viewpoint, some are asking if the pendulum has swung too far. Is that line between work and home still as blurry as it has always been? Are the effects of a five-second commute from office to living room better or worse than the 30- to 60-minute commute in traffic? Is the secret sauce geography, mindset, or both? Contemplating these questions is essential as each of us considers our “new normal” and to what degree we use this to our advantage. 

Beyond self-interest, there is a broader consideration: How does the swinging of the pendulum away from a physical, communal, workplace alter overall group dynamics, and more specifically, established group norms? And how do leaders of organizations reconcile the needs of some, and the wants of others, to maintain a healthy, cohesive group character that, when developed constructively, leads to employee satisfaction, high morale, and greater overall performance? Particularly as we navigate the entry of Generation Z workers into and the retirement of Boomers and Generation X out of the workplace in the years to come. 

In 2002, Peter Drucker wrote derisively in the Harvard Business Review about the emerging trend of outsourcing permanent and/or temporary employees, and by default, how diminishing the organization’s role in employee development would cause irreparable harm to organizational cohesion. Fast-forward 20 years, and the most popular trends in both the private and public sector are focused on employee growth, particularly in building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. If you believe that the pendulum on the future of work for this generation of workers began then, it can be argued that “necessity is the mother of invention” changes during the pandemic would have eventually occurred, on a slower clip and without less efficient revolution. 

The power of a pendulum comes from gravity, the universal form of attraction of all mass in the universe. Through gravity, it gains momentum and swings back and forth, until it eventually corrects itself and finds its equilibrium. The pendulum is analogous to human behavior, or, in my hypothesis today, a metaphor that illustrates post-pandemic life is still in a period (excuse the pun) of motion and correction as it relates to the future of work and by extension work-life balance. The pendulum has no “right” or “wrong” side but reflects merely that there is a presence of change or transformation underfoot that requires thinking and action.

I’ll conclude that while the pendulum was a good reference to use for a clinical discussion of workplace trends, its likeness is better suited to evoke the image of the human spirit. Humanity is constantly in motion caused by the weight of burdens of its own making. Fueled by the force of our collective consciousness, we go to-and-fro, trying to find ourselves, who we are, and who we want to be. I’m not sure we will ever truly find our equilibrium, but science and faith give us hope that eventually we will get there.

2022 Flinn-Brown Academy

In the past, we have welcomed existing Flinn-Brown Fellows to Academy to either “make up” days that they missed, or just to listen in to the incredible insights of our presenters, speakers, and keynotes. We’re doing so again in 2022. You can find the general schedule here, but if you are interested in a particular policy day, please contact me for specifics.


Upcoming CivEx Webinars

Arizona’s Defense Ecosystem

Please join us on Wednesday, August 31, as Flinn-Brown Fellows Drew Trojanowski (Phoenix, 2013), Matthew Walsh, (Sierra Vista, 2013), Travis Schulte (Phoenix, 2017) and Alanna Riggs (Sierra Vista, 2020) discuss Arizona’s Defense Ecosystem, the nearly $30B economic impact on the state, and opportunities for the future.

If you are interested in seeing any past CivEx sessions, please check out our CivEx page.

Fellows 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, our book recommendations come from Nicholas Vasquez (Chandler, 2016) and Annette Zinky (Phoenix, 2013).  

Fellow Annette Zinky Headshot
Annette Zinky (2013)
How to Be Perfect book cover
How to Be Perfect
by Michael Schur

I recently read “How to Be Perfect” by Michael Schur and subsequently recommended it to everyone who ever liked the show, “The Good Place,” or studied philosophy, or overthinks their actions, or likes to debate about complex ethical questions. So I basically recommended it to everyone I know. It was fun, thoughtful, silly, useful, and just rude enough to make me laugh out loud. 

Fellow Nicholas Vasquez Headshot
Nicholas Vasquez (2016)
The Righteous Mind book cover
The Righteous Mind
by Jonathan Haidt

In “The Righteous Mind,” social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition—the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do.

Flinn-Brown Convention

We are excited to share that the annual Flinn-Brown Convention will be held this year at the Desert Botanical Garden on Friday, Nov. 4.

Fellows Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) and Josue Macias (Phoenix, 2019) have agreed to be our Convention co-chairs, and Fellows Patrick Tighe (Phoenix, 2019), Candace Park (Gilbert, 2018), Kate Ali’varius (Phoenix, 2012), Pearlette Ramos (Avondale, 2018), Pele Peacock Fischer (Phoenix, 2013), Paul Brierley (Yuma, 2011), and Nicole Barraza (Tucson, 2020), have also joined the Convention committee.

If you would like to participate on the planning committee, please let us know. We invite sponsorship opportunities to help provide a high-quality, professional learning experience for our Fellows at the Convention. Sponsors may showcase their support through presenting, reception, and breakout sponsorships, including prominent logo display, brand recognition through social media, and recognition on the event website and program. To find out more about sponsorships, see the

We also invite you to promote your organization at the Convention through free promotional and marketing items. This 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 Jennifer to donate items.

Fellows Spotlight

Fellow Nicholas Vasquez Headshot

Nicholas Vasquez 

(Chandler, 2016)

Emergency Physician,
Envision Healthcare

Twitter | LinkedIn

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

I’m an emergency physician, so much of what gets decided in public policy shows up in my patient population. Insurance coverage decisions, rental assistance, food insecurity, and evictions are among the many issues we deal with. Whatever the needs of a community are, they show up among my patient population. Of course, COVID-19 and the policy around that has been difficult. 

I often like to say I have a job for five bad reasons: bad luck, bad decision, bad habits, bad genes, and bad policy. Most policy makers believe they are doing good, and to be fair, policy is complicated. What I’ve learned is that human beings are designed to survive even in extreme circumstances. When facing scarcity (e.g., poverty, hunger, homelessness, etc.) they resort to very short-term thinking and decision-making. What I wish public policy would be better designed to do is helping people resolve, even just a little, their scarcities. Then you might see people thinking a bit longer term.

2. Do you have a favorite quote that is meaningful to you?

I may not save a life every day, but I can touch one.

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

The Fellows Network was helpful in my role as chair of the Vitalyst Health Foundation board of trustees. The network was invaluable in helping us find potential board members and staff.

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

I believe that with American Rescue Plan Act money, we can actually begin to explore policy solutions that were never considered.  My hope would be for high-quality Pre-K. There is a direct link between education and health. Giving kids who are not blessed with good fortune a good start would go a long way to resolving some of our entrenched social issues. 

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

Fellows Running for Office

We are excited to share that we have many Flinn-Brown Fellows running for office in 2022. If you would like to have your name included, please let Dawn know.


Naketa Ross (Phoenix, 2019)
Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015)
Representative Joanne Osborne (Goodyear, 2012)
Senator Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018)
Representative Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018)
Representative Morgan Abraham (Tucson, 2014)
Representative Chris Mathis (Tucson, 2011)
Janelle Wood (Phoenix, 2013)


Juan Ciscomani (Tucson, 2011)
Representative Daniel Hernandez, Jr. (Tucson, 2011)


Vice Mayor Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014)
Mayor Kevin Hartke (Chandler, 2014)
Mayor Kell Palguta (Prescott Valley, 2019)
Mayor Mila Besich (Superior, 2019)
Mayor Cecilia McCollough (Wellton, 2018)
Zach Yentzer (Tucson, 2020)

City Council

Trista Guzman Glover (Mesa, 2019)
Councilman Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011)
Councilman Matthew Herman (Casa Grande, 2019)
Shane Leonard (Higley, 2019)
Tammy Caputi (Scottsdale, 2019)

Community College Governing Board

Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011)
Demion Clinco (Tucson, 2013)

School District Governing Board

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020)
Christine Thompson (Phoenix, 2017)
Ruth Ellen Elinski (Cottonwood, 2014)

Justice of the Peace

Kristel Ann Foster (Tucson, 2015)

Special Districts

Ben Graff (Phoenix, 2011)
Alexandra Arboleda (Phoenix, 2018)

Fellows In The News

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

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

Rep. Morgan Abraham (Tucson, 2014) wrote an opinion piece in the Arizona Daily Star regarding common sense gun policies.

Christian Baca (Phoenix, 2020) is now the Senior Design Strategist for New Age Civics.

Elvy Barton (Chandler, 2013) was quoted in an azcentral article about thinning dense Arizona forests to prevent wildfires and protect water sources.

Carla Berg (Phoenix, 2020) wrote an article in InMaricopa about health hazards brought on by monsoon season.

Mayor Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) was quoted in a Mining.com article about the recent U.S. appeals court ruling to uphold the Arizona land swap deal for Rio Tinto copper mine.

Quintin Boyce (Chandler, 2020) was interviewed for an Equality Health Foundation video about the impact of the Blue Zones Activate South Phoenix initiative on Roosevelt School District.

Stacey Button (Columbia, MIssouri, 2011) was interviewed for the CEO Roundtable podcast about her role as Columbia’s Regional Economic Development Incorporated president.

Tammy Caputi (Scottsdale, 2019) wrote an op-ed in Arizona Digital Free Press about combating fear-based politics in Scottsdale.

Ruth Ellen Elinski (Cottonwood, 2014) wrote an article in Prescott eNews about Elaine O’Connor, the grand prize winner at the statewide Moonshot Pioneer Pitch entrepreneurship competition.

John Glenn (Denver, Colorado, 2013) recently accepted a Senior Architect position with Davis Partnership in Denver.

Mary Hamway (Paradise Valley, 2012) wrote an op-ed in the Daily Independent disapproving of the use of fear-mongering politics in Paradise Valley.

Rep. Daniel Hernandez Jr. (Tucson, 2011) was quoted in a KOLD13 article about a recent proposal to ban kids from attending drag shows.

Elaine Kessler (Gilbert, 2018) Photography was featured in a Travel Pulse article about the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert.

Billy Kovacs (Scottsdale, 2016) is now a Policy Advisor at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Katelyn Harris Lange (Phoenix, 2020) is now a Senior Talent Sourcer with SeekOut.

Nikki Lee (Tucson, 2018) was quoted in a Tucson Sentinel article regarding responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Tomás León (Phoenix, 2022) was interviewed for a PHOENIX Magazine article about the Blue Zones Activate South Phoenix initiative.

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) was featured in a FWD.us video and an NPR podcast about her experience living as a first generation DACA recipient, and how lawmakers can help provide permanent protection for DACA recipients and DREAMERS.

Christian Osmeña (Phoenix, 2020) was highlighted in an ASU News article about the Sacramento Scholarship Program he helped launch which allows ASU students to intern for California state policymakers and agencies.

Cynthia Seelhammer (Queen Creek, 2016) was recently highlighted as the ASU School of Public Affairs #FacultyFriday spotlight.

Keri Lazarus Silvyn (Tucson, 2011) was mentioned in an AZ Big Media article about an LPC Desert West industrial project.

Ryan Smith (Mesa, 2013) was quoted in an azcentral article about major improvements being made to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Jami Snyder (Phoenix, 2013) was interviewed for a Healthcare Innovation article regarding the benefits of state funding for affordable housing.

Christina Spicer (Phoenix, 2013) was a featured speaker at the Nonprofit Business Summit. Her session covered innovation, resilience, and crisis management for nonprofit leaders.

Jenny Holsman Tetreault (Phoenix, 2011) was appointed Chair of the Board for The Herberger Theater Center.

Monica Timberlake (Quartzsite, 2022) was highlighted in an AZEDNEWS video about what Juneteenth means to her as a school board member.

Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo (Mesa, 2014) is now the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Center of Excellence in Inclusive Democracy.

Zach Yentzer (Tucson, 2020) recently interviewed Gov. Doug Ducey on his podcast, Tipping Point with Zach Yentzer.

Avery Xola (Phoenix, 2022) was featured in a video highlighting his journey from being a SATCOM Ranger with the United States Air Force to the Voter Education Manager at Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

Updates are gathered from conversations, press releases, articles, social media, tipsters, and confessions. Have news to share? Send it to Danielle Underwood.

Board and Commission Openings

Serving on a board or commission is a great way to influence public policy on issues where you have expertise or a passion to serve.

The Commission on Judicial Performance Review is recruiting two public members to serve on the Commission. Interested applicants must be residents of Maricopa or Coconino counties and cannot be a judge or an attorney. Interested applicants may download an application and submit it via email to jpr@courts.az.gov.

The Governor’s office is seeking applicants to fill vacancies on the following boards and commissions:

You can apply for these positions at the Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions here.

City and county governments frequently have vacancies as well.
County Board and Commission offices:

City Board and Commission offices (check your city’s website for local information):

Career and Professional Opportunities

Arizona Forward is accepting nominations for their Emerging Sustainability Leaders Class of 2023. Applications and additional information is available here.

Applications for Leadership West Class 29 are now open. Leadership West is the only program that offers a behind-the-scenes look into issues in the West Valley. The 150-hour flagship program is designed to transform already exceptional individuals into 4th Quadrant Leaders who generously utilize their knowledge, collaboration, and skills to make life better for everyone in their organization, community, and region. Apply here.

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is now accepting speaker applications for its annual ENGAGE conference on Aug. 25 and the virtual IDEA conference on Oct. 19. Learn more and apply here.

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is accepting applications for their Piper Fellows Program through Aug. 1.

The Center for the Future of Arizona is hiring a Director of Development

SciTech Institute is hiring for STEM Ecosystem Hub Coordinators in various regions.

We Care Tucson is seeking an  Executive Director to provide strategic, entrepreneurial leadership.

The Arizona House Democratic Caucus is currently hiring for two positions: Staff Policy Advisor and Deputy Communications Director and Outreach Coordinator.

Northern Arizona Healthcare has an opening for a Director/Senior Major Gifts Officer, responsible for building relationships and raising funds from current and prospective donors by encouraging their interests and passions for improved health outcomes in Northern Arizona.

The Providencia Group is seeking a Community Resource Coordinator in the Phoenix area to cultivate relationships and connect case managers to available resources for clients.

Stand for Children is hiring for a Government Affairs Director and a Chief Operating Officer.

The University of Arizona is seeking an Associate Director, Programs, Family and Consumer Health Sciences to guide statewide programming.

Local First Arizona has multiple positions open across the organization, including Digital Marketing ManagerDirector of Resilient Food SystemsSenior Programs Manager – Rural Development, and Small Business Resource Manager.

Helios Education Foundation (Helios) seeks a Senior Vice President for Communications (SVP) to join the Foundation’s senior leadership team and spearhead Helios’s enterprise-wide communications strategy and execution.

Events & Conferences

Local First Arizona is holding its 15th Annual Rural Policy Forum in Winslow Aug. 3-5. Updates on event details can be found here.

The Arizona Housing Coalition, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Housing, is hosting the annual Arizona Housing Forum Aug.17-19. Registration and event details can be found here.

The Alliance of Arizona’s Nonprofits will hold the 2022 ENGAGE Nonprofit Conference on Aug. 25. Event details and registration can be found here.

Stanford Social innovation Review and Nonprofit Management Institute are holding a hybrid event Sept. 13-15 focused on encouraging greater cooperation and collaboration in what can feel like an increasingly divisive world. Event details and registration available here.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host their annual 2022 National Conference in Phoenix Oct. 2-4. Registration will open soon. Event details can be found here.

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

Grant Opportunity

Home Matters to Arizona is a collaboration of Arizona’s managed care organizations that aims to ensure a new generation of affordable housing developments for Arizonans that intentionally create connected communities and prioritize healthier individuals, families, and economies. 

Summer 2022 applications for the Home Matters Arizona Fund are open through Friday, Aug. 19. Application and additional details are available here.

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

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