June 2023 Network News

June 28, 2023

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Flinn Foundation Vice President, Civic Leadership, Dawn Wallace.

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: 1. Admit it. 2. Learn from it, and 3. Don’t repeat it.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant

So, I made a mistake. Actually, two.

Last week, the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership sent out an invitation for a CivEx webinar on Teen Mental Health. When the Fellow hosting the CivEx brought this idea to my attention, I was enthusiastic to explore the topic. In my previous professional life, I was an early supporter of embedding social and emotional learning into early-education instruction, especially for children marked by trauma and adverse childhood experiences. It was during this work that I first heard the sounding of alarms about youth suicide in Arizona as a significant public-health issue. And while medical professionals believe and a large body of research suggests that mental illness is more pervasive in teens today than in the past, I was also keenly aware of divisiveness on this topic, and that we might attract an atypical audience opposed to the open discussion.

The magnitude of dissenting opinion became apparent when our social-media posts promoting the webinar began to see responses from individuals averse to ideas that would be discussed in the webinar. Initially, there was confusion about the authorship of the ideas, the role of the Center, and its motivations in presenting the issue, and outright condemnation and discrediting of the work. Some comments were mean-spirited and offensive, with not the slightest presumption of goodwill—not entirely unexpected from the Twitterverse.

In case you are wondering about my blunders: first, in the webinar description, I used a data point from a committee report that was outdated and not properly contextualized. Second, in a knee-jerk reaction, I blocked two individuals from our Twitter account. We corrected both actions, the latter within minutes, and the former within a day, after I consulted with Fellows with expertise in this area and received better information.

When people present themselves in approach and tone as immovable adversaries, it is human nature to dismiss their viewpoints as irrational and undeserving of examination, even when they may raise legitimate issues or arguments, or in this case, challenge the accuracy of a central data point—which these individuals did. I initially ignored their complaint, but upon closer consideration found that we had shared an errant statistic. That’s my bias, and I was wrong.

Genuine belief change is rare—and there will be topics such as this, where, despite much research and professional dialogue, consensus is not achievable. That is hard for me to say, given Flinn-Brown’s tenets of dialogue and the pursuit of compromise. What is still left on the table, and what this experience reminded me to hold on to is a receptive mindset—ensuring a better grasp of the source of resistance and using the knowledge that mindset enables to strengthen my understanding of the issue at hand.

Admit it. Learn from it. Don’t repeat it. Thanks, Coach.

Fellows Meet Fellows

In remembrance of Flinn-Brown Fellow J.C. Mutchler, Fellows from the first Flinn-Brown cohort in 2011 gathered for fellowship and to honor our Fellow friend. From left, Sara Presler, Alberto Olivas, Fernando Shipley, Nora Hannah, David Martinez III, Ben Graff, Lisa Urias, and Patrick McWhorter. Thanks to Patrick McWhorter for arranging the get-together.

Our Southern Arizona Fellows gathered for a happy hour on June 5. Special thanks to Julie Katsel (2014) for organizing, and to all for welcoming the 2023 Fellows. Thank you all for joining! Joe Erceg (2016), Heath Vescovi-Chiordi (2023), Teresa Bravo(2023), Jose Arias (2023), Demion Clinco (2013), Vanessa Barchfield (2023), Julie Katsel (2014), Brendan Lyons (2020), Doug Hockstad (2022), Yvette-Marie Margaillan (2020), Zach Brooks(2017), Kevin Volk (2022), Eric Nielsen (2013), Stefanie Murphy(2020), Tamara Prime (2014), and John Winchester (2018).

Upcoming CivEx

Teen Mental Health

Join us this Thursday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. as former Arizona Rep. Joanne Osborne(Goodyear, 2012) leads a CivEx panel discussion with six members of the Teen Mental Health House Ad Hoc Committee, who will share the committee’s recommendations.

​Panelists include Gina Godbehere, CEO, Speak Up, Save a Life; Shelley Mellon, board member, Yuma Union High School District and Education Forward Arizona; Kristina Guy, school counselor, West-MEC; Ryan Nunez, lead pastor, Palm Valley Church; Gary Kirkilas, D.O., spokesperson, American Academy of Pediatrics; and Sgt. Sean Tyler, community service sergeant, Goodyear Police Department.


2023 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

Join us Wednesday, July 12 for a Fellows-only virtual event moderated by 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellow Zach Yentzer, featuring lobbyists Meghaen Dell’Artino of Public Policy Partners, Gaelle Esposito of Creosote Partners, Jay Kaprosy of Veridus, and Lourdes Peñaof Triadvocates. These capitol insiders will provide a wrap-up of the 2023 legislative session, including legislation, budget, and a final tally of record session vetoes.

If you have an idea for a CivEx you would like to host or a topic you would like to learn more about, contact Dawn or Jennifer.

Flinn-Brown Convention

Save the Date

We are excited to share that the 2023 Flinn-Brown Convention will be held on Friday, November 3 at the Helios Education Campus. Below are some updates from the Convention Planning Committee:

  • Thursday, November 2: Evening reception, beginning with 2023 cohort, followed by an All-Fellows reception.
  • Friday, November 3Sarah Rose Webber (Tempe, 2017) has agreed to organize a morning hike for Fellows.
  • Due to high demand, we are inquiring about securing a block of rooms for a negotiated rate at the Fairfield Inn, close to the Flinn Foundation.

Annette Zinky (Phoenix, 2013) and Sarah Douthit (Flagstaff, 2013) have agreed to co-host a reunion of the two cohorts of 2013 Flinn-Brown Fellows. If you are interested in participating in the organizing committee, please let them know.

We also invite sponsorship opportunities to help provide a high-quality, professional learning experience for Fellows at the Convention. Sponsors may showcase their support through presentation, reception, and breakout sponsorships, including prominent logo display, brand recognition through social media, and recognition on the event website and program.

If you have an idea for a CivEx you would like to host or a topic you would like to learn more about, contact Dawn.

Fellows Lists

Each month we will feature a Fellows list for a specific employment sector, public policy area, or affinity group. 

While we try very hard to keep up to date on Fellows’ activities, we recognize that we may have missed someone. Please let Dawn or Jennifer know and we will happily update the list.

Fellows Book Recommendations

Each month, we feature suggestions from Fellows to create a virtual Network library about public-policy issues, the practice of leadership, professional development, and other areas worth sharing. This month’s recommendation comes from Yvette-Marie Margaillan (Tucson, 2020) and Eddie Genna (Phoenix, 2013).

Yvette-Marie Margaillan
(Tucson, 2020)
Atomic Habits
byJames Clear

Yvette-Marie MargaillanI’m a firm believer in creating processes to free up mental and physical bandwidth in order to have time to fill one’s own cup. One book I always recommend to friends and colleagues is Atomic Habits by James Clear. The book explains behavioral science principles in the simplest and easiest to follow terms. It discusses how we tend to lose ourselves in the details of trying to make huge changes for impact, when in reality the biggest changes occur with the tiniest of changes we make in our lives, habitually maintained for compounded effect.

Eddie Genna
(Phoenix, 2013)
Cheap Speech
by Richard L. Hasen

Eddie Genna: In Cheap Speech, Rick Hasan grapples with the issues posed by the ease with which misinformation can spread—intentionally or otherwise—via social media and other low- or no-cost methods. Hasen, a prominent election law scholar, discusses both legal and practical aspects of this issue as it applies to democratic governance. Although he is writing with an eye toward proposing specific reforms, I appreciated the extent to which he situated those proposals in the large debates about misinformation and democracy.

Fellows Spotlight

Yvette-Marie Margaillan

(Tucson, 2020)
CEO & Clinical Director, Autism Pediatrics

Twitter | LinkedIn

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

I currently serve as the CEO & Clinical Director of Autism Pediatrics, a health care company that provides therapeutic health-care services and advocates for public policy initiatives that help increase access to health care. My work focuses on bridging the health-literacy gap in order to increase early intervention services and reduce the need for lifelong care among individuals with developmental disorders. We walk a careful line between achieving fiduciary responsibility to our monetary stakeholders while providing the highest quality of care to our members. Public policy is at the heart of health care, and early in my career I was honored to have helped lobby for legislation that successfully increased funding and access to health-care services for millions of Arizonans.

Public policy shapes how businesses, NGOs, and government entities interact and collaborate to improve the human condition. Involvement in public policy by diverse stakeholders is essential for achieving the best possible outcomes to help lift up as many people as possible. I have the privilege of communicating the stories of countless individuals to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are met, and that those of us who can make a difference in their lives take action.

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

“The sun does not shine for itself. Rivers do not flow for themselves. Trees do not bear fruits for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature.”

I just returned from a whirlwind week of knowledge, emotions, and meaningful connections at the Global Shapers Annual Summit, hosted by the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Over 550 young change-makers from 150 countries came together under one roof to learn from each other and inspire each other. It was an absolute honor and privilege to forge genuine connections with so many brilliant, kind-hearted individuals dedicating their time and talents to improve the state of the world. I eagerly await my return home to begin my term as Curator, leading hub projects in Tucson and collaborating with hubs from across the globe to solve local problems with a global mindset. One of our peers shared this quote with us, immediately igniting a call to action in each and every one of us and serving as a reminder that in order to live a truly remarkable life we must live selflessly.

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

I’ve been fortunate to form lasting friendships with Flinn-Brown Fellows and have many friends who became Fellows after me. Each year I wait in excitement as the Flinn-Brown Network shares the good news of the new cohort. We keep one another up to date on policy and politics and help inform each other when in doubt. The network is so diverse that it’s impossible not to learn something entirely novel from your own lived experiences.

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

I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to lead an initiative of the World Economic Forum in Arizona. One of the Forum’s pillars is to increase civic engagement among youth by bringing young leaders to the table and sharing ideas, thoughts, and information. Our hub will engage in various collaborative projects by connecting youth to mentors, and my goal is to engage civic leaders in the process. One topic our cohort would frequently mention is how much better our little slice of the world would be if politicians and public policy advocates lived as the Fellows do, by trusting each other, listening to each other, and making a concerted effort to truly understand one another.

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

Fellows In The News

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

Sophie Allen-Etchart (Phoenix, 2022) was interviewed for a KJZZ podcast about literacy rates for students in Arizona.

Michael Beller (Phoenix, 2017) is now Senior Manager, Technology Portfolio Planning at Choice Hotels International.

Treasurer Sarah Benatar (Flagstaff, 2015) was interviewed for an Arizona Daily Sun article about the federal debt limit and its impact on Coconino County.

Sara Bertram (Colorado, 2016) is now Director, Healthcare Directives at Contexture.

Councilwoman Tammy Caputi (Scottsdale, 2019) wrote an op-ed in the Daily Independent about the negative impact she believes a federal asset tax would have on the city of Scottsdale.

Nikki Check (Jerome, 2012) is now the Director of Development at the Natural History Institute.

Demion Clinco (Tucson, 2013) was quoted in an Arizona Republic article about what Pima Community College will decide to do with the row of historic hotels it acquired on Tucson’s Miracle Mile strip.

Adriana Garcia Maximiliano (Phoenix, 2019) is now Founder and Principal of To the Max Strategies, LLC.

Rep. Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015) was recognized as Freshman of the Year at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Awards.

Charlinda Haudley, Ph.D. (Tucson, 2022) is now a board member for Greater Tucson Leadership.

Norman Honie Jr. (Kykotsmovi, 2011) received a retirement award from the Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management in recognition of his 22 years of service to the Hopi Tribe and support of groundwater remediation efforts at the Tuba City Disposal site.

Gabriel Jaramillo (Tucson, 2022) and Adriana Garcia Maximiliano (Phoenix, 2019) are now members of the Governor’s Interagency and Community Council on Homelessness and Housing.

Dana Kennedy (Phoenix, 2016) wrote an op-ed in the Arizona Republic urging the state to take action and address abuse, neglect, and other issues that take place in Arizona’s long-term care facilities.

Aaron Lieberman (Paradise Valley, 2017) was featured on a recent episode of KJZZ’s Friday NewsCap.

Chad Marchand (2011) is now the Senior Outreach Manager, Tribal and Indigenous Communities for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson (Tucson, 2011) is the Chair of the newly launched Hispanic Leadership PAC.

Rep. Chris Mathis (Tucson, 2011) was quoted in a 13News story about the Right to Contraception Act, which would protect the right to birth control in Arizona.

Jerry McPherson (Phoenix, 2022) is now the Managing Director of Per Scholas Phoenix.

Kate Morley (Flagstaff, 2018) is now Executive Director of MetroPlan.

Debbie Nez-Manuel (Scottsdale, 2017) is now Executive Director of Human Resources for the Navajo Nation.

Christian Osmeña (Phoenix, 2020) was named a delegate for the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO).

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020) was selected as a Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree.

Rep. Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018) was interviewed for a 12News story about Christian’s Law, which would require guns in a home to be properly secured and stored separately from ammunition.

Sam Richard (Phoenix, 2017) was named one of Marijuana Venture’s 40 under 40 in 2023.

Gina Roberts (Scottsdale, 2019) was quoted in a Washington Examiner article about how the Citizens Clean Elections Commission has revamped the candidate debate process for the 2024 election cycle.

Cynthia Seelhammer (Queen Creek, 2016) received the ASU School of Public Affairs award for Outstanding Instructional and Research Faculty.

Councilwoman Julie Spilsbury (Mesa, 2023) was quoted in an East Valley Tribune article about Mesa’s 16th annual Hydration Donation Campaign, which provides water for people in need during the hot summer months.

Alfred Urbina (Tucson, 2013) is now the Attorney General for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi (Tucson, 2023) is now serving as the Secretary-Treasurer on the Arizona Association for Economic Development’s Executive Board.

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.

Business On Board is holding two training sessions designed specifically for business professionals and community members interested in serving on a nonprofit board. Sessions are scheduled in person in Sierra Vista on Oct. 4, or virtually Oct. 19-26.

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. Fellows interested in building skills as a board member may want to contact Board Developer Phoenix for additional information or to learn more about private and nonprofit board service opportunities.

The Governor’s Office is seeking applications for the Board of Executive Clemency. Applications can be submitted through its standard application.

The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family is seeking applicants to serve as grant reviewers. Applications can be submitted online.

The Governor’s Office has over 200 boards and commissions. You can see a full list of current vacancies here. To apply for any vacancy through the Governor’s Office, complete the application on the website.

Coconino County Boards and Commissions welcome applications from interested citizens. Applications are accepted online any time, or you can request information from the Clerk of the Board at (928) 679-7145.

Most Arizona counties and cities have boards and commissions with frequent vacancies. Check local websites for more opportunities. To share specific opportunities, contact Jennifer Papworth.

Career and Professional Opportunities

Health First Foundation Northern Arizona seeks a senior philanthropy officer.

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association is seeking a government relations director.

Valley of the Sun United Way is looking for a Chief Community Development and Engagement Officer to lead the implementation of its MC2026 5-year strategic plan and impact agenda. 

KORE Power is seeking a Manager of State and Local Affairs to lead its state, local, and community activities in Buckeye, Arizona.

The Lubetzky Family Foundation is seeking a Program Manager, Futures for the Free World to further refine and expand the foundation’s pilot Global Democracy Ambassador Scholarship program.

Over Zero is looking for a State Director to build Arizona-specific program strategies that further their mission to prevent identity-based violence.

Local First Arizona has a position open for a Rural Program Manager – Workforce Development.

Mi Familia Vota has an opening for a Civic Engagement Manager to be the Arizona lead strategist in creating a year-round multi-faceted voter engagement strategy.

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU is hiring a Senior Director of Development to lead a coordinated program of fundraising and engagement activities.

USA TODAY is seeking a digital-first Breaking News Editor who can deliver timely, topical breaking news stories.

The Nature Conservancy has positions open for an Energy Policy Advisor and a Stewardship Program Director.

Honeywell is seeking a Director of State and Local Government Affairs.  

Events & Conferences

Venture Café Phoenix connects creators, entrepreneurs, investors, coworkers, students, and visionaries at its flagship program, the Thursday Gathering, to build a strong, inclusive, and equitable innovation ecosystem. Check out the schedule of gatherings for July 2023.

The Arizona Commerce Authority and Digital Equity Institute are seeking ideas and input to help inform the creation of Arizona’s Digital Equity Plan.  The plan aims to ensure that every Arizonan has internet access, and the devices, skills and support systems required to participate in the digital world. Join a listening session in your community or complete the survey to share your ideas.

Local First is hosting the annual Rural Policy Forum in Globe-Miami Aug. 2-4 to hear strategies from national experts as well as learn about success stories from around Arizona that give our rural leaders the tools, resources, and relationships they need to face current challenges. 

Registration is open for the Arizona Manufacturers Council’s Summer Policy Institute, relating specifically to environmental policy and sustainability best practices. Speakers and attendees include manufacturers, business leaders and government officials. The 2023 event will take place in Prescott, Arizona on August 24-25.

The 2023 UNITE Annual Nonprofit + Grantmaker Conference will be held on Thursday, August 24 at the Mesa Convention Center. 

Registration is now open for the 2023 League of Cities and Towns Conference held August 29- September 1 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort.