May 2022 Network News

May 25, 2022

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Yesterday morning, I wrote the message below, before the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. What I wrote now seems frivolous and tone-deaf. I write about my own musings as a parent—minor frustrations, little worries, small discoveries. They’re the kind of musings a parent distant from tragedy gets to have.

I’m leaving the message as I wrote it because it feels so uniquely wrong for this moment. That’s how it should feel. I know that for you, there’s likely a similar feeling—a deep disconnect between what’s on your calendar for today and the terrible news from Uvalde, as the terrible news from Buffalo still echoes.

May each of us sit, uncomfortably, with that feeling. May it help each of us find a path to action, to do more to stop this routine of horror.

Trust the Process. Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard this expression. Since then, I’ve heard it over a dozen times in a variety of contexts—from television shows to DIY tutorials on furniture restoration. My existential brain argued frequency illusion, but my superstitious heart asked, why now?

Rooted in sports metaphor, trusting the process has evolved into a minimalist mantra, used to instill a sense of self-determination and confidence within an environment of uncertainty and chaos. It is simple in its literal definition, yet complex in its application in work and in life. But in every variation, it requires patience as its principal virtue, built on the foundation of persistence and consistency of effort, and ultimately conviction in the desired outcome. 

Trusting the process is a mind-boggling leap of faith—a demanding tactic that takes mental endurance and resolve and requires giving up control and expectations. Failure is an acknowledged and critical stage in the process and assumes that the correct path between point A and B is not always a straight line. Trusting the process is measured not by the light at the end of the tunnel, but whether your eyes have adjusted to the darkness along the way. 

So, what is the universe telling me? 

Perhaps there might be a message around embracing the creativity that comes from commotion and erasing the obsessive need for perfection. 

But truthfully, I suspect the universe is giving me a little nudge to self-reflect as a parent. Look, raising a teenager is like a Stephen King novel that unexpectedly morphs into a Shakespearean drama. I’ll admit my coping mechanism has been to tackle the social-emotional events in her life like they require Navy Seal missions. And believe me, the helicopter and snowplow in my garage both get too much use. 

My sweet girl is headed to high school next fall. Four more years, with so many important milestones and memories ahead of her. Maybe they all won’t be unicorns and rainbows, but they will be hers and hers alone. And that is ultimately the best that life can offer anyone. 

All right, universe, I hear you. Her story has yet to be written. Maybe it’s time to start trusting the process. 


Meet our 2022 Flinn-Brown Fellows

  • Sophie Allen-Etchart: CEO & Founder, Read Better Be Better, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Amanda Burke: Executive Vice President, Center for the Future of Arizona, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Amy Cislak: Principal, Tanque Verde High School, Tucson, Pima County
  • Michael Deiana Jr.: Education Program Manager, Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry, Anthem, Maricopa County
  • The Honorable Reetika Dhawan: Vice President of Workforce & CTE, Arizona Western College; Governing Board Member, Southwest Technical Education of Yuma, Yuma, Yuma County
  • David Engelthaler: Director, Associate Professor, TGen North, Flagstaff, Coconino County
  • Julie Euber: CEO, SARSEF (Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation), Tucson, Pima County
  • The Honorable Brannon Hampton: Financial Advisor, Edward Jones; Vice Mayor, City of Goodyear, Goodyear, Maricopa County
  • Charlinda Haudley: Deputy Scheduler, Office of U.S. Senator Mark Kelly, Tucson, Pima County
  • The Honorable Andrew Hettinger: Magistrate, City of Page, Page, Coconino County
  • Douglas Hockstad: Assistant Vice President, Tech Launch Arizona, Tucson, Pima County
  • Gabriel Jaramillo: Director, Healthy Communities, Vitalyst Health Foundation, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • 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, Pinal County
  • Sarah León: Grants & Community Engagement Director, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Tomás León: President, Equality Health Foundation, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Adam Lopez Falk: Community Program Officer, Arizona Community Foundation, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Kim Madrigal: COO, Boys & Girls Club of the Valley, Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Darcy Mentone: Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Vail Unified School District, Sonoita, Santa Cruz County 
  • Jerry McPherson: Director of Economic Empowerment, Greater Phoenix Urban League, Tempe, Maricopa County
  • April Rhodes: CEO, Spectrum Healthcare, Prescott, Yavapai County 
  • Alanna Riggs: Executive Liaison, U.S Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Ft. Huachuca, Saint David, Cochise County 
  • Chris Richardson: Deputy CIO, Arizona State University, Scottsdale, Maricopa County
  • Edgar Soto: Vice President, Pima Community College, Tucson, Pima County
  • Hiral Tipirneni: Chair/Healthcare Advocate, HEAL PAC (Health Equity and Access through Leadership), Glendale, Maricopa County
  • The Honorable Monica Timberlake: Realtor, Valley of the Sun Real Estate; Governing Board Member, Quartzite Elementary School District, Quartzsite, La Paz County
  • Kevin Volk: Investor and Housing Builder, Volk Company, Tucson, Pima County
  • Avery Xola: Voter Education Specialist, Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Queen Creek, Maricopa County

Past and Upcoming CivEx Webinars

CivEx: The Road to Proposition 400 Extension

Please join us Wednesday, May 25 at 2 p.m. for a CivEx hosted by Flinn-Brown Fellows Audra Koester Thomas (Phoenix, 2011) and Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke (Chandler, 2014) on the prospects for extending Proposition 400, a half-cent sales tax for transportation. The webinar will be hosted by Cheryl Lombard, President and CEO, Valley Partnership, with special guests Representative Frank Carroll and Tim Bourcet, vice president of government & community affairs, Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Audra Koester Thomas
Audra Koester Thomas (2011)
Kevin Hartke
Mayor Kevin Hartke (2014)

Also, mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m. as Fellow Erin Carr-Jordan (Chandler, 2013) hosts a deep dive into how the state is addressing its focused approach to achieving digital equity, including leveraging technology to connect the under-connected and unconnected and improve process efficiencies. She will be joined by a panel of state and national organizations engaged in strategic initiatives to expand access and value and participation through increased connectivity, including Flinn-Brown Fellow Mignonne Hollis (Sierra Vista, 2013), Derek Masseth, Executive Director, Sun Corridor Network, Dr. Rufus Glasper, president & CEO, League for Innovation in Community Colleges and Angela Seifer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance.

Erin Carr-Jordan (2013)

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 Rep. Morgan Abraham (Tucson, 2014) and Joseph Brophy (Phoenix, 2016).

Rep. Morgan Abraham (2014)
Band of Brothers
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Joseph Brophy (2016)

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), and Pearlette Ramos (Avondale, 2018) 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 brochure.

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

Rep. Morgan Abraham 
(Tucson, 2014)

Twitter | LinkedIn

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

I am a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing LD-10 in Tucson.

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

“Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted” -Winston Churchill.

It’s a reminder to me of all the challenges we have had as a country and no matter how bad things get, Americans always seem to overcome their challenges at the last minute.

3. Is there a book you would recommend to the Fellows?

My favorite book is Band of Brothers. As an Army officer I love reading it every year as a reminder of the sacrifice previous generations made for our freedoms.

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

The Network has been amazing for being able to talk to subject area experts. As a member of the Arizona Legislature, I vote on bills on many different subjects. It is nice to be able to call friends in the Fellows Network who are subject area experts for their advice on these bills.

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

I think bipartisan groups like Flinn-Brown are the key to strengthening civic health. Being able to talk to people in the other party that have different viewpoints and agree to disagree but still respect each other is what is missing from America. Groups that bring us together are exactly what our country needs.

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.


Aaron Lieberman (Paradise Valley, 2017)


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)

City Council

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

Quintin Boyce (Chandler, 2020) was quoted in a story from 12News when he surprised students at Bernard Black Elementary School in the Roosevelt School District with full college scholarships courtesy of a local foundation.

Teniqua Broughton (Phoenix, 2013) and Tomás León (Phoenix, 2022) are recipients of the 2022 Titan 100 Award which honors Phoenix’s top 100 CEOs & C-level executives. They will be honored at the annual awards ceremony Sept. 29.

Julie Erfle (Phoenix, 2013) was recently featured on 12News Sunday Square Off to discuss the potential political fallout in Arizona from the leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015) was quoted in an American City & County article regarding the impact of inflation on local governments.

Mignonne Hollis (Sierra Vista, 2013) wrote an op-ed in the Arizona Capitol Times regarding the impact of environmental lawsuits.

Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson (Tucson, 2011) recently delivered the commencement address at Eastern Arizona College’s 133rd Commencement Ceremony.

Reyna Montoya’s (Gilbert, 2020) organization Aliento was honored with the ASU Pastor Center’s Public Service Organization Award, which recognizes organizations that are dedicated to public service and creating opportunities for those who are underserved and underrepresented.

Rep. Joanne Osborne (Goodyear, 2012) was quoted in an AZEDNEWS article about HB 2647 which would amend current laws on child abuse reporting and jurisdiction.

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020) was interviewed for a Cronkite News story about the lack of Latino representation among Arizona teachers.

Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) was quoted in an azcentral article about how the pandemic has affected K-12 student enrollment and absences.

Mayor Christian Price (Maricopa, 2012) is starting a new position as the CEO and President of the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance.

Katie Ptak (Phoenix, 2015) is now the Director of Public Policy for Casey Family Programs.

Senator Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018) was quoted in an Arizona Central story about a rally in support of abortion rights. She spoke at a press conference on the Capitol lawn about the leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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

  • Respiratory Care Examiners – Has a vacancy for a public member. 
  • State Liquor Board – Has a vacancy for a member with no financial interest. Members require Senate confirmation.
  • State Board of Optometry – Has a vacancy for a public member.
  • Arizona Barbering and Cosmetology Board – Is seeking to fill a vacancy for a public member who is a cosmetologist.
  • Psychiatric Security Review Board – Is seeking to fill vacancies for
    • a psychologist who is experienced in the criminal justice system and who is not otherwise contracted to or employed by this state;
    • a psychiatrist who is experienced in the criminal justice system and who is not otherwise contracted to or employed by this state; and
    • a person who is from the general public, who is a former judge.

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

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.

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust is seeking a Director of Communications and External Relations.

The Center for the Future of Arizona is seeking a Program Coordinator for the School Participatory Budget program.

ASU’s Office of Government & Community Engagement is hiring a Project Coordinator Sr. to provide administrative and research support to their federal relations team.

Centene Corporation is seeking a Community Relations Representative III – Northern Arizona.

WestEd is seeking a Research-Practice Partnerships – Content Area Team Director

Dignity Health is seeking a System Director Philanthropy Communications and Engagement. SciTech Institute is hiring for multiple positions including Arizona CSO Regional Lead and STEM Ecosystem Hub Coordinators for various regions.

Events & Conferences

University of Arizona is holding the 48th Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference in Flagstaff and virtually June 14-15. Event details and registration links available here. 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 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.

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

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