September 2022 Network News

September 30, 2022

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

A few weeks ago, we hosted a delegation of Israeli government staffers traveling through the U.S. Department of State‘s International Visitor Leadership Program. In the group of five leaders, three were policy advisors to members of the Knesset, and two to the office of the prime minister.

Our program consisted of a short presentation about the Arizona Civic Life Partnership, our collaboration with the Center for the Future of Arizona, followed by a panel of Arizona leaders, who at one point in their careers, had held the positions that the delegates currently hold in Israeli government. The delegates and panel engaged in a dynamic conversation around issues such as health care, water, education, local political campaigns, and immigration and border security.

These emerging leaders were particularly inquisitive about Arizona’s election processes, and we spoke extensively about the role of political parties in primary and general elections. Not knowing much about the Israeli form of coalition government, I found myself a bit thunderstruck when they revealed that on November 1, 2022, Israel will hold its fifth national election in three years!

As a positive result of this experience, I’ve had a few professional epiphanies that I’m going to foster moving forward, both within the Center’s work, but also for Fellows’ engagement. First, new partnerships, while not always easy to find or cultivate, are rich opportunities for growth, knowledge and perspective, especially when organizational missions, at first glance, are not entirely obvious in their alignment. 

Second, our Flinn-Brown Network, while diverse in perspective and representation, draws its awareness from a state-centric lens. While I realize that the strict comparability of a nation-state like Israel to our own State48 may be a stretch, I’m convinced that some level of global perspective should be integrated more into our conversations around public policy. We often look to best practices in our sister states, but after the rich and valuable interchange with this delegation, I look forward to building more occasions for information exchange for Flinn-Brown Fellows and their international counterparts.

One last personal thought—as many of you know, my family immigrated here from Iran about 50 years ago. For many years, my parents fought to stay in the United States, after they legally could. While both were raised in a westernized regime, five years into our emigration, my parents’ homeland was overcome by a fundamentalist government that has since unapologetically committed horrific acts of violence and cruelty on women. As a young child, I never really understood the desperation of my parents’ struggle to remain, perhaps thinking at the time, that financial opportunity was the main driver. Today, as a mother of a young girl, I recognize their desperation centered around my future, and the tyranny and persecution that would surround the entirety of my everyday life. I’m sincerely grateful for these freedoms and I hope if you can, and where you can, show your solidarity with the courageous Iranians, men and women, who despite great personal risk are choosing to rise today against their oppressors.



Meet the Candidates: Greater Arizona Legislative Candidates

October 5, 2022

In partnership with the Greater Arizona Mayors Association (GAMA), the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, October 5 at 4:00 p.m. for Arizonans to hear from Northern Arizona legislative candidates in the 2022 general election.

Meet the Candidates: Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors 

October 13, 2022

In partnership with the Arizona Clean Elections Commission, the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership will host a webinar on Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m. for Arizonans to hear from Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board (CAWCD) candidates in the 2022 general election.

If you are interested in seeing any past 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 The Honorable Cecilia McCollough (Wellton, 2018) and Sara Bertram (Denver, 2016).  

The Honorable Cecilia McCollough
(Wellton, 2018)
Man’s Search For Meaning
by Viktor Frankl

Sara Bertram (Denver, 2016)
7 Rules of Power
by Jeffrey Pfeffer

2022 Flinn-Brown Annual Convention

The annual Flinn-Brown Convention will be held Friday, Nov. 4 at the Dorrance Center at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

This year, the Fellows Planning Committee has chosen the theme of “The State of Our Democracy.” Our all-day event will include topics related to our democratic processes and institutions, including data-driven discussions on what Arizonans want from our policymakers, how the language we use can impact our messaging around civic engagement, and speakers and panelists who will speak to our state’s elections process and opportunities for reform.

Speakers will include:

  • Katherine M. Gehl, author of The Politics Industry;
  • Steven Olikara, Millennial Action Project;
  • Sybil Francis, Ph.D., Center for the Future of Arizona; and
  • Kristen Cambell, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement.

Additional speakers will be announced. Registration is now available. 

Additionally, we will have several art exhibits for Fellows to enjoy in the Ottosen Gallery adjacent to Dorrance. The Desert Botanical Garden will feature nature prints from local Arizona artists. Our friend, Ann Morton, has agreed to display samples of her textile squares from her Violet Protest series, and our own Flinn-Brown Fellow Elaine Kessler has organized an interactive pop-up exhibit featuring themes related to democracy and civic leadership.

A Fellows reception in the Boppart Courtyard will immediately follow the Convention program.

Tickets are $30. Financial assistance is available. (This event is for Flinn-Brown Fellows only.)

Fellows Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) and Josue Macias (Phoenix, 2019) are our Convention co-chairs. They are joined on the Convention Committee by 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), Nicole Barraza (Tucson, 2020) and Derrik Rochwalik (Phoenix, 2018).

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

The Honorable Cecilia McCollough (Wellton, 2018)


Twitter | LinkedIn

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

I currently serve as Mayor for the Town of Wellton, having been appointed in December of 2014. And then re-elected in 2018. I was originally elected to the town council in the summer of 2009.  At the time, I did not have any idea of the way local government worked. I will start my 4th term in January having been seated in the primary election.  

Our municipality functions under the statutes in Arizona.  We are bound to the structure that cannot be changed in our own power.  

Our community, like many in rural Arizona, has great challenges. We are tackling them as best as possible.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned is the importance of building relationships.  Our community does not have the resources that larger urban areas have.  Our connections with our local, county, and state leaders opened opportunities to create solutions to shared challenges.   We have learned to reach out for help.  Collaboration in this region is really key to being a unified voice on regional issues plus it allows sharing best practices on challenges we are facing.  

Currently I am working on a team to pursue grants for our community.  We are a community of mostly retirees and there are not many activities for our youth.  I hope to partner with our school to apply together for after school STEM-related programs and activities.  

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

Aristotle said, “Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”  

I have this on my wall.  I think the word “choice” is key to so many things.  If we do nothing, it is a choice. In light of traumatic experiences that we will all go through at some point, a choice to work on the process of healing is important.  My personal work is ongoing.  

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

The network is invaluable, especially for the relationships I mentioned for creating solutions to shared challenges.  The experience and wisdom of the Fellow Network combined is a resource I hope to get more from as time goes on.  

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

We are living in a new environment.  Our governmental organizations and municipalities have great responsibilities and challenges: Budget problems, failing infrastructure, lack of work force, and so on.  There are good and not so good ways to solve conflicts and problems.  It is unfortunate to see the incivility promoted by social media and negative advertisers.  It makes the job of a civic leader much harder.  We all need good representation and community engagement is critical.  Since key knowledge can inform better discussions and outcomes, our town is working to bring people together and educate and inform.   

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 who have advanced to the 2022 general election.


Juan Ciscomani (Tucson, 2011)


Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015)
Senator Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018)
Representative Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018)
Representative Chris Mathis (Tucson, 2011)


Vice Mayor Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014)

City Council

Councilman Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011)
Councilman Matthew Herman (Casa Grande, 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.

Kevin Bonine (Tucson, 2014) was quoted in a article about the Gila Monster Project which has engaged members of the public for more than 15 years.

Tony Boone (Sierra Vista, 2019) was quoted in a Herald Review article about Fort Huachuca’s new garrison commander’s vision to help Sierra Vista entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Paul Brierley (Yuma, 2011) was interviewed for the Arizona Edition podcast about mandated cuts to Colorado River allocations and the impact on Yuma’s agriculture.

Teniqua Broughton’s (Phoenix, 2013) organization, State of Black Arizona, released a new State of Black Business Report which covers data points including Black entrepreneurship rates and access to capital.

Troy Campbell (Mesa, 2018) is now the Associate Director of the ASU Dean of Students Office. In this role, he will be supporting refugee students at the university.

David Garcia (Phoenix, 2011) was quoted in an AMP Research Lab article about school choice.

Sean Goslar (Tucson, 2020) was interviewed for a KGUN9 news story about the impact of the Biden Administration’s ruling to preserve DACA.

Stephanie Healy (Tucson, 2011) recently cut the ribbon for the Sahuarita Food Bank and Community Resource Center’s new Cox Innovation Lab.

Doug Hockstad (Tucson, 2022) was interviewed for a KGUN9 news story about the state of the job market in Arizona.

Candida Hunter (Kingman, 2017) was accepted into the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University’s Indigenous Leadership Academy Fall 2022 Cohort.

Nikki Lee (Tucson, 2018) was quoted in a KGUN9 article about a $25,000 grant the city of Tucson received for a new dog park.

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) was named Valley Leadership’s 73rd Woman of the Year. She was also quoted in a KTAR News article about the Phoenix Promise Program which grants scholarships to low-income students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a Maricopa Community College.

Mayor Kell Palguta (Prescott Valley, 2019) wrote an opinion piece in Prescott eNews about the proposed Sun Dog Connector route between Prescott and Prescott Valley. He was also quoted in a Prescott eNews article about the effect of the PFAS water pollutant on Arizona cities and towns.

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020) was quoted in an ABC15 article regarding a pay increase in the Phoenix Union High School District.

Rep. Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018) was recognized as the Outstanding Technology Representative of the Year.

Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) was interviewed for a KJZZ podcast about how students and schools can overcome pandemic-related learning loss.

Lea Márquez Peterson (Tucson, 2011) was elected board chair of the Small Business Administration. She was also quoted in a article about how Arizona’s drought is impacting water and power supplies in the Southwest.

Christian Price (Maricopa, 2012) was featured in an article about what he hopes to accomplish in his new role as president and CEO of Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA).

Gina Roberts (Scottsdale, 2019) was honored with the 2022 Women Achievers of Arizona Unsung Hero award. She also joined the University of Minnesota as a Voter Participation adjunct professor and was on the Sept. 8 Arizona Horizon to discuss the Clean Elections candidate debate program. 

Ryan Smith (Mesa, 2013) was quoted in an azcentral article regarding the recent opening of the John S. McCain III Air Traffic Control Tower at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Nicky Stevens (Goodyear, 2012) is now the Senior Program Manager & Trainer: Homelessness and Housing at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. 

Benjamin Taylor (Phoenix, 2019) wrote an op-ed in azcentral in support of allowing citizen-captured cellphone video of police officers to hold law enforcement accountable. He also provided legal analysis for an ABC15 news story about the redacted FBI Mar-a-lago search affidavit.

Alfred Urbina (Tucson 2013) will be serving on Arizona’s murdered and missing Indigenous people (MMIP) study committee, which recently expanded its focus from investigating violence on women and girls to all Indigenous people.

Lisa Urias (Phoenix, 2011) co-wrote an op-ed in azcentral about how donating to the Arizona Housing Fund can help address homelessness.

Mary Venezia (Tucson, 2015) was quoted in a State Press articleabout Michael Crow’s impact on Arizona politics.

Janelle Wood (Phoenix, 2013) spoke in support of school vouchers at Gov. Doug Ducey’s signing of HB2853.

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 recently established Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Board is now seeking applications.

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.

Maricopa County has vacancies on the following boards and commissions:

You can apply for these positions through the Clerk of the Board here.

The City of Phoenix has vacancies on the following boards and commissions:

Most counties and cities in Arizona have boards and commissions with frequent vacancies.  Check local websites for more opportunities. 

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 their virtual IDEA conference on October 19.
SciTech Institute is hiring for STEM Ecosystem Hub Coordinators in various regions.

The Arizona House of Representatives is currently hiring for two positions: Legislative Research Analyst  and Assistant Legislative Research Analyst.

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

Helios Education Foundation 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.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has an opening for a Director of Donor Relations.

The Arizona Commerce Authority is seeking a Senior Vice President of Innovation to provide leadership in Arizona’s innovation ecosystem and represent ACA as an instrumental partner in signature events and initiatives.

The Arizona Department of Revenue is hiring a Program Manager.

The Cancer Support Network is seeking a Northern Arizona Director.

Creative Flagstaff is soliciting a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and strategic leader to serve as the inaugural ARTx Festival Director

The Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits is hiring a Membership Manager to build membership and serve our growing membership base throughout Arizona.

Waste Not is seeking a Communications Manager to oversee outreach efforts including content creation and planning, campaign development, special events, and community engagement.

The Thunderbird School of Management is searching for an Executive Director of Engagement.

Arizona Department of Health Services is hiring a Program Managerto serve as a leader of an epidemiology program unit within the Bureau of Assessment and Evaluation.

The International Rescue Committee is seeking an Asylum Seekers & Families (ASF) Senior Manager to manage IRC’s humanitarian reception and community engagement activities and services.  

Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for the full-time position of Staff Attorney.

Events & Conferences

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host its annual 2022 National Conference in Phoenix October 2-4.  

ShapingEDU and the Digital Equity Institute will kick off Digital Inclusion Week on Monday, Oct. 3 with the Arizona Digital Inclusion Celebration Summit. Registration and event details are available here

Engaging Local Government Leaders is hosting its first-ever hybrid annual conference Oct.13-14. Details and event registration available here.

The 11th First Place Global Leadership Institute Symposium will be held Oct. 19–21, with the option to attend in person in Phoenix or via webinar.  Registration and event details are available here.

Leadership West Alumni Association will have its annual West-X Leadership Summit on Feb.16, 2023. Details and event 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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