April 2023 Network News

May 1, 2023

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of Jack (J.C.) Mutchler on April 10, 2023, in Hereford, Arizona. J.C. was in the inaugural class of Flinn-Brown Fellows in the spring of 2011.

With long family ties to Arizona and a Ph.D. from Yale University, J.C. will be remembered as an esteemed professor of Southwestern U.S. history at the University of Arizona South Campus in Sierra Vista, as the chair of UA’s Strategic Planning and Budget Finance Committee, a member of the President’s Cabinet, secretary of the UA Faculty and Faculty Senate, and as statewide chair of the Arizona Faculties Council. J.C. and his wife, Lissa Howe, raised dairy goats in Cochise County on their Chiva Risa Ranch (“Laughing Goats”), where they practiced agricultural sustainability and made national-award-winning goat cheese.

While I did not know Mr. Mutchler, the heartfelt comments left by Flinn-Brown Fellows on his Facebook page told the story of a man whose life was filled with kindness and service to others, authenticity and openness to share his happiness with any lucky person to cross his path, and a deep-rooted commitment to the betterment of his community and especially, the desire to mentor young people in pursuit of academic and leadership goals. He will be deeply missed.

We have selected our 2023 Flinn-Brown Fellows!

We will be announcing the 2023 Flinn-Brown cohort on Monday, May 22. We would love your support in helping us spread the word through social media and your networks.

Fellows Social Networking

Our Fellows are busy hosting gatherings around the state!

Southern Arizona Fellows, March 6 happy hour

Southern Arizona Fellows on March 6: Our appreciation to Julie Katsel (Tucson, 2014) for organizing quarterly get togethers for our southern Arizona Fellows. Great to see Alesia Ash (Sierra Vista, 2015), Doug Hockstad(Tucson, 2022), Kristel Foster(Tucson, 2015), Julie Katsel(Tucson, 2014), Joe Erceg (Tucson 2016), and Chris Stoller Michelena(Tucson, 2015) at Reforma in Tucson. 

Upcoming social gatherings for 2023 will be held at Proof on June 5, Reforma on Sept. 11 and Proof on Dec. 11!

Northern Arizona Fellows, April 13 happy hour

Northern Arizona Fellows, on April 13: Thank you to Joanne Keene(Flagstaff, 2016) for pulling together a fun evening at Oeno in Flagstaff, along with Fellows Rose Winkler (Flagstaff, 2018), Kate Morley (Flagstaff, 2018), and Mayor Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014).

Maricopa County Fellows on April 27: Thank you to Katelyn Harris Lange(Phoenix, 2020) for hosting the Maricopa Fellows at the Green Woodpecker at Park Central. Great to see Fellows Ruth Soberanes (Scottsdale, 2016), Janelle Wood (Phoenix, 2013), Katelyn Harris Lange (Phoenix, 2020),

Fletcher Montzingo (Phoenix, 2017), Alex Benezra (Phoenix, 2020), Ben Blink (Phoenix, 2018), Nicole Fries (Phoenix, 2020), Sam Shapiro (Phoenix, 2020), Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020), Jack Schwimmer(Phoenix, 2020), Sophie Allen-Etchart (Phoenix, 2022), and Ben Graff (Phoenix, 2011).

If you’d like to organize happy hours for Fellows in your region, please let me know. I’m happy to help connect you.

Request a Flinn-Brown Directory

Each year at Convention, we provide a printed Network Directory that includes information beyond what can be found in our online directory. If you would like a printed copy, please let Dawn or Jennifer know and we will mail you one on request.


Upcoming CivEx

Please join us for our next CivEx: Wednesday, May 31 at 2:00 p.m.

Hear from a panel of experts about the current state of graduate medical education in Arizona and what needs to be done at the state and federal level to help allieviate our physician shortage.

Registration and additional details coming soon.

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.

Save the Date

We are excited to share that the 2023 Flinn-Brown Convention will be held on Friday, November 3. If you would like to participate on the planning committee, let us 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. To find out more about sponsorships, contact Dawn or Jennifer.

Fellows Lists

Each month we will feature a Fellows list for a specific employment sector, public policy area, or affinity group. This month we are featuring Fellows in K-12 Education:

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 Alexandra Arboleda (Phoenix, 2018).

Alexandra Arboleda
(Phoenix, 2018)
by Hans Rosling

Alexandra Arboleda: Factfulness by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund.

If there were a book for optimists, this would be it. Rosling challenges widely-held assumptions about the world and demonstrates that on average humankind is better off than you think.

Fellows Spotlight

Flinn-Brown Fellow Christina Spicer

Christina Spicer
(Phoenix, 2013)
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council


A 2013 Flinn-Brown Fellow, Christina Spicer earned a Master’s in nonprofit management from Arizona State University in 2008. Shortly after, she joined the staff of Teach For America-Phoenix as the Manager of Corporation and Foundation Relations and was later promoted to Managing Director of Development. She managed the high-profile advisory board, was an active member of the leadership team, and led the development team responsible for annual fundraising revenues of more than $7 million each year.

After six years at Teach For America-Phoenix, Christina joined the Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) in 2014. She served as Deputy Director for three years with oversight of the programmatic operations (including girl program, product program, and camp), fund development, marketing, and the overall strategic direction of the Council. Integral in growing GSACPC’s annual fund from $600,000 in 2014 to $4 million in 2021, Christina served on the successful Campaign for Girls capital campaign that resulted in the building of the Parsons Leadership Center for Girls and Women, founded Badge Bash, and led the Day of the Girl, raising $1 million for GSACPC in a day. She also helped lead the organization amid the height of COVID-19, exceeding cookie sales goals annually.

In 2009, Christina founded CAMEO, a women’s mentorship organization. She currently serves on the Young & Empowered Women Board and the City of Phoenix’s Women Commission. She received the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2022 and was named a Diverse Business Leader to Watch in 2023.

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.

Elvy Barton (Chandler, 2013) was a 2023 Arizona Sustainability Leadership Award winner.

Paul Brierley (Yuma, 2011) was quoted in a Cronkite News article about the impact of the recent atmospheric river rainstorms on California and Arizona farming.

Teniqua Broughton (Phoenix, 2013) spoke at the program kickoff for IMPACT AZ 2025, a supplier diversity readiness program.

Congressman Juan Ciscomani (Tucson, 2011) was quoted in an Augusta Free Press article about criminal organizations (TCOs) using social media to recruit drivers in human smuggling operations.

Mayor Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2019) was quoted in an Arizona Republic article about the construction of a new apartment complex in Flagstaff.

Ruth Ellen Elinski (Cottonwood, 2014) won the women in leadership award from the Sedona chamber for International Women’s Day.

Stephanie Healy (Tucson, 2011) wrote a column in Inside Tucson Business about tips companies can use to promote sustainability.

Luis Heredia (Chandler, 2013) recently presented at the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas Spring Policy Summit.

Mignonne Hollis (Hereford, 2013) was quoted in a press release about SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind projects, which will be the largest in American history.

Candida Hunter (Kingman, 2017) was quoted in an article in the Bee News about Mohave Community College and the Hualapai Tribal Nation’s partnership to create the first Hualapai Business Incubator which will assist tribal members who want to operate businesses that will serve residents of the Hualapai Reservation.

Joanne Keene (Flagstaff, 2016) will be Flagstaff’s new Deputy City Manager.

Jeannette Maré (Tucson, 2013) received the Greater Tucson Leadership Founders Award

Rep. Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018) was quoted in an article in tucson.com about SB 1331 which would allow students’ parents to bring a firearm onto school grounds if they have a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) appeared on Arizona Horizon to discuss what Arizona can gain from increasing enrollment in education after high school.

Christian Price (Maricopa,2012) was interviewed on the Arizona Horizon about the construction of I-11 in Arizona.

Nate Rhoton (Phoenix, 2015) was interviewed for a Fronteras article about the impact of a recent Arizona law that went into effect which bans gender-affirming surgery until age 18.

Lisa Schnebly Heidinger (Phoenix, 2012) wrote an op-ed in the Arizona Republic about implementing statewide programs like Coconino County’s Community Pathways, which connects people with resources to re-enter the community before leaving jail, to prevent recidivism.

Benjamin Taylor (Phoenix, 2019) was interviewed for 12News story about the legality of Gov. Hobb’s decision to pause planned executions.

Lisa Urias (Phoenix, 2011) was quoted in a Fabulous Arizona article about how to explore Arizona’s Dark Sky communities.

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.

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 following boards and commissions:

  • Coconino Judicial Nominating Commission
  • Pima Judicial Nominating Commission
  • Pinal Judicial Nominating Commission

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Non-attorney applicants may apply using the main application and must be residents of the county of the Trial Court Appointments Commission to which they are applying, residents of Arizona for at least 5 years, and cannot hold elected or appointed office for profit. Interested attorneys must apply through the State Bar’s website.

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.
Yavapai County has vacancies for consumer representatives on the Food and Safety Industrial Council. To inquire about a vacancy, contact the Clerk of the Board. Additional information about boards and commissions that may have vacancies can be found on the Yavapai County website. 

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 Center for the Rights of Abused Children is searching for a Director of Strategic Communications and a Vice president of Philanthropic Partnerships to join their team.

Contexture is looking to fill the role of vice president of enterprise marketing to oversee development and execution of comprehensive communication, education and marketing plans and strategies.

The Nature Conservancy has positions open for a Water Program Policy Specialist, an External Affairs Associate, an Associate Director of Development, and an Associate Director of Development for Corporate and Foundations. All positions are located in their Arizona office.

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 Association of State and Territorial Health Officials is hiring a Director, Leadership Events position to oversee the planning, development, and implementation for ASTHO’s leadership events.

Casa Grande Elementary School District has a position open for Director of Community Relations.

The Arizona Commerce Authority is hiring a Tribal Liaison to serve as the primary contact for tribal leadership. 

Events & Conferences

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

The Virginia G. Piper Foundation is hosting an online information session regarding their 2023 Piper Fellows application process on May 4th. 

In May 2023, AZ Creative Aging will host convenings in four Arizona communities and online, offering a unique opportunity for people working at the intersection of aging, healthcare, and the arts to convene, reconnect, and explore the state of the field and the opportunities ahead! These events are offered free of charge, but space is limited. Register now to secure your spot!

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 League of Cities and Towns Conference will be August 29-September 1 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort. Registration will open in May.