2023 Flinn-Brown Convention

The annual Flinn-Brown Convention was held on Nov. 3 at the Helios Education Campus in Phoenix.

The all-day event featured the theme, “Leading Arizona: Celebrating Public Service and Navigating Its Challenges,” and included topics related to the value and challenges of public service, and how the Flinn-Brown Network can support and encourage one another in all levels of public service.

Pre-Convention Activities

November 2 Evening Receptions
The 2013 Flinn-Brown Fellows were invited to gather at the Flinn Foundation for a reunion. Fellows Annette Zinky and Sarah Douthit co-hosted this event. This was immediately followed by a reception at the Flinn Foundation for all the Flinn-Brown Fellows.

November 3 Morning Hike
On the morning of the Convention Fellows were invited to participate in sunrise hike at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, organized by Fellow Sarah Rose Webber.

Convention Speakers


The Honorable Rusty Bowers

Former Speaker of the House
Arizona House of Representatives

Panelists (all Flinn-Brown Fellows): 

The Honorable Morgan Abraham
(Tucson, 2014)

Former State Representative
Arizona House of Representatives
LD10, 2021-2022

The Honorable Matt Gress
(Phoenix, 2015)

State Representative
Arizona House of Representatives
LD4, 2023-Present

The Honorable Jennifer Pawlik
(Chandler, 2018)

State Representative
Arizona House of Representatives
LD17, 2019-Present

The Honorable Joanne Osborne
(Goodyear, 2012)

Former State Representative
Arizona House of Representatives
LD13, 2019-2022


Hank Stephenson

Journalist and Co-founder
The Arizona Agenda 

Flinn-Brown Awards 

Five awards honoring high-impact leaders are granted each year at the Convention: Jack Jewett Award, Network Builder Award, and three Arizona Champion (Northern, Central and Southern Arizona) awards. 

The 2023 Flinn-Brown Award recipients are:

• Jack Jewett Award: Paul Brierley (Yuma, 2011 Fellow) who has exemplified the former Flinn Foundation president and CEO’s leadership approach and commitment to Arizona. This year, Brierley was named director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture;
• Network Builder Award: Julie Katsel (Tucson, 2014 Fellow), who has shown a special commitment to enhancing the Flinn-Brown Network;
• Northern Arizona Champion: Tim Elinski (Cottonwood, 2013 Fellow);
• Central Arizona Champion: Elvy Barton (Chandler, 2013 Fellow); and
• Southern Arizona Champion: Brendan Lyons (Tucson, 2020 Fellow).

The three Arizona Champions have all been leaders in their region of the state and shown a devotion to public service.

Flinn-Brown Fellow Benjamin Graff, the first recipient of the Jack Jewett Award, hosted the 2023 Flinn-Brown Awards.

Meet the Planning Committee 

Thank you to the members of the 2023 Flinn-Brown Convention planning committee, including our co-chairs Daniel Ruiz II (2015) and Nicole Barraza (2020), and other members of the Fellows Council.