December 2022 Network News

December 22, 2022

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

As I sit down (literally) to write this final message to Fellows for the year, the end credits are rolling on the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It took six goals,120 minutes, and a penalty-kick shootout to close the door on what was quite possibly the most exciting final of any World Cup in my lifetime. Two of the best teams in the competition, led by two of the best players in the world, with stakes high and the personalities life-size. For those familiar with the outcome, you will truly understand this quote from Oscar Wilde: “This suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts.”

Unfortunately, the backdrop of this international stage included concerns about the host country’s record on human rights, their treatment of workers, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Despite unprecedented viewership and event attendance, the month-long event was also mired by marked hostility to the host country from the players, spectators, and members of the press. FIFA itself is no stranger to controversy, with a history of alleged systemic corruption, racketeering, and collusion related to marketing and hosting rights.

A 360-degree moral dilemma for sure. What responsibility does FIFA hold as the organization entrusted to safeguard the highest ethical standards for unquestionably the most world’s most popular sporting event, and how do the teams and fans ensure that FIFA is held accountable to the basic rules of human decency, fair play, and the lofty ideals of sportsmanship? Or, in other words, where does the social responsibility ultimately rest?

A week or so into the tournament, I watched a 2022 World Cup segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Oliver is a funny guy, who always has a clever take on what is happening in politics–not always balanced, but well-executed to whet the appetite of the viewer to learn more for themselves. In this clip, he heatedly spends 24 minutes documenting, with great specificity, the atrocities of this World Cup (and previous), and in the waning minutes, confesses that despite it all, he himself will watch the World Cup, and accepts the inevitability that most people will.

A heavy question indeed. Is the event so tainted that even watching could be perceived as tacit endorsement for the trampling of civil liberties? Or is it a living ode to world unity that needs a flag even if it is tattered? Should we look beyond the host country’s lack of respect for principles of human dignity to preserve the underlying spirit of community and reasonable patriotism inherent in the ultimate source of entertainment and national pride for the majority of the planet’s inhabitants?

Life subjects us to these moral boundaries every day: what we watch, what we buy, where we vacation, who we vote for. We are continually make choices and engage in ways that test our individual moral compasses. How do we, as leaders, reconcile what we must do and who we must work alongside with what and who offends us?

There is a bright spot to this story. In 2026, the World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico. It is the first time that three countries will host together. I’m not going to be entirely Pollyannaish; after all, scandal and FIFA are synonomous, and I’m sure we will be inundated with the soccer vs. football silliness. But right now, I’m holding out that this will be a remarkable opportunity for North America to achieve solidarity and move beyond borders to celebrate a momumental event together.


Upcoming CivEx

Save the date!

Molly Edwards headshot

Join us Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 2:00 p.m. as Flinn-Brown Fellow Molly Edwards (Phoenix, 2011), Public Information Officer/Legislative Liaison for the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, and a panel of experts, discuss results of the Arizona Youth Survey, the dangers of fentanyl, and policy considerations around education and prevention.

Watch for registration emails in January. 

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

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, and other areas worth sharing. This month, recommendations come from Ryan Smith (Mesa, 2013) and Michael Beller (Phoenix, 2017).

Ryan Smith
(Mesa, 2013)
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
by John M. Barry

Ryan Smith: One of my favorite books is Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, by John M. Barry. I love this book because it details our nation’s complicated history with politics, race, and how we should be taking care of those that need help the most, how we often fail miserably, and how those mistakes have shaped our nation.

Michael Beller
(Phoenix, 2017)
The 4 Disciplines Of Execution
by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling

Michael Beller: Anyone seeking to create meaningful and lasting change in a world where the political pendulum seems to swing continuously farther and faster needs this book. “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” or “4DX ” provides individuals and organizations a model for achieving their most important goals. This book is great to listen to in the car and is one I constantly pull off the shelf. It is as entertaining as it is helpful at navigating the whirlwind.

Fellows Spotlight

Ryan Smith
(Mesa, 2013)

Director of Communications and Government Relations
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

LinkedIn | Twitter

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

I am the Director of Communications and Government Relations at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The airport is impacted by every level of government and is a shining example of how public-policy decisions can have amazing positive effects on the community, or can stymie growth and bog down economic development. Gateway has experienced tremendous success over the past few years because our six member governments, the state of Arizona, and federal agencies such as the FAA have invested time, money and their collective power to foster growth that benefits the entire region. Elected leaders from every level have played a key role in making this happen.

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

My favorite is: “The true measure of success is to plant trees under whose shade you will never stand.” For me, that defines in a very simple way what selfless service is.

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

There is always a connection with someone who has had the opportunity to go through the program. It’s a common bond and easy way to say, “Hey, you and I understand how the sausage gets made…Can you help me with XYZ?”

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

Having a split government for the first time in over a decade will be a good learning exercise for our elected leaders. For most of them, this will be the first time navigating this type of governing, and I am hopeful that leaders from both sides will rise to the occasion to accomplish the important work that Arizona voters desire and deserve.

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

Sophie Allen-Etchart (Phoenix, 2022) and her organization Read Better Be Better were highlighted in an Arizona Republic article about how nonprofit organizations are helping Arizonans in need. RBBB was also awarded a $250,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to expand its afterschool reading-comprehension program.

Jonathon Bates (Tempe, 2014) is now a Legislative Analyst for the League of Arizona Cities & Towns.

Mayor Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) was quoted in an AZ Big Media article about the Arizona Junior Fellows’ visit to Resolution Copper.  

Paul Brierley (Yuma, 2011) will chair the newly formed Presidential Advisory Commission on the Future of Agriculture and Food Production in a Drying Climate at the University of Arizona.

Sarah Douthit (Williams, 2013) and County Attorney Bill Ring(Flagstaff, 2011) were interviewed for an Arizona Daily Sun article about Arizona’s adult-probation staffing shortage.

Mignonne Hollis (Hereford, 2013) was quoted in a press release about the SunZia Transmission project.

Dana Kennedy (Phoenix, 2016) was interviewed for a KJZZ podcast regarding low COVID-19 vaccination rates among Arizona nursing-home residents.

Audra Koester Thomas (Fountain Hills, 2011) gave a presentation to the Fountain Hills City Council to highlight the importance of continued transportation funding.

Brendan Lyons (Tucson, 2020) and his organization LOOK! Save a Life were highlighted in an article in the Daily Wildcat about El Tour de Tucson and Ride to Save Lives, which brings awareness to bicycle safety.

Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson (Tucson, 2011) was honored with the Hispanic Business Woman of the Year Award by The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) co-wrote an Arizona Republic op-ed about how she championed in-state tuition for Dreamers.

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020) was interviewed for an Arizona Republic article about ways to increase teacher diversity in Arizona.

Christian Price (Maricopa, 2012) recently earned an AZED Pro designation from the Academy of Arizona.

Bill Regner (Clarkdale, 2018) was recognized for his years of service to the town of Clarkdale.

Sam Richard’s (Phoenix, 2017) organization, OnPoint Labs, recently joined the Leafly Certified Labs Program, a network of cannabis labs across the U.S. and Canada committed to providing accurate product data to consumers.

Blake Sacha (Gilbert, 2017) was interviewed by the Arizona Republic about how to improve the city of Phoenix runoff elections.

Jami Snyder (Phoenix, 2013) will be a panelist on the upcoming webinar, New Medicaid Opportunities for Financing Health-Related Social Needs: A Conversation With States. The webinar will be held on January 9.

Nancy Steele (Cottonwood, 2019) and her organization, Friends of the Verde River, were honored with the ASU Resilience Prize.

Pamela Sutherland (Washington, D.C., 2013) is now in-house counsel for Enterprise Community Investments, Inc. one of the oldest and largest national nonprofits investing in affordable housing. She is working on financing projects using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and bonds, as well as other legal work.

Monica Timberlake (Quartzsite, 2022) was quoted by 12News in a story about the Aggregate Expenditure Limit and its impact on local schools.

Nicholas Vasquez (Chandler, 2016) was quoted in a 12News article about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

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.

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

Maricopa County has vacancies on the Travel Reduction Program Regional Task Force in Districts 2, 3, 4, and 5. You can apply for these positions through the Clerk of the Board.

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

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

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

Applications for Leadership West Class 29 are open. Leadership West offers a behind-the-scenes look into West Valley issues. The 150-hour Flagship Program is designed to transform already exceptional individuals into 4th Quadrant Leaders who use their knowledge, collaboration, and skills to make life better for everyone in their organization, community, and region.

SciTech Institute is hiring a communications coordinator and has positions open for STEM Ecosystem Hub Coordinators in various regions.

The Arizona House of Representatives is hiring two positions: legislative research analyst and assistant legislative research analyst.

The University of Arizona is hiring an executive director for Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center for Native American Health.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has an opening for a director of donor relations.

The Thunderbird School of Management seeks an executive director of engagement.

Health First Foundation Northern Arizona seeks a senior philanthropy officer.

Vitalyst Health Foundation is hiring a program manager, grants & partnerships.

Chandler-Gilbert Community College in the Maricopa Community Colleges is seeking a vice president for administrative services.

The Nature Conservancy is seeking a director of development for the Arizona Chapter.

Main Street America is searching for a chief executive officer to continue the organization’s goal of advancing prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life through place-based economic development and community preservation.

Casey Family Programs is hiring a senior director, Arizona Field Office to advance practices and policies that promote safe reduction of children and youth in foster care, prevent entry of children into care, and promote child and family well-being.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is seeking a tribal liaison to represent ADHS to tribal governments and health officials, Indian Health Services, and broader tribal and indigenous communities in Arizona.

Events & Conferences

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

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host its 2023 Legislative Forecast Luncheon on Friday, January 6 at Chase Field.

Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits + Arizona Grantmakers Forum will host the first Member Town Hall virtually on January 10.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Legislative Kick-off reception will be January 12 at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The University of Arizona is hosting the Arizona Rural & Public Health Policy Forum on January 31 at the University of Arizona Phoenix Virginia G. Piper Auditorium. The full-day Forum is designed to address current rural and public health policy issues and their impact on Arizona’s rural and tribal communities.

Leadership West Alumni Association will have their annual West-X Leadership Summit on February 16.

Arizona Gives is open for nonprofit registrations through February 28.