January 2022 Network News

January 25, 2022

By brianpowell

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Dawn Wallace

Happy New Year!

While 2022 hasn’t started out exactly as I hoped—after two years of dodging COVID, my family finally came face to face with the new variant, “He Who Must Not Be Named”—our cases are mild, in large part due to the decision we made to be vaccinated and boosted. While inconvenient, particularly to the desired social life of a 13-year-old, we are grateful to have weathered the storm, tired but safe.

However, I’m determined to not let this be our origin story for 2022. Instead, I’ve decided to multiverse our Marvel tale this year. Here’s my inspiration: recently, I noticed weird, Tetris-like graphics on Twitter posts. As a rule, I generally avoid any curiosity about nebulous Twitter content, but then it also surprisingly appeared on the boss’s feed—like, daily. It took me exactly three seconds to Encyclopedia Brown myself to a New York Times article, called “Wordle is a Love Story” where I solved the mystery and also had an incredible epiphany about my emerging relationship with the year 2022.

In short, Wordle is a web-based guessing game, designed lovingly by a software engineer especially for his partner, who enjoys word puzzles. Not exactly the Hope Diamond, the Taj Mahal, or the mopping robot vacuum that I received for Christmas this year, but a delightful example of a simple idea evolving into a world-wide phenomenon and forever memorialized in print as a romantic tale.

I know pandemic conditions will continue to be with us—and don’t get me wrong, we should continue to be vigilant—but life is short, and every year matters. This year, I’m sending my kid to high school, and it feels like the final countdown. I’m still lucky to have my mom and dad with me, but I know each day with them is a gift from God. And I’m celebrating my 15th anniversary to a guy who gives me a vacuum for Christmas, and I couldn’t be happier! So, I’m going to keep the faith and press on. Here’s to a fabulous year for all of us!

Now on to serious stuff!


It’s been two years since we recruited our last cohort of Flinn-Brown Fellows, and we are anxious to bring new leaders into the Flinn-Brown Network. This spring, about 25 new community leaders will emerge as the next cohort of Flinn-Brown Fellows and join you as members of the Flinn-Brown Network.

More than 75% of our applicants are referred to the program by existing Flinn-Brown Fellows. We value your involvement in our recruitment efforts, and this year, we especially depend on you to help spread the word through your social and professional networks. Flinn-Brown Fellows are our best advocates!

Recruitment: We’re holding virtual information sessions through January and February. The application will open on February 1, with the deadline to apply February 28. For more information, including application requirements and process, dates/times for our info sessions, and other relevant information about the Fellowship, please refer potential applicants to our website.

Round 1 Reviewers: If you are interested in reviewing applications for our Round 1 selection, please let me know. You will be paired with another Fellow and assigned the same applications (typically 10-15). Each of you will independently review each application (online) and collectively decide on five applicants to advance and two alternates. Typically, this has taken Fellows 5-10 hours over a two-week period (March 7-21). We are offering a virtual info session for reviewers on March 6, as well as an instructional video if you cannot make the info session.

We will be providing a modest honorarium for your efforts.

Fellows Survey

We want to hear from you! Please take five minutes to respond to this brief 10-question surveyWe ask that you submit your responses no later than February 15.

• In 2022, we plan to update the annual printed Flinn-Brown Fellows directory in June, and at the same time refine and add new fields to our online public directory. We need your help to ensure we have your information up to date.

• Your thoughts on a few other topics related to the Flinn-Brown Network and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership are the final component of the survey and will help us develop future programming.

Past and Upcoming CivEx Webinars

Please join us on Wednesday, January 26 from 2:00–3:30 p.m. for a presentation by Flinn-Brown Fellows Fletcher Montzingo (Phoenix, 2017), senior fiscal policy advisor, Arizona State Senate, and Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015), budget director, Office of Gov. Doug Ducey. This webinar will provide a briefing on the economic forecast, revenue projections, and planned statewide investments, as well as what we can expect for the 2022 legislative budget process. Register here.

If you are interested in seeing any past CivEx sessions from 2021, please check out our CivEx page.

Finally, we are always more than happy to help promote your work through social media, so please reach out to me if you would like us to officially recognize a professional accomplishment, event, or program with which you are involved.


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 Kimulet Winzer (Phoenix, 2011) and Katelyn Harris Lange (Phoenix, 2020).

Kimulet Winzer (2011)

101 Ways to Have a Great Day at Work

Katelyn Harris Lange (2020)

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

Flinn-Brown Convention


We are excited to share that the annual Flinn-Brown Convention will be held this year on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Fellows Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) and Josue Macias (Phoenix, 2019) have agreed to be our Convention co-chairs.

If you would like to participate on the planning committee, please let us know.

Fellows Spotlight

Kimulet Winzer  (Phoenix, 2011) Director, SunHawk Consulting, LLC


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

My work is to advise, direct and counsel as well as to educate, train and strategize. My profession for the last 20 years has been as a healthcare compliance professional. For nearly 10 years (June 2022), I have been a member of one of the First Things First regional councils. Health care in Arizona continues to evolve, as does early childhood education. Both provide direct services to Arizonans—some who are our most vulnerable—and both workstreams consume a percentage of the state’s finances. I’m fortunate to be able to provide impact through work in both of these areas by facilitating conversations at all levels and providing information, resources, tools and connections within both of these public-policy workstreams to help move forward faster, and to include people who would not ordinarily know they can or when to provide input when the opportunity presents itself. As part of the conversations in these areas, I provide my thought leadership and influence to supply a diverse perspective. I look for opportunities as a result of the Flinn-Brown Academy to intentionally impact public policy in these two areas when I see the opportunity to do so.

Like many nationally and in Arizona, I was laid off in February 2020. At that time, I didn’t have the COVID-19 vocabulary and didn’t understand the impact the pandemic would ultimately have beyond the health crisis we’ve all experienced. My intentions were to give of my time and expertise during the interim time off to organizations that could use my skills to advance their causes. As I reached out at the beginning of the pandemic, individuals were experiencing the typical flight, fight, fear or freeze behaviors and soon could do nothing more than deal with the daily updates of what to do during the pandemic. Doors would be closed and organizations would begin to work remotely, some for the first time. My organization became my consulting—sharing information about telemedicine just as federal provisions were being made to remove barriers to immediately increase utilization of telemedicine to provide greater access to healthcare; helping to facilitate conversation within the state about systemic racism; and working to help establish a nonprofit that will work with young children to build social, emotional (SEL) strength along with a beginning understanding of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through gardening.

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

“Be strong and courageous.”

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

The Flinn-Brown Network has been useful to me, as it allows the voices of diverse people with diverse beliefs to be heard in a safe and respectful environment. The very nature of the Network is to put people together with diverse opinions and learn to work together for the benefit of a larger community. While that may not be the case 100% of the time, the majority of the Network embraces this and reaches out to learn or take the time to actively listen to understand. I listen and watch the Network more intently because I expect its members to be knowledgeable and to be working toward a greater good. In a world, country, and state that is seriously divided, it’s not going to just be party politics that we’ll have to lean on each other to understand, it is and will be so much more, and it is wonderful to continue to meet people, listen, and learn from them.

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

Potential opportunities to strengthen civic health in Arizona are to expand conversations about civic health in more meaningful ways while partnering with other organizations (Arizona Town Hall, Soroptimist, YMCA, Salvation Army) who are working to get their particular message out. For example, what is clear in Arizona is that more and more “young” people 18 and older are having to learn how to be an adult “on the job” so to speak. They reach the age of majority and they are off. In some instances they have had the luxury of knowing a bit of how civic engagement works but most often not in a way that is meaningful and practical. Offering material and conversations that help them understand why being engaged is important and how to engage using simple tools and social media could go a long way to strengthening civic health as these individuals continue to mature and become more and more active in Arizona communities.

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 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)

Community College Governing Board
Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011)

Justice of Peace
Kristel Ann Foster (Tucson, 2015)

Fellows In The News

Trevor Abarzua (Hawaii, 2020) is now associate vice-president, business advocacy and government affairs for the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) was re-appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2022 Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR) Federal Advocacy Committee.

Tony Boone (Sierra Vista, 2019) was quoted in a KOLD News 13 article about Sierra Vista’s ranking as the third most affordable housing market in the U.S.

Lisa Cagnolatti (Gilbert, 2019) was selected as one of the UCLA School of Engineering Alumni of the Year for 2021.

Blaise Caudill (Phoenix, 2014) was interviewed for an episode of the Guiding Growth with Community Leaders podcast hosted by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.

Demion Clinco (Tucson, 2013) was interviewed for a KGUN9 news story about how his organization, Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, works to protect the city’s historic and cultural landmarks.

Julie Erfle (Phoenix, 2013) provided commentary on education funding in an AZMirror article.

Coral Evans (Flagstaff, 2011) was highlighted in the Arizona Daily Sun’s 2021 Year in Review.

David Garcia (Phoenix, 2011) was interviewed for a MIT Press Reader article about his book School Choice and the history of school choice policies in America.

Lisa Schnebly Heidinger (Phoenix, 2012) started a new position at Health First Foundation Northern Arizona.

Representative Daniel Hernandez Jr. (Tucson, 2011) was interviewed for a KOLD News13 news story commemorating the January 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson.

Mignonne Hollis (Sierra Vista, 2013) was named the chair of the Board Diversity Task Force for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Brittney Kaufmann (Phoenix, 2014) was featured in an azfamily.com news story about the creative ways her organization, Health System Alliance of Arizona, is bringing awareness to COVID-19.

Patrick McWhorter (Cave Creek, 2011) was interviewed for a KJZZ podcast about his new role as the CEO for Arizona Citizens for the Arts.

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) was featured in an ASU News article about her path to starting her organization, Aliento, after graduating from ASU in 2012.

Mayor Kell Palguta (Prescott Valley, 2019) was highlighted in a Prescott eNews article about recent poll results which show a high quality of life for residents in Prescott Valley.

Daniel Palm (Tucson, 2020) was quoted in an Emirates News Agency article about the recent partnership between University of Arizona and Emirates Group Security to collaborate on academic research and provide aviation security courses for students.

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020) was interviewed for an ABC15 news story about the rise in demand for Parent Educator Academy, a training program for parents to better support their students in virtual learning environments.

Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) was quoted in a KTAR News article about low preschool enrollment numbers for Arizona kids.

Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson (Tucson, 2011) was quoted in a 12News article about cryptocurrency investment threats.

Sam Richard (Phoenix, 2017) was interviewed for a KJZZ news story about licenses that have been submitted for the Arizona Department of Health Services marijuana social equity ownership campaign.

Brett Rustand
(Tucson, 2011) is now the vice president at Crest Insurance Group.

Adelaida Severson (Gilbert, 2020) was the Fall 2021 Commencement Speaker at Park University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Keri Silvyn (Tucson, 2011) was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2022 by AZ Big Media.

Frances Sjoberg (Phoenix, 2012) is now a principal attorney for the Economic and Community Development Unit at Navajo Nation Department of Justice.

Ryan Smith (Mesa, 2013) was quoted in a KTAR News article about the $70 million in funds Arizona airports will receive this year from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Janelle Wood (Phoenix, 2013) was acknowledged in Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State speech for her leadership in developing the microschool learning model.

Career and Professional Opportunities


Arizona for Rural Leadership is seeking candidates for Class 31 of their leadership program, Project CENTRL. More than 650 leaders from rural Arizona have completed the leadership program since the first class started in 1983.  

All In Education is hiring a Leadership Programs Specialist to head community engagement and outreach and oversee leadership development and event logistics.

The Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation is hiring an Office Manager to oversee administrative operations in Sierra Vista.

The Heard Museum is hiring an Institutional Giving Manager to oversee fundraising efforts from local and national institutions.

Independent Sector is seeking a Director, Strategic Marketing and Digital Engagement in Washington D.C.

Local First Is seeking individuals with experience in economic development: Director of Rural Development, Director of Tucson Business Development and Small Business Membership Manager (Tucson).

The Nature Conservancy has two positions available in Phoenix: Director of Development and Healthy Cities Program Director.

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) is hiring an Operations Manager to maintain and develop efficient systems and processes to support the organization.

The San Francisco Reserve Bank is looking for a dynamic and public service-oriented professional to join their team as a Regional Engagement Officer in the Arizona territory (100% remote).  

Valley of the Sun United way is seeking a Vice President, Brand and Marketing to develop and manage the organization’s brand.

More employment opportunities in the public sector can be found at https://www.governmentjobs.com/.

Events & Conferences

Arizona Town Hall’s 113th Statewide Town Hall on “Creating Vibrant Communities” will be held virtually Jan. 24-26.

The Civics Center is hosting a virtual “Lunch/Coffee Break for Democracy” on Jan. 27. Executive Director Laura Brill will discuss the Center’s work to strengthen civic engagement and voter participation among youth. 

The town of Superior is holding a celebration on Jan. 28 to commemorate the purchase of the original Superior High school. 

Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is hosting a “Business on Board” 4-day virtual workshop for business professionals interested in serving on a nonprofit board. The courses will be held every Tuesday in February. 

PHX Startup Week is seeking qualified participants willing to make an impact in their community by sharing their experience and knowledge during PHX Startup Week, April 25-29. Virtual and in-person presenters are needed.

Hosted by the Next Education Workforce initiative at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, this 1 1/2-day virtual event allows education leaders to explore how colleges of education and others are working in partnership with K–12 schools and communities to design the Next Education Workforce. 

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