June 2024 Network News

July 1, 2024

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Every summer, I eagerly trade the scorching Arizona heat for a charming seaside town along the Pacific Coast Highway. My time here is mostly solitary with occasional family visits. Away from our usual routines, I revel in the fact that our conversations naturally shift from the mundane logistics of life to more meaningful exchanges.

Take my teenager, for instance—she is not one to talk your ear off but recently, she surprised me by sharing drama happening in her friend group. “Mom,” she said with judgment in her voice, “they’re all so afraid of FOMO.”

A parental knee-jerk response might be, “Yes, FOMO is unfortunately a pervasive psychological phenomenon in your generation. Driven by the incessant use of social media, it has affected you and your friends, causing pressure to conform, negative impacts on mental health, and a tendency towards risky behavior.”

But I am not entirely convinced that FOMO—fear of missing out—is all that bad. In my childhood, FOMO motivated a very shy me to leave the house and socialize. As a young professional, it fueled my career ambitions, compelling me to seize every available opportunity. Moving into middle age, FOMO shifted its focus toward ensuring my child experienced enriching opportunities. Now, as a leader, FOMO drives me to support professional growth, encourage teamwork, and constantly strive to spark creativity and innovation in our work. To be fair, there is plenty of research about the detrimental effects of FOMO in the workplace—stress, decision paralysis, and a culture of constant distraction—which I believe can be managed with a supportive work culture.

I will also say there is no denying that technology-driven FOMO has its downsides for our kids, often portraying life through an idealized lens and making real-time interactions less appealing. However, when approached positively, FOMO can ignite a genuine enthusiasm for life, encouraging young people to seek rewarding experiences outside of their communities and cultivate a supportive lifelong social circle. And this can enhance their overall health and well-being.

In case you are wondering, she did not get this long lecture. Parenting, after all, comes with its own version of FOMO—a profound desire to grasp onto every cherished moment in your children’s lives before they inevitably slip away. It just felt like one of those rare moments where she let down her guard, offering me a precious reminder of the fleeting nature of these times with her. She got her moment, and I got mine. No one missed out at all. 



2024 Flinn-Brown Convention

Our registration numbers are looking good, but we need more of you to attend to truly feel the Network vibe!

In addition to the Convention on Friday, Aug. 16, at On Jackson, 245 E. Jackson St., in downtown Phoenix, Fellows have organized some pre-Convention activities.

  • Aug. 15 Evening reception: The 2014 Flinn-Brown Fellows are invited to a cohort reunion at the FOUND:RE Hotel at 5 p.m., followed by a reception at 5:30 for all Fellows who would like to attend.
  • Aug 16 Nature walk: On the morning of the Convention, Fellows are invited to a nature walk along the Salt River within the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, organized by Fellow Sarah Rose Webber (2017). More details to follow.

Don’t forget: We have secured a Convention rate available at the FOUND:RE Hotel on Aug. 15 at $119 plus tax per night. Please note your interest in a room when registering. The deadline to book a room at this rate is Monday, July 15.

When you register, please do not forget to respond to the questions about pre-convention activities and Convention day programming. 

Fellows Spotlight

The Honorable Tammy Caputi

Owner / President, Yale Electric West, Inc.

Councilwoman, City of Scottsdale

(Scottsdale, 2019)

“The conversations we had at Flinn-Brown were so deep and definitely got me used to speaking across the aisle, and speaking with people who have wildly different opinions, in a polite and courteous way. It was a real exchange of knowledge and information and opinions. There was no toxicity; it was just total respect and the understanding of other people. I learned so much.” — The Honorable Tammy Caputi, Scottsdale City Council

Tammy Caputi is the president and owner of Yale Electric West, Inc., a lighting and electrical supply distributing company. From the beginning, Caputi never let the demographics of her predominantly male industry be a crutch, or something that could define the success of her business.  

The 2019 Flinn-Brown Fellow and Scottsdale City Councilwoman attributes some of that determination to her time at Wellesley College, a renowned women’s college outside Boston. 

“Being surrounded by incredible, intelligent, powerful women, looking to my left and right and seeing that the smartest people in the room were women, that changed my life in a thousand different ways,” Caputi says. “It gave me so much confidence and it helped me find my voice.” 

Caputi later received an MBA from Simmons University in Boston. She was then told by her father that she was more than welcome to work for his company there and that she would be taken care of, but the business would go to her brothers. 

That made Caputi’s next choice clear. She moved back to Arizona, where she had been working after her bachelor’s degree, and started her own business.  

More than 22 years later, Yale Electric West Inc., is still running strong by supplying light fixtures and electrical materials for commercial construction projects in the Greater Phoenix area.

Meanwhile, Caputi’s compassion for Scottsdale and Arizona has driven her time as a Scottsdale City Councilwoman. Caputi, who is seeking her second term on the council this fall, felt there was a need for open-mindedness and balance. 

“We have a winning formula in Scottsdale. It’s highest amenities and open space, strongest property values and lowest property taxes. That’s an amazing balance to achieve. And the only way we do that is with a vibrant economy,” Caputi says. “I take the long-term view and right now I’m really proud of the work we’ve done.” 

Utilizing the Flinn-Brown Network to see how people in other cities deal with local issues has been one of Caputi’s favorite things about the Flinn-Brown Fellowship. She said being able to trade ideas, gain new perspectives, and have an expert in just about anything at your fingertips is a gift that keeps on giving.

But that ability to work so well with others stems from something deeper.  

“We have a tendency to get into our echo chambers and Flinn-Brown really forced us to get into a room with people who don’t all think exactly like you do. And that is usually the best way to break down those barriers,” Caputi said. “You realize that you do have things in common, that you’re all working towards the same goal and that the other person isn’t necessarily the enemy.” 

Caputi was not in a calm stage of life throughout her Flinn-Brown Fellowship. She was taking care of her young children, participating in two fellowships, running her business, training for the Boston Marathon and being there for her sick father, but she still came out of it with the sense that opportunities like Flinn-Brown are exactly what Arizona needs to kindle strong communities. 

“We need more of what Flinn-Brown presents. I can’t think of any other organization that’s providing that space for people of all opinions to get together and have civil dialogue. I don’t know if anyone else is doing that and we need so much more of it,” Caputi says. 

If change happens at the wrong time with no warning, it can be uncomfortable. However, any thriving community needs to be okay with change and put in the work to make sure that the members of said community have a say in what happens, Caputi says. 

“That’s what I love about municipal politics. I’m close to the people. I can make impactful changes on people’s lives for the better. And I have to continually remind myself that there’s always going to be that percentage of people out there that aren’t happy, but you just have to look at the greater good and the things that you’re doing for the majority that move the needle and make people’s lives better,” she said. “I have three daughters. It’s imperative to me that they inherit a world that is better for them than it’s been for me. I refuse to go backwards.” 

If you missed a Fellows Spotlight, you can find them here.

Leadership Forward – A Better Arizona

Coming soon: Gina Roberts—Episode 8

Gina Roberts (Scottsdale, 2019) discusses her professional pathway into election administration, the ever-evolving role of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission in Arizona politics, and why voter education is vital to ensuring election integrity during the ninth episode of the Leadership Forward for a Better Arizona podcast.

You can listen starting next week on our YouTube channel, Apple Podcast or any of the platforms below.

Next month, the podcast features Lisa Schnebly Heidinger (Phoenix, 2012), who will speak to her decades of experience as a reporter in print, radio, and television and as the author of 10 books related to Arizona history, politics, and culture.

Fellows Meet Fellows

Summer means more people stay inside or travel away from the Arizona heat, but Fellows are still finding each other!  Buna George (Yuma, 2023) encountered cohort buddies Heath Vescovi-Chiordi (Tucson, 2023) and Teresa Bravo (Tucson, 2023) at events in Tucson recently.

The Honorable Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011) and The Honorable April Hepperle (Prescott Valley, 2023) connected at the First Things First Regional Partnership Council Summit

The Honorable Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) and The Honorable Julie Spilsbury (Mesa, 2023) met up at the National Leage of Cities Summer Meeting all the way in California!  

Gabriel Jaramillo (Phoenix, 2023) has been out and about – seen at LISC’s ”What is Possible: Investing Now for Prosperous, Sustainable Neighborhoods” at ASU with Tomás León (Phoenix, 2023), Terry Benelli (Mesa, 2011) and David Longoria (Phoenix, 2012) and then escaping the Valley heat for a presentation to Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona on housing with Gail Jackson (Flagstaff, 2023).

The Honorable Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018) and The Honorable Kevin Hartke (Chandler, 2014) braved the heat to break ground on an affordable housing project for the city of Chandler. 

Fellows Field Trips

Our next field trip is out of this world. Join Mayor Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014) and Joanne Keene (Flagstaff, 2016) on Friday, Aug. 9, for a tour of the new Lowell Astronomy Discovery Center.


Paul Perrault, Ph.D. (Phoenix, 2016) is inviting all Flinn-Brown Fellows to a Tuesday, Aug. 27 convening featuring a panel discussion with Fellows engaged in PreK – 12 education policy.

The event will be held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Vince Roig Convening Center at the Helios Education Foundation in Phoenix followed by a networking reception. Stay tuned for more details.

Fellows are encouraged to suggest or offer opportunities for Fellows to visit and learn more about what is happening in Greater Arizona. Please let Dawn know if you have an idea or are interested in providing a field trip opportunity. 

Fellows Lists

Each month we feature a Fellows list in a specific employment sector, public policy area, affinity group or region. This month, we focus on Fellows in Economic Development

While we try very hard to keep up to date on Fellows’ activities, we recognize that we may have missed someone. Please let Dawn know and we will happily update the list.

Fellows Directory Updates

Help us keep our Fellows Directory accurate and updated!  We update our online directory monthly and print hard copies twice a year (July and December).  Please take a moment to complete this survey with your current information. You can also upload a new headshot to this Google Drive folder

Please contact Jennifer if you have problems accessing the survey or uploading a photo.

Fellows Celebrating Birthdays

We want to wish a happy birthday to all the Fellows celebrating in July!

  • The Honorable Bill Regner (Clarkdale, 2018)              
  • The Honorable Russ McCloud (Yuma, 2018)              
  • The Honorable Sherri Jones (San Tan Valley, 2022)                
  • Suzanne Sisley, M.D., P.C. (Scottsdale, 2011)                 
  • The Honorable Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018)    
  • Jason Zibart (Benson, 2024)
  • Michelle Beaver (Phoenix, 2024)
  • Noah Mundt (Gilbert, 2023)  
  • The Honorable Alex Benezra, J.D. (Phoenix, 2020)  
  • Jerry McPherson (Phoenix, 2022)       
  • The Honorable Cameron Moses (Lake Havasu City, 2024)               
  • Matthew Isiogu (Phoenix, 2016)
  • Joel Edman, J.D. (Tempe, 2016)            
  • Stephanie Soto (Phoenix, 2024)
  • John Zimmerman (Goodyear, 2018)

This is not a complete list, but we can only wish you a happy birthday if we know when it is! You can help us make sure we celebrate you by sharing your birthday with us in the Fellows Survey.

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 the Honorable Tammy Caputi (Scottsdale, 2019).

The Honorable Tammy Caputi
Scottsdale, 2019
Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works
by Jay Newton-Small

When women are just a token in a group, they tend to be quiet and mimic whatever’s happening with the dudes who are running the show. In fact, some of those women tend to outman the man. When you start to get a tipping point—a certain percentage of a group that’s women—that’s when the culture can start to change because women feel safe, and you can start finding your voice and speaking up.

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. 

Cynthia Aragon (Phoenix, 2015) is now the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

The Honorable Alexandra Arboleda, J.D. (Phoenix, 2018) co-wrote an article on ag-to-urban water policy with Grady Gammage for the Arizona Capitol Times. 

The Honorable Sarah Benatar (Flagstaff, 2015) is quoted in an Arizona Capitol Times article discussing public funds and the rights of taxpayers in Coconino County.  

The Honorable Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) is quoted in a Kiowa County Press article about the planning Superior is working on to prep for potential future growth. 

Teniqua Broughton (Phoenix, 2013) is quoted in this KJZZ article about the Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce’s new program to help Black and minority-owned businesses obtain bank loans.

Stacey Button (Columbia, 2011) joined 93.9 The Eagle’s CEO Roundtable to discuss the economic impact of Columbia’s Oscar Mayer plant. Listen to the show here.

Troy Campbell (Mesa, 2018) is now the Director of AccessASU for Refugee and Displaced Students Support. 

Tony Cani (Phoenix, 2014) and Jaime Molera joined Mark Brodie on KJZZ’s Friday NewsCap to discuss Arizona budget changes and more. Listen to the show here

The Honorable Tammy Caputi (Scottsdale, 2019) is featured in this article from the Arizona Digital Free Press where she discusses problems facing Scottsdale City Hall.

Erin Carr-Jordan, Ph.D. (Chandler, 2013) is quoted in this ABC15 Arizona article about the lack of high-speed internet access throughout the Valley.

The Honorable Juan Ciscomani (Tucson, 2011) recently fought for funding in District 6—$2 million of that funding went to a new fire station for the Pima Fire Department as discussed in this Gila Herald op-ed

The Honorable Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014) wrote an article for the National League of Cities about Flagstaff’s innovative usage of green solutions for climate change. 

Tina Dorsey (Tucson, 2024) is now Vice President of Commercial Banking, Middle Market, for JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

Sarah Douthit (Williams, 2013) was elected President of the National Association of Probation Officers. 

Dave Engelthaler, Ph.D. (Flagstaff, 2022) is quoted in an article from azcentral.com covering the KP.3 variant of COVID-19.

Eric Fitzer (Tempe, 2013) is quoted in an azcentral.com article discussing the 2,000 acres that Surprise intends to use for parks and open space.  

Adam Goodman (Paradise Valley, 2023) is given a shoutout in this article from the Daily Independent discussing his leadership roles throughout the Valley. 

The Honorable Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015) is quoted in a Center Square Arizona article about House Bill 2623 which will allow sex trafficking victims to clear their record of prostitution convictions. 

The Honorable Mary Hamway (Paradise Valley, 2012) discusses what she believes is the No. 1 Issue facing Paradise Valley Town Hall, along with the other mayoral candidates, in an article from the Arizona Digital Free Press.

Charlinda Haudley, Ph.D. (Tucson, 2022) was selected for the National Leadership Institute state-based training in Arizona hosted by Advanced Native Political Leadership.

The Honorable Daniel Hernandez (Tucson, 2011) is quoted in a Yahoo! Life article about a recent decision by Arizona lawmakers to begin the repeal of a law that prohibits HIV and AIDS instruction.

Lloyd Hopkins II (Phoenix, 2024) is the Board Director and Advisory Board Member with the Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation. 

Claire Louge (Phoenix, 2023) received the Resilience Champion Award from the Community Resilience Initiative at its 9th annual national conference. 

Dana Kennedy (Phoenix, 2016) is quoted in this 12News article discussing the key role senior voters will play in the upcoming elections. 

Adam Leckie, Ed.D. (Queen Creek, 2023) is quoted in this article from the Casa Grande Dispatch where he discusses the planning that he and his team within Casa Grande Elementary School District are doing to ensure a successful 2024-2025 school year. 

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) is quoted in this KJZZ story about the recent executive order regarding undocumented people who are married to U.S. citizens. 

The Honorable Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018) is now the School Board Engagement Director for Stand for Children Arizona. 

The Honorable Christian Price (Maricopa, 2012) discussed the industrial change Maricopa may soon be seeing at a Maricopa Chamber of Commerce meeting. Read more here

Gina Roberts (Scottsdale, 2019) wrote an informational piece or AZ Big Media on how to navigate disinformation during election season.

Aaron Rottenstein (Tucson, 2018) was named to the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list. Read more about the award here

Nick Staab, M.D. (Phoenix, 2024) is quoted in an Arizona’s Family article about preventing death and wildfires throughout Arizona’s intense, current heat.

Benjamin Taylor, J.D. (Phoenix, 2019) and his many accomplishments are spotlighted in this profile from ASU News and this column on diversity Taylor wrote for AZ Big Media.

Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018) is quoted in this article from The Guardian about Latino voters’ opinions on abortion rights. 

Lisa Urias (Phoenix, 2011) is quoted in this fabulousarizona.com article about embracing Arizona’s “off-season” and traveling.

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi (Tucson, 2023) and John Winchester (Tucson, 2018) are mentioned in this article from hoodline.com discussing the efforts to boost the local economy in Southern Arizona. 

Kevin Volk (Tucson, 2022) is quoted in this tucsonsentinel.com article about the Democratic candidates in Legislative District 17.

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 Governor’s Office is currently seeking interested individuals for the following positions:

The Governor’s Office has more than 200 boards and commissions. Applications are accepted through this standard application. To apply, complete the application on the website.  For a list of vacancies, please see here

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 & Professional Opportunities

The application for the 2024 class of the African American Leadership Institute opens on Aug. 1. 

The application is open for the seventh cohort of the  2024 Hopi Leadership Program

The Builders Network has a role open for the Director, Builder’s Toolkit for their Builders Movement initiatives. 

The ASU Art Museum is looking for a new Director of Development to create and lead fundraising and engagement activities. 

Per Scholas is seeking a Senior Manager, Professional Development to conduct comprehensive career development training sessions. 

The Buckeye City Council recently approved 66 new positions across multiple city departments. 

ClearPath, Inc. is hiring a Policy Advisor, Critical Minerals & Permitting to join its policy team. 

The Arizona Education Foundation is seeking a Director of Development to manage all elements of the organization’s development plan, including but not limited to stewardship of donors at all giving levels.

GLSEN is hiring an Arizona Chapter Director to focus on statewide organizing efforts.

Rosie’s House A Music Academy for Children is seeking a Development Manager to play a key role in fueling the organization’s growth.

The Arizona School Boards Association is searching for several positions: Director of Legal Services, Government Relations Associate, and Board Support and Field Services Specialist

The Goldwater Institute is seeking a major gifts officer to assist in fundraising efforts.

The McCain Institute is searching for Senior Director, Human Rights and Freedom to support the McCain Institute’s efforts to protect and advance individual human rights and freedom.

The Children’s Action Alliance is hiring a director of early childhood policy.

Rancho Feliz is seeking an Executive Director as the organization’s primary fundraiser and relationship builder, and for ensuring effective operations and programming. 

The SciTech Institute has positions open for an AZ STEM Ecosystem Project Manager and a Chief Scientist International Program Coordinator

Social Ventures Partners Tucson is looking for a President and CEO to provide strategic and tactical leadership.

Events & Conferences

The Goldwater Institute is holding a free, virtual event to take a closer look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important cases from 2024 and provide its insights into the ramifications of those decisions. 

Registration is open for Local First Arizona’s  17th Annual Rural Policy Forum Aug. 7-9 in Clarkdale. 

Registration is open for Arizona Impact for Good’s  UNITE 2024 Nonprofit + Grantmaker Conference Aug. 15 conference in Mesa.  

The Arizona Office of Tourism hosts the 2024 Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism Aug. 21-23 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. 

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Manufacturers Council will hold the Summer Policy Summit in Flagstaff Aug. 22-23. 

The League of Cities and Towns annual conference will be at the Arizona Biltmore Aug. 27-30. 

The 11th Arizona Health Equity Conference will be held on Oct. 10 at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix.