New Fellows named by Arizona Center for Civic Leadership

August 28, 2014

By hammersmith

PHOENIX—The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership has chosen 35 more Arizonans as Fellows in the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy.

The 2014 Fellows come from urban centers and rural communities and have careers in small businesses, startup firms, major corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, state agencies, federal institutions, and local governments.

As members of a network nearly 200 strong, the Fellows share a commitment to state-level civic leadership and public service. They participate in a variety of intensive, ongoing training opportunities to expand their capacity to serve as future state-level elected officials, agency and organization executives, policy advisors, and members of boards and commissions. Fellows are chosen annually through a highly competitive selection process.

“We welcome the new Fellows and their commitment to helping to create a bright future for Arizona,” said Nancy Welch, who directs the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership as a vice president of the Flinn Foundation. “Our 2014 Fellows and entire network are rapidly building the knowledge, skills, and connections needed to help address the many opportunities and challenges in our state and community.”

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, administered by the Foundation, was launched in 2010 to strengthen civic leadership at all levels throughout Arizona. The Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy is one of the Center’s major programs in partnership with the Tucson-based Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

“Developing leaders has always been a hallmark of the Flinn Foundation,” said Jack B. Jewett, President and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. “The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership is simply another logical step in our actions to serve Arizona and our pursuit of impact for future generations.”

The Flinn Foundation is a private philanthropy created in 1965 to improve the quality of life for future generations of Arizonans. Civic leadership is one of the Flinn Foundation’s four major program areas along with the biosciences, arts and culture, and the Flinn Scholars.  The Thomas R. Brown Foundations supports solutions to community and state issues through strategic grants and educational programs.

2014 Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy Fellows
Listing includes Name, Position(s) and City of residence


Blaise Caudill: Program Coordinator, Arizona Deliberates; Agency Relations Specialist, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Flagstaff

Becky Daggett: Executive Director, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff

Ruth Ellen Elinski: Executive Director, Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth, Cottonwood

Toby Olvera: Coordinator, Coconino County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Flagstaff

Michael Zervas: Managing Partner, Mountain Heart Health Services, Flagstaff


James Allen: Lean Six Sigma Process Consultant, Shamrock Foods Company, Scottsdale

Will Barnow: Chief Legislative Liaison, Arizona Department of Corrections, Scottsdale

Jonathon Bates: Government Relations Specialist, Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix

Tony Cani: President and Executive Director, Inspire Arizona, Phoenix

Eric Figueroa: Senior Policy Advisor, Arizona House of Representatives, Phoenix

Kevin Hartke: Council Member, City of Chandler; Pastor, Trinity Christian Fellowship, Chandler

Ben Henderson: Economic Development Specialist, City of Phoenix, Phoenix

Joe Hughes: Regional Director of Government Affairs, American Airlines, Mesa

Brittney Kaufmann: Vice President of Public Affairs and Advocacy, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tempe

Chris Kyselka: Academic Professional, Arizona State University, Gilbert

Jennifer Lane: Faculty member, Glendale Community College, Scottsdale

Erik Lee: Executive Director, North American Research Partnership, Chandler

Tara Lockner: Project Coordinator, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Laveen

Mitchell Moore: Chief Administrative Officer, Advanced Training Systems International Corp., Mesa

Sean Price: Veteran Programs Administrator, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Phoenix

Illya Riske: Senior Analyst, Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, Phoenix

Kathryn Scheckel: Assistant Director, Special Projects, Office of the President, Arizona State University, Phoenix

Kevin Velasquez: President, United Tribal Employee Council, Maricopa County Community College District, Tempe

Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo: Director of Public Outreach, Maricopa County Community College District, Mesa

Lela Wendell: Operations and Program Coordinator, Arizona Department of Child Safety, Phoenix

Rebecca Wininger: Co-Chair of Public Policy, Equality Arizona; Partner, RWS Property, Phoenix


Morgan Abraham: CEO and Owner, The Abraham & Avdee Group, Tucson

Kevin Bonine: Director of Outreach Initiatives, College of Science, and Director of Education and Outreach, Biosphere 2; University of Arizona, Tucson

Dan Coleman: Managing Partner, Modern Works Music Publishing, Tucson

Randi Dorman: Branding and Real Estate Specialist, Tucson

Drew John: County Supervisor, Graham County, Safford

Julie Katsel: Southern Arizona Director, United States Senator Jeff Flake, Tucson

Rob McCright: Assistant Attorney General, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Tucson

Tamara Prime: Chief of Staff, Tucson City Council Member Karin Uhlich, Tucson

Gil Villegas: Deputy Director, Financial Services, Yuma County, Yuma