October 2021 Network News

November 1, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

Network News

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Dawn Wallace

Welcome Fall! My most favorite time of year! The weather cools down, the days get shorter, and everything ever produced by human invention gets hijacked by the scent of pumpkin spice. 🎃

On a bittersweet note, Friday will be the last day of Academy for the 2020 Flinn-Brown cohort. Since August, our group of 31 amazing Fellows have gathered—in-person, then virtual, then in-person, all within the distractions of the new normal of this pandemic world. While this situation has not been ideal—and certainly challenging to operationalize—I can say that these truly extraordinary individuals found their own ways to connect and bond as closely as previous Flinn-Brown cohorts. (Fun Fact: This cohort was also responsible for five beautiful babies brought into this world since June 2020.)

This group has been together for a record-breaking 15 months—and in many ways has had the best opportunity to develop the enduring connections and camaraderie that the Flinn-Brown experience has always aimed to provide. The Network’s valuable connectors will serve these Fellows well, and the Network will be better for their presence. They are distinctly accomplished, passionate, and opinionated, but united in their desire to look beyond self and instead pursue earnestly a commitment to boldly enter civic life to improve the quality of life in their communities and contribute to a greater good.

In our final Now & Next digest for this fall’s Academy, I shared with the Fellows that familiar quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Some may argue with this premise; after all, history includes many essential societal changes that were products of big movements. But I contend, maybe naïvely, that needed sociological evolutions—where hearts and minds evolve—tend to happen gradually through the megaphones of the voices of the few, often embracing small, messy victories, who climb those incremental steps—until that thing that needs changing no longer appears as what should be, but as what is and must always be.

I’ll conclude with another appeal to Network at large: Please join us at Convention on November 12. It offers really spectacular speakers, great panels and workshops, networking opportunities, fun swag from Fellows’ organizations, and the opportunity to catch up with each other and have a laugh or two.

Upcoming Events and Webinars

Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 17 for CivEx, addressing the state’s challenges with affordable housing, featuring 2011 Fellow Terry Benelli. The panel of experts include: Tom Simplot, director, Arizona Department of Housing; Liz Morales, director, city of Tucson Housing and Community Development; Diana Yazzie Devine, MBA, president & CEO, Native American Connections; and Shana Ellis, executive director, Action Nexus, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University.

SAVE THE DATE: Join us for an annual tradition exclusively for the Fellows Network: our Legislative Preview on Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. We anticipate that this event will be presented in a hybrid format, with limited in-person capacity as well as livestreaming for individuals who want to participate virtually.

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


Save the Date: 2021 Annual Flinn-Brown Convention


Media and the Message Flinn-Brown Convention 2021

Join us Friday, Nov. 12 at the Heard Museum for the annual Flinn-Brown Convention. With a theme of “Media and the Message,” the all-day event will focus on the role of the media in communicating and influencing public policy; showcasing the inter-relationship between the media, the public, and policymakers; understanding diverse media platforms; and identifying opportunities to expand information access.

Kris Van Cleave Stephanie Sy

Kris Van Cleave
Congressional Correspondent
CBS News

Stephanie Sy
Anchor, PBS NewsHour West
PBS NewsHour Correspondent

CBS News congressional correspondent Kris Van Cleave will be the morning keynote speaker. PBS NewsHour West anchor and PBS NewsHour correspondent Stephanie Sy will present the afternoon keynote.

Mi-Ai Parrish Carey Peña Daniel Scarpinato

Mi-Ai Parrish
President & CEO
MAP Strategies Group

Carey Peña
Founder & CEO
Inspired Media 360

Daniel Scarpinato
Ascent Media

Moderating a morning panel about diverse media will be Mi-Ai Parrish, president and CEO of MAP Strategies Group; managing director of media enterprise and Sue Clark-Johnson professor for media innovation and leadership at Arizona State University; and former Arizona Republic president and publisher. Parrish will also provide an overview of the day’s theme before the morning keynote.

Leading an afternoon breakout media-training skills workshop will be Carey Peña, Emmy Award-winning journalist and founder & CEO of Inspired Media 360. This workshop will assist Fellows in understanding how to interact with the media, including pitching stories, establishing on-camera confidence, and making professional connections to ensure that their ideas are messaged and accurately delivered.

Daniel Scarpinato, partner at Ascent Media and former chief of staff for Gov. Doug Ducey, will moderate an afternoon breakout panel on digital media, highlighting lessons from the constant news cycle and discussion of how digital media is changing journalism and how news is consumed. Panelists will include Garrett Archer, data analyst for ABC15; Rachel Leingang, journalist at the Arizona Agenda; Barrett Marson, founder & president of Marson Media; and Jim Small, editor of the Arizona Mirror.

Corporate Sponsorships

To maximize participation in this special Convention and provide a quality professional learning opportunity to Fellows, we invite sponsorship opportunities to fund national speakers, breakout-session panelists, and a small portion of our Network reception. Sponsors may showcase their support through presenting, reception, and breakout sponsorships, including prominent logo display, brand recognition through social media and recognition on the event website and program. To find out more about sponsorships, see the brochure.

Promotional Materials/Swag

We invite you to promote your organization through free promotional items. This is an excellent way to market organizations represented by the Network, and we are happy to collect and distribute to event participants. Please contact Dawn or Sara to donate items.

Updated Directory

At the Convention, we will be distributing hardcopies of the all-Fellows directory. Refer to the online directory to verify your current information.

Fellows Council 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 worth sharing. This month, our book recommendations come from 2011 Fellow Benjamin Graff and 2015 Fellow Jeffrey Ratje.

Benjamin Graff The Future of the Suburban City

Benjamin Graff (2011)

The Future of the Suburban City

Jeffrey Ratje

Switch: How to change things when change is hard

Jeffrey Ratje (2015)

Switch: How to change things when change is hard

Fellows Spotlight

Ricky Hernandez

Ricky Hernandez (Tucson 2018)

Assistant Vice President, University Alumni & Development Program Financial Operations, University of Arizona Foundation
LinkedIn | Twitter

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

I currently oversee the financial operations of University of Arizona’s investment in the Alumni & Development program. I have worked in public finance for over 18 years in Arizona—in both K-12 and higher education. Because of the state’s lack of investments in higher education, the University of Arizona has an increasing reliance on the generosity of donors and private investments to support our mission as Arizona’s land grant university. My roles have always required me to be a strong steward and advocate for the resources that support my organizations’ mission to educate Arizona’s students.

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

The Fellows Network allows me to seek new opportunities for supporting not only my own work, but the work of other Fellows. Many of our Fellows are also University of Arizona alumni and their professional expertise and friendship can create new networks to do good work for Arizona. 

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

Voting, volunteering, advocating for others who can’t for themselves, and agreeing to disagree with your neighbor. Don’t discount each other’s beliefs, teach our kids that love for Arizona and America does not mean having to always agree with them, embrace each and every difference that makes us uniquely Arizona. We all have a responsibility to engage in what is happening in our communities.

If you missed a Fellows Spotlight, you can view them on the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership website now.

Fellows In The News

Arlene Alen (Port Townsend, Washington, 2013) was quoted in an Penisula Daily News article regarding de-escalation methods for businesses dealing with public-health mandates.

Steven Acevedo (Tucson, 2011) was quoted in a This Is Tucson article regarding Tucson agencies that have provided support services to Hispanic women who have experienced gender-based violence.

Mila Besich (Superior, 2019) was quoted in a Prescott eNews article regarding tourism recovery funding that Superior received to re-launch the Superior Mining Festival and Burro Run.

Teniqua Broughton (Phoenix, 2013) released the fifth publication produced by her organization, The State of Black Arizona, titled Volume V: Driving Local Investments in Black Arizonans.

Stacey Button (Columbia, Missouri, 2011) was quoted in a Columbia Missourian article about plans to expand the Columbia Regional Airport’s parking capacity.

Tammy Caputi (Scottsdale, 2019) was featured in the Scottsdale Police Department’s Shop Talk Podcast

Nikki Check (Jerome, 2012) is now the director of guest experience and operations at The Cosanti Foundation.

Steve Elliott (Phoenix, 2015) is now an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. He was also recognized during National Postdoc Appreciation Week for his research contributions to ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology.

Yan Gao (Seattle, 2019) is now a policy and budget analyst for the city of Seattle

Jenny Holsman Tetreault (Phoenix, 2011) is now vice president & associate general counsel of litigation and compliance for TPI Composites, Inc.

Jacob Jones-Martinez (Tucson, 2018) is now program manager at Western Conservation Foundation. 

Dana Kennedy (Phoenix, 2016) was named one of the 2021 Women Achievers of Arizona Woman of the Year. She was also quoted in a Big News Network article regarding a push to allow Medicare to negotiate lower pharmaceutical drug prices.

Elaine Kessler (Gilbert, 2018) will present a workshop on “The Art and Business of Empowerment” at the Women’s Leadership Expo on November 5. 

David Martinez III (Phoenix, 2011), Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020), and Gina Roberts (Phoenix, 2019) were featured in a Clean Elections and Civic Education & Community Engagement Committee video series to inspire students to become more civic-minded. 

Reyna Montoya (Gilbert, 2020) was quoted in an ABC15 article about a recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy update that requires immigrants seeking permanent residency to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rebecca Perrera (Laveen, 2020) is now assistant director at the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee. 

Erika Philpot (Flagstaff, 2018) and Rose Winkeler (Flagstaff, 2018) were featured in a National Association of Counties webinar about the challenges of returning to work amid COVID-19.  

Jessica Rigler (Chandler, 2019) was quoted in a Fronteras article about the disparity in vaccination rates between white and Latino Arizonans. She was also quoted in an AZFamily article regarding the rollout plan for COVID-19 booster shots. 

Aaron Rottenstein (Tucson, 2018) was named a Forbes Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor. He was also named Young Jewish Man of the Year for Southern Arizona.

Jack Schwimmer (Phoenix, 2020) was appointed chair of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Commission.

Jane C. Strain (Sierra Vista, 2013) has been selected for inclusion on the Cochise County Veterans Wall to honor her military and community service. 

Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018) was recently appointed to the state Senate in LD30.

Alfred Urbina (Tucson, 2013) was interviewed for a KOLD news story about missing indigenous people in Arizona. 

Janelle Wood (Phoenix, 2013) was quoted in a Forbes article about the benefits of microschools. 

Zach Yentzer (Tucson, 2020) was quoted in an AZCentral article about ways to explore some of Tucson’s historic neighborhoods.

Career and Professional Opportunities

Americans for Prosperity is recruiting for an Arizona director of grassroots operations to execute strategies from state leadership and work closely with the state director and deputy state director.

Arizona State University is seeking its first chief of public service for the ASU Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions to lead the advancement and direction of several of the college’s community-embedded programs.

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is hiring a vice president for philanthropy to oversee development and implementation of donor acquisition strategies and ensure long-term engagement through effective donor stewardship.

Greater Phoenix Leadership is looking for a director of public policy to create, implement and maintain public-policy engagement for the organization. 

Junior Achievement of Arizona is seeking virtual and in-person volunteers to teach students about work, money, and life. 

Pearson is seeking a vice president, partner success to provide executive leadership to drive the growth of university partnerships and achievement of shared strategic objectives. 

The Social Justice and Engineering Initiative has a volunteer position for board secretary.

Upwork is looking to fill a new position, vice president, head of global public policy and government relations, to lead the strategic direction of the organization’s global public-policy issues.

More employment opportunities in the public sector can be found here.

Events & Conferences

The Live Well Arizona Incubator is accepting applications from teams interested in collaboration to address health and well-being in their community.

The Women’s Leadership Expo will be November 5 at Rocket Space in Gilbert.

Miss a previous CivEx? Find webinar recordings on our website.