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Meet the 2014 Leaders of the Year

LOTY-620More than 300 attendees packed the Camelback Ballroom at The Phoenician the evening of Sept. 16 to honor the 2014 Arizona Capitol Times Leaders of the Year in Public Policy, now in its eighth year.

This year’s honorees were selected from a record number of nominations in 17 categories including education, economic development, health care and technology.

The late Sen. Chester Crandell was honored as this year’s Unsung Hero for his work in the Senate on behalf of his rural Legislative District 6 constituents in northern Arizona. Fighting back tears, his wife Alice received a long hug from Senate President Andy Biggs before accepting the honor on behalf of her husband.

In addition to being honored in the Social Services category, Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute was also chosen as the overall Leader of the Year by a popular vote of all the honorees. The institute was founded in 1986 in response to a lack of Latino representation on community and nonprofit boards and commissions.

As attention turns toward the general election on Nov. 4 — which will place new faces in each of the top five statewide offices — followed by a new legislative session starting in early January, new leaders will have opportunities to make their marks, guide public policy and ultimately vie to be selected as a Leader of the Year in 2015.

Remember, it’s never too early to start campaigning!

Josh Coddington
Special Publications Editor
Profiles written and edited by Josh Coddington

 

GuldnerArts & Humanities
Jeff Guldner
Board Chair, Herberger Theater • Senior VP, Public Policy, APS

When he’s not leading Arizona Public Service’s regulatory and government affairs activities, Jeff Guldner says he occasionally wears “colonial-themed superhero costumes.”

It is all for good reason of course, as he wears the costumes during Herberger Theater Center’s annual Festival of the Arts, which raises money to support the arts in the community.

He says quality leaders are aware of how they affect the people around them, and that a successful leader “unleashes the creative forces of others.”

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
I enjoyed being involved in this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards, and sharing with policymakers the importance of the arts and arts education. Those awards are a showcase of the rich arts community in our state.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
My top goal is almost always trying to strike the right balance between family, work and civic engagement.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Leaders need to be very aware of how they empower and engage those around them. Good leaders unleash the creative forces of others.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
My creative, colonial-themed superhero costumes at the Herberger Theater Center’s annual Festival of the Arts. Even without board members in costumes, this is a great event held each year downtown that I highly recommend.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
All government entities should be conscious of how important arts funding is to maintaining a vibrant, creative and engaged community. There is a lot of research that shows that arts exposure makes our engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs better.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
My former colleague, Steve Wheeler, had a lasting impact early in my professional career. He taught me the importance of leading not just in your day job, but with groups and people that make a difference in our communities.

What new strategy could most effectively increase funding for the arts in Arizona?
We need to expand access to theater and the arts to broader and more diverse audiences, which over time will lead to more patrons. Venues need to be more accessible and we need thoughtful and rich programming that reaches out to both existing and new patrons.

Which play you’ve seen recently at Herberger had the biggest impact on you? Why?
Xanadu, because my kids joined us and it prompted lots of interesting discussion: the ’80s, the music, Greek tragedies, and the really bad movie that was the basis for this hilarious, high energy musical. ATC’s musicals are always great and help bring a new generation into the theater.

 

LanningBusiness
Kimber Lanning
Executive Director, Local First Arizona

The idea behind Kimber Lanning’s Local First Arizona is simple. If people who live in Arizona spend their money in their own communities, then that money stays there, which ultimately benefits everyone there, from the producer to the seller to the consumer.

“Supporting locally owned businesses keeps three times more money recirculating here and creates more jobs,” she says.

She also has a unique proposal for the method by which legislation gets introduced. Ideally, she says, lawmakers “would have to get permission to introduce bills from a committee comprised entirely of people of color who are under 35 years old.”

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
This year we worked to support the city of Phoenix on their infill mapping to determine the boundaries for the adaptive reuse program and increased density; parking policies related to infill and reuse; and a text amendment for single family Brownstone-type subdivisions.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
We launched a program for individuals who love to support locally owned businesses. Called “Localists,” these folks already number over 1,000. Our goal will be to grow that program so it becomes a household name.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Leaders absolutely must be able to laugh at their own quirks and admit when they’ve made mistakes.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I believe they would miss my ability to translate between youth/young professionals and public policy leaders.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
To completely eliminate divisive, hateful legislation that continues to land us on the late night comedy shows. In a perfect world, they would have to get permission to introduce bills from a committee comprised entirely of people of color who are under 35 years old.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
Too hard to narrow it to one. Deceased: Jack Pfister and Eddie Basha. Living: Tammy McLeod, Rick DeGraw, Denise Resnik, Lattie Coor, Doug Yonko. I am indebted to all of them for their guidance and constant support. There are many more, as well. Remember. I grew up here!

What is the most important reason buying local is vital to the economic health of a community?
Supporting locally owned businesses keeps three times more money recirculating here and creates more jobs, when the local business owner in turn hires a local graphic designer, web developer, attorney, accountant or other service provider, for example.

What is your favorite item produced locally in Arizona?
Food! Followed closely by wine!

 

SalgadoEconomic Development
Juan Salgado
Executive Director, Phoenix Industrial Development Authority

The industrial development authorities in Arizona provide bond financing for community and economic development projects. They focus on increasing community job opportunities, supporting education and health care and providing housing for underserved communities.

Juan Salgado embodies these ideals in leading the Phoenix IDA. To him, a leader serves others and acts as a facilitator, providing information and tools to achieve the goal. The Phoenix IDA has also invested more than $1.1 million in local nonprofit agencies supporting community/economic development and education.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
The IDA’s Home in Five Advantage Mortgage Program provides 5 percent down payment assistance (6 percent for veterans). More than 2,850 individuals, veterans and families have participated in the program. Approximately $457 million in loans have been originated with $23 million in down payment assistance provided.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
To continue to help finance and invest in Arizona’s economic drivers, including education, jobs, housing and health care. In addition, we want to continue building relationships with organizations and individuals promoting economic development in Arizona.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
A leader must understand the role of a leader, which is to serve others, and not to be served. A leader must also be a facilitator by providing individuals the tools and information needed to do their jobs efficiently.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I don’t think I would be missed. The Phoenix IDA is rich in talent and someone else would step in and continue to impact our economy and its residents.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
That it enact legislation that expands the authority for Arizona IDAs to finance job-creating economic development projects.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
That person is Tommy Espinoza. I have known Tommy for 40 years. During my career in both the private and public sectors, our paths have continued to cross. He has been instrumental in shaping my commitment and dedication to serve.

What makes IDAs an effective way to stimulate economic growth?
Since January 2009, we have issued over $1 billion in bonds for various projects. The success of our diverse portfolio has allowed the Phoenix IDA to invest over $1.1 million in local nonprofit agencies supporting community/economic development and education. And because the Phoenix IDA never uses a dollar of tax revenue to fulfill its mission, the return on public investment is infinite.

Have other IDAs followed the Phoenix IDA’s lead in proactively seeking problems to help solve?
IDAs in Arizona have good working relationships by collaborating to address needs in our community. As an example, we have worked together with the Maricopa County IDA to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance the expansion of local facilities for Dunn-Edwards Corporation and W.L. Gore & Associates. A total of 635 jobs were created in the city of Phoenix.

 

SigmundEducation
Eileen Sigmund
President & CEO, Arizona Charter Schools Association

The Arizona Charter Schools Association and its President Eileen Sigmund see the solution to many of the state’s education challenges as reform — major reform — of the state’s school financing system. The organization wants students to be able to choose where they go to school, and to for them to receive adequate and equitable funding from the state when they get there.

The person who nominated Sigmund said that her organization is tirelessly dedicated to this goal.

“The ACSA maintains a robust legislative agenda,” said the nominator. “The organization has lived up to its own mission of advancing student learning even if that has meant actively closing struggling charter schools.”

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
We supported parents and families seeking to take advantage of their school choices in Arizona by successfully passing five bills that provided more equity, funding or less regulation and defeating 17 bills that would have further burdened charter schools.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Arizona must overhaul its antiquated, outdated school finance system. We must address student equity. Students deserve access to the resources they need regardless of where they go to school or the zip code in which they live.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Persistence. Goals worth pursuing do not get accomplished overnight. You must have the energy and commitment to achieve long-term goals.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I am certain that I would miss Arizona more than it would miss me, but I hope I would be missed for my commitment to the success of all Arizona students, regardless of where they choose to go to school.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Mine is a “minor” request: just overhaul our K-12 finance system so we fund students equitably, in real time, and with a commitment to their academic and career success.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
My best friend and husband, Charlie Sigmund.

Why should parents use ACSA’s education evaluator tool?
It is in the best interests of their children. The Education Evaluator is an easy-to-use comparison tool to start the search for the right public charter school or public district school for their child.

Are standardized tests the best way to measure a student’s progress?
It is just one method. However, we are not creating cookie cutter students so we need multiple quantitative and qualitative measures.

 

CulpEnvironment
Peter W. Culp
Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Peter Culp’s idea of being a leader involves both taking and giving. He says to be successful is to take responsibility for your mistakes and being willing to give away success to others.

However, he can claim success on a water management agreement he has been working on for 15 years between the United States and Mexico which will attempt to restore the Colorado River Delta ecosystem in southwestern Arizona and Baja California.

As a water management expert, he believes water is best managed at the local level, bolstered by “substantial state-level leadership, financial backing and technical support.”

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Earlier this year, I helped to implement a key part of a new water management agreement between the U.S. and Mexico that I have been working on for nearly 15 years: a first-ever cooperative, bi-national experiment to restore water to the Colorado River Delta ecosystem in southwestern Arizona and Baja California.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Completing the design and development of several new investment vehicles that we hope can be used to mobilize private capital to help solve water sustainability problems for small- and medium-sized communities and agricultural areas in the West, while protecting rivers, streams, and wildlife.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
A willingness to own mistakes while giving away success.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
My wife Susan, assuming she would agree to come with me.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
To empower and trust Arizona’s local communities to sustainably plan, manage, and regulate the use of water in their local watersheds, and provide the substantial state-level leadership, financial backing, and technical support that they will need to do it.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
Without a doubt, my father, Dr. William J. Culp, who was the most generous man — and the most gifted leader, teacher, and thinker — that I have ever known.

What advantages are there to working largely behind the scenes in crafting environmental policy?
Environmental solutions work best when they are supported by and born out of the local community and its people. Working behind the scenes is the best way to help people shape policy solutions which make sense to them, and make those solutions their own.

You are an expert in water issues. Do you believe water management is taken seriously enough in Arizona?
Yes and no. Arizona is blessed with a dedicated community of water professionals and advocates who have long taken water issues seriously, but as a state we are facing some real challenges that will seriously threaten our way of life if we do not make greater investments in sustainability for our communities, our farms, and the environment.

 

PerezGovernment
Vince Perez
Former Deputy Director, Arizona Department of Revenue

Vince Perez knows all things taxes. He recently helped the Governor’s Office craft and get signed into law a new tax policy, even though he no longer works for the Arizona Department of Revenue. He says his next job will be in the tax policy arena.

He lauds ADOR for processing more than $13 billion in tax revenues during the past two fiscal years in a “fair, efficient and timely manner.” But that doesn’t mean he’s all about numbers and deductions.

He also loves spending time with his granddaughter — and creating sound tax policy.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
My most notable accomplishment this year was assisting the Governor’s Office in developing, drafting and signing into law a deduction in the utility classification for sales of electricity and natural gas to manufacturers and smelters.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
My top goal is to continue assisting with the development and creation of tax policy that supports Arizona’s needs and enhances economic development.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
A major quality needed to be a successful leader is the ability to communicate.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
If I moved to another state, I believe Arizona would miss my stable and consistent effort to promote and assist in the creation of sound tax policy.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
I would ask that they continue to review, simplify and update the tax laws to create sound tax policy and promote economic development.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
Outside of my father, Kevin McCarthy, ATRA president, has had a major impact in my development as a leader. Over the course of almost 20 years he taught me the importance of listening and open communication.

What is the most important task that the Arizona Department of Revenue performs?
The most important task that DOR performs is the efficient processing of tax returns and revenue. DOR has processed over $13 billion in tax revenues over the last two fiscal years in a fair, efficient and timely manner.

Now that you have left ADOR, what are you doing professionally?
Since retiring from DOR, I have spent a lot of time with my granddaughter. This time together has been very fun and fulfilling. From a professional standpoint, I haven’t done anything yet, but I am in the process of obtaining a job in the tax policy arena.

 

JenkinsHealth Care
Emily Jenkins
CEO, Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

Emily Jenkins’ career is dedicated to serving the state’s most vulnerable populations. In the past year she helped shape the state’s new agency for protecting children and has advocated for providing a “full continuum of behavioral health services.”

The person who nominated her for this award describes her as “reliable, ethical, practical and objective,” which are all valued when she is providing feedback to the state’s Department of Health Services.

“She keeps her eye on the big picture and is always committed to improving health outcomes in Arizona – even when it means challenging her own association members,” the nominator said.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Helping shape the new Arizona Department of Child Safety.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Keep Medicaid and a full continuum of behavioral health services.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Passion.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I hope that I have encouraged enough people to become advocates for our most vulnerable populations that my absence would go unnoticed.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Fund resources for prevention and early intervention and treatment services to keep as many children as possible safely at home with their families.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
Charles Jones, my political science professor, who taught me that before you can effect changes in public policy, you must make sure that people recognize that there is a problem.

What one strategy could most effectively decrease the amount of family violence in Arizona?
Fund education, prevention and early intervention services for child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence and elder abuse.

What will it take for you to define Arizona’s behavioral health system as “fixed”?
People with mental illness will be able to get treatment that they need when they need it.

 

BiggsLegislative
Senate President Andy Biggs
Arizona Senate

Known typically as a “no” vote on the state budget, in 2014, Senate President Andy Biggs found himself in the yes column, voting for a budget that he helped guide through the Legislature by first introducing it himself.

What was initially viewed as a unilateral maneuver eventually became the groundwork for a budget agreement between House and Senate leadership and the Ninth Floor, though it took nearly four weeks of back and forth negotiations to finish the job.

He says strong leaders communicate effectively with their constituencies, whoever those constituencies may be, and his dream is to have a “cash and structurally balanced budget in 30 days.”

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
We acted more collaboratively than in the past, especially with the diversity of major issues such as a new Department of Child Safety.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
We need to address serious budgetary issues and how they affect our economy and how we facilitate job growth in our state.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Strong communication with whoever may be your constituency.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
No one individual is irreplaceable, so the state may not miss much from my absence.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
To have a cash and structurally balanced budget in 30 days.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
My wife and family. I wouldn’t be here without them.

Your work was vital in crafting and eventually passing last year’s budget. What was your guiding philosophy during the four weeks that it took to get it through?
To be patient with people and try to get a budget that would be narrowing the state’s structural deficit, while at the same time understanding members had certain issues that needed to be resolved.

During the budget process, you must have had doubts at some points. What do you do to stay the course during those times?
Trust your caucus and keep looking at the numbers!

 

BarrOpen Government
Dan Barr
Partner, Perkins Coie

Dan Barr readily admits that he could give a high-minded answer “about the vital role of the press and free speech” when discussing what exactly has drawn him to work in the area of law dealing with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While acknowledging the importance of that, he says there’s a more simple answer.

“Reporters are fun and interesting people who do incredibly important work,” Barr says. “I get a lot of pleasure helping them.”

As he strives to ensure media access to all types of government-maintained documents, he says the only type of information that should remain confidential is that relating to trade secrets and sensitive financial information.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Along with two teams of lawyers, I have represented the plaintiffs in Majors v. Jeanes, a case seeking to strike down Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban, and Parsons v. Ryan, a case seeking to remedy the constitutionally insufficient health care in Arizona prisons.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Win the Majors and Parsons cases.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Surround yourself with bright and creative people, encourage them to think outside of the box and then listen to them when they have better ideas and approaches than you do.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I tried it this summer when I took a two-month sabbatical in Europe. Nobody called.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Fully commit to make Arizona’s public schools and universities the best they can be. Arizona’s future is directly tied to the quality of the education we provide. No matter what one’s politics, everyone should work toward that goal.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
My father, Tom Barr, was the greatest litigator of his generation. He was an even a better person than he was a lawyer. He made the world a better place for a lot of people.

Why did you decide to specialize in law related to the First Amendment?
I could give a high-minded answer about the vital role of the press and free speech. The truth is that reporters are fun and interesting people who do incredibly important work. I get a lot of pleasure helping them.

Are there any records created/collected/maintained by government agencies to which the public shouldn’t have a right?
The government collects a lot of confidential information about individuals and businesses. For instance, government contractors sometimes have to provide trade secret and sensitive financial information to do business with the government. In general, that information should be protected.

 

BodneyOpen Government
David Bodney
Ballard Spahr LLP

David Bodney’s hypothetical, sure-to-be-granted request of the Arizona Legislature? Another thousand automatically approved requests. His answer comes from his desire to help foster an educated and informed citizenry, which is “essential to the survival and success of our democracy.”

While he is a soldier for getting records and the like into the hands of reporters, he cedes that some information regarding national security should be kept confidential, as well as the identities of confidential informants. He balances these exclusions with the idea that they should never be used “as pretext for avoiding accountability or political embarrassment.”

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Helped draft new rules for the Arizona Supreme Court governing cameras and portable electronic devices in the courts (Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 122 and 122.1), and helped block passage of laws that would have reduced access to public records.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Nationally, as chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, I aim to provide top-flight educational opportunities for lawyers who practice media law, both in-house and outside counsel. In Arizona, I intend to keep fighting for open, transparent and accountable government.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Inclusiveness.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
A strong voice striving to make our state better.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Could my request be “another thousand requests?”

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
My dad, the late Daniel F. Bodney

What drives you to dedicate so much of your time to media law?
I believe deeply in our democracy, and that an educated and informed citizenry is essential to the survival and success of our democracy. Democracy also depends on our ability to think and speak freely. Media law governs these rights and responsibilities. One is hard-pressed to think of an area of law that nurtures our democracy as fundamentally as media law, or of an area of law upon which so many other rights and duties depend.

Are there any records created/collected/maintained by government agencies to which the public shouldn’t have a right?
Of course, there are government records that must be treated confidentially. National security information requires protection. The identities of confidential informants must be concealed.

Some government agencies maintain purely personal or private information, such as tax returns, doctor-patient communications and the like, which merit confidentiality. These countervailing interests should never be falsely invoked, however, as pretext for avoiding accountability or political embarrassment.

 

ConloguePublic Safety
Judge James Conlogue
Cochise County Superior Court

The people who define Judge James Conlogue’s success as a leader are those he leads. The longtime Cochise County resident has a “unique ability to bring people together to create solutions,” according to the person who nominated him for this award.

One of his signature solutions, Early Resolution Court, has not only saved the county millions, but also helps expedite sentencing, taking into account a defendant’s willingness to take responsibility for his or her actions. It reduces loads on the court while giving victims faster resolutions and enhanced possibilities for restitution.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
My most notable accomplishment this year was to keep our court focused on the implementation of our strategic agenda. We directed our limited time and resources to the completion of specific, strategic agenda items.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
To implement the workforce and work environment projects set forth in our strategic agenda.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Sound judgment is often the difference between success and failure.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I’m a fourth generation Arizona native and I’m not moving to another state.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
I respect the Legislature’s role in enacting the law for our state and my request is that the Legislature respects the court’s role in applying the law in individual cases.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
The people I work with define my success as a leader and they have the biggest impact on my continuing development.

What is the most important positive effect of the Early Resolution Court in addition to the more than $600,000 it saves annually?
Early Resolution Court is grounded in behavioral science. Consequences are imposed in temporal proximity to a defendant’s conduct. A defendant’s willingness to take responsibility mitigates punishment. Victims experience prompt closure and enhanced likelihood of restitution. Appropriate interventions are quickly implemented.

Which is a better option for the majority of drug offenders: medical treatment or punishment?
I’ve been a Juvenile Drug Court judge for over 14 years. Addiction is a medical condition which requires treatment of a significant duration. Appropriate punishment and reinforcement help keep the addicted offender engaged in treatment for the necessary treatment period.

 

Hispanic Leadership InsSocial Services
Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute

Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI) was founded in 1986 in response to a lack of Latino representation on community and nonprofit boards and commissions. The institute functions to train Hispanics, the fastest growing population segment in Arizona, to become engaged civically and to ultimately represent themselves in all levels of government and in the community.

HLI alumni such as congressman-in-waiting Ruben Gallego show that the program is working. Gallego’s campaign mirrored several of the institute’s values, such as promoting voter registration, hard work and generally engaging Latinos in the political process.

What is Valle del Sol Hispanic Leadership Institute’s most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Valle del Sol is proud of leadership program alumni, like Ruben Gallego, Stephanie Parra, and Martin Quezada, to name a few, in seeking out public office at either the national, state and local level as well as alumni energetically promoting voter registration and volunteer participation in the community by serving on nonprofit boards.

What is the organization’s top goal for the next 12 months?
To be an organization that reflects the highest standards in the health care, human service and leadership development industries.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Resiliency: the ability to get up again, even after failing or falling.

If the Legislature could grant the organization one request, what would it be?
Valle del Sol believes quality education is a civil right and should be equally accessible: Invest in K-12 education to meet the needs of our community and economically empower our state for the future.

Why is it so important to train Hispanic leaders for Arizona?
Hispanics are a visible and emerging population in Arizona. With shifting demographics, training Hispanics and individuals of diverse backgrounds is a must to foster active civic engagement and to assist in realizing their fullest potential as community leaders.

What is one interesting thing that most people don’t know about Valle del Sol?
Valle del Sol was founded in 1970 in response to the lack of bilingual and bicultural mental health services for youth and children. The Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI) was founded in 1986 in response to a lack of representation of Latinos on community and nonprofit boards and commissions.

 

BaldwinTechnology
M.C. Baldwin
GIS/Rural Addressing Coordinator — Navajo Nation Addressing Authority

M.C. Baldwin knows the lay of the land of the Navajo Nation better than most. Described by the person who nominated him as the “catalyst” in moving the nation’s rural addressing initiative forward, he has spent countless hours not only communicating the necessity of the initiative to the nation’s individual chapters, but also traversing the rural country, doing field work and posting road signs.

He would like the Legislature to grant him enough money to hire one person to do addressing work for each one of the Navajo Nation’s 110 chapters. And with approximately 7,000 addressable structures, Baldwin has plenty of work left to do.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Partnership with a county agency — a lot of possibility and opportunities came to light when a partnership was struck with the Apache County Recorder’s Office.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Complete physical addressing tasks for five Navajo Chapters with road/street signs and physical address numbers for all residents (about 7,000 addressable structures).

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Team work integrated with communication. Everyone has to work together without being shy to one another.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
I am a communication link in keeping local government in the loop regarding rural addressing activities.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Funding to hire one person for each local chapter government with necessary equipment for rural addressing work, office space, field vehicles, etc.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
State Cartographer Gene Trobia and Chief of Staff of Navajo Nation Arbin Mitchell.

What is the largest benefit of having easily identifiable addresses in rural areas?
Quick emergency response to protect the lives and property of the Navajo people — this enhances opportunity for economic development.

What is the most effective method of educating the Navajo Nation’s 110 local chapter governments about the rural addressing initiative?
Training and more training; conducting orientation for public outreach; hosting rural addressing summits, etc.

 

KolbeTransportation
Jim Kolbe
Former Congressman

Jim Kolbe has spent more than three decades in politics, with the majority of that time in Congress. Known as a moderate Republican, he remains the only member of the GOP to represent southern Arizona in the U.S. House.

Today, he works for non-partisan German Marshall Fund of the United States, which is dedicated to promoting cooperation between North America and Europe on various issues.

Although he spends the majority of his time these days in Washington, D.C., he is focused on promoting the Arizona Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance Roadmap, which argues for continuing to add modern and efficient transportation infrastructure to bolster trade.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Adoption of the TTCA (Arizona Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance) Roadmap, which outlines a direction for the state that puts trade at the forefront and merges this goal with the need for better transportation infrastructure.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
To get the Legislature and the congressional delegation to become champions of the Roadmap goals and objectives.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
The ability to listen and understand others and to incorporate those ideas into your own leadership planning.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
Since I already spend much time in the nation’s capital, I doubt Arizona would miss me at all were I not here!

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Focus on the real needs of the state for economic growth and a positive environment for entrepreneurs. Stop following an agenda driven by special interest groups that doesn’t help the state move forward.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
The accumulation of experiences growing up — working on a cattle ranch, serving as a page in the U.S. Senate; service in Vietnam in the Navy; traveling abroad as a student; and later, learning from real leaders in the Arizona Legislature like Burton Barr and Alfredo Gutierrez.

What is your role with the Arizona Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance?
To serve as co-chair with a great leader, John Halikowski, and nudge the group toward a consensus document that has real value.

As a border state, what can Arizona do during the next five years to maximize trade with countries like Mexico?
Focus on developing a positive environment for U.S.-Mexico relations by recognizing the contributions of the vast number of Arizonans of Mexican heritage; and focus on border crossing infrastructure improvements to facilitate increased trade with Mexico.

 

CrandellUnsung Hero
Late Senator Chester Crandell
Arizona Senate

After accepting the Unsung Hero award on her late husband’s behalf during the Leaders of the Year awards event on Sept. 16, Alice Crandell emailed a note with a few thoughts about Sen. Chester Crandell and how he approached his work at the Legislature.

“He was always willing to help and promote the good things of any policy. He didn’t care to be recognized for his efforts, as a matter of fact, he did those things because they were right and not for himself to be recognized,” Alice said. “It was very humbling. He was a good politician and he would tell you, ‘I’m not a politician.’”

The Capitol community was in shock upon learning about the unexpected death of Crandell on Aug. 4. Gov. Jan Brewer ordered flags lowered to half-staff from Aug. 5 until sunset on Aug. 11.

Crandell, who lived near Heber-Overgaard, was frequently chosen by Senate President Andy Biggs to act as chair during the Committee of the Whole on the Senate floor, an opportunity for him to exhibit his rancher flair and wit.

“No one worked harder at the Senate than Chester. He was here early every morning, responding to the concerns of his constituents. He was a man of integrity and high character,” Biggs said at the time of Crandell’s passing. “This is a devastating loss to our community.”

Biggs provided his thoughts about the late Legislative District 6 senator.

What was Sen. Crandell’s most notable accomplishment in public policy?
Rather than a single bill passed and signed, I believe his biggest accomplishment was to draw attention to larger issues and the need for reform.

What was the most important quality he possessed that made him a successful leader?
He was a man of integrity, who told you the truth and was true to his principles.

What will his constituents miss most about him as their senator?
His tremendous accessibility and his ability to understand issues – both political and personal – that are important to his constituents.

About which issues was he most passionate?
The preservation of individual rights and states’ rights.

What do you think Sen. Crandell would say about receiving this award?
It’s a nice award, but “it’s a lot of fuss for nuthin.’”

 

LanghoferUp & Comer
Kory Langhofer
Partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Kory Langhofer lost the only election he ever participated in as a candidate. But it taught him that political campaigns can often rise or fall on things other than policy proposals. Today, he focuses the bulk of his efforts on those policy proposals — and leaves actually running for office to others.

“I’m far better at filing lawsuits and making constitutional arguments than fundraising or giving stump speeches,” he said.
This year’s rising star is looking ahead to his battles in securing more funding for Arizona charter schools and securing safe passage for his firm’s political clients.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
That’s a tossup between (a) winning our lawsuit against the Department of Education and getting Arizona charter schools their fair portion of Prop. 301 money; and (b) getting all of our political clients through the primary without any enforcement actions or unwelcome surprises.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Working with the new secretary of state and the Clean Elections Commission to begin reforming Arizona’s campaign finance system. It’s outdated, riddled with inconsistencies and constitutional problems, and badly in need of a comprehensive overhaul.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Most political lawyers, on both sides of the aisle, view the law through an ideological lens. The great political lawyers, however, do not confuse what ought to be illegal or risky from what actually is illegal or risky.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
The lawsuits we file when the government oversteps its bounds. Someone has to keep the government in check — and when the legislative and executive branches fail, that responsibility falls on attorneys and the judicial branch.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
Fix the charter school funding system. Currently, the system is unfair and probably unconstitutional. If charter schools were on equal footing with district schools, Arizona’s educational system would be constitutional, more fair, and more effective.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
Akhil Amar, my constitutional law professor at Yale Law School, taught me how to think about the Constitution, to see the law as it is and not as I think it should be, and to frame originalist arguments that resonate with the court. That directly affects almost every case we litigate.

What did you learn from your ultimately unsuccessful run for the Urbana, Illinois, City Council at age 20?
I learned the extent to which political campaigns rise and fall on things that are unrelated to policy proposals. It’s best to learn that lesson early, I suppose.

Would you ever consider running for elected office in Arizona? Why or why not?
No. I believe in identifying what you’re best at, doing only that, and declining or delegating everything else. I’m far better at filing lawsuits and making constitutional arguments than fundraising or giving stump speeches.

 

PickardWater & Natural Resources
Pam Pickard
President, Central Arizona Water Conservation District
(Central Arizona Project) Board of Directors

To say that reliable, efficient delivery of water is vital to Arizona’s existence is a massive understatement. Without Central Arizona Project canals to deliver Colorado River water, the Valley of the Sun would be a very different place. Pam Pickard and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District want to ensure that the Valley not only survives, but thrives. And she says CAP is central to that mission.

CAP studies its impact on the state’s economy and estimates that it is responsible for one-third of the state’s annual gross product.

She says state leaders have done a great job in managing water, but there’s still much more to do, as water conservation is a never ending task.

What is your most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Using factual data, Central Arizona Project has been able to verify and educate others on the impact CAP has on our state’s economy. Each year for the past decade we have been responsible for at least 33 percent of the gross state product.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
Users of the Colorado River are looking at a shortage in the near future. We have prepared for the possibility, but must continue to make necessary changes to ensure a reliable water supply for Arizona.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Trying to achieve a goal in isolation, instead of through cooperation.

What would Arizona miss most if you moved to another state?
An individual who is concerned about and works to improve the quality of life for present and future generations of Arizona.

If the Legislature could grant you one request, what would it be?
To further recognize the economic impact CAP has on Arizona and give us the funding to keep our infrastructure in good repair in order to bring Arizona’s allocation of the Colorado River to 80 percent of the state’s population.

Who has had the biggest impact on your development as a leader?
Along the way many individuals have taught me valuable leadership lessons. Most recently it has been my fellow partners on the CAP Board.

Is Arizona’s water storage and management plan sufficient for the future?
The water leaders in the state have done a great job managing water supplies. But we have challenges ahead of us and need to work hard to keep the Colorado River healthy and flowing.

Does the public take water conservation seriously enough?
As citizens, with a huge increase in population, we use basically the same amount of water today as we did in the 1950s and1960s. That is progress but we will need to do more as a state.

 

Valley LeadershipVolunteerism
Valley Leadership

Valley Leadership isn’t a candidate training program, but many of its participants have run for and been elected to office. Executive Director Christy Moore says that their experiences with the program likely played a role in inspiring them to run.

The program aims to empower leaders to “strengthen and transform their communities.” One of the ways they accomplish this is through volunteering. During this process, leaders gain a first-hand account of the needs of their communities, which helps them to lead those communities.

What is Valley Leadership’s most notable accomplishment in public policy this year?
Through Valley Leadership’s flagship program, the Leadership Institute, 55 community leaders were empowered to strengthen and transform their communities. After graduating from our high-quality leadership development program, these community leaders are better informed, more connected and civically engaged.

What is the organization’s top goal for the next 12 months?
Valley Leadership is focused on enhancing and expanding its programming to ensure a strong pipeline of diverse community leaders, committed to serving their community.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
Valley Leadership brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds to share ideas because successful leaders have the ability to engage in civic discourse that values and learns from varied opinions and backgrounds.

How many Valley Leadership alums have been elected to office?
Throughout Valley Leadership’s 36 years, numerous alumni have run for and been elected into office. Valley Leadership is not a political training program, however, many of our alumni are inspired to serve because of their Leadership Institute experience.

What lesson does volunteering teach to tomorrow’s leaders?
Each year as a part of the Leadership Institute, participants log thousands of volunteer hours completing impactful group projects that benefit our community.

 

HibbsANS Scholarship
Jordan Hibbs
Master’s of Science & Technology Policy Degree Candidate,
Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Arizona State University

Jordan Hibbs ran on a platform of transparency while getting elected to serve as a student senator in Arizona State University’s Undergraduate Student Government. She delivered on that campaign promise by maintaining a website featuring her voting record, sponsored legislation and office hours.

Although she doesn’t have concrete plans to run for elected office at this time, a run seems likely in her future, as she plans to use the specific resources available to her such as the Emerge Arizona program and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.

Until then, she is focused on getting her master’s in science and technology policy at ASU.

What is your top goal for the next 12 months?
I’m currently pursuing a master’s of science and technology policy at Arizona State University. My top goal for the next 12 months is to gain experience in the field through internships, as well as completing my degree program.

What one quality can be the difference between success and failure as a leader?
The ability to learn is a quality that can be the difference between success and failure as a leader. A previous mentor of mine once said that “everyone can learn something from everyone,” and I absolutely agree with that statement.

Who do you admire as a leader?
My mother has been a large inspiration — as a single mother of three, she started her own small business over 15 years ago, and now is the number one casting director in Arizona. Even as an influential member of the entertainment industry, she still makes time to give back to her community. Her hard work and dedication inspires me every day.

You are studying both political science and psychology — any plans to run for elected office?
I have been involved in my community since I was young and I wish to pursue a career that will allow me to make real change in Arizona. So while I do not have set plans to run for elected office, I have absolutely considered it for the future. With resources from the Emerge Arizona program and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, I am looking forward to the opportunity.

You served as a student senator in ASU’s Undergraduate Student Government. How did that experience affect you?
The experience taught me a lot about the importance of transparency. Direct interaction with students is the best way to hear concerns and to give updates, but I was able to remain transparent by maintaining a website with my voting record, sponsored legislation and available office hours.

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