2017 Leaders of the Year


The Arizona Capitol Times recognized U.S. Sen. John McCain, along with more than two dozen individuals and groups, for advancing public policy in ways that positively affect the lives of Arizonans.

Luige del Puerto

Luige del Puerto

Congratulations to all the winners!

Perseverance, grit, courage, experience, wisdom, a heart of service. These are just some of the words that describe winners of this year’s Arizona Capitol Times Leaders of the Year. Many of them have toiled in the public policy arena for years or are experts in their fields who have made significant contributions to the policy debates that have shaped Arizona’s government.

To all those who submitted nominations to nominate a peer, thank you for your engagement.

A little bit about the process: The awardees were selected by a committee of Capitol regulars from the scores of nominations we received. In some instances, the choice was evident from the get-go, such as the Lifetime Achievement award going to U.S. Sen. John McCain. In other categories, the choice was tough, as all of the nominees deserved to be recognized. The Arizona Capitol Times newsroom wasn’t part of the selection process.

Luige del Puerto

Associate Publisher & Editor

 Arts and Humanities – Phoenix Art Museum

 Associations – Arizona Association of Community Managers

 Business – Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

 Charity – St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

 Economic Development – Arizona-Mexico Commission

 Education – Grand Canyon University’s Learning Lounge

 Environment – Kartchner Caverns State Park

 Government – ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy – Arizona Legislative Academy

 Health Care – Cover Arizona Coalition

 Law – Joe Kanefield, Ballard Spahr

 Legislative – Sen. Kate Brophy McGee

 Lifetime Achievement – John McCain

 Nonprofit – Valley of the Sun United Way

 Public Safety – Attorney General Mark Brnovich

Social Services – Autism Center for Excellence – Touchstone

Technology – Free and Secure Trade (truck inspection system at the U.S. border)

Transportation – League of Arizona Cities and Towns (for preserving HURF funds)

Unsung Hero – The DES Case Worker

Up and Comer – Katie Prendergast

Volunteerism – Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix