Each year, the Arizona Capitol Times recognizes men, women and organizations that have contributed greatly to the growth of our state. These groups, companies and individuals hunker down each day to find ways to improve the quality of life of Arizonans.
This year’s awardees tirelessly work to advance their companies, communities and cities. Collectively, their contributions have allowed Arizona to flourish.
The Arizona Capitol Times also honors the late Ronnie Lopez with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
A towering figure in Democratic politics, Lopez died this month at the age of 73.
Lopez worked as a field representative for the Arizona Civil Rights Commission. Later, he led Chicanos Por La Causa as President and Chief Executive Officer. He presided as Justice of the Peace in Maricopa County. He also served as Chief of Staff & Executive Assistant to Gov. Bruce Babbitt.
U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton said Lopez is “the best of AZ,” a man accomplished in both politics and business.
“His greatest success was love for family, loyalty to friends, and standing up for his values and the ‘little guy,’” Stanton wrote on Twitter.
The awardees will be recognized in a virtual awards night in September. They will also be profiled in a special edition of the Arizona Capitol Times.
Below is the full list of the 2020 Leaders of the Year.
Arts and Culture
Joseph Benesh, Executive Director, Arizona Citizens for the Arts
Elizabeth Toledo, Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center
Leslie Thompson, President, Irish Cultural Center
Kim Sabow, President & CEO, Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association
Debra Margraf, Executive Director, National Electrical Contractors Association, Arizona Chapter
Joan Serviss, Executive Director, Arizona Housing Coalition
COVID-19 Response and Management
Will Humble, Executive Director, Arizona Public Health Association
Carla Vargas Jasa, President & CEO, Valley of the Sun United Way
Dana Kennedy, State Director, AARP Arizona
Jim Rounds, President, Rounds Consulting Group, Inc.
Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority
Paul Hickman, President & CEO, Arizona Bankers Association
Mark Joraanstad, Executive Director, Arizona School Administrators
Steven Gonzales, Interim Chancellor, Maricopa County Community Colleges
Len Munsil, President, Arizona Christian University
Water for Arizona (Environmental Defense Fund, Western Resource Advocates, Audubon, Business for Water Stewardship, American Rivers)
Sarah Porter, Director, ASU Kyl Center for Water Policy, Morrison Institute
Lori Singleton, President & CEO, Arizona Forward
Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation
John Giles, Mayor, City of Mesa
Jenn Daniels, Former Mayor, City of Gilbert
Jennifer Carusetta, Executive Director, Health System Alliance of Arizona
Karen Garcia, Registered Nurse, Valleywise Health
Lee Pioske, Executive Director, Crossroads Inc.
Janet Jackim, Partner, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP
Danny Seiden, Director, Arizona Government Affairs, Intel
David Bodney, Senior Counsel, Ballard Spahr
Manufacturing and Industry
Steve Sanghi, President & CEO, Microchip Technology, Inc.
Danny Giovale, Founder, Kahtoola, Inc.
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association and Arizona Mining Association
Debora Black, Police Chief, City of Prescott
Alberto Gutier, Director, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Bryan Jeffries, President, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona
Steve Zabilski, Executive Director, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Deborah Arteaga, Executive Director, Tempe Community Action Agency
Myriah Mhoon, CEO, New Life Center
Sondra Radcliffe, General Manager, Oxygen & PSUs, Collins Aerospace
Girish Rishi, CEO, Blue Yonder
David Dexter, President & CEO, Sonora Quest Laboratories
Arizona Rural Transportation Advocacy Council
John Halikowski, Director, Arizona Department of Transportation
Connect 202 Partners (Fluor Enterprises Inc., Granite Construction Co., Ames Construction Inc., Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc.)
Ronnie Lopez, former President and CEO, Chicanos Por La Causa
P.S. The Arizona Capitol Times newsroom played no role in selecting the honorees.