Congratulations to the 2021 Leaders of the Year!




The Arizona Capitol Times presents the 2021 Leaders of the Year! Each year, the Arizona Capitol Times recognizes men, women and organizations that have contributed greatly to the growth of our state. These are the people and groups that hunker down each day to find ways to improve the quality of life of Arizona’s citizens. The awardees will be recognized in an awards night at 6 p.m. on Sept. 28. They will also be profiled in a special edition of the Arizona Capitol Times.

Arts & Culture

Chanel Bragg, Associate Artistic Director, Arizona Theatre Company

Dustin Loehr, Director of Arts Education & Title IV-A, Arizona Department of Education

Jason Rose, President, Rose+Moser+Allyn

Tammy McLeod, President & CEO, Flinn Foundation


Carrie Kelly, Executive Director, Arizona Association for Economic Development

Danielle Leoni, Arizona Small Restaurant Coalition

Jen Marson, Executive Director, Arizona Association of Counties

Stephen Jennings, Associate State Director (retired), AARP Arizona

COVID-19 Response & Management

Pam Kehaly, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

David Harris, PhD, Executive Director, University of Arizona Health Sciences Biorepository

Robert J. Trenschel, DO, MPH, President & CEO, Yuma Regional Medical Center


Casa Grande City Council (Mayor Craig McFarland, Mayor Pro Tempore Robert Huddleston,

Councilmembers Dick Powell, Matt Herman, Lisa Navarro Fitzgibbons, Donna McBride, Jeff Lavender)

David Tedesco, Founder & CEO, Outlier

Tommy Espinoza, President & CEO, Raza Development Fund


Andi Fourlis, Superintendent, Mesa Public Schools

Beth Lewis, Executive Director, Save Our Schools Arizona

David Lujan, President & CEO, Children’s Action Alliance

Emily Anne Gullickson, President & Founder, Great Leaders, Strong Schools; CEO & Founder, A for Arizona

JD Rottweiler, President, Cochise College; past chair, Arizona Community College Coordinating Council


Amelia Flores, Chairwoman, Colorado River Indian Tribal Council

Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community

Jennifer Martin, Water Sentinels Coordinator, Sierra Club; Board Member, Central Arizona Water Conservation District

Tom Davis, President, Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona


Amanda Aguirre, President & CEO, Regional Center for Border Health

Barby Ingle, President, International Pain Foundation

Brian Elisco, CEO, Abrazo Health

Steve Purves, President & CEO, Valleywise Health


Loretta Christensen, Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Service

Michael Townsend, Administrator, Public Safety Personnel Retirement System

Sara Salek, Chief Medical Officer, AHCCCS


Frances Sjoberg, Partner, Lewis Roca

Jenna Bailey, Founder & CEO, Bailey Law Firm PLLC

Laura Bianchi, Partner, Bianchi & Brandt

Mary O’Grady, Osborn Maledon

Roy Herrera, Ballard Spahr

Manufacturing & Industry

Karen Mattimore, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Honeywell

Kathleen Quirk, President & Chief Financial Officer, Freeport-McMoRan

Mark Gaspers, Senior Manager, State & Local Government Operations, Boeing

Public Safety

Bryan Jeffries, President, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona

Alberto Gutier, Director, Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

Skye Steele, CEO, StreetLightUSA

Social Services

Kelli O’Toole, CEO, The Opportunity Tree

Rebecca Masterson, Chief Counsel, GenerationJustice

Ben Denslow and Denise Schatt-Denslow, Founders, JEM Foundation


Cassondra Taylor, Vice President of Operations, Western Region, Sentinel Technologies

Joe Gerald, Associate Professor & Program Director, Public Health Policy & Management, University of Arizona

Kyle Squires, Dean, Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University

Steven Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council


Tony Bradley, President & CEO, Arizona Trucking Association

Becky Miller, Executive Director, Arizona Transit Association

Diane Brown, Executive Director, Arizona PIRG

Cade Rowley, Chair, Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors

Lifetime Achievement

Wendy Baldo, former Chief of Staff, Arizona Senate


P.S. The Arizona Capitol Times news team played no role in selecting the honorees.