People

Alastair Fitzpayne
Aspen Institute
Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative

Alastair Fitzpayne serves as Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative. Prior to his work at the Aspen Institute, he served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In…

Alex Parisi
Designer & Creative Director
Sonder

Alex Parisi is a designer and creative director at Sonder in Tucson, Arizona. He specializes in branding, interactive design, and overall good visual communication.

Allie Burns
CEO
Village Capital

Allie serves as the CEO of Village Capital. Village Capital is a venture capital firm that finds, trains, and invests in early-stage ventures solving major global problems in agriculture, education, energy, financial inclusion, and health. She previously served as a…

Amy Kraehe
Associate Professor, Art
University of Arizona

Dr. Amy Kraehe’s scholarship, teaching and community engagement focus on how the arts and arts education can challenge, as well as reinforce, systems of inequality. She explores this contradiction by investigating the ways in which sociocultural, spatial, political, and economic…

Ashley White

Modern Aquarian

Modern Aquarian is a sign painting, had lettering, and mural company owned and operated by Ashley White.

Austin Nunez
Chairman
Tohono O'odham Nation

Austin is chairman of the San Xavier District, one of the eleven political districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation (formerly known as the Papago Tribe of Arizona). He is currently serving his ninth four-year term, having continuously served since 1987….

Bella Hibbs
Casting Director
Arizona Production Association

Bella Hibbs is a casting director and member of the Arizona Production Association and The American Federation of Advertising/PHX Ad Club. She has had the privilege of serving as a lead casting director for hundreds of commercials, films and fitness…

Cash Lansky
Artist
Chris Hievly
VP Innovation
Techstars

Chris is one of the nation’s leading experts on launching startups and has been dubbed the “Startup Whisperer.”  He co-founded MapQuest, is an angel investor, ran a corporate venture fund and 2 micro venture funds (directed over $75M) and is VP…

Dan Marries
News Anchor
KOLD TV-13 (CBS) / KMSB TV-11 (Fox)

Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. That is exactly how Dan Marries feels about working as the evening news anchor at KOLD News 13 where he’s been keeping Tucsonans informed since 1999….

David Pike
Vice President & Strategist
BRINKvision

Runs the film distribution arm of Brink (BrinkVision) / Acquires films / Strategizes / Marketing / Theatre operator / Festival director / Filmmaker / Writer / Producer / Bourbon enthusiast / Giallo film junkie / Revolutions started / Tigers tamed…

Eva Louis
Producer, Writer and Actor
Worldwide Women’s Film Festival

Eva Louis is a producer, writer and actor known for her work in the local film community with several short films, feature films as well as projects (Chained, Desperado Noir, The Last Responders, Dark Dignity). She has specialized in social…

Francis Slay

Former Mayor of St. Louis

Francis G. Slay made history in 2013 by becoming the City of St. Louis' first mayor to be elected to a fourth, four-year term in office. During his tenure, downtown St. Louis was revitalized with major projects including Busch Stadium…

Gary Clarke
Actor

Gary Clarke began his screen career with the 1958 film Dragstrip Riot. He went on to work in other films, including How to Make a Monster and Missile to the Moon (both 1958),Date Bait (1960) and Passion Street, U.S.A. (1964)….

Hannah Davis
Founder and President
BANGS Shoes

I started BANGS Shoes after teaching English in China and discovering simple shoes worn by workers and farmers. Inspired by their look and the hard-working people who wear them, BANGS Shoes are designed to support you from one adventure to…

Herminia Frias
Councilwoman
Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council

Herminia “Minnie” Frias, Councilwoman, Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council. Councilwoman Frias has served on her Nation’s Tribal Council both as a Chairwoman, and as a Council Member. Frias was the youngest person and first woman to be elected as Tribal Chair…

Jaca Zulu
Artist
Jay Richards
Assistant Research Professor
Catholic University of America

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is an Assistant Research Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and is developing the curriculum for the University’s innovative business program currently targeted to launch in Tucson in fall…

Joan Timeche
Executive Director
Native Nations Institute

Joan Timeche is the Executive Director of the Native Nations Institute (NNI) at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona. A citizen of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Old Oraibi, she received a B.S….

Joe O’Connell
President
Creative Machines

Joe O’Connell founded his studio, Creative Machines, in 1995 to design and fabricate interactive exhibits. In 2004, he began making public art with a strong emphasis on community and interactivity. His work is rooted in science, perception and history and…

Joe Pagac
Artist

Joe Pagac is an artist, a craftsman, a performer and a world traveller born and raised right here in Tucson. Starting with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communications and Illustration Joe set out after graduation to explore…

Jonathan Rothschild
Mayor
City of Tucson

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild came to City Hall promising accountability in government, increased emphasis on economic growth and help for those most in need. Since taking office, the mayor has helped settle the long-standing Rio Nuevo dispute, opening a new era…

Kim Ernzen
Vice President of the Air Warfare Systems
Raytheon Missile Systems

Kim Ernzen is vice president of the Air Warfare Systems product line at Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) in Tucson, Arizona. LWS offers the world’s most comprehensive array of battle-proven land combat systems solutions. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2017 sales…

Lauren Valenzuela
Founder
Sigfus

Lauren Valenzuela is the owner and maker of Sigfús Designs. A Tucson native, Lauren has a long history of creating art and reveling in the beauty and possibility in the Sonoran Desert. Founded in 2018, Sigfús Designs is a little…

Marc Folk
Executive Director
Arts Commission of Greater Toledo

Executive Director Marc D. Folk has been with the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo as an employee for over twelve years. Marc first worked with the Arts Commission in 1996 as an instructor in the Young Artists at Work program,…

Marc Sedam
Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures
University of New Hampshire UNH Innovation

Marc Sedam, Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures and Managing Director of UNHInnovation, joined UNH in November 2010. Sedam has an extensive background in intellectual asset management, licensing, and start-up formation. In addition to his position with UNH,…

Mark Crockett
Author & Producer
Paddlefoot Productions

A public library educated nerd, pre-adolescent Mark Crockett was the only kid in third grade at Lincoln Elementary School in East Orange, New Jersey with an adult library card (yes, he is that old). Nose buried in a book but…

Matthew Earl Jones
Arizona Film Commissioner

Arizona Film Commissioner Matthew Earl Jones has over 30 years of experience on both sides of the camera in film, television and commercials, as well as in the music industry. Matthew was born in New York City where he spent…

Moniek James
Founder and CEO
Renegade Creative Media Group

Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur, small business strategist and self-proclaimed social media nerd. As the founder and CEO of The Confetti Collective, a personal growth platform that inspires confidence in women and girls, Moniek provides a platform of empowerment…

Nancy Pollock-Ellwand
Dean
College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Nancy Pollock-Ellwand serves as the Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. She has a broad background in design with degrees in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Planning however she identifies as…

Ngoc Can
Principal
DVI Equity Partners

Ngoc is an early-staged investor whose 12-year banking/venture capital career includes extensive middle market transaction experience in Technology and Business Services investments at middle-market investment bank and family office. Ngoc has worked on advisory and capital markets transactions valued in…

Philip Abram
Emeritus, Chief Infortainment Officer
General Motors

Phil Abram held the position of Chief Infotainment Officer and member of corporate strategy team for General Motors from 2012 until retiring in 2017. As Chief Infotainment Officer, he was responsible for worldwide strategy, business development and product requirements for…

Seanloui Dumas

Tim Lukau
Artist
Tom Murphy

Former Mayor of Pittsburgh

Tom Murphy – Three Term Mayor of Pittsburgh & Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. In his current role as Senior Resident Fellow at Urban Land Institute, Murphy’s extensive experience in urban revitalization—what drives investment and what ensures…

Zach Ferres
Founder and the CEO of Coplex
Coplex

Zach Ferres is the CEO of Coplex, a Venture Builder that partners with industry experts, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovators to start high-growth tech companies. Featured in USA Today, The Washington Post, VentureBeat, Inc, Forbes, NPR, and Entrepreneur. Zach sold his…

A.J. Cotton
Owner
Cotton Family BBQ

A.J. Cotton is the owner of Cotton Family BBQ. Outside of football (University of Oregon Ducks, Pittsburgh Steelers), A.J. loves food, cooking it, eating it, talking about it, you name it. With a food truck and catering business already existing,…

Aaron Eden

Moves the Needle

Aaron Eden is a Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer at Moves the Needle and Co-founder of Startup Tucson. For more than 20 years, Aaron has utilized his passion for innovation, entrepreneurship, and customer empathy to transform countless businesses by teaching…

Alastair Fitzpayne
Aspen Institute
Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative

Alastair Fitzpayne serves as Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative. Prior to his work at the Aspen Institute, he served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In…

Alejandra Pablos
Storyteller
We Testify

Alejandra Pablos is a nationally recognized immigrant and reproductive rights activist, who was recently detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement for 43 days; communities nationwide organized to bring her home after she was granted a bond. In both her professional and…

Alex Parisi
Designer & Creative Director
Sonder

Alex Parisi is a designer and creative director at Sonder in Tucson, Arizona. He specializes in branding, interactive design, and overall good visual communication.

Alfredo Lara Orbezo
Director of Sales
Spotlight Picture

Alfredo Lara Orbezo is Director of Sales at Spotlight Pictures, where he is responsible for sales and deliveries to their extensive network of international buyers. He also plays a major role in facilitating the post-sale process by formulating deal terms…

Alison Bank
Learning & Research Project Manager
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Alison Bank is the Learning & Research Project Manager at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP). She first began working with CMP as a research associate for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE). Since…

Alissa Bilfield
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Arizona

Alissa Bilfield received her PhD in Public Health from Tulane University, her Master of Science in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vanderbilt University. She is a faculty…

Allie Burns
CEO
Village Capital

Allie serves as the CEO of Village Capital. Village Capital is a venture capital firm that finds, trains, and invests in early-stage ventures solving major global problems in agriculture, education, energy, financial inclusion, and health. She previously served as a…

Amanda Marquis
MD
Marquis Family Medicine

Dr. Amanda Marquis is a family medicine doctor in Tucson. She received her medical degree from University of Arizona College of Medicine and has been in practice between 6-10 years, working with some of the big providers before opening her…

Amy Brady
Editor-in-Chief
Chicago Review of Books & Burning Worlds Columnist

Dr. Amy Brady is the Deputy Publisher of Guernica magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Review of Books, where she also writes a monthly column called “Burning Worlds.” It explores how contemporary fiction addresses issues of climate change. Her…

Amy Kraehe
Associate Professor, Art
University of Arizona

Dr. Amy Kraehe’s scholarship, teaching and community engagement focus on how the arts and arts education can challenge, as well as reinforce, systems of inequality. She explores this contradiction by investigating the ways in which sociocultural, spatial, political, and economic…

Amy Mainzer
Professor, Planetary Science
University of Arizona, Lunar Planetary Lab

As principal investigator of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, or NEOWISE, Mainzer has overseen the largest space-based asteroid-hunting project in history, resulting in the detection and characterization of an unprecedented number of asteroids and comets, including objects…

Ana Greif
Workforce Development Program Manager
Pima Community College

Ana works with Tucson’s business and industry community to develop strategies and programs  by which Pima Community College can help them achieve their workforce development  goals. She works with the academic areas of the College to help inform course content on the…

Andres Portela
Community, Outreach and Media Coordinator
Southwest Fair Housing Council

Andres Portela was born and raised in Sierra Vista, AZ and is a graduate from the University of Arizona. He currently serves as the Community, Outreach and Media Coordinator for Southwest Fair Housing Council. His work includes advocating for those…

Andrew Lettes
Bioscience
Pueblo High School
Andrew More
Director
BlueStone Venture Partners

Andrew serves as a Director at BlueStone Venture Partners. He is primarily responsible for leading diligence activities on prospective investments in addition to managing other portfolio and internal fund activities. Andrew has prior investment experience in both early and late…

Arthur C. Nelson
Professor of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development
University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Nelson is professor of urban planning and real estate development at the University of Arizona. Ranked nationally as the 9th most influential scholar in the planning academy, Dr. Nelson leads research in responsible real estate development, smart growth, transit…

Ashley White

Modern Aquarian

Modern Aquarian is a sign painting, had lettering, and mural company owned and operated by Ashley White.

Audra Christophel
Local Food Pathways Manager
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Audra Christophel is a relationship builder, convener, and change enthusiast. She has spent the last decade in Tucson working in community and food system development. As Local Food Pathways Program Manager at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, she…

Austin Nunez
Chairman
Tohono O'odham Nation

Austin is chairman of the San Xavier District, one of the eleven political districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation (formerly known as the Papago Tribe of Arizona). He is currently serving his ninth four-year term, having continuously served since 1987….

Barbara Eden
Actress

Barbara Eden is best-known for her starring role as the iconic Jeannie on the NBC series “I Dream of Jeannie.” Eden began her career as a semi-regular on “The Johnny Carson Show” (1956). She also made feature appearances on shows…

Barbara Eiswerth
Executive Director
Iskashitaa Refugee Network

After 10 years as a research geologist with the USGS, Eiswerth relocated to Tucson in 1992. Barbara worked in geospatial technology transfer Latin America, before pursuing a career as an environmental scientist with the Arizona Remote Sensing Center working on…

Barbara Grygutis
Artist

Through her work as an artist, Barbara Grygutis creates public spaces that enhance the built environment, enable civic interaction, and reveal unspoken relationships between nature and humanity. She engages the public through her works of art by identifying themes meaningful…

Barbara Rogers

Rogers has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally including one person exhibitions at major galleries and museums in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Scottsdale, Germany, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Her work is in major public…

Bella Hibbs
Casting Director
Arizona Production Association

Bella Hibbs is a casting director and member of the Arizona Production Association and The American Federation of Advertising/PHX Ad Club. She has had the privilege of serving as a lead casting director for hundreds of commercials, films and fitness…

Benten Anders
Food Systems Development Coordinator
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Benten Anders has worked in development for the last five years both in the US and abroad, including Uganda, Afghanistan and the Netherlands. In his current role as the Food Systems Development Coordinator at the Community Food Bank of Southern…

Brad Richter
Executive Director
Lead Guitar

Brad Richter is among the most influential classical guitarists working today. His ability to defy the technical limits of his instrument has earned him comparisons to Franz Liszt and Nicolo Paganini. Equal parts performer, composer and educator he has made…

Brad Ross
Director, Geotechnical Center of Excellence, Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources
University of Arizona

Brad Ross is a Registered Professional Mining Engineer and PhD with more than 40 years of experience in the mining industry. This experience has included a variety of positions ranging from Technical Services Manager, Operations Engineer, Financial Controller, to Asset…

Brian Levant
Film & Television Adjunct Instructor
University of Arizona

Brian Levant is a television and film director, writer, and producer. He started his career in 1977 as a writer for the TV series The Jeffersons. Levant’s name appears on over 400 episodes and pilots for television as a writer,…

Brian Ringley
Visiting Assistant Professor
Pratt GAUD

Brian Ringley teaches computational fabrication and industrial robotic automation at the Pratt Institute’s Graduate Architecture and Urban Design program and is a Senior Researcher at WeWork where he leads initiatives in file-to-factory/DFM automation, modular prefabrication, reality capture, and construction robotics….

Brian Weller
Chief Engineer
Caterpillar Inc. - Surface Mining & Technology
Brian Wong
President
BKW Farms

Brian Wong is a 3rd generation farmer and current President at BKW Farms in Marana, Arizona. The farm’s first crop was planted in 1939 and as the family farm continued to expand, was incorporated as BKW Farms in 1965. Today…

Brooks Rainwater
Senior Executive Director
Center for City Solutions at National League of Cities
Bruce Bayly
Professor of Mathematics
University of Arizona

Dr. Bruce Bayly has taught Math at the University of Arizona since 1988. In the early 2000’s he started the mobile outreach programs The Physics Factory and Arizona Math Road Show that inspire children with the excitement of science. Besides…

Bruce Carman
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Controlled Environment Farming

I have over 10 years experience with various aspects of expanding localized food production through innovation, replication and improvement. I believe that facility design and nutrient water flow engineering along with urban farming placement are critical in the elimination of…

Buell T. Jannuzi
Director of Steward Observatory and Head of the Department of Astronomy
University of Arizona

Areas of Interest: Observational Cosmology, Quasar Absorption Line Systems, Active Galaxies, Instrumentation for Surveys Buell T. Jannuzi succeeded Peter Strittmatter as Head of the Department of Astronomy and Director of Steward Observatory in May of 2012. He came to the…

Cameron Taylor
Head of School
Imago Dei

Cameron Taylor (BA University of Arizona) is Head of School for Imago Dei Middle School in downtown Tucson. Longtime Director of Graduate Support and Enrichment at Imago Dei, Cameron is now responsible for all aspects of school operations, development, finance,…

Carla Knight
Teacher, Cultural Literacy
Manchester Academic Charter School

Carla Knight is an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Manchester Academic Charter School. She co-facilitates the Cultural Literacy class, a collaboration between traditional History, Social Studies and ELA classes. Knight enjoys giving her students an opportunity to connect with…

Carol Varney
Executive Director
Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona

Carol Varney is a creative strategist, an empathetic listener, and a servant leader whose roots in New England and career on the West coast of the United States inform her work. Carol is currently the Executive Director of the Arts…

Carrie Seid
Visual Artist & Creative Coach

Carrie Seid is a nationally recognized artist who exhibits her work in galleries all over the United States. Carrie received her B.F.A. from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1984, then went on to receive her M.F.A. from Cranbrook…

Cash Lansky
Artist
Catherine Tornbom
Manager, Center for Community Dialogue & Training
Our Family Services

Catherine Tornbom is a mediator and organization consultant with over 30 years of experience. She is the Manager, Center for Community Dialogue & Training, a program of Our Family Services. The Center helps Southern Arizonans navigate challenging issues in a…

Charlie LeSueur
Western Film Historian

Charlie LeSueur started his career in 1972 on a local children’s program in Salt Lake City called “Hotel Balderdash”. Eight years later, he left Utah for Los Angeles, where he studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Drama Institute, Lonny Chapman’s…

Chris Hievly
VP Innovation
Techstars

Chris is one of the nation’s leading experts on launching startups and has been dubbed the “Startup Whisperer.”  He co-founded MapQuest, is an angel investor, ran a corporate venture fund and 2 micro venture funds (directed over $75M) and is VP…

Cindy Jordan
CEO
Pyx Health

Like most entrepreneurs Cindy’s career has been eclectic. Starting as a police officer right of college, where she learned what the true definition of a “bad day” is and applied this to running her own business. Nothing in a start-up…

Courtney Williams
Co-Founder and CEO
Emagine Solutions Technology

Courtney is co-founder of Emagine Solutions Technology, bringing operations, strategy and customer analytics experience to the venture. She began this startup after her sister experienced a high-risk pregnancy where ultrasound was a lifesaving diagnostic tool. Courtney has 12 years of…

Dan Marries
News Anchor
KOLD TV-13 (CBS) / KMSB TV-11 (Fox)

Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. That is exactly how Dan Marries feels about working as the evening news anchor at KOLD News 13 where he’s been keeping Tucsonans informed since 1999….

Dani Green
Owner & Operator
Dani’s Agency

Dani Green has owned and operated, since 1987, Dani’s Agency, a full-service talent agency representing actors for feature films, TV commercials and movies, industrial films, print ads, live events, professional voice talent, radio and more. She has been a member…

Daniel Derksen
Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach, & Interprofessional Activities
University of Arizona Health Sciences

Daniel Derksen, MD – is the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach & Interprofessional Activities. He is a Professor of Public Health in the Community, Environment & Policy Department in the Mel and…

Daniel Seco
Literary Manager
Schemer Entertainment

Daniel Seco is a literary manager at Schemers Entertainment, a full service literary management and production company based in Los Angeles, where he represents writers & directors for film and television. A former sports journalist covering U.S. Soccer, MLB, and…

Danielle Adams
Deputy Director
Lowell Observatory

Responsible for leading the strategic marketing and branding efforts of Lowell Observatory, Dr. Danielle Adams came on board as the Deputy Director for Marketing and Communications at Lowell Observatory in January 2019. She works to elevate the scientific reputation of…

Danny Vinik
Founder & President
BRINKfoundation

College in four states / Many credits, no degree / Punk rocker from the Mudd Club to Berlin / Wrote a novel that was published / Recorded an LP that was distributed / Filmmaker / Entrepreneurial nature led to runs…

Darcy Van Patten
Executive Director, Student and Academic Technologies
University of Arizona

Darcy Van Patten is the Executive Director for digital transformation, and student and academic technologies at the University of Arizona. In this role, Darcy is responsible for facilitating co-creation of a shared vision for optimizing the university’s strategic relationships, with…

Daryl F. Mallett

Daryl F. Mallett is a proud father of three beautiful children. After that, he is an award-winning actor, producer and writer. He has appeared in films such as Carmady’s People: The Case of the Reluctant Major (1986), Cannibal Women in…

Daryl Mallett

David Hume Kennerly
Photographer

David Hume Kennerly has been a photographer on the front lines of history for fifty years. At 25 he was one of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. Kennerly’s 1972 award for Feature Photography included images of…

David Pike
Vice President & Strategist
BRINKvision

Runs the film distribution arm of Brink (BrinkVision) / Acquires films / Strategizes / Marketing / Theatre operator / Festival director / Filmmaker / Writer / Producer / Bourbon enthusiast / Giallo film junkie / Revolutions started / Tigers tamed…

David Stupay
President and CEO
Heartspring

David Stupay’s personal mission to help others has laid the foundation for his professional career. Stupay brings a presence and contagious energy to Heartspring while spearheading the organization’s efforts to build the capacity to serve more children locally, regionally, and…

Deanna Lewis
Research Specialist
The University of Arizona

Deanna’s interest lies in the domain of Complex Problem Solving (CPS) using a Systems Thinking Approach. She applies this approach to her work in community health & wellness, sustainable development, and cultivating future leaders. She holds a doctorate in public…

Dennis Fesenemyer
Principal, Designer
Fezlab

Fezlab is a multi-disciplinary design firm founded in 1998 to work with clients to solve branding, interactive, and print design challenges.

Derrick Eppich
Film and Literary Manager
Lee Stobby Entertainment

Born in Detroit, raised in Phoenix and a former fashion professional in New York & Europe, Derrick Eppich has an eclectic background combined with great experience in the film and entertainment industry. Currently, he focuses on character driven genre and…

Don Guerra
Owner
Barrio Bread

Don Guerra the Owner/Baker of Barrio Bread in Tucson, Arizona, is committed to working with local farmers, chefs, and other food producers to strengthen the local grain economy and grow the local food network. In 2015 he was awarded a…

Doug Hockstad
Assistant Vice President of Technology Transfer, Tech Launch Arizona
University of Arizona

Doug Hockstad is TLA’s Assistant Vice President of Technology Transfer. Tech Transfer helps to accomplish the broader University of Arizona mission by providing a variety of services to faculty that protect intellectual property, streamline the technology commercialization process, support the…

Doug Parsons
Director
America Adapts Media

Doug Parsons is Director of America Adapts Media and host of America Adapts – The Climate Change Podcast. A self-avowed military brat, Doug fell in love with nature as a child in Panama, where sloths, snakes, scorpions and other rainforest…

Dr. Eric Lyons
Associate Professor, Plant Science
University of Arizona

Dr. Eric Lyons is an associate professor in the school of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on scalable computational systems and infrastructure to support and accelerate life science research, and the structure, evolution, and dynamics…

Dr. Michael Dake
Senior Vice President
University of Arizona Health Sciences

Dr. Dake is a leading researcher, clinician, teacher, and administrator. He is internationally known for pioneering image-guided therapies and novel approaches in interventional therapy in the fields of vascular imaging, venous thromboembolic disease, aortic aneurysms, and dissection. Dr. Dake made…

Drew Sanderford, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Planning
University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture

Drew Sanderford is an Associate Professor of real estate development and planning in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. The focus of his research and teaching is on responsible property investment and innovation in both housing and commercial…

Duke Pauli
Assistant Professor
University of Arizona School of Plant Sciences

Pauli is a plant breeder and geneticist interested in harnessing big data to help understand abiotic stress physiology in order to develop new plant varieties that are more environmentally resilient and better able to cope with changing climatic conditions.

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

Dustin Loehr, an Arizona native, was appointed Director of Arts Education & Title IV A for the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) in May 2018. There he oversees all program aspects of Well-Rounded Education, Safe & Healthy Students, and Digital…

Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell
Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation
University of Arizona

Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell leads the UA Office of Research, Innovation and Impact, which includes the Corporate Engagement Program, Tech Launch Arizona, the Forge and the UA research parks. She is responsible for expanding the university’s capacity for knowledge creation…

Ellen Kirton
Director
Small Business Development Center
Emil Tremblay
Chief Executive Officer
SGNT INC

Emil is Chief Executive Officer of SGNT INC (pronounced sig-net). A transplant from Canada to Tucson and a gigantic nerd (software-engineer), he is an active supporter of Tucson’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. SGNT technology significantly reduces the financial loss and brand damage…

Eric Majchrzak
Shareholder - Chief Strategy Officer
BeachFleischman

Eric Majchrzak is chief strategy officer and shareholder for BeachFleischman PC, Arizona’s largest locally-owned CPA firm. He is responsible for BeachFleischman’s overall strategic growth initiatives, including innovation, transformation, market alignment, product/service development, M&A, joint ventures and marketing. Eric has been…

Erik Stanford
Founder
Pivot Produce

Erik Stanford cut his fingers in restaurant kitchens across the country before landing in Tucson, Arizona and discovering a passion for its unique local food system. In seeing a barrier for chefs to purchase locally grown produce, he created Pivot…

Erika Hamden
Assistant Professor
University of Arizona

Dr. Hamden joined the University of Arizona in September of 2018. Her research focuses on UV instrumentation, detector technology development, multi-object & IFU spectroscopy, and galaxy evolution. Dr. Hamden is the project scientist for the Faint Intergalactic-medium Redshifted Emission Balloon,…

Esther Sternberg
Andrew Weil Inaugural Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine
Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine

Internationally recognized design and health pioneer, Dr. Esther Sternberg is a dynamic speaker who engages professional and lay audiences alike, conveying complexities of design and health in an engaging and entertaining manner. A physician and medical researcher who applies her…

Eva Louis
Producer, Writer and Actor
Worldwide Women’s Film Festival

Eva Louis is a producer, writer and actor known for her work in the local film community with several short films, feature films as well as projects (Chained, Desperado Noir, The Last Responders, Dark Dignity). She has specialized in social…

Floyd Chilton
Professor & Associate Director
Department of Nutritional Sciences & BIO5 Institute University of Arizona

Dr. Chilton is passionate about providing solutions to overcome physical and emotional suffering so that people can live better, more joyful lives. He is a successful innovator in a wide range of areas including an academic professor (with over 140…

Frances Harder

Frances Harder authored and published a series of books dealing with starting a fashion business. Fashion for Profit (10th edition), Costing for Profit, Brand Building for Profit and Forms for Profit are industry focused texts used both by new companies…

Francis Slay

Former Mayor of St. Louis

Francis G. Slay made history in 2013 by becoming the City of St. Louis' first mayor to be elected to a fourth, four-year term in office. During his tenure, downtown St. Louis was revitalized with major projects including Busch Stadium…

Gary Clarke
Actor

Gary Clarke began his screen career with the 1958 film Dragstrip Riot. He went on to work in other films, including How to Make a Monster and Missile to the Moon (both 1958),Date Bait (1960) and Passion Street, U.S.A. (1964)….

Genie Joseph
President
Independent Film Arizona

Genie Joseph is an Emmy Award-winning producer/director. Formerly CEO of Hawaii Movie Studios, her feature films have been distributed by Sony, USA Cable Network; been listed on Variety’s Top 50 list and have won international awards. As a staff producer/director…

Geoff Notkin
President
National Space Society
George Hammond
Director, Economic and Business Research Center
Eller College of Managment

George W. Hammond is director of the Economic and Business Research Center in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He has decades of experience analyzing and forecasting state and local economies. His analysis has significant influence,…

Gerald (Jerry) Perry
Associate Dean for the University of Arizona Libraries
University of Arizona

Jerry is Associate Dean for the University of Arizona Libraries (UAL), and Director of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library (UAHSL). As Associate Dean, Jerry is a member of the Dean’s Working Group which provides executive leadership oversight of…

Gina Catalano
Co-Founder, author
Barrio+Co

Gina Catalano works with high growth CEOs to improve their operations and increase the value of their business. Sometimes referred to as the “CEO’s Swiss Army Knife”, she has over 20 years of experience leading and working with businesses and…

Gina Murphy-Darling
Founder and CEO
Mrs. Green's World

From about age five, Gina’s mom called her a “troublemaker” but always advised her that if she figured out how to do “it” right, it would serve her well in this world. Her mom was right. Translation? Meet the Disruptor…

Greg Wilson
Dean, Applied Technology
Pima Community College

Since the summer of 2014 Greg has served as Pima Community College’s Dean of Applied Technology programs which include Automotive Technology, Aviation, Building & Construction, Computer-Aided Design, Energy, Machining, Mechatronics, and Welding. He previously served as a manager with the…

Hannah Davis
Founder and President
BANGS Shoes

I started BANGS Shoes after teaching English in China and discovering simple shoes worn by workers and farmers. Inspired by their look and the hard-working people who wear them, BANGS Shoes are designed to support you from one adventure to…

Heather Carter
Assistant Professor of Practice/Associate Director
University of Arizona College of Public Health/Arizona Center for Rural Health

Dr. Heather Carter is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona and the Associate Director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health. She served in the Arizona…

Herb Stratford
Director
Film Fest Tucson

Herb Stratford is a resident of Tucson and the director of Film Fest Tucson. He is also a film critic, with a weekly presence in print, on the radio and on television. Herb is a member of the Broadcast Film…

Herminia Frias
Councilwoman
Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council

Herminia “Minnie” Frias, Councilwoman, Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council. Councilwoman Frias has served on her Nation’s Tribal Council both as a Chairwoman, and as a Council Member. Frias was the youngest person and first woman to be elected as Tribal Chair…

Ian Roark
Vice President of Workforce Development
Pima Community College

As the Vice President of Workforce Development for Pima Community College since 2015, Ian serves to increase PCC’s responsiveness to the needs of businesses and industry and align the college’s programs to the workforce and economic development priorities of the…

Isaac Caruso
Artist

I make public art to communicate with communities and help give them a visual identity. The imagery I paint is powerful and uplifting, so that I may transform my surroundings with positivity. The external environments we share our meant to…

Jaca Zulu
Artist
Jason Ryan
Co-Founder
Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival

Jason Ryan is a cinematographer and director based in Phoenix and is the co-founder and managing director of the Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival. He has directed photography on short and feature films, music videos, commercials, pieces for television,…

Jason Scales
Business Manager
Lincoln Electric

Jason Scales is responsible for strategic planning and the management of the company’s education team and product portfolio. His team includes research and development, product management, technical training and education sales. He has been with Lincoln Electric for 7 years…

Jay Richards
Assistant Research Professor
Catholic University of America

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is an Assistant Research Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and is developing the curriculum for the University’s innovative business program currently targeted to launch in Tucson in fall…

Jeff DaCosta
Manager of Public Art
Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona

Mr. DaCosta has worked for the Arts Foundation for four years – two as Assistant Public Art Manager and two as Public Art Manager. In his current role Mr. DaCosta manages all aspects of the Public Art program for the…

Jeff Odefey
Director of Clean Water Supply
American Rivers

Jeffrey Odefey is the Director of Clean Water Supply Programs for American Rivers where much of his work focuses on fostering resilient water management policies and programs in the Lower Colorado River Basin. His past experience includes stints as a…

Jeff Sales
Executive Director, Southern Arizona
Arizona Tech Council
Jen Vasko
Founder and Principal Jennifer Vasko
26 Point 2 Designs

Jennifer Vasko is the Principal/Creative Director for 26 Point 2 Designs, a Tucson-based design agency that helps startups and small businesses increase their online presence through effective marketing strategies including rebranding, business-branded solutions, and website development and design. Some of…

Jennifer Toothaker
Administrator, Planning & Programming Division
Tucson Department of Transportation

Jenn Toothaker Mabry manages the Planning and Programming Division for Tucson Transportation Department, which has a dynamic team of transportation planners and project managers working on systems of mobility, access, connections, and sustainable development throughout the Tucson region. She has…

Jessica Brack
Social Responsibility and Community Development Manager
Freeport-McMoRan

Jessica Brack is a Social Responsibility and Community Development Manager at Freeport-McMoRan, a leader in the Mining and Metals industry. She has been with the company for 12 years in a number of positions of increasing responsibility. Her years in…

Joan Timeche
Executive Director
Native Nations Institute

Joan Timeche is the Executive Director of the Native Nations Institute (NNI) at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona. A citizen of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Old Oraibi, she received a B.S….

JoAnn Groh
Co-Founder
Paulo Freire

JoAnn Groh is the Co-Founder of the Paulo Freire Freedom Schools, innovative middle schools that uses interdisciplinary PBL as its instructional methodology and has a social justice/environmental sustainability curricular focus She is a National Facilitator for both PBLworks, the premier…

Joe O’Connell
President
Creative Machines

Joe O’Connell founded his studio, Creative Machines, in 1995 to design and fabricate interactive exhibits. In 2004, he began making public art with a strong emphasis on community and interactivity. His work is rooted in science, perception and history and…

Joe Pagac
Artist

Joe Pagac is an artist, a craftsman, a performer and a world traveller born and raised right here in Tucson. Starting with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communications and Illustration Joe set out after graduation to explore…

John Bevell
CEO and Founder
Gigapult

John is an Arizona native with seven years experience living in Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Washington D.C. He has degrees from Brigham Young University and Thunderbird School of Global Management and has worked for a variety of companies in…

John Jackson
CEO and General Manager
Grafted Growers and SIGS Inc
John Overall
News Anchor
KVOA TV-4 (NBC)

John Overall anchors News 4 Tucson at 5, 6 and 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. John has been part of the News 4 team for more than 10 years. He has been a TV journalist for more than 25 years….

Johnny Hanna
CEO and CO-Founder
Homie

Johnny Hanna is CEO and Co-Founder of Homie. Homie’s mission is to eliminate the 6% real estate commission. Homie offers a technology enabled team approach to help home sellers save $10,000 on average and rebates home buyers up to $5,000….

Johnny Redd
Director
Jon Meacham
Historian and Author

Jon Meacham is a renowned presidential historian, contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, contributing editor at TIME, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Jonathan Rothschild
Mayor
City of Tucson

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild came to City Hall promising accountability in government, increased emphasis on economic growth and help for those most in need. Since taking office, the mayor has helped settle the long-standing Rio Nuevo dispute, opening a new era…

Joseph Benesh
Executive Director
Arizona Citizens for the Arts

Joseph Benesh is the new Executive Director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts. Previous to this, he was ED of Phoenix Center for the Arts for 8 years. He currently serves on the Phoenix Community Alliance Board and Phoenix Arts…

Joseph Yracheta
Research Scientist
Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc.

Joe is a researcher at a Lakota community-based company, Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc. (MBIRI). He obtained his MS in Pharmaceutics in 2014 from the University of Washington. Joe has grounded his research education in public health, anthropology, and American…

Joshua Savit
Product Manager, Safety
Hexagon Mining
Julia Szkiba

Julie Szkiba has over 25 years experience as a designer, graphic artist, textile/surface pattern designer, merchandiser, and marketer. Past and current clients include the Disney Store, Paramount Pictures, the Tangerine Tree kidswear, Breathable Baby, Natural Wondies, JLA Pets, Posh Paws/Ellen…

Julie Bonner
Marketing Director
FreeFall Aerospace

Julie Bonner is a working artist and designer with over 20 years experience who has worked as a freelancer, owned a graphic design business, developed a creative product -line and has also worked in-house for some of the largest chains…

Kate Snapp
Sales Executive
Marriott

Kate Snapp is a hospitality veteran with over 20 years in the industry. She has had the opportunity to work in all segments of sales and hotel operations. Kate has been recognized with several awards from both professional organizations and…

Katherine Arnold, PE
Director of Environment
Rosemont Copper Company
Kathy Insel
Professor of Nursing
University of Arizona
Katie Rogerson
Chief Operating Officer
Tucson Values Teachers

Katie Rogerson is the Chief Operating Officer for Tucson Values Teachers, an education/business collaborative whose mission is to help schools and districts attract, retain, and support high quality teachers for every classroom in Southern Arizona, while raising public awareness of…

Kim Ernzen
Vice President of the Air Warfare Systems
Raytheon Missile Systems

Kim Ernzen is vice president of the Air Warfare Systems product line at Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) in Tucson, Arizona. LWS offers the world’s most comprehensive array of battle-proven land combat systems solutions. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2017 sales…

Koren Manning
Planning Administrator
Tucson Planning & Development Services

Koren Manning is Planning Administrator for the City of Tucson where she leads a team of long-range planners working to shape the future of our city through neighborhood planning, code updates, rezoning, and historic preservation. She was previously a Senior…

Kris Bosworth
Head of Educational Leadership
University of Arizona

Dr. Kris Bosworth joined the College of Education to hold the Lester L. and Roberta D. Smith Endowed Chair in Education with a focus on the prevention of substance abuse and other factors that put young people at risk. She…

Krista McGarvey
Vice President, Business Expansion
Arizona Commerce Authority
Kristen Osgood
Founder and CEO
Controlled Environment Farming

Growing up on a farm in rural Arkansas, she experienced first-hand the challenges that many farm families face, which anchored her passion for sustainable food, farming, and rural livelihood creation. Kristen’s expertise includes logistics and warehousing, sustainable food and farming,…

Ladd Keith
Assistant Professor, Planning at the University of Arizona
University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Ladd Keith is the Chair of the Sustainable Built Environments program and will transition from Lecturer to Assistant Professor in Planning at The University of Arizona in 2019. He is an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of urban…

Larissa Gounden
Senior Manager, Global Planning Services and Support
Hexagon Mining

Experienced Global Service Support Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Information Technology and Services industry. Holds a Master in Science Degree and an MBA candidate enrolled in the Executive MBA focused in Business Administration and Management from…

Lauren Rabb
Curator
TMC Healing Art Program

Lauren Walden Rabb is an art historian, author, and trained VTS coach. She worked for a number of years as gallery manager for Hollis Taggart Galleries (NYC), and upon moving to Tucson opened her own gallery, The Gallery at Sixth…

Lauren Valenzuela
Founder
Sigfus

Lauren Valenzuela is the owner and maker of Sigfús Designs. A Tucson native, Lauren has a long history of creating art and reveling in the beauty and possibility in the Sonoran Desert. Founded in 2018, Sigfús Designs is a little…

Lec Coble
Station Manager
KMSB TV-11 (Fox) / KTTU TV-18 (My Network)

Lec Coble, is a 30 year veteran of broadcast and digital media, a background in branding at the corporate and local level. Lec is currently the station manager for FOX11 and My18 in Tucson, AZ.

Leslie Pardew
Founder
Mystery Escape Room

Les Pardew is a creative entrepreneur who in addition to founding numerous companies, has authored/coauthored 16 books on digital art, traditional art, game development and business. Prior to building his national escape room brand, Mystery Escape Room, Pardew spent 30…

Liz Pocock
Startup Tucson
CEO

As CEO, Liz oversees the administration, programs and strategic plan of the Startup Tucson team and Board. Previously the COO of Startup Tucson, Liz has more than seven years of experience in non-profit organizational management and believes in building strong…

Luis A. Perales
CEO
Institute for Transformative Education

Luis A. Perales is the official Spokesman for the K20 Changemaker Campus, CEO for the Institute for Transformative Education, and lead consultant for ZenCons Transformational Consulting. For the past twenty years he has directed his energies to the support, development,…

Mara Aspinall

BlueStone Venture Partners

Aspinall is a healthcare industry leader and pioneer with a commitment to active civic involvement. Aspinall is Co-Founder and Managing Director of BlueStone Venture Partners LLC. BlueStone, a premier venture firm investing in life sciences based technology and innovation companies…

Marc Folk
Executive Director
Arts Commission of Greater Toledo

Executive Director Marc D. Folk has been with the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo as an employee for over twelve years. Marc first worked with the Arts Commission in 1996 as an instructor in the Young Artists at Work program,…

Marc Sedam
Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures
University of New Hampshire UNH Innovation

Marc Sedam, Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures and Managing Director of UNHInnovation, joined UNH in November 2010. Sedam has an extensive background in intellectual asset management, licensing, and start-up formation. In addition to his position with UNH,…

Margie Wolverton
Stunt Person

Ivan “Red” and Margie Wolverton are two living legends in the stunt world. Working ranchers, cattle drivers and master horsemen, Red, who turned 90 in September, and Margery (it is impolite to give the age of a lady) have been…

Mark Baugher
Author & Producer
C-Bar Productions

Author Mark Baugher lives in northern Arizona with his wife, Marcia, on a small rancho near the headwater of the Verde River. He is a master farrier and, when not shoeing a horse, is riding one, exploring the Verde River,…

Mark Crockett
Author & Producer
Paddlefoot Productions

A public library educated nerd, pre-adolescent Mark Crockett was the only kid in third grade at Lincoln Elementary School in East Orange, New Jersey with an adult library card (yes, he is that old). Nose buried in a book but…

Mark Mendibles
Community Outreach Specialist
Workability

Yes, I am a person who has a disability. However, my disability does not, and will not, define who I am. I am a person with a multitude of professional skill sets. I am someone who enjoys giving back to…

Marla Franco
Vice Provost
Hispanic Serving Institution, University of Arizona

Dr. Marla Franco serves as the Assistant Vice Provost for Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Initiatives and the Executive Director of Assessment, Research & Grant Development at the University of Arizona. She led history-making endeavors at the university, which resulted in…

Mary Bouley
Training Associate: Cognitive Coaching Seminars
Thinking Collaborative

Mary Bouley is an experienced educator and consultant with expertise in coaching, mentoring, project management, training, and professional development. She is a Training Associate for Cognitive Coaching and Adaptive Schools. She provides consulting services, coaching, training and facilitation for a…

Mary Dempsey
K-8 Visual Art Teacher
St Joseph Catholic School Huntington WV

Mary Dempsey has been working at St Joseph Catholic School since 2006 as the Visual Art teacher for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. Mary is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in Fine Arts…

Matt Kearny
Community Organizer
LUCHA Living United for Change in Arizona

Over 19 years experience in the Mental Health, Addiction, Harm Reduction, HIV Prevention, Community Organizing Works well with socio-economically diverse populations Harm Reduction Specialist HIV Prevention counseling and testing BHT Behavioral Health Technician, Group[ facilitator HIV Prevention Educator – State…

Matt Mars
Director
Graduate Studies in the Department of Agricultural Education

Matthew (“Matt”) M. Mars, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Leadership and Innovation and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Agricultural Education at The University of Arizona. He is also a Fellow in the Cardon Academy of Teaching…

Matthew Earl Jones
Arizona Film Commissioner

Arizona Film Commissioner Matthew Earl Jones has over 30 years of experience on both sides of the camera in film, television and commercials, as well as in the music industry. Matthew was born in New York City where he spent…

Maureen Tholen
Sustainability Director
3M's Industrial Business

As the Sustainability Director for 3M’s Industrial Business and Safety and Graphics Business Groups, Tholen focuses on sustainability to create business growth for the company and its customers in the fields of industry, health care and consumer goods. Her career…

Megan Carney
Director
Center for Regional Food Studies

Dr. Carney is a sociocultural and critical medical anthropologist with research and teaching specializations in transnational and gendered migration, food and food systems, immigration policy, and health inequality. She conducts the bulk of her research in the western United States…

Michael Catanzaro
Energy Manager
Tucson Environmental & General Services
Michael F. Hammer
Research Scientist & Associate Director
Arizona Research Labs & BIO5 Institute University of Arizona

Michael Hammer is a Research Scientist in the Division of Biotechnology at the University of Arizona with appointments in the Department of Neurology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Bio5, the School of Anthropology, the University of Arizona Cancer Center, and the…

Michael Guymon
Vice President
Tucson Metro Chamber
Michael Kotutwa Johnson
Fellow
Native American Agricultural Fund

Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe and holds and obtained his doctorate from the University of Arizona in natural resources. His published works include Barriers to PES programs in Indigenous Communities: A lesson in…

Michel Lahti
CEO
LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc.

Michel Lahti is the CEO and a Sr. Evaluation Associate at LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc. located in Tucson. LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc. is an evaluation services firm in business since 1991. Michel has designed, conducted and managed evaluation…

Mike Peel
Southern Arizona Director
Local First Arizona

Mike is a dedicated localist and loves working on creative community partnership efforts while spending time at some of his favorite businesses. Mike enjoys Loft Cinema, Rialto Theatre, and any local record stores including PDQ Records, Wooden Tooth, and Zia.

Moe Momayez
Associate Professor of Mining and Geological Engineering
University of Arizona

I have a longstanding interest in the development of new technologies to improve mine safety and productivity, specifically miners health and safety, geomaterials characterization, rock breakage, energy/process efficiency, and renewable energy. I am leading efforts to provide options for mitigating…

Moira O’Neill
Community Foods Coordinator
Community Foodbank of Southern Arizona

Moira O’Neill is passionate about social justice and community organizing. She has worked in food system development for 6 years in both North Carolina and Arizona. In her current role with the Community Food Bank, she coordinates the Abundant Harvest…

Monica Schmidt
Assistant Professor
University of Arizona School of Plant Sciences, BIO5 Institute
Moniek James
Founder and CEO
Renegade Creative Media Group

Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur, small business strategist and self-proclaimed social media nerd. As the founder and CEO of The Confetti Collective, a personal growth platform that inspires confidence in women and girls, Moniek provides a platform of empowerment…

Murat Kacira
Professor, Biosystems Engineering
University of Arizona

Murat Kacira received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey in 1991. He received both his M.S. (1996) and PhD (2000) degrees in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. His…

Nancy Biggins
Founder
Copper Hummingbird

Nancy Biggins is the founder and CEO of Copper Hummingbird by Nancy Biggins®. An accidental artist and entrepreneur, Nancy originally had a long career working with animals, and it was during her years as an animal keeper at the Arizona-Sonora…

Nancy Pollock-Ellwand
Dean
College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Nancy Pollock-Ellwand serves as the Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. She has a broad background in design with degrees in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Planning however she identifies as…

Ngoc Can
Principal
DVI Equity Partners

Ngoc is an early-staged investor whose 12-year banking/venture capital career includes extensive middle market transaction experience in Technology and Business Services investments at middle-market investment bank and family office. Ngoc has worked on advisory and capital markets transactions valued in…

Niki Tilicki
Educator
Innovation Academy

I believe that every child has a right to learn and no one has the right to take that away from any child. Children need to learn in an environment that is filled with fun, with the freedom to choose,…

Nirav Merchant
Director, Data Science Institute (Data7) Co-PI, CyVerse
University of Arizona

Nirav Merchant is the Co-PI for NSF CyVerse a national scale Cyberinfrastructure for life sciences and NSF Jetstream the first user-friendly, scalable cloud environment for NSF XSEDE. He received his undergraduate degree in Industrial engineering from the University of Pune,…

Paul Melendez
Founder
Center for Leadership Ethics

Paul Melendez has been with the Eller College of Management since 1996. He earned his doctorate from The University of Arizona with a specialization in privatization. His areas of expertise are organizational ethics, international business and innovative thinking. He was…

Pearry Teo
Filmmaker

Pearry Teo started making films at 22 years old, the later stage than most filmmakers. His first short film Liberata Me (2002) was screened at Cannes, won Best Horror at the New York International Film Festival and an Award of…

Phil Komarny
Vice President, Innovation
Salesforce.com

Highly social, entrepreneurial, award winning senior executive with a 20+ year track record of delivering innovative, high value solutions by aligning existing problems with emerging technologies. Experienced as a c-level executive within higher education that has leveraged entrepreneurial instincts, a…

Philip Abram
Emeritus, Chief Infortainment Officer
General Motors

Phil Abram held the position of Chief Infotainment Officer and member of corporate strategy team for General Motors from 2012 until retiring in 2017. As Chief Infotainment Officer, he was responsible for worldwide strategy, business development and product requirements for…

Ralph Score
Co-Founder
Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival (SAIFF)

Ralph Score is one of the festival founders of the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival (SAIFF) and acts as the technical director where he oversees all qualifications for entries as well as DCP conversions for the screenings. An award-winning producer/director/engineer…

Randi Mitchell
Chief Marketing Officer
Ceres Agtech Inc.

Randi Mitchell- Chief Marketing Officer at Ceres Agtech Inc. Eller MBA graduate 1 part Executive, 1 part Entrepreneur, All parts sustainability in agriculture.

Rani Olson
Coordinator
Nutrition and Food Systems Program

Rani Olson is passionate about attracting youth to examine critically the complexity of our food system, how and why it functions the way it does, and to develop robust skills to be active change-makers in reimagining a just food system….

Red Wolverton
Stunt person

Ivan “Red” and Margie Wolverton are two living legends in the stunt world. Working ranchers, cattle drivers and master horsemen, Red, who turned 90 in September, and Margery (it is impolite to give the age of a lady) have been…

Regina Clewlow
CEO
Populus

Regina Clewlow is the CEO & Co-Founder of Populus. Former research scientist at UC Davis and Stanford. MIT Ph.D. in transportation. Regina is the CEO and Co-Founder of Populus, a data platform for private mobility operators and cities to deliver…

Robert Williams, Jr
JD, Professor, Regent's Professor
University of Arizona

Robert A. Williams, Jr. is the Regents Professor, the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair of the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. Professor Williams received his B.A. from Loyola College (1977) and his…

Roger Gillespie
Producer, Film Critic & Host
3-Hour Movie Critic

Ralph Score is one of the festival founders of the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival (SAIFF) and acts as the technical director where he oversees all qualifications for entries as well as DCP conversions for the screenings. An award-winning producer/director/engineer…

Roger Tadajewski
Executive Director
NC3

Roger Tadajewski has dedicated his professional life to the advancement of education and workforce development in the transportation, aerospace, energy and manufacturing industries. Currently, Mr. Tadajewski is the Executive Director of NC3-National Coalition of Certification Centers. This organization target’s the…

Rosa Maria Rojas
Assistant Professor of Practice, Mining and Geological Engineering
University of Arizona

My career began working for BHP Billiton at Escondida Mine in Chile, I started in the graduate program back in 2008 and had the opportunity to take over different positions such as Mine Operations Supervisor, Dispatcher engineer and Business Improvement…

Ryan McCombs
Vice President
Spotlight Picture

Ryan McCombs is Vice President of Spotlight Pictures, where he oversees a three-person acquisitions team. He works closely with sales in evaluating a motion pictures’ international potential, as well as keeping abreast in the latest shifts in buying patterns. Ryan’s…

Ryan Trayte
Handcrafted Print & Pixel Designer
Saywells Design Co.

Saywells Design Co is a one-man studio, specializing in brand identity, packaging, print and digital design. Ryan has been designing in downtown Tucson for over 10 years, collaborating with local business owners and other creative professionals to build thoughtful brand…

Sam Holdren
Location Manager and Scout

Sam Holdren is an award-winning location manager and scout (“The Men Who Built America” (2012); Little Accidents (2014); “The Making of the Mob” (2015); Tri (2016); Bixby (2016); “Grey Angel Journals” (2017); What the Night Can Do (2017); “7 Trails…

Scott P. “Doc” Vaughn
Illustrator and Writer

Scott Vaughn is an illustrator and writer who, when he is not hard at work on comics and commissions, is trying to catch up on drawing his web-comic Warbirds of Mars. Some of Doc’s fantasy pen and ink artwork was…

Scott Smith
Co-Founder & Strategy Director
Smith & Connors

Scott is a writer, strategist, and facilitator who mobilizes teams to examine the why behind their work. He is a master at translating complex information into simple, insightful systems, themes, and creative concepts. Scott has been crafting compelling content, strategies,…

Seanloui Dumas

Shalane Simmons
Community Relations Manager
Raytheon Missile Systems

Shalane Simmons is the Community Relations Manager at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ. She coordinates and executes many outreach programs including hands-on projects for elementary students, fair-type events for middle school students, and mentoring programs for high school and…

Shane Riches
Associate Professor of Practice
University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television

Professor Riches is a film and television writer and producer, as well as a comic book writer and publisher. As a writer and producer, he has had film and television projects set up at Walt Disney, MTV, Sony, Fox, Paramount,…

Shelley Gillespie
Executive Director
Copa Shorts Film Fest (CSFF)

Shelley Gillespie, Executive Director of Copa Shorts Film Fest (CSFF), is the idea person behind the festival. Her love of film, coupled with a desire to create a great event for filmmakers and film lovers, is the motivator behind CSFF….

Sheri Marlin
Chief Learning Officer
Waters Center for Systems Thinking

Sheri Marlin, M.Ed. writes, speaks and collaborates with others to apply systems thinking in real-world contexts. She has taught preschool through graduate school and has worked as a building principal and district curriculum specialist. Sheri finds tremendous satisfaction in facilitating…

Simon Donovan

Simon Donovan is a multi-media artist living in Tucson. He makes his living as a public artist. He has over twenty-five large-scale public commissions around the country. Locally he is known primarily for the ‘Diamondback Bridge’, and most recently for…

Sinjin Eberle
Communications Director
Intermountain West

Sinjin Eberle is the Communications Director in the Intermountain West, National Visual Media Director with American Rivers, and Sonora Rising filmmaker. From his perch in Durango, Colorado, Sinjin oversees all of the communications and outreach activities across the Colorado River…

Stacy Butler
Director
Innovation for Justice Program at James E. Rogers College of Law

Stacy Butler directs the Innovation for Justice Program at the James E. Rogers College of Law. She has two decades of experience in community advocacy and expanding the reach of civil legal services for under-served populations. In 2017, she launched…

Stacy Growler
Owner & Designer
Growlery

I never thought of myself as the artsy type. When I was growing up, I thought art was for those people who liked to color outside the lines – with no rhyme or reason. It took me many years to…

Stephanie Bermudez
Founder and CEO
Startup Unidos

As an entrepreneur and founder of Startup Unidos, Stephanie is building a bi-national ecosystem in Nogales fostering tech and innovation. Stephanie helps people develop innovation spaces, create better strategies for their businesses, and specializes in digital communication.

Stephanie Sims
Founder
Finance-Ability

Stephanie Sims is a 2nd generation entrepreneur, speaker and author. After almost a decade in investment banking and over $5B (BV) of transactions, she successfully rode the high tech manufacturing start-up roller coaster in Europe – complete with angels, venture…

Talie Smith
Co-Founder and Creative Director
Smith & Connors

Talie is a creative strategist who helps organizations and companies behold their power. She emboldens others to own their true voice through branding and design therapy. Talie has been designing brands, websites, and user experiences for more than 20 years….

Taylor Davidson
President and Co-Owner
Neil Benton Arts & Entertainment

Taylor Davidson, president and co-owner of Neil Benton Arts & Entertainment, is a risk management and insurance expert and a specialist in the needs of arts and entertainment businesses. His finance career began with eight years in banking before opening…

Tim Lukau
Artist
Tim Thomure
Director
Tucson Water

Timothy M. Thomure is the Director of Tucson Water, a 585-person operation providing potable and reclaimed water service to 730,000 people in southern Arizona. Tim is a licensed PE with 25 years of experience working in public utilities, private industry,…

Tom Murphy

Former Mayor of Pittsburgh

Tom Murphy – Three Term Mayor of Pittsburgh & Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. In his current role as Senior Resident Fellow at Urban Land Institute, Murphy’s extensive experience in urban revitalization—what drives investment and what ensures…

Toni Ross
Co-Founder
Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival and the Arcosanti International Film Carnivale

Arizona-born artist, writer and entrepreneur Toni Ross is the co-founder of the Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival and the Arcosanti International Film Carnivale. She has worked as a paralegal, produced painted teddy bears for Desert Digs Boutique as the…

Tory Fodder

Tory Fodder (Taos Pueblo) is the Manager of the Indigenous Governance Program (IGP). In this capacity, he oversees IGP’s flagship event, January in Tucson (JIT); RNN Online Courses; the IGP graduate program; chairs the IGP Marketing and Outreach Team; and…

Uwe Hilgert
Director, Industry Relations / Workforce Development
BIO5
Zach Ferres
Founder and the CEO of Coplex
Coplex

Zach Ferres is the CEO of Coplex, a Venture Builder that partners with industry experts, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovators to start high-growth tech companies. Featured in USA Today, The Washington Post, VentureBeat, Inc, Forbes, NPR, and Entrepreneur. Zach sold his…

Zaira Emiliana Livier
People's Defense Initiative
Executive Director

Zaira has lived in Tucson, AZ since her family immigrated from Mexico in the early 90’s. She was raised in South Tucson and eventually studied Neuroscience and philosophy at the University of Arizona. While attending the university, Zaira founded action…

Zcheecid Aguirre
Undergraduate Student and Flinn Scholar
The University of Arizona

My name is Zcheecid Aguirre and I am a third year undergraduate student and Flinn Scholar at the Univerity of Arizona (UA), majoring in Japanese Cultural Studies with double minors in Spanish and Biochemistry. Though initially a Biomedical Engineering major,…