Our Team

 

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Kim Graham
Executive Director
kim@azedfoundation.org

Kim Graham joined the Arizona Educational Foundation as Executive Director in 2018. Previously, she served as Deputy Director of Louisiana A+ Schools for the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts in New Orleans. Graham is the former Director of Education and Community Engagement at The Phoenix Symphony where she created “Mind Over Music,” a unique STEAM collaboration between Symphony musicians and teachers. Most of her professional career was spent in Nashville, where she created nationally known arts integration initiatives during her tenure as Director of Arts Education for the Tennessee Arts Commission. Graham has successfully written and received multi-million dollar grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her programs for schools have been cited by the National Governor’s Association as models for states seeking education reform through the arts. Graham is the former Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Arts Education Advisory Group and has taught workshops and served as a panelist for The John F. Kennedy Center, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Arts Education Partnership. Kim holds a Master of Arts Degree in Theatre and Speech Communications, a Master of Arts Degree in English, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Arts.

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Dr. Teresa Hill
Deputy Director
teresa@azedfoundation.org

Dr. Teresa Hill has been a proud public school educator for 30 years. Her career began as a math and dance teacher at Flowing Wells High School in 1993. She went on to serve as assistant principal for Flowing Wells High School prior to being named the principal at Walden Grove High School in the Sahuarita Unified School District in 2011. In 2011, she was charged with overseeing the construction of Walden Grove High School, which then had four hundred sophomore and freshmen students, and nothing in place but the brick and mortar. Her biggest focus as the educational leader was to create a culture and school climate that was positive for all students and staff.  During her tenure at Walden Grove High, the school has now grown to over 1,200 9th-12th grade students, garnering numerous state and national accolades for both academic and athletic success. Under Dr. Hill’s leadership, Walden Grove earned the AEF A+ School of Excellence award; garnered nine state team championships; several individual state champions; superior ratings in band and drama; and has a nationally recognized dance team. In 2021, Dr. Hill was named the Arizona National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Principal of the Year and is eligible to be selected as one of the finalists in the running for the National Principal of the Year award. Dr. Hill earned her Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University and a Master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. In 2019, she earned her Doctorate of Education in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

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Terri Bradford
Director of Communications & Digital Strategy
terri@azedfoundation.org

Terri Bradford has dedicated recent years in the Arizona public education space prior to joining Arizona Educational Foundation, where she led the award-winning transformation of the Gilbert Public Schools District through branded digital media, marketing, and communication solutions. Her work directly impacted the re-energizing of public trust, enrollment, funding, educator recognition, and crucial student success initiatives. She has been awarded several National School Public Relations Association and Arizona School Public Relations Association Excellence Awards recognizing her technical and creative projects within education. Previously she had decades of experience focusing on the professional and private sectors working within major e-commerce retailers in the maker and creative industries as well as educators, small businesses, and nonprofits, where she led web, digital media, and creative marketing strategies. Most days, you'll find Terri behind the camera capturing life, enjoying family and good food, editing photography, documenting life, sharing and connecting with other creatives, enjoying music, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Renee Levin
Equity Champion
renee@azedfoundation.org

Renee Levin joined Intel Corporation in 1995 and served as the Community Affairs Manager until March 2021.Her responsibilities included managing Intel’s grants and strategic relationships as well as neighbor relations and K-20 Education program. She also served as new hire integration manager and a member of the Diversity community of practice within her organization. Prior to her current position, Renee led Intel’s corporate volunteer program where she was a member of the Diversity Leadership Team. One of her favorite activities was recruiting STEM professionals to speak to students about careers in technology, math & science. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas and is a graduate of Valley Leadership Class 31. Renee served on the Board of Trustees for Arizona Educational Foundation from 2009-2021. She was also a board member for Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Chandler Cultural Foundation and the SciTech Institute (formerly known as the Arizona Technology Council Foundation). In 2015, she was appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Service & Volunteerism. In 2017, Renee was recognized as one of Phoenix’s Outstanding Women in Business by the Phoenix Business Journal. Moving from Shawnee Mission Kansas in 1993, Renee has lived in Chandler for 28 years. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer, read, travel, SCUBA dive and ride her Harley.

 

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Jodi Chesbro, 1996 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador for Excellence and Teacher at Sierra Verde STEAM Academy

Jodi Chesbro has been teaching Language Arts to seventh and eighth graders in Arizona for over 30 years. An Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador, Jodi has worked with AEF since she earned the honor in 1996. Not only passionate about students and teaching, Jodi works with the AEF A+ School of Excellence program. “I love visiting fabulous schools across the state and stealing ideas. Observing top-notch teachers in the classroom is the best professional development.” She also worked on the national level with the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools for 4 years. In her free time, Jodi hikes with her husband John, and furry son Buckley.

 

Jim Colletti, Owner, Elements Studio West

Often referred to as a detail manager and a bridge-builder, Jim Colletti has become known as the go-to in all areas of business, with a strong focus on branding, marketing and advertising, for-profit and non-profit business management and development, client and project management and entertainment and experiential event management. He is always available and willing to help others grow and prosper. A true team-builder with positive and uplifting energy. Process-minded and results-driven with a history of success. As owner of the boutique design and creative agencies Element Design (1997) and Element Studios West, LLC (2014), Jim has applied his strong experience in creative service management, printing and marketing while serving a wide variety of clients including Dial Corporation, Microchip, APS, Petsmart, America West and Hawaiian Airlines, Intel, Motorola, Hard Rock Café and others. In 2001, Jim partnered with Precision Dynamics International (PDI) in support of the automobile industry, serving the North American headquarters of Nissan North America, INFINITI, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and KIA Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, BMW, Honda Motors and others, including global divisions in Canada, the Middle East and Japan. Most recently, Jim has joined the management team in support of B.R.A.K.E.S., a national non-profit organization promoting safe driving for teens though a hands-on, behind-the-wheel advanced driving school. Jim is responsible for fund development, partner relations and general management.

 Jim has served on many community and non-profit boards in areas of education, film, arts and theater and currently sits on advisory boards for several non-profit organizations.

Michelle Doherty, 2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year, and Encanto Elementary Teacher (retired)

Michelle Doherty was a first-grade dual language teacher and mentor coach at Encanto Elementary in the Osborn School District for 25 years.  She proudly invested her ENTIRE teaching career for the same district and the same school.  Michelle was born and raised in Arizona, and is a first-generation college graduate.  She is continuing her love for teaching by supporting and mentoring new teachers in the Arizona Teachers Academy, and is also an adjunct faculty member for Northern Arizona University.  Michelle supports many inspiring programs within AEF, including, the selection of Arizona Teacher of the Year, the A+ School of Excellence program, and Our World. Michelle was recognized at the Arizona Educational Foundation 2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year, the 2016-2017 Osborn School District Teacher of the Year, and the 2015 Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Latino Teacher of the Year.  Michelle received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading and early childhood education from Arizona State University.  She feels it is a privilege and an honor to work in the field of education, and is most passionate about providing a quality education for all.

Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn, President & CEO, The Philanthropy Outsource

Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn began her work in the community as a parent volunteer in the Tempe Union High School District. Her many years of service in the schools lead her to build a career in community relations, leadership development, strategic planning and capacity building, primarily focused in the nonprofit sector. With more than 10 years’ experience, Suzanne has also devoted her life to volunteer service, sitting on multiple boards, commissions, and committees. She is the past President of the Tempe Leadership Council, is on the ASU National Alumni Council, ASU Wings of Gold advisory board, and participates in the Flinn Foundation Leadership dialogs. In May 2018 Durkin-Bighorn completed her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at ASU, her under graduate degree is in Public Administration and Recreation Management. She and her husband Lyle reside in Tempe, they enjoy golf, ASU athletics, travel, and spending time with friends and family. They have two grown daughters that also live in Tempe.

Joseph Garcia, Executive Director of the Chicanos Por La Causa Action Fund and Vice President of Public Policy at Chicanos Por La Causa

Prior to joining Chicanos Por La Causa in November 2019, Garcia was Director of Communication and Community Impact at ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy. During his 10 years at ASU, he was founding director of the Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center. Garcia, who still teaches at ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has an extensive career as an award-winning editor, reporter and columnist at The Arizona Republic, The Daily Times (Farmington, N.M.), Tucson Citizen and the Associated Press. He often is quoted in news stories by local, regional and national media as a trusted source regarding Arizona issues related to politics and changing demographics. Garcia is a frequent presenter of data, policy research and trends, including last August at UCLA at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Leadership Academy. In 2018, he testified before the Arizona Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights concerning Arizona's emerging Latino voters. Garcia is a member of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce DATOS Research Committee. He has served on numerous community boards, including presently as an executive board member of Arizona Children's Action Alliance.

 

Lindy Gaudiano, College of Education, Assistant Dean of Educational Partnerships and Development, Grand Canyon University

Lindy is responsible for the strategic planning, development, and improvement of all academic programs and outreach efforts.  She and her team partner with many educational groups, both internal and external to ensure standards based curriculum for all academic programs are focused on continuous improvement and aligned to appropriate standards for teacher certification. Mrs. Gaudiano is honored to be a GCU employee for over 12 years, and work in the education field for 15 years. Prior to transitioning to higher education and Grand Canyon University, she received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Elementary Education Reading from Grand Canyon University before teaching in a first grade classroom in the public school environment. She is currently a PhD candidate and working on completing her doctoral degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Mrs. Gaudiano loves to collaborate on large projects with her team and other departments, teach education foundations, literacy and honors courses for the university, attend and present at national and local educational conferences, and be involved with all things highlighting the student experience within the college. After meeting her husband, Jimmy, 18 years ago at the University of Arizona, they have been married for over 11 years and have two mini GCU fans, their daughters Gigi (8) and Elle (7). On the weekends and in the evenings they enjoy the outdoors playing golf, pickle ball, and attending their girls many soccer games as they both play competitively around the Phoenix area. They enjoy traveling from coast to coast and are always planning a new adventure for their family to explore.

Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick, Online & Statewide Academic Programs Chair, Northern Arizona University/AEF Board Vice President

Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick has been a member of AEF’s Board since 2012.  She is the current Chair of Online and Statewide Academic Programs for Northern Arizona University where she is also a clincial professor. Previously, she was Associate Dean of Outreach, Research and Development in the College of Education at Grand Canyon University. Additionally, she serves as the treasurer on the Board of Directors for Educators Rising Arizona; member at large of Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages; vice-chair of Southeast Maricopa Regional Council of Arizona First Things First; and president of the Arizona School Administrators’ Higher Education Division. Prior to joining GCU, Marjaneh was the Instructional Specialist, Chair of the Reading Department and Coordinator for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) at a junior high school, an adjunct instructor at Maricopa County Community Colleges where she taught ESL and education courses, and a 3rd and 4th grade ESL teacher. She and her husband of 33 years have three children ages 22-29.

Matt Hesketh, Attorney, Sherman & Howard

Matt Hesketh is a member of Sherman & Howard’s Trial and Litigation Practice Group in Phoenix.  He focuses on contractual and business disputes and has significant experience defending public entities.  Matt comes from a family of teachers, including his mother who taught in public schools for over 30 years. This led to Matt’s passion for promoting and celebrating achievements in public education.

Stephen Jordan, Chief Financial Officer, Desert Financial Credit Union / AEF Board Treasurer

Stephen Jordan is a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Desert Financial Credit Union.  He has worked at credit unions in California and Arizona that have historical schools-based fields of memberships since 1992.  He holds degrees in economics and political science from the University of California, Riverside.  He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  Stephen is active in the volunteer field and serves on the United Way Committee at Desert Financial.Stephen has two grown children.  His daughter is a University of Arizona graduate while his son is currently attending Arizona State University.

 

Deea McBride, Vice President, Wells Fargo / AEF Board Secretary

Deea McBride is a Vice President with Wells Fargo and has been working with the company for over 20 years. Deea earned her Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Political Systems from Northern Arizona University and her Master’s degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She has experience in finance, communications, and training. Deea comes from a long line of educators and joined the AEF Board of Directors in the summer of 2015. She has served on numerous boards of directors and committees for Arizona’s nonprofit community and is looking forward to making a difference in Arizona schools through her work with AEF.

Rudy Navarro, Sr. Director of Customer Services, Salt River Project (SRP)

Rudy Navarro is the Sr. Director of Customer Services at SRP, responsible for the Customer Contact Centers, Revenue Accounting and Billing, Metering and Credit services. SRP provides a wide range of support to the communities they serve including corporate contributions, educational and safety programs, and volunteer services. Navarro has over 27 years of experience in the power industry and has worked at various generating stations as a controls engineer, Plant Engineer, Operations & Maintenance Manager and Plant Manager. He was the Director of the Generation Engineering group and led the Transmission Line Design, Construction and Maintenance group for SRP’s transmission line assets. Prior to SRP, Navarro received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona and has completed the University of Idaho’s Energy Executive course. He served 6 years in the U.S. Navy as enlisted man in the Naval Nuclear power program.

Dominic Orozco, Chief Strategic Marketing Officer, Gila River Hotels & Casinos
Dominic Orozco’s career in marketing began as Director of Marketing of Laguna Development Corporation from 2006 to 2014. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2014. During his tenure, Orozco successfully executed the grand opening of Dancing Eagle Casino. During this time, Orozco served as a Board Member for the Cibola County Chamber of Commerce and he also served as a board member for the New Mexico Tourism Department. In 2015, Orozco’s career brought him to Phoenix where he served as Director of Gaming for a local ad agency. In 2016, Orozco was hired on as Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Gila River Hotels & Casinos. In January 2019 he was promoted to Chief Marketing Office. In just four years Orozco successfully rebranded the enterprise and he has expanded the company’s philanthropic works by strengthening partnerships with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona and other local non-profit organizations.

 

Dr. Pamela Roggeman, Dean, College of Education, University of Phoenix / AEF Board President

As Dean for the College of Education at the University of Phoenix, Dr. Roggeman works to support new educators on their path to the classroom. She began her tenure as an AEF Board member in January 2018. Before Pam’s second career in teacher preparation began at Arizona State University in 2008, she was a high school English teacher in Pima County for almost two decades.  In 1999, she was named an AEF Teacher of the Year Ambassador of Excellence. She is a lifetime supporter of and believer in Arizona public education.

Jennifer Sanchez, Arizona Community Affairs Manager, Intel

Jennifer Sanchez manages neighbor relations for Intel Arizona as the company invests $20 billion in building two new factories. She also oversees Intel’s PreK-12 education strategic programs in STEAM and social equity, including the recently announced Equity in STEAM Initiative, a new funding opportunity for educators and nonprofits. In her former marketing and communications role, she supported Intel’s Global Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact team, earning numerous recognitions for initiating and executing inclusive strategic storytelling and resources. In addition to her work, Sanchez was the program manager of the 2020 Girls in STEM Day at Intel in Arizona and is as a member of several Intel employee resource groups, including the African Ancestry, LGBT+ and Native American networks. Prior to joining Intel, Sanchez was in Utah, where she served as the former director of a pre-employment program for at-hope, underserved teenagers as well as a community collaborations director at United Way of Salt Lake. She has also worked in policy and politics in Washington, D.C. Earlier in her career, Sanchez was an award-winning reporter at newspapers nationwide, including The Salt Lake Tribune and The Albuquerque Tribune. Sanchez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Arizona is the ninth state she calls home. She is proud to be a product of at-hope, Title 1 public schools and a first-generation college graduate thanks to her mother and teachers, like Mr. Kevin Keich. She’s passionate about culturally relevant pedagogy in STEAM.

Colleen Sauer, Director of Accounting, Arizona Public Service

Colleen L. Sauer is the Director of Accounting at the Phoenix corporate headquarters of Arizona Public Service, where she has devoted 20 years of accounting leadership and practice.  She has extensive experience in financial accounting including business operations oversight of Pinnacle West, APS, Bright Canyon and other affiliate companies in the utility energy industry.  She previously served as Treasurer on the Pinnacle West Political Action Committee Board and is the co-chair of the Employee Engagement Council. She also serves as an advisor with the Phoenix Union High School accounting program. Colleen earned her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Northern Arizona University, obtained her Master of Science in Accountancy at Southern New Hampshire University and recently completed her Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt at Purdue University.  She comes from a family lineage of accountants, including her grandparents, mother, brother, and identical twin sister.  Colleen is a sports fan and loves all Arizona teams, especially the Cardinals and Diamondbacks.

Brian Schulman, Attorney, Weiss Brown

Brian is an attorney at Weiss Brown, where he practices commercial and securities litigation.  Brian and his wife Jami moved to Phoenix in 1993 after they both graduated from law school.  They have two boys – and two dogs.  Brian’s been a member of the AEF Board since 2009.

Christina Upah, Director, International Apache Programs, The Boeing Company

Christina Upah is the Director of International Apache Programs for the Boeing Defense Systems site in Mesa, Arizona. The Mesa site is home to the Attack Helicopter programs including the AH-64E Apache and AH-6i Light Attack Reconnaissance helicopters; the Boeing Unmanned Airborne Systems; and includes Strategic Fabrication Centers building electrical and composite sub-assemblies for a number of Boeing programs. Since joining The Boeing Company in Mesa in 1997, Christina has worked in Human Resources/Employee Engagement, Production, Mesa Site Operations, and International and Domestic Attack Programs. In her present role, she is responsible for leading the development and production of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter Direct Commercial Sales Programs for the Indian Air Force and Indian Army customer in addition to Apache Supplier Transitions.Christina holds a Bachelors of Arts in Human Resources and Psychology from Ottawa University. She is also a graduate of the Boeing Leadership Experience Program and Executive Mentoring Program; and completed Accelerating Leaders for the Future at the Boeing Leadership Center.

Christi Warner Beyer, Warner Group and Community Volunteer

Arizona born and raised Christi Warner Beyer is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and community volunteer. Christ has dedicated over 40 years working as a leader in the non-profit arena and has helped raise millions for Arizona charities over the years. Early in her career, Christi developed residential and commercial planned communities in Arizona. She helped launch Environmental Integrated Technology (EIT), a full-service environmental consulting firm that handle assessments and remediation. Christi was president of EIT for 4 years and holds numerous U.S. Environmental Protective Agency certifications, endorsements and licenses. In 1989 Christi founded Warner Home Imports, an International design and manufacturing company that manufactured and imported from India, China, Thailand, Mexico and Indonesia. Some of Christi’s distinguished clients include COSTCO, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware.  In 2003 Christi sold Warner Home Accessories and started Warner Group, a consulting company, in order to spend more time with her children and now consults with companies looking to develop in Arizona and overseas. She has served on many boards and committees, including Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Phoenix Theater, Phoenix Indian Center, Trends Charitable Fund, Heart Ball, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Two Pups Wellness Fund. She has chaired numerous charitable events, including Florence Crittenton, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Beat the Heat, Science Center Gala and Liberty Wildlife. Christi resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Paul Beyer, their 19-year-old daughter Makaira, and their 16-year-old son Marshall.

 

David Williams, Director of Operations, Cable One

David Williams is Director of Operations at Cable One in Phoenix.  He joins AEF after serving on the board of the Education Foundation in Odessa, Texas.  His 30-year career in telecommunications has taken him from New England to the Upper Midwest and Deep South.  He and his wife, a Montessori teacher, look forward to promoting public schools.  Their passion stems from seeing their three adult children thrive thanks to the public schools they attended.

 

Advisory Board Members

Jeff Guldner, CEO, PinnacleWest/APS

Dr. J. Robert Hendricks, Assoc. Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona College of Education

Dr. Daniel Kain, Provost. Northern Arizona University

Jeffrey Meshey, President & CEO, Desert Financial Credit Union

Linda Milhaven, Region Bank President, Wells Fargo

David Rousseau, President, SRP

Dr. Christine Wilkinson, Senior V.P., ASU