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Arizona Educational Foundation Appoints Five New Trustees

PHOENIX, AZ, SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2020 - The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) is announcing the appointment of five new Trustees to guide the beloved organization's work, along with the full slate of board members.

Top Left: Jim Colletti Top Middle: Joseph Garcia Top Right: Dominic Orozco Bottom Left: Colleen Sauer Bottom Middle: David Williams

New Trustees include:

Jim Colletti, Owner, Elements Studio West

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 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.

Joseph Garcia

Executive Director of the Chicanos Por La Causa Action Fund & Director of Public Policy at Chicanos Por La Causa

Prior to joining CPLC 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, most recently on PBS NewsHour in February. 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. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Arizona and his master's degree at ASU.

Dominic Orozco, Chief Marketing Officer, Gila River Hotel & Casino

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.

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.

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.

Trustee Officers: AEF Board of Trustee Officers include President Brian Schulman, an attorney with Weiss Brown; Vice President Renee Levin, Community Affairs Manager at Intel; Secretary Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick, Associate Dean in the College of Education at Grand Canyon University; and Treasurer Stephen Jordan, CFO at Desert Financial Credit Union.

Also serving as a Trustee is Christi Warner Beyer, daughter of Carolyn Warner, who founded the Arizona Educational Foundation in 1983 when she was Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Remaining Trustees include:

Dr. Ann Allison, Dean of Education (ret.), Argosy University; Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn, President & CEO, The Philanthropy Outsource; John-David Bowman, 2015 Arizona Teacher of the Year; Jodi Chesbro, 1996 Teacher of the Year Ambassador for Excellence; Mike Gardner, Partner, Triadvocates; Matthew Hesketh, Attorney, Sherman & Howard; Gary Hull, Senior Dir. of Law Services, SRP; Deea McBride, Assistant Vice President, Wells Fargo; and Dr. Pam Roggeman, Dean of Education, University of Phoenix;

About Arizona Educational Foundation:

The mission of AEF is to identify, support and celebrate excellence in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education through business and community partnerships. This is accomplished through a variety of programs for teachers, administrators, and students. Some programs shine a spotlight on excellence; others provide a stepping stone to help support schools and educators on the road to awesomeness. In addition to the Arizona Teacher of the Year program, AEF also coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM, and Take Your Legislator to School. AEF was founded in 1983 by then State Superintendent of Public Education, Carolyn Warner, who felt a nonprofit needed to be established to champion public education and recognize the great work of public school educators. AEF annually reaches over 500,000 students, teachers and administrators throughout Arizona. For more information, visit or contact Kim Graham at

Media Contact:

Kim Graham

Executive Director, Arizona Educational Foundation

Cell Phone: (615) 509-7422

Email address:

Download a PDF of this press release below:

AEF Board Press Release - 8-20-2020
Download PDF • 234KB


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