Center for the Future of Arizona Names Recipients of 2023 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards; Honors Retired Maricopa County Manager Joy Rich with Lifetime Achievement Award
By Justin Liggin -
Friday Jul 14, 2023
Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan “do-tank” that brings Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards. The awards, which were presented during the Arizona City and County Management Association (ACMA) Summer Conference at Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson on July 13, are an annual effort to recognize the important work accomplished by dedicated, nonelected public servants across the state while underscoring the impact made by individuals committed to civic service.
Joy Rich, retired Maricopa County Manager, is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes extraordinary public servants who have spent much of their careers supporting Arizona communities. These leaders have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and commitment to addressing Arizona’s long-term issues and the personal leadership capacity to make Arizona a better place for future generations. After three decades in public service and six in the Maricopa County Manager role, Rich retired in April 2023. Rich spent her entire career improving Arizona communities through a commitment to public service. She started at the city of Phoenix in 1988 and has held a series of leadership roles, notable in 2012, she became Deputy Maricopa County Manager, and in 2016 became the first woman to hold the County Manager role, leading Maricopa County through years of explosive growth, political and legal challenges, technology advances, a global pandemic, and rapidly shifting workplace trends.
Sherri Collins, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH), is the recipient of the Civic Leader Award, which recognizes extraordinary public servants who have spent much of their careers supporting Arizona communities. These leaders have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and commitment to addressing Arizona’s long-term issues and the personal leadership capacity to make Arizona a better place for future generations. In her role since 1998, serving under both Democrat and Republic Governors, Collins acts as ACDHH’s chief executive officer by advocating, strengthening, and implementing state policies affecting deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals and their relationship to the public, industry, health care, and educational opportunities. Collins is committed to ensuring that ACDHH is a vocal advocate for communication access, support services, and community empowerment throughout the state. In addition to her work with ACDHH, Collins serves as board President for the National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and governing board member on Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In the past, she has served as secretary on the board at the Arizona Center for Disability Law; Phoenix College, Chair of the Interpreter Preparation Program Advisory board; President and Secretary for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind board; Chair Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council, the Region IV Board Representative on the National Association for the Deaf board; and a past member of the FCC’s IP Telecommunication Relay Service Advisory board. Collins also serves on many national, state, and local committees and task forces.
Mark McCall, Manager of Maricopa County Correctional Health Services Education and Quality Management, is the recipient of the Community Builder Award for Large County, which recognizes public servants in cities and towns who advance community pride and connection. These leaders have been instrumental in transforming their communities through various efforts, including job creation and training, advancing healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteerism and philanthropy, and educational advancement. McCall has been a public servant his entire life. His journey began as a public-school educator before transitioning to Arizona State University’s Teachers College as the Director of Professional Development. He also worked as a Cross-District Field Specialist in partnership with the Education Service Agency across Maricopa County and, in 2015, served as the Deputy Associate Superintendent for Educator Excellence in the Arizona Department of Education. In April 2023, McCall took up a new role in Maricopa County’s Correctional Health Services as the Education and Quality Management Manager.
Stephen J. Pauken, City Manager for Bisbee, is the recipient of the Community Builder Award for Small City. Pauken has worked as the City Manager for the City of Bisbee three times, first from 2006 to 2014 – leaving to take on the City Manager role in the City of Winslow – before returning to the role in 2019 and then again in 2021. He advocates for Bisbee at the Federal, State, and County level while entertaining new business prospects and residents. Among his most recent achievements was turning a budget deficit into a $535,000 surplus, with a surplus of $1 million expected by the close of 2023. He also worked tirelessly to bond out Bisbee’s Public Safety Retirement debt of $21 million and increased Bisbee’s main economic generator – tourism – while starting a citywide workforce housing program for city, school, and health care employees.
Stephanie Zamora, Associate to the City Manager for the City of Scottsdale, is the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes early-stage public servants committed to improving civic health and community connections for their constituents. These leaders bring innovation, energy, and compassion to their organizations while serving as role models for others seeking to build their careers in Arizona. Zamora is an early-stage public service employee committed to the overall civic health and community connection of the constituents she serves while bringing innovation, energy, and compassion to their position and serving as a role model for others.
“CFA is honored to present the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards as an essential part of advancing The Arizona We Want,” says Dr. Sybil Francis, Chair, President & CEO of Center for the Future of Arizona. “While highly visible elected officials set policy direction and make important decisions, our nonelected public servants and the roles they fill are not as easily observed yet vital to the quality of life in Arizona. We applaud the 2023 award recipients for their dedication, professionalism, and expertise in solving public problems and improving our communities.”
The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards, named after the Community Outreach Director whose life was taken in a mass shooting in 2011 at a “Congress on Your Corner” event for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is a cooperative effort between CFA, the Zimmerman family, and ACMA highlighting the contributions nonelected public servants make to the communities they serve.
Public servants who were eligible for the awards include those who are employed by cities and towns, counties, special districts, agencies of the executive and legislative branches of state government, tribal governments, and personal staff working for members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.
All award nominees were judged on their qualities and achievements related to:
-How they have changed the way government works to serve the public interest
-Their ability to take risks and inspire others
-Their impact on connecting Arizonans to civic life
-Improving the health of their community
-New ideas to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance the delivery of public services
-Legacy contributions of lasting significance
This year’s independent volunteer selection committee asked to determine the 2023 recipients, included: Amanda Aguirre, Former State Senator and Regional Council for Border Health President and CEO; Evelyn Casuga, Central Arizona College Governing Board Member; Rachel Aja, Cox Communications Southwest Region Government Affairs Director; Lisa Atkins, Former Arizona State Land Commissioner; Mignonne Hollis, ED, Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation Executive Director; Steve Peru, Coconino County Manager; Marilyn Rodriguez, Creosote Partners Partner; Paul Senseman, Policy Development Group Principal; and Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, Inc. CEO. Previous Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards recipient James Jayne, Former Local Government Manager, and Gabe Zimmerman’s parents also took an active part in the process.
About Center for the Future of Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonprofit, nonpartisan “do-tank” that brings Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state. Through survey research & reports, Arizona Progress Meters, and impact initiatives & programs, CFA listens to Arizonans to learn what matters most to them, shares trusted data about how Arizona is doing in those priority areas, brings critical issues to public attention, and works with communities and leaders to solve public problems. CFA leads impact initiatives and programs across the state and has deep and ongoing engagement in education, workforce development, and civic health, recognizing how essential these are to advancing economic prosperity, quality of life, and opportunity for all. Learn more at http://www.arizonafuture.org.