This edition of Prescott LIVING celebrates our leaders in business, starting with the area’s talented pool of young professionals who make significant contributions in their fields and in their communities.
Our 40 Under 40 feature honors these individuals. They are men and women who started their own companies or are rising through the ranks of their chosen field. Their lives are busy and focused, but they still take time to serve their communities through nonprofits, churches and community organizations.
A growing force
Did you know women are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. economy? According to the Chronicle of Philanthrophy, females are starting businesses at six times the rate of men and are responsible for purchasing 85 to 95 percent of all household goods and services sold in the country. By the way, that amounts to just over $7 trillion!
In our Women in Business section, we share the stories of the many accomplished businesswomen in the Quad Cities … doctors, entrepreneurs, educators, managers, directors and more.
Collaboration is the name of the game in business. A gender-diverse workplace can spark creativity and lead to new processes or business opportunities. Everyone has their own diverse story and experience that they bring to their work site. Prescott-area companies welcome that diversity and sense of collaboration. We can all be successful, together.
Alexes Niekamp, 22
Nominated by Ashley Blauvelt.
Owner, Lessons by Lexe Dance Studio and Quest Characters in Prescott.
Lexe believes everyone has the right to dance, and she has shared her belief by choreographing over 30 local musicals and volunteering at special events like Hopefest, Chalk-It-Up, Prescott Valley Days, World Children’s Day, the Sacred Heart Gala and Dancing For The Stars for the Boys and Girls Club.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Behavior with certificates in entrepreneurship, service industry management, community development and sustainability.
Andrew Jolley, 39
Nominated by Mary Mayer.
Prescott Law Group PLC Attorney/Owner
Starting in 2007, Andy worked for the Yavapai County Office of Public Defender, after which he was an attorney at a local law firm with offices in Phoenix and Prescott. In 2009, he founded Jolley Law, PLC, which became Prescott Law Group, PLC. He represents clients with issues involving civil and criminal law and is currently the prosecutor for the Town of Jerome and the Town of Tusayan. He also represents clients all over Arizona, including Mohave, Maricopa and Yavapai counties. He has handled very complex litigation issues and has argued two cases to the Court of Appeals.
Education: I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.
Community service: “I have tried to be very active in the community. I am the past president of the Yavapai County Bar Association. I have served on the local GOP governing board. I am currently on the Little League board. I am a graduate of Prescott Area Leadership and a graduate of Arizona Trial College. I have coached many youth sports, including football, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer. I am also active in my church and have volunteered there as well. I have volunteered to help the Mock trial competition that is held at the Courthouse for High School students. I have also participated in Law Day, which is a day where people can come and ask lawyers questions at no cost. I have also participated in Stand Down for Vets. I have supported the local public schools through donations and time.”
Brian Kleinman, 38
Nominated by Dannielle Torres.
Endodontist, Northern Arizona Endodontics
Dr. Kleinman returned to work in Prescott in 2011. He initially worked with his father-in-law, Dr. Rodney Brimhall, at Northern Arizona Endodontic for two years. Dr. Kleinman then bought Northern Arizona Endodontics from Dr. Brimhall. Both doctors continued to work together until Dr. Brimhall’s retirement in 2017. Dr. Kleinman opened a satellite office in Cottonwood to better serve patients from the Verde Valley in 2013. Dr. Kleinman has plans to continue the expansion of Northern Arizona Endodontics by opening new locations in more cities in northern Arizona later this year. Northern Arizona Endodontics have been providing predictable, comfortable endodontic (root canals) care to Arizonans for over 30 years.
Education: Dr. Kleinman was the co-salutatorian for his Prescott High School class of 1998. He excelled on the basketball team earning many awards and acknowledgments. Dr. Kleinman attended ASU and was accepted to dental school after 3 years of work on his bachelor’s degree. He completed his degree at the same time as completing his first year of dental school at the University of Colorado. In dental school, he was given Endodontic Excellence award. He completed his DDS in 2009. Dr. Kleinman was then accepted into a highly competitive endodontic residency program. He completed his endodontic residency and a master’s degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2011.
Community service: Dr. Kleinman is very active in youth sports. He was a volunteer coach for baseball, basketball and soccer teams over the past seven years. Many years he has coached multiple teams in one season. Dr. Kleinman has also been very active in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a venture crew advisor for five years.
Dr. Kleinman participates in multiple dental charitable activities every year. Chief among these are Arizona Sonshine and Hopefest. He is very active in his church. His voluntary church service keeps him busy 5 to 10 hours a week. He provides financial sponsorship for youth sports teams, a local mountain bike team and many local charities.
Phil Stephens, 29
Nominated by Mike Daniel
Part owner in Ability Prescott, LLC and its three DBAs: Ability Remodeling & Home Services, Prescott Cabinets and Prescott Lifestyle Decks
Phil came to Ability in the fall of 2018 from a large residential remodeler located in Scottsdale. Phil started in production and purchasing and has taken on many more roles over the years including employee management, marketing, design, sales and new business development. One of the new companies started by Phil is Prescott Cabinets of which he is also the general manager. Another business started as a DBA under Ability Prescott, LLC is Prescott Lifestyle Decks. Phil has been and is an integral part of the success of all three of these businesses.
Community Service: Parish Council member Sacred Heart Catholic Church 2017 to current, Founder and director of Catholic Families Ministries at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Vice Chair for the Prescott Area Young Professional Mayoral Advisors Group 2017 to current.
- Life Teen Core Member volunteer for 2011- 2014
- Santa’s Secret Shopper volunteer 2000-Current
- Boys and girls Club fitness volunteer 2007
- Hosted a walk for wellness during Health Week at Paradise valley community college 2007
- Quail Club after school program volunteer 2003-2006
- Child Search Ministries media support and marking volunteer 2005-2006
- Adopt-A-Street member and volunteer 1999-Current
- Started Boys Volleyball Club PVHS 2006
- Southwest Bowling Tour, Bowler of the Year
- Winner of the Tournament of Champions, Southwest Bowling Tour
- JBTSW All Conference All-Star Bowling Team 2006
- Light of the World Retreat Volunteer and Organizer 2016-2017
- Prescott Area Young Professionals Event Organizer/Volunteer 2015-Current
- Works with the Developmentally Disabled with Group Suppressed Employment Programs
- Supporter of the Embry-Riddle Air Force ROTC Honor Corps- 2016
Michael Yarnes, 38
Nominated by Cody Anne Yarnes
Owner Broker and Entrepenuer, Rent Right Management Solutions LLC.
Michael opened Rent Right Management Solutions on April 1st 2013, and still says “ONLY A FOOL WOULD GO INTO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT.” He now manages 500 properties and deals with 1000’s of work orders, issues and triumphs on a daily basis. He employs 7 full time staffers, not to mention a photographer and 100’s of local vendors.
Having 500 properties under management and growing every day is no small feat, but his biggest accomplishment is that he stays sane during it all. He deals with hundreds of issues a day and still takes time to help his family, friends and employees. He is always consulting with them on new business ideas or ways to make their businesses and lives better. He personally owns 26 rental units and has helped countless others enter the world of real estate investing.
Education: Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College.
Community Service: He has volunteered for several organizations over the years including The Elk Foundation, Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Launch Pad Teen Center. “We are involved with and support The Launch Pad Teen Center,” said Michael. “Until recently, I was the president of the Board of Directors. Each February, my wife Cody Anne and I host “Share The Love,” a fundraiser for The Launch Pad. We cover all of the costs of the event so every dollar raised goes directly to the mission. One of our companies, The Cody Anne Team at Realty Executives, supports TLP by giving $100 from every transaction. Our company Rent Right has sponsored a YMCA Youth Basketball team for the past four years. Rent Right was also named 2016 Healthy Business Award Most Philanthropic Business.” Michael is an owner in Gripstone Climbing, Prescott new climbing gym.
Dr. Whitney James, 34
Nominated by Donna Werking
Neuromodulatory surgeon, Northern Arizona Pain Institutes
Melding the art and science of medicine, Dr. James applies outpatient surgical solutions to alleviate brain, spine, and peripheral nerve damage caused by chronic pain, cancer, and other maladies. She specializes in minimally invasive surgical procedures with outstanding aesthetic results and a soothing bedside manner.
“I am very motivated by the artistic and aesthetic aspects of medicine, especially as a surgeon,” Dr. James revealed. “Science furnishes the all-important knowledge, but the actual practice of medicine is very much a performance art.”
Education: Sixteen years of medical study and a residency in Tucson, Dr. James’ milestone achievements include a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from Bates College in Maine; a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health; a Fulbright scholarship for medical research in Colombia; a Master’s in health science and international health policy from Johns Hopkins University; and a Yale University Doctor of Medicine degree.
Jazmin Evenson, 29
Nominated by Mary Dhein
Dutch Bros Coffee-Operator of Quad Cities Territory
Jazmin was featured on the TV show Undercover Boss when she managed a Dutch Bros store in the Phoenix area. She was then offered an opportunity by the founder of Dutch Bros to open her own store and offered to provide a portion of the cost. She chose Prescott Valley. The success of this location led to what will soon be a second location in Prescott.
Jazmin and her team at Dutch Bros genuinely care about people who drive or walk up to their store. The team is such an asset to our community!
Community service: Jazmin and the Dutch Bros Team has assisted many local organizations including Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, Yavapai Food Bank, Humane Society, Boys and Girls Club and Granite Gate Living Center.
Cody Anne Yarnes, 36
Nominated by Michael Yarnes
Entrepreneur, The Cody Anne Team. Owner of The Cody Anne Team at Realty Executives, Rent Right Management Solutions and Gripstone Climbing Prescott
The Cody Anne Team at Realty Executives has won a lot of awards over the past decade. This year she was ranked internationally by Realty Executives.
Rent Right won the Prescott Chamber of Commerce Healthy Business Award for Most Philanthropic Business in 2016 and the Daily Courier’s Readers’ Choice Award for Property Manager in 2018.
Education: I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College in 2006. Environmental and Human Health Studies. Got my real estate license the next month and have been doing that ever since!
Community service: Cody Anne is involved with and supports The Launch Pad Teen Center. Each February she hosts Share The Love a Fund Raiser for The Launch Pad. We cover all of the costs of the event so every dollar raised goes directly to the mission. The Cody Anne Team at Realty Executives supports TLP by giving $100 from every transaction. Rent Right has sponsored a YMCA Youth Basketball team for the past 4 years. She is also part of the Women of Influence who support Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters. Cody Anne is on the Board of Directors for BBVA Compass Banking Company.
Robby Hinshaw, 32
Nominated by Emma Coury
General Sales Manager, Findlay Toyota
Robby has worked in the auto industry for over 13 years. Doing so, he has gained extensive sales experience and an upper management title. Additionally, he assisted in the facilitation of the transition from Tim’s Auto Group to Findlay Auto Group. He’s a National Dealer Academy Graduate and earned General Manager position with Tim’s Auto Group before 30 years old.
Education: Did not complete associate’s degree but was going for my fire science degree at that time in my life.
Community service: I am currently not involved personally, I am lucky to be a part of a business who supports multiple charities here in town. One that I am most tied to is Prescott Firefighters Charities. Though being a team leader with Findlay Toyota we are involved in about every charity we can be in Prescott and as I was the GM of Tim’s Auto previously I was very proud to be able to sponsor and support multiple Charities in the local Community especially being born and raised here it is important for me to see my place of work being involved in our beautiful community.
Leah Graham, 34
Nominated by John Coomer
Owner American Family Insurance
Leah purchased the local American Family Insurance agency from the previous owner in 2015. She immediately went to work with the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Chino Valley Rotary Club. She has grown the agency through extensive personal branding through social media and community involvement through volunteerism and networking. She hosts monthly lunch time and evening networking events at various locations in Chino Valley for branding and for opportunities to meet local residents and business owners.
Her most effective marketing comes from face-to-face networking and through social media. Her online ratings are all five star. In addition, she produces short, informal, weekly educational videos on various aspects of insurance. They are typically very informative on basic information that consumers typically do not understand.
Prior to purchasing American Family Insurance, Leah was employed by Marriott for three years and was promoted to Assistant General Manager her last year of employment with them.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from NAU
Community Service: Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce: Women in Business Organizing Committee, Social Media Manager, Mixer Host. Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce: Women in Business Organizing Committee, Social Media Manager, Mixer Host. Rotary Club of Chino Valley: We do fundraisers for our community and help with highway clean ups and help needy families around the holidays. Board member for the Women in Business with the CV Chamber of Commerce: We are getting ready to launch our quarterly mixer in July and are partnering with the Chino Valley Food bank to help bring awareness. Organizes local mixers for business owners- trying to help bring business to our local businesses
Awards: Marriott Hotels Spirit to Serve Award. Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International
Grant Quezada, 32
Nominated by Cadu Medina
Owner, Barber/John Hancock Barbershop
Founded in November 2014, John Hancock Barbershop is the brainchild of Prescott’s own Grant Quezada. Grant has been cutting hair for over 14 years. He started off as a Hairdresser in a top salon in Springfield, MO. 3 years later he found himself looking for some more excitement. Grant decided to enlist in the Army and spent 8 years serving his country. After getting out summer of 2014, he completed extended male barbering training and obtained his barber license. Grant, his wife and two sons and a daughter moved back to their hometown of Prescott, Arizona in fall of 2014 with the vision of opening the best barbershop in town.
Community/Military Service: 12 years Military Service 2006-present (8 years active duty Special Operations Veteran with 6 combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and four years of Arizona National Guard service), board member for the Prescott YMCA (Board Member), Young life (Committee Member), PAYP Prescott Area Young Professionals (Social Board) , PAYP mayoral committee. Have continued fundraising and or volunteering in the past and present for other civic events and organizations to include Hopefest, Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, Yavapai County Juvenile Detention Center, the Launch Pad.
Sarah Haber, 23
Nominated by Lorette Brashear
Community Volunteer Program Coordinator, AmeriCorp Vista
Sarah is a young woman from New York and came to Prescott in August 2017 as a AmeriCorp Vista serving at the Chino Valley Area of Commerce, as the community volunteer coordinator.
Education: she attended college at SUNY Oswego where she studied public relations and computer science. She graduated in May of 2017 with a BA in public relations. Sarah was inducted into Omicron Delta Kapa, the national leadership honors society and Lamda Pi Etta, the national honor society for communications in the Spring of 2016. Along with these accomplishments she received the continuing education award for her work with the Lifestyles Center, which was a student organization that promoted wellness across the campus. Her biggest achievement out here in Arizona, is her developing the community volunteer program.
Community service: Sarah dedicated a year to serve as a Vista for the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. In her role as the community volunteer program coordinator she developed, marketed and administered the program, to help better serve the needs of the non-profits throughout the quad-city area. Haber has extended her service for another year where she will be the Vista Leader.
Claire Louge, 31
Nominated by Karen Duffield
Director of Training and Outreach, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona
Prevent Child Abuse Arizona (PCA Az) is celebrating its 30th year anniversary this year. Training and outreach is a major component of the organization’s efforts in the areas of education and awareness. Claire joined PCA Az in June 2014 as the Director of Training and Outreach. As part of Claire’s day-to-day activities, she coordinates all the trainings and conferences throughout Arizona, including 40-hour Advanced Forensic Interview Trainings, statewide Children’s Justice Trainings, and the annual Arizona Child Abuse Prevention Conference. She leads Yavapai Communities for Kids and has a very creative side as well, designing materials, writing press releases, and creating videos and website content. Prior to joining PCA Az, Claire was the Parent Awareness and Community Outreach Coordinator at First Things First in Prescott. She held that position for about four years. She started with First Things First a year prior to that, serving as Community Projects Coordinator though the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
Education: Claire graduated with a BS degree in Human Development from Cornell University and then obtained her M.Ed. degree in Human Relations from NAU. Both degrees she received with distinction.
Professional accomplishments: Claire has nine years of community outreach experience and four years of training coordination and project leadership. She is a certified trainer for Strengthening Families Protective Factors and she secured funding to create Strengthening Families Arizona. She is also a Trainer for Arizona Adverse Childhood Experiences Consortium. She has cultivated many relationships with community groups, organizations and individuals to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood health and development. She received the Prescott Area Young Professionals Visionary Award in 2014. Claire was recently accepted to the American Express Leadership Academy, Class 11. This is a select group of top emerging nonprofit leaders chosen for a year-long professional and personal leadership development program. She authored a book titled Things My French Mother Taught Me, she is fluent in French, and is an avid public speaker and communicator.
Community service: Claire is a past president of the Friends of the Del E Webb Family Enrichment Center and past governing board member of La Tierra Community School and she has been selected as Keynote Speaker for several events, and is a volunteer director of live action role-playing experiences for teens. She served as a volunteer consultant in Madagascar for Population Services International. In that role, she created a guide for presenting educational sexual health workshops to young people and trained 25 educators in its use. Claire also volunteers as a counselor at the Launch Pad’s Women’s Empowerment Breakthrough Conference for teen girls, and is a member of the Friends of the Family Enrichment Center, a group of people that raises funds to support the Family Enrichment Center, a high-quality childcare center in Prescott.
Dani Cook, 36
Nominated by Jessica Walls
Vice President of Land, Mandalay Homes
Dani joined the Mandalay Homes team in 2004. Her primary role is to oversee the start of all new Mandalay Homes communities. From an operational standpoint, Dani is the primary communication person interacting with the sales, marketing, construction, customer service and the finance teams to ensure customer focused operations from beginning to end. With an eye for detail, Dani assists the President and CEO in continually creating stylish new home designs, efficient construction specifications, and well-organized operational procedures. In addition to starting new home communities for Mandalay Homes, Dani is responsible for understanding Mandalay’s markets, seeking opportunities for business, and managing land acquisition and entitlements.
Education: Dani is a magna cum laude graduate of Arizona State University’s School of Architecture. Graduate of ASU’s School of Architecture with a bachelor’s degree. She has started work on a master’s degree and a real estate broker’s license.
Community Service: Dani works closely with local charities through Mandalay Homes to enrich the local community. Recently coordinating the “Stuff the Bus” back to school supply drive, Dani helped coordinate the donation of supplies to local charities. Dani also helps support local businesses through the Mandalay closing gift program featuring local farmers and small businesses. Dani recently helped coordinate the donation of more than a truck load of Christmas gifts at a recent holiday gift drive during the Mandalay Homes holiday party. “I am very grateful to work for a company like Mandalay Homes that prides themselves on community outreach. We focus on different organizations throughout the year that help the local area community. During the holidays we worked closely with Yavapai Casa for Kids to gather gifts and donated over a truck load of gifts to local children in need. Our team has initiated a closing gift basket program that helps promoted local small businesses in the area to our new home owners,” said Dani.
Tyler Goodman, 28
Nominated by Tracey Horn
Assistant to the City Manager, City of Prescott
Education: Master’s degree in Public Administration
Community service: Boy Scouts of America
Kevin Zieran, 38
Nominated by Jessica Zieran
Physical Therapy Assistant, Center for Physical Excellence
Professional/Military background: Mr. Zieran is an Army veteran with two tours of duty in Iraq. After being injured and having a positive outcome through his personal experience with physical therapy, Kevin decided he wanted to pursue a career in the field. He became a Physical Therapy Assistant in 2016 and moved out to Prescott in 2017 to treat patients at the Center for Physical Excellence. Kevin is not only a war veteran, but also served as a police officer for eight years in the state of Georgia. He then attended South University in Savannah, Ga. He also has very recently become certified to do aquatic therapy. Kevin loves watching others fall in love with the pain relief that the water provides.
Community service: Kevin can be found putting together care bags for the homeless from time to time. He takes lots of time in placing necessary items as well as things like hammocks and inflatable pillows that bring comfort. Kevin enjoys sharing his knowledge and giving back to the wounded veterans through the teaching of an introductory class in aqua therapy.
Sara Martin, 39
Nominated by Nancy Haldoro
Owner, The Cut Above Salon & Spa
The salon was established in June 1988 and Sara is the fourth owner. She is always learning more services & loves what she does. Says Sara, “Since I was 8 I wanted to have my own salon in Hawaii working with the stars. I settled in Prescott Valley instead. The Cut Above is where my mom used to get her hair done and for my wedding that is where we went – I told Judy one day I want to own this salon. I set up stations, brought in manicures and pedicures.”
Education: I attended a Christian college and received my degree in Christian counseling.
Community service: Every year Sara partners with the Yavapai County Food Bank for back-to-school haircuts at no cost to the food bank members. Sara volunteers with the America’s Legion. To help veterans she donates money, product, services and time. She leads by example with her husband by her side to demonstrate to their children there is so much more then ourselves. She also participates in: Bell ringing with Salvation Army, Wreaths across America, Breast Cancer Awareness, Veteran Stand Down, Christmas toy drives, Saving the Salt River horses, feeding veterans and Sara takes Wednesday’s and goes to a local care home to keep the elderly looking top notch.
Stephen Crandall, 36
Nominated by Doc Crandell
Certified Public Accountant. SC Audit and Accounting Solutions
C. Stephen Crandall founded SC Audit & Accounting Solutions, LLC, in March. Inspired by his determination, he believed he had more than enough experience to start his own business after working at a Big Four CPA firm. It has been his goal to establish a CPA firm in his hometown, Prescott. SCAA now has two offices, the Crossings office, and the Plaza West office. Both offices are in Prescott. SCAA serves the community around Arizona particularly non-profit entities, government entities, special districts, small business and individual taxpayers. SCAA provides CPA + business consulting, audit support, accounting + bookkeeping, and tax planning + preparation services.
Recognized and featured on the front page of The Daily Courier and in numerous radio ads for his work with the fire districts. He was awarded The Daily Courier’s Choice 2018 for best accountant and was the NACOG Employer of the Year.
Currently, Stephen own’s the largest CPA firm in the Prescott area and employs approximately 20 full-time equivalent employees.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Accounting / CPA
Community Service: Coach YMCA flag-football, basketball, my company sponsors Prescott Creeks cleanup and local youth career development programs and I sit on GPREP board (Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership)
Marnee Zazueta, 39
Nominated by Karla Phillips
Professor of Agriculture, Yavapai College
Marnee is a local girl. She grew up here … started kindergarten and graduated high school in Chino Valley and began working at YC (as staff) in 1999 when the agriculture program was created. She graduated from YC in 2002 and transitioned from staff to faculty in 2006 after completing graduate school. Although Marnee teaches many areas of agriculture, her primary focus areas are aquaculture and zoo/domestic animal care and behavior. Why agriculture? She grew up around animals, in 4H and FFA, and loves sharing her passion for the industry to those who share an interest. Marnee loves her students and the excitement of being a part of learning. She said, “As an educator, I am constantly reminded of how much people can learn from each other and my students teach me something every day! Their life experiences, vast diversity, and perspective benefit the entire classroom and truly create opportunity for knowledge. Plus, I have the most exciting subject. Agriculture IS life! Teaching students to raise/grow food and appreciate the animals and the industry that provide for it is not simply important, it is vital!”
Marnee is wife to a local fire captain and momma to two little girls. In her spare time, she serves as a PTO officer for her daughter’s school, volunteers in the classroom, and eats lunch with the kids…just for the hugs.
Education: I have a Master’s of Science in Agriculture from Oklahoma State University.
Community service: You can find her volunteering with events for the fire community and is very active with fundraising events through the Firefighter Angel Foundation, including school drives for school supplies.
Steven Jackson, 34
Attorney, owner of Steven M. Jackson Law Group, LLC
Steve started Steven M. Jackson Law Group, LLC in Prescott Valley in 2016. Prior to that, he worked for Dana and Associates, LLC as a probate and estate planning attorney, J.P. Morgan in their anti-money laundering section, and was a soldier in the United States Army from 2002-2010.
Education: I have an M.B.A. and a Juris Doctor.
Community service: Steve sponsors the Bad News for You Bears travel baseball team and also sponsored the Prescott Valley Little League 12U all stars. Steve has volunteered for the Welcome to America Project, and contacted local Prescott Valley schools to offer assistance for any children or their family members when the DACA policies were changed. He is a life member of the VFW, DAV and member of the American Legion.
Bear (Bill) Suksi, 39
Nominated by Crystal Suksi
Lead at Superior Industries and Team Manager Bears Baseball Club
Bear started out as a self-taught welder. Started working as an entry level welder at Superior Industries 10 years ago. He quickly moved his way up the ladder and has held several different Lead positions within the company. He now teaches welding certification classes to employees and when there is a problem in a specific area, he is the one they call on to make needed changes and straighten things out. He is the Lead the employees want to work for. Honored with company safety award in 2011, promoted to Pulley Department Lead, promoted to Fabrication Lead, promoted to Lead of Idler Assembly, Started/Created Superior Softball (softball team for employees-plays adult men’s softball locally and in Phoenix).
Started volunteering with Prescott Valley Little League in 2009 as a scorekeeper, in 2010 volunteered as a team Manager, 2011 -joined the PVLL Board of Directors and continued to Manage a team every season since.
Community service: The volunteering may seem like something a lot of Dads would do, but here is the catch: Bear doesn’t have a child on these teams. He coaches kids that are not his. They aren’t related to him in any way. He coaches because he loves baseball, coaching and he loves these kids. Sometimes when we are at a restaurant or the store we run into a young man that he coached some 8 or 9 years ago and they make it a point to come say hello and check in with him. He connects with the kids and if you ask any of the parents who he coaches their child they will tell you, he has a gift and he selflessly gives countless hours of his time and energy and never asks for anything in return.
Taylor Schuetz, 27
Nominated by Antonella DeMari
Director of Student Affairs, BASIS Prescott
Taylor Schuetz is a dedicated, young professional who is passionate about serving children in both her field and community.
In 2014, Taylor helped open BASIS Prescott, a full K–12 charter school serving a large portion of Prescott’s school age population as the Special Education Coordinator. After a successful first year, Taylor was offered the Dean of Students position for the primary school. Soon after, she became the Director of Student Affairs for the primary, middle, and high school.
Taylor has significant experience in special education classrooms where she has had the opportunity to work with students with mild to severe disabilities in the areas of learning, intellectual, and emotional disabilities. In addition to her special education background, Taylor was a Preschool Teacher for several years where she worked closely with “First Things First” to prepare children from birth through age five for success in school and in life.
Education: Taylor obtained her Master of Education in Instructional Leadership, K-12 School Leadership in just under one year. Additionally, Taylor specialized in Early Childhood Development and Child Psychology. Taylor has also earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Disability Studies, as well as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant Certificate.
Community service: Taylor has given back to her community by being a Big Sister with Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2014. She has expressed that the Little Sister/Big Sister relationship is one of the most amazing gifts she could ever give to a child in need. Taylor spends an average of 10-12 hours a month doing fun activities and bonding with her Little Sister in the community. She is not only a role model for her Little Sister, but she also provides a consistent and steady support system for her. Since her Little Sister has had Taylor in her life, she has not only improved socially and emotionally in school and at home, but also academically. In addition, Taylor has served the young girls in her community as a Girl Scout Troop Leader for the Daisy age range in 2014-2015. This past year, she also assisted the Troop Leader of the Girl Scouts Troop 1653 with earning their badges in Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts.
Zachary Leonard, 29
Nominated by Donna Werking
Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant, YRMC
Healing our community as a PA at YRMC Emergency Department since August 2015 as well as NextCare Urgent Care in Prescott and Prescott Valley since October 2012.
Education: Zachary Leonard received a B.S in Medical Studies and M.S in Physician Assistant Studies from King’s College.
Community service/involvement: Vice President, Board of Directors – Kind Defined, a nonprofit in Prescott 2017-present. Director At-Large, Board of Directors– Arizona Masters Swimming. Actively involved with Prescott Area Young Professionals (PAYP). Annually, he supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arizona by performing as a professional dancer for their “Dancing for the Stars” event. Previously, he volunteered as a Field of Play team member in aquatics at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and was a recipient of the PAYP Visionary Award. He is also a graduate of Prescott Area Leadership. Taken from KindDefined.com website: “Zachary has been serving Kind Defined as Vice President and Chair of the social media committee since 2017. Having a bicoastal upbringing in southern California and Rhode Island, he has always enjoyed creating meaningful connections with a wide variety of people. Now more than ever, he understands the importance of cultivating a culture of kindness in our world, and empowering our youth to become leaders in empathy and inclusion.”
Alondra Flores, 32
Nominated by Holli Maurer
General Manager, SpringHill Suites by Marriott
Alondra started with Ponderosa Hotel Management Services as a housekeeper and has worked her way into the General Manager role with our company within a short five years. Alondra started as a housekeeper with our company and has worked her way into the general manager role in five years. She’s reduced turnover at her hotel, and she has exceeded her budget goals by roughly $125,000 in 2018 alone in her first true year as GM. She has gained respect of her community, her team members and her executive team through her immense organizational skills, her leadership abilities, and her willingness to learn everything essential to her role. She’s a certified revenue manager, certified in Marriott Access Edge training, and Marriott’s Connect.U training in little under a year.
Community service: She gives back to her community through her Save Art efforts at the SpringHill Suites and given back thousands to local schools. She gives back to her community through her Save Art efforts at the SpringHill Suites and given back thousands to local schools.
Amanda Creel, 37
Nominated by Lee Giblin. CEO, Prescott Area Association of Realtors
After working as a newspaper reporter and a communications professional in the beginning of her career, Amanda found herself working at the Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS in Fort Walton Beach, Florida as its Communications Director. She said it didn’t take her long to realize that working with REALTORS and helping them brand themselves as more than just individuals selling houses was something she could commit her career to. Soon her passion for all things REALTOR grew and she found herself looking at ways she could make a greater impact on the trade association and its members. This was when Amanda began looking at where her career might take her next and found herself accepting a position as the AE or CEO of the Shoals Area Association of REALTORS in Florence, Alabama. In Alabama, Amanda began taking advantage of every opportunity she could to get involved and learn more about this ever-evolving industry at the local, state and national level. Not long after, Amanda found herself looking at joining the Prescott Area Association of REALTORS as CEO. Since arriving Amanda has helped our association reach new heights as an organization and business and has helped us better understand the relationship between the local, state and national associations and what our role is as a local association.
Amanda is involved at every level of the REALTOR Association industry. She served in 2017 and 2018 on the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Association Executive Young Professionals Committee, helping provide training and programs targeted at AEs that are new to the REALTOR association industry. She was also appointed to serve on the 2018 Association Executives Committee (AEC) Leadership Express Programming Work Group, the group is tasked with providing leadership training and onsite assistance for REALTORS and AEs from around the country as part of 2019 NAR May Legislative Meetings Leadership Express Program. She also served on the Arizona Association of REALTORS (AAR) Board of Directors in 2017 and has been appointed to serve on the AAR Executive Committee in 2020 by AAR 2020 President Mary Roberts. Recently she was appointed to vice chair the 2019 NAR Medium Board Forum and Chair the forum in 2020 by NAR 2020 President Vince Malta. This position will allow her to facilitate conversations between associations across the country about best practices and pitfalls to avoid. Additionally, she also served on the 2017 NAR Consumer Communications Committee (responsible for helping to create and approve National Advertising Campaigns for the REALTOR brand), on the 2017 NAR AEC’s Board Orientation Work Group (which created a toolkit to train officers and directors across the nation about their role and responsibility as a board member) and served on the Alabama Association of REALTORS Association Executive Committee in 2016 before moving to Prescott to become CEO of the Prescott Area Association of REALTORS in December of 2016. Less than a year after arriving to Prescott Amanda received her REALTOR Association Certified Executive Designation from the National Association of REALTORS, this is the only professional designation designed specifically for REALTOR® association executives. The RCE designation exemplifies goal-oriented association executives with drive, experience and commitment to professional growth.
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Community service: Amanda believes in taking care of our members and our extended community through community service. As someone with little experience with wildfires, it took her no time to step into action and help our community service committee help those affected in our community by the Goodwin Fire last year. In addition to finding ways to assist those outside the REALTOR family with our community service committee, Amanda also worked with the state association and other local associations to secure grant funding to assist our REALTOR and Affiliate members displaced by the fire.
Amanda said, “My favorite project this year was helping to spread the word about Prevent Child Abuse Arizona as part of our annual Open House Weekend.”
Additionally, Amanda assisted our Government Issues committee in securing Political Action Committee Funds to help shed light on local issues such as Prop. 443 and the recent jail tax renewal, because our association believes these issues are things that will affect the quality of life here in Prescott and Yavapai County.
Jesse Burke, 36
Nominated by Grant Quezada
COO & Lead Pastor, Founding Fathers, & Sanctuary Covenant Church Prescott
Current Ventures: Founding Fathers – COO – An umbrella corporation which holds real estate and business ventures. Current holdings include: John Hancock Barbershop. City Tavern. Merchant’s Coffee House. Haberdashery Men’s Retail. and Founding Fathers Consulting Group. www.foundingfathersconcept.com. Sanctuary Covenant Church – Lead Pastor – An evangelical church based in Prescott. Sanctuary is an association of house churches that find their identity in creating community around service and love. sanctuarycovchurch.com
Education: I hold a Master’s of Divinity in Leadership Development from Phoenix Seminary.
Community involvement/military service:
- United States Air Force Chaplain – Graduated #1 in class from Commissioned Officer Training School.
- Prescott Area Young Professionals – Visionary Award Recipient 2017
- Prescott Area Leaders – Class 28 graduate, 2018
- Mayoral Advisory Committee – Member of Young Professional committee
- Arizona@Work 2018 Chairman’s Award – Northern Arizona Council of Government’s nomination and winner for 2018.
- Founding Board Member – Board President – Kind Defined – Prescott based, anti-bullying non-profit. www.kinddefined.com
- Board Member – Agape House – Prescott based non-profit aimed at housing homeless families. www.agapehouseprescott.org
Jesse is a great leader, a smart business man, and a great friend. He has a deep heart for Prescott and his life goal is to make it a better place to live. He often shares his life vision statement “In 50 years, I want Prescott to be a better place because I was here.”
Johnny Young, 32
Nominated by Timothy Holt
Asst. Professor/UAS Program Chair, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
After serving a very highly regarded career in Unmanned Aircraft Systems overseas, he moved into academia as a faculty member. He has developed on of the top programs in the field nationwide and noted as one of the foremost experts in unmanned systems. He has garnered international recognition for his skills. Active mentor in Boy Scouts of America.
Education: Master’s degree.
Community Service: Yes, through my church, I have just been assigned to help minister to those who are in prison. I was also an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 9014.
Jennah Perry, 33
Nominated by Timothy Holt
Asst. Professor/ATM Program Chair, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Jennah has created one of the highest ranked Air Traffic Management programs in the country. A devoted and servant educator, she takes an active role in mentoring her students toward success. She was recognized as the Outstanding Faculty Member for the College of Aviation, 2017-2018.
Education: Currently working on her PhD in Education, she was recognized as a faculty Fellow, charged with mentoring senior college faculty.
Community service: Active youth mentor in the community and a dance coach.
Brian Roggow, 33
Nominated by Timothy Holt
Director of Safety, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
As the Safety Director, Brian is charged with the safety oversight of a 24 aircraft fleet training almost 500 students. He has been recognized by both the State of Arizona and the FAA as one of the top individuals in the field. Proactive in the safety realm, he has written the book on Part 141 Safety Management Systems.
Education: Associate from Yavapai, bachelor’s degree from ERAU, master’s degree (ERAU) in progress.
Community service: I serve as an FAA Safety Team Lead Representative, a volunteer position that mostly involves outreach and training for pilots towards the goal of improving aviation safety (approx. 16 hours per month). In 2016 I was recognized as the representative of the year for Arizona and the Western Pacific region. Since 2012, I have also served on the Prescott Airport Users Association (PAUA) board. And lastly, I also volunteer as an assistant coach for the Prescott Youth Hockey Association (PYHA).
Ruth Szanto, 34
Attorney, Northern Arizona Law Group
Ruth opened Northern Arizona Law Group in 2017 after working for several nonprofits. Northern Arizona Law Group is a boutique law firm, focusing on family law matters. Ruth has presented at several conferences and she is involved in community action organizations.
Education: Juris Doctorate (law degree)
Community service: Ruth volunteers with the Volunteer Lawyer Program on a regular basis and has presented at several conferences on topics aimed at helping indigent persons access justice.
Joel Fornara, 30
Nominated by Tracey Horn
Attorney, Musgrove Drutz Kack Flack, PC
His practice primarily focuses in the areas of real estate, business, commercial, family law, and general civil litigation. Joel takes a results-oriented approach to practicing law and he prides himself in achieving the desired outcome for his clients. Outside of the office he enjoys spending time with his wife and son or adventuring in the great outdoors.
Education: Joel received his B.S. in Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University before attending law school at the University of Arizona.
Community service: Prescott Area Young Professionals (PAYP) and Prescott Frontier Days Inc. (World’s Oldest Rodeo)
Eric Edelman, 27
Nominated by Kathy Lustyk
Planetarium Director, ERAU
Since Eric Edelman started as the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium Director in August 2017, he has been an outstanding, warm, friendly, confident voice for astronomy and science outreach to the Prescott area community. In just one year, he has put together numerous professional and fun public shows for the community including the Prescott Winter, Spring, and Summer Night sky. His ability to juggle the technical aspects of the equipment, the managing of a team of student workers, and to be the face of outreach for the numerous school groups that have visited has been beyond our wildest expectations and, like Regulus in the constellation of Leo, he is a bright star among the faculty and staff at Embry-Riddle.
Education: Master’s degree in Astronomy
Community service: I am an Astronomy Ambassador with the American Astronomical Society (AKA an AASAA!). We are a group committed to communicating astronomy to more and more of the public in more and more effective ways. However, considering that I run a planetarium, you could certainly make the argument that this is simply professional development, and not community service.
Jeffrey Gautreaux, 37
Nominated by Tracey Horn
Attorney, Musgrove Drutz Kack Flack, PC
His areas of focus at the firm are criminal defense, civil litigation and appeals. Jeffrey also handles real estate disputes and personal injury cases. He previously clerked for the Hon. Patricia K. Norris at the Arizona Court of Appeals. He is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Yavapai County Bar Association, and is admitted in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Prescott YMCA of Yavapai County and is President of the Board of Directors of the Forest Trails Homeowners Association.
Education: Jeffrey D. Gautreaux earned his Juris Doctor summa cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Law, and his B.A. summa cum laude in Media Production from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska.
Community service: I serve on the Board of Directors for the Prescott YMCA of Yavapai County and I am the President of the Forest Trails Homeowners’ Association. I also volunteer with Community Legal Services and Wills for Heroes.
David Williams, 32
Nominated by Bill Williams
Vice President/Certified Financial Planner, Freedom Point Financial Services, Inc.
Worked at Charles Schwab from 11-2009 to 06-2013; USAA from 06-2013 to 05-2015; Freedom Point Financial Services from 05-2015 to present. BSBA in Finance from NAU; Certified Financial Planner; Accredited Asset Management Specialist; Securities licenses 7, 63, 65, 9, 10 & 24; Life and Health Insurance licenses; accepted to St. Joseph University for Master’s of Science in Finance.
Key Contributor Award 2010 and 2011 from Charles Schwab. Chairman’s Club winner in 2012 with Charles Schwab. Membership Co-Chair and Scholarship Vice Chair for the Prescott Area Young Professionals. Active volunteer for charitable events. Social Media Director NAU Alumni Association.
Constantly furthering knowledge in his field to provide the best service and information for his clients. He is always seeking additional information on top of the phenomenal amount of education he has for such a young man. He does all of this while being a husband and raising two small children.
Education: I have a bachelor’s degree in finance from NAU, and I am halfway through my MS in finance. I take one class every eight weeks.
Community service: I volunteer with PAYP & serve as the membership co-chair and I am vice chair of the scholarship committee. I volunteer and serve on the Prescott Area NAU Alumni board.
Jon Bennett, 34
Nominated by Candace Porter
General Manager, Certa Pro Painters of Prescott
Jon Bennett opened Certa Pro Painters in Prescott in July 2008. In addition to building the business during the peak of the recession, he has continued to grow the business to be one of the most recommended painting companies in the Quad Cities.
Education: BS In Construction Management from NAU
Community service: Yes – through my involvement with the Prescott Trail Riders, we work closely with the Prescott National Forest in preserving, managing, developing, and opening all forms of trails that the community uses in the greater Prescott national forest. We also put on and sponsor local AMA Sanctioned off road motorcycle events that benefit local business. I also volunteer for the Yavapai Humane Society periodically and help with events for the Prescott Area Young Professionals, which recently donated $25,000 to the Prescott Unified School District.
Josh Fohrman, 36
Owner, Game On
Game On has been Prescott’s Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) for just over seven years, providing a safe place for teens and families to reconnect around the game table with board games, roleplaying games, miniatures and more.
Starting in Prescott Valley, Game On had expanded to two locations (one in Prescott Valley and one in Prescott) before merging into a mega location at Prescott Gateway Mall, becoming the largest game store in all of Northern Arizona. Game On was honored with the Game Manufacturer’s Assocation (GAMA) Power Retail Award for Outstanding Store of the Year – 2017
Josh was appointed to the GAMA Retail Board and been flown all over the country to speak on game store design and processes. Game On provides a place for the community to connect and play games with each other in person every day.
Community service: Through Game On I provide community service and volunteering at the local libraries and schools running game nights plus various fundraisers we hold throughout the year for causes in need, both local to our community and to the larger gamer community. Active with community fundraisers not only for local Tri-Cities but also our Gamer Family across the world. We also volunteer our time at local comic conventions (such as the ones put on by Prescott Library, Prescott Valley Library, and Cottonwood Library) and run game nights for several schools in the area.
Nicole Kennedy, 37
Nominated by Zach Leonard
VP of Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central AZ
Nicole started her career in finance and banking in high school was with Country Bank in Prescott Valley. At 24, she was an assistant branch manager in Dallas, and eventually transitioned into mortgage sales then insurance brokering. Back in Phoenix, Nicole was introduced to the world of nonprofit development and found that she loved it. Currently, she is the VP of Development for our local Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona. Nicole brought Dancing for the Stars to Prescott. This unique charity event that has proven to be quite successful in raising funds and awareness for Boys & Girls Clubs. Nicole has been a vital part of the growth of BGCCAZ, now leading a capital campaign to expand both PV and Prescott Clubs.
Community Service: Nicole is the founder of Prescott Area Women Who Care, a local philanthropic group of women who meet quarterly to connect and raise funds for local charities. Nicole has been a lifelong volunteer, starting as a Big Sister at age 18. Currently, she is a board member for Another Journey, a newly developed organization providing housing and support for at risk youth- especially those aging out of foster care. Nicole is also a neighborhood lead for the Food Neighbor Project, a collective effort to bring food together for hungry families.
Alexa Scholl, 21
Nominated by Susan Cohen
Prescott City Council Member; File Clerk, Roberts & Carver, PLLC
Education: High school diploma; I will complete my BA in Political Science from ASU in December. 2018 Truman Scholar (only 59 in the nation) and a Tillman Scholar recipient.
Community service: I am currently serving on the Prescott City Council which is where I spend a majority of my time serving the Prescott community. Additionally, I serve on the board of a 501(c)(3) called the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Partnership. Volunteering and community service have always been an important part of my life since I joined National Junior Honor Society in middle school. Puppy Raiser, Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Danielle Hampton, 36
Nominated by Hank Hampton
Owner of Dani Hampton Creative
She began teaching English at Prescott High School, while continuing to share essays and photos on her successful lifestyle blog, Sometimes Sweet. Five years later following the birth of her first child, Dani left teaching and continued creating content for her blog and social media channels, but also for small businesses that had begun to reach out requesting her services. And so, Dani Hampton Creative was born. Now working with brands and companies of all sizes, Danielle’s current clients include Ergobaby, Veer, local business Raskin’s Jewelers and more. Dani creates content, manages multiple social media accounts, designs marketing campaigns, plans events, and helps businesses build their brand identity and digital voice. Dani has been named a notable blogger in Forbes Magazine, highlighted as a Top Influencer in the Arizona Republic, and featured as a keynote speaker at numerous conferences and speaking engagements. Dani has grown many of her clients’ social media presence from launch to hundreds of thousands of followers, driving online sales and traffic to their sites.
Education: BA in English Literature in 2004 and Master’s degree in education (M.Ed.)
Community service: I cofounded and run Mothers in Bloom, a local not-for-profit group that focuses on connecting Prescott mothers, while giving back to our community. Over the past year, the group has raised thousands of dollars for local charities, including a recent $3,400 donation to Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters following their successful Earth Day event. I also donate my time mentoring women in business and social media.
Jessica Walls, 34
Nominated by Dani Cook
Marketing Manager, Mandalay Homes
Jessica has over 15 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate marketing. Jessica is currently the Marketing Manager at Mandalay Homes based out of Prescott. Jessica’s primary role at Mandalay Homes is to develop, implement, and oversee all marketing initiatives while promoting brand awareness. This includes understanding the current real estate market and what home buyers desire in their new home and to create the best experience possible for Mandalay’s home owners. Prior to joining Mandalay, Jessica managed all marketing for a master-planned community in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.
Education: Jessica has recently graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from Grand Canyon University and has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.
Community service: Jessica is currently a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of America and has previous experience volunteering with the National MS Society and the Relay for Life organization.