The Board of Directors includes a bi-partisan group of former state lawmakers, economists, community leaders, and academicians. Over time, the board of the nonprofit will expand and be composed of an even more diverse, broad based, bi-partisan group of business, community, and academic leaders who share the Institute’s vision during the 21st Century.
George Cunningham (D) Chairman of the Board
George Cunningham, Chair of the GCI Board of Directors, is a former member of both the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives. He was Governor Rose Mofford’s Chief of Staff and Governor Janet Napolitano’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Finance and Budget. At the University of Arizona, he served as Vice-President for Administrative Services. Throughout his career, he focused on fiscal policy, economic expansion and investing in Arizona’s Future.
Susan Gerard (R) Vice Chair
Susan Gerard served in both the Arizona House and Senate for 14 years. She concentrated on health policy and chaired the Health Committee in both Chambers. A former Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services and Health Policy Advisor to the Governor, she currently chairs the Public Health Law Review for the RW Johnson Foundation and serves on the Board of Maricopa Integrated Health Systems.
Jeff Chapman, Ph.D. (D) Secretary
Jeff Chapman is a Foundation Professor at Arizona State University. His Ph.D. is in economics and he has taught economics, urban economics, public finance, and policy courses at both the Ph.D. and Master’s level. Jeff has written four books and has been published in several journals. His research focuses on state and local public finance with his current research focusing on tax limitations and state and local fiscal sustainability.
Rick DeGraw (D) Treasurer
Rick DeGraw served as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer of CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company for 10 years until his retirement in April 2016. Previous responsibility included a $400 million commercial mortgage portfolio. Four Vice Presidents reported to him for combined annual operating budgets of $56 million. Rick’s current community board service includes: Chair, American Heart Association: Go Red for Women; Chair, Arizona Fallen Firefighters Memorial; Chair, Board Developer Foundation; and, Co-Chair, Speak Out Arizona. He has also received numerous awards recognizing his commitment to community service.
Sheridan Bailey (I)
Sheridan Bailey is CEO of Ironco Enterprises LLC, an Arizona steel fabricator and erector specializing in structural steel frames for buildings, industrial cranes and solar energy systems. He is president of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, an advocacy for workforce development and comprehensive immigration reform, and the recipient of a meritorious service award from the American Subcontractors Association. Sheridan is skilled in creative strategic thinking, speculates on contemporary political philosophy, and writes poetry.
Tom Chapman (R)
Tom Chapman is a community leader who believes that civic involvement in historic preservation and the arts is critical to Arizona’s economic development. He Chairs the Phoenix Heritage Commission and serves as Vice Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission. He is Secretary of the Arizona Citizens Action Committee for the Arts and is a member of Arizona’s Centennial Commission.
Pete Hershberger (D)
Pete Hershberger is a former Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives with an extensive record in education, business development, juvenile justice and child welfare. He is a Certified Professional Counselor and is a leader on children’s issues in Arizona. He is active in his community serving as a volunteer and board member on several non-profit organizations.
Chris Herstam (D)
Chris Herstam is a policy consultant. He is a former President of the Arizona Board of Regents, gubernatorial chief of staff, state legislator, and director of the Arizona Department of Insurance. Herstam chaired the Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie government relations practice for 22 years, retiring in 2018. Herstam currently serves on the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Board of Directors.
Lucia Howard (D)
Lucia Howard is the past President of the Board of Directors of O’Connor House and co-chairs the Avon Program for Women and Justice at the O’Connor House. She has practiced law in Arizona for over 30 years, first as a partner in of the firm of Meyer Hendricks Osborn and Maledon (now Osborn Maledon), and then a principal of her own firm, Fakonas Howard Ltd. Lucia holds a B.A. from Arizona State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is the co-founder and past president of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and has served on numerous civic boards and commissions. Lucia is actively involved in Arizona politics, involved in numerous issues and campaigns and as an advisor to elected officials at the city and state levels.
Paul Johnson (I)
Paul Johnson is a former Mayor of the City of Phoenix. Paul is pro-business, with a deep commitment to education. He is a leader in the State initiative campaign to create non-partisan open elections. Paul serves on the executive committee of Greater Phoenix Economic Council, a board member of the John C. Lincoln Foundation, the Arizona Business Bank, and is Chairman of the Board of Arrowhead Health Family Practice.
Linda Mazon Gutierrez (D)
Linda Mazon Gutierrez is President of the Hispanic Women’s Corporation which hosts over 2000 Latina women every year at the largest conference of its kind in the nation. Linda received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Arizona State University in 1972 and 1973. Linda completed her fellowship in 1992 with the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) at Harvard University at the JFK School of Government. She was a longtime government and health care official serving as the congressional liaison. She has also served as the elected Chair of the Board of Directors to the National Hispana Leadership Institute.
George Seitts (R)
George Seitts is a former member of Senator Barry Goldwater’s staff and served as the Arizona Director of Weights and Measures. Throughout his career, George has held positions combining his business management experience with government service at the Federal and state levels—focusing on traditional-and non-traditional (renewable) energy development and infrastructure reliability requiring compliance and market place actions.
Yvonne R. Hunter (I)
Yvonne R. Hunter is a licensed attorney and serves as Principal Consultant for YH Strategies, LLC. Ms. Hunter remains involved in public policy concerns in Arizona, and serves as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. She served as a lobbyist on state and federal issues for a number of years, and practiced law as a civil litigator in the environmental/natural resource arena. Her community volunteer service includes the Salvation Army, Phoenix Public Library Foundation, and Maricopa County Bar Association, and currently chairs the Board of Directors for Friends of Transit and serves as a member of the City of Phoenix Board of Adjustment.
Roberta Voss, J.D. (I)
Roberta Voss (I) is an attorney specializing in telecommunications, government relations, and real estate transactions. She also practices real estate. Roberta served in Arizona’s House of Representatives for 6 years and has volunteered extensively with community organizations.
Mike O’Neil, Ph.D. (I)
Mike O’Neil is a pollster/survey researcher by training whose firm, O’Neil Associates has conducted over 1,800 public opinion research projects throughout the country over the last 35+ years for every conceivable type of client. He is a lifetime policy wonk and currently exercises those muscles as KTAR’s resident political analyst and host of the public policy program, The Think Tank.
Board Members in Memoriam
Carolyn Allen (R)
Carolyn Allen was a distinguished former state senator who was an independent voice, such as when she was the only Senate Republican who voted against SB1070. Carolyn was on the board from the origin of GCI. She served as Vice Chair until she had to resign due to health.
Jack L. August, Jr., Ph.D. (D)
Jack August was instrumental in helping launch GCI. He may have been Arizona’s most distinguished historian and author of numerous books and articles on the history of the New American West and biographies.
Bill Konopnicki (R)
Bill Konopnicki of Safford, who owned and operated McDonalds franchises, served in the state house for 8 years, frequently worked with colleagues from both parties with a special interest in criminal justice reform and education.