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.
Rick DeGraw (D) Chair
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: American Heart Association, Go Red for Women, Arizona Fallen Firefighters Memorial, and Board Developer Foundation. He has also received numerous awards recognizing his commitment to community service.
Lucia Howard, JD (D) Vice Chair
Lucia Fakonas Howard has been an attorney in Arizona for over 40 years, first as a partner at the firm of Meyer Hendricks Osborn and Maledon (now Osborn Maledon), and then as a principal of Fakonas Howard, Ltd. Lucia holds a BA from Arizona State University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She is currently retired from the practice of law, but remains active in several real estate development projects. She is the past president of the O’Connor Institute (OCI), founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra O’Connor, co- chaired the social justice programs at OCI for six years, and currently serves on its Advisory Council. Lucia has been involved in numerous civic boards and commissions, including as co-founder and the first president of the Arizona Women’s Law Association, chair of the Arizona Commission on Salaries for Judges and Elected Officials, chair of the Legislative Committee on Child Trafficking for the City of Phoenix, president of Charter 100, co-founder of the Greater Arizona Economic Council (GPEC) and Mayor’s liaison to the Phoenix Economic Development Department. Lucia is active in Arizona and national politics and has been involved in a number of campaigns for candidates as well as issue initiatives. She has served as an advisor to elected officials at the city and state levels on issues ranging from economic development to women’s rights. Lucia loves Arizona and commits her time and effort to projects that protect the rights of and improve the quality of life for all Arizonans.
Mike O’Neil, Ph.D. (I) Secretary
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.
Roberta Voss, J.D. (I) Treasurer
Roberta Voss is a retired telecommunications and government relations attorney who now represents clients in the commercial and residential real estate markets. Roberta served in Arizona’s House of Representatives for 6 years and has volunteered extensively with community organizations.
George Cunningham (D) Chair Emeritus
George Cunningham, Chair Emeritus 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.
George was recognized by his legislative colleagues and businesses, labor, and community leaders as an effective and knowledgeable legislator who worked to build bipartisan coalitions. George is a Co-Founder of the Grand Canyon Institute and has been a driving force for elevating the fiscal and economic implications of policy initiatives and decisions for the benefit of policymakers, the media, and the general public.
Tom Chapman (I)
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.
Kate Garcia, an Arizona native, graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Health and a minor in Family/Human Development following a pre-medical track. Kate has volunteered extensively in the Phoenix and Glendale communities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked in the Disaster Relieve department at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, and later in Vincere Cancer Center’s mobile lab units conducting COVID-19 tests. She is now a Project Manager for The Black Men’s Brain Health Conference, an R13 conference grant funded by National Institute on Aging (NIA). Additional financial support for the program is provided by the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLAA) and the Alzheimer’s Association (AA).
Kate’s experience spans both medical and research fields.
Paul Johnson (I)
Paul Johnson is best known for his time in politics. Paul served on the Phoenix City Council from 1985-1990, and was the Phoenix Mayor from 1990-1994. He was highlighted in the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Healthstyles Magazine and People Magazine, and his administration received the Bertelsmann Award as the “Best Run City in the World.” He has chaired several Presidential Campaigns, was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 1992, and is a leader in the fast growing Independent Movement. He is a vocal and respected advocate for ending partisanship in politics in Arizona and America.
Paul currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Arrowhead Health Centers and is co-founder and leader of Redirect Health. He has also founded several multi-million-dollar companies and has large real-estate holdings. Those companies currently include Southwest Next LLC, a counter-cyclical real- estate company buying commercial product, apartments, and land in a down market, and Old World Communities LLC a land development company in the Phoenix market. His companies also enjoy the strategic competitive advantages of the 3DirectTM system.
Paul also serves on the Board of Directors of John C. Lincoln Hospital Foundation, Chairman of the City of Phoenix Bond Commission, and on the Executive Committee of the “Greater Phoenix Economic Commission” the leader in the Greater Phoenix areas economic development. Paul was a History major at ASU, has a MSBA in Business Management from University of Phoenix, and was a part of the executive program at Kennedy School at Harvard University.
Yvonne R. Hunter, JD (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 has included the Salvation Army, Phoenix Public Library Foundation, Maricopa County Bar Association and numerous other boards and commissions.
Susan Tierney (D)
Susan Tierney is a retired bilingual mathematics teacher from the Phoenix Union High School District. A former Peace Corps Volunteer (Venezuela 1967-69), she taught algebra to high school freshmen for 25 years, with time out to raise two sons. She has a B.S. Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois and a M.A. Degree in Higher Education (with a Bilingual Certificate) from ASU. Since retiring in 2008, she has been active in St. Francis Catholic Church. She is a member of the CORE Team for Valley Interfaith Project (“VIP”). That organization is involved in (a) lobbying the State Legislature for Criminal Justice Reform, (b) attending to migrant and asylees needs in the Valley, and (c) Career Pathways, which involves the selection of 250 students under a Million Dollar Grant that provides for tuition, books, and job counseling as they obtain a Community College AA Degree.
Tim Hill (D)
Tim Hill is the founder and president of Working Group Consulting. He is a former fire captain and paramedic, having retired from the Phoenix Fire Department after 31 years of service. Tim also served as the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona for over a decade as well as executive vice president of the Phoenix Fire Fighters Association and director of pension resources for the International Association of Fire Fighters. He has served on numerous boards and commissions. He currently sets on the boards of the National Public Pension Coalition, Cancer Support Community Arizona and the Phoenix Fire Foundation.
Gail Ulan (I)
Jason Moore (D)
Jason Moore has more than 20 years experience developing, managing and directing non-profit organizations and school-based youth programs. He currently serves as Vice-President of Finance & Operations with the Children’s Action Alliance where he manages fiscal, HR and office management functions as well as providing the president and board leadership with financial analysis to maximize the organization’s impact, progress towards strategic goals, and mission.
Sandra Price, JD, Ph.D.
Sandra Price is a faculty member with Arizona State University’s School of Community Resources & Development. She has worked in economic development, conservation, and diversity and inclusion, with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and as a consultant.
Stephen Stein, MD
Stephen Stein is a retired orthopedic surgeon who practiced orthopaedic surgery in Phoenix for 30 years. He served as Chief of Staff of Good Samaritan Hospital, Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona, and as Director of Pediatric Orthopedic Education, Phoenix. Along with his teaching activities, he took orthopaedic residents on clinics throughout the Navajo reservation during his time in practice. In addition, he was appointed to the Medical Board of Arizona where physicians’ patient care and conduct was monitored. He served as a medical officer in the US Army for four years during the Vietnam War.
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.