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 (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.
Jeff Chapman, Ph.D. (D) Secretary
Jeff Chapman is a Foundation Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University. His Ph.D. is in economics from the University of California and he has taught economics, urban economics, public finance, and policy courses at both the Ph.D. and Master’s level. Jeff has written and edited four books and has been published in several journals. His research focuses on state and local public finance with his current research focusing on local budgets and state and local fiscal sustainability. In 2017 he was awarded the Aaron Wildavsky prize for lifetime scholarly achievement in public budgeting and finance by the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management.
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.
Susan Gerard (R) Policy 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.
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.
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 served as State Director of FosterEd Arizona before his retirement. His career focused on working with and on behalf of at-risk youth. He served 8 years in the Arizona House of Representatives working on children’s policy issues at both a state and national level. 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.
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.
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.
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 has included the Salvation Army, Phoenix Public Library Foundation, Maricopa County Bar Association and numerous other boards and commissions.
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.
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)
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.