Beth Meyer is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Leading For Change (LFC). Prior to joining LFC, she was a two-year recipient of a Pepsi Refresh grant that was applied to working with non-profit organizations in the areas of fund development, messaging, advocacy, sustainability, strategic planning and leading for change. Earlier, Meyer served as the National State Vice President of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL). In this capacity she was responsible for various social justice and campaign programs. She was responsible for the Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio offices. She served with CPL for seven years. Prior to joining CPL, she served as the Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, where she was responsible for public affairs, communications and marketing, outreach, education, and fundraising. She was also responsible for their 501(c)4. Meyer also served in executive positions in corporate America for more than a decade combined at Gulf + Western Industries (now Viacom), INA Corporation and the Greyhound Corporation; as well as having owned and run a public relations and marketing firm for 15 years. In addition to being a co-founder and serving on the Boards of the Arizona Advocacy Network and the Community AIDS Council, Meyer has served on the Defenders of Children, NARAL Arizona, Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, the Arizona American Jewish Committee, and the Arizona ACLU Board of Directors. She is currently serving on the Board of the Arizona Family Health Partnership. A recipient of the YWCA Communications Women of the Year Award, she is also recognized in the Who’s Who Worldwide and Who’s Who Outstanding American registers. In 1996 she was named one of the top emerging business leaders by the Phoenix Business Journal.
Karilyn Van Oosten
LFC Board Chair
Karilyn Van Oosten is the Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Unitek Learning. Founded in 1992 through its subsidiary schools, Unitek Learning helps students, working professionals, and organizations achieve their goals from the first contact to after degree completion. Karilyn has served in many leadership roles at numerous educational institutions, bringing her experience and expertise to build and develop collaborative relationships with healthcare systems to create workforce solutions and enhance employment opportunities. Prior to her current role, she served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development at Herzing University; as the National Director of Strategic Alliances at Chamberlain University; and the Executive Director of Strategic Alliances at Grand Canyon University. She has more than 20 years of experience developing business alliances for education institutions. Throughout her career, she has instituted more than 800 healthcare and nearly 1,000 educational alliances naionwide. Karilyn also teaches for the Art and Photography Department at Glendale Community College and serves in board leadership roles for several organizations. She is a past Board President for Arizona Family Health Partnerships, a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making reproductive healthcare and education accessible to all women, men, and teens in Arizona. She served on the board Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council for over 11 years. Karilyn is also a board of trustee member for the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON). NAON is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that enhances the lives and careers of orthopaedic nurses. She is also on the executive board of the International Women's Forum, IWF-AZ. The Arizona affiliate forum of The International Women’s Forum advances leadership across careers, cultures, and continents by connecting the world’s most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement. It is composed of highly successful women leaders from many different professions who seek to experience thought-provoking programming, special membership gatherings that offer an opportunity to network with women outside our own professions and an opportunity to support outstanding young women leaders in our community. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree from Belmont Abby College in Belmont, N.C.; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte; and a Master of Arts degree in language and culture from Arizona State University. She completed course work for a Doctorate of Psychology in Applied cognitive neuroscience at Universidad Maimonides in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
LFC Board Secretary
Jaclyn is a Senior Career Specialist at the ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is passionate about connecting people to passion and purpose. Prior to ASU Thunderbird, Jaclyn worked for non-profits helping individuals and families in Arizona as a Donor Relations Manager at A New Leaf and as a Career Coach at Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE). She previously served on the Homeless ID Project board where she was instrumental in passing a bill to provide free IDs to homeless veterans. She has also served on the executive board in her legislative district and as a volunteer for political grassroots organizations. In 2018, she was recognized by The Phoenix Business Journal as a Top 40 under 40 professional. Jaclyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from Gonzaga University with a bachelor's degree in Business Management and Summa Cum Laude from University of Phoenix with a master's degree in Adult Education and Training. She is a graduate of the Leading for Change Fellowship, Flinn Brown Fellowship, and the ASU American Express Non-Profit Leadership program. Jaclyn holds certifications in diversity and inclusion facilitation and career coaching.
LFC Board Treasurer
Michelle Steinberg’s 26-year career in non-profit management and public policy has included general management, director and lobbying experience with non-profit organizations large and small. She served as the public policy director and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest provider of reproductive health care and education in Arizona, where she was responsible for the agency’s overall public affairs strategy and issues' management. Michelle began her career path as a lobbyist for the Arizona PTA advocating on behalf of public education, child welfare and child health issues. In 1994, she joined the staff at Kids Voting Arizona as their education director, facilitating the Kids Voting program statewide to Arizona schools and later became the executive director of this program. Michelle also served as the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. Michelle has worked with organizations such as The American Jewish Committee, The Anti-Defamation League, No More Deaths, Arizona Interfaith Movement, ACLU, Phoenix Sister Cities Commission and has received recognition from the Arizona Bar Foundation and the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Michelle attended Rhode Island College, Arizona State University, Mexico’s Universidad Internacional and is a graduate of Valley Leadership. A native of New York, Michelle has been an Arizona resident for 36 years and has two adult children. Michelle has been a faculty coach for Leading For Change since 2014 and is a Founding Board Member of the organization.
Allison Brenee Ewers
LFC Board Vice Chair
An alum of our Leaders Fellowship, Allison Brenee Ewers is an integral part of growing Arizona’s Number One ranked local premiums and promotions company HP2. Her clients’ range from non-profit and for-profit organizations and include the Girl Scouts, Hospice of the Valley, Harley Davidson and the Red Door Spas. In addition to being on our Board of Directors, she serves as the Secretary of the LFC Alumni Committee and has been a member of our Finance Committee since its start. Deeply concerned about the future of our world, Ewers is a Committee Member for the renowned Intel International Science & Engineering Fair which hosts hundreds of school-aged science fair winners from around the world to tout their ingenuity and support their future in this field. Additionally and mirroring her commitment to making a better Arizona, Ewers is the Finance Director for LD26 Democrats and works closely with the Kyrene and Tempe Elementary Schools to promote the need for the public’s involvement in protecting and advancing local schools. She also is a member of the Arizona Local First “Elite” Program, a Board member of the Convergence Ballet and the recipient of the Phoenix Film Festival 2015 Visionary Award. A competitive ice skater from 1977-1990, Ewers holds a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Communications, with a minor in Media Arts, from the University of Arizona.
Caroline Starrs Allen
LFC Board Member
Caroline Starrs Allen is the Senior Director of Leadership Development at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). In her role, she advises in the design and management of national programs to support LEE's members across the country in pursuing public leadership roles. Through her work, Allen has the opportunity to train and coach political and community leaders as they plan strategically to meet their long term leadership goals. Prior to LEE, she spent several years as the Program Director at the Center for Progressive Leadership, where she managed several statewide leadership development programs. Based in Arizona, she has also designed and facilitated programming and trainings for individuals and non-profits on topics ranging from visioning and strategic planning to fundraising and message development. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and earned her Master’s of Public Administration, from Michigan State University.
LFC Board Member
Jason Barraza is a Director and Partner at Veridus, a lobbying, public affairs, communications, campaign consulting and strategic business consulting firm. Since joining the firm in 2009, in addition to government relations work on behalf of corporate and non-profit clients, Jason assists in the development of political advocacy plans that include political campaigns, polling, and community outreach. Prior to joining Veridus, Jason aided the coordinated campaign of the Arizona Democratic Party during the 2002, 2006 and 2008 campaign cycles. And provided on-site logistics and security assistance at every Democratic National Convention between 2000 and 2016. He graduated with a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California (2001), and a law degree from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona (2006). In his service to the community, Jason recently completed a stint on the Maricopa County Trial Court Appointments Commission after being appointed by Gov. Ducey in 2017. He is also currently a member of the City of Phoenix’s North Mountain Village Planning Committee. In 2017 Jason was the President of Los Abogados, the Arizona Hispanic Bar Association, and was recognized as one of the nation’s top Hispanic attorneys under 40 by the Hispanic National Bar Association in 2016.
Representative Reginald Bolding
LFC Board Member
Representative Reginald Bolding is an educator, community leader, and social entrepreneur. In 2014, Bolding was elected to his first term in the Arizona House of Representatives. He represents District 27, covering most of Downtown Phoenix, South Phoenix, Guadalupe and Laveen. Bolding, a first generation college student, is a scholar in both education and justice studies. After graduating at the top of his class from the University of Cincinnati, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and International Security, he turned down a full-ride law school scholarship to become a Special Education teacher in South Phoenix. He credited his hardworking single mother and an educator for helping him achieve his level of success to that point. In turn, he wanted to pay it forward and spark change in the lives of other students living in low-income communities as a classroom teacher. The Arizona Republic named him as one of “14 Individuals Poised to Change Arizona”. He was also named one of Phoenix’s 40 people under the age of 40, by the Phoenix Business Journal. Previously, he has served as a Commissioner with the City of Phoenix’s Community Development Committee and the Public Defender Review Committee. Bolding holds a Master’s degree in Education and is a current doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, where he also served as a Clinical Instructor in the ASU Teaching College. Currently, he is Managing Director of Alumni Affairs with Teach For America – Phoenix. In the State Legislature, he serves on both the Arizona House Education Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
LFC Board Member
Eleanor Eisenberg was Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona from 1997 to 2005 and Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona from 2005 to 2007. Active in social justice and community issues for decades, she is a recipient of numerous awards for her public interest work, including a Congressional Commendation for Contributions to the Nation and recognition by the State of California and the National Women’s Political Caucus for her legal career devoted to serving the public interest, women and the poor, as well and from the American Bar Association for her work with young lawyers. Eisenberg has actively lobbied the Arizona legislature on a wide range of social justice and constitutional issues. She has been recognized as a leader in Arizona’s peace and justice community and is a frequent speaker on issues ranging from the death penalty to religion in public schools. She is a graduate of Bard College and holds her Bachelor of Laws and Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees from Glendale University College of Law.
LFC Board Member
Roy Herrera serves with Ballard Spahr in his professional career as an attorney. His practice centers on political law, regularly advising candidate, nonprofit organizations, elected officials and businesses on campaign finance and election law issues. Additionally, he represents clients in government and regulatory affairs, white collar defense, and internal investigation matters. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, Roy served as an Assistance U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and on the legislative staff of the late U.S. Representative Ed Pastor. He earned his B.B.A. from George Washington University and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 2008.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs
LFC Board Member
Katie Hobbs has served as Arizona Secretary of State since January, 2019. Previously she was a member of the AZ State Senate since 2012, including serving as the Senate Minority Leader. Prior to being elected to the Senate, she served one term in the Arizona House of Representatives. She represented Legislative District 24. From Phoenix, Arizona, she holds a B.A. of Social Work from Northern Arizona University and a M.A. of Social Work from Arizona State University. She has been a professional social worker since 1992. Prior to being elected to the Arizona Legislature, she worked in the areas of domestic violence, behavioral health, and homelessness and served as the Director of Government Relations for the Sojourner Center. She also served as the Executive Director of Emerge Arizona. Senator Hobbs has served on several commissions with the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County. She is also involved with her professional organization, the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and is adjunct faculty in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department at Paradise Valley Community College. She is a graduate of Valley Leadership's Leadership Institute (2003), Emerge Arizona’s political training program (2004), and the Center for Progressive Leadership Leaders Fellowship (2007). She is also the former chair of the District 15 Democrats.
Julie Rivera Horwin
LFC Board Member
Julie has served with LFC since its inception. The President of Arizona Education Association-Retired, she represents over 2400 union members. She taught in the Arizona public education school system for over 20 years, where she was a local Association leader and helped to found the Paradise Valley Community Legislative Network. Julie helped to manage 20 years of winning school board campaigns, legislative and statewide candidate campaigns. Additionally, Ms. Horwin is a member of the NEA-Retired Executive Council representing 300,000 educators across the nation. President of Super Teaching Tips, LLC. She's an expert trainer on organizational change, leadership development, consensus building and collaboration for organizations and businesses. Julie holds a masters degree in Educational Leadership and is a certified trainer for Organizational Change Management.
LFC Board Member
Molly McGovern is the Deputy Political Director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 (UFCW 99). She is a lifelong Arizonan with an extensive history in community, labor and faith-based organizing. Prior to working with the UFCW 99, McGovern worked in politics for the Service Employees International Union-Arizona; was an organizer with Arizona Interfaith Network, helping to build power among faith-based institutions and teacher unions in Tucson and the East Valley of Metro Phoenix; and she taught at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson. She has a B.A. from the University of Arizona.
Monica Nuvamsa Piqöshynöm (Bear Strap Woman) LFC Board Member
LFC Board Member
Monica, Hopi, is a member of the Water Cloud Clan from the Village of Songoopavi. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona in 1997 and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation in 2012. Monica currently serves as the Executive Director of The Hopi Foundation, whose work is to promote local philanthropy and community development. Her experience includes local community grant making, nonprofit and community capacity building, community leadership development, and community organizing. Monica’s early career experiences include developing and managing the Hopi Tribe’s Domestic Violence Program. She served both as an Advocate and Project Coordinator until she was appointed to serve in the role of the Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for the Hopi Tribe to both state and federal governments. After serving nearly six years in the tribal government, her career moved toward higher education at The University of Arizona and tribal public policy training at The Morris K. Udall Foundation for Excellence in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. Monica has served on several nonprofit boards including Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Public Media and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum.
LFC Board Member
Nate Rhoton serves as the Executive Director for one-n-ten, an LGBTQ non-profit delivering youth services in Arizona. Joining the team in fall of 2015, he served as the Director of Development followed by Director of Finance & Operations, before assuming his current role in January of 2018. Following a career of fifteen years in corporate management and finance, Rhoton decided to serve the community with his nonprofit fundraising and development expertise. Serving for twelve years as the operations director and then CFO of a local construction company, he worked to expand corporate community involvement and non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ employees. Managing significant growth for the company, he saw early on the need for continued staff development and instituted training to increase retention and help new employees to assume higher paying roles within the company. Born and raised in Arizona, Nate graduated from Flagstaff High School and then pursued a bachelor’s of science degree in economics from Arizona State University’s WP Carey School of Business graduating magna cum laude in 2000. Over the last decade, he has committed himself to nonprofit service, serving on the Arizona steering committee of the Human Rights Campaign for four years, the board of the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The Melonhead Foundation, and as co-chair of the board of directors for Equality Arizona from 2012-2015. In his free time, he loves spending time with his Scottie-Golden, Sir William.
Chiquita A. Taylor
LFC Board Member
Chiquita currently serves as the Executive Director of FIBCO Family Services, Inc. She is responsible for all operations of FIBCO (Facilitating Independence Building Comprehensive Opportunities) providing quality affordable housing, quality food and clothing preparation and distribution, assistance for African immigrants settling into the Phoenix area, and other services provided by FIBCO to and for low-income underserved and marginalized members of the community. Prior to becoming Executive Director, she served on the FIBCO board of directors for 3 years as Chair of the Housing Committee and as Secretary. Chiquita has a of variety community service experience from her prior leadership roles as: Community Support Executive Girl Scouts -Arizona Cactus-Pine, responsible for leading the community engagement strategy and vision for increasing access to Girl Scout programs for girls within underserved and under-resourced communities within the Metro Phoenix area; International Rescue Committee as Asylum Seeking Families Shelter Supervisor; and Chief Operating Officer at the Editha House Foundation. Editha House provides affordable lodging for adult cancer patients and their adult caregivers traveling to Phoenix for medical treatment. Prior to relocating to Phoenix from the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, Chiquita worked with the National Institutes of Health- Woodmont House, where she managed a transitional housing program for patients and their families who were receiving treatment through clinical trials. She also served as Cooperative Services Manager at the Betty’s House National Center for Children and Families –where she helped start up and manage transitional housing programs for immigrant women and their children who were victims of domestic violence. Since relocating to Phoenix, Chiquita has connected with many nonprofit leaders in order to identify areas of need throughout the community. The prevention and early detection of Valley Fever is an area that she is particularly passionate about as she lost a friend to the debilitating disease. Chiquita is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Sciences in Public Health. She has served on the board of YNPN Phoenix and is currently a member of the Phoenix Rotary 100 Satellite Club. She is also a 2016 Leading for Change Fellow.
LFC Board Member
Wendy Valenzuela currently works in State and Local Affairs for Arizona Public Service, the largest electric utility provider in Arizona. She is responsible for maintaining relationships with governmental, business and community leaders to determine common concerns and minimize conflicts while working with company business units to achieve favorable outcomes. Prior to her role at APS, Wendy worked in local government as Chief of Staff where she implemented policy priorities. From 2004 to 2011, Wendy served as Director of Government and Media Relations at a public affairs firm. In this role, she provided strategic advice for campaigns and on policy initiatives for clients in the areas of Transportation, Aviation, Water, Housing and Education. Wendy has her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Santa Clara University and a Master of Public Administration from Arizona State University. She serves on the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Committee, the Maricopa Community College Foundation Board, the Children’s Action Alliance Board and Phoenix Theatre Board and Emerge Arizona. She is a graduate of Valley Leadership Class 34 and Hispanic Leadership Institute. Wendy and her husband, Daniel Valenzuela, have four children and one active puppy.