Center for the Future of Arizona Names 2022 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award Recipients Annual awards honor outstanding non-elected public servants in Navajo County, Avondale, Tucson, and Phoenix.
Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announced the four outstanding recipients of the 2022 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards. Non-elected public servants honored this year are Public Works Director for Navajo County, John Osgood, Senior Services Manager for the City of Avondale Sandy Lopez, Community Outreach Coordinator for Pima County Attorney’s Office Patrick Robles, and Deputy Sergeant at Arms / Constituent Services Liaison at the Arizona State Senate Jenna Lyon.
On January 8, 2011, Gabe Zimmerman – Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ community outreach director – lost his life while serving the citizens of Arizona at a “Congress on Your Corner” constituent outreach event. In honor of his memory, CFA presents these special awards each year to non-elected public servants to recognize their contributions to Arizona communities.
“CFA is honored to celebrate the achievements of this year’s recipients of the Gabe Zimmerman award,” said Sybil Francis, President & CEO of Center for the Future of Arizona. “These honorees work every day to create a stronger and brighter future for our state and we are proud of their passion for improving our communities and solving public problems. Their commitment to building a democracy that works for all helps us achieve The Arizona We Want.”
The 2022 awards were presented today at the Arizona City/County Management Association Summer Conference in Tucson. CFA is proud to recognize awardees with the support from the Zimmerman family and in partnership with the Arizona City/County Management Association. Cox Communications and Desert Diamond Casinos sponsored the 2022 awards.
About the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards Categories
Community Builder Award (Large City/Town and Small City/Town): Recognizes public servants in cities and towns who advance community pride and connectedness. These leaders have been instrumental in transforming their communities through various efforts, including job creation and training, advancing healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteerism and philanthropy, and educational advancement. The 2022 award recipients are:
- Large City/Town: John Osgood, Public Works Director for Navajo County
- Small City/Town: Sandy Lopez, Senior Services Manager for the City of Avondale
Emerging Leader Award: Recognizes early-stage public servants committed to improving civic health and community connections for their constituents. These leaders bring innovation, energy, and compassion to their organizations while serving as role models for others seeking to build their careers in Arizona. The 2022 award recipient is:
- Patrick Robles, Community Outreach Coordinator for Pima County Attorney’s Office
Civic Leader Award: Recognizes extraordinary public servants who have spent much of their careers supporting Arizona communities. These leaders have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and commitment to addressing Arizona’s long-term issues and the personal leadership capacity to make Arizona a better place for future generations. The 2022 award recipient is:
- Jenna Lyon, Deputy Sergeant at Arms / Constituent Services Liaison at the Arizona State Senate
All award nominees are judged on their qualities and achievements—how they have changed the way government works to serve the public interest; their ability to take risks and inspire others; their impact on connecting Arizonans to civic life; improving the health of their community; new ideas to reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance the delivery of public services; and legacy contributions of lasting significance. An independent volunteer selection committee of Arizona leaders chose this year’s honorees. Committee members included: the Honorable Amanda Aguirre (Co-Chair), Evelyn Casuga (Co-Chair), Rachel Aja, Lisa Atkins, Kristine FireThunder, Mignonne Hollis, James Jayne, Steve Peru, Marilyn Rodriguez, Paul Senseman, and Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez.
About the 2022 Award Recipients
Community Builder Award Large City/Town:
John Osgood, Public Works Director for Navajo County
John Osgood has selflessly provided high-quality public service and tended to community needs for more than 35 years. This includes 28 years with the City of Tempe, where he was actively engaged in redefining and building a healthy culture in which employees enjoyed working and were proud of the services they provided to the community. He brought these talents to Navajo County more than four years ago and, since then, has been successfully serving in his role while continuing to build and maintain a healthy work culture among his team.
Through focused efforts in coaching and mentoring, John has built a high-quality team that successfully provides the highest-level service to the community. He has been an active member of the American Public Works Association (APWA) and recognizes him through the celebration of National Public Works Week. He also hosts events to acknowledge and celebrate his team’s accomplishments and build team unity.
John has always supported his elected leaders in finding solutions that achieve the highest public purpose. He has been successful in this endeavor by building diverse, respectful, and talented teams.
Community Builder Award Small City/Town:
Sandy Lopez, Senior Services Manager for the City of Avondale
Sandy Lopez has been engaged in public service work for nearly 30 years and has served in various management roles within the Neighborhood and Family Services Department throughout her 15 years with the City of Avondale. During a period of two management position vacancies, Sandy served as interim for the Revitalization Manager and Housing and Community Development Manager while also carrying her workload.
Through times of challenge and success, Sandy remained a constant example of a leader, handling matters with diplomacy and poise. Sandy exceeded expectations this year by pivoting to maintain positive levels of community engagement even with the challenges posed by COVID-19. Sandy has also provided input and leadership for several critical projects while modeling professionalism, integrity, and teamwork for others within the department.
Emerging Leader Award:
Patrick Robles, Community Outreach Coordinator for Pima County Attorney’s Office
Patrick Robles is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Pima County Attorney’s Office. He engages with key community stakeholders to help guide policy-making, advises the Pima County Attorney on policy issues, organizes community-service events, and manages RICO fund applications and related duties.
Patrick has demonstrated outstanding commitment through public service to the Tucson community since high school when he organized a drive to improve his school crosswalk's infrastructure. He became active in the Tucson/Pima County Metropolitan Education Commission’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC) in 2017. He led student discussion groups at the State Capitol with legislators for the YAC’s annual Civic Engagement Day.
Patrick has consistently demonstrated a passion for his community and his peers through his continual commitment to community service and civic engagement. He is very knowledgeable about community and political issues, is known as friendly and outgoing, and has become an outstanding public speaker. He is well-respected by his peers and the many political and educational leaders with whom he has worked and known.
Civic Leader Award:
Jenna Lyon, Deputy Sergeant at Arms / Constituent Services Liaison at the Arizona State Senate
Jenna Lyon is one of the unsung heroes in the public servant sphere, having served with the Arizona State Senate for 17 years. She wears many hats for the legislature; she reshaped an internship program and created a culture of growth for this group. She is a non-partisan staffer who helps lead a large department. She is known for her willingness to help anyone get their foot in the door. She also has helped hundreds of constituents through her work on constituent services issues.
Jenna has hired over 150 college students for the Senate Page Program. It is a program that allows students to see the legislative process up close. She was instrumental in the start of many leaders’ careers, including state agency liaisons, public servants throughout the state, and one current state agency director. She wears many hats for the legislature and has been a mentor for hundreds of college students. She professionalized the page program with her goal of inspiring students to stay in the state and serve. She is a leader in the legislature and is known as someone to go to for advice. Jenna encapsulates what public service is, and she has multiplied her impact through her leadership.
About Center for the Future of Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state. We listen to Arizonans to learn what matters most to them, share trusted data about how Arizona is doing in those priority areas, bring critical issues to public attention, and work with communities and leaders to solve public problems. We work across the full spectrum of important issues areas and have deep and ongoing engagement in the areas of education, workforce development, and civic health, recognizing how essential these are to a bright and prosperous future for our state.