Center for the Future of Arizona Names Recipients of 2023 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards Annual awards recognize the value of civic service through nonelected public servants
Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announces the 2023 recipients of the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards at an annual ceremony at the Arizona City and County Management Association (ACMA) conference in Tucson. The awards are an annual effort to recognize the important work accomplished by dedicated, nonelected public servants across the state while underscoring the impact made by individuals committed to civic service.
This year’s recipients include Retired Maricopa County Manager Joy Rich, Maricopa County Correctional Health Services Education and Quality Management Manager Mark McCall, Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing Executive Director Sherri Collins, City of Scottsdale Management Associate to the City Manager Stephanie Zamora, and Bisbee City Manager Stephen J. Pauken.
“CFA is honored to present the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards as an essential part of advancing The Arizona We Want,” says Dr. Sybil Francis, Chair, President & CEO of Center for the Future of Arizona. “While highly-visible elected officials set policy direction and make important decisions, our nonelected public servants and the roles they fill are not as easily observed yet vital to the quality of life in Arizona. We applaud the 2023 award recipients for their dedication, professionalism, and expertise in solving public problems and improving our communities."
The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards, named after the Community Outreach Director whose life was taken in a mass shooting in 2011 at a “Congress on Your Corner” event for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is a cooperative effort between CFA, the Zimmerman family, and ACMA highlighting the contributions nonelected public servants make to the communities they serve.
Public servants who are eligible for the awards include those who are employed by cities and towns, counties, special districts, agencies of the executive and legislative branches of state government, tribal governments, and personal staff working for members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.
All award nominees are judged on their qualities and achievements related to:
- 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
- Legacy contributions of lasting significance
This year’s independent volunteer selection committee asked to determine the 2023 recipients, included: Amanda Aguirre, Former State Senator and Regional Council for Border Health President and CEO; Evelyn Casuga, Central Arizona College Governing Board Member; Rachel Aja, Cox Communications Southwest Region Government Affairs Director; Lisa Atkins, Former Arizona State Land Commissioner; Mignonne Hollis, ED, Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation Executive Director; Steve Peru, Coconino County Manager; Marilyn Rodriguez, Creosote Partners Partner; Paul Senseman, Policy Development Group Principal; Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, Inc. CEO; previous Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards recipient James Jayne, Former Local Government Manager; and Gabe Zimmerman’s parents Ross Zimmerman, Beyond Foundation President, and Emily Nottingham, Retired City of Tucson Administrator.
Community Builder Award (Large County and Small City/Town): Recognizes public servants in cities and towns who advance community pride and connection. 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 2023 award recipients are:
- Large County: Mark McCall, Maricopa County Correctional Health Services Education and Quality Management Manager
- Small City/Town: Stephen J. Pauken, Bisbee City Manager
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 2023 award recipient is:
- Stephanie Zamora, City of Scottsdale Management Associate to the City Manager
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 2023 award recipient is:
- Sherri Collins, Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing Executive Director
Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizes public servants who have dedicated a significant portion of their professional lives contributing to civic engagement with the goal of fostering stronger communities and implementing solutions that aim to create a brighter future for generations to come in Arizona. The 2023 award recipient is:
- Joy Rich, Retired Maricopa County Manager