Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards
CFA is honored to recognize the 2023 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service award recipients.
Awarded in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader, and Civic Leader – honorees exemplify the impact Gabe Zimmerman had in connecting communities and engaging Arizonans. Any Arizona-based nonelected public servant can be nominated for the awards.
Why it matters
Every day throughout Arizona, nonelected public servants are contributing to their communities and civic life, working collectively to build a stronger and brighter future for our state. To recognize their immeasurable efforts in advancing The Arizona We Want, the Center for the Future of Arizona presents the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award.
How it works
Awarded in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader, and Civic Leader – honorees exemplify the impact that dedicated and talented people have connecting communities and engaging Arizonans, just as Gabe Zimmerman did in his role as Director of Community Outreach for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
With the support of his family, the award is named in honor of Gabe, who lost his life on January 8, 2011 while serving the citizens of Arizona at a “Congress on your Corner” constituent outreach event. Honorees are recognized by CFA at the annual ACMA luncheon and presented in partnership with ACMA, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, and the County Supervisors Association of Arizona.
Any Arizona-based nonelected public servant who is employed by any of the following may be nominated for the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards:
- Cities and Towns
- Special Districts
- Agencies of the Executive and Legislative Branches of State Government
- Tribal Governments
- Personal Staff employed by Members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation
As there are other recognition programs for education and public safety employees, this program will focus on all other categories of public service in Arizona at the levels of government listed above.
The selection committee judges each category according to the following criteria:
Community Builder (Large City/Town)
Recognizing efforts to advance community pride and connectedness through such areas as job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteer and philanthropic efforts, and educational advancement. This award is open to non-elected public service employees in any city or town with more than 100,000 people, or in Maricopa and Pima Counties.
Community Builder (Small City/Town)
Recognizing efforts to advance community pride and connectedness through such areas as job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteer and philanthropic efforts, and educational advancement. This award is open to non-elected public service employees in any city or town with less than 100,000 people, any county except Maricopa and Pima counties, and any tribal government.
Recognizing early-stage public service employees committed to the overall civic health and community connection of the constituents they serve while bringing innovation, energy and compassion to their position and serving as a role model for others. Open to non-elected public service employees under the age of 40 of any city, town, county, state, or tribal government and staff members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.
Recognizing extraordinary leaders who 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. Open to non-elected public service employees of any city, town, county, state, or tribal government and staff members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.
The Honorable Amanda Aguirre (Co-Chair)
Former State Senator
President & CEO
Regional Council for Border Health
Evelyn Casuga (Co-Chair)
Governing Board Member
Central Arizona College
Director, Government Affairs, Southwest Region
(Former) AZ State Land Commissioner
Mignonne Hollis, ED
Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation
Former Local Government Manager
Emily Nottingham, PhD
(Retired) City of Tucson Administrator
Mother of Gabe Zimmerman
Policy Development Group
Rosemary Ybarra Hernandez
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, Inc.
President, Beyond Foundation
Father of Gabe Zimmerman
With support from the Zimmerman family, the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are supported by Center for the Future of Arizona and the following organizations:
Arizona City and County Managers Association (ACMA)
The Arizona City and County Management Association was established in 1954. It is a non-profit, professional organization dedicated to increasing the knowledge and ability of city, town, and county managers, as well as other local government administrators and to strengthen the quality of local government in the State of Arizona through professional management, education, training, and the mutual exchange of information.
The ACMA cooperates with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, the International City and County Management Association, various public institutions of higher learning in Arizona, and other organizations dedicated to supporting and promoting local government management. The organization was incorporated in 1998. It currently has approximately 280 members and is staffed by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
League of Arizona Cities and Towns
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a voluntary association of all the 91 incorporated cities and towns in the state of Arizona. It provides policy and legislative advocacy, information and inquiry services, along with publications and educational programs to strengthen the quality and efficiency of municipal government. It was founded in 1937 to serve the interests of cities and towns and to preserve the principles of home rule and local determination.
County Supervisors Association of Arizona (CSA)
For more than 30 years, the County Supervisors Association of Arizona (CSA) has served as a non-partisan forum for county officials to address important issues facing local constituents, providing a mechanism to share information and to develop a proactive state and federal policy agenda. CSA membership includes the 61 elected supervisors from Arizona’s 15 counties. The association’s efforts are strengthened by the involvement of top-level county professional staff, who provide technical expertise necessary to inform policy discussions.
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