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Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards

Why it matters

Every day throughout Arizona, non-elected public servants are contributing to their communities and civic life, working collectively to shape the future of our state. To recognize actions that are creating a better future for all Arizonans, 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 citizens, 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 the Center at the annual Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA) luncheon and presented in partnership with ACMA, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, and the County Supervisors Association of Arizona.

Eligibility

Any Arizona-based non-elected public servant who is employed by any of the following may be nominated for one of the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards:

  • Cities and Towns
  • Counties
  • 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.

Award Criteria

The selection committee judges each category according to the following criteria:

Community Builder (Large City/Town)

  • Leads substantive and ongoing programs that advance community pride through such areas as job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteer and philanthropic efforts and/ or educational advancement
  • Demonstrates a strategic and sustained commitment to public service excellence.
  • Demonstrates innovate thinking and a willingness to take risks to achieve results.
  • Clarity and specificity of application.

Community Builder (Small City/Town)

  • Leads substantive and ongoing programs that advance community pride through such areas as job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteer and philanthropic efforts and/ or educational advancement
  • Demonstrates a strategic and sustained commitment to public service excellence.
  • Demonstrates innovate thinking and a willingness to take risks to achieve results.
  • Clarity and specificity of application.

Emerging Leader

  • Potential to impact Arizona in terms of developing new capacities or being a thought leader in the future
  • Takes initiative to enhance the community by improving overall civic health or community connection.
  • Constituent-centric attitude illustrated through energy, compassion, and modeling behavior for others.
  • Clarity and specificity of application.

Civic Leader

  • Made a profound difference in improving Arizona to be a better place for future generations
  • Contributed solutions to high-impact issue/s facing Arizona
  • Consistent demonstration of knowledge, skills and commitment to addressing Arizona’s long-term issues
  • Developed and implemented innovative programs or processes that positively impact the community in which he/she serves.
  • Clarity and specificity of application.

Honorees

Award Recipients

*Awards postponed due COVID-19 outbreak.

Selection Committee

The Honorable Amanda Aguirre (Co-Chair)
Former State Senator
President & CEO
Regional Council for Border Health

Evelyn Casuga (Co-Chair)
Assistant to President – Special Projects
Central Arizona College

Rachel Aja
Government & Regulatory Affairs Manager
Cox Communications

Lisa Atkins
Commissioner of Lands
Arizona State Land Department

Deborah Embry
President & CEO
Tucson Urban League, Inc

James Jayne
Navajo County Manager
We are Navajo County

Jacob Moore
Assistant Vice President
Tribal Relations
Arizona State University

Steve Peru
Chief Development and Government Relations Officer
Coconino Community College

Marilyn Rodriguez
Partner
Creosote Partners

Paul Senseman
Principal
Policy Development Group

Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez
CEO
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, Inc.

Award Partners

With support from the Zimmerman family, the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are supported by the Center for the Future of Arizona and the following organizations:

Arizona City and County Managers Association (ACMA)

The Arizona City/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/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.

 

County Supervisors Assocoation of Arizona (CSA)

County supervisors provide regional leadership over critical policy areas, including policies necessary to ensure safe communities, protect public health, promote economic development, and plan and manage land use for sustainable development.

Supervisors also provide important oversight of county operations, including overseeing strategies to promote sound fiscal management and to develop a high-quality county government.

 

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.

 


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