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2023 Award Recipients


Mark McCall’s journey began as a public school educator before transitioning to Arizona State University’s Teachers College as the Director of Professional Development. Mark then moved to Cross-District Field Specialist in partnership with the Education Service Agency, where he supported evidence-based evaluations of public-school teachers across 12 partner districts in Maricopa County. Then, in 2015, Mark served as the Deputy Associate Superintendent for Educator Excellence in the Arizona Department of Education.

Mark joined his current employer, Maricopa County, in 2018, fulfilling several roles over time. He served as Program Manager in the Office of the County Manager, then as Learning and Development Manager in Maricopa County Human Resources. In parallel, Mark facilitated the design and implementation of Transformational Leadership, a countywide development program for emerging and inspiring leaders that has since supported five cohorts and one hundred and eighteen graduates. Mark also delivered over 5,000 learning objectives via the County’s Learning Management Systems and managed the MCLEAPS internship program in collaboration with Arizona State University, providing training and service opportunities to twelve students each semester.

In April 2023, Mark joined Maricopa County’s Correctional Health Services as the Education and Quality Management Manager. The Correctional Health Services department provides medical, dental, and mental health services for all individuals incarcerated within the Maricopa County Jail System. In addition, Mark volunteers and serves on the Arizona Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors.


Stephen J. Pauken has worked as the City Manager for the City of Bisbee not once but now thrice. He first served as City Manager from 2006 to 2014 until he joined the City of Winslow as City Manager. When Stephen retired from Winslow in 2019, Bisbee asked him to return as a temporary City Manager while the Mayor and Council worked to find a permanent candidate. Eventually, in April 2021, Steve came out of retirement to once again serve as Bisbee’s City Manager and bring the city back into solvency.

As City Manager, Steve serves as Chief Administrative Officer of a full-service city. City Manager Pauken is the supervisor of nine department heads: Finance Director; Public Works Director; Community Development Director; Police Chief; Fire Chief; Library Director; Human Resources Manager; Tourism Manager; and Housing Director. However, Steve’s service is much more than that. He advocates for Bisbee at the Federal, State, and County level while entertaining new business prospects and residents. As the CEO of Bisbee, his efforts to keep the community looking forward, instead of backward, due to four City Managers in seven years, is a testament to his unique ability to connect with residents through his never condescending, always compassionate approach.

Steve embraces the city’s unique history and helps to foster its preservation with a delicate balance of new commerce and connection to the past. Steve asks and answers hard questions contributing to a better future, and believes community is powerful because the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


Stephanie Zamora joined the City of Scottsdale as Management Associate to the City Manager in May 2022 after serving as Management Fellow from August 2021 to May 2022. Previously, she served as Public Information Officer for the Town of Guadalupe and Advocacy Director for the Colibri Center for Human Rights. Stephanie also studied at Arizona State University as a Marvin Andrews Fellow.

As Scottsdale Management Associate to the City Manager, Stephanie works with many city departments and staff to collaborate on innovative, sustainable, and equitable solutions. In particular, Stephanie focuses on developing work-based learning programs to encourage students from charter schools, Scottsdale Unified School District, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale community colleges, and Arizona State University to join public service. To develop this initiative, she completed the Harvard Kennedy School Implementing Public Policy Executive Education Program. While with the Town of Guadalupe, she created and distributed culturally and linguistically appropriate digital and traditional communications as part of the town’s COVID-19 Response Team.

Stephanie has carried her passion for advocacy from non-profit human rights work to local government. She is an articulate leader focusing on bettering the lives of Arizonans and a lifelong learner, having completed her undergraduate from the University of Arizona, and her graduate degree from Arizona State University, including additional executive education coursework from Harvard.


Since May 1998, Sherri Collins has worked as the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. She acts as the Commission’s chief executive officer advocating, strengthening, and implementing state policies affecting deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals. Collins is committed to ensuring ACDHH is a vocal advocate for communication access, support services, and community empowerment throughout the state. Before moving to Arizona, Collins was an administrator at the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She was also the Assistant Director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. She served as secretary at the Arizona Center for Disability Law Board, Phoenix College, Chair of the Interpreter Preparation Program Advisory Board; President and Secretary for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind board; Chair of the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council, the Region IV Board Representative on the National Association for the Deaf board; and a past member of the FCC’s IP Telecommunication Relay Service Advisory board. Collins also serves on many national, state, and local committees and task forces. She currently serves as board President for the National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and governing board member on Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

As the first and only Deaf lobbyist registered in the nation, Collins strengthens and implements state policies affecting deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and their relationship to the public, industry, health care, and educational opportunities. She is also the Commission’s first Deaf director and the longest-tenured state director for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing.


Joy Rich began her career with the City of Phoenix in 1988 as a planner, moved to the City of Glendale, and then returned to Maricopa County in 1997 as the Planning Manager. In less than two years, she became the Planning and Development Director. In 2003, she added the management of multiple departments as an Assistant County Manager to her public service roster. In 2012, Joy became Deputy County Manager over numerous departments with a total budget of around $495 million. She became the County Manager in May 2016, the first woman ever to hold the position, and led the county through years of explosive growth, political and legal challenges, technological advances, a global pandemic, and rapidly shifting workplace trends.

Joy is a no-nonsense leader with high expectations of other managers and no fear of speaking truth to power. Her career is filled with achievements that made life better for county residents and employees.

Joy developed the Ombudsman program to give frustrated residents a contact to help them through processes at the various permitting departments, leading to fewer complaints overall. She also created the Enhanced Regulatory Outreach Program that brings stakeholders together when there is a change to regulatory rules. Joy formed an “at will” workforce to put the appropriate people in management, provide better training, and ensure employees can grow their careers. She helped the county transition to remote work and flexible schedules during the pandemic. She also pushed for a greater variety of benefits—including paid parental leave—and increased compensation to reflect the cost of living. Her most recent project was a 24/7 childcare facility so county employees working at all hours have a safe place for their children to stay and learn.

Remaining apolitical and no-nonsense, Joy earns the respect of those elected leaders she serves and the employee she leads. She has an infectious rapport with employees who recognize her as someone who moved up through the ranks of a complicated organization by solving problems through hard work.