Skip to main content
Home Programs Workforce Programs Workforce Leadership Academy Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy

2023 Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy

Southern Arizona


Center for the Future of Arizona and Pima Community College are pleased to provide the Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy to workforce development professionals in the Tucson area in 2023. Southern Arizona Academy Fellows have been selected and announced, and the Academy is underway! It was a competitive selection process and we want to extend appreciation to everyone who applied.

The Workforce Leadership Academy brings leaders– recognized as Fellows of the Academy – from across the Southern Arizona workforce system together for a year-long series of retreats, workshops, and action learning projects. The Academy provides a forum for Fellows to work collaboratively to identify local and regional systems-based challenges and create shared solutions that advance economic opportunity for all Arizonans. Fellows work with leading practitioners throughout the country as they deepen networks; strengthen systems leadership skills; apply race, equity, and systems change frameworks to their work; and increase understanding of effective strategies and programs. They are also supported and mentored by a local Advisory Council of senior leaders. As Alumni of the Academy, Fellows will become part of the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, joining changemakers from Academies across the US and Canada.



Academy Fellows


Academy Goals


2023 Academy Schedule Overview


Southern Arizona Advisory Council

Our thanks to the leaders who will support the Fellows this year.

  • Barbra Coffee — Director, Economic Initiatives, City of Tucson
  • Susan Dumon — Senior Vice-President, Sun Corridor Inc.
  • Rob Elias — President & CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Francisco Garcia — Deputy County Administrator, Pima County Arizona@Work
  • Mark Gaspers — Sr. Government Operations, The Boeing Company; Chair, Workforce Arizona Council
  • Michael Guymon — President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber
  • Todd Jaeger — Superintendent, Amphitheater Public Schools
  • Greg Madril — Director, Workforce Development, Tribal Nations, Pascua-Yaqui
  • Ted Maxwell — President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
  • Krista McGarvey — Business Strategy Consultant, Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Tony Penn — President & CEO, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
  • Kathy Prather — Superintendent & CEO, Pima JTED
  • Ian Roark — Vice Chancellor, Workforce Development & Innovation, Pima Community College
  • Kasey Urquidez — Vice President, Enrollment Management & Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Arizona
  • Maria Zepeda — Statewide Strategic Initiative Manager, Arizona Department of Economic Security


Academy Contacts

Southern Arizona Site Facilitators

Holly Kurtz
Director, Workforce Development
Center for the Future of Arizona
[email protected]


Tennille Penaloza-Hagen
Project Manager, Workforce Development
Center for the Future of Arizona
[email protected]


Amanda Abens, MC
Dean of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning
Pima Community College
[email protected]





The Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy is made possible in part by:

Aspen Institute / TRBF / The Burton Family Foundation

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
Rusing Lopez & Lizardi
U.S. Bank