Valley Leadership Selects 16 Arizonans For Explore Class 2

February 3, 2023
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Explore is the second of VL’s reimagined leadership development programs that will take participants to explore the wide variety of Arizona’s communities.

Valley Leadership has selected 16 Arizonans to be part of the second class of its Explore program. The program takes participants out of their home communities to get to know the great diversity of Arizona and how our most pressing issues show up in rural, urban, suburban, border and Native communities. The all-alumni cohort represents a diverse cross-section of industries, generations and experiences.

“I simply cannot recommend the program enough to the people I know and to the many I meet. Not only has the program been impactful for my own perspective of the world, but I was able to witness firsthand the value of networking and sharing resources, which can drastically improve the circumstances of the issues we were introduced to during each of our expeditions.”

Antonio Newman, Explore Class 1 Alumni

Participants will visit six different communities in Arizona that represent the broad diversity of our state. The destinations will include Navajo Nation, Nogales, Yuma, Mesa, South Phoenix, and Buckeye. Travel will range from single to multi-day trips. Each visit will focus on learning about each community’s various assets, opportunities and challenges. Participants will gain a better understanding and perspective of how lived-experiences in our state vary based on different communities.

“The second year of Explore will take participants across our state to broaden perspectives about what it means to be an Arizonan. Participants of this program will walk away forever changed as a result of the experience they have together, and the connections they make will be meaningful and long lasting. We hope that their experience will play a part in how they make decisions as leaders moving forward.”

Jen Gastelum, Explore Program Manager

Meet the Class:

Johana  Bautista Spanish TeacherHispalia Language Center
Joseph Curbelo Realtor, Mortgage Loan OfficerCurbelo & Curbelo
Joyceline Elliot Acting Program ManagerArizona Department of Economic Security 
LinéeFergson Senior ConsultantSelf Employed – Master the Workplace, LLC
Stephanie Graves PresidentClarksburg Chamber of Commerce
Susan Johnson Property Administrator Transwestern
William Jungermann Director of Sales
JulieHeineking Project 8 Client ManagementHuman Services Campus
Brad Herron-Valenzuela Managing Director, First Place Transition Academy DirectorFirst Place Phoenix
JoshLoughman Director of Modeling and TechnologyClimate Interactive
Leah McKiernan Principal, PXU CityPhoenix Union High School District 
Michael Metzger Vice President StrategySelf employed – Teach For America
Jen  Scrivner COOGoodmans Interior Structures
Annette TanoriSenior Operations Excellence Manager – Global Real EstateSilicon Valley Bank
Richard Verduzco IIIAssistant PrincipalPhoenix Union High School
KatieWebberVice President & Assistant General Counsel JPMorgan Chase Bank

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