As part of our commitment to the LGBTQ and allied communities and to develop stronger, diverse partnerships, ONE Community created its Multicultural Advisory Board (the most amazing MAB) in 2012. Advisory Board members include local business and nonprofit leaders who will support ONE Community and lend guidance regarding strategic growth and community involvement to better serve diverse populations.
Cicely Rocha Miller
Cicely Rocha Miller is the founder of Life Design Event Planning. A graduate of ASU, Cicely conceived her business after working a number of years in the nonprofit sector and discovering that she has a gift for planning events of all types; from fundraising to corporate events, from weddings to gala parties of all sorts. All you have to do is present a concept to Cicely, and then step back and get ready for an explosion of creative energy.
She hand-picked a creative staff and has a network of the best vendors to ensure an event that will have people talking for years to come. She also is the founder of MRSter.com, which she coins as an online resource for the Modern Union that practices true inclusivity. The website unifies same-sex and straight couples with wedding planning advice and connects them with allied vendors. She has also developed a training for vendors looking to be inclusive and work better with the new market called; MRSter Speaks.
When you speak to Cicely, it takes only moments to know that this is a woman who can get the job done – and not merely done, but done splendidly, joyously, and unforgettably. As her by-line states, “Life is designed by Moments, Moments are designed by Us” and the driving force behind the “us” is Cicely Rocha-Miller, event planner extraordinaire.
A native from Connecticut, Deanna Jordan has called Arizona home since 2003. She has both her Bachelors as well as Master in Business from Chadwick University. She was a consultant for the Telecom/Information Technology industry, on engagements as far as Australia and Venezuela. She was CEO of Nulogic from 2003 to 2008. She was Director of It for Stinger Welding, and then started her own small business consulting company. Currently, she is Banker for Comerica Bank. Deanna was a long term Board Member of Equality Arizona from 2004 to 20011 and was dinner chair of several dinner events.
Deanna believes the best way to create change is to be the change and that is why she sits on several other Boards. Currently she serves on the Impact for Enterprising Women Board, GPGLCC Board and the Fusion Foundation. Bringing people, process and heart together motivates her to stay active and keep building on the foundations that others have made. Deanna loves to travel both domestically as well internationally, create a culinary experience for friends and follows the mantra “to live is to experience and to experience is to live”.
Dennis Skinner is founder and president of MANY-TO-ONE: The Facilitation Practice. to harness the creative power of collaboration to drive breakthrough improvements for organizations, the consumers and communities they serve, and the people who lead them. We help corporations and non-profits of all sizes solve complex problems, design powerful strategies, and develop high-performing teams and leaders. We do this by designing and masterfully facilitating collaborative workshops and development experiences for groups of all sizes.
Our approach is founded in the belief that organizations usually don’t need a consultant to tell them how to improve. The people who do the work and run the business are collectively smart enough already. What organizations often need is an expert in collaboration—someone who can enable groups to work together, generate and build on the wisdom of the team, and converge on sustainable agreements. That’s what we do.
Whether it’s a small non-profit or a Fortune 100 corporation—whether it’s a handful, or a ballroom full of people—we lead clients through a rigorous, structured, inclusive process to collaborate, innovate, and grow together. Working with clients like Intel, Dignity Health, Cambia Health Solutions, EBay, The Standard, American Express, and a broad array of non-profits, MANY-TO-ONE has been honored to work alongside amazing people, facilitating a process of designing a new and exciting future together.
Human Resource Director
Fry’s Food Stores, a division of Kroger Co.
Donna is passionate about people and brings nearly 30 years of experience to her role as Director of Human Resources for Fry’s Food Stores, where she has worked since 2008. There she oversees Recruiting and Training, Total Rewards, Payroll Benefits and Associate Relations. Her role as a founding member of the company’s Associate 1st Committee helped grow engagement to an all-time high of 91 percent.
Donna has been recognized with several awards for her leadership and contributions. Most recently she was honored with One Community ‘s Spotlight on Success Local Heroes Award in 2016, Phoenix Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business in 2013, and Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery in 2011. In 2017, the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation recognized Donna and her team as the Keys to Success 2017 Employer of the Year.
Donna is also passionate about volunteering to advance her profession and the community. Currently, she serves on the multicultural business advisory board for ONE Community and the board of trustees for the Arizona Food and Drug Industry Education Foundation. She also served for more than four years on the board of directors for the Sojourner Center, the largest domestic violence shelter in the nation. She regularly participates in Fry’s volunteer initiatives including Race for the Cure, The Salvation Army Holiday Warehouse and at the St. Vincent De Paul’s Watkins Family Shelter.
Donna holds a bachelor’s degree in business from ASU.
Gerardo Higginson currently is the Director of Community Empowerment and Communications for Univision and Unimas Arizona TV and Univision Radio. Before Univision, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon named Higginson as one of his top assistants in January 2004. His responsibilities as a Senior Assistant to the Mayor included Spanish-language and minority media relations and acting as the chief liaison to the Hispanic and immigrant communities, the Asian-American and LGBT communities, as well as the mayor’s representative for the 2010 census, arts and culture issues. Higginson was a reporter and news anchor for Telemundo Arizona, an online journalist for Quepasa.com and columnist for La Voz prior to this. He also has more than 11 years of experience in the banking industry, namely working for Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of the West.
Higginson has devoted countless hours volunteering for numerous issues confronting different minority segments. He is currently a board member of the Arizona Opera, member of the ONE Community Multicultural Advisory Board, and the Chairman of the Hispanic Gala in Phoenix for St. Jude Hospital and Research.
Higginson previously served as Chair of the 2014 Phoenix Aids Walk, board member of "De Colores", a shelter for victims of domestic violence and as chair of media and public relations for the annual National Hispanic Women’s Conference, to name a few.
James Christian is the Managing Attorney at the law firm Christian Anderson, PLC, which has a rich history of providing legal services to a wide variety of businesses and individuals. Among other things, James has provided counsel relative to intellectual property rights, the purchase and sale of businesses, business divisions, and franchises. Aside from negotiating and drafting, James has worked with businesses to obtain state and federal regulatory agency approval and licensing when needed. James has advised businesses of all sizes on many other legal matters such as subcontractor and independent contractor relationships, consumer disputes, and regulatory compliance. James has a passion for helping entrepreneurs navigate often complex legal terrain to achieve their business goals. Outside of work, James is active in his community. He’s a founding member of Suns Charities 88, which funds children’s programs across the state. James sits on ONE Community’s Multicultural Advisory Board to help promote diversity in the workplace. James is a past recipient of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40-Under-40 Award, ONE Community’s Local Heroes Award, and Super Lawyer’s Rising Star Award. James is also a proud member of Valley Leadership Class 38.
Katee Van Horn
Katee Van Horn is a human resource strategist and international keynote speaker focused on strengthening corporate cultures. She inspires leaders, employees and human resource teams by showing people how to build a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone succeeds.
Katee is the founder and CEO of Bar the Door Consulting & Coaching, where she provides practical solutions for teams to thrive through an inclusive environment. Katee uses her 20+ years in HR and her innate ability to quickly assess the individual, organization and leadership development needs to create appropriate and operative solutions. She is a reputable leader known for building and sustaining trusting, collaborative relationships to achieve business goals.
Kathey Wagner is the founder of B-On the Obvious, Inc. a business strategy firm and 850zip, a hyper-local loyalty program. Midtown Phoenix has been home for Kathey and her family since 1999. As an entrepreneur and community developer, Kathey strives to create stronger neighborhoods and connected communities in support of locally-owned businesses and non-profits. As an executive strategist, she leads senior leaders and business owners through an examination of their organizations; then makes certain they have the right balance of processes, investment, and strategic planning in place to achieve important short-term gains while laying the groundwork for long-term growth. Kathey brings decades of experience working in diverse environments and industries, from startups to Fortune 50 companies, insurance to engineering, consulting to executive leadership, and more. With this broad and deep expertise, Kathey offers a different slant on business that helps people achieve their dreams.
With human rights as one of Kathey’s core values, she is a committed partner of One Community and is in constant search for opportunities to build awareness for diversity, inclusion, and equality for all humans. Kathey's community leadership includes life-long commitment to Special Olympics, Martin Luther King's Jr. Board of Directors in Salt Lake City, Arizona Saves Board Chair in Phoenix, and Arizona's Women Education and Employment (AWEE) Board of Directors in Phoenix.
Kerwin V. Brown
Kerwin Brown brings considerable experience with over thirty years in marketing and business development. He has held numerous sales, management and business development positions in the insurance, banking and investment industries. He managed the development of the in-branch investment brokerage program for Wells Fargo Bank and managed sales and marketing for a national, community bank investment program for Transamerica Life Insurance Company.
Kerwin has continued to help with the success of growing businesses as the Founder and Managing Principal for K-Vaughn Consulting, LLC. Throughout his career he has built initiatives and organizations by setting himself apart from the competition. His clients include corporations, nonprofits and small businesses, to help with business strategies and business development. With the health care market creating challenges for companies to provide benefits as an incentive to attract and retain qualified employees, Kerwin has acquired an insurance agency, which provides benefits that help businesses with creative solutions.
Kerwin is the former President and CEO of The Black Chamber of Arizona, and served as Treasurer and Western Regional Director for the United States Black Chambers, Inc. Notable is his involvement as a board member with Take Charge America, board member for Tanner Properties, Inc., board member for The City of Phoenix Residential Investment Development Effort, and serves on the board for the Phoenix Police Foundation and UPI Education. Kerwin was the Phoenix Mayor’s appointee to the Phoenix Transportation Committee and appointed by Arizona’s Governor to the Arizona Commission of African-American Affairs.
He has received numerous awards including the Community Partnership Champion’s Award from Magellan Health Services, he was awarded Community Leadership Recognition from Pet Smart and The Phoenix Suns, he received the Leadership Award from Power of the Word Ministries and he was a 2013 Father of the Year Honoree for The American Diabetes Association. Kerwin is also listed as one of the AZ Business Leaders in AZ Business Leaders Magazine.
Kerwin attended California State University Los Angeles and the ASU W.P. Carey Small Business Leadership Academy. He lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife Laurie Mae and he is the proud father of three children.
Kimber Lanning is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona. Lanning’s passions, which are seen throughout her work, include fostering cultural diversity and inclusion, economic resilience and responsible growth for Arizona.
Lanning has grown Local First Arizona into a widely respected organization that is leading the nation in implementing systems and policies to ensure a level playing field for entrepreneurial endeavors of all sizes. With over 3,000 business members and four statewide offices, Lanning leads a team of 20 who work on a diverse array of programs ranging from healthy local food access, entrepreneurial development in underserved communities, and rural community development, each of which plays a part in building sustainable and resilient local economies.
Lanning is consistently recognized and has received numerous awards for her diverse work and extensive leadership. In 2014, Lanning was recognized as the Citizen Leader of the Year by the International Economic Development Council, a pivotal moment in recognizing the use of Localist policies as a force for economic development. Her work in promoting adaptive reuse in Phoenix’s urban core was recognized by the American Planning Association, who presented Lanning with the Distinguished Citizen Planner Award in 2013. Lanning has also been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona” (Arizona Business Magazine, 2011), was the recipient of the Athena Award by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 2013, and was the 2014 Leader of the Year in Public Policy (Arizona Capitol Times).
Layne J Mortensen
Layne J Mortensen is an Executive Recruiting Consultant and Coach at his own company, LJM, LLC. He has a passion for helping companies innovate by recruiting the best leaders into the right roles for them to succeed. He understands the importance of diversity, inclusion and equality for all of Arizona’s citizens to build a better workplace and being part of ONE Community’s Multicultural Advisory Board is a role he doesn’t take lightly. He founded LJM, LLC to provide Executive Recruiting and Coaching Services that includes executive recruitment, job search coaching, career transition coaching and professional coaching.
A devotion to coaching motivates Layne to individually tailor support to meet the client’s needs to achieve powerful life changing results. He looks to empower his clients to seek personal growth and steer through life’s changes by refining their message to recruiters and hiring managers as well as while networking and job hunting.
Dr. Larry Johnson
Dr. Larry D. Johnson, Jr. is a student-centered academic leader, who serves as President of Phoenix College (PC), A Maricopa Community College. PC serves approximately 18,000 students, annually. Previously, Johnson served as Campus Provost & Chief Academic Officer, at St. Louis Community College (Forest Park campus). Additionally, he has served in various roles to include: associate dean, department chair, student concerns officer, and faculty.
Johnson is an author of several publications, and he is most proud of his autobiography, Memoirs of a Young Black Scholar: Surviving and Coping with Loss. He also serves on a number of boards to include a three-year appointment to the Commission on College Readiness (with the American Association of Community Colleges) and the Presidential Representative for the NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
Johnson earned a Doctorate of Arts degree in Humanities, with an emphasis in English Literature, from Clark Atlanta University. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Humanities and a certificate in Institutional Research, from Florida State University. Johnson also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).
Lauren M. Witte
Director, Marketing + Communications
Arizona Technology Council
Lauren M. Witte serves as the Marketing + Communications Director for the Arizona Technology Council, a private, not-for-profit technology trade association.
Joining the Council in November 2016, Lauren oversees the organization’s event promotions, member communications, email marketing, web development, advertisements and publications, graphic design, and social media. Lauren is responsible for helping to facilitate and promote over 100 Council events a year. She recently helped launch the TechConnect AZ Podcast in partnership with local startup accelerator, Coplex.
Prior to joining the Council, Lauren held the position of Brand Manager for Scottsdale-based real estate development firm Deco Communities, and before that, she was the Associate Director of Marketing + Client Relations and the law firm, JacksonWhite in Mesa, AZ.
She received Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Creative Writing: Nonfiction and Studio Art: Photography from the University of Redlands in Southern California, earning Departmental Honors in both disciplines and graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Lauren serves on the One Community Multicultural Advisory Board (MAB), is Co-Chair of the One Community Millennial Multicultural Advisory Board (MiMAB), and is the Partnership Co-Chair on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Chapter of Girls in Tech. She loves sports, craft beer, diversity, and cooking shows and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, Ian and their corgi, Conan.
Miriam Weisman is a lifelong community activist. She is presently the National Chair of the Education Committee for the Anti-Defamation League and an ADL facilitator for anti-bias workshops. She is a former Board Chair of ADL Arizona.
ADL’s Education Division and programming began as a result of problems that came about in response to integration and bussing of students to achieve the goal. ADL stresses the need for inclusion, understanding of commonalities and differences, and empathy to build a better world. ADL comes from a place of understanding the universality of bias, implicit and explicit, and how to consciously change our behaviors. ADL has created a program to help schools address school culture and change school climate, No Place for Hate.
Ms. Weisman also facilitates workshops for GLSEN and ADL anti-bias workshops for the Hispanic Leadership Institute created by Valle del Sol. Ms. Weisman spent her career working in schools and continues to be motivated by the need for all students feel safe, included and respected.
Nelda Majors & Karen Bailey
Nelda Majors was born and lived in Houston, Texas, until 2003. Lived in Wimberley, Texas 2002-2005, then moved to Scottsdale in 2005. She graduated from the University of Houston with BS degree in 1963, majoring in Physical Therapy and Sociology. In 1975, she started a Physical Therapy contract service providing physical therapy services to over 20 hospitals in several states as well as 5 outpatient offices in Texas. Nelda retired in 1990, and then got involved with a friend in commercial real estate and land development projects. She is still involved in the real estate, but not in any new projects.
Karen Bailey was born in Madisonville, Texas, but spent most of her childhood living in Galveston, Texas. When she was 15, her family moved from Galveston to Texas City, Texas. She attended Sam Houston State University for 1 year. She met Nelda while at Sam Houston, and the following year they both transferred to the University of Houston. She worked for Superior Oil Co. until 1976. Nelda then talked Karen into coming to work with her. Karen managed the business end of the company dealing almost constantly with Insurance Companies, payroll duties, and trying to keep all of the secretaries in the various physical therapy departments happy. She did a great job. She retired with Nelda in 1990, and since then has been very involved in raising her two great nieces. Karen & Nelda have been raising Sharla since 1996 and Marissa since since 2001. Sharla is now 23 and Marissa is 17.
Tyler has been a member of the financial and fraud risk management community for over 15 years. Tyler is a member of the Merchant Acquirer’s Council and leads educational efforts as a speaker on risk and data analysis. Tyler currently serves as a policy leader within PayPal’s global commercial risk management group. Tyler leads PayPal PRIDE Arizona which is the LGBTQ+ affinity group supporting PayPal’s offices in Chandler and Scottsdale. Tyler also serves as an officer for PayPal PRIDE’s Global Steering Committee in the capacity of PRIDE Ambassador.
Tammy Perkins retired from the City of Phoenix executive after 30 plus years of service in local government management. Her Phoenix work assignments ranged from Interim Deputy City Manager with oversight responsibilities of the Aviation, City Clerk and Public Works Departments and the Arts & Culture, Education & Youth and Historic Preservation functions to Neighborhood Services Director and Deputy Neighborhood Services Director managing comprehensive neighborhood revitalization, community development, infill housing & commercial development, zoning & blight code enforcement and resident involvement programs.
Her community involvement included Chair of the Arizona Women’s Town Hall, participant on the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s Interfaith Mission, Chair of the Downtown Phoenix YMCA Board of Management and member of the Valley Leadership Board.
Since leaving the City, Tammy has completed the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Mediation Training, served as a mentor for the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy, participated in numerous Osher Lifelong Institute courses and served on Drake University’s National Alumni Board. She is a member of ONE Community’s Multicultural Advisory Board and serves as a leadership/management coach with ASU’s Certified Public Manager Program. Tammy’s current professional memberships include the Association for Conflict Resolution and the International City County Management Association.
Rev. Troy Mendez
The Very Rev. Troy Mendez was called in January 2014 to serve as the fourteenth dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, a historic and vibrant downtown Phoenix congregation at the corner of Central and Roosevelt. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, Dean Mendez served at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, CA, and previously at the historic Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel, CA.
A native of Houston, Dean Mendez moved to Los Angeles in 1994 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame, and held positions in sales and marketing with Delta Air Lines and General Mills. Troy became active as a member at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, which led to a call to ordained ministry. His focus was engaging the wider Los Angeles community around issues of God’s radical welcome, mercy, and justice. For his efforts, he was recognized in 2001 and 2002 by Delta Air Lines as a “Heart of Delta” honoree.
Dean Mendez attended Virginia Theological Seminary and graduated Cum Laude in 2009. Troy was elected by his peers in 2012 to the Board of Trustees of the seminary, a term which continues until 2017. Mendez also holds a seat on the board of St. George’s College, Jerusalem, where he previously served as Treasurer. He has also served on the board of the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union, an economic justice ministry in Los Angeles.
Dean Mendez’s main call to ministry centers on guiding people into and through a life-long journey of partnering with the Living God. Troy exudes tremendous joy and is widely respected as a pastor, teacher and preacher. He is committed to and passionate about seeing the Church offer all people a sense of belonging, dignity, community and the grace of new life given to us in Jesus Christ. The work of encouraging society to achieve full-inclusion for all people, of practicing radical hospitality, and of proclaiming unconditional love to the world – this work is at the heart and center of Troy’s call in his vocation.
Tyler Kinnie is a Golden Girls fan and a Recruiter, in that order.
Tyler moved to Phoenix to study Business at the DeVry Institute and then proceeded to work in construction and technical environments, assuring both strong business partnerships and positive client experiences. Because of his love for people, the transition into recruiting was a natural fit. Tyler has recruited for companies including Safeway, GoDaddy, Vanguard and is currently the Sr. Recruiting Manager at one of Tempe’s newest gem’s, educational tech startup, Varsity Tutors.
Throughout his career, Tyler has support LGBT & allied community groups as well as charitable groups that are supporting human rights. Tyler launched and served as President of GoDaddy’s LGBT & allied employee group, UNITED. In that capacity, he and the team had great success in building awareness and engagement within the organization as well as connecting the company to the communities that it has offices in.
In his free time, he is traveling with friends, playing with his nieces, eating (and Instagramming) his way through the country and supporting the community in a variety of different ways.
Chief Operating Officer
Now in his 16th season with the Phoenix Mercury and Suns organization, Vince Kozar was named the Mercury’s Chief Operating Officer in 2017 after three-plus seasons as Vice President of Business Operations.
Kozar oversees all aspects of the Mercury’s day-to-day business operations, reporting to Phoenix Suns and Mercury President Jason Rowley, and works across all departments to help in generation of revenue and team brand awareness. He represents the organization in the community and the media.
He joined the Suns and Mercury organization in 2004 as an intern and has worked on the business sides of both properties. After serving as the communications manager for the Mercury’s title run in 2007, Kozar spent six seasons in the Suns’ basketball communications department. He returned to the Mercury in 2013 as the then newly-created director of communications and creative strategies in order to take a more active role in the team’s business operations, before being named vice president in 2014. Kozar and staff earned the WNBA’s prestigious President’s Award in 2014 after winning the team’s third championship, hosting the WNBA All-Star Game, and leading the league in attendance. And they were second runner-up in the WNBA’s inaugural Franchise of the Year competition in 2017.
Kozar was a 2017 selection to the Phoenix Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and was honored as a Spotlight Local Hero by ONE Community. He is a board member at Valley Youth Theater, serves on ONE Community’s Multicultural Advisory Board, is a member of the American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” in support of breast cancer awareness and fundraising, and serves on a City of Phoenix ad-hoc committee for the Fast Track Cities Initiative.