Dick Bowers has served the public for 44 years including 8 years with the New York State Thruway Authority and 23 years with the City of Scottsdale. He was the City Manager from 1991-2000. He led the shaping of an organization with noteworthy public support for many creative and productive initiatives that yielded a highly valued “Triple-Triple A” bond rating. He retired in 2000 to expand his consulting support of quality public and private organizations and to advocate for and support the many arts that shape community.

Dick Bowers is very active in numerous other organizations that help shape the character and quality of the human experience in the communities throughout the valley. He is the President of the Herberger Theater Center, and recently concluded six years as the CEO of the Phoenix Boys Choir. Dick and wife Peggy have five wonderful children and seven remarkable grandchildren. Dick holds a BA in English, and an MS in Public Service. He is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University, receiving the Adjunct Educator of the Year Award in 2010, and serves as a guest lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Marilee Dal Pra is Vice President of Programs at the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, a private independent foundation focused on the areas of health, education, children, arts and culture, older adults, and religious organizations in Maricopa County. She leads the foundation’s community initiatives and strategic program development. Ms. Dal Pra previously served as the director for Governor Hull’s Division of Children where she coordinated policies and programs which improved conditions for young Arizonans and their families.  She currently serves on the boards of Expect More Arizona and the national Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families.  Ms. Dal Pra holds a M.Ed from Northern Arizona University and a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Jennifer Gresko brings more than 20 years of experience in education and education leadership, beginning as a second- and third-grade teacher in Phoenix. Always eager to learn, she says, she began mentoring other teachers on campus in the use of technology in education, and eventually took a position at the district level working with teachers and technology. This experience opened up a new path at the college level, which led to her current position as Faculty Chair of Teacher Education and eLearning Design at Rio Salado College.  The Educator Preparation Programs at Rio Salado College are designed for working adults who want to enter the teaching profession or continue their professional development in preK-12 education.  She previously held positions as a school district technology trainer K – 3, and as a program specialist in curriculum and assessment.  She is also an adjunct professor with Plymouth State University.

Jennifer holds a BS in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon Univeristy, and M.Ed in “Elementary Education – Specialization in Educational Media and Computing” and an Ed.D in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University.

Dr. Gresko is on committees at the Arizona Department of Education as well as on the Improving Teacher Quality Advisory Council.

Dana Marie Kennedy is the State Director for AARP Arizona, representing more than 820,000 members in Arizona. Kennedy joined the national organization’s state office after serving more than 20 years as a leading advocate for working families, retirees, and women at the local, state and national levels.

As State Director Kennedy is making AARP the go-to organization for Arizonans who are 50 plus, working on issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. Her focus includes helping people age in place–living independently in their homes for as long as possible, helping to keep energy costs affordable and partnering with our aging community on issues important to older Arizonans.

Kennedy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work as well as a Certificate in Gerontology from California State University Long Beach. She has a Master’s in Social Work from Boston University where she also acquired Certificates in Human Service Management and Gerontology.

Kennedy spends her free time training for endurance events including triathlons and marathons. She has completed 10 marathons and numerous triathlons including Ironman Arizona in Tempe in 2013.

Dr. Knopf serves as Director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Arizona State University (OLLI at ASU). He is a Professor of Community Resources and Development at ASU, and also directs the ASU Partnership for Community Development. His expertise rests in advancing community quality of life by building innovative partnerships among businesses, government, non-profit and community service organizations. He has formulated a vision for OLLI at ASU that fuses adults 50 and over with the intellectual and cultural resources of Arizona State University, as well as provides meaningful pathways for civic engagement.

Dr. Knopf also heads the Age Friendly University initiative at ASU, and serves on a multinational steering committee for introducing Age Friendly design principles to universities on a global scale. His primary research specialty is on the role of community formation in optimizing lifelong learning experiences for older adults.


Patrick McWhortor is Arizona Campaign Director for Open Primaries, a movement of diverse Americans who believe no American should be required to join a political party to exercise his or her right to vote. (Learn more at www.openprimariesaz.org.)

Prior to joining Open Primaries, Patrick was President and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits for ten years. He has a deep 30-year background in Arizona’s nonprofit community, including the roles of Founder of NPower Arizona, Assistant Director at Data Network for Human Services, and member of many nonprofit boards of directors. He is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader, serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Nonprofits. He currently serves on the boards of Arizona Town Hall and Herberger Theatre. Patrick also has a background in small business, the public sector and teaching at the college level. He is a 2011 Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy Fellow and a 2004 graduate of Valley Leadership. He earned his B.A. and M.P.A. at Arizona State University, and he and his wife have raised three boys in Cave Creek.

As a Social Enterprise Catalyst, Gayle is a speaker and advisor to social entrepreneurs and enterprising nonprofits to advocate and create profitable social purpose businesses. In her distinguished corporate career, Gayle held executive positions with two global companies, Honeywell and Rockwell Automation. She spent years honing this expertise to fit the social sector.

As Faculty Associate, Arizona State University, she teaches Social Entrepreneurship to practitioners and students. In 2013 Ms. Pincus published “Melons to Money: Growing Food, Lives & Social Enterprise”, a how-to story for nonprofit boards, leaders and social entrepreneurs. Gayle works closely with leaders to create blockbuster businesses with a double bottom line.

Gayle’s MBA is from M.I.T.’s Sloan School and she is active in Financial Executives International, an advisory board member of Experience Matters, a board member of the Shirley G. Schmitz Foundation and on the Seed Spot and Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) Business Mentor Team.