Leadership West debuts 28th class

Organization rolls out new brand

Posted 10/24/21

Leadership West, the West Valley’s premier leadership program now in its 28th year, graduated the newest cohort of community leaders.

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Leadership West debuts 28th class

Organization rolls out new brand


Leadership West, the West Valley’s premier leadership program now in its 28th year, graduated the newest cohort of community leaders.

Leadership West empowers passionate leaders with experiences and professional development resources to forge civic-minded leaders, who are making a difference in the West Valley.

“The newest members represent a wide array of industries and through the year-long program, and they will learn about and deepen their understanding about the issues, successes and challenges in Arizona and the West Valley region,” Bobbi Magdaleno, LW board president, said. “With the current growth trajectory in the 15 West Valley communities today, a pathway is needed to provide the necessary tools to work with civic leaders to make positive changes in the West Valley and beyond.”

According to Michelle Hess, Leadership West executive director and Buckeye City Council member, the landscape of the West Valley is rapidly changing and there is a great need for civic-minded leaders.

“It is crucial to educate and empower leaders who are knowledgeable on regional issues, and willing to lead by example, she said. “It is our firm belief that Leadership West will continue to play a vital role in supplying the next wave of leaders for our region. Graduates of the program have shared their talents as volunteers and career professionals who have strengthened the West Valley and we are proud of their accomplishments. We look forward to the newest members of Class 28 sharing their talent to improve the quality of life in the West Valley.”  

Members of Class 28 are:

  • Sandra Bassett, West Valley Arts Council executive director
  • Silke Blaine, city of Goodyear budget coordinator
  • Jon Boizelle, EPCOR rates manager
  • Bill Clay, GCON, Inc. construction manager
  • Chris Cornett, Phoenix Raceway regional vice presiden
  • Eric French, EPCOR engineering manager
  • Joe Gladieux, city of Surprise Human Services and Community Vitality manager
  • Dr. Betsy Hargrove, Avondale Elementary School District superintendent;
  • Ron Hicks, Arizona State University senior associate of dean of students
  • Janet Johns, retired educator
  • JoEllen Johnson, Goddard School owner
  • Parker Jones, Zona Wyyred sales and marketing coordinator
  • Dr. Gwyneth Marr, Pendergast Elementary School District curriculum director
  • Taylor Perkins, Chasse Building Team client relations
  • Jessica Perry, Arizona Public Service public affairs manager
  • Sabrina Plaza, Ottawa Universit
  • William Price, Burns & McDonnell department manager
  • Christy Siddens, Luke Air Force Base program manager
  • Lt. Michael Saltz, city of Buckeye legal advisor
  • Jeremiah Smith, Everyone, Inc. principal and grant writer
  • Wayne Warner, Haydon Building Corp. project engineer.

Additionally, Leadership West officials are unveiling a new logo and brand that speaks to the entity they represent. A  committee worked collaboratively to engage with Up Late Designers, Be Sound PR and Controlled Chaos to create the new brand that had approval from the organization.

Leadership West provides an intensive, nine-month program that allows participants to explore in-depth the various issues regarding the regional community that includes 15 cities and more than 1 million people. The program features monthly issue days exploring single topics with information presented by industry leaders from throughout the region.

Participants in each class represent some of the best leaders in the West Valley who already are making a difference.


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