Directors of the Board

L-R Back: Melissa Rabago, David Snider, Brett Benedict, Jack Stonebraker, Jake Jacobson, Darrell Wilson L-R Front: Maggie Dooley, Sandie Smith, Evelyn Casuga, Lucinda Boyd, Jackie Guthrie, Joan Wuertz, Shirley Ann Hartman, Jon Corwin

Foundation Board of Directors

Jackie Guthrie, President

Sandie Smith, Past President

L.S. “Jake” Jacobson, Vice President

Alice Wilcox, Treasurer

David Snider, Secretary

Jack Stonebraker, Member-at-Large

Darrell Wilson, Member-at-Large

Dr. Jacquelyn Elliott, Ed.D, College President (ex officio)

Brett Benedict
Lucinda Boyd
Evelyn Casuga
Filomena Cornelio
Jon Corwin
Jim Garrett
Shirley Ann Hartman
Adam Hawkins
Daniel Ortega
Hon. Rebecca Rios
Jordan Rose
Hon. T.J. Shope
Joseph Wilhelm
Joan Wuertz

Emeriti Members

Mel Anderson
Kay Benedict
Brett Eisele

Brett Benedict

David ‘Brett’ Benedict, Assistant General Manager & CFO, Electric District 3
Term 2021

After many years of managing family agricultural enterprises, Brett joined Electrical District No. 3 of Pinal County, Arizona (ED3) as Controller in 2005. As ED3 grew, his responsibilities grew as well. He currently serves as Assistant General Manager and CFO. In addition, he serves as Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation District’s CFO.

Brett’s education experiences span from a bachelor’s in Agronomy from the University of Arizona through a master’s in International Business from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management and continues with certifications in Public Power Management from American Public Power Association, Global Leadership from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management, Water Management from Morrison School of Agribusiness and Real Estate Development from Arizona State University.

Brett enjoys his community involvements and is currently serving as member of the Casa Grande Industrial Development Authority and the Casa Grande Historical Preservation Commission.

Lucinda Boyd

Lucinda F Boyd, RN, President & Co-Founder, The Streets Don’t Love You Back
Term 2020

Lucinda has been a resident of Maricopa for 33 years, attended CAC for close to 5 years, and graduated from the Nursing Program with honors in 1998. She currently works full time as a Registered Nurse, is the President and Co-Founder of The Streets Don’t Love You Back non-profit organization with the mission of educating the youth against gangs, drugs, violence and abuse.

She created the curriculum for the Lifeskills Intervention Program, and it was just accepted into the Arizona Department of Corrections system as an educational program. She is a member of the City of Maricopa, Parks, Recreation and Library Advisory committee and has been a member of various boards and committees in the past. Lucinda stated, “It would be an honor to be a member of the CAC Foundation board. Thank you for considering me to be a part of this great organization.”

Evelyn Casuga

Evelyn Casuga, Sr. Advisor, Community Relations, Office of the President, Central Arizona College
Term 2019

 Evelyn works part time as Sr. Advisor, Community Relations in the Office of the President at Central Arizona College and consults with the Center for the Future of Arizona at Arizona State Univerity (ASU). After 25 years, she retired in December 2014 as General Manager, Community Affairs for APS, the largest and longest serving investor-owned utility in Arizona. Her area encompassed corporate contributions, community relations, economic development, the volunteer program and she held numerous leadership positions at the company.

Previous to APS, her roles have included nearly 10 years in municipal government as City Manager of Eloy and Town Manager of Marana and Manager of Community/Client Development for the Western Gateway Team, an Arizona regional economic development group, serving five West Valley communities.

Evelyn is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and serves on the Boards of Directors for Access Arizona, the regional economic development organization; Banner Casa Grande Medical Center Advisory Board; Business Development Finance Corp.; Casa Grande Elementary School Employee Benefits Trust; Central Arizona College Foundation; Arizona Town Hall; and Friends of Public Radio-KJZZ.

Evelyn received her Masters of City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Evelyn and her husband, Jerry Stabley, reside in Casa Grande, Arizona. Their son, Justin, recently was graduated from ASU, Barrett Honors College and Cronkite School of Journalism.

Filomena Cornelio

Filomena Cornelio
RIO Tinto, Department Manager – Communities, Social Performance & Communications

 Filomena is a Department Manager for RIO Tinto where she serves to provide leadership with regard to organizational management, budget, governance and system requirements and ensures that the Corporate Citizenship Team implements a business plan that fosters social license to operate.  Filomena also serves as a member of the Business Unit’s Senior Leadership Team to provide support for corporate strategy and expertise on social risk issues and human rights.

Prior to working for RIO Tinto, Filomena worked for CHEVRON Corporation, Southern Africa Strategic Business Unit, as the Social Investment Team Lead and Angola Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. as a Sustainable Development Advisor.

Filomena has been involved as the Cultural Art Coordinator for Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. in New York, NY.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in African & African American Studies from Temple University, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from New School University and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Sciences from Lund University.  Filomena also contributed to baseline study of the continental shelf of three West African Countries as a Field Investigator on Dr. Fridjtof Nelson research vessel while at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, Bergan, Norway.


Jon Corwin

Jonathan C. Corwin, General Manager, Global Water Resources, Inc.
Term 2020
Committee: Events and Campaigns

Jon is currently the Vice President and General Manager for Global Water Resources, Inc. running Global Water’s state-wide operations and customer service. He joined Global Water in 2011. Prior to joining Global Water, he spent 8 years in the United States Air Force as a Civil Engineering Officer serving as the Chief of Maintenance Engineering and Emergency Management Flight Commander.

Jon graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and received his Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Mr. Corwin has participated on the Central Arizona College Foundation Board since 2011 and is a member of the Events/Campaign Committee. He is also a board member for the Economic Development Group of Eloy (EDGE).

Jim Garrett

Jim Garrett, Owner, Garrett Chevrolet -Buick- GMC
Term 2021

Jim served on the Foundation Board from March 1999 to April 2010 and returned to the Board in 2012. Jim has served in the capacity of Treasurer and Second Vice-President on the Foundation Executive Committee. Jim is the Owner/Operator of Garrett Chevrolet – Buick – GMC in Coolidge. He is a lifelong Coolidge resident and graduated from Coolidge High School. He received a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.

Jim is active in the following activities and organizations: Coolidge Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, Industrial Development Authority, Coolidge Economic Development Committee, Coolidge Baseball and Football Boosters, Coolidge Lions Club, Coolidge Scholarship Committee, Coolidge Nazarene Church/Youth ministries, and Coolidge Florence Elks.

Jim resides in Coolidge with his wife Lisa. They have two sons; one is a graduate of Arizona State University and works at the dealership. His other son graduated from Southwestern University of Texas where he played baseball and currently also works at the dealership. Garrett Chevrolet is a fourth generation dealership and has been under the same ownership for over 80 years.

Jackie Guthrie

Jackie Guthrie
Retired EPS Group, Inc.

Jackie is a Land Use Planner with forty years of experience in the State of Arizona.  After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban Planning, she moved to Arizona and has been a resident of Pinal County for over twenty years.  Jackie has been very involved with many of the local communities.  She served six years on the City of Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission and was a member of the City of Maricopa Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee during the City’s first year of incorporation.  Jackie is on the Board of Directors for Against Abuse, Inc. and serves on the Pinal AMA Groundwater Users Advisory Council.

Jackie recently retired from EPS Group, Inc., an Arizona Firm, offering engineering, planning and surveying.  Jackie provided planning and entitlement services to home builders, developers, and land owners as well as Native American communities, cities, towns and counties.  Jackie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Jackie and is a licensed realtor, working with AZ New Horizon Realty representing residential and commercial buyers and sellers.

Jackie is very honored to serve on the Foundation Board and the Executive Committee.  She has been a strong supporter of community colleges as a result of her own experience earning an Associate degree from Delta Community College in Saginaw, Michigan.

Jackie lives in Casa Grande with her husband, Tom Belden, a retired art professor from Central Arizona College.  With Jackie’s recent retirement they plan to spend more time traveling and golfing.

Shirley Ann Hartman

Shirley Ann Hartman, retired educator
Term 2018
Committees: Scholarship/Donations

Shirley Ann has served on the Foundation Board of Directors since 1987. She served as Secretary from 1999 – 2010. She enjoys participating in all activities related to the Foundation. Her most rewarding experience related to board service is the establishment of the Foundation’s scholarship program, Promise for the Future.

Shirley Ann is active in the Maricopa Historical Society, Pinal Partnership Open Space and Trails Committee, and served as President of the Casa Grande Valley Cotton and Agriculture Women. Shirley is also presently on the advisory board for the College of Education at the University of Arizona and a member of Pinal County’s Citizens’ Advisory Board, Comprehensive Plan.

Shirley Ann established the gifted program in the Maricopa Elementary School District and taught second grade in the same district for 22 years. Shirley Ann participated in the professional rodeo circuit for 25 years and raised quarter horses on Hartman Ranch. She is currently teaching her grandsons to water ski and enjoys traveling with her husband, Philip McD.

Adam P Hawkins

Adam P. Hawkins, President, Global External Relations
Term 2020
Committees: Chair, Nominating; Events/Campaigns

Adam is a leading authority when it comes to merging government relations, public affairs and community outreach. He has a range of first-hand experience related to external relations in the fields of economic development, rural affairs, environmental and natural resources policy. A fixture in the public affairs, communications, and lobbying community for over a decade, his insight is sought after and trusted by clients across the globe. He started his career as a staffer in the United States Senate. Prior to launching Global External Relations, he worked within two leading public policy firms, assisting clients on issues that included environment, water, natural resources, taxation, HR, commerce, transportation, and public lands. Additionally, Adam spent six years with Rio Tinto, working a variety of projects internationally. He graduated with honors from Thunderbird School of International Business with an MBA and holds a BA/BS from Arizona State University.

Adam has served on the Central Arizona College Foundation Board since 2014, is chair of the Events/Campaign Committee and a member of the Nominating Committee.

L S ‘Jake’ Jacobson

L.S. (Jake) Jacobson
President and CCO of the Copper Basin Railway, Inc.

‘Jake’ was born on a small farm in central Kansas.  At the age of 17 he was hired to work as a laborer on the Union Pacific’s big steel gang near Frankfort, Kansas, and continued to excel in the railroad business.  In 1969, Jake joined the Union Pacific Management Team and was one of the youngest officers in the Engineering Department.  Later, Jake was promoted to Director of Train Operations.  Jake has extensive experience in transforming major terminals on the Union Pacific Railroad to first place in safety.  His experience and expertise in crisis management during strikes, floods, fires, derailments and chemical spills has Jake sought after by the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; he continues to maintain a secret government clearance.

Jake served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam conflict.  Washington, D.C.’s American Railroad Association has named railroading’s most prestigious safety award after him and it’s known throughout the railroad industry as the ‘JAKE’ award.  He was named North America’s Railroad Man of the Year in 1994, Citizen of the Year in 1998 and was recognized as one of the great railroaders of the 20th century.  He is presently the President and CCO of the Copper Basin Railway, Inc. in Hayden, Arizona.

Jake has served as a board member of the Central Arizona College Foundation since 2007, and was elected to serve as Member-at-Large on the Executive Committee in March 2012.  Jake enjoys sponsoring the College for Kids program and car shows through the Foundation.



Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega
APS, Supervisor Construction and Maintenance

Daniel is a Supervisor of Construction and Maintenance for the Pinal District for APS.  Leading a diverse team of 14 linemen, 4 trouble men, 6 CPM’s, construction planner and material coordinator. Daniel ensures all company initiatives and targets are met from a productivity, reliability and safety perspective within budget. Daniel also communicates with State Leadership on successes and challenges.  He currently serves on the Central Arizona Foundation Board, Boys and Girls Club of Casa Grande, United Way of Pinal County and the Casa Grande Rotary Club.

Prior to APS, Daniel was the Vice President of Retail Business, Ortega’s Stores, Inc. and an Electronics Technician for IBM.  Daniel was also elected Mayor of the City of Douglas from 2012 to 2016.  He has served on numerous boards and committees including:  Cochise College Governing Board, City of Douglas Charter Review Committee, Douglas Regional Advocacy Council, RAIN, Douglas Noon Lions, Cochise County Planning and Zoning Committee and was the President of the Douglas Chamber of Commerce and voted Arizona Public Servant of the Year by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber.

Hon Rebecca Rios

Hon. Rebecca Rios, State Rep. District 27; Sr. Government Affairs Advisor, Florence Copper; President, Florence Copper Community Foundation
Term 2020

Rebecca currently works as the Senior Government Affairs Advisor for Florence Copper, and serves as President of the Florence Copper Community Foundation. A fourth generation Arizona native, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arizona State University, School of Social Work. Before attending Arizona State University, she earned an AA Liberal Studies at Central Arizona College. In 2009 she was inducted into the Wall of Success. Rebecca has 25 years of extensive work in the Behavioral Health and non-profit fields in Arizona.

Rebecca represented a rural Pinal County District in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1995-2000, and in the Arizona State Senate from 2005-2010. She held the leadership positions of Senate Democratic Whip and Senate Assistant Democratic Leader.

Starting in 2014 Rebecca was elected to represent District 27, an urban district covering Guadalupe, Laveen, South Phoenix and a portion of Central Phoenix. She currently serves as the House Democratic Leader, and she sits on the Rules Committee.

Rebecca is the daughter of Pete Rios, former Arizona State Senate President. They are the only father-daughter team to serve together in the Arizona State Legislature.

Jordan Rose

Jordan Rose, President & Founder, Rose Law Group pc
Term 2021

Jordan has served on the Foundation Board since 2006, including service on the Executive Committee. Jordan started Rose Law Group pc leasing space for just herself in another lawyer’s storage room and has, in fourteen years, grown the firm to the largest woman owned law firm in the southwestern states. Rose Law Group pc is a full service business and real estate law firm, providing services ranging from trusts and estates and family law to employment, complex finance, litigation, cyber-bullying/cyber-defamation, election law, renewable energy, business and real estate transactions, and lobbying. It is the only law firm in Arizona (and possibly the nation) to combine attorneys with an array of urban planners, LEED certified consultants, project managers, energy consultants, and construction managers so that the firm can take a project from due diligence and acquisition through planning and project management on to actual construction. Jordan practices in the areas of land use, zoning, government relations, municipal issues, and lobbying. Her clients are generally homebuilders, large landowners, commercial developers, or homeowners who need to resolve issues with municipalities.

Jordan has been called “the Queen of Pinal County” by the Phoenix Business Journal as she and Rose Law Group represented possibly as many as 90% of all represented zoning cases that were processed through the fastest growing county in the country during the height of the last real estate boom.

Jordan and her husband, Jason, have two boys, Logan and Carson. Jordan loves what CAC is doing and has been a big proponent of the multiple campus growth.

Hon TJ Shope

Hon. TJ Shope, State Rep. District 8; Co-Owner Shope’s IGA Supermarket
Term 2020

TJ is a resident of Coolidge, AZ and has long been active in the community. Born in Florence in 1985, TJ has lived in Coolidge for the overwhelming majority of his life. He is a 2003 graduate of Coolidge High School and 2005 graduate of Central Arizona College; in 2013 he was inducted into the CAC’s Wall of Success. In 2008, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Elected to the Coolidge Unified School District Governing Board in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, TJ was voted to be the board’s vice-president upon taking office in 2009, and in 2013 was elected the board’s president. He serves as the Vice President for the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance. TJ also serves on the Arizona Board of Directors for Playworks, an organization focusing on creating options for children to engage in healthy and inclusive play so they may learn both winning and losing with grace.

TJ is the proud son of former Coolidge-Florence Justice of the Peace Tom Shope and Luz Shope, and co-owns their family business, Shope’s IGA Supermarket in Coolidge. He is an active member of St. James Roman Catholic Church and its Knights of Columbus organization.

Sandie Smith

Sandie Smith, Ambassador, Past President, Pinal Partnership
Term 2020
Past President
Committees: Executive; Scholarship and Donations

Sandie has served on the Foundation board since 1994 and continues in her service as Past President. Sandie was the first woman in Pinal County to be elected to the Board of Supervisors. Sandie is a 45-year resident of Pinal County and owned a local business from 1970 -1995. She was elected in 1986 to the Governing Board of the Apache Junction Unified School District and served as President from 1988 to 1993. She has served as the County Coordinator for the Arizona Association of Counties, and has served in all office capacities including President.

Committee involvement includes the Central Arizona College Foundation Board of Directors, past President of the Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce Board, Chairman of the Promotions Committee of the Main Street Program, Chairman of the Enterprise Zone Commission, Pinal County Arizona Planning Committee for Economic Development, San Tan Regional Park Committee, Pinal County Town Hall Committee, Pinal Gila Behavioral Health Association, the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Line Sitting Committee, and Committee Member of the Focus Future Team in Florence.

She also was appointed to serve on the Committee for Planning and the Land and Water Conservation Committee, both for the Growing Smarter Commission. She is an organizing member and current member of the Apache Junction Boys and Girls Club and a member of the Soroptimists of Apache Junction. Sandie recently retired as President and CEO of Pinal Partnership. Her cuurent position is Ambassador and Past President.

Sandie has been married for 53 years and has three children and six grandchildren.

David Snider

David Snider, Consultant, Snider Consulting Services
Term 2020
Committee: Executive; Nominating

David served two consecutive terms as a Pinal County Supervisor and 14 years as a member of the Casa Grande Elementary School District Governing Board. He was employed for nearly thirty years as an administrator in local government with responsibilities that included policy making, implementation for natural resources, economic development, transportation, information technologies, education, and regional planning.

David has served on the Central Arizona College Foundation Board since 2014. He serves as Secretary and is chair of the Nominating Committee.

Arizona & Pinal County are David’s adoptive home, and he hopes to continue to contribute to Arizona’s successful future.

Jack Stonebraker

Jack Stonebraker, Edward Jones
Term 2021
Committee: Executive; Events and Campaigns

Jack is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. He has been a member of the CAC Foundation Board since 1994. His work with the Foundation’s finances has been integral to the growth and financial well-being of the Foundation. Jack believes that a community college is essential to the vitality of the surrounding area it serves. Making Central Arizona College a better place to receive higher education is his number one reason for Foundation participation.

Jack has been married to his wife Vicki for 37 years, and they both love mountain climbing.

Alice Wilcox

Alice Wilcox, President and CEO, Pinal County Federal Credit Union
Term 2021
Committee: Executive

Serving the people of Pinal County is one of the most rewarding parts of Alice’s position as president and chief executive officer of Pinal County Federal Credit Union. In this role she has the opportunity to become involved in several communities and work with others that are equally committed to the people of Pinal County.

Alice is a native of Arizona and began working in a small community bank at 18 years old. She holds an associate degree from Central Arizona College and a degree in Accountancy from Arizona State University. She is a certified public accountant and graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School in 2007.

Volunteering at her local church, Alice serves as a preschool teacher. She also volunteers for the United Way of Pinal County and serves as the treasurer of the Board of Community Outreach of Robson Ranch.

Alice’s joy in life is her husband, her three children and their spouses, and her 13 grandchildren. She likes the outdoors and enjoys hiking, playing tennis, and having pool time!

Darrell Wilson

Darrell Wilson
Founder and Principal of HilgartWilson

Darrell Wilson is a founder and Principal of HilgartWilson.  As such, he shares responsibilities with Co-founder Ron Hilgart for the operations and overall growth and success of the firm.  As Project Principal he also remains actively involved in many projects, including overseeing design concepts, quality control measures, scheduling and staffing needs of the projects as well as assuring overall client satisfaction.

Prior to starting HilgartWilson, he was a Managing Principal at CMX, where he was instrumental in growing the firm from a staff of 15 when he joined the firm in 1993, to a staff of 300 in 2006 when the company was sold to an out-of-state firm.  Wilson stayed on at the firm as a Managing Principal until 2009 when he founded HilgartWilson. At CMX he was responsible for the overall business operations, as well as overseeing the design and construction of numerous public works projects as well as managed multi-disciplined teams on large and complex projects.

Darrell has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.  He is on the City of Phoenix Development Advisory Board and a member of ASCE, Home Builders Association, Luke Air Force Base 62nd Fighter Squadron, National Fire Protection Association and Pinal Partnership.


Joseph Wilhelm

Joseph Wilhelm, General Manager, ASARCO Hayden Operations
Term 2023

Joe is a farmer from northwest Ohio. He attended Ohio State University for seven semesters, however, he also attended Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. His post-graduate studies included enrollment at Dayton University and University of Texas El Paso. Joe went directly from college to ASARCO at the Columbus Zinc plant, transferred to El Paso smelter and then to Hayden. He has worked his entire 44-year career with ASARCO; twenty-nine of those years have been spent at Hayden.

Joe supports many activities and associations in the local community: Board of Director member for United Way of Pinal County, Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Copper Corridor Economic Development Council, CAC’s College for Kids, Central Arizona governments, Little League, school athletics, school trips, JROTC, and local governments in Hayden, Winkelman, Mammoth and Superior.

Joe is married to Cynthia Susini. He has two grown sons and four grandchildren.

Joan Wuertz

Joan Wuertz, retired educator
Term 2023
Committee: Scholarship and Donations

Joan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved with her family to Tucson in 1951. She attended the University of Arizona and became a kindergarten/first grade teacher in the Coolidge schools where she taught for 28 years. She was on the Coolidge School Board for eight years and presently serves on the Coolidge High School Scholarship Board. She also serves on the Pinetop Country Club Scholarship Board.

Joan has served on the Foundation Board of Directors since 2004. She has served as President and Past President of the Foundation.

Joan’s hope is that all children get a good education and become productive members of society. She feels that she is contributing to this goal through Promise for the Future and other scholarship programs. As a part of the Foundation Board, she believes we can collectively help our youth achieve their potential.

Dr Jacquelyn Elliott

Dr. Jacquelyn Elliott, President and CEO, Central Arizona College
Committees: Executive, ex-officio