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ATHENA nominees

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Nancy Emerick

CEO, Haven Health of Flagstaff

Nancy Emerick has been the CEO of Haven Health of Flagstaff since 2013 and was recently honored with the Executive Leadership Award by the Arizona Health Care Association. She has led the organization through a multi-million dollar renovation and has been a caring professional for more than 20 years throughout the country.

Nancy is an active participant in the Flagstaff community, regularly seen participating in the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce’s July 4th parade, receiving volunteers and students from Northern Arizona University, and hosting physicians and other community healthcare providers and their spouses and families. Nancy is a role model for women of the Haven Health Community. She has mentored numerous women to help prepare them for leadership in healthcare roles. Having navigated a male-driven field, she is a listener, a teacher and a cheerleader for women under her charge.

Bonnie Bouschet

General Manager, Flagstaff Mall

When Bonnie Bouschet came to Flagstaff in 2007, she successfully opened the new Best Buy, and by 2013, she was named the General Manager of Flagstaff Mall. She has taken her role at the mall very seriously, by reinventing and positioning the mall as a family-friendly destination. As a mentor, she is intentional in her efforts to tap the potential in each of her team members. Bonnie's efforts have brought community-oriented activities to the mall, which include Clifford the Big Red Dog, Paw Patrol, Daniel the Tiger, an air show, local musicians and much more.

She is an advocate for countless nonprofits in Flagstaff and quickly became involved with the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador, where she sits currently as a dedicated leader. In 2016, Bonnie was honored to receive the Ambassador of the Year award. Shadows Foundation, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, and Salvation Army’s Angel Tree are just a few of the organizations that Bonnie volunteers for and helps lead. She is currently serving on the board of the Flagstaff YMCA, helped found the We Care Suicide Prevention and was recently the recipient of the Vitalant Blood Services HERO Award, their most prestigious honor that is given to only 3% of blood drive coordinators across the state.

Bonnie is laser focused on mentoring and advancing other women, starting with Women of Leadership Forums, known as WoLF. Its mission is to empower women leaders to lead with passion and also become mentors. Bonnie has started WoLF packs in Syracuse, Phoenix and Flagstaff. 

Ross Altenbaugh

Executive Director, Flagstaff Shelter Services

AmeriCorps alum Ross Altenbaugh is a role model to many, with a history of service dating back to her childhood. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Flagstaff Shelter Services. Ross has led by using the Housing First vision, something she put into practice while she chaired the Front Door Coordinated Entry Program, a coordinated effort of all agencies to work together to have a single point of entry for housing assistance. Her vision expanded the emergency shelter site so that more families could be served, and additional programs could be offered at Flagstaff Shelter Services. She oversaw grant writing along with working with the City of Flagstaff for Community Development Block dollars to support shelter expansion. In total, Ross raised an additional one million dollars for shelter expansion for a single project. In her tenure with Flagstaff Shelter Services, she has increased her budget from $350,000 to $3,000,0000. Ross is a leader in ending homelessness in Flagstaff.

Ross loves her community. In 2018, when the residents of Arrowhead Village trailer park were given six months to vacate, she stepped up to the plate and helped ease the transition that earned her a thanks from the City of Flagstaff. That summer, when our forests closed due to the wildfires, Ross and her team assisted households displaced from camping in the national forest. Ross also mentors social work student interns and has a number of young professional employees who call on her for advice day and night. 

Gail Jackson

Interim President & CEO, ECoNA

Gail Jackson shows exceptional professional leadership daily through her deep commitment to furthering economic growth in northern Arizona. Recently, Gail was appointed Interim President and CEO of ECoNA. She has a proven track record of professional leadership with innovative approaches to problem-solving and excellent communication. Gail leads with her heart and is dedicated to always doing the right thing. 

Gail has served on the board of many professional and service-oriented boards, beginning with Theatrikos Theatre Company. By 2015, Gail was tapped to serve on the following boards: United Way of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff Women’s Leadership Network, Flagstaff Shelter Services, Flagstaff Auto Mall Development and Flagstaff Leadership Program.

Jennifer Rolley

Owner, Sweet Shoppe Candy Store

Jennifer opened Sweet Shoppe Candy Store in 2011, which went on to win the Arizona Daily Sun’s Best of Flagstaff award for six consecutive years. Her reputation has statewide appeal with articles appearing in the Phoenix Magazine and Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine. Her shop has also been featured on Phoenix TV stations Channel 3, 5 and 12, all shooting broadcast video of the amazing candy manufacturing business.

Jennifer's passion for bringing up new candy makers is evident in the number of younger employees she mentors daily on the business and manufacturing side of Sweet Shoppe Candy Store. The business initially opened with a team of eight, but with annual 12% growth, Jennifer now employees up to 30 people, with 90% of her associates being young women. She takes great pride mentoring each one individually in best business practices, leadership and customer service.

After she and her family moved to Flagstaff in 1998, Jennifer served on the American Cancer Society’s Denim and Diamonds Committee for five years and she co-chaired the United Way of Northern Arizona’s Summit Society Campaign. In 2019, Jennifer joined the City of Flagstaff’s Tourism Commission to help develop and maintain Flagstaff as a year-round destination. Jennifer has a strong sense of community service, regularly giving back to more than 60 organizations with donations and gifts of products.

Cherylee Francis

Owner, CF Productions LLC

Cherylee Francis is a tribal member of the Navajo Nation and an award-winning video production specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in the TV industry. She has been on production crews for KUAT-TV (PBS), Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, KGUN9 Journal Communications (ABC) and on the video crew of the University of Arizona Intercollegiate Athletics/Video department.

Her high-end video production has earned her numerous accolades including the Savvy Awards and NACo Achievement Award. She was also the winner of the 24th Annual Communicator Awards by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. She has been part of multiple productions of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series “In the Americas with David Yetman,” and is the recipient of the 2018 American Indian Business of the Year.

Cherylee is very active in her community as a member of the Flagstaff Leadership Program, Flagstaff Citizen’s Police Academy and a volunteer violinist for Orchestra Northern Arizona. She also volunteers her time with Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff, American Indian Chamber of Commerce and National Center for American Indian Economic Development. Currently, Cherylee is the Executive Director of the Native American Women Entrepreneurs of Arizona. 

Jennifer Conn, MD

Emergency Department Medical Director, Flagstaff Emergency Physicians and FMC

Jennifer Conn is the respected and trusted Emergency Department Medical Director, providing amazing care to improve the lives of people in the northern Arizona community. Dr. Conn started working at Flagstaff Medical Center in 2002, at a time when the community emergency department was only staffed by 11 physicians. In 2005, she became the Emergency Department Medical Director and began working with local general surgeons to create a trauma program to assure that FMC’s equipment, education, staff and care protocols were in place to help quickly treat patients. In 2008, she assisted Northern Arizona Healthcare to adopt Cerner as its electronic medical record. She worked with practitioners to develop an 80-symptom-based computerized order set to make patient admission seamless. In 2015, she helped revamp FMC’s inefficient systems to transfer patients from small regional hospitals in northern Arizona to the hospital. 

Dr. Conn has a passion for contributing to the community. She has served on the board of the Flagstaff Snow Sharks, which offers low-cost swim lessons to ages 2-18 in a competitive team environment, since 2013. Her passion started in the ER, where she treated many nearly drowned victims. Dr. Conn also serves as a USA Swimming Judge and Referee and has twice been on a HERO Medical Mission to Nicaragua, where she served communities with no local access to medical care. Dr. Conn has mentored students at FMC’s Future Health Leaders Summer Camp, where she educates teens on future careers in healthcare. 

Dr. Colleen Smith

President, Coconino Community College

Dr. Colleen Smith has dedicated the past 40 years of her life to serving the community, mentoring and being a true champion for women and the underserved. She is a first-generation college graduate, earning her bachelor's and master's degrees at Texas A&M, and her doctorate at Texas Women’s University. In 1995, she took a position in Wyoming overseeing programs such as welding, electrical, mine maintenance, plumbing and pipefitting – careers that are filled by mostly men. She has consistently been a pioneer for women entering male-dominated fields. 

Dr. Smith was the first female president of the Southwest Junior College Football Association and, in 2016, she became the fifth president of Coconino Community College. Today, only one in three college presidents are female, a statistic that demonstrates Dr. Smith’s extraordinary professional excellence and high-level talent that garners confidence and trust among her peers in a male dominated arena. Under her leadership, she was able to secure a one-million-dollar grant from Del E. Webb Foundation to allow the college to update its construction management facilities and add much-needed classes in the trades. 

Dr. Smith is committed to giving back to Flagstaff outside of her role at CCC. She is an active member of the Arizona Community Coordinating Council, United Way of Northern Arizona, ECoNA, LAUNCH Flagstaff and the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce. Her passion for advancing and supporting women shines with leadership through the following organizations: Flagstaff Women’s Leadership, Arizona Women in Higher Education, League of Innovation Executive Leadership Institute and American Association of University Women. 

Deana Keck

VP of Marketing and Culture, Pine Canyon

Deana Keck is a mother of four and a top leader at Pine Canyon, where she is a true role model to fellow women. She started with the company as a receptionist more than 15 years ago and has worked her way up to VP of Marketing and Culture and the Designated Broker. As a top executive leader, she manages large project portfolios and mentors leaders and associates to heighten their professional growth and goals. Deana helped roll out “Search Inside Yourself,” a cutting-edge program that explores happiness in the workplace and leadership. She has become a role model and inspiration to many who know her.

Deana is a Flagstaff native committed to community service, having sat on the board of a domestic violence charity and helped found Pine Canyon Cares, which focuses on giving back to the Flagstaff community. Additionally, she has volunteered locally with Children’s Domestic Violence Shelter and Charity, Coconino Humane Society, Flagstaff Family Food Center and Dream Court for the Boys and Girls Club.

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