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Arizona Healthy Communities Conference

Mesa, AZ | 03/23/2016


Keynote Speaker:

Nick Macchione

Mr. Macchione is the Director of the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency and manages one of the largest health and human services networks in the nation, supporting the public health, safety, and well-being of the over 3.2 million residents of San Diego County. With a focus on innovation and service integration, he directs the delivery of health and social service safety net programs, including public health services; behavioral health services; Medicaid managed care and other safety net health insurance programs; nutrition assistance for the indigent; child and adult protective services; and early childhood development programs. Mr. Macchione holds dual masters’ degrees from Columbia University and New York University where he specialized in health services management and health policy.

Other Speakers:

Tom Betlach

Mr. Betlach has served as Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s single state Medicaid agency since 2009. Mr. Betlach is widely recognized as a national leader in Medicaid managed care and health care policy. Through his leadership, Arizona launched the first integrated health plan for persons with serious mental illness; created an integrated specialty plan for children with special health care needs; and modernized operational processes and systems, including enhancing data analytics in Medicaid. Tom received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and his Master in Public Administration from the University of Arizona.

Pedro Cons

Mr. Cons is the Executive Vice President of Integrated Health and Human Services and currently serves as Vice President of Multi Family Operations at Chicanos Por la Causa, Inc. In this role, he manages the resources for over 4000 multi-family affordable housing units. Pedro is an Organizational Development expert with diverse leadership and academic experience. He has also received training in community mobilization and facilitation methods and has attended numerous leadership institutes including The Kellogg’s Foundation Multicultural Leadership Institute. Pedro received a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Professional Counseling and Advanced Graduate Studies in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy, and Guidance Counseling.

Joselyn Cousins

Ms. Cousins joined the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in April 2013 as a regional manager in the Community Development Department covering Arizona, Nevada and Utah. In this role she partners with financial institutions, community- based organizations and government agencies to address pressing community development needs impacting low-income neighborhoods and households. Joselyn has an extensive background in community development in the private and public sectors and brings many years of banking experience working as a Community Reinvestment Officer for both small and large financial institutions in Nevada.

Elisa de la Vara

Ms. de la Vara joined the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) as Senior Director of Philanthropic Services – Community Initiatives in 2015 and was recently promoted to Chief Community Officer. Elisa oversees ACF’s affordable housing initiative, impact investing program, and the grants management division. She is responsible for leadership of staff, volunteers and consultants who guide ACF’s Latinos Unidos initiative, Black Philanthropy Initiative, and the Asian American Women’s Giving Circle. Prior to managing the daily operations of U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor’s District 7 Office from 2007 until she joined ACF, Elisa served as State Director for the Fannie Mae Arizona Business Center.

Brian Fellows

Mr. Fellows brings 28 years of experience in the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors, including 17 years specializing in multimodal transportation and the built environment. Brian created and ran the Arizona Safe Routes To School federal program; was a TAC member for designing the STAR Community Rating System, application reviewer for the Bicycle Friendly Communities and Bicycle Friendly University programs, development team member for the Walk Friendly Communities program, TAC/faculty for the Urban Land Institute’s Community Plan project, and Road Safety Audit team member. Brian has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Arizona State University.

Ian Galloway

Mr. Galloway is a Senior Research Associate and Oregon State Community Development Field Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Ian researches and presents regularly on a variety of community development topics including crowdfunding, investment tax credits, the social determinants of health, impact investing, and Pay for Success financing (Social Impact Bonds). He recently published the article “Using Pay for Success to Increase Investment in the Nonmedical Determinants of Health” in the health policy journal Health Affairs. Ian earned his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.

Harvey Grady

Mr. Grady has over 40 years of professional planning and community organization experience in criminal justice, behavioral health, and public advocacy for the poor. In 2009, he founded the Yavapai Food Council with a mission of supporting organizations that feed the hungry. He has published a number of studies on aspects of hunger and food assistance programs. He currently is engaged in developing a Food System Plan for Yavapai County and an Arizona Plan for Preventing Hunger through his nonprofit, Cornucopia Community Advocates.

Jay Harrison

Mr. Harrison is the Chief Investment Officer for Clearinghouse CDFI and heads the company’s efforts to locate potential New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) transactions and initiate discussions with borrowers and prospective investors. He works on transaction structure to optimize the use of NMTCs and analyzes preliminary community impacts of the proposed project. Mr. Harrison works with the NMTC closing team, through the closing of the transaction to ensure compliance with Clearinghouse CDFI’s financial and community impact objectives. Since joining Clearinghouse CDFI, the company has successfully closed over $350 million in NMTC transactions.

Jenny Ismert

Ms. Ismert leads United Healthcare’s national strategy exploring the connection between healthcare and housing for low-income and under insured populations. She defines and cultivates partnership opportunities for supportive housing and coordinated social services and leads strategic initiatives to address healthcare for housing insecure low income and under insured individuals. Jenny has been with United Healthcare since 2009 and has served as Director of Legal Risk Management and State and Federal Policy Director. Jenny holds a B.S. from the University of North Texas and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Dr. Fred Karnas

Dr. Fred Karnas joined The Kresge Foundation in 2013, bringing with him extensive experience working on issues at the intersection of housing, health, and human services and the needs of vulnerable populations. He is a senior fellow in Kresge’s Executive Office, where he serves as adviser to the foundation’s Human Services and Health program teams and its Social Investment Practice. Dr. Karnas earned his bachelor’s degree in city planning from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and both a master’s of social work degree and a certificate in gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a doctoral degree from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.

Dave Laney

Mr. Laney is the Principal/Senior Project Manager with ATC Group Services. He brings 32 years of experience specializing in property assessment, remediation, and redevelopment projects throughout the southwest. Mr. Laney is the founder of the Arizona Healthfields Initiative, a collaboration of federal, state, and local government and non-profit organizations focused on improvement of the health and economic vitality of Arizona communities through sustainable redevelopment of abandoned, underutilized, and contaminated properties and structures. He assisted the City of Phoenix in securing a $400,000 community wide assessment grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to transform “Brownfields to Healthfields”.

Anna Maria Maldonado

Ms. Maldonado is the Director of Sales and Marketing with Care1st Health Plan AZ. Her life’s passion is serving vulnerable populations through grassroots, innovative, and collaborative public private partnerships; creating what she coins as “Communities of Care” that collectively, efficiently, and cost effectively meet the holistic needs of vulnerable individuals and vulnerable families while meeting the community development and business development needs through measurable outcomes and returns for all participating partners. Anna Maria understands, as do so many, that economic and social sustainability cannot be reached without meeting the most basic human needs first.

Paul Minnick

Mr. Minnick is a full-time student and Teaching Assistant at Arizona State University. Paul is also an intern at the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, where he created his latest work, the Arizona Healthy Communities Opportunities Index; this index aims to determine at-need zip codes through analysis of public health, transportation, housing, and socioeconomic indicators. Paul is currently working towards Masters degrees in both Urban & Environmental Planning and Public Administration at Arizona State University.


Irene Ogata

Ms. Ogata is the Urban Landscape Manager within the Planning and Development Services Department for the City of Tucson. Irene is involved in city wide landscape issues and policies involving public facilities and public health and wellness. Many policies touch on improving community livability as it impacts human and environmental health; including policies and programs mitigating urban heat island, addressing water resources in relation to stormwater harvesting/green infrastructure/low impact development, nexus between water and energy and issues of climate change and social/environmental justice.

Dreidre Pfeiffer

Dr. Pfeiffer, AICP, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. Her expertise includes housing strategies to meet the needs of America’s aging and diversifying population, the outcomes of the recent U.S. Great Recession and foreclosure crisis, public participation in planning, community well-being, and the relationship between urban growth and racial equity. Her current research appears in Urban Studies, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Urbanism, Urban Geography, and Sustainable Development.

Curtis Reed, Jr.

Mr. Reed brings over 20 years of experience in the banking industry and 13 of those years have been with JPMorgan Chase and predecessor organizations. In March 2014 Curtis was named the Market Manager for Chase’s Middle Market banking operations for the states of Arizona and Nevada. Curtis currently serves as board chair of the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance, is a board member for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona Bankers Association, Valley of the Sun United Way and is a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership and the Arizona chapter of the Young President’s Organization. Mr. Reed earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Finance at the University of Iowa.

Serena Unrein

Ms. Unrein is the Director of the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, a statewide collaboration of non-profits, businesses, government agencies, and foundations working to make Arizona’s communities healthier by design. Serena has played a leadership role in several Arizona-based non-profit organizations for the past decade. She has run numerous advocacy campaigns to make measurable improvements in the health and livelihoods of Arizonans, built coalitions with diverse groups, and conducted research about some of the state’s most pressing policy issues. Serena has a degree in Marketing from Arizona State University.

Nils Urman

Mr. Urman serves as the Executive Director of Nogales Community Development Corporation in Nogales, Arizona. Nils has spearheaded essential collaborations between the public and private sector as a founding member of Nogales Community Development, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Nogales, Arizona and Director of Commerce and Economic Development for Santa Cruz County, Arizona. Nils is a Certified Economic Development Professional (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council and holds a BA in Political Science from Northern Arizona University and an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.


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03-23-16 – 3rd Annual HC Conference Photos


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Healthy Communities Brochure 2016