This March issue of Az Business celebrates the amazing melting pot that defines Arizona business as we cast a spotlight on some of the most influential diverse and minority business leaders in the state. Meet them below.
Edmond Baker, MD
After serving in the U.S. Army, Dr. Baker began a career at DuPont, where he became the first African-American account manager. After 15 years, he left his job to pursue his dream of medicine.
President and CEO
West Valley Arts
Bassett has a rich background in executive
and managerial positions in the for-profit sector for brands such as Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Hostess Brand and Mars. She is also a professional musician.
Brown is a technology lawyer that helps companies from startups to publicly trade corporations with matters ranging from Internet law, intellectual property, licensing and general counsel services.
Chatham is a successful, experienced and agile immigration attorney assisting Fortune 500, fast growth companies and educational institutions in navigating the complexities and nuances of corporate U.S. immigration law and compliance.
Director of multicultural banking
National Bank of Arizona
Garay is an accomplished senior executive with extensive international experience and operating success in financial services in the U.S. and Mexico.
Vice president of field sales, West Region
Background: Born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, Herrera is responsible for leading field sales in the Arizona, Las Vegas, and California markets. She also helped establish Hola the National Latino(a) employee resource group at Cox.
Source of pride: “As a child of immigrants, I am proud of living up to the dreams my parents had for us. When my parents discussed the opportunity presented to my father to immigrate to the U.S. with his job, the main driver for that decision was that his children would have better opportunities in this country. He sacrificed so much, first leaving his entire family behind, then sleeping on the floor in the back of the carpenter’s shop where he worked. From my parents, I learned that no matter what we do in life, we had to give it our all, never just ‘try.’ We must put in the hard work, learn the job and then do it better than anyone thought it could be done. No matter the professional accomplishment, I am most proud of living up to the dreams our parents had for us.”
President and founder
Background: As president of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation, Hughey works with LGBTQ, business and political communities on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and their impact on our economy. In 2013, she launched the UNITY Pledge to advance workplace equality and equal treatment for LGBTQ individuals, which has become the nation’s largest equality pledge with 3,400 business signers.
SOURCE OF PRIDE: “This January, we launched the bipartisan Equality and Fairness for all American Coalition (EQFFAA) nationwide to advance federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans. The coalition is composed of diverse business, LGBTQ, elected, and faith leaders, and also paved the way for the introduction of the bipartisan Equality and Fairness for all Arizonans Act at the State Legislature to update Arizona’s non-discirmination law to include LGBTQ people. I am proud of our efforts and commitment to unite not divide.”
VALUE OF DIVERSE LEADERSHIP: “Diverse leadership cultivates diverse talent and diverse perspectives, which leads to better problem solving and solutions for businesses and organizations.”
President and CEO
Background: Jones leads Delta Dental of Arizona and the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation, which has invested more than $16 million in community outreach in the past 10 years. Jones served as managing director Midwest healthcare provider lead for Accenture before joining Delta Dental in October 2021. Prior, he served as managing partner at M. Jones & Associates and in executive-level roles at BeTheMatch and CIGNA Behavioral Health.
Goals: “I want to build on Delta Dental’s stellar reputation in the market as I collaborate with the board, our executive team, employees and our provider partners to improve the oral health of even more Arizonans. I also look forward to championing oral health initiatives for at-risk populations through the foundation.”
Importance of diversity: “I believe that diversity (multi-faceted representation) and inclusion (valuing different perspectives) promotes an enlightened environment with an enhanced ability to problem solve, innovate and positively impact a community’s growth potential. Diverse leadership brings a wealth of first-person, authentic experiences that inspire unique thinking and an inclusive workforce.”
President and CEO
Kloefkorn is a marketing expert who has helped hundreds of enterprises increase revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars. She is also an advocate for LGBTQ rights and was part of the first female couple to get a marriage license in Arizona.
Equality Health Foundation
With over two decades of experience in diversity and inclusion, health equity, policy advocacy, philanthropy and marketing communications, León brings an innovative, purpose-driven approach to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare to underserved communities.
Tom “Mando” Kapita
A native of Zambia, Kapita is tasked with strengthening and expanding Terracon’s GeoDesign services. He is responsible for client development and management, mentoring and managing staff, and project review approval in charge of GeoDesign project quality review.
Tanya M. Muñiz
Valley of the Sun United Way
Muñiz has held various leadership roles within United Way and in the community. She serves on the United Way Diversity and Inclusion Council, where she led efforts to leverage the diversity of Latinos/Hispanics to create more inclusive economies.
Outcalt has worked her way up in finance – starting as a part-time teller at an Arizona credit union and eventually running its second largest branch. In her current role, she specializes in helping those who have complex treasury needs.
Three Extraordinary Women
Ramos is a transformational leader, lawyer and DEI advocate. She co-leads a nonprofit, Sisters Talk About Race, with a goal of ending systemic racism. She is also a member of OneAZ Credit Union’s board of directors.
President and CEO
Black Chamber of Arizona
Reed has more than 40 years of experience as a business owner, serial entrepreneur and business consultant. He is also president of Occam Sustainability Partners, and principal and partner with EmFluent.
Phoenix market president
Shin has been at FirstBank since 2004, when he started as a management trainee.
Shin has helped FirstBank’s Arizona assets grow by 14.3% to $1.1 billion in the last year.
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner
Verplancke practices in the areas of complex commercial litigation, real estate litigation, employment litigation and general civil litigation. She was named named 2019 Latina Leader of Tomorrow by the Latina Mentoring Project.
Scottsdale Recovery Center
Yaiva brings 16 years of experience in behavioral health and addiction treatment to his role. He has served as the tribal liaison for numerous campaigns incorporating a holistic approach to health and healing.