These are the 48 Most Intriguing Women of Arizona for 2022

Above: Dr. Cara Christ is Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. She previously served as Arizona Department of Health Services Director, leading the state’s COVID-19 response during the largest public health initiative in the nation’s history. Business News | 31 Jan |

48 Arizona Women and the Arizona Historical Society have selected the 48 Most Intriguing Women of Arizona for 2022, among them an astronaut, a fire department chief and a young collegiate golfer with Downs Syndrome.

Now 11 years old, 48 Arizona Women, the sponsoring organization based in Scottsdale, started as an official Arizona Centennial Project in 2010 to recognize the state’s most remarkable women having a remarkable impact in their communities, often with little fanfare. The organization’s mission is to transform lives, build stronger communities and help positively shape Arizona and the nation.


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The 48 Arizona Women project honors professional and non-professional women from diverse backgrounds whose leadership and commitment are contributing in a positive way to the future of Arizona.

Honorees hail from 15 cities across the state and include:

Avondale: Betsy Hargrove

Bullhead City: Nancy Mongeau

Chandler: Kristine Mill

Flagstaff: Coral Evans, Lyndel Manson

Fountain Hills: Ginny Dickey

Gilbert: Cara Christ

Kingman: Krystal Burge

Maricopa: Evandra Catherine

Paradise Valley: Juanita Francis

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack is the executive director at ASU Gammage.

Phoenix: Amy Bockerstette, Katie Cobb, January Contreras, Naomi Cramer, Sybil Francis, Diana Gregory, Dawn Grove, Michele Halyard, Katie Hobbs, Kara Kalkbrenner,  Pardis Mahdavi, Ruth McGregor, Cindi Nannetti, Sian Proctor, Reena Rastogi, Denise Resnik, Mary Jane Rynd, Jennifer Sands, Jannah Scott, Ann Timmer, Ginger Torres

Scottsdale: Helen Collins, Susan Eastridge, Abbie Fink, Alexa Kasselman, Mitzi Krockover, Barbara Peters

Somerton: Emma Torres

Tempe: Sarah Davis, Miki Garcia, Liz Lerman, Tiffany Lopez, Colleen Jennings Roggensack

Tucson: Lisa Lovello

Yuma: Gladys Brown, Shelley Mellon

A special Honorary category includes Tammy Caraway, architect and owner of Avid Architects of Glendale and Lorraine Bergman, owner of Caliente Construction of Tempe.

“The 48 Arizona Women project was created to raise awareness for the impact of the work women are doing to improve and enhance their communities and the lives of all Arizonans,” said Connie Robinson, chair of the 48 Arizona Women Steering Committee. “In their unique way, from social justice and education to technology, entrepreneurship and the arts, these 48 women are working in a meaningful way to support and better their cities and towns throughout our state.”

Categories included Education/Scholars, Entertainment/Sports, Arts/Culture/History, Government/Legislative/Judicial, Social Change/Environmental, Business/Economics, Science/Medicine/Research, Technology/Innovation/Entrepreneurs, Philanthropy/Non-Profit, Military/Public Safety, Family/Community and Construction/Industrial/Transportation.

A committee comprised of a diverse group of public and private sector leaders and residents evaluated nominees on several key factors: the impact that their leadership, accomplishments and dedication have had on the state and the nation; their influence as role models and visionaries; and their ability to relate to a wide range of people.

Honorees will be featured in a 140-plus page coffee table book titled: Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women—A New Decade, telling each woman’s story in words and photos. Honorees will also be formally recognized during a 48 Women Luncheon as well as a VIP reception for the launch of the book. The book will be available for purchase throughout Arizona in April 2022.

“Our goal for the book is to incorporate it into the Arizona school curriculum as well as make it available in libraries around the state,” Robinson pointed out. “Children need everyday role models who are bringing meaningful change to their lives and the communities in which they live.” She added, “We also want to create awareness among Arizonans of the richness and uniqueness of the state’s history and the dedicated people who have contributed to it.” To pre-order, call 602-896-9000 or email [email protected].

In addition, to recognize a new decade of Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women honorees, 48 Arizona Women will launch in April 2022 the Legacy Project, an initiative to bridge the urban and rural divide through the renovation and naming rights of the Orientation Theater to a state-of-the-art technology space at the Arizona Historical Society’s Heritage Center in Tempe. It also includes the development of onsite and digital educational programming, renowned guest speakers and other learning opportunities with emphasis on young women, girls, and youth with electronic outreach to every corner of the state.

48 Women, Arizona’s Most Intriguing Women is a partner of Friends of Arizona Historical Society, Inc. a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

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