About the Governing Commission
The Governing Commission consists of a board of fifteen members, including one chairperson, appointed by the Governor of Arizona. Commission members serve terms of three years and are chosen for their demonstrated ability, good judgment and experience in arts-related fields. In addition, they are selected to ensure geographic and ethnic representation of all areas of the state. Commission members attend quarterly board meetings, chair review panels, award grants and formulate policy consistent with enabling legislation.
Current Commission Members
Commission Chair, Mark Feldman (Scottsdale) serves as Chief Executive Officer and is a Managing Partner for MRA Associates. Recognized multiple years as a Barron’s top independent financial advisor, he possesses extensive credentials in the wealth management industry with more than 30 years of experience. Feldman currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Community Foundation and the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix, the Board of Trustees for the Phoenix Art Museum, Valley Beit Midrash, Temple Chai, and a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership. He is the past Chairman of the Board for Free Arts of Arizona, a past Board and Executive Committee member for the Arizona Science Center, past Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern and Central Arizona, and a past Trustee of the Desert Botanical Garden. He was also recently named a 2014 Phoenix Five Star Wealth Manager.
Commission Vice Chair, Dr. Pamela Hall (Phoenix) is a professor and chair of the Art Department at Glendale Community College. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland, and taught courses at the Smithsonian Institution, the American University, the University of Maryland, and Trinity College. She is a regular lecturer to docents at the Phoenix Art Museum, and past district coordinator of the Art Masterpiece Program for the Madison Elementary School District. Dr. Hall previously served on the Arts Commission, with an appointment in 2000 by Governor Jane Dee Hull. She lives in north central Phoenix with her husband; their two daughters are in college in California and Colorado.
Farhana Shifa Ahmed (Chandler) is an artist, author, educator, and social-political leader. She earned her M.A. in Mass Communication from London Metropolitan University, UK, B.F.A and B.Ed. from Bangladesh, and PMP from University of Phoenix. She currently serves as Chair of the Community Affair Committee of AZ Republican Party, Chairman of AZGOP Asian American Coalition, 3rd Vice for Legislative district 17, President of Phoenix Asian American Lions Club and is the co-founder of AZAPIA Vote Table, a nonprofit organization. She is a docent of Mesa Art center, owns her own art academy, and has exhibited her artworks nationally and internationally. Her signature event initiatives were International Mother language Day – a representation of more than 20 language groups’ diverse languages and heritage. Her mantra is “Celebrating diversity through Unity”. She is a graduate of Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Services Series, 2017. She is the wife of a navy veteran and mother of two daughters.
Ruben Alvarez (Phoenix) is the co-founder and managing partner of Molera Alvarez, a government and public affairs firm. Ruben currently serves as Chairman of CALA Alliance, as Board Member and Treasurer of the Washington, DC based Latino Leaders’ Network, as Board Member of Valley of the Sun United Way, as Member of Arizona State University President’s Minority Advisory Council and is Past Chairman of the Arizona Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Arizona Chapter of the American Lung Association.
Ben Baer (Phoenix) completed his Bachelor of Music Theory at Ohio University. He continued his studies at the University of Kansas and with Frank Morelli at SUNY Stony Brook, where he taught courses in music technology and appreciation. Baer worked as a freelance bassoonist in New York before relocating to Arizona in 2011. He currently works in education and community engagement with The Phoenix Symphony. He is also active as a volunteer mentor with Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona and in various capacities with his local church.
Lisa Barnes (Mesa) worked as a legislative analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives and is active in her community, volunteering at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, on local education boards, and in her children’s schools. She is a Master Docent at Phoenix Art Museum where she has served on the governing board for the past decade, was President from 2011-2012, and was awarded Docent of the Year 2014-2015. She also serves on the Welcome Home Ranch Board of Directors and developed and runs their ARTFULLIFE program. Lisa and her husband Stan have five children.
Tim Bee (Tucson) is a third-generation native of Tucson, Arizona. Bee was a member of the Arizona State Senate from 2001-2008 and served as Senate president. Bee has received numerous honors and recognitions, including the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers and Real Estate Advocacy Group, among others. He is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, National Council of State Legislators, Congressional Congress on Civic Education and the Council of State Governments Border Legislative Conference. Bee owned and operated Bee Brothers Printing.
Carol Crockett (Phoenix), an oil painter and member of the Phoenix Art Museum docent program, is Vice President Development/Donor Relations at Hospice of the Valley. She earned a Ph.D. in educational policy from Arizona State University, has served in executive positions at Thunderbird School of Global Management and Xavier College Preparatory, and has held policy and advocacy positions at the federal and state levels, including the Office of Women’s Business Ownership and The Governor’s Division for Children overseeing the Head Start/Arizona Collaboration for children 0 – 8 years old.
Lisa Gray (Phoenix) has a degree in Graphic Communications Arts and has been a freelance Graphic Designer since 2003. She currently works for the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and is both the Assistant to the Director and the Agency Administration Coordinator. She is a graduate of the Dodie Londen: Excellence in Public Service Series, has been involved in grassroots politics and serves on the board of directors of Arizona School Choice Trust (ASCT), which provides hope and opportunity to low-income children awarding tuition scholarships. She and her husband Rick, moved to Arizona in 2006 and are blessed to call Arizona their home.
Lisa Jayne (Show Low) was born in Arizona, grew up in Gilbert, and attended Northern Arizona University for her undergrad degree. She received her MFA in Playwriting and Screenwriting from Spalding University in Louisville, KY and is the Artistic Director of White Mountain Regional Theater in Show Low, and teaches/directs productions at Northland Pioneer College in Snowflake, AZ. Some of Ms. Jayne’s plays have been produced at White Mountain Regional Theater and Northland Pioneer College’s Performing Arts Department, including Broken (a one-act play), One Week: An Uncommon Love Story, The Obituary and most recently, Coeur d’Alene.
Patricia “Pat” Kaufman (Scottsdale) retired from 17 years as a successful business owner in 2006. She serves as Chairman of the Regents Program for the Arizona Federation of Republican Women and is a charter member of the Lincoln Republican Women (LRW), for which she currently holds the position of Membership Chairman. Kaufman is on the board of directors of the National Federation of Republican Women and is a member of the ASU Gammage VIP program. She is widowed with two grown children living in Scottsdale.
List of Former Commission Members