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 manages Education, Youth Performance, and Community Programs for Arizona Musicfest in the North Valley, coming from a similar position with The Phoenix Symphony. He is also active as a volunteer mentor with Free Arts of Arizona and in various capacities with his local church.
Lisa Barnes (Mesa) previously worked as a legislative analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives and is active in her community. She is a Master Docent at Phoenix Art Museum where she has served on the governing board for the past decade and as President from 2011-2012. She also serves on the John Volken Academy Ranch Advisory Board and developed and runs their arts and culture curriculum and program. Lisa and her husband Stan have five children.
Tim Bee (Tucson) is the Southern Arizona Director for the Arizona Builders Alliance beginning in July of 2018. Prior to this he was the Vice President for Government & Community Relations at the University of Arizona, where he led the offices of Federal, State, City, County, and Tribal Relations and served as an adviser to four University of Arizona Presidents between 2011 and 2018. From 2009-2011 Tim served as the Director of the Southern Arizona Office of Governor Janice Brewer. This followed his eight years of service in the Arizona State Senate. During his tenure in the Senate, Tim served two terms as the Majority Leader and his final term as President. Tim ran his own business for eleven years. He is a native of Arizona and he and his wife Grace live in Tucson. They have six children who are very active in the performing arts.
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.
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.
Joanne Keene (Flagstaff) has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff for Northern Arizona University since May 2015. Prior to joining NAU, Joanne worked for almost twenty years in federal, state, and local government roles, including Government Relations Director for Coconino County and Public Information Officer for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Joanne spent eight years working for the U.S. House of Representatives, five of those years in Washington, DC. Joanne is a graduate of NAU with a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelors in English and Broadcast Journalism. She is also a Certified Public Manager through Arizona State University and a Flinn-Brown Fellow.
Chelsea Lett (Phoenix) was born and raised in Bullhead City, Arizona, and attended Northern Arizona University earning degrees in American Political Studies and Public Relations. She moved to D.C. and worked a year on Capitol Hill prior to joining the Washington National Opera and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Chelsea spent three years with WNO and The Kennedy Center in the press and development departments working on projects promoting the opera in the community. In 2012, she moved back to Arizona and began working for U.S. Senator Jeff Flake where she currently serves as Regional Outreach Director.
Tamalyn Lewis (Scottsdale) is an Arizona native, born in Globe, raised in Safford, and attended Arizona State University. She has been practicing law for 34 years and is a shareholder with Engelman Berger, PC, a business based law firm, with her primary focus being commercial bankruptcy, creditor/debtor rights and corporate restructuring. Tami also serves as a Co-Chair for Center Dance Ensemble, the resident modern dance company of the Herberger Theater Center. She is actively involved with many other charitable organizations, including the Casa.
Danny Sharaby (Phoenix) is the president of Tickets Unlimited in Scottsdale. Tickets Unlimited Inc. is an independent, privately owned company engaged in the business of buying and selling premium tickets for all local, national and international sporting, concerts, and theater events. Danny has been a board member of Camelback East Village Planning Committee, since 2015.
Ruth Soberanes (Scottsdale), an Arizona native, is the Director of Trade and Investment at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Previously, she served as the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives at the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Office of the Governor. Ruth serves as the Vice President of the University of San Diego Phoenix Torero Club, Board of Director of the Global Chamber and Executive Council Member of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Emerging Leaders Network. She is a U.S. Secretary of Commerce- appointed member of the Arizona District Export Council. Ruth is an active member of the Flinn Brown Civic Leadership Academy and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys dancing flamenco, taking acting lessons and volunteering at the Franciscan Renewal Center.
|Vera Marie “Bunny”||Badertscher||1998-||2004|
|Charles G.||Case II||1988-||1991|
|Barbara C.||Van Sittert||1976-||1982|