The Arizona Commission on the Arts is proud to announce that its Deputy Director (and soon-to-be Executive Director) was awarded the 2017 Gabe Zimmerman Award for Public Service in the emerging leader category by the Center for the Future of Arizona. The honors were presented at a luncheon on Thursday, July 20, 2017, at the Arizona City/County Management Association Summer Conference.

“Public servants are unsung heroes who work for the common good and demonstrate a true spirit of service to fellow Arizonans,” said Dr. Lattie Coor, Chairman and CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona. “We are pleased to celebrate the achievements of this year’s recipients who carry on the legacy of Gabe Zimmerman through their outstanding leadership and commitment to improving communities throughout our state.”

Jaime Dempsey

Jaime Dempsey has served as the Arts Commission’s Deputy Director since 2006. As Deputy Director, she has been instrumental in reimagining the Arts Commission’s programmatic, communications, and organizational strategies to increase community engagement and expand the agency’s range of services. She is also the architect of NextAZ, a visionary planning initiative designed to empower communities to activate creative assets and co-create ideas to fuel Arizona’s next 50 years.

In August 2017, she will become the Executive Director of the 50-year-old state arts agency.

Prior to joining the Arts Commission, Dempsey developed community programs and partnerships for the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, managed arts education programs for the nexStage theatre, and coordinated programs for the multidisciplinary Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Since 2012, Dempsey has served on the national board for DataArts (formerly Cultural Data Project) and in 2016, was elected to the national board of directors for Grantmakers in the Arts. She completed a fellowship with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership’s Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy in 2013

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are a statewide competition created to recognize outstanding non-elected public servants in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader and Civic Leader. The awards are sponsored by the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA,) the County Supervisors Association of Arizona (CSA,) Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, in conjunction with the Center for the Future of Arizona.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes employees under the age of 40 who are committed to the overall civic health and community connection of the constituents they serve while bringing innovation, energy and compassion to their position and serving as a role model for others.

Nominees are judged on their qualities and achievements — how they have changed the way government works to serve the public interest; ability to take risks and inspire others; impact on connecting Arizonans to the civic health of their community; new ideas to improve cost, efficiency, and delivery of public service; and legacy contribution of lasting significance.

Named in honor of Gabe Zimmerman, director of community outreach for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the awards are an opportunity to recognize the commitment and dedication of more than 100,000 professional public servants who serve as the critical link between citizens and the people elected to represent them.