City of Phoenix

Local Board Members

The Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board (PBWDB) a local workforce development board, approved by the State of Arizona and charged with providing strategic guidance and direction for federal, state, and local workforce development funds and programs. The PBWDB oversees a network of public and private partners, to coordinate a cohesive strategy for talent development within the city.


  • COP - Brandon Ramsey

    Brandon Ramsey

    Membership Services Director, Phoenix Community Alliance

    Brandon Ramsey is the Membership Services Director for Phoenix Community Alliance, the advocate affiliate to Downtown Phoenix Inc. As an influential 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that strives to activate, advocate, and build Greater Downtown Phoenix through the united vision and commitment of our over 300 Members, his position is to best support, align, and collaborate with the Members. Brandon spent over 10 years in the technology industry where he served on the PBWDB as an employee of Microsoft, then transitioning to Insight and Nerdery. Throughout his career he always found ways to identify company resources and personal passion to best support his community. Which lead him to leave tech to support March of Dimes Arizona as the Senior Development Manager, and then to his currently position at Phoenix Community Alliance. Now having an opportunity to represent over 300 Members allows him to focus on the workforce needs of local businesses and aligning the available resources. “It is an honor to be joining a dedicated board that direct impacts the lives of so many and helps better our entire community”. Brandon represents Small Business.

  • Nick DePorter Bio Picture

    Nick DePorter

    Senior Lead Manager of US Public Policy & Economic Graph, LinkedIn

    Nick DePorter’s professional experience includes government affairs, higher education leadership and workforce development. Nick is the Senior Lead Manager of US Public Policy and Economic Graph at LinkedIn. He is responsible for partnering with policymakers and community stakeholders to create economic opportunity for every member of the workforce. He currently serves as a Board Member for the City of Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board, National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), and the Arizona State University - School of Politics and Global Studies. Nick served as an elected Councilmember for the Town of Fountain Hills, AZ from 2014-2018. He previously served on the Maricopa County Workforce Development Board, the Chicanos Por La Causa - Integrated Health and Human Services Board, and the Arizona State University - Career and Professional Development Services Advisory Board. Nick holds a BA in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Arizona State University.  Nick represents Business. 

  • John Soto Bio

    John Soto

    Program Manager, Arizona Department of Economic Security

    John Soto is a seasoned professional leading as a Program Manager with the Department of Economic Security, where he demonstrates exemplary leadership and innovative strategies in driving impactful initiatives. With a wealth of experience in the financial sector, John has also held the prestigious position of Vice-President Regional Banking District Manager, showcasing his exceptional expertise in managing complex operations and fostering lasting relationships with clients. Throughout his career, John has been recognized for his exceptional ability to navigate challenges and seize opportunities, making him a highly sought-after leader in his field. His dedication to enhancing community development and economic growth has been instrumental in achieving remarkable results within his programs and projects. John's passion for fostering collaboration and driving meaningful change has earned him a reputation as a visionary and a true asset to any organization. As a dynamic and forward-thinking professional, he continues to elevate the standard of excellence in his domain, leaving a lasting impact on the industry and the lives of those he serves. With a track record of success and a commitment to delivering results, John Soto brings invaluable expertise and a strategic vision to help organizations thrive in today's ever-evolving landscape. John represents Employment Services (Title III).

  • Daniel Barajas

    Daniel Barajas

    Director, Industry Partnerships, Maricopa County Community Colleges

    Daniel Barajas comes to the Maricopa County Community Colleges District from Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona where he was most recently the Dean of Career and Technical Education for his last seven years there - leading occupational academic programming, continuing education & workforce development, and academic support services. Daniel spent nearly fourteen years at AWC during which time he was also an Associate Dean for Community and Educational Partnership, marrying educational opportunity to business and workforce need. Daniel also spent nearly ten years in the Pima Community College system where he worked for the Center for Training and Development, along with other roles in the Student Services area. In total Daniel brings twenty four years of post-secondary experience to job, collaborating with secondary, university, business and industry partners - in addition to economic development and one-stop systems. Daniel's formal education consists of an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Master's degree in post-secondary Educational Administration. Daniel also brings State leadership experience through a diversity of roles, and has formerly served as the President of the Arizona Occupational Administrators Council (AOAC). Since joining the Maricopa County Community Colleges District as the District Director for Community Partnership and Workforce Development in April of 2016, he has enjoyed affiliation with regional education and business and industry partners, with a recent appointment as Board Member for the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board.  Daniel represents Higher Education.

  • Ginger Lane Bio

    Ginger Lane

    Customer Ambassador, Lumen/Communications Workers of America

    Ginger Lane is an advocate for workers' rights, serving as a dedicated member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) since 2000. In recognition of her unwavering commitment to the cause, Ginger was honored with the esteemed 2019 AZ AFL-CIO Volunteer of the Year Award. As a passionate union activist, Ginger has fought tirelessly for workers' rights, advocating for fair treatment and better conditions. Ginger's advocacy extends beyond her union work, as she also plays a crucial role in facilitating training for CWA members. Ginger provides invaluable knowledge through workshops such as Reversing Runaway Inequality, Political Bootcamp, and Mobilization. By empowering members with essential tools and strategies, Ginger actively contributes to their growth and success. In addition to her involvement in labor activism, Ginger has been an active participant in the recovery community since 1994, embodying the spirit of service, unity and support. Her continuous dedication has offered numerous individuals guidance and encouragement on their path to recovery. Furthermore, Ginger has made significant contributions to the diverse community's growth and effectiveness by participating in the planning and implementation of international conventions and helping develop guidelines and literature. Furthermore, Ginger has pursued personal and professional growth through various courses offered by Landmark Worldwide. Having completed The Curriculum for Living, Ginger has honed her communication skills, expanded her self-expression, and developed strong leadership abilities. With a background encompassing union activism, training facilitation, community service, and personal growth, Ginger Lane stands committed to empowering others and effecting positive change. Ginger represents Registered Apprenticeship Programs (Workforce).

  • Emily Paulson Bio

    Emily Paulson

    Assistant Director, EY's Neuro-Diverse Center of Excellence

    Emily Paulson currently serves as the Assistant Director for EY’s Neuro-Diverse Center of Excellence in Phoenix. Within this position, she works with the local community & internal stakeholders to build accessible pathways to employment & integration for neurodivergent job seekers in the field of technology. Emily has spent over a decade in the field of education, focusing on the development and implementation of specialized programs for individuals with diverse academic, social and vocational needs. Her career has led her to work within public, private and higher education institutions in the US and across the globe. Prior to transitioning into the private sector, Emily worked at the University of California, Berkeley where she designed inclusive programming for neurodivergent students and teamed with faculty and staff to implement universally accessible teaching and advising practices across campus . Emily has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Indiana University and a Master’s Degree in the field of Education. She spends her free time camping in national parks and exploring new countries. Emily is represents Business (IT). 

  • Steven

    Steven Cramer

    Steven Cramer

    Steven Cramer CIO Newbridge Business Solutions LLC Steven has been a leader in the contact center industry for over 25 years, leading both domestic and international sites increasing productivity and quality through streamlined processes, procedures, and technology. His ability to successfully lead and manage a customer-centric organization reflects his comprehensive understanding of the Contact Center industry including Workforce Management, Billing Services, Client Retention, Account Management, IT Support Services and Global Site Management. Through his organizations and industry leadership, he advocates for the advanced development of the contact center industry through effective training and education within local communities. These efforts reflect in his leadership in national, state, and local organizations. Steven’s leadership positions include: Founder / VP Global Operations: Newbridge Business Solutions LLC President: North American Customer Service Management Assn. (NACSMA) Executive Board: City of Phoenix, Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board (PBWDB) Chair: City of Phoenix, Communication and Outreach Committee (PBWDB) Chair: City of Phoenix, Advanced Business Service Committee Mentor, Business Professional: W.P. Carey School of Business Committee Member/Chair: Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED)

  • RS Bio Pic

    Raghu Santanam, Ph.D.

    Sr. Associate Dean, Exec Education, Corporate Partnerships and Lifelong Learning

    Dr. Raghu Santanam is the Sr. Associate Dean for Exec Education, Corporate Partnerships and Lifelong Learning in the W. P. Carey School of Business. He is the McCord Endowed Chair of Business and Professor in Department of Information Systems. Dr. Santanam also leads AZNext – the ASU workforce accelerator partnership program funded by the Department of Labor. His current research focuses on Analytics, Augmented Intelligence, and mobile platforms. Prof. Santanam has helped a number of organizations on data intensive decision-making contexts (including IBM, Intel, American Express, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lallemand and others). He has authored several researched case studies on technology enabled business transformations. Dr. Santanam is firmly committed to engaging with the community; in addition to his voluntary roles in the academic community, he is on the Governing body of Evanta CISO/CIO Executive summit and AZ Tech Council’s public policy committee. Recently, he was a Panelist for the ASU-GSV 2023 Summit, discussing Workforce Development in the Digital Age – University-based Perspectives in the US and Worldwide; he was also part of the 2023 Arizona Association for Economic Development Panel, conversing Workforce Trends and Data-Driven Strategies. To recharge, Dr. Santanam enjoys spending time in the hiking trails around the state. Dr. Santanam represents Higher Education.

  • Kaaren-Lyn Graves

    Kaaren-Lyn Graves

    Senior Business Consultant, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

    Kaaren-Lyn Graves, is a Senior Business Consultant with the Phoenix MBDA Business Center, and also serves as a technical/proposal writer for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Kaaren has proudly served the public and private sectors for twenty five (25) years. During this time, she held leadership positions which leveraged her technical and business writing expertise, project management skills, and overall operations management. Kaaren has numerous achievements and career highlights. While working for the Phoenix MBDA Business Center, she was a contributor to the office being named one of the top performing offices in the United States out of 44 centers nationwide. She has also been able to work on a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure and expansion project in California which will impact multiple communities. While working for the State of Arizona (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)), she developed financial forecasting documents resulting in awarded grants, general funds, and monetary awards ranging from $935 thousand dollars to $4 million dollars. She has also created numerous documents consisting of resumes, capability statements, business plans, and marketing documents for her clients worldwide. Kaaren has earned degrees in research and development (“R&D”) and communications with an emphasis in technical writing. She was also certified in biomedical research investigators, Native American research, and social & behavioral research investigations. Kaaren-Lyn represents Economic Development.

  • Jesus Love

    Jesus Love

    Executive Director, Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa

    Jesús Love is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, a community based 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that provides free educational services to adults who desire to learn to read, obtain the High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, or communicate in English. Upon graduating from Georgetown University, Jesús returned to Mexico where he worked for two large commercial banks, supervising emerging markets and managing international operations. At the advent of the .com boom, Jesús moved to Tucson where he co-founded an e-investment firm servicing foreign national clientele desiring to trade in the U.S. financial markets. He left this successful venture and moved to Phoenix and joined US Bank helping with the expansion from four to sixty-seven branches during his thirteen-year tenure. He lives in Phoenix with his wife Andrea and their teenagers Isabel and Ian. Jesús has always held a deep sense of community and has been involved in educational and philanthropic organizations which currently include Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral, Phoenix Conservatory of Music, St. Mary’s High School, the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board, and the Georgetown University Alumni Admissions. Jesus represents Adult Education and Literacy (Title II).

  • Karen Carter Bio

    Karen Carter

    Chief of Staff, Terros Health

    Karen Carter is responsible for being a stabilizing force for Terros in the never-ending quest of making Arizona a more equitable place.  She oversees credentialling, corporate compliance, company audits, contracting, site licensing and accreditation, and emergency management.  She also serves as the Chief of Staff to the Terros Health President and CEO, is a member of the Executive Leadership Team, and Liaison to Terros Health’s Board of Directors. Karen has over 25 years of administrative experience mostly in health care and a Bachelor’s Degree in business education from Southwest Baptist University and an MBA from Grand Canyon University.  Karen represents Business (Healthcare).

  • Meghan McGilvra

    Meghan McGilvra

    Director of Partnerships, Year Up Arizona

    Meghan currently serves as the Director of Partnerships at Year Up where she works to close the Opportunity Divide by creating pathways to opportunity through partnerships and national initiatives. Meghan has spent over 20 years in nonprofits focused on workforce development in the youth sector. Meghan is committed to moving the needle on inequities in education and hiring practices that disproportionally affect opportunity youth. Her experience in Department of Labor contracts, recruitment, social work, pipeline management, and community partnerships has allowed her to have a unique perspective in doing this work. Meghan is a Masters Level Social Worker, serves as Chair of Opportunities for Youth Leadership Council, Co-Chair of Reengagement Center Action Teams, and has had the pleasure of serving on many councils and taskforces focused on Workforce, Youth Development, and Educational Access. Meghan is the mother of two girls, and enjoys a quieter pace with her husband and family when “offline”. Meghan represents Youth Serving Organizations (Workforce Representation). 

  • Dean Scheniert Photo

    Dean Scheinert

    Executive Director, Justa Center

    Dean Scheinert is Executive Director at Justa Center, a local non-profit that provides life-sustaining resources, services, and support to assist homeless seniors on their path to housing and supportive services to help prevent a return to homelessness.  Prior to his current role, Dean was the COO at St. Joseph the Worker and had executive fundraising responsibilities with the Musical Instrument Museum and Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Dean’s transition to non-profit leadership in 2016 came on the heels of his family’s move to Phoenix in 2012 and a 35-year career year as a senior banker, portfolio manager, and asset management entrepreneur in New York and Phoenix. Dean serves as a Trustee on the $17 billion Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Board where he chairs the Operations, Governance, and Audit Committee and is a member of the Investment Committee. Additional current community activities include Trustee at the Temple Solel Endowment Foundation and on the recently formed Board of the Museum of Arizona Artists. Dean earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute, MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and BA from Tufts University. Dean represents Labor (Workforce).

  • Juvenal Lopez Bio

    Juvenal L Lopez

    Chief Development Officer, Phoenix Union High School District

    Juvenal L Lopez joined Phoenix Union High School District as Assistant Principal for Registration at Metro Tech High School on July 01, 2003. He served as Principal for Metro Tech High School from 2005-2008, Human Resources Director for Certified Personnel from 2008-2016, Executive Director for Logistics from 2016-2019, Principal Coach in 2019- 2020, served as the Executive Director for Talent in 2021-2022, and was named Chief Development Officer for the 2022-2023 school year. He will lead the District's Talent and Leadership Divisions. Before joining Phoenix Union, Lopez served as an Assistant Principal for 13 years for the Kyrene Elementary School District and taught for five years in the Mesa Unified School District. A native of Guanajuato, Mexico, Juve, and his family migrated to the small town of Bagdad, Arizona, and he attended Bagdad Unified High School. He earned an Applied Science Degree from Yavapai College in Pre-Engineering, and a B.A. and Master's Degree at Arizona State University. Juve Lopez and his family live in Chandler, Arizona. Juvenal represents Education.

  • Sam Wolo Bio

    Samuel Wolo Jr., Chair

    Regional Plant Leader, W.L. Gore & Associates

    Samuel N. Wolo, Jr., M.A. is a career corporate human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion leader who currently serves as Regional Plant Leader at W. L. Gore & Associates. Sam’s career spans multiple industries including aviation, healthcare, bottling, energy services, technology and material sciences. Sam has led diversity, equity and inclusion for multiple companies including U.S. Airways, Day & Zimmermann, Inc. and Avnet, Inc. Sam is a graduate of Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in political science, and a graduate of Howard University, Washington, D.C. with a Master’s degree in International Relations. In 2018, Sam was named among the Top Executives in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise magazine and was featured in STEM Workforce Diversity magazine's 2018 Spring edition, "Leaders in STEM Diversity Initiatives". Sam is a 2013 alum of Valley Leadership Institute, Phoenix Arizona, and is also 2022 alum of the McKinsey Academy Black Executive Leadership Program. Sam is married to his wife Toya and together they have two daughters (Cydnie and Kyndal) and live in Laveen, Arizona. Samuel represents Business (Manufacturing).

  • Patrick Fitzhugh Biography

    Patrick Fitzhugh, Vice-Chair

    Regional Site Director, USAA

    Patrick (Fitz) Fitzhugh is the Regional Site Director for USAA, where he supports the development and execution of regional strategies and supports 4,000 local employees while forging connections with the local community. His broad role includes the responsibilities of employee engagement, community development, public relations, sponsorships, DE&I, business continuation and crisis management. His leadership abilities are deeply rooted in his military background in the United States Air Force. During his time in the USAF, he excelled as an elite Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) Specialist from 2003 to 2007. He then dedicated his expertise to the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, and Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, becoming a Subject Matter Expert in rescuing aircrew and soldiers in perilous situations. Patrick represents Business (Advanced Business Services).

  • Nick Head Shot

    Nick Bielinski, Chair Emeritus

    Senior Lead Recruiter, The Judge Group

    Nick Bielinski currently serves as Senior Lead Recruiter at The Judge Group where he focuses on Local, Regional and National requirement, leads the efforts for Technical Talent recruitment, and Strategize Market Diversity for Veteran Recruitment and Inclusion . Prior, Nick was at Google as the Channels Specialist w/ their Extended Workforce Program focused on Search, Google Maps, Pixel and Autonomous Vehicles. Nick has worked within Information Technology Services since 2012 in the Staffing Industry. Before a career in IT, Nick served in the United States Air Force as a Security Analyst within the National Security Agency. After his military service, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, where he also served as the President of the Student Veterans Association. Nick has been serving on the PWDB since 2018 and as of 2021 Vice-Chair & Chairman of Arizona’s Military Family Relief Fund Program. Nick represents Business (IT).

  • Kevin Parker Bio

    Kevin Parker

    Vice President, Precision Oncology Business Operations

    Kevin currently serves as Exact Sciences’ Vice President, Precision Oncology Business Operations based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is responsible for leading and delivering key initiatives and programs across the business unit as well as site leadership for the company’s Phoenix location. Kevin joined Exact Sciences, a leading provider of cancer screening and cancer diagnostic tests, in 2015 to lead program management and has held roles of increasing responsibility across commercial operations, integrations, strategy & execution, and business operations. He was named Vice President, Phoenix Business Operations in 2021 and expanded his role in 2022 to lead business operations for the company’s Precision Oncology division. Prior to joining Exact Sciences, Kevin worked for Accuray, a company that manufactures cancer radiation treatment machines. His work at Accuray spanned leadership in quality, service operations, business development, and program management. Previously, Kevin held various individual contributor and technical leadership roles for Spectrum Brands and Alliant TechSystems. Prior to transitioning to industry, Kevin served in the United States Army as a Chemical Officer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kevin is Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certified. Currently he is Board Chair for the Arizona Bioindustry Association. Kevin is married to Elizabeth and has two adult daughters, Rebecca and Eleanor. Kevin represents Business (Healthcare).

  • Jason Schaffner Bio

    Jason Schaffner

    Director of Business Development, Redbarre

    Jason C. Schaffner works as the director of business development for Redbarre Media and is a seasoned professional with a rich background in the film industry, making him an ideal candidate to contribute to the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board. With a passion for driving economic growth and fostering talent within the state, Schaffner brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in the following areas:

    1. Film Production Expertise: With over two decades of experience in film production, Schaffner has played pivotal roles in bringing numerous projects to fruition. His comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of film production, from pre-production planning to post-production execution, positions him as an asset in shaping strategies for the local film industry's growth.

    2. Workforce Development Advocacy: Schaffner is actively driving workforce development initiatives within the Arizona film community. Recognizing the importance of nurturing local talent, he has been focused on programs aimed at providing aspiring filmmakers with the skills and resources needed to thrive in the industry. His commitment to building a robust workforce aligns seamlessly with the objectives of the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board.

    3. Collaborative Industry Engagement: As a respected figure in the Arizona film scene, Schaffner has established strong collaborations with industry stakeholders, government agencies, and educational institutions. His ability to forge meaningful partnerships has contributed to the growth and sustainability of the local film ecosystem.

    4. Economic Impact Advocacy: Schaffner has been a vocal advocate for recognizing the economic impact of the film industry in Arizona. His efforts have focused on highlighting the job creation, tourism, and revenue generation associated with a thriving film sector, aligning with the goals of the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board.

    5. Community Involvement: Beyond his professional endeavors, Schaffner is actively engaged in community initiatives. He understands the interconnectedness of a thriving film industry with the overall well-being of the community, and he is committed to ensuring that the benefits of the industry reach diverse segments of the population.

    In conclusion, Jason C. Schaffner's extensive experience in the Arizona film industry, coupled with his commitment to workforce development and community engagement, make him an exemplary candidate for the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board. His vision and leadership will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of the local business and workforce landscape. Jason is serving on the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board in a business seat.

  • Suzanna Armijo Bio

    Suzanna Armijo

    Vocational Rehabilitation Program Supervisor

    Suzanna Armijo is currently a Vocational Rehabilitation Program Supervisor with the Arizona Department of Economic Security. She has been a Vocational Rehabilitation Program Supervisor for 2 years. Suzanna has devoted over 25 years to nonprofits focused on workforce growth with the seriously mentally ill adult population and transition from school to work youth. Suzanna started her career as one of the first administrators introducing Arizona’s Medicaid program (AHCCCS) to Maricopa County in 1982. Suzanna worked in the behavioral health field as a Program Coordinator, Case Manager, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialist, and as Clinical Coordinator until becoming a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in 2019.  While Suzanna was proudly raising her children and working, she continued her education. She completed her AAS in Behavioral Health Sciences at South Mountain Community College, a Bachelor in Psychology at Ottawa University, a Master in Human Resources Management at Ottawa, and a PhD in Business Administration at ASU.  Suzanna has been married to Jose for 40 years. She has a son Joseph, a daughter Emily, and 2 grandsons (Josephus & Leviticus). Suzanna enjoys spending her free time with family, at the gym, and traveling with her husband. She is looking forward to retiring soon to continue to do more of what she loves.


    Suzanna is represents Title IV.