Premier Alliances, Inc. Board of Directors
Jennifer Graeme – Board President
A native of Cochise County, my great grandfather came to Bisbee in 1883 at age thirteen where he settled and eventually raised a family. His daughter Josephine had five children, the youngest, my aunt Janet, had Down Syndrome. Challenged with the lack of opportunities for her daughter to go to school she joined other community members and started the Little Red Schoolhouse which is today Premier Alliances.
I joined Cochise College in the position of Director of Talent Management in 2013 after having served the City of Bisbee for almost 13 years, the majority of time in a human resources role. I found Human Resources to be a perfect fit with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, relationship building skills and desire to help people and strengthen organizations. I obtained my Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2010, Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation in 2015 and through the Arizona State University Certified Public Manager Program achieved the CPM designation October 2016.
My skills in communicating and building relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders have proven to make a positive difference in my career and my community service.
Thomas Reardon – Board Vice President
Tom has been a resident of Sierra Vista since 1984 and lived in Sierra Vista previously in the 1970’s while stationed at Fort Huachuca.
Tom was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and is a product of the District of Columbia Public School System. He enlisted in the Army immediately upon graduation from high school in 1964 and retired from the Army in 1984 as a Chief Warrant Officer. His Army service included tours of duty in Vietnam; Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Belgium; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Huachuca, and two assignments to The Pentagon. While on active duty, he earned a Bachelor of General Studies Degree from Chaminade University of Honolulu. Upon retirement from the Army, Tom and his family moved to Sierra Vista where he served as a civilian member of the staff and faculty of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School (Department of Human Intelligence) and as an Intelligence Specialist with the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (Army). As an Army civilian employee, Tom was a two-time recipient of the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, in addition to the Department of the Army Humanitarian Service Award in 2007. Upon retirement from Federal service in April 2008 he was the recipient of the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award.
Tom has served on the City of Sierra Vista Environmental Affairs Commission (1990-92) and took an active role in the establishment of the City’s first telephone book recycling program. He also served as a two-term chairman of the Cochise County Learning Advisory Council (CCLAC), and as a member of the Cochise College Adult Education Advisory Council. Immediately prior to his appointment to the City Council in 2007, Tom served as the chairman of the City of Sierra Vista Planning and Zoning Commission. Tom was appointed to the City Council to fill a vacancy caused by a resignation. He was elected to full term on the on the City Council in August, 2010 and retired from the Council when his term ended on December 31, 2014.
While a Council Member, he served as Council liaison to the City of Sierra Vista Commission on Disability Issues (CoDI); the City of Sierra Vista Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC); the City of Sierra Vista Diversity Commission; the City of Sierra Vista Sister Cities Commission; and, the Partnership Advisory Committee, Upper San Pedro Partnership (USPP); the Past Chairman of the Military Communities Council, National League of Cities (NLC); a member of the NLC Community and Economic Development Steering Committee; a member of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Vista Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); and, as the Treasurer, Executive Board of the Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO). In 2011, Tom was recognized by a resolution from the District of Columbia City Council for receiving the 2011 Alumni Association Award of Calvin Coolidge High School.
Tom is also a Leadership Ambassador, National League of Cities University; a graduate of the Southwest Leadership Program, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona and the Cochise College Non-Profit Management Course; the co-recipient of the 2012 Political Award from the Greater Huachuca Area NAACP; and the recipient of the Arizona Transit Association’s 2011 Friend of Transit Excellence Award.
In August, 2014, Tom was appointed to the Cochise Regional Council of First Things First and now serves as Council chairman. He is also Chairman of the board of directors for the Cochise County Reentry Coalition (CCRC) and Chairman of the Advisory Board for the National Alliance for Mental Illness Southeast Arizona NAMI (SEAZ). Tom also serves on the board of the Wellness Connection and Premier Alliances, Inc. Tom is active in Rotary International (RI) in the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista West, and was a charter member and twice Past President of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista Sunrise. He is also a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation. Tom has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 50 years. They have one son, Gregg, who resides in San Francisco, CA.
Sid Downey – Board Treasurer
Sid Downey recently retired from Cochise College as a business instructor with more than 42 years collective classroom experience. He has served as Vice-President of Business and Finance at two major colleges. He is an Army veteran, an Eagle Scout and serves his community at church and through various organizations. Downey and his wife, Carol, reside in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Mary Gomez – Board Secretary
Mary is a third generation Arizona native, born and raised in Morenci, Az. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1977 and later earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from University of Phoenix.
Her positions have included Associate Director of Nursing at Benson Hospital, Clinical Instructor for the Nursing Department at Cochise College, Director of Nursing at Copper Queen Community Hospital, Director of Home and Community-Based Services and Director of Patient Care Services at Southeast Arizona Medical Center in Douglas, and then CEO of Copper Cities Physicians, a medical group with offices in Bisbee and Douglas.
Mary has worked for Cochise County since 2005 and is currently the Director of Cochise Health and Social Services. In this position, she is responsible for managing: Cochise Health Department as the Local Health Officer and Chairperson for the County Board of Health; the Public Fiduciary’s Office; and the SEAGO Area Agency on Aging Case Management program. She has previously served on the Advisory Boards of Catholic Community Services, Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc., Member of Cochise Regional Partnership Council with First Things First, Board of the Douglas Golf and Social Club (Secretary), and is currently serving on Arizona Local Health Officers Association (Treasurer), the Board of Trustees for Sierra Vista Regional Health Center, the Board of Premier Alliances, Inc., the Parish Council and Parish Pastoral Council for St. Patrick Catholic Church in Bisbee (President), and the Diocesan Pastoral Council for the Diocese of Tucson.
Mary has lived in Bisbee since 1981 with her husband, George, and her mother, Evelyn, who celebrated her 101st birthday in December of 2014!
Carla Boyd – Board Member
Carla Boyd joined Cochise College in 2014 as the Director for the Office of Disability Services. She quickly supported the communities in Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties in the areas of disability support services. Carla has lived in Arizona for 20 years and moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2009.
A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Carla earned her Masters in Educational Technology and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She holds management certificates from Villanova University in the areas of leadership and continuous improvement, as well as a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Cochise College. Carla is currently a doctoral candidate with Concordia University in the program of Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education to be completed in 2019.
The strengths she brings to the Board of Directors role is one of corporate management in financial services, healthcare, legal compliance, K-16 education and disability services, both in vocational and educational settings which spans 30 years. In her current capacity at Cochise College, Carla works closely with Arizona state agencies and nonprofits in the areas of vocational rehabilitation services and education.
Carla believes in the mission of Premier Alliances, Inc. and the empowerment of changing the lives of those with disabilities to become self-sufficient with rewarding work. She first began working with students with disabilities during her undergraduate program at Arizona Western College as an intern in the Office of Disability Services.
Currently she serves as an Associate Member for the Commission on Disability Issues (CoDI) for the City of Sierra Vista, Arizona. She also volunteers at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System in Tucson, Arizona as a Blind Mobility Recreation Specialist.
As a former military spouse and single parent of one son, Carla understands the struggles which occur when life changes unexpectedly through divorce. She supports others in their desire to advance their education, life and career while breaking down barriers on the path to personal success. She is a skilled life and career coach, helping others to ‘reframe’ the negative views of any situation to find the positive outcomes we all desire.
Joel Evans – Board Member
Joel Evans joined the Premier Alliances, Inc. Board of Directors in the summer of 2017. As the coordinator of the Cochise College MOS Credentialing Program on Fort Huachuca, Joel helps soldiers earn their degrees by ensuring they obtain college credit for work they do while still in the military.
Education is important to Joel, who grew up hearing from everyone from his doctors to his teachers that he would never graduate high school due to his mild form of Cerebral Palsy. Having defied those expectations, Joel will be obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services in the winter of 2018.
As the only current member of the Premier Alliances Board of Directors with a disability, Joel brings a vital and necessary perspective to the leadership of the organization, in addition to his passion for ensuring equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
In addition to serving on several committees at Cochise College, Joel volunteered as the treasurer of the Tombstone High School Booster Club for nearly a decade.
Leslie Thomas – Board Member
A local leader in home financing, Leslie Thomas joined the Premier Alliances, Inc. Board of Directors in the summer of 2017. A Sierra Vista resident for nearly a decade, Leslie has spent her professional career helping individuals and families get into their forever homes, first as a Real Estate agent, then in her current role as the branch manager for the Sierra Vista office of Nova Home Loans, which she helped grow from a two-person operation into a site with 10 employees.
Since moving to the area, Leslie has taken an active role in supporting her community through leadership in various volunteer organizations, including serving as past president of the Industrial Development Authority of the City of Sierra Vista, past vice president of Sierra Housing Resource Partners, and as a past board member of Sierra Vista Habitat for Humanity.
After learning more about Premier Alliances, Inc. from friend and CEO Rachel Gray, Leslie said she felt compelled to be a part of what she called “a really wonderful organization.”
Leslie brings an objective, open-mindedness to the Board of Directors, a position she hope to use to help Premier Alliances, Inc. grow into more areas of service, in order to open up opportunities to even more individuals with disabilities who have a variety of needs.
Leslie’s husband works on Fort Huachuca as a UAV instructor for Raytheon. She has three adult children and six grandchildren.