Board of Directors

Adam Bromley, United States Forest Service, District Ranger

Water is life. Our watersheds provide us with drinking water, agricultural water and wildlife water. I would like to see our water resources as the most important thing in our environment. I would like to see us view our environment as interconnected with everything ultimately relies on something else. The US Forest Service is one of the principle landownerships in the Cobre Valley, and owes it to the community to collaborate and hear the community opinion on matters of management. While many times our management actions are guided by regional and national level direction, the voice of the local community should not be lost in those discussions. I believe as leaders, we are simply there to guide people in the direction in which we want to go. This empowers individuals to make their own decisions on the “how we get there” part of the equation. Most of all, help people help themselves. During my short time in the Cobre Valley, I have enjoyed learning about the awesome wildlife resources, the excellent outdoor recreation, and the quiet places to raise a family.

Al Gameros, City of Globe Mayor

The three most important aspects about water resources to me are the aquifer where the City of Globe gets its water, being able to supply water for growth, and emergency water availability. I would like to see solid water scenario planning with good predictions. We can’t manage our water resources for growth unless we have good predictions. Communicating with my community is very important to me, and I rely on a variety of tools to do that. I still send out radio addresses and notices in the newspaper, along with Facebook communication so I can reach different segments of our population. As a leader, you have to lead by example. A good leader is a good listener. It’s so important to sit down at the table with everyone, and be open to collaborate. What I love about the Cobre Valley is that it’s a small-town community where people help one another. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Freddy Rios, Division Manager for Public Water Utility- AWC

As a water purveyor, the top three things that are most important to me are 1) the quality of domestic use water and compliance with multiple levels of regulation, 2) being able to replenish our water sources, and recharge our aquifers, and 3) being able to balance supply with demand throughout the year. We all have to do our part in utilizing water resources to the fullest benefit, and not be wasteful. It is a resource that we have to protect, more so in our drier climate with scarcer water resources. I believe through public education we have the opportunity to train the next generation to be mindful of their use of water. We can help kids understand what water is about, and strongly emphasize the importance of water resources throughout their whole lives. I collaborate and communicate with the community in three capacities: 1) as the division manager of the public water system, I am required to provide outreach and customer service. I also work with contractors and regulatory agencies regularly, 2) as a city council member, I have other ways to reach, politically, and 3) I’m a high school basketball coach for the varsity team at Globe High School (this year). There is a lot of cross-over with group conversations. We all know each other, or of each other in this community. You can’t get lost here. The main ingredients of good leadership are be a good listener, be responsive, and be accountable. What I love about the Cobre Valley is the climate, the geographic position in the state (we’re close to everything), and the helpful, close-knit people. The people are really nice here.

Melissa Steele, Economic Development Specialist

We live in a desert, so saving water and maintaining good water quality is really important. I also care about keeping our waterways healthy, which helps with our wildlife flourish. I would like to see more water savings and discussions about water conservation. We shouldn’t take more than we need. I also support having these conversations with kids in the schools, and continuing on to help this be common knowledge in the community. Currently, my communication is a lot on social media, with some radio and some commercials. We have been hosting Zoom meetings to reach out to stakeholders. I think a leader is someone who is right there beside the people they are leading. To me, it’s someone who is helping to create the future that everyone wants, and taking those paths to create an achievable goal. I love the environment here; at night you can see the stars and it’s perfect. I love the community, and the small-town friendliness. It’s home.

Executive Committee

Christopher Jones, University of Arizona Extension Agent

The three most important aspects about water resources to me are 1) water conservation. It’s important to raise awareness and document water management practices, 2) the wildland urban interface. This is where wildfire mitigation and invasive winter grass removal strategies have big impact, and 3) riparian corridor restoration. Riparian corridors are perfect locations for trails, dialogue with property owners, connectivity to the community, and environmental flows using recycled water. I would like to see more collaborative, consensus-building, based on long-term sustainability management goals with respect to the environment, the residents, and the local economy. I am the County Extension Agent for the University of Arizona: I work to bring in partners to facilitate decision making for the good of the community, and I provide educational opportunities to build awareness and good relationships. I think it is important to understand oneself and practice bringing the best of that to the table. I know my role is in influence and creativity in many cases where I get to interact with community partners. Any joint effort needs to be mission driven. A leader and team need to have a shared vision, mission statement, goals and objectives, and keep working towards those ends. Internal conflict can often be resolved by staying mission focused. I love the climate, the location (rural but not too isolated), and my neighbors in the Cobre Valley.

Sandy Palmer, Director, Industrial Development Authority

Water is imperative to sustain life in the desert. Water quality is very important for health and well-being. Additionally, water resources are important for planning for the future. I would like to see more proactive and innovative approaches to stewardship of the water resources. Protecting these resources will be equally important. I encourage participation through community outreach. A good leader is a servant who works on behalf of the people or organization to address needs and accomplish goals that are important to the those they serve. I love the mountains, opportunities for outdoor recreation, and the small-town friendliness of the Cobre Valley.

Ben Downer, Program Coordinator for Family Consumer Health Sciences with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Gila County

As an outdoor enthusiast involved in youth programs, important aspects of water resources include protecting them for future generations, leveraging them as educational opportunities, and encouraging recreational use. I would like to see water resources viewed as outreach and educational opportunities. When I was young, trips to the beach sparked my interest in water. Before I knew about pumping rates, water quality metrics or conservation, I knew that being out in nature and around water equated to fun. Each of use involved with water has an origin story. We need to continue providing opportunities for others in the Cobre Valley to create their own. I work with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension to engage families and youth throughout Gila County and on San Carlos Apache Tribal Lands. I also spend time as a volunteer with the Globe Ranger District, helping rehab the Pinal Mountain Trails. I favor a shared leadership style that encourages engagement and creativity from everyone during the decision-making process. My goal in any leadership position is to create an environment where ideas and opinions are respected and shared freely. As a transplant to the Cobre Valley, the variety of outdoor activities and amount of public lands stood out to me immediately. I like to get to know a place by biking the back roads, paddling the rivers and lakes, and hiking the trails. The people have also been very welcoming, and I’ve been able to plug into the community much quicker than anywhere else I’ve lived.

Facilitator & Outreach Coordinator

Victoria Hermosilla

The most important aspects about water resources to me are 1) balanced water uses. There are many uses for water, and no one use should overtake the others. A balanced approach to management is vital to meeting everyone’s needs, 2) a diverse water supply portfolio. If you just have one well and that well goes dry, you’re out of water. It’s important to have backup water supplies for droughts, unexpected emergencies, and for maintenance of different parts of the system, and 3) water for recreation. Water draws people in, and provides rest whether it’s in the shade of a cottonwood tree or a nice pool on a hot day. I would like to see water resources be managed in an integrated and transparent way for all users. I work to connect community leaders and motivated volunteers, and empower them to reach their own goals. Leadership is empowering others to lead themselves, and giving them the foundational support to achieve their vision. I love the people I get to work with, as well as the history of the area. I love the creative cuisine at local restaurants!