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Alumni continue legacy of public leadership

October 16, 2007

Three top Phoenix-area leaders have been chosen to represent the Arizona State University College of Public Programs from its base of more than 10,000 graduates in social work, public administration, tourism, recreation management and nonprofit management worldwide.

George Flores, Anne C. Ronan and Renẻ E. Vera will be inducted into the College’s Alumni Hall of Fame at a luncheon on Thursday, October 25, at the Wyndham Phoenix.

The honorees were selected for their distinguished professional achievements and for the ways that their lives reflect the quality of the education they received at ASU. All are highly-regarded in their professions; are lifelong learners; are actively engaged in their communities; and support higher education in various ways.

George Flores, MPA’77, was selected as the honoree for the School of Public Affairs due to his 35-year career at the City of Phoenix. He retired in 2005 as deputy city manager after serving in various management roles and after one year of retirement has returned to public service. He is currently community development manager for the City of El Mirage. Flores is widely known as one of the region’s most effective public managers. During his 11 years as founding director of development services he grew the organization to more than 300 staff members with a budget of nearly $25 million, overseeing annual construction projects valued at nearly $2 billion.

As deputy city manager he directed the offices of arts and culture; engineering and architectural services; equal opportunity; and the minority/women and small business enterprise program among others. Flores served as president of the Arizona City/County Management Association and has provided leadership on eight national committees of the International City/County Management Association. He earned the City Manager’s Excellence Award three times for his management innovations. His extensive record of community service includes board involvement in the ASU Parents Association.

The School of Social Work is honoring Anne C. Ronan, BSW’73, who serves as staff attorney for the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in social welfare (the current equivalent of a bachelor of social work), and juris doctorate from Arizona State University, Ronan served as a medical social worker and in community legal services, distinguishing herself as an attorney in health law and as a mental health reform advocate.

Her practice has focused mainly on the poor and uninsured, providing assistance to individuals and families eligible for health care through various State and Federal programs. Ronan also represents children and adults with disabilities needing medical and mental health services and has served as attorney on several high-profile cases on these issues.

She is active in her professional community and has held volunteer leadership roles in organizations such as Bethany Birth Center, Justice Institute, and the National Institute of Tribal Advocates. Ronan has been a volunteer partner linking ASU’s Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholar’s Program to a research project funded by the Wallace Foundation of Arizona, to advocate for foster youth.

Renẻ Vera, BS Recreation ’90 is the 2007 Alumni Hall of Fame inductee for the School of Community Resources & Development. He is deputy director of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department and has a distinguished 20-year career in park, recreation and natural resource management with the City Phoenix. Vera is known for his leadership, strategic relationship building skills, and creative and productive management on behalf of the community.

His efforts in support of adaptive recreation and youth development and several City of Phoenix initiatives such as the “Trail Mix” park ranger program have “left a lasting mark on the community,” according to one nominator. He was also responsible for the operational launches of the Maryvale Community Center, the Rio Salado Habitat, West Phoenix Revitalization Program, Judith Tunnell Accessible Trail and the North Mountain Visitor Center.

His volunteer service to the profession has been exceptional over the past 13 years, including leading both the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association, the regional council of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and professional projects in support of ethnic minorities. In 2001 he earned NRPA’s Young Professional Fellowship. Vera continues his relationship with the ASU School of Community Resources and Development by coaching and mentoring students.

Prior inductees into the College of Public Programs Alumni Hall of Fame include: Alan V. Brunacini, retired City of Phoenix fire chief; Ramon A. Elias, president and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley; The Honorable Harry E. Mitchell, U.S. Congressman; Royetta Marconi-Dooley, U.S.A.F. retired colonel and medical group commander; Ronald E. Pies, director of community services, City of Tempe; The Honorable Peter D. Rios, Arizona State Senate; and Luz Sarmina, president and CEO, Valle del Sol, Inc.All proceeds from the luncheon support scholarships and fellowships in the ASU College of Public Programs.

Reservations for the luncheon can be made at (602) 496-1122 or

See for details.