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After almost 15 years as the CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, Debbie is retiring from the Girl Scout movement and transitioning to lead the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Southern Arizona,(NAMISA) as their Executive Director. She feels that our community is in the midst of a mental health crisis and believes the grassroots work in education, advocacy and support that NAMISA offers can be elevated to expand services and reach more people. In her prior service to the community, Debbie founded the Reading Seed program, was the Development Director at the Volunteer Center, Associate Director of Tu Nidito and was a PR and Marketing Executive for Carondelet Health Network. Debbie is also an active community member serving on the Boards of Volunteer Southern Arizona, Honor Flight and is a member of Women at the Top as well as American Association of University Women. In 2013, Debbie was named as one of Inside Tucson Business’s Women of Influence, and received Congressional Recognition as a recipient of the Tucson Advertising Federation’s Phyllis Ehlinger Women of Excellence Award in 2014 and recognized by Eller College as an Ordinary Woman doing Extraordinary Things.
In her current position, Ms. Cohen is responsible for leadership of Family and Community Medicine’s outreach programs and initiatives. Ms. Cohen has substantial expertise in disability related law and policy including in the behavioral health area. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, she was the executive director for over ten years of the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Arizona's protection and advocacy system for persons with physical, behavioral health and developmental disabilities. For many years, she has served as a consultant to organizations in Arizona and nationally on a wide variety of strategic planning, organizational management and substantive disability issues. She has previously served as President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD); Board President, Primavera Foundation; Board Member, Linkages Arizona and ArSOBO Arizona Sonoran Cross Border Projects for Inclusion.
Following ownership in two Tucson marketing, advertising and public relations businesses, Ms. Godwin played a key role in starting up both for-profit and nonprofit mission-based organizations, including StrengthBuilding Partners, a nonprofit training and coaching organization that works primarily in schools, and Mrs. Green’s World, a multi-media educational resource on environmental sustainability and social justice. For the past two years Ms. Godwin has consulted with NAMI SA, first on creating a marketing plan for the organization, followed by taking a leadership role in the development of the Stigma Reduction and Improved Mental Health for Youth Initiative. She is the mother of a woman with both mental and physical illnesses, and brings her understanding of the challenges family members face in helping their children. As a volunteer Board member, Ms. Godwin chaired the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Community Investment Team in 2008 when it funded three collaborative groups, each working to create systemic change, in what became the first use of the Collective Impact model of social change in Southern Arizona. Currently she is a member of the Rotary Club of Tucson and a fellow in the Public Voices Fellowship sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona.
Arcelia (Arcy) Cornidez, MBA, has over 11 years of experience in social services, having worked in case management, intensive home visitation, and respite care. She also has over 17 years experience in education, including out-of-school time and during school time settings, and has worked with children, youth and young adults. She has provided training and guidance to community partners on youth friendly referral systems and has presented nationally on engaging youth in foster care and transforming curriculum. Her goal is to help educate and empower children, youth and young adults so that they may live a fulfilling life. Arcy believes that because the youth are our future, it is our responsibility to encourage them to use their voice and recognize the value of impact they can have on the future.