Board of Directors and Staff
Board of Directors
Kevin Patterson | Board President
Kevin Patterson is an organizational psychologist at Banner Health and also serves as the Director of Executive Development. He is passionate about his family and ensuring equality for all in his community work.
C. Murphy Hebert | Co-Vice President
Murphy works as the Communications Director for the Democratic Caucus at the Arizona House of Representatives. Her background is in communications, politics, and policy. With an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in journalism, she worked as a community reporter for The Daily Courier in Prescott. After two years of beat reporting in Northern Arizona, she freelanced for several publications in Arizona, while also substitute teaching in the Peoria Unified School District.
In 2005, Murphy moved to the Czech Republic where she taught English and wrote freelance articles for The Prague Post, the country’s only English newspaper. In 2007, she returned to the U.S., earning her master’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. while working for a Washington-based media watchdog organization and volunteering on several local and national campaigns. Additionally, she spent time on Capitol Hill working on a congressional research fellowship.
After completing her graduate studies, Murphy returned to Arizona and took a position with a Phoenix-based public affairs firm where she developed content and communication plans for government, political, and nonprofit projects (websites, newsletters, direct mail, and advocacy materials). A native of Louisiana, Murphy moved to Arizona in 1992 and now lives in South Scottsdale where she spends as much time as possible outside, enjoying the benefits of living in Arizona in the winter, while attempting to avoid heat exhaustion in the summer.
Sentari Minor | Co-Vice President
Sentari M. Minor, Director of Partner Engagement & Education at Social Venture Partners Arizona (SVPAZ), facilitates the engagement of local philanthropists and activates community leaders to drive social change in the Valley. Prior to SVPAZ, Mr. Minor oversaw the corporate and foundation relations and major campaigns for the Arizona Humane Society, Arizona’s largest animal welfare organization. He started his career in the nonprofit sector at the Rodel Foundation where he managed communications, events, and special projects under the direction of the President & CEO.
A Phoenix native, Mr. Minor continued his education in the Midwest and is an alumnus of DePauw University located in Greencastle, Indiana where he studied English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He is also a member of Class IV of the American Express Leadership Academy through the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Nonprofit Innovation.
With a strong background and expertise in fundraising, communications, and strategic planning, Mr. Minor supports and advises a number of Valley organizations and serves on the board of directors for a diverse set of nonprofits. Passionate about strengthening nonprofits to equip them to make a bigger impact, Mr. Minor speaks both locally and nationally on board governance, nonprofit leadership and the concepts of venture philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and capacity building.
Outside of his hectic schedule, he enjoys fitness, reading, and spending time with his friends and family.
Mary Page | Secretary
Mary currently works for Maricopa County Correctional Health Services (CHS) as a Mental Health Supervisor at Lower Buckeye Jail and is the Community Transition Coordinator for all of CHS. She leads the effort on reducing recidivism among the Seriously Mentally Ill population by collaborating with community stakeholders, with the goal of facilitating the transition from jail to comprehensive community-based treatment and support services. She is also actively involved in Maricopa County’s SMART Justice Initiative focusing on women offenders, identifying the challenges to improve the transition for justice-involved women back into the community. In addition, her current volunteer work includes working with the LGBTA Devil’s Pride Chapter of ASU and being a mentor for gay youth through the Y.E.S. program with One*N*Ten.
A native of South Dakota, Mary moved to Arizona in 1993 and received a Master of Education from ASU. She also holds a Master of Arts from Prescott College. Her prior experience includes teaching in the higher education system. She spent 5 years as a foreign lecturer at a Japanese University, and more recently, as an adjunct with the Maricopa Community Colleges.
Maria Gabriela Mendez | Treasurer
Maria Gabriela Mendez is the Revenue Accounting Supervisor for the Arizona Department of Transportation. She graduated from Arizona State University W.P Carey school of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Accountancy and is expecting to complete it in 2017. Upon completing her Master’s Degree, she will become a Certified Public Accountant. Over the last ten years, she has worked in the private sector as well as with several state agencies. She began her career as a Corporate Auditor with the Arizona Department of Revenue. In 2010 she joined the Arizona Department of Transportation, where she has held different auditing and accounting positions. Maria strongly supports Equality Arizona’s mission statement and loves helping out as much as she can. In her free time, she likes to volunteer for different nonprofit organizations such as Latinastrong and be involved in the community. She also enjoys traveling and living an active and healthy lifestyle.
Michael Soto | Social Justice Chair
Michael S.C. Soto is a longtime social justice advocate, academic, and professional. His work centers economic, racial, and gender justice as the foundational analysis for addressing systemic and intersectional forms of oppression.
He has worked in the non-profit, government, and for profit sectors. For the past 17 years Michael has developed a professional skill set that includes policy analysis, strategic planning, program evaluation, curriculum development, grant administration, and marketing and communications.
Michael attended Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies and is near completion of his Master of Science in Justice Studies.
He served two terms of national service in the Public Allies Arizona AmeriCorps program. During his AmeriCorps service Michael was the lead organizer for the Superintendent of Public Instruction Arts Education Candidate Forum, the annual statewide arts lobby day called Arts Congress, and for the statewide grassroots arts advocates network.
Michael is active in his community currently serving on the board of directors for Rising Youth Theatre, Equality Arizona, Justice that Works, and the Center for Neighborhood Leadership. He serves on the leadership committee for the LGBTQ Consortium as the PR Community Chair. He previously served on the boards of the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education, Phoenix Pride, Trans Spectrum of Arizona, and Generation Equality. He also served on the steering committee for the Human Service Campus, the Arizona HRC Diversity Committee, the AzCA Arts Education committee, the organizing committee for the Arizona Arts Education Census, and as a volunteer for No Mas Muertes, Andre House, the AzACLU, and as a participant in the 99th Arizona Town Hall.
In his personal time Michael creates graphic and digital art, has a meditation and yoga practice, and strives to live a healthy and joy filled life with his family, friends, and dogs.
Abby Jensen | Board Member
Abby Louise Jensen is an attorney, trans woman and activist. She is Vice-President, General Counsel, and a director of the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (www.sagatucson.org), and Co-Chair of the City of Tucson’s Commission on GLBT Issues. She is also a former member of the Arizona State Bar’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee, and co-founder of Prescott Area Shelter Services. Currently, she works as an appellate attorney for the Pima County Public Defender’s Office.
JP Martin | Board Member
With enthusiasm for intercultural exchange and global solutions, JP Martin deploys his experience founding, leading and strategically re-visioning communities. He has a passion for both community involvement and political advocacy and has volunteered countless hours for non-profit organizations, leading fundraising endeavors and strategic planning.
JP is self-employed, specializing in communications strategy and is currently using his experience with political industry and cloud-based technology to drive successful political campaigns in Arizona. He has worked on several executive councils implementing technology as a tool to shorten distances between people and ideologies. He currently sits on the boards of Equality Arizona and the Arizona Interfaith movement, for who he does pro bono digital advertising and awareness campaigns.
JP majored in Political Science with minors in Sociology and Modern Languages at Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona; he speaks English, Spanish and French. JP lobbied the Arizona State Legislature on behalf of the Secular Coalition for Arizona, the Arizona Students’ Association, and Spectrum Experience. JP has experience mobilizing citizen lobbyists all over the country in a co-coordinated effort to advance the tenets of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, and hunger for truth.
JP is interested in entrepreneurial-ism and lean business mechanics. He is currently working to launch a company that will connect patients and doctors using a mobile platform to bring back the house call.
Richie Taylor | Board Member, Communications Committee
Bio coming soon.
Janey Pearl Starks | Board Member, Communications and Equity Committees
Bio coming soon.
Zachary Stringer | Board Member, Finance and Governance Committees
Bio coming soon.
Thomas Barr | Board Member
Bio coming soon.
Larry Sandigo | Board Member
Bio coming soon.
Caitlin Breedlove | Board Member
Bio coming soon.
Emeritus Board of Directors
Rebecca Wininger | Board Emeritus
Rebecca is a graduate of the University of Denver and holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix. Her diverse experience in Fortune 500 Companies such as Safeway, PetSmart, and Amazon.com provides a depth of knowledge and leadership that help Equality Arizona accomplish its ever important goals and mission. Rebecca is also an avid member of the Arizona Golden Retriever Connection and a member of the Arizona Team Nicaragua through JustHope.
Corey Woods | Board Emeritus
Corey was elected to the Tempe City Council in May 2008 and re-elected in March 2012, devoting much of his life to public service. Vice Mayor Woods represents the City of Tempe as a member of the Human Services Coordinating Committee for the Maricopa Association of Governments.
Corey’s personal commitment to community service extends to board memberships for many organizations, including the Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, Equality Arizona, Friendship Village and Landings Credit Union.
As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Corey was active in student government, graduating in April 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and a minor in African-American Studies. After graduating, he joined the Handleman Company, which specializes in music distribution. At Handleman, Corey first worked as a Management Associate and later as a Market Research Coordinator. He was also a teaching assistant at Arizona State University for three years, where he taught “Culture and Schooling” for undergraduate students preparing to be educators.
Corey currently works as the Chief Operating Officer for the Greater Phoenix Urban League.