Board of Directors and Staff
Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sentari Minor | Co-Vice President
Sentari M. Minor, Director of 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 including: Phoenix Collegiate Academy, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona, Support My Club, Adelante Healthcare, Equality Arizona, Blueprint Education, and Arizona Curriculum Theater. With particular interest in developing emerging leaders and nurturing young talent, Mr. Minor also serves as Immediate Past Chairman of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Phoenix and as Vice Chair of The Manifesto Project.
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.
Kevin Patterson | Board President
Dr. Kevin Patterson is so excited to join the board of EQAZ. As a plaintiff in the marriage equality cases against Arizona and an adoptive parent, he and his family have been closely connected to legal and social change that positively impact LGBTQ families. He will oversee the family outreach campaign, which will leverage relationships with key foster and adoptive resources across the state, build awareness regarding how families can expand, and to create fun and meaningful ways for families to connect. Kevin is an organizational psychologist at Banner Health and also serves as the Director of Executive Development. He is on the Board of Directors for Arizona’s Children’s Association.
Michael Soto | Social Justice Chair
Michael S. C. Soto is a communication, marketing, outreach, and technology professional for more than 15 years. He currently works at Miller Russell Associates as Communications Associate.
Previously, he worked in the public sector for government and non-profit agencies including the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizona Citizens for the Arts, Equality Arizona, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Michael studied at Arizona State University for both graduate and undergraduate degrees in Justice Studies and Women and Gender Studies, respectively. 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. He also organized team service projects for the LGBTQ youth organization 1n10. served on the board of directors for the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education.
Michael is active in his community currently serving on the board of directors for Rising Youth Theatre and Equality Arizona. He serves on the leadership committee for the LGBTQ Consortium as the PR Community Chair and on the marketing and PR committee for Justice that Works. He is also a member of two arts collectives, Border/Arte and QUAD Productions. He previously served on the boards of the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education, Phoenix Pride, Wounded Wodders, 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.
Michael also volunteers his time facilitating workshops and speaking on Trans inclusion, LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace, LGBTQ inclusion in public policy, gender equality in the workplace, race and economic justice, gender and economic justice, economic justice and public policy, brand management, marketing and media relations, board development, fundraising, grant writing, diversity and inclusion for business, and nonprofit budgets 101.
In his spare time Michael enjoys reading, making digital art, and spending time with his family, friends, and dogs.
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 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.