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All About Convention



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Councilmember Ann O'Brien 
Phoenix Council District 1

She is an Arizona native and has been a resident of District 1 since 2004.  She made her mark in the community as an advocate for quality education--first as an active parent and volunteer in the Deer Valley Unified School District, and then as an elected Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) Governing Board Member in 2014. She was reelected to the DVUSD Board in 2018 and is currently the Governing Board President.​

Councilwoman O'Brien's extensive volunteer service to her community includes providing support to students, teachers and staff as a committee member of the of the Stetson Hills Elementary School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and the Sandra Day O'Connor Academy of History Booster Club. In 2017, she was elected to the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA), where she is currently the President and the appointed chairperson of the 2020 Legislative Committee.  ​

Professionally, Councilwoman O'Brien is a proud Sun Devil, who has worked in project management with the Arizona Department of Child Support Enforcement and as a business broker for a local company.​


With Council District 1 on the brink of great economic growth, Councilwoman O'Brien's focus are preparing the community for incoming industries and developments in the area, ensuring that transportation, housing and key infrastructures are part of the overall plan. Equally important to her are the community's concerns surrounding homelessness and public safety. Her goal is to work closely with neighborhood associations and Block Watches to understand their issues and public safety needs and determine a roadmap that provides a strategy in finding solutions.​


In her first year on Council, Councilwoman O’Brien was made the Chair of the Public Safety & Justice Subcommittee where she successfully advocated for the increase of officer pay, adding more technology (such as drones) to the toolbelt of our officers, and worked to support budget language which would add more fire stations in areas of Phoenix which have experienced exponential growth. Councilwoman O’Brien also serves on two other subcommittees – Transportation, Infrastructure, & Planning, as well as Economic Development & Equity.​

Family time is of great value to Councilwoman O'Brien. When she needs a refresh, she spends time with her husband of 27 years, Terry, along with their daughter, Amanda, and son, Thomas, both graduates of Sandra Day O'Connor High School and Northern Arizona University.

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Matthew John Rodriguez (M J)

Soar 2 New Heights

MJ is a passionate advocate for families and communities and has worked for over 30 years in multiple capacities to improve lives all over the world. Among some of his highest privileges have been serving on all levels of PTA, serving as the Chair for the Illinois Governor’s Family and Community Engagement committee, working on multiple national boards, and last but not least serving the White House in 2010 on the White House Fatherhood Initiative Team and currently the White House Family Engagement Team.​

MJ currently has several roles in the business sector, enjoys his own coaching and training company, and loves being an Executive Director on the John C. Maxwell Team, especially doing Country Transformation. Among his duties of building leadership, human behavior, emotional intelligence, sales and communication skills are making sure parents and educators are equipped with tools to personally grow and support tomorrow’s growing youth.​

In closing the most important role MJ has is being a father of 2 boys Mateo 28 and Joshua 13 as well as being a father figure and positive male role model for hundreds of youth that do not have that opportunity in their lives. He lives in Schaumburg, Illinois and immigrated from Cuba at the age of 13 to live his life of servant leadership until the Lord decides a different path is in order.​

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Eleonora Sanchez
Mountain America Credit Union

Eleonora Sanchez is the Select Employer Group Manager and Regional Ambassador over Arizona’s west valley area at Mountain America Credit Union.  ​

In this role, she is responsible for increasing awareness about the financial organization in her market and working with employer groups to extend credit union benefits through these partnerships. ​

With more than 15 years of media relations and marketing experience and 10 years in the financial industry, Sanchez is known for her financial literacy efforts to help school districts with underserved students and for building relationships of trust with hundreds of local businesses, chambers of commerce and community leaders to help them understand Mountain America’s role in helping them achieve their financial dreams. ​

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Sanchez is a native Spanish speaker. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her furr babies, reading, and listening to Audible books.  

Speakers & Presenters

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Brian Urie
Mountain America Credit Union

Brian Urie is a retirement plan advisor serving the Intermountain West. He joined Mountain America Investment Services in 2015 and specializes in company retirement plans and retirement planning for business owners.

Urie is a graduate of Weber State University and comes to Mountain America Investment Services with more than 20 years of experience as a financial advisor. Committed to ongoing education, Brian is a board-certified Financial Planner*, a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor and a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist. He also has a certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Recognized for his achievements, Brian has earned numerous sales and service awards throughout his career. These include the Rookie of the Year (1999), Third Year Challenge Qualifier (national distinction among the top 20 of his peers) and others. He has appeared on Wills, Trusts, and More, a weekly radio program on the Fox News affiliate in Saint George, Utah. He has spoken as an instructor at the Brigham Young University Marriott School’s Grant Taggart Symposium and at other continuing education programs for advisors and Utah CPAs.

Active in the community, Brian has served as Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, Treasurer for Salt Lake Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a Chapter Director for the Parents Television Council.

Brian’s favorite place to be is sitting in a canoe on Silver Lake with a fishing pole in his hand or in his neighborhood, visiting with friends. His hobbies include carpentry and ATV trail riding. Brian and his wife, Emily, are raising four sons and one daughter.

Brittany Hernandez
AIM Insurance

Brittany Hernandez has been with AIM for a little over a year. Her days include handling multiple daily operations in the PTA department, helping you make the best decisions for your organization, and providing excellent customer service. Brittany now lives in Venus, Texas and enjoys spending her free time cheering on her step kids at stock shows while they show their cattle and hanging out with her family and friends.

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The Be Kind People Project

The Be Kind People Project is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit focused on initiating positive social change in youth, K-8th grade. BKPP’s performance-based programs are designed around the BE KIND Pledge, a set of skills that create and reinforce a culture of kindness in schools. Dance performances, supplemented by the BE KIND Academy - 75 resources and lessons available monthly for educator use - create a framework that integrates academics, social skills, healthy habits, and emotional wellness. The Be Kind People Project has engaged over 6 million students and their teachers in classrooms nationwide since its inception 10 years ago. 

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Rachelle Lumpp
Anti-Human Trafficking Program Manager - Arizona Attorney General

Rachelle Lumpp has been with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office since 2018 and serves as the Anti-Human Trafficking Program Manager in the Community Outreach and Education Section.  She is passionate about educating the public on what human trafficking is and how we can keep our youth and community safe.  She has over 25 years of experience advocating for clients in the legal field and holds a National Advocate Credential.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling and reading. 

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Jillian Ashby
Community Outreach Coordinator -
Arizona Attorney General

My name is Jillian and I am a Community Outreach Coordinator for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. In this role, I get to travel around the state to speak to the public on a variety of topics, trends, and epidemics that affect people all across Arizona. It is very rewarding to know that I am making a direct, positive impact on the lives of thousands of Arizonans through education, awareness, and prevention efforts. Beyond presentations, I also organize events and meetings regarding consumer fraud, the opioid epidemic, and much, much more!

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Primary Presenter: Tracey Beal

Founder & CEO of

School Connect

As Founder & CEO of School Connect Tracey Beal helps local schools build dynamic partnerships among business, faith, government and non-profit organizations. This model of strategic collaboration helps schools accomplish measurable goals while fostering win/win partnerships. In the spring of 2015 the US Department of Ed and AZ Department of Ed recognized the exceptional results of the collaborative model at Palo Verde Middle School in the Washington Elementary School District. To date School Connect has facilitated partnerships in 700 public & charter schools in Arizona. School Connect hosts a yearly summit at Grand Canyon University where 800 top leaders from each of these sectors gather to learn best practices about collaboration with schools. The School Connect model is now being used in Lafayette, LA, San Antonio, TX, Little Rock, AR, Oklahoma City,OK, Appleton, WI, Orange County, CA, Fort Wayne, IN. She is a member of the AZ 21st CCLC Vision Team, The Arizona Broadband Network Task Force, Leadership West, the Global Leadership Summit Team, ACE Mentoring Board, Grand Canyon University Advisory Board and the Phoenix Mayor’s Youth & Education Commission. Tracey is married to David and has 4 grown children and 7 grandchildren.


Morgan Porter
American Heart Association

Morgan Porter has worked with the American Heart Association for past 8 years. Morgan's role oversees School Engagement team in the state of Arizona for Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge programs. Morgan is an Arizona native and graduated from Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek (Go Falcons)! Morgan also attended Arizona State University and received a bachelors in Exercise and Wellness in 2015. Personally, Morgan and her spouse, Keith, enjoy spending time their two-year-old son Hudson.


Theresa Hoge
American Heart Association

Theresa Hoge, last name pronounced like a sandwich, has worked for the American Heart Association for the past 15 years, in School Engagement. Theresa oversees the states of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah for the Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge program. Theresa is an Arizona native, growing up in Benson, and received her Bachelor's degree in Marketing from the University of Arizona in 2006. Theresa currently lives in rural Southern Arizona on 10 acres, where her husband, Jesse, is a foreman at a local Pistachio farm. Personally, Theresa enjoys spending time with her husband and son, Jaxon, and enjoying camping, fishing, canning and gardening.

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Gena Ward

I am a PTA Leader in Alabama as well as the Customer Support & State PTA Account Analyst for MemberHub.


Dr. Carol Lippert
Assistant Vice President K12 Education Development & Special Projects
Grand Canyon University

Dr. Carol Lippert holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from University of Arizona, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from University of Arizona, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Carol has 30 years of experience in the field of education. She is currently employed with Grand Canyon Education as the Assistance Vice President for K12 Outreach and Support.  In this role, she extends outreach to K12 districts and schools through high quality professional development and student engagement opportunities. Previously, she held the position of Associate Superintendent for the High Academic Standards for Students Division at the Arizona Department of Education.  In this role, she oversaw K-12 Academic Standards, Early Childhood Education, the Office of English Language Acquisition Services, Gifted Education, Career and Technical Education and Gifted Education.  She has also served as the Principal of Washington High School in the Glendale Union High School District. Under her leadership, Washington was recognized as an Arizona Education Foundation A+ School, a Silver Medal School by US News and World Reports, an All Subjects Higher Performing School by the ABEC and one of the Top Schools in the USA by Prior to obtaining the principalship, Carol held various Assistant Principal posts for the GUHSD. In 2006, Carol was awarded the National Association for Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year for the State of Arizona. She received this award in part for her work in bringing college and career programs to her school with the creation of special events which linked businesses and colleges to the school. Preceding Carol’s work as an administrator, she taught science at both the high school and middle school level.


Dr. Cherryl Paul
Assistant Vice President for Academic Alliances
Grand Canyon University

Dr. Cherryl Paul, Assistant Vice President for Academic Alliances in the SEA/K12 Educational Development department.  She is passionate about providing high-quality educational opportunities for all students. Cherryl has served in public education with enthusiasm and excellence for over 27 years, culminating in her K12 career as Superintendent. She was named ASA Superintendent of the Year (Small Districts), 2020-2021.  She was also a classroom teacher, physical educator, principal, and Director of Organizational Improvement & Professional Learning.  She began her career as a teacher in Washington, where she was recognized as the Washington Teacher of the Year.  She spends quality time with her husband of almost 40 years and their five grandchildren.

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Margarita Gonzalez-Maynez
Raising Special Kids

Margarita was born and raised by a professional hardworking, loving family in Chihuahua, Mexico. Growing up in Mexico, her family provided her with opportunities for personal growth, travel, and the value of working together. Margarita eventually became an exchange student in Spokane, Washington for a year and this opened her horizons even more! She then studied to become a Chemist providing support as Laboratory Scientist and moved to central Mexico (Aguascalientes) to become the laboratory manager of the UA's hospital (university hospital).  From there, she moved to London to do some research in Epidemiology.
After getting married and having her first child, Margarita’s life changed course.  “I had my first blessing, a premature baby boy who fought to remain with us and whose cerebral palsy has not stopped him! He is a gift and continually surprises us and has taught my husband and me what true love truly is.” Three years later, Margarita and her husband had a baby girl, completing their family.
She has used her life experience raising a child with a disability and channeled it into a passion for helping others. She shares, “Having a child with a disability is a great challenge, but the love you have for your child inspires you to gain more knowledge to help this little person succeed.  I believe that the more you learn, the more you can support that child, knowledge is power.”
After living in Texas for a time, Margarita and her family moved to Arizona where she connected with Raising Special Kids for support. After living in AZ for 12 years, she has gone from being a parent seeking support from RSK to becoming a parent leader, and not long ago, a member of the Raising Special Kids staff.


Renee Tumolo
Social Worker &
Certified Life Coach
Renee Tumolo Coaching, LLC

Renee’ Tumolo is a trauma-informed Social Worker and Certified Life Coach with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. She coaches high-achieving moms and dads, to create healthy relationships, at work and at home, for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
Renee’ and Peter host parenting workshops in Gilbert, AZ and work with mutual clients to address wounds from the past while moving forward toward their future.


Peter Tumolo
Social Worker &
Certified Life Coach
Renee Tumolo Coaching, LLC

Renee’ Tumolo is a trauma-informed Social Worker and Certified Life Coach with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. She coaches high-achieving moms and dads, to create healthy relationships, at work and at home, for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
Renee’ and Peter host parenting workshops in Gilbert, AZ and work with mutual clients to address wounds from the past while moving forward toward their future.

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Stacey Abelman
Eagle Ridge PTSA - President

Stacey Abelman is currently in her 14th year of Supporting PTA organizations in the Paradise Valley and Deer Valley School Districts. She has held every position except Treasurer (just: no) and is an advocate for supporting our Arizona Schools and special interest groups.  Currently she supports Eagle Ridge Elementary, Mountain Trails Middle and North Canyon High School. Stacey also serves on the district's Family Student Handbook Committee.  When she isn't running around supporting the school PTA's, she is helping the Marching Band, is a Dance Mom, and Scouts. Professionally Stacey leads a Reporting and Analytics team in the Healthcare Tech industry.  She has over 25 years in Healthcare with over 15 of those years focused on Technology, Software and Security​

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Crystal McCabe
Eagle Ridge PTSA - Secretary

Crystal McCabe is currently in her 10th year of supporting the Eagle Ridge PTSA in the Paradise Valley School District. Crystal currently serves as secretary, but she has also held executive roles as vice president and president (during the pandemic, which should count for double the years)! Crystal’s passion for supporting and advocating for kids stems from her background in education, specifically special education. Crystal has earned her Ph.D. and is a full-time Professor in the College of Education at Grand Canyon University with over 17 years working in the field of education. When Crystal is not teaching, she is a licensed counselor. Her background and degrees in both Education and Psychology have helped her to be an advocate for the “whole” child.​

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Melissa Andrews
Scott Libby PTA - President

I've been a part of Scott Libby PTA for the past 3 years starting off as a member then VP and President this past year. During that time our little PTA has accomplished so very much for our school community. We gained recognition for the past 2 years as a National PTA School of Excellence. This helped us win multiple National PTA Grants that helped our students and staff during the pandemic. We were also awarded multiple community grants that helped bring much needed equipment and programs to the school to include the shade structure located at parent pick-up. We also have implemented Arizona PTA's only Male Engagement Committee. These committed Dads are paving the way at a National level on what PTAing looks like from a male's perspective. 

I'm a CT Technologist and own an allied Healthcare recruiting company; Wander Travel, PLLC.

I have a 23-year-old son and am a bonus mom to 3 beautiful children Abbigail 10, Hannah 11 and Christopher 15.  I'm married to Al Andrews who has been our PTA's Male Engagement Committee chair for the past 2 years.

Serving on our schools PTA has been an extremely rewarding time in my life.

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Brienne Peck
Mountain Shadows PTSA

Brienne Peck is a former officer with the Mountain Shadows PTSA. She served 6 years in the role of Vice President for 2 years and the Treasurer for 4 years. For 5 years she served as the Membership Chair where she lead MSPTSA from the 100 Club to the 700 Club. Membership is her passion and bringing her community together. After her 2 awesome boys moved on from the school, she started working at Mountain Shadows as the Registrar, 4 years ago. She is currently a member and sounding board/advice giver to MSPTSA as she will always be their biggest cheerleader!

Primary Presenter: Tracey Beal

Founder & CEO of School Connect

School Connect

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Thank you to EVERYONE that helped make this a wonderful and successful Convention!

Additional Thanks to these Local Unit Members for your contributions to our presentations!

Steven Weigley
Canyon Rim PTA President


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Thank You to our Sponsors!

Gold Sponsors

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Turquoise Convention Sponsors

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2023 Sponsors, Exhibitors, Supporters
Holiday Presents

Thank You to our Exhibitors!



©2023 Peter Piper, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Thank You to some of our additional
Convention Supporters!

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