AWC District Governing Board

AWC District Governing Board members attend NALEO 41st Annual Conference

June 28, 2024

Yuma, AZ (June 28, 2024) – Arizona Western College District Governing Board members recently participated in the NALEO 41st Annual Conference held in Las Vegas. This distinguished conference, tailored specifically for Latino elected and appointed officials, serves as a premier professional development opportunity, offering a platform for the exchange of innovative ideas and solutions to today’s most critical policy issues.

From June 18-20, the NALEO Annual Conference brought together leaders from diverse political perspectives dedicated to serving the nation, the American people, and their communities. This event provided an invaluable opportunity for Latino leaders across the country to connect, engage in substantive policy discussions, and learn from thought leaders representing various sectors.  Two members of the AWC District Governing Board that attended the conference included Board Secretary District #4 representative Olivia Zepeda and District #5 representative Maria Chavoya. Zepeda and Chavoya also attended additional Professional Board Development sessions for Public Policy and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The conference sessions were designed to enhance policymakers’ governance skills and deepen their understanding of critical policy issues in a cross-jurisdictional context. Attendees explored current data, diverse policy solutions, best practices, and key strategies on specific issues impacting their communities. These sessions were taught by many of the nation's leading subject matter experts from diverse fields and perspectives. 

Olivia Zepeda shared, “Attending this conference unites leaders from across political perspectives to serve our community. Connecting with Latino leaders from across the country, engaging in substantive policy conversations, and learning from other thought leaders in diverse sectors brings a critical perspective to my role as the elected District Governing Board Secretary.”

The NALEO Annual Conference also facilitated the building of relationships with other elected officials, private sector representatives, community leaders, and industry experts, who can serve as key contacts for present and future initiatives in their respective jurisdictions. The event offered access to the nation's top executive and legislative leaders, including past participants such as the President of the United States, the Vice President, members of the President’s Cabinet, and leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Maria Chavoya shared, “As a Board member of Arizona Western College, attending the NALEO 41st Annual Conference has been an enriching experience. The opportunity to engage with fellow Latino leaders and policymakers has not only broadened my understanding of the key issues facing our communities but also equipped me with innovative solutions and strategies that I can bring back to our district. The conference has reinforced the importance of collaboration and continuous learning in our efforts to better serve our community. I am grateful for the insights gained and the connections made, which will undoubtedly contribute to the success and progress of our initiatives at Arizona Western College.”

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is a nonpartisan membership association whose constituency includes over 7,000 Latino elected and appointed officials from across the country. The NALEO Annual Conference provides a venue for the meaningful exchange of ideas and solutions to today’s most pressing policy issues.

Ashley Herrington
Chief of Staff 
Arizona Western College