Meet our contributors!
They say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And the same holds true for a community magazine. It takes a village to engage, entertain and, we hope, inspire the community we serve. That’s our mission, and we could not do it without the help of our valued contributors. They do so much more than just write about our community; they live, work and play in our community. They represent the very best of Casa Grande’s public and private sectors. And, every other month, they bring us the stories and reports that matter. On behalf of our team, our readers and our advertisers, we thank you!
Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing, Central Arizona College
Angela is the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Central Arizona College. Prior to her arrival at CAC, Angela served as the Media Relations Coordinator at Mesa Community College and the Community Relations Coordinator at Idaho State University College of Technology.
Mayor, Town of Superior
Mila Besich, a fourth-generation resident of Superior, was elected as the Town’s Mayor in 2016. She wears many hats in her community and region, serving as Executive Director of the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and Advertising Director for Copper Area News Publishers.
Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie CPT
Certified Physical Trainer, CPT, WickedFiTT
Tiffanie is the owner of WickedFiTT, in Casa Grande, AZ. She is a well-known personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and all around fitness junkie. Tiffanie specializes in weight loss, strength and conditioning, and general fitness.
President, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce
Renée became President of the Chamber in May, 2019. She has had 22 years of involvement with the local business community and the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce. Renée and her husband enjoy “living local,” dining at local eateries, walking the downtown area and hiking Casa Grande Mountain.
Councilwoman, City of Casa Grande
Donna McBride is the Program Administrator/Public Information Officer and Supervisor for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Unit for Pinal County Juvenile Court . McBride is actively involved as a Board Member for Casa Grande Alliance, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, BlackBox Foundation, Mayor’s Reading Program, Pinal County Town Hall Vice-Chair, Parks and Block Watch Captain for the Casa Grande Police Department. A freelance writer and photographer, Donna and husband Mike enjoy white water rafting, kayaking and spending time with their 2 sons and 3 grandchildren who live in the valley.
Mayor, City of Casa Grande
Born and raised in California, Mayor McFarland has lived in Casa Grande since 2005. He is a graduate of California State University of Fresno, and retired from Golden Eagle Distributors in January 2015 as VP of Sales after a ten year run with the company, and 36 total years in beverage business sales management, marketing, and operations. McFarland began his first term as Mayor in December 2016.
Resident Animal Whisperer
Conceived in a plane behind the Airport Tavern and living proof that it takes a village to raise a kid proper. Married to the best man and we live in what I call the “Best Dog House in Casa Grande” shared with a bunch of dogs, two parakeets and a finch called “Rusty”. Lived in Alaska, drove on the Arctic Ocean, Walked on the Great Wall of China and drank Guinness in Ireland. But none of this compares to my profound love of animals and Flying Leap wines!
Executive Director of the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce
Lynn Parsons has been the Executive Director for the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce for over ten years. Prior to this, she was a local business owner and very active as a Chamber board member for many years. She is also a board member on the Arizona @ Work & Friends of the Casa Grande Ruins. She is very passionate about her community and committed to working for positive growth. She and her husband raised their children in Coolidge and now are enjoying being grandparents. They believe faith and family are the basics to a good life.
Mayor, City of Eloy
Micah Powell was elected Mayor of Eloy in 2020 after serving on the City Council since 2012. Mayor Powell has always been involved in the community having served as the as ex-officio member of the City of Eloy’s Planning and Zoning Commission and numerous other Boards and Commissions. He’s a strong supporter of Eloy using his time and energy to make life better for all of Eloy’s residents. Mayor Powell is married and the proud father of four, two boys and two girls.
Loren and Melissa Shelton
Loren and Melissa Shelton grew up in Casa Grande. Loren has been here since 1969 and has always been an explorer of the desert. He’s a photographer with a deep interest in nature, especially reptiles. Melissa grew up on a farm and owned a local pet store for many years.
Director, Casa Grande Alliance
Bob is a longtime resident of Pinal County. He has been an educator, school district administrator, community organizer and nonprofit board member. He also served for many years at the state and national level, working with AmeriCorps and other volunteer programs.
Mayor, City of Coolidge
Mayor Thompson graduated from NAU in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was first elected to the Coolidge City Council in 2002 and served as Vice Mayor from 2006 to 2010. He gave up his council seat to run for Mayor and since being elected, has retired as Division Director for the Pinal County Adult Probation Department after 30 years.