The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties is a nonprofit organization that has been proudly serving our community since 1978. We hired our first CEO at the beginning of 2019 to expand our reach and impact within both counties. We believe in improving our communities and the lives of those who live in them by focusing on three areas education, health, and financial stability. What we believe are the building blocks for a quality life.

In 2019 with the donations of our sponsors and many of you, we were able to give out 1.3 million dollars, with a goal to give out much more than that this year!

It takes one person to change one life, #liveunited, be the one.

Meet our Staff

Adam O’Doherty

CEO

Adam O’Doherty joined the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties in January 2019 as the first CEO of the organization. Adam brings over 15 years of leadership and a long history of working with students and families to build better communities. Most recently Adam served as the first Executive Director for Partner for Student Success which is a collective impact organization that serves central MN in the collective pursuit of student success. Adams leadership direction focuses on systematic change and growth accomplished through strong leadership, innovative approaches, and long-term community solutions. As the first CEO of the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, Adam is already leading the charge by organizing a strategic plan that is focusing on three key areas; Education, Healthy Communities, and Financial Stability. Based on the data and community input bold goals have been developed and will help guide the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties mission and keep it accountable to the community. Adam has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. Cloud State University. Adam moved here from Minnesota and says "he misses the winters but not the mosquitoes". He is an active community member and when he has time, he enjoys playing hockey (yes, even in the desert) and spending time at concerts with friends.

Shaylee Richards

Communications Manager

Shaylee Richards joined United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties in May 2019, as the first Communications Manager. Shaylee is currently a fourth-year student working toward her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Cambridge College. She moved to Duncan, with her husband, in 2014, where for six generations, her family has been farming and ranching. Shaylee brings over ten years of marketing and digital media experience and a long history of serving those in her community. She currently serves as the Greenlee County Private Section Representative on the South Eastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO) board. Shaylee has volunteered with numerous community organizations including the Duncan Pride PTA, Arizona Coaches Association (ACA) All-star football game, where she not only helped with the event but also created the ads and football program for two years, she assisted in creating ads for the Greenlee County Fair book. She coached Cheerleading for Duncan High School for three years until going to work at Chase bank in Graham County, where her family previously farmed and ranched for five generations up until her grandfather..

Meet our Board

Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Ann Gibbs (USAF, retired)

President

Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Ann Gibbs (USAF, retired) was born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1955. She graduated from High School in 1973 and entered the United States Air Force in 1974. She served as an Air Operations Specialist until 1979 before entering the Reserve Officer Training Corps in Aug 1979. She received her commission in May 1981 and returned to active duty as a second lieutenant in Oct 1982 as a Supply Officer. Lt Col Gibbs was a career logistician. She served in various command and staff positions to include wing, major command, joint tours and war zones.

Deborah has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii, Master of Science Degree in Acquisition and Procurement from Webster University, and a Master of Science Degree in International Studies from Air War College, Montgomery, AL. She completed Squadron Officer School in residence, Air Command and Staff College in seminar, and Air War College in residence.

Her military decorations include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal, and Air Force Good Conduct Medal.

Retiring in 2004, Deborah makes her home in Safford, Arizona. She has been involved with the Gila Valley Arts Council, Safford Lions Club, Safford Woman’s Club, Catholic Daughters of America and The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties.

Deborah is married to Chris Gibbs. The Gibbs have 5 children and 19 grandchildren

Cecilia “Cece” Jernigan

Vice President

Hi, I am Cecilia “Cece” Jernigan. I am one of the newer members to the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties Board of Directors I started in January 2019; I’m very excited to be a part of the Board. I have lived in Duncan for 12 years now and my husband Evan was born and raised here. We knew it was the perfect place to raise our two wonderful children. I have worked full time at the Town of Clifton for over six years now as the Accounts Specialist. Even when I was growing up, I have always felt that it’s very important to be an active part of the community that you live in. I have tried to serve my community to the best of my abilities. I began coaching youth soccer and tee-ball immediately after moving here and soon found myself serving on the Duncan Valley Police Activities League Board and did so for many years. I am in the middle of my second term on the Duncan Unified School District School Board, where I served as Board President for four years before passing the torch to our current President this year. Throughout my years here I have been involved in many other events and activities throughout Greenlee County. I feel my experiences have given me great first-hand experience with the strengths and needs our local municipalities and school districts face as well as the youth and families in our area. I look forward to being part of such a great group here at the United Way of Graham/Greenlee Counties.

Laura Dorrell, MSN, RN

Secretary

Laura Dorrell, MSN, RN is a Registered Nurse with experience in Emergency Room Nursing and Rural Healthcare. Laura received her bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona and Nursing Degree from Eastern Arizona College, most recently her master's degree in nursing from the University of Arizona. Currently, is a manager at Gila Health Resources in Morenci, AZ where she heads the Urgent Care Department and serves as the Community Liaison.

Laura is involved in many community associations including Eastern Arizona Area Health Education Centers (EAHEC), United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, SEACUS, and is a Flinn-Brown Fellow with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. She also serves as an elected council member on the Clifton Town Council and a board member on the Arizona State Medical Board.

Laura is a third generation Arizonian living in the copper mining region of Morenci. She loves serving her community and has founded a non-profit to address the health needs of the people in Greenlee County. Dedicated to local issues, small business and the community, Laura holds nursing and health of Arizonan’s in high regard.

Sean Wenham

Treasurer

Sean Wenham is a native of Phoenix, Arizona and a Graham County resident since 1988. After graduating from Thatcher High School and then Eastern Arizona College, and completing additional coursework through Northern Arizona University, Sean spent nine years in the regional nonprofit sector working in roles of increasing responsibility from direct client services to outreach and then program management. He joined Freeport-McMoRan in 2010 as Regional Community Development Manager in Southeastern Arizona. Sean has supported community and sustainable development activities at copper mine sites in Morenci and Safford where he now works full time as Community Development Manager for Safford Operations. He resides in Safford, Arizona with his family.

Royce Hunt-Bell

Board Member

My name is Royce Hunt-Bell. I began my social services career in 1998 working for Doctors Medical Center Foundation in Modesto California as an administrative Assistant.  When I moved back home to Safford I began working for the Division of Economic Development as an eligibility interviewer. In 2005 I was promoted to Unit Supervisor.  I began working for SEACUS in October of 2007 as a Program Manager serving seniors in both Graham and Greenlee Counties.  My title was later changed to Executive Director as my responsibilities increased. I currently serve on several boards.  I am the Chair Elect for the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, and I serve on the Arizona Community Foundation of the Gila Valley Advisory Board.  I am a Lion and chair the eyeglass program.  I serve on the Advisory Council for the Graham County U of A Extension Office and I serve on the Graham County Community Partnership Panel for Freeport McMoRan. I have served on the Graham County Chamber of Commerce board serving as president during my last term. I believe that one person can and does make a difference.  It is my sincere prayer that when I leave this earth, I will have left it a better place for everyone, including our seniors!

Jennifer Morales

Board Member

Jennifer Morales is a fourth-generation Arizonian and a lifelong resident of Greenlee County. After graduating from Morenci High School, Jennifer attended Eastern Arizona College and Northern Arizona University obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, and a Principal’s Certificate. Jennifer has been working for Morenci School District for 24 years where she has served as a second-grade teacher, assistant principal, and currently principal of Metcalf Elementary School.

Jennifer wholeheartedly believes relationships are the key to success and there are opportunities in each day to change someone’s life - knowing little ripples truly create big waves that benefit our society. She is excited to serve the community through United Way as she supports the goals of education, health, and financial stability as they are keys to growing a community that enables children, families, and seniors to live a prosperous life.

Together, Jennifer and her husband Benji, have three children and three granddaughters. Jennifer loves reading, exercising, and spending time with her family.

Daniel A. Morris

Board Member

Daniel A. Morris is a longtime resident of Safford, AZ. Born into a military family, he lived in several areas throughout the Southwest before his father left the United States Air Force. They relocated back to the Gila Valley, where his father went to work for Phelps Dodge Mining Company. Daniel attended Safford schools and graduated in 2007. He and his wife, Claire, moved to the Phoenix area where he worked for Merrill Lynch as an Investment Specialist. After several years, they missed home and decided to move back to their native city of Safford to be among family and friends. Currently, he is a Financial Advisor with Ash Creek Financial Advisors, a local firm with home-grown roots. He is a graduate of the New England College of Business, earning his Bachelors Degree in Finance. Daniel is currently enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration, Finance Concentration program at Cambridge College, where he looks to leverage the skills and knowledge gained to better serve his clients and his community.

Denise Benton

Board Member

My name is Denise Benton. I have lived in the Gila Valley since 1988. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. While living in Graham County, I have worked in the insurance industry, at Eastern Arizona College as a test administrator, and as a teacher in public school and the state prison system until 2000 when I accepted a position with the Social Security Administration. I currently serve as a Claims Specialist processing retirement and disability claims, Medicare claims, and various other Social Security related transactions. My faith is a huge part of my life and I am an active member of my church and am blessed to be able to serve others in my work setting and personally. I look forward to working with the United Way Board and our communities.

Matt Bolinger

Board Member

Matt Bolinger is a native of Arizona and works as the Infectious Disease Epidemiologist for Graham and Greenlee Counties. He serves on numerous boards and councils, including an Advisory Council for Homeland Security, the regional Workforce Investment Board, and now the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties. Matt enjoys working and spending time with his family and gardening. He, and his family, live in Pima, where he is also a volunteer Firefighter.