Our Board


William Bessette

As a longtime Arizona resident, William Bessette has explored and enjoyed the many diverse communities across the state. William received a B.A in Political Science from Northern Arizona University and his M.P.A. in Public Administration from Arizona State University. After graduating from Northern Arizona University, William began his career as field coordinator, for a Senate race in Arizona, eventually being promoted to assistant campaign manager. While working on the campaign William’s interest in connecting individuals to resources through outreach and program development grew. While working on the campaign William’s gained valuable experience in grassroots and high dollar political fundraising, event planning, and field campaign strategy. After his campaign career William took a job working with the Office of the Arizona’s Attorney General working in public outreach where his experience in working with state and local elected officials, community leaders, community groups and various nonprofit organizations helped to eventually become the program coordinator under two different Attorney Generals. In 2012, William joined the nonprofit consulting firm, The Phoenix Philanthropy Group as a Consulting Associate. In 2013, William became one of three founding members of The Manifesto Project and has since been elected to serve as Board Chair. In 2015, and after working in the private sector, William turned back to his passion for working for the public. William Currently works for the City of Phoenix as a Project Management Assistant in the Community and Economic Development Department.

Lisa Glenn

Lisa Glenn is an education and social networks specialist working as the Curriculum and Learning Experiences Manager at Arizona State University. In this role, she oversees all content and marketing provided for online learning, connections, and mentorship for a variety of niche learning communities in the greater ASU ecosystem and beyond. An Arizona transplant since 2008, Lisa is proud to call Phoenix home, and works in the community as a Board Member for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, where she was originally placed as a Manifesto Project apprentice in Class 1. Lisa is also a co-collaborator for Turmeric and Ginger, an online autoimmunity support resource. Her passions are educational equity and rigor, online learning, the power of social media for social good, food, and autoimmune health.

 

Chad Guzman

Chad Guzman was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona where he attended Phoenix Christian High School. He later received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Geography and a certificate in International Studies from Arizona State University. Chad is currently a Government Affairs Representative at Arizona Public Service, where he works to achieve public policy outcomes that help to ensure a sustainable energy future for Arizona. Previously, he served as a legislative intern in the Arizona Office of the Attorney General and as a research intern at the International Institute for Environmental Law in Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Chad is a graduate of the Hispanic Leadership Institute.

 

Sentari Minor

Sentari M. Minor, Director of Engagement & Education at Social Venture Partners Arizona (SVPAZ) facilitates engagement of local philanthropists to help strengthen the nonprofits impacted by SVPAZ while serving the philanthropic and educational interests of the membership.  Prior to SVPAZ, Mr. Minor was the development officer at the Arizona Humane Society where he oversaw the organization’s corporate and foundation relations and steered major fundraising campaigns.

With broad and extensive experience in the philanthropic sector, Mr. Minor has particular interest and expertise in communications, public relations, fundraising, and capacity building. He sits on a number of nonprofit boards and is president of the Phoenix chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) and also serves on the not-for-profit advisory council for National Bank of Arizona. He is also an active member of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum.

Mr. Minor is an alumnus of DePauw University, located in Greencastle, Indiana where he studied English. Additionally, he was a member of Class IV of the Nonprofit Leadership Academy through Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation.

For his dedication to the sector, he was the recipient of the YNPN “Pay it Forward” award and was also recognized as a “Rising Star” by Future in Review (FiRe).

Outside of his hectic schedule, Sentari enjoys fitness and is a published writer of non-fiction.

 

Marilyn Rodriguez

A millennial, local lobbyist and native Arizonan, Marilyn Rodriguez joined the Manifesto Project in 2014 with the desire to attract and retain young talent in the State.

Marilyn joined a local lobbying firm in Phoenix, Veridus, in 2011, drawn by her fascination with policy, the legislative process, and campaigns. In her role with the firm, she focuses on lobbying, client relations, government affairs, elections and polling, media, and the collaboration of The Purple Book.

Marilyn graduated cum laude from Arizona State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Minor in Urban Policy and Planning, and a Certificate in Public Administration. In addition to serving on the Manifesto Project Board, Marilyn is currently on the Multicultural Business Advisory Board of One Community and the Gabriel’s Angels Young Professionals Board. She is a member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Commerce Valley Young Professionals and serves as a regular guest speaker for the Arizona State Bridge Foundation.

In her leisure time, Marilyn likes to discover new and local craft breweries in the State, train for marathons, read, and travel. Marilyn also has a deep love of music: she took up percussion in grade school, performed at Carnegie Hall in 2005, and was the recipient of Arizona State University’s School of Music Scholarship for Music Performance.

 

Jacqueline Smith

As Executive Director of University Initiatives at Arizona State University, Jacqueline designs and launches initiatives that support institutional priorities such as social embeddedness. Recent projects include The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at ASU, a leadership-scholarship program for talented, yet underprivileged young people from Sub-Saharan Africa and Changemaker Central, a co-working and collaboration space with locations across ASU’s campuses that makes direct service, service learning, entrepreneurship, and high-impact careers more accessible and inviting to students. She also cultivates early-career higher education professionals through a one-year university innovation fellowship. Jacqueline earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and law degree from Georgetown University.

 

Lauren Valencia

Lauren Valencia is the Manifesto Project’s Board Secretary. She has been affiliated with the Project since 2014, and is proud of the work being done by the team to engage what she believes to be Arizona’s most valuable asset – our young leaders.

Outside of the Project, Lauren serves as the Assistant to the City Council for the City of Goodyear. One of the top-ten fastest growing cities in America, Goodyear’s active elected leadership and engaged constituency keep her very busy. Prior to her time in Goodyear, she served as a public affairs associate with a Phoenix-based lobbying firm where she concentrated on statewide economic development efforts, and also as an advocate for the state’s business interests with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is a graduate of Arizona State University (Give ‘em hell, Devils!) and is a proud Arizona native.

Lauren and her handsome husband, Daniel, live in central Phoenix with their naughty (but impossibly adorable) Boston Terrier, Porter.