May 24, 2017


Dana Terrazas – Director of Marketing
Phone: 480 481.8101

Clare Hahne – Marketing Communications Manager
Phone: 480 481.8102



PHOENIX, May 26, 2017 – Desert Botanical Garden appointed 10 members to its 2017-2018 Board of Trustees. The Board is comprised of 50 member-elected community leaders dedicated to the Garden’s mission to advance excellence in education, exhibition and conservation of desert plants of the world.

Among the appointments to the Board of Trustees, Shelley Cohn will serve as the Board of Trustees President. Cohn first joined the Garden’s board in 2015, but she has served on various nonprofit boards since she retired in 2005 as the executive director of Arizona Commission on the Arts.

“I am devoted to the Garden and believe deeply in its visionary mission and leadership locally and across the country,” says Cohn. “The Garden itself is a constantly changing and engaging public garden that demonstrates the importance of the preservation of desert plants and habitats in the Sonoran Desert through its programs of conservation, research, education and exhibits.”

The following new appointments will serve a three-year term:

  • Jason Barlow is president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (HFHCAZ). He assumed this position in 2015 after working as a nonprofit consultant. Prior to that, Jason was an executive with St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers (SFHHC) in New York for nine years. Jason is a retired lieutenant colonel from the United States Air Force.
  • Kristy Bidwill is the founder of Game Time Coaching and author of “Becoming Unstoppable: Tools to Elevate Your Game.” Her goal is to provide individuals the tools necessary to reach levels they never thought possible, while finding balance and living a life of purpose. Prior to her work as a coach and speaker, Kristy was a partner at an international architectural, engineering and planning firm.
  • Christopher Gately is the principal and chief revenue officer for Paradigm Technology, where he is responsible for the combined sales, marketing and operations efforts. Prior to joining Paradigm, Christopher was global account manager for financial services at Informatica. He also served as the franchise leader at opTier and director of client services at Capco.
  • Barbara Hoffnagle retired from the Salt River Project (SRP) in 2011 after more than 27 years of service. As an associate general manager, she had responsibility for enterprise-wide information technology and major operations support functions. An industrial engineer by education, Barbara’s career with SRP spanned a wide cross section of business functions and disciplines.
  • Tammy McLeod is vice president of energy resource management for Arizona Public Service Company (APS). McLeod’s responsibilities include energy planning, energy marketing and trading operations and utility-owned solar generation. She previously served as a Garden Trustee from 2010 to 2016 and as secretary from 2015 to 2016.
  • Paul Morell is a retired captain and vice president of safety, regulatory compliance and environmental at American Airlines. He has 48 years in commercial and military aviation with extensive safety, security and training experience. Morell was a Desert Botanical Garden Trustee from 2010 to 2016 where he was a member of the executive and personnel committees, as well as chairman of the building and grounds committee.
  • Adriana Murrietta, executive director of Pike and Susan Sullivan Foundation, has spent more than a decade working to improve education for Arizona students. As the former director of multicultural community engagement at Expect More Arizona, Murrietta led the organization’s statewide outreach and mobilization efforts within the Hispanic and Native American communities.
  • Carolyn Polson O’Malley retired as the executive director of the Dorrance Family Foundation and Desert Botanical Garden. O’Malley has been a staff member, a hands-on volunteer and has served on many local boards.
  • Mac Perlich is the CEO and publisher of ON Media Publications —a company that publishes the programs for all major performing and visual arts groups in Phoenix and in Tucson. Sparked by their passion for the arts and giving back, Mac and her husband, Russ, launched Act One, which has provided educational field trips to live performing and visual arts to more than 145,000 Title One students in Phoenix and in Tucson.
  • Lawrence Robinson serves as the director of the Maricopa Community College District’s Center for Civic Participation. He formerly served as a policy advisor to Mayor Greg Stanton on issues, including education and homelessness. Lawrence is a member of the Roosevelt School District Governing Board.

For a complete list of the Garden’s 2017-2018 Board of Trustees, visit

About Desert Botanical Garden: 
A “Phoenix Point of Pride,” Desert Botanical Garden is one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is a privately funded, non-profit organization and depends on revenues from admissions and gift shop sales, as well as contributions from individuals and businesses to fund its programs of environmental education, plant conservation and research.



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Gertrude’s restaurant will be closed July 1 for renovations but will reopen Sept. 21. Patio Cafe is open.