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Alliance Announces Engage 2020: Keynote Lineup

Wednesday, July 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Alliance Announces Keynote Lineup for Highly-Anticipated Engage 2020 Nonprofit Conference


We are beyond excited to welcome the following leaders to August's Engage 2020! Addressing topics of leadership, community stewardship, equity, and advocacy - we are confident these Keynotes will set strong tones and inspire lively discussions at the start of each conference day.

(Haven't purchased your ticket yet? Click here to join our virtual experience!)


August 5

Taking Charge of Your New Direction with Alliance CEO, Kristen Merrifield

Kristen Merrifield, CAE, CNAP, is a proven leader across multiple sectors invested in the development and success of others.  She has more than 17 years’ experience leading efforts to support community stakeholders, including extensive involvement working with professional associations, Chambers of Commerce and various community and business organizations, both public and private. Kristen is driven to be the best while remaining authentic and invested in the success of others. Calm under pressure, a seasoned leader and skilled communicator, she knows how to solve the big problems and create consensus around complex issues. Her WHY is to be the best version of herself so that she can share her knowledge and experience with others to help them reach their full potential.

Kristen is an active volunteer serving on various business and nonprofit community committees and is a member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She holds a BS in Business Management from Grand Canyon University; a Certificate in Association Management from ASAE and the prestigious designations of Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP).


August 12

City of Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans on Community Stewardship

Mayor Coral Evans will speak towards her advocacy for a balanced approach of stewardship of community resources as a tool to create opportunities that allow for civic engagement, civil discourse, community revitalization and genuine sustainability and advancement within a community.

Mayor Coral Evans was elected as Mayor in November 2016. Although new to the position of Mayor, Ms. Evans is not new to the Flagstaff City Council. She was first elected to serve on the Flagstaff City Council in 2008 and reelected in 2012. She served as Vice Mayor of the City from 2012-2014. 

She is the third generation of her family to live in Flagstaff. Her family (the Dorsey’s) has been an active part of the Flagstaff & greater Northern Arizona community since the early 1900’s.  

In addition to her civic service, Mayor Evans is also the Executive Director of the nonprofit Sunnyside Neighborhood Association of Flagstaff and small business owner of Destiney's Creations. She is also presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in sustainability to accompany her master’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.  She has a Masters level certificate in Public Management and is nationally certified in public participation practices. Ms. Evans is a Flinn-Brown Fellow and a graduate of the Flagstaff Leadership Program.


August 19

Executive Director of ACLU of Arizona, Alessandra Navidad, on Strength in Diversity

Alessandra came to the ACLU of Arizona as Executive Director in February 2006, and is the first Latina to head the ACLU in Arizona.  Her passion for the ACLU is driven by her background. Raised in a tri-lingual household, her Brazilian mother taught her to work hard and look out for others, while her Argentine father taught her to be an outspoken defender of human rights that "disappeared" during the country’s Dirty Wars. Those very same values of equality and fairness are now the focal point of her work at the ACLU. 

Under her leadership, the ACLU of Arizona is prioritizing two multi-year campaigns focused on reducing Arizona’s prison population and eliminating racial disparities in school discipline. Alessandra previously worked at the ACLU of Florida and ACLU of Louisiana. Before joining the ACLU, Alessandra worked as a reporter for The Miami Herald and Roanoke Times. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is the proud mother of a 14-year-old boy and 11-year-old identical twin girls. She has an MBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.  

August 26

Writer and Nonprofit Diversity Advocate, Vu Le of Nonprofit AF

Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.

Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at, formerly

(Still haven't purchased your ticket...? We don't want you to miss out! Apply for a scholarship to attend for free!)


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