Governor-Elect Doug Ducey Announces Transition Committee On Water, Environment & Energy

PHOENIX (November 24)  Governor-elect Doug Ducey today announced the formation of a subcommittee on water, environment and energy, critical issues for Arizona families and small businesses.

The subcommittee co-chairs bring a diverse mix of knowledge and experience on water, environmental and energy issues:

    •    Lisa Atkins, Board Member, Central Arizona Project

    •    Jose Esparza, Vice President/Energy Solutions, Southwest Gas Corporation

    •    Pat Graham, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Arizona

“These issues are critical to our state’s future and our economy,” Ducey said.  “I look forward to working with these experienced committee chairs to ensure we are making the right decisions to maximize our resources and ensure Arizona families, farmers and small businesses have the certainty they need.”


Lisa AtkinsAbout Lisa Atkins: Lisa Atkins first joined the Central Arizona Project board through appointment by Governor Jane Dee Hull in January 2003.  She was elected to a regular term in November, 2006, and re-elected to the CAWCD Board of Directors for her second term on November 6, 2012, to represent Maricopa County until December 31, 2018.  Atkins currently serves as the secretary of the board and chairman of the CAGRD & Underground Storage Committee.  Atkins is a University of Arizona graduate, with a liberal arts degree.  Currently employed by Greater Phoenix Leadership as vice president for public policy, Atkins also serves as co-chair of the Arizona’s Military Affairs Commission and as a member of the Boards of Friends of the West Valley Recreation Corridor, Arizona Town Hall.  She has served on the Commission on the Arizona Environment, the 1999 Governor’s Transportation Vision 21 Task Force, the 2000 Governor’s Water Management Commission, the 2003 Governor’s Military Facilities Task Force, the Arizona Water Bank Authority representing CAWCD, and chaired the 2012 and 2014 Commission on Salaries for Elected State Officers.  Atkins was a member of the staff of U.S. Congressman Bob Stump for more than 25 years, serving as chief of staff from 1979 until 2002.  Atkins, a native Arizonan, resides in Phoenix with her husband, John. 

About Jose Esparza: Jose Esparza serves as vice president/Energy Solutions for Southwest Gas, a role he assumed in November 2012.  Esparza’s area is responsible for advising customers on their overall energy needs, ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction.  He also oversees the company’s Public Awareness Program which educates audiences on leak prevention, recognition and response.  In addition, he manages the company’s natural gas vehicle initiative and works with national organizations to advance sustainable growth opportunities for the direct and distributed use of natural gas in the residential and commercial markets.  Esparza began his career with Southwest Gas in 1996 as a meter reader.  Subsequent promotions include Specialist/Government Affairs/Central Arizona Division in 2004, Administrator/ Corporate Public Affairs in 2005, Manager/Corporate Public Affairs in 2009, Director/Energy Services and Corporate Communications in 2011.  Esparza holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and an executive MBA from Arizona State University.  He also dedicates his time as a board member for the Arizona Restaurant Association, Energy Solutions Center and West Valley Child Crisis Center.

About Pat Graham: Pat Graham has served as state director for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona since July 2001. As executive director he has lead the conservancy’s innovative solutions to restore Arizona’s forests, keep rivers flowing, and protecting deserts and grasslands working with business, ranchers and communities.  Under his direction, the conservancy completed the largest campaign for land and water conservation raising nearly $40 million.  He chairs the leadership team for the six-state, bi-national Colorado River Program. Graham serves on the Kyl Center for Water Policy Advisory board, Arizona Forward board, and leads the Water, Forest and Open Space Group for the Arizona We Want.  He has served on the Water Resources Development Commission, Statewide Water Advisory Group, Governor’s Solar Advisory Task Force, Sustainable Tourism Task Force and others.  Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Graham served in a variety of leadership positions for the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Montana.  In 1993, he was named director of the department by then Governor Marc Racicot.  In addition to his role as head of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks, he was elected president of the Western Fish and Wildlife Agencies in 1994 and president of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in 2000.


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November 2014