BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Karen Spencer, Board Chair
I was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming and entered the banking field directly out of high school where I worked for 5 years. I then fell into the real estate profession. I became a Licensed Real Estate Broker and opened a small office, selling residential, new construction, development land and some commercial. I moved to Yuma in 1987 with my husband and first child who was 6 weeks old at the time and commenced selling real estate that same year. I have been with Realty Executives and then opened my own firm under Realty Executives, GMAC Real Estate and ultimately Karen Spencer & Associates, Inc. where I was instrumental in the formation and development with my husband of The Development Group, a local construction and development company responsible for the development and construction of thousands of home sites in newly created neighborhoods throughout the Yuma area, including: The Bluffs, Desert Fairways, Estrella at Mesa del Sol, Ironwood Townhomes, Oasis del Este Townhomes, The Terraces and more. I am currently more involved in the local community than ever before, participating in The Dream Team for Yuma's Castle Park to assist in fundraising and communication for the general public to aid in the construction and expansion of our Park that was burned in December of 2014. I am also a member of the ABWA Yuma Chapter, and several other local boards in Yuma. I have two wonderful children: Lucas, lives in Colorado and is a father 2, a little boy and a little girl. Lane, who, has is in the real estate business, works by my side in all things real estate.
Jacob Miller, Strategic Planning/Past Chair
Premier Pools and Spas, Yuma.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, Jacob Miller moved to Yuma in the first grade and has lived in Yuma for the past 28 years. He graduated from from Kofa High School in the year 2000 and shortly after married his high school sweetheart Denice Allen in 2004. Together, Jacob and his wife have three children. Born in 2005 - Jade Renae is their eldest child and only daughter. In October of 2008 they were surprised with twin boys Jonah Craig and Chase Michael. The Miller family has long been active in the Christian church, serving often and in various capacities including a mission trip to Honduras. In April 2014, Jacob and his wife Denice were ordained as Pastors and serve today at Church for The City. Jacob has worked in construction industry here in Yuma since 2007 as a Quality Control Manager, Construction Manager and Business Manager. Currently, Jacob is the Owner/Operator of Premier Pools and Spas, Yuma Chapter.
Stephanie Laborin, Secretary
Electric Service and Planning Supervisor, Arizona Public Service (APS)
Stephanie Laborin is currently leading a group of Construction Project Managers for APS. She has been employed by APS for 17 years and has a background in Human Performance, behavioral analysis, and is a green belt in Lean Six Sigma process improvement. Stephanie is a Yuma native and completed coursework in the field of Huma Services at the University of Phoenix after graduating from Kofa High School in 2000. She is the mother of 3 very entertaining children; two amazingly intelligent boys and one brilliant, kind hearted, sassy little princess.
Stephanie has a strong passion for community service that stemmed from her own experience of hardship. Overcoming the challenges of being a single mom at a young age to attain individual and professional success has created a drive to encourage and provide opportunity to others to obtain prosperity in their own lives. Becoming a United Way Board member has allowed her to be part of an organization and team of individuals that share these same values and goals for our community.
Gowan Deckey, Board Member
I was raised in the Yuma Valley among a team of cousins where our family had homesteaded over a hundred years ago. Growing up initially in Gadsden, my family then moved and I attended Crane School and Yuma High School. I enjoyed family, 4-H, riding horses and the border town culture of Yuma and always knew I wanted to return to Yuma after going away to school.
Planning to become a doctor from a young age, I attended Claremont McKenna College in Claremont CA, then went on to Tufts University in Boston for medical school. In medical school I met my future husband, George, we married and after graduating, we moved to Phoenix for our specialty training: mine in pediatrics, his in surgery.
We moved back to Yuma in 1993 with one child and both of us went to work, joining separate practices. We were blessed with 3 more kids over the next 6 years and we now have 3 wonderful boys and a lovely daughter, all who appreciate Yuma and feel a strong connection with family and this community.
I worked halftime to allow more hands on parenting and volunteered for their school activities. I served on the Yuma Catholic High School board for a number of years, helping plan and open the high school.
I took a sabbatical, of sorts from pediatrics and worked with my family’s company, Gowan Company for 8 years as the Human Resources Manager, and got to know more about the company and appreciate how involved it is with our community as well. After 8 years it was time to return to my true passion: kids, and I went back to my pediatric practice.
Now our own ‘kids’ are all out of the home and I find myself yearning to do more. I am excited to join the United Way board to see how I can help improve our great community.
Rhett Stallworth, Board Member
Rhett Stallworth was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. Rhett graduated from Yuma High School in 1992. Rhett received his bachelor's degree from New Mexico Highlands University in 1996 where he was an All-American football player. He returned to Yuma immediately and went to work at his Alma Mater Yuma High. Rhett was a history teacher and football coach at Yuma High until 2007. Rhett received his Master's degree in the spring of 2007 from Northern Arizona University. In the fall of 2007 Rhett took a position at Yuma Catholic High School as the Head football coach. In this time, Rhett has been a history teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, and now principal of Yuma Catholic High.
Rhett is a member of several clubs and organizations throughout the community and joined the United Way of Yuma County board in January of 2020. Rhett is a member of Fort Yuma Rotary, The Elks, and is member and league representative of the Arizona Football Coaches Association. Rhett is married to Terra Stallworth and they enjoy 6 children. Isaac, Katie, McConnell, Emily, Richard, and Rocky.
Gladys Brown, Board Member
I am the Airport Director at our great local international airport, Yuma International Airport as well as our small rural airport in San Luis known as Rolle Airfield. I love being apart of various boards and organizations, and today I sit on the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, Yuma Education Advisory Council, AWC Engineering Advisory Committee, Yuma 50, Visit Yuma (Yuma Visitors Bureau) Vice-Chair, Arizona Airport Association Past President, and the American Association of Airport Executives Industrial Aviation and Military Relations Vice-Chair.
I have three energetic active young men in my life who love sports, fishing, tumbling and of course technology. I came to Yuma in December 2008 and have been raising the boys here and call it home. I grew up in Northern California in a wonderful community very similar to Yuma in Vallejo, CA. Went to the local college, the California Maritime Academy, where I graduated with my Mechanical Engineering degree and a license to sail in the fleet but there were other plans in my future. Everyday is a blessing and I believe each of us have the ability to change the world one action at a time- and it starts with being kind.
Brandy Wright, Board Member
Brandy began her career with Western News&Info, Inc., ®(WNI) in 1998 as a part-time office assistant while attending Arizona Western College in Yuma. After several months Brandy was promoted to Sales & Marketing Assistant full-time for WNI Senior Vice President Blake DeWitt. Brandy married TJ Wright in 2001 and they transferred to Prescott, AZ where she worked for Prescott Newspapers, Inc. CEO/Publisher Kit Atwell. During Brandy’s time in Prescott she had the opportunity to work in many departments and was promoted to Classified Manager in 2004. In 2006 Brandy and her family transferred back to Yuma and she was promoted to IT Director. In 2015, Brandy was promoted to CEO/GM of Del Outdoor Advertising/Sign Pro overseeing the daily operations.
Brandy was born in Fort Worth, TX but considers herself a native of Yuma County since she has lived most of her life in Yuma. Brandy is the mother of 2 sons, Blayne and Kyler Wright.
Board Member of BetterYuma.Org since 2011
YRMC Foundation Trustee since 2016
Serve on the marketing committee for 1st Bank Yuma since 2010
Jane Peabody, Board Member
Jane was born and raised in a small town outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She met her husband while on vacation in San Diego and promptly moved. They were married less than one year later and have been happily married for 38 years. She has three adult children, two girls and one son and five grandchildren. Jane has a degree in sociology and is a certified personal trainer as well as a certified nutrition coach. Jane and her family moved to Yuma approximately seventeen years ago. She currently works at Arizona Western College as the Coordinator of Physical & Wellness Education. She has served on several nonprofit boards, one of which was the Arizona Western College Foundation where she created the Daniel J Fisher Memorial Scholarship in honor of her father. She is passionate about health and wellness and serving the underprivileged.