Hickey Family Foundation Board
Our Board of Trustees is responsible for strategically directing the Trust to achieve its stated mission.
Nancy E. Baldwin
As the Executive Director and a Trustee of the Hickey Family Foundation, Nancy is the primary liaison between HFF and all external entities including investment banks, grant seekers, legal, accounting and auditing services, and other NGOs and funders. She manages and coordinates all administration, operations and activities of the Foundation.
Nancy has held high level administrative, sales, and marketing positions in higher education and private industry since 1973. She became acquainted with Mr. Hickey and supported him in some administrative capacity beginning in 1980, and was his Personal Assistant through the end of his life in 2006. Nancy was involved in all aspects of Mr. Hickey’s estate planning and legal activities, including the establishment in 2004 of the Hickey Family Foundation Trust.
Nancy holds a B.S. in Business Administration, an A.A.S. in Marketing and A.A.S. in Management. In 2011, Nancy received her certification in nonprofit management from the Nonprofit Management Institute, ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation.
Diana “Dede” Yazzie Devine
Dede has been employed as the CEO of Native American Connections (NAC) since 1979 and has been working with Native American urban and tribal entities since 1972. NAC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation that provides comprehensive behavioral health services, affordable housing, and community based economic development opportunities. NAC serves all populations, with a targeted mission to serve Native Americans living both in the Phoenix urban area and from nearby tribal communities.
Dede holds an MBA from Arizona State University and holds international and state licenses in substance abuse counseling. She dedicates much of her time to local, state and national boards and committees related to housing, healthcare, and other philanthropic efforts. Her leadership and dedication have been recognized both within and outside the community with numerous honors and awards.
The experience and commitment Dede has demonstrated personally and professionally has been of great benefit to the mission areas of the Hickey Family Foundation since her joining as Trustee in early 2016.
Charles Flanagan, who joined the Board in 2016, is Chief U.S. Probation Officer, District of Arizona, for the United States Courts. His previous experience as Director of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, as Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, as well as Director of the Correctional Education Division and Program Co-Chair for the Administration of Justice Studies at Cochise Community College make him well-suited for this position. Charles also served recently as Director of Community Partnerships with Rio Salado College.
Charles is the former Director of Arizona’s Department of Child Safety; was Director of the special interim child welfare division, and chaired an independent team appointed by the Governor in 2014 to respond to uninvestigated cases in the child welfare agency. He has more than 29 years in state service of which 22 have been in an executive role, including serving as Warden at two prison complexes; Assistant Director, and CEO of Correctional Industries, as well as having administered all ADC academic and career technical education programs.
Prior to state service, Charles had a successful 14 year career in the performing arts based in the United States and Europe. He holds a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is a Certified Public Manager through Arizona State University
Joe is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and operates his own consulting business which he founded in 2011. Joe is a graduate of Arizona State University and holds a B.S. in Finance. He has many years of professional business experience in the financial sector. At various times during his successful career, he has worked at well-known national firms and investment banks including Shearson-Lehman, Kidder Peabody, and Wells Fargo.
Through his many years living in Arizona, Joe has been involved as a volunteer and/or board member with several local non-profits focused on serving youth and responding to the needs of marginalized members of the community. He brings strong business and financial knowledge to the Board, as well as aspects of hands-on community service to assist his Co-Trustees in its management and decision making. Joe joined the Foundation as Trustee in 2018.
John Meza currently serves as the Inspector General for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, responsible for safeguarding Arizonans by preventing, detecting, and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, and misconduct and overseeing the physical security of all DES facilities. Prior to DES, John served as Director of Student Affairs and District Safety for the Tempe Union High School District. In that capacity, John directed and led all emergency management planning and security operations with local police and fire departments within and adjoining the City of Tempe.
John has over 30 years of experience in public safety including eleven years as a police executive, and retired in 2017 as the Chief of Police of the Mesa Police Department. As Chief of Police, John spearheaded the Community Engagement and Employee Wellness Bureau at Mesa PD to focus on the importance of community trust and partnership and the wellbeing of all department employees. Chief Meza was instrumental in the development and implementation of various innovative programs, particularly the CompStat approach to data-driven policing.
Throughout his career, John has volunteered his services to the broader community. He has served as Board President of the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network, President of Community Bridges, Inc. and served on the boards of Valley Leadership, Fiesta Bowl – Yellow Jacket Committee, Mesa MARC Center, and the Tempe Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and Drug Abuse. He has also served as an adjunct instructor for the Maricopa Community College District.
John was appointed to the Board in April 2022.
Eugene E. Payne, Ph.D.
Gene was involved in the early developmental years of the Hickey Family Foundation as a consultant to the Executive Director and Board to help establish the administrative and operational structure of the organization.
Gene has held significant positions in higher education, including director, department chair, associate professor and vice president at institutions including University of Oklahoma, University of Texas-Dallas, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He has held management positions ranging from manager to CEO in Dow Jones or Nasdaq firms such as E.I. DuPont, Electronic Data Systems, and Financial Industries Corporation. Most recently and prior to his 2016 retirement, he was the Executive Director of the McCoy CBA Foundation at Texas State University.
Gene holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Management Science-Industrial Engineering; a M.S. from Texas A&M University in Management Science-Industrial Engineering, and B.S. from Texas A&M in Physics.
In 2017, Gene again engaged with the Hickey Family Foundation Trustees to review the structure of the Foundation’s investment portfolio and external financial management. As a result, he made recommendations on restructuring its relationships which are expected to benefit our financial position over the long term. Gene officially joined the Board as Trustee in 2018.
Helen B. Trop-Zell, M.D.
With a history of supporting humanitarian causes and a passion for travel abroad, Helen is perfectly suited to participate on the Hickey Family Foundation Board of Trustees. Her experience in running and participating in volunteer medical missions in places like Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya brings relevant and important first-hand knowledge of the locations and populations served by agencies and NGOs we fund. Helen has served on other boards committed to humanitarian relief, both locally and internationally, and committed herself to improving the medical condition of others through her 30 years in private practice in Scottsdale.
Helen received her M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine, holds an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in Math from Carnegie-Mellon University. In 2016 after retiring from private practice, Helen received The East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a postgraduate certificate awarded by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine after a three month tour in Uganda and Tanzania. She continues to seek further educational opportunities related to public and global health.
Helen’s unique education and broad medical experience has added a significant perspective to our Board since joining as Trustee in early 2014.