Center for the Future of Arizona Announces 2013 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award Winners

Center for the Future of Arizona July 16, 2013

Betsey Bayless, Arlan Colton, FAICP and James Glen Jayne have been named winners of the 2013 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards, a statewide competition created to recognize non-elected public servants. Winners will be honored at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Meeting on Aug. 29.

Bayless, president and CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System, will receive the Leadership award. Colton, planning director at Pima County Development Services, will receive the Civic Engagement award. Jayne, manager of Navajo County, will receive the Innovation award.

The awards are named in honor of Gabrielle Giffords’ director of community outreach who lost his life on Jan. 8, 2011 while serving the citizens of Arizona. “These exemplary public servants represent the spirit of service to the public by which Gabe Zimmerman lived his life,” Lattie Coor Ph.D. , chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, said. “They represent the best of the more than 100,000 professional public servants working at all levels of Arizona government.”

Nominees were judged on their qualities and achievements — how they have changed the way government works to serve the public interest; capability to take risks and inspire others; impact on connecting Arizonans to the civic health of their community; new ideas to improve cost, efficiency and delivery of public service; and legacy contribution of lasting significance.

With support from the Zimmerman family, the 2013 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are sponsored by the Center for the Future of Arizona; the Arizona Department of Administration; the County Supervisors Association of Arizona; the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

About the Winners


Betsey Bayless

Betsey Bayless, who has been engaged in public service for more than 40 years, is the Maricopa Integrated Health System’s first CEO of Arizona’s only public health system, appointed in 2005. Since her arrival, she has led a financial turnaround of the organization, made substantial facility and equipment capital improvements, implemented a system-wide electronic medical records system, increased the number of physicians, and achieved clinical quality accreditation.

Today, Maricopa Integrated Health System includes the Maricopa County Medical Center, the Arizona Burn Center, the Arizona Children’s Center, two psychiatric hospitals and 11 neighborhood health clinics. It is a comprehensive public health system focused on community need and the provision of primary care, specialized services, clinical research and education. Under Bayless’s leadership, services, programs, staff and volunteers provide care for 400,000 Maricopa County residents annually.

The nomination submitted on behalf of Bayless states, “Her leadership has improved the lives of everyone in Arizona. She is an extraordinary person whose public service spans decades, during which time she has also been a state agency director, Maricopa County Supervisor and Arizona  Secretary of State. The latest chapter of her public service career is a government success story. Her commitment to the underserved in our community shines forth in the remarkable turnaround of the old ‘county’ health care system.”


Arlan Colton

Arlan Colton has dedicated almost his entire 30-plus-year career to public service, focused in the area of land use, planning, conservation and creation of community. His nomination highlights that his “personality, character and time in our community have changed the platform for discussion around land use issues to encourage informed, engaged decision-making and connection of citizens to the process.”

The nomination states, “Arlan works tirelessly to improve the quality of life in the state and Tucson region. His passion for community building is inspirational and contagious. His intellectual curiosity and self-confidence make him comfortable with engaging opposing viewpoints. A debate on the relative merits of an issue is commonplace in Arlan’s world, and he makes those around him comfortable as it occurs. His clear and undisputed motivation is to make this a better community for future generations.”

Among his many accomplishments, Colton was key at the Arizona State Land Department in fine-tuning and implementing the Arizona Preserve Initiative, which was a revolutionary change to how the agency addresses open space and that led to successful permanent conservation of more than 16,000 acres. His efforts helped change a century-old management structure to one that embraces conservation goals. A founding board member of Imagine Greater Tucson, Colton is a proponent of involving citizens to achieve productive change. He also inspires others to be involved in public service and was integral in establishing a University of Arizona graduate planning degree mentorship program.


James Glen Jayne

James Glen Jayne serves as the chief operating executive of Navajo County, a position he has held for 10 years. During his career, he has managed thousands of employees and worked with hundreds of elected officials to improve public policy and serve the interests of Arizonans. His nomination defines him as a manager with a “persistent determination to improve” and an approach based upon building lasting relationships, motivating people to best utilize their talents and continuously looking for new paths to success.

Recognized as a humble and masterful team builder, Jayne always encourages exploration of new ideas. He and his team are now working with multiple emergency response agencies in the White Mountains to create a regional dispatch center to improve service and lower costs for the region. Additionally, they are finding ways to improve Navajo County’s new internal leadership academy through a partnership with the Alliance for Innovation.

Jayne and his team have put together an outstanding list of accomplishments through the use of new technology and creative thinking. In 2011, Navajo County implemented an online back-tax land auction process resulting in a 48 percent sales rate, drastically improving on the 6-percent pace of the previous four years. In 2013, Navajo County’s Public Works team implemented the use of a new smart phone application allowing one inspector to track 2,000 signs in two months, eliminating the use of paperwork. Recently, the new solar array for the Navajo County Holbrook Government Complex was completed. It will reduce traditional energy consumption by 80 percent.

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