Board of Trustees

Meet the Board of Directors

Chair Michael McKendrick

Assistant Fire Chief (Ret.), Tucson Fire Department / Founding Trustee

Mike McKendrick is a native Tucsonan and a 30-year veteran of the fire service. As assistant chief for the Tucson Fire Department Operations Division, he was responsible for all the emergency response forces for the City of Tucson.

Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in public fire administration from Cogswell College in Sunnyvale, Calif., and served on the board of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System for 16 years. Mike currently serves as a board member on the B’nai B’rith Manor on Pantano, which provides federally subsidized housing for low and very low income seniors aged 62 and older. Mike also serves as an elected member of the board of directors of the Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union. Mike’s previous community volunteer work also includes seven years of coaching football and wrestling at Sabino High School, where he was named 2002 Southern Arizona Wrestling Coach of the year.


Vice Chair David Ridings

Assistant Fire Chief, Tucson Fire Department / Founding Trustee

A member of the Tucson Fire Department for more than 34 years, Dave is the TFD assistant chief for emergency medical services, emergency management and the Emergency Communications Center. A Tucson resident since 1971, Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona, and has completed studies toward a master’s in Fire Administration from Arizona State University. He currently is a member of the Arizona State Emergency Medical Council and State Trauma Advisory Board, and recently completed a six-year term as a Pima County Parks and Natural Resources commissioner.

He owned and managed a local realty and property management firm from 1981 to 2001, and continues to hold an Arizona real estate broker’s license.


Treasurer Krista Conway

Accounting & Assurance Supervisor, BeachFleischman PC

Krista, who also chairs the Foundation’s finance committee, is from Tucson – leaving only for a four-year period to obtain her degree from Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in accountancy as well as a master of business administration (MBA) degree. For four years, she has worked as an auditor in the accounting and assurance department for BeachFleishman, one of the largest independently owned public accounting firms in the Southwest. Krista is personally connected to the Tucson fire community through her brother, who is a firefighter at Golder Ranch Fire District.


Secretary William Ross

Battalion Chief (Ret.), Tucson Fire Department / Founding Trustee

Bill has lived in Tucson for 45 years, and was a 25-year veteran of the Tucson Fire Department – retiring in 1999. He earned an associate’s degree in fire science from Pima Community College and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. As Chief of Training in 1994-95, he helped oversee site selection and design of Tucson’s cutting-edge regional firefighting and law enforcement Public Safety Academy. Bill was past leader of a men’s service group Serve and Be Served, that assisted those less fortunate in our community who needed household modifications/repairs, focused on anything from a leaky faucet, to a bathroom remodel designed to accommodate a wheelchair. He also serves as an Elder at Pantano Christian Church in Tucson.


Community Liaison Andrew B. Kunsberg

General Manager, Pima Uniforms

Andy works in the Tucson community serving both public safety and private businesses needs for uniforms and equipment. He has managed Pima Uniforms since 1975, and has been employed by Fechheimer Brothers Co. since 1972.

His local volunteer service includes the following: board of directors of the Tucson Police Foundation, treasurer of the Builders Lodge 60 (Masonic Lodge), treasurer of Tucson Medical Center’s Friends of Cardiac Rehab, and vice president of Congregation Bet Shalom.


Trustee E.A. (Ted) Geare III

Assistant Chief (Ret.), Tucson Fire Department / Founding Trustee

As a native Tucsonan, Ted served with the Tucson Fire Department for more than 32 years, retiring in October 2005. He earned an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Pima Community College, a bachelor’s in management from the University of Phoenix, and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) at the National Fire Academy, in Emmitsburg, Md. He is the author of several EFOP research projects, including “Childhood Injury Prevention and the Fire Service: The Missing Link.”

Ted’s volunteer activities have included serving on the boards of the State of Arizona Emergency Medical Services Council, the American Red Cross Association, and from 1991 to present, the Comstock Children’s Foundation of Tucson. He has also volunteered for the annual Tour for Tucson’s Children cycling event, the 1928 Ahrens-Fox Restoration Project, and is currently assisting with the restoration of the Foundation’s 1923 American-La France fire truck.


Trustee Dan Marries

News Anchor, KOLD-TV Tucson / Founding Trustee

Dan Marries has been living in Tucson since 1999. As the evening news anchor for KOLD-TV (CBS), he covers many stories involving first responders, and has formed a close working relationship with local fire districts and departments. Dan is a former wildland firefighter with experience on hand crews, engines and helitack aerial firefighting. During his college years, he spent four seasons fighting fires across the western United States with the Bureau of Land Management. Dan grew up around the fire service. His father, Kurt Marries, is a contract helicopter pilot specializing in aerial firefighting.

Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/broadcast journalism from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. He serves on the board of the Casas Adobes Optimist Club, and has held the position of charter president since 2009. Dan’s other volunteer work includes raising money for local youth for a variety of educational scholarships, and helping families in need with food and gifts during the holidays. Since 2008, he has served on the Pima County Local Emergency Planning Committee, where he helps coordinate with media outlets as needed to educate the public about the organization and its goals. Dan has been the vice president of the Tucson Ski Club, vice president for five years and volunteers at the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans and for non-profit Interfaith Community Services.


Trustee Sean Stuchen

Assistant Vice President and Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch / Founding Trustee

Sean earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Arizona, and holds a Certified Financial Planner designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Sean joined Merrill Lynch in 2008 and has been in the financial service industry for more than 10 years. He is also owner of Sean Stuchen Photography, and his award-winning travel, landscape and portrait photography have appeared in a variety of public exhibitions, numerous private collections and the prestigious Overland Journal. He and his wife have lived in Tucson for 20 years. www.fa.ml.com/thestuchenlevygroup


Trustee Jeff Piechura

Fire Chief, Northwest Fire/Rescue District

Jeff’s passion for “doing the right thing” drives his ambitions to not only lead a successful, internationally accredited fire department, but also to give back to the communities and organizations that demand excellence from their emergency services providers. Jeff also participates on a number of Incident Management Teams as the air tactical group supervisor, where he manages numerous aircraft while coordinating with ground resources on wildfire and natural disaster incidents. Jeff received the Chief Fire Officer Designation in 2009. Jeff is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s of applied science in fire management, and a master’s degree in fire administration.

His professional affiliations include: past president, Fire Chief of the Year 2005; current member of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association; chairman of the Arizona Fire Services Institute; past chairman and current member of the Pima County Fire Chiefs Association; a member of the NFPA 1901 Fire Department Apparatus Standards Committee; and a member and past president of the of the Arizona State Fire Training Committee. He was recently appointed the new chief of Stockton Fire Department in California.


Trustee Luis A. Ochoa

Attorney, Quarles & Brady LLP

Luis is a native Tucsonan and is a partner in the Tucson office of the law firm of Quarles & Brady, LLP, and a member of the firm’s real estate practice group. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1983, and his law degree from the UA in 1986. His practice focuses on the areas of Indian law, not-for-profit organizations, and business clients in all phases of corporate operation – including business-entity formation, commercial transactions, tax- and real-estate matters. Luis is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Indian law, gaming law and nonprofits/charities law.

He currently serves on the boards of the William Morris Institute and the University of Arizona Intercollegiate Athletics Compliance Committee, and is a member of the Tucson Jewish Foundation’s Professional Advisor’s Group and the Volunteer Lawyers Program’s Advisory Group.

Luis has also served on the board of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Tucson Centers for Women and Children, 88-Crime, and the Tucson Crime Prevention Council.

He has been recognized for his pro bono legal work as the recipient of the 2002 American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award, the 2001 William E. Morris Pro Bono Service Award, and numerous awards from the Southern Arizona Legal Aid/Volunteer Lawyer’s Program, including 2000 Arizona Community Legal Assistance Attorney of the Year; 1999 Attorney of the Year; 1998 Bankruptcy Clinic Attorney of the Year; and 1997 Bankruptcy Clinic Attorney of the Year.


Trustee Bryn Bailer

Freelance Journalist

Bryn is a native Tucsonan with more than 20 years’ experience in the communications business, as an award-winning newspaper reporter, editor and financial writer in the United States and Czech Republic.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Arizona, she began her newspaper career at the Arizona Daily Star, starting as a political commentary writer and later moving into feature writing, where she covered topics ranging from presidential visits to mental-health issues associated with police work. In 2002, with a growing interest in public safety, she turned in her reporter’s notebook to become media liaison for the county’s Bioterrorism Preparedness Program, overseeing coverage of biodefense-related emergency management issues.

In 2007, Bryn left the country to work as a Prague-based staff writer for English-language financial magazine Czech Business Weekly, covering trade, corporate and lifestyle news in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. As a freelance journalist, her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Dallas Morning News, nationally distributed public-safety journals Firehouse, Fire Engineering and Police Magazine, as well as international news service Agence France-Presse. By night, Bryn is a police service operator for the Tucson Police Department Communications Division.


Trustee Dale Ford

Vice President/General Manager (Ret.), Sunland Asphalt

Dale was responsible for the startup of Sunland Asphalt in Tucson, and under his leadership, the asphalt paving contractor became one of the leading firms in its field. Dale retired in 2008, but continues as an active consultant.

Dale holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, and was a founding member of the Tucson Firefighters Memorial Committee. He has served on the board of directors of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and was twice named Associate Member of the Year. Dale was also a board member of U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association, and president of the National Pavement Coating Contractors Association.

For many years, Dale served as chairman of BOMA’s community affairs committee, and helped direct efforts to bring business support to Tucson charities.


Trustee Jennifer Cabe

Executive Director and Board Member, Canyon Ranch Institute

Jennifer has spent over 20 years in positions dedicated to improving health and wellness. She now leads strategic and operations functions as executive director for Canyon Ranch Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. Canyon Ranch Institute catalyzes the possibility of optimal health for all people by translating the best practices of Canyon Ranch and our partners to help educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and choose a life of wellness. Prior to joining Canyon Ranch Institute in 2007, Jennifer was vice president of scientific communications for Feinstein Kean Healthcare, where she started and led the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Jennifer previously served in the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) as communications director and speechwriter for Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona. She was awarded the Surgeon General’s Medallion in 2005, which is the highest honor that the U.S. Surgeon General can confer. Prior to joining OSG, Jennifer was a communications officer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Before joining NIH, Jennifer led communications, wellness, and government relations for HealthNet Health Plan in the Pacific Northwest. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a master’s degree in public communication at American University in Washington, D.C.