Board of Directors
Laura Knaperek , Chair
Laura Knaperek is an Arizona Republican official first elected as a State Legislator in 1994. Laura served as the Appropriations chair in the AZ House and was known as an expert in children and family issues. After serving 10 years in the House, Laura established her own consulting firm and is the Executive Director of a family advocacy organization.
Mark Killian , Vice Chair
Mark Killian is a long time Mesa resident and well respected member of the Mesa community with many accomplishments. Mark is a licensed Arizona Real Estate Broker. Sunny Mesa, Inc., and the Killian Company are wholly owned family companies that specialize in Real Estate development, sales, and management. He has served the State of Arizona as former Director of the Arizona Department of Revenue; as an elected official in the AZ House of Representatives for 14 years as Majority Leader and Speaker of the House; and as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and Public Institutions Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Northern Trust Bank Arizona.
Kim Owens, Treasurer
An Arizona native, Kim Owens is from a family with deep roots in the Grand Canyon State. Kim graduated from Glendale Community College as a Registered Nurse and continued with advanced nursing courses at Arizona State University. Her devotion to civic issues led her to run for the local high school governing board, currently in her 5th term. She is an alumnus of the inaugural Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service Series, has worked on several presidential, senatorial, and statewide political campaigns. In 2005 she was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, an independent federal agency, and in 2007 he appointed her to the chairmanship. She also serves on the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority and was elected in 2010 to serve on the Salt Rive Project Council for District 2, representing the shareholder in governance issues of the 3rd largest public utility in the country.
Ted Downing, Director
Biography Coming Soon!
Chuck Gray, Director
Chuck Gray is a fifth generation Arizonan and speaks fluent Spanish. He worked in the family masonry business from childhood and came to appreciate the value of work and earning your way in life. At 32 he became a Mesa Police Officer where he worked for over ten years. Following his career in law enforcement, Chuck took a full time position as head of an Internet company he established in 1997. His company markets automotive accessories around the world. In 2002 Chuck was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives and in 2006 was appointed to be the Senator from that Mesa district. Chuck served 2009 and 2010 as the Senate Majority Leader. During his eight years in the legislature he championed many bills to protect the rights of private property owners. He and his wife have been married for over 30 years have five children and seven grandchildren.
Lori Klein, Director
Lori Kelin has been on the cutting edge of fund raising for issues, initiatives, and non-profit organizations for over 15 years. Her firm has been responsible for raising substantial funds from leading corporations and individuals for issues such as Eminent Domain. In 2006, Ms. Klein was executive director/director of development for a high profile and controversial Arizona ballot Proposition 207 that provided protection to private property owners from government takings by regulation and eminent domain. This was overwhelmingly passed by 65% of the voters of Arizona under Ms. Klein’s leadership and demonstrated fundraising skills. Mc. Klein worked on several Presidential campaigns and was a lobbyist for the American Land Development Association which is now ARDA from 1980 until 1984. She later was a director of public relations at the Washington Times from 1984-1988. Ms. Klein sits on the board of the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers, Arizonans in Action, and Gotham Legal Foundation. She was former Executive Director and was also on the Advisory Board for Arizona School Choice Trust.
Virginia “Jini” Simpson, Director
Her conservative roots are centered on Property Rights, Fiscal Responsibility and Small Government. She is a guardian of Property Rights. She served on the Paradise Valley Town Council 1998- 2010 serving as Council member and Vice Mayor and as the Town Lobbyist with the State Legislature and County Government , and in 1977 served on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Her extensive community involvement includes, serving 2 years as President of the Paradise Republican Women’s Club, and Paradise Valley Women’s Club. She is part of the management at Ethos, a local IT company, where they partner with a variety of industries, to reduce time to technology success, in Custom Development, Extending the Cloud, or Application Integration. Our expertise centers on several main industries, including HealthCare, Retail, Travel and Leisure, Talent Management, and Real Estate. She is a Lamar University graduate.
Ruth McClung, Director
Ruth McClung, a physicist, working as a rocket scientist at a local engineering company. Ruth has lived in the west her whole life. Besides living in Arizona, she has lived in California, New Mexico, and Idaho. She moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2000 to go to college. “I love living in the West.” explains Ruth, “I love the diverse mixture of cultures and the frontier spirit that seems to exist in all the people of the west.
Ramon Torres, Ex-Officio Officer
Prior to moving to Scottsdale in 2001, Ray spent a business career rising to executive positions primarily in technology companies in southern California . Currently, he serves small to med-size businesses as a business consultant and President, Torres & Associates, LLC. Mr. Torres earned his MBA degree at Pepperdine University and Bachelor of Science degree at Arizona State University . He is also a graduate of Stanford University , Executive Development program. Further, he has taught MBA courses for University of LaVerne and University of Phoenix.