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Tohono O'odham

Susan was born in Ajo, Arizona, and grew up in the mountains of Cu:kud Na:k in the District of GuVo, on the Tohono O’odham Reservation.  Her heritage is deeply rooted in Arizona history combining ancestry with a long line of traditional Native Americans as well as one of Arizona’s premier pioneers.

Susan attended Indian Oasis Elementary School in Sells, Arizona, graduated from Casa Grande High School, and holds a BBA in Marketing and an MBA in Management from Texas A & M University, Texarkana.  Susan’s philanthropic endeavors are many and she is committed to her faith, her family, her community, and helping those in need.

Susan Laubner Warmack – President

Jennifer grew up in Waco, Texas as one of four children. She attended Baylor University where she majored in Business Marketing/Communications. Jennifer received her BBA in 1986 and her JD from Baylor Law School in 1990. Upon graduation, she worked on the Waco Court of Appeals and as an attorney for the Dallas City Attorney’s Office. Jennifer also worked in private practice handling governmental issues, personal injury, medical malpractice, and various other civil matters.


Jennifer’s community involvement includes but is not limited to volunteer activities for the H.S. Thompson Elementary School Friendship Team as well as the president of the Friendship Team through the STEP Foundation. She assisted the principal and teachers in carrying out the vision of this intercity school as a partner in the community. Jennifer was an adjunct professor of Business Law for Dallas Baptist University, a member of the Junior League of Texarkana, on the school board of St. James Day School and served as president of the school board. She has been on the local board for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and assisted with fundraising for Race for the Cure. Jennifer has always been an active member of her church. Jennifer currently resides in Texarkana with her husband, Brett, and three children.

Jennifer Dietze - Secretary

Dakota Sioux

Liz Baker is Vice President of Business Development for and Executive Director of, a 501 (c)(3) that focuses on people, pets and the planet. has given over 30 Million dollars to groups worldwide.

As the Executive Director of the Foundation, Liz raised and distributed over 10 Million dollars in cash and product grants to adoption partners in the US. By seeking national, proactive solutions to the nation’s most pressing adoption issues, Liz worked/works with over 50 partners (companies/agencies) to eventually ensure that all pets have a chance at a home.

Before joining the Foundation, Liz worked for as well as Vice President of Partner Relations, at Family Education Network as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and at as Vice President of Operations building lasting partnerships and brand-building initiatives. Locally, she volunteers for the Pima County Animal Care, Tu Nidito Children and Family Services and serves on several boards in Tucson, Arizona, where she lives with two “tween” girls, two dogs, and two cats and two fish. From time to time, Coyotes jump her five-foot fence and spend the afternoon playing in the back yard with her two dogs, reminding her that we shouldn’t let barriers get in the way of our dreams.

Liz Baker – Treasurer

Tohono O'odham

Priscilla moved to Ali Chugk when she was seven years old from Oakland, California. She learned the Tohono O’odham language and the history of her people from her elders. She stayed with her grandmother in the fields learning to grow crops, cook, and speak the language. She went to San Simon Elementary School, then to Santa Rosa Boarding School for 9th grade. At that time, the Tohono O’odham High School was completed and she attended and graduated high school.

After graduation, Priscilla attended the Portable Practical Education Tech school in Casa Grande, Arizona. She received her Data Processing, Data Entry, Word Process, and Typing II certifications. 

Upon completion, she was hired as the GuVo District Secretary where she worked from 1994 until her resignation in 2003. In 2010 she became a District Council Representative for Ali Chugk Community and is now in her second term. In addition to serving on the Council, she is also a member of the following GuVo District Committees: Chairperson Budget & Finance Committee, Chairperson Housing Committee, Member Culture Committee.


Priscilla's hobbies include reading about Tohono O’odham history and hiking using historical maps. Her interests are protecting traditions and culture for future generations. Her heroes are her grandmother and her ancestors. If it were not for their strength, beliefs in Tohono O'odham traditions and culture, it would not be alive today! Her favorite movie is The Notebook because it reminds her of her time with her grandmother when her dementia was getting worse. Priscilla asked her questions about her childhood to refresh her memory and to learn. She became interested in the Native American Advancement Foundation when the organization first presented to her council. It was a new concept but very helpful to the youth, providing assistance through the help from all who are involved.

Priscilla Thomas - Board Member

Tohono O'odham

Born and raised in Mexico, member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, in 2018 moved to the USA. Her fascination with Human Recourses started when she was 17 years old, She has worked as a Trainer Manager, Payroll, Human Resources Manager. Employee Relations, Benefits, Organizational Development, Salary & Compensation, and Recruiter. As a Human Resources Professional. He passion is in helping people to grow, and reward them for accomplishing their goals, and always seeking to find equilibrium between the goals and needs of the company and the needs of the employees. She has gained the natural ease to interact with different personalities thanks in kind to her mother, her persistence, honesty and patience from her father.

She has worked with companies in a variety of industries from Hotels and Hospitality, Construction, Manufacturing and Casinos. When she's not working tirelessly, she spends time with her family. 

Veronica Manuel Strong - Board Member


Rob Stish

Rob, a Tohono O’odham citizen who was raised in Pennsylvania after adoption at birth.  He returned to Tucson in order to reconnect with his Native American roots. Because both of his adoptive parents were college professors, he gained a strong sense of responsibility and understands the importance of education. His leadership abilities stem from his years attending Fork Union Military Academy in central Virginia.  He has had an interest in aviation since childhood and spent his early years taking private pilot instruction in both sailplanes and single engine aircraft.  He also has a background in aeronautical science and aerospace engineering. He is an avid outdoorsman and a talented musician.

​Rob has been involved with NAAF since early in its inception and serves as a medium of communication between the Tohono O’odham and Tucson communities. He successfully manages a diverse group of volunteers working together to make the Foundation’s projects run efficiently.



Tohono O'odham

Selina was born in Ajo, Arizona and currently resides in GuVo District.  She attended  K-8th grade at San Simon Elementary Day School and attended the Tohono O’odham High School and Coconino High School in Flagstaff.  She has served in many capacities for the GuVo District including van driver, elected official for the GuVo District Governing Council as GuVo Community Representative 2001-2005, and GuVo Community Alternate 2007-2009.  Selina has also served on the Housing Committee as Chairperson, and as a member of the Health Committee, Education Committee, Economic Development Committee, and the Domestic Violence Coalition. She worked in collaboration with the Legislative Housing Committee to establish the Housing Committee by-laws for GuVo District.  She also volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club of the Tohono O’odham Nation coordinating the Horse Camp sponsored by GuVo District, Volunteer Youth Coordinator for GuVo Community, Chairperson for the GuVo District Day/Royalty

Committee 2000-2009, Volunteer Coordinator for the Unity Run, and was also a volunteer for the Pima County Elections as a clerk.

Selina is a mother of a teenage daughter and an adopted nephew.   In March, 2012, Selina graduated from Tucson College receiving her license as a Certified Nursing Assistant and certification for Patient Care Technician. She is currently employed under the ALTCS program as a caregiver and sits on the Advisory Board for NAAF.  She is fluent in her native Tohono O’odham language as well as English.

Selina Jesus – Education Program Coordinator
Barry Kitay

Barry has worked with Whirlygig Properties, LLC in Tucson, Arizona, from 1997 to present where he is the Designated Broker and has been involved in brokerage, acquisition, management and development of commercial real estate properties.  From 1988 to present, Barry has also been involved as a general partner with Nanbarry Investments, a commercial real estate investment company.  From 1973 to 1988, Barry worked in various capacities, for Sunset Industries, Inc., which was involved in the manufacturing and retailing of building materials.

He started out in the Peace Corps growing tomatoes in a village of subsistence farmers in Northeast Brazil. He is a research anthropologist and former director of the University of Arizona’s Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology in the School of Anthropology. He oversees numerous projects worldwide while teaching at the UA and doing hands-on field research. Finan just completed a school feeding project in seven countries. School feeding is used in developing countries as a means of providing meals to hungry children while also attracting them to school when they otherwise would be working in the fields or elsewhere to support their households. He is currently working in Bangladesh, Paraguay, Kenya, and Ethiopia – in addition to Brazil, where he has maintained a research program on climate change and 

governance in the same state where he grew tomatoes 40 years ago. Finan helped assemble the interdisciplinary UA team that developed the nation’s first master-of-science degree in disaster risk science and sustainable development (DRSSD). The team included the Office of Arid Lands, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, plus two private partners. This is primarily a distance-learning program at Bahir Dar University in the provincial capital of Amhara, the northern province of Ethiopia on the edge of Lake Tana and the headwaters of the Blue Nile River.

Timothy J. Finan



Pictured from let to right:

Mazey Ortega

Adan Saavedra

Rose Mendez

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