2016 Man and Woman of the Year:

Debby Elliott

Debby Elliot is a long-time resident of Mesa who has been active in numerous community non-profit organizations for many years. She has a distinguished record of volunteer service that encompasses arts and humanities as well as human services. These include the Desert Club of Mesa, Mesa Parks and Recreation Board, Mesa Arts Center Foundation, Mesa Historical Museum /Society, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Mesa Education Foundation and Marc Community Resources. One of her nominators stated that “while some imitate, Debby originates; while some accept status quo, Debby challenges it; and while some say, something must be done, Debby always says, I must do something”. Another nominator stated that “Debby Elliot is the epitome of the Mesa Woman of the Year. She has donated innumerable volunteer hours to a wide variety of Mesa organizations; She has clearly provided leadership excellence, serving on the boards, often as an officer of many of these groups; Debbie sets positive examples and motivations for others”.

 Mike Whalen

Mike Whalen is a prominent and well-known civic leader, community volunteer and businessman. He was elected to the Mesa Council in 2000, and served two four year terms. Prior to being elected to the City Council, Mike worked for the Mesa Police Department where he rose to the rank of Assistant Police Chief. During his time with the Mesa Police Department, Mike was active in Regional, Statewide and National Police organizations

Along with his professional and political service, Mike has served on a wide array of community non–profit Boards. The following is a partial listing of some of the Boards that he has served on: Community Bridges, A New Leaf, Mesa Historical Society, Mesa Public Safety Foundation, Visit Mesa, Mesa Community Action Network. He has been active in the Mesa HoHoKams for over 40 years serving as the Big Ho in 2014 and 2015. He is the Past President of Community Bridges and has spent nearly 20 years raising awareness about issues of addiction and helping individuals who are trying to improve their lives. His nominators said: “ it is hard not to look at Mike and think that maybe I could do more. He isn’t a complainer, he’s an “in the trenches get it done worker”; a bridge builder and a problem solver. His volunteerism has benefitted thousands”.

Debby Elliott is a Mesa native who has been active in numerous community non-profit organizations for many years. She has a distinguished record of volunteer service that encompasses arts and humanities as well as human services. These include the Desert Club of Mesa, Mesa Parks and Recreation Board, Mesa Arts Center Foundation, Mesa Historical Museum /Society, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Mesa Education Foundation and Marc Community Resources. One of her nominators stated that “while some imitate, Debby originates; while some accept status quo, Debby challenges it; and while some say, something must be done, Debby always says, I must do something”. Another nominator stated that “Debby Elliott is the epitome of the Mesa Woman of the Year. She has donated innumerable volunteer hours to a wide variety of Mesa organizations; She has clearly provided leadership excellence, serving on the boards, often as an officer of many of these groups; Debby sets positive examples and motivations for others”.