Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace Board Members
Bill was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and is a descendant of Jose Ignacio Moraga, Commander of the Tucson Presidio in 1791. He received his B.A. from the University of Arizona in education and has a specialty in Special Education.He has been in retail for over 40 years and has held a various managerial and training specialist positions in Southern Arizona.His interests are his family, gardening, art, antiques, and travel. He has been a neighborhood advocate for over twenty years and neighborhood president for two decades. He currently serves on the Arizona State Liquor Board as the neighborhood representative.Bill and his wife, Denise, live in historic Colonia Solana located in the center of Tucson known for the landmark Roy Place Water Tower and the riparian area known as Arroyo Chico. They have one child, Alexandra.
Roger was born and raised in Michigan and received a B.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1965 in education. In 1969 he received an M.A. degree from SUNY-Brockport in educational administration. He has done post-masters work at both University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. He has been an educator since graduation and has taught or administered in Ann Arbor, MI, Ft. Defiance, AZ, Brockport, NY, Singapore, Vail, AZ and Tucson, AZ. His passions are his family, travel, public education, photography and Tucson’s prehistory and history. Roger has been a member of the City of Tucson Bond Project Advisory Committee since September 2013, and a member of the Sunday Evening Forum Advisory Board since December 2013. He has been a Neighborhood Representative of the COT ULI Implementation Committee since January 2014 and an Arizona Archeological Site Steward since October 2013. He has been Vice-Chair of Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace since 2011. He lives in the Mercado District of Menlo Park near the base of A Mountain with his wife, Vera. Both are retired. They have three “children”: Adin-39; Joshua-35; and Bree-33.
Currently serving as FOTB Legal Counsel rather than as Board Member, Phil is a native Tucsonan and virtually a life-long resident. He earned his B.A. from Arizona State University in 1971 and his law degree from the University of Arizona in 1973. He has practiced law in Tucson and throughout Arizona ever since. He also serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Pima County Superior Court. Phil has traveled extensively throughout Southern Arizona and Mexico by foot, horseback, automobile, bus and train. He has had a lifelong interest in the history and culture of native gardens, foods and drinks of the Southwest and Mexico. His spouse of 43 years, Anne-Marie, is a long-time educator who currently directs the Writing Program at the University of Arizona. They have three children: Josh, Megan and Aaron, and three grandchildren.
A native Tucsonan, Katya is passionate about our community: its history, its many cultures, its environment and its potential. She received a BA from the University of Arizona in French and Spanish literature. She studied at the UNAM in Mexico City, the Sorbonne, the Ecole de Sciences Politiques, and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. She received an MA in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research. As an activist gardener in NYC, she volunteered with youth and immigrant families in community gardens on the Lower East Side. While working at Housing Conservation Coordinators in Hell’s Kitchen, she joined together with the Green Guerillas and the Trust for Public Land to coordinate a national campaign to permanently preserve the Clinton Community Garden. Eventually, Katya and her family migrated back to Tucson where she worked in school science program evaluations, historic property management and retail. Currently she is a joint owner in a family retail business founded in 1931 and serves on several non-profit boards. Katya loves people, plants, food and life.
Nancy Tom and Richard Fe Tom
Nancy is a fourth generation Arizonan whose great-grandfather was one of the first Chinese to open a grocery store in the late 1800’s in Tempe, Arizona. She attended both Arizona State University and University of Arizona for a BS in Nutrition and Masters in Dietetics. Working as a dietitian for 10 years, she became the business manager for The Architecture Company founded by her husband, Richard Fe Tom. Nancy and Fe are long time west-side residents. They raised their two daughters and their business using the 90 year old adobe clubhouse of the former Silverbell Guest Ranch. Nancy has been active in community and professional organizations that foster creativity and self-esteem in youth, provide college scholarships to minority students, encourage individual growth and minority business development. Nancy’s interests include creative plant-based cooking, yoga, and how small water-smart gardens can be integrated into a busy schedule, a healthier diet and contribute to a more sustainable earth.
Fe is a first generation Chinese-American and received a Bachelor in Architecture from the University of Arizona. His passion for history, culture and architecture is intertwined with culturally and environmentally sensitive architectural projects such as, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, Origins Master Plan, Presidio San Agustin del Tucson reconstruction, Grand Canyon West Visitor’s Center, Native Seeds/ SEARCH Conservation Center, Salinas Chinatown Revitalization Master Plan and Nature Conservancy Headquarters. As past president of the Tucson Chinese Association his involvement with the Chinese Garden at Mission Gardens allows him to combine his interests of history, culture in creating “Healing Places and Empowering Spaces” the tag line of his architectural firm, The Architecture Company. He is currently serving as City of Tucson’s design professional and has been awarded local, state and national historic design awards for preservation and planning.
Native Tucsonan, married for 40 years with three children. Graduate from University of Arizona with a Bachelors of Science and from Arizona State University with a Masters in Social Work. Completed post graduate studies at Brandeis University at the Heller School for Policy Analysis. For the last 40 years, Raul has worked in clinical and juvenile correctional settings providing counseling services to high risk minority families and children.Active in community affairs and has served on the Tucson Model Cities Advisory Committee, Arizona Board Chapter for NASW, San Agustin Parish Council, TUSD Desegregation Committee, Nostros Board of Directors, and Patronato de Kino Board. Raul currently serves as President of los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson.
Diana recently retired from the University of Arizona, where she served as Associate Curator of Ethnohistory and director of the Arizona State Museum’s Office of Ethnohistorical Research, where she specialized in the translation and editing of Spanish historical documents.With degrees in archaeology and history from Washington University and the University of Arizona, her work continued to focus on the history of land use and ecological change in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. A former rancher, she is currently writing a history of the cattle industry on the United States-Mexico border. She has co-authored several book-length ethnoecological land use histories for the Bureau of Land Management and the U. S. Forest Service, including studies of Aravaipa Canyon, the San Rafael Valley, the Bonita Creek area, the Arizona/New Mexico Borderlands area, and the upper San Pedro River watershed. She is co-editor of The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain, 1700-1765 (University of Arizona Press, 1997). She participated in the citizen planning teams for the Mission San Agustín Master Plan (1991) and the Tucson Origins Plan (2001) and, as part of the WLB Group design team, wrote the historical overview for the Tucson Origins Heritage Park Master Plan (2003). She has served on the boards of the Center for Desert Archaeology, Native Seeds/SEARCH, the Research Ranch Foundation, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, the Northern Jaguar Project, the Jewish History Museum, and as a commissioner on the Tucson Pima County Historical Commission. She has organized conferences on grassland restoration, Native American sacred sites, deforestation in the Sierra Madres, the ecology of the prairie dog, restoration of the Santa Cruz River, and chaired a conference on the Tucson Mission Garden (2006) which brought dozens of experts on Spanish Colonial agriculture and mission construction to Tucson.
Amanda was raised on the historic San Ignacio de la Canoa Ranch, south of Tucson. Her father, Jesus, was a vaquero. Her mother, Dolores, was an active gardener. Her garden provided the family with food, herbal remedies and flowers. Amanda graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in Spanish and Sociology. She worked at the Pima County Juvenile Court Center as a probation officer, later returning to the University of Arizona for a degree in Library Science. Amanda retired from the Tucson-Pima Public Library after working there for nearly 30 years. She participated in Teatro del Pueblo, served on the Tucson-Pima Historic Commission and was a member of REFORMA, a national organization to promote library services to Latinos. She currently serves on the Canoa Ranch Conservation Committee and the Pima County Library Board. Amanda’s interests include preserving Mexican-American culture and history in Southern Arizona. She and her husband, Tomas, live in Armory Park. They have two children, Maya and Javier, and three grandchildren.
Tomás is a native Tucsonan, residing in the Armory Park neighborhood with his wife of 42 years Amanda, with two children, and three grandchildren. He attended schools in Tucson Unified School District, and the University of Arizona. He was employed by the City of Tucson, and by Pima County for a total of 34 years, in Community Development, and Real Property Services. He retired from Pima County as Real Property Services Supervisor, in a unit that purchased, managed and disposed of County property, reviewed developments for property issues, and provided relocation assistance to persons or businesses moving as a result of acquisition of property.
He has served as a member of the Pima County Affirmative Action Advisory Commission, 1974-75, and the Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission from 1976 to 1980. From 1981 to 1988 he served two 4 year terms on the Tucson Unified School District governing board. He has since served on committees advising Pima County on Kino Hospital, and the City of Tucson on Facilities, and City Manager selection. He has also served on the Armory Park Neighborhood Historical Advisory Board, and the Five Points Coalition that has worked with the Armory Park Neighborhood Association, Barrio Viejo, Santa Rosa and Santa Rita Neighborhoods working to improve the Five Points intersection and South Sixth and Stone Avenues.
Jesús Manuel García was born and raised in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, México. In 1987, after finishing a degree in Elementary Education, (Escuela Normal del Estado) in Hermosillo, Sonora, he moved to Tucson, Arizona. In 1996 he returned to school and attended Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. By December of 2001 he completed a Bachelor degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in cultural Anthropology. Jesus has been associated with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum since 1991, first as a Docent then as a bilingual educator. He is currently an Education Specialist, teaching natural history programs to the Hispanic community of the Tucson area schools and schoolteachers and youth in the border region of the state of Sonora, Mexico. He is also Director of the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees program. His many interests include conservation biology, music, drawing, cultural ecology, languages, and gardening.