Board of Directors
Calgary Committee Chair
Bob graduated the University of Alberta (Canada) with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1978. Prior to immigrating to Phoenix in 1985, he joined Xerox Canada for 4 years. He then ran his own construction company prior to joining ComputerLand of Edmonton at the outset of the personal computer era.
Shortly after transferring to ComputerLand of Phoenix, he partnered to found Computer Solutions/Valcom Southwest, growing that computer sales organization to 4 locations in Tempe, Tucson, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
He was recruited by MicroAge Computer Centers where he spent a 14-year career as a director, leading franchise development, and VP of sales for the West.
Bob joined US Web (the first national web development firm) in Santa Clara, CA in 1996. He led their franchise development efforts in the western US and Canada, culminating with a successful IPO, when he returned to Tempe and MicroAge HQ.
Bob joined Nextel Communications/Sprint in 2001, spending the next 13 years leading their local wireless data sales team in Arizona and New Mexico, before moving into account management of their wireless data sales at the Fortune 300 account level across the US.
In 2014, Bob created Right On Target Clay Guides of AZ (shotgun sports provider) and Southwest Mobile Apps, which he currently operates today.
Bob enjoys the outdoors, saddle horses, and coaching youth in shotgun sports.
Board Secretary | Himeji Committee Chair
Genevieve Burns graduated from San Jose State University with a Master's in Library and Information Science and from Northern Arizona University with Bachelor's degrees in International Affairs, emphasis on Asian Studies, and Communications Studies. She has worked in public libraries and youth-oriented nonprofits and programs for the last decade. A librarian and lifelong martial artist, she enjoys travel and has lived in two of our sister cities countries. She is married to a Soto Zen priest and is raising two dogs.
Taipei Committee Chair | Committee Chairs Representative to the Executive Committee
Wen Chyi Chiu graduated from Arizona State University, majored in Journalism and Communications. Wen Chyi Chiu’s specialties are Global Relations, Public Relations and Media Relations. As Chairwoman for Taipei Sister Cities, Taipei Sister Cities received three years in a roll, the Best Sister Cities titles in 2009-2012. Wen Chyi Chiu has been devoting, volunteering, contributing, and serving American, Asian, Taiwanese, and Chinese Communities and Phoenix Sister Cities for over 25 years to promote education, STEM/STEAM, sister schools, police and fire exchanges, youth ambassadors, global friendship, arts, culture, sports, business, solar energy, and high technology. She is the Founding Executive Board Member and President for Global Federation of Chinese Business Woman Arizona Chapter, and she is current Principal of Arizona Chinese Mandarin and Culture Academy, and Executive Director of Taipei Culture Summer Camp. Wen Chyi Chiu received many awards including the Recipient of Southern California and Arizona Outstanding Young Leader Award, US Congress Congressional Recognition for Community Service, Arizona Governor Award for Community Contributions, Outstanding Citizenship Award, Volunteer Medal International Award of Circle of Distinguish Volunteer Global Citizenship Award from Phoenix Sister Cities International, and Phoenix Sister Cities Taipei Sister Cities Volunteer of the Year, among other recognitions.
Misty Cisneros-Contreras is the Customer Service Manager at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. She enjoys working with a team to provide the best guest experience for all passengers and maintaining the reputation of being America’s Friendliest Airport. Misty recently celebrated 10 years with the City of Phoenix. During her tenure she has worked in the Street Transportation Department and the International Relations Office with Phoenix Sister Cities. She is a mother of two young daughters, Dolcé (5) and Luna (2) that keep her and her husband, Aaron, very busy. Misty is an Arizona sports enthusiast, enjoys thrifting and being a very involved mother in all of her daughter’s activities.
A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, Oscar De las salas is an award-winning international architectural designer with more than two decades of experience with municipal and community development projects. Since 2017, he has served as Design Manager, Business Development lead and is currently a Client Relationships Manger in the Gensler Phoenix office, reporting to the Southwest Region.
Oscar completed his Master’s in Architecture and Interior Architecture by the University of Salamanca in 1998 and moved directly to Arizona to study the works of Frank Lloyd Wright to write his thesis project about “American Modernism through the eye of Frank Lloyd Wright”. His European tenure allowed him to pursue internships an Interior Architect and work in the EU within several European countries, He became the Visual Design Manager at-large for the prestigious Italian interior design firm: Cassina.
Oscar’s early career led him to serve as Project Architect, and as the Interior Finishes specification lead and field coordination superintendent for four U.S. Embassies around the world: Bolivia, Colombia, Singapore, and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. As a curious note, Oscar held US Government Clearance Type 3 (Top Secret) while working side by side with the Federal Building Office team in Washington D.C., all via Facsimile and during the early days of email correspondence. Ask him about the protocol to send secured architectural details of the ambassador’s office or the U.S. Marine’s headquarters information back then.
Oscar’s work with the community in Arizona has developed into a variety of volunteering efforts with local charities, He was recognized for his contribution to the community by the Arizona House of Representatives and in 2019, and June 29, his birthday, was declared “Oscar Day” by City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, and last month of August 2022, a recognition by the Arizona State Legislature during the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations for his contributions to the state of Arizona.
Oscar has served for 14 years as a member of the board of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), he is a board member with Phoenix Art Museum, Friends of Phoenix Public Art, ArtLink, Southwest Shakespeare, Vice-Chair of the Urban Land Institute Arizona Chapter, Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, committee, and global ambassador for PROCOLOMBIA, a government agency of the Executive Branch of the Government of Colombia in charge of promoting Colombian non-traditional exports, international tourism and foreign investment. Oscar is currently a Commissioner for the Phoenix Sisters Cities and chair of the Colombia commission in search of a sisterhood with a city in his native Colombia
Oscar’s community and media involvement locally, making him a familiar face when it comes to the world of design and style.
Born and raised in the heart of farmland in Ohio. Moved to Arizona in 1975 and have been a resident ever since.
Began career in beverage industry beginning with Pepsi Cola for 18 years. Then transitioned to the water business where I have been a manager for the next 20 plus years.
In early 2000 had an opportunity to serve on Surface Transportation Advisory Committee representing District 5 and Councilmen Claude Mattox. Also helped to support Maryvale Revitalization especially with water donations. Also previously served on school board in Tempe.
Very excited to be a part of the Sister Cities team and look forward to all of the opportunities that await.
Emilio Gaynor serves as president of the CPLC Global Business LLC and as Director of International Development for Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) where he heads international relations and development efforts. In this role, Emilio has accomplished great success in connecting Mexican businesses with resources to help make them successful in Arizona resulting in millions of dollars in foreign direct investment. He has also led high level business and government missions to Mexico connecting trade, investment, business and philanthropic partners as well as done the reverse, bringing the same types of groups to the United States. Serving the social sector, he has launched efforts of collaboration between non-profit organizations and foundations on both sides of the border. Emilio regularly contributes to Spanish publications in Sonora and Arizona including La Cueva de Los D-backs infield monthly magazine, Frontera Norte and an OpEd piece he prepared, featuring the Hermosillo Sister City relationship, was published in the Arizona Republic/Phoenix Business Journal. He has executed opportunities for the immigrant community to connect with their federal elected officials and support services. He has extensive experience in international relations and development having headed delegations and business efforts in Mexico and Latin America for over 20 years. Emilio worked in the executive branch for two governors as representative of the State of Arizona in Sonora, Mexico and as Executive Director of the Arizona Mexico Commission in the Office of the Governor. He also served as development director for Latin America for an aerospace design firm and a communications services company selling and providing services in Mexico and South America.
Emilio has created programs for non-profits and has managed large-scale public information and outreach programs projects such as Federal Aviation Administration housing relocation program for the city of Phoenix and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in Maricopa County. He headed government and community relations for Arizona’s largest Hispanic advertising and promotions firm. Emilio served as general manager for Delaware North, one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. He also represented an international mining distribution and service venture that focused on Chile, Peru, and Mexico.
Emilio’s community and civic contributions include serving as Chair of the PSC Business Relations Committee, Chair of the Arizona Diamondbacks Los D-backs Ambassador Council and is a former member and served as Chair of the Phoenix Board of Adjustment. HE also served as Chair of the Phoenix Sister Cities Hermosillo Committee, and has served on the board of the Border Health Foundation and World Affairs Council and the Easter Seals. Emilio was born I Mexico City, has worked in Paraguay, Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Chile in addition to having lived in Mexico. Emilio has the fortune of being married to Monica, who is originally from Hermosillo, and has two children, Samantha born in Hermosillo and Arturo born in Phoenix.
Commission Member | Suwon Committee Chair
Jacob Heinrich is an Assurance Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in its Southwest market. He began his career in Detroit, MI followed by a three-year role in the Denver, CO and is currently based in Phoenix. PwC is a professional services firm delivering assurance, tax and consulting services for its clients. It operates as a network of firms across 157 countries with over 272,000 employees.
Jacob currently serves clients within the Technology, Media and Entertainment sector providing financial statement audit services. He has expertise in SEC Reporting, Technical & Financial Accounting, Project Management, and Financial Planning, Analysis & Controls. Additionally, Jacob fosters an environment of inclusiveness along with delivering client value with a focus on empathy. Having served multinational clients and working with audit firms across the world, Jacob has developed a value of cultural immersion and international understanding.
Jacob is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of Arizona Society of CPAs, Michigan Association of CPAs, and the American Institute of CPAs. He obtained his B.A. from Albion College (MI).
Prague Committee Chair
Ennis Committee Chair
Lin Ling Lee’s motto is “Educate younger generations today to become leaders of tomorrow." Lee believes international perspectives, ties, exchanges, cooperation, and unity are important for the world. Lee has devoted more than 30 years to build leadership roles in Taiwanese, Chinese, Asian, and American organizations as President, Principal, Chair, Director, and Advisor. Lee’s specialties include Global Relations, Public Relations, Education, Arts, Culture, and Business. Lee is Taiwan Overseas Community Affairs Council Advisor, recognized by the Taiwan Government and President.
Lee’s awards include Phoenix USA Hometown Hero, US Congressional Recognition for Volunteer Service, Arizona Governor Recognition for Community Service, Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award, US Presidential Award for Volunteer Service, Medal of Honor from Taiwan Overseas Community Affairs Council, City of Scottsdale Diversity Champion Award, Phoenix Mayor’s Partnership Award, Outstanding Principal of the Year, Arizona Women Impact Award, Taiwan International Outstanding Woman Award, Outstanding Citizenship Award for Arizona Asian American Association, Volunteer Medal International Award of Circle of Distinguish Volunteer Global Citizenship Award from Phoenix Sister Cities International, Phoenix Sister Cities Taipei Sister Cities Volunteer of the Year, Friend of Taipei City Council Gold Plaque, and much more.
Over the course of his more than 18 year career in government, Mr. Lujan has earned the reputation of being a problem solver and consensus builder. He specializes in navigating clients through the process of doing business with government and serves as the ambassador between our clients and government agencies. With experience on the local, state, and federal level, Mr. Lujan knows how government works. He assists clients with developing a clear and simple strategy for navigating through government agencies. Knowing that relationships are essential, he often leverages his contacts in government on behalf of our clients. Gaining access to key decision makers is an essential part of his work with our clients. Mr. Lujan is a registered lobbyist in Phoenix and Los Angeles.
His elected and appointed offices have included Mayor of the City of La Puente, Director of the Southern California Air Quality Management District, President of the La Puente Water District, and Vice President of the California League of Cities City Selection Committee. His private sector experience includes government relations and lobbying positions within various industries in real estate, textiles, recycling, communications, and education.
Mr. Lujan graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a B.A.in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). He also holds a Master’s in Secondary Education (M.Ed.) from Loyola Marymount University (LMU).
Catania Committee Chair
Ralph Marchetta was promoted to the position of General Manager, Sr. Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Services in August, 2007. As General Manager, Ralph oversees all operations of the US Airways Center. In addition to servicing professional sports teams that include the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and the Arizona Rattlers, Ralph books all events at US Airways Center including working with the NBA, WNBA, and AFL to schedule all regular season and pre season games. Ralph has booked hundreds of concerts including Barbra Streisand, U2, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Vicente Fernandez, Juan Gabriel, Andrea Bocelli and many others. Ralph has extensive relationships with Feld Entertainment (Disney on Ice and Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus), World Wrestling Entertainment and many other family show and concert promoters. Ralph has been at US Airways Center since prior to the venue’s opening in 1992.
In managing US Airways Center as a key asset to the community, Ralph works with the leadership of the City of Phoenix, Phoenix City Council and Downtown Phoenix Partnership. In addition, Ralph serves as a board member of the Phoenix Police Department Reserve Foundation, the Phoenix Sister Cities and the Boys and Girls Club.
Ralph graduated from Arizona State University.
Commission Member Board Chair Elect
Bruce E. Meyerson is a mediator, arbitrator, and trainer in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center (1972) where he was an Editor of the Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University. Mr. Meyerson was the founder and first Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. He served on the Arizona Court of Appeals for almost five years where he heard over 1000 appeals. He served as General Counsel of Arizona State University from 1986 to 1990. From 1990 through 2000, Mr. Meyerson practiced commercial and employment litigation in Phoenix. Since 2000, his practice has focused on conflict resolution. He is a Past Chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and the State Bar of Arizona ADR Section. He is an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University College of Law teaching courses in all aspects of dispute resolution, including Mediation and Arbitration. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, the International Academy of Mediators, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the College of Commercial Arbitrators. He serves as a board member of the American Arbitration Association Foundation. He is the Chair of the City of Phoenix Civil Service Board and a member of the City of Phoenix Police and Fire Pension Board.
Board Member Executive Committee Member-At-Large
Francesca Miller is Vice President, Business Development for Multistudio and a dedicated citizen of Arizona. She has called Arizona home twice. The first time was from 2000 to 2006 and after residing in New York for ten years, Francesca returned to Arizona in 2016, eager to give back to the community.
From 2000 to 2006, Francesca was a member of several boards and commissions including the City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission, Phoenix Advisory Board for the Steele Children's Research Center and Phoenix Body Positive (Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS). She traveled in 2004 as a member of the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission on the inaugural trip to Ramat Gan, Israel.
New York provided Francesca with the opportunity to sit on the Board of Overseers for the Katonah Museum of Art and for five years, she was the driving force behind the museum’s annual fundraising gala. Francesca was also a member of the host committee for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research Race 4 A Cure from 2014 to 2016.
While residing in New York, Francesca was Director of Operations for a global hedge fund, Chief of Staff for an investment professional and established a full-service marketing and business development firm.
Upon moving back to Arizona in 2016, Francesca rejoined the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission and currently participates on committees including: Mayor’s International Committee, New Sister City Committee, Executive Committee, Ramat Gan Committee and chairs the Nominating Committee.
Francesca is on the Advisory Board of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and is a Golden PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers) for the Steele Children’s Research Center.
Grenoble Committee Chair | Board Treasurer
Jacqueline Palmenberg has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emmanuel College in Boston, and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Maine in Orono. She worked for 38 years in fundraising and administrative positions for non-profits, and now consults for national charities. She is on the boards of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona, and the City of Phoenix Library Foundation.
Jacqueline is of French-Canadian descent, and joined the Grenoble Committee in 2018, becoming Chair in 2019. She and husband, Roger, have two children and six grandchildren.
Ramat-Gan Committee Chair
Born and raised in Israel, Edna graduated from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, following her military service in the IDF.
Upon arriving in the US, Edna obtained a Masters degree in Bible and Cognate Studies from the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, and then a Doctorate in Education from the University of Cincinnati. She has devoted her professional life not only to teaching undergraduate and graduate level students, offering a variety of dynamic courses pertaining to Judaica, but also to serving as a school Principal within the Jewish communities in which she has lived. In that capacity she has worked hard to develop innovative curricula and engaging learning opportunities to children and adolescents. She has trained both parents and teachers, offering creative workshops, which aimed at establishing partnership between the school and the home.
Making Phoenix her home away from her native country, Edna is passionate about the betterment of her Phoenix community at large, and has lent her creativity and energy to a number of community endeavors. She joined the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Children’s Service, where she has held several positions, including a two-time tenure as a board chair. With over 25 years of service to JFCS, Edna continues to find her work on that board both rewarding and inspirational. She is interested in the well functioning of non- profit boards, and is an advocate of the Governance Board Model.
Edna is proud to call herself a Phoenician. She is awestruck by the majestic beauty of the desert, the strength and resilience of our communities, and the ever growing and evolving Phoenix art scene. She is enthusiastic about the mission and vision of PSC. As chairperson of the Ramat- Gan Committee, Edna is looking forward to infusing the committee with new ideas and renewed energy, while collaborating with others for a more global impact.
Board Member Immediate Past Chair
Chiko is an attorney with Copperpoint Mutual Insurance Companies. She has a Master’s degree in International Trade Law from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law. Prior to working for Copperpoint , Chiko worked for the Pima County Public Defender’s office in Tucson. She speaks Ibo (a Nigerian language). She has lived on three continents. She has two grown children. Her son lives in the UK and her daughter lives here in Phoenix. She loves to travel and meet new people and experience new cultures.
Disability Awareness Committee Chair
Ms. Trunzo is the Clinical Director of the Arizona Institute for Communication and Cognitive Disorders and is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist. She has worked extensively with children and adults with acquired and traumatic brain injuries for over thirty years. Her practice has specialized in a community-based rehabilitation paradigm with a clinical philosophy of empowerment for clients, family members and all stakeholders involved in an individual’s rehabilitation and return to maximum skill and independence.
Ms. Trunzo also has co-authored a clinical textbook entitled "Communication and Coping Skills" and has accomplished research in the area of neurogenic-based communication disorders. She has lectured and provided training and workshops on Traumatic Brain Injury (particularly in the area of Post-Concussive Disorders and Pediatric Brain Injury) throughout Arizona, United States, Europe, Asia, and Mexico. Ms. Trunzo has received numerous awards for her outstanding work in the area of Acquired Brain Injury and for her volunteer efforts to promote the capabilities of persons with disabilities across all disability categories. She also is a member of Valley Leadership, identifying her leadership role in the community.
In 1998, Ms. Trunzo co-founded the Disabilities Awareness Committee (DAC) of the Phoenix Sister Cities, which has received the prestigious National Disability Advocacy Award on multiple occasions for recognition of community leadership in the area of promoting disability awareness both in the United States and globally. Throughout the 20 years plus volunteering with DAC, Ms. Trunzo been actively involved in the development and ongoing continuation of ICAD, ICWD, the Bear and Book Holiday Fundraiser and other collaborative projects with both local disability groups and our fellow sister cities. Ms. Trunzo’s passion for improving the lives of persons with disabilities is her motivation for guiding DAC to even greater accomplishments in the future.
Hermosillo Committee Chair
Marty is Managing Director of the Americas for Desert Control, stopping and reversing desertification and soil degradation.
Previously, he spent 11+ years with EXOS where he was its first VP of Sales and later VP of Strategic Business. He joined EXOS when it was about 30 employees and it grew to near 5000 staff at the time of his departure.
His business experience includes the telecom, wholesale distribution and pharmaceutical industries. Marty graduated Furman University (South Carolina) in addition to earning a MS and a MBA from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Marty’s international business experience includes 30+ countries including China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Australia, Russia, Germany, UK, Colombia, Brazil, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Israel. As a services exporter with Marty's leadership, EXOS was recognized by the City of Phoenix as an inaugural winner of “Service Exporter of the Year” in 2015 and the “Export Excellence” Award from Arizona District Export Council the same year. In 2016, they were awarded the President’s (POTUS) “E” Award for Exporting Excellence. Fast Company magazine recognized EXOS in its “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” lists in 3 different years of Marty's tenure.
Marty, born in Eastern Tennessee, has been married to Susan Speliopoulos, a Phoenix AZ native, since 2008. They have 3 daughters; Savannah, Alexandra and Makenna.
Board Chair | Youth & Education Committee Chair
Melissa Werner is Director of University Ceremonies and Protocol Officer at Arizona State University and co-founder of the North American Association of Commencement Officers (NAACO).
A native of Tempe, Arizona and a long-time employee of ASU, Melissa has held positions as an academic advisor, program coordinator, development officer and event planner.
In 1999 Melissa and Carol Switzer (1944-2011), co-founded NAACO, a professional association for commencement and graduation professionals from across the United States and Canada. Melissa served as the NAACO Charter President, coordinator of the inaugural conference in 2000 and chair for the 2007 conference.
Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and is a certified Protocol Officer through the Protocol School of Washington®.