Veronica Cruz Mercado
Veronica Cruz-Mercado is a Tucson marketing professional and small business owner. As a sixth generation Tucsonan, Veronica cares deeply about her community and the people in it.
A former journalist, Veronica has written for The Arizona Daily Star, #ThisIsTucson, La Estrella de Tucson and the Santa Fe New Mexican. She has previously worked in community engagement and outreach at the University of Arizona, and in administration for performance art venues.
Veronica volunteers as a member of El Rio Vecinos, a Girl Scouts troop leader and for her daughter’s school PTA. She has previously volunteered for Literacy Connects and the Arizona Student Media Advisory Board. She spends her free time in the kitchen testing paleta recipes, and in the community either participating in service projects or supporting local vendors, artists and makers at pop-up markets.
Adam Lopez Falk
A fifth generation Arizonan, Adam Lopez Falk joined the Arizona Community Foundation as Community Program Officer in August 2021. In this role, Adam advances ACF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work by deepening connections to Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color-led nonprofits, with a focus on Central and Southern Arizona and the borderlands of Arizona and Sonora.
Prior to ACF, he oversaw statewide operations for Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute. Adam also served 3 terms as an elected school board member in the Alhambra Elementary School District.
He lives in Phoenix with his wife Angelina and daughter, Arizona.
Nick is a community builder who has spent the past decade working in the public sector. He is currently an Assistant Director for Government and Community Relations with the University of Arizona where he is responsible for several philanthropic initiatives to give back to the community. Prior to that, he worked with nonprofits, governments, and advocacy organizations to support and educate the public. He is a proud graduate of Greater Tucson Leadership’s Lead Tucson Program and spends his free time gardening, hiking, or sampling tacos around town.
A first-generation American, Danny became the first in his family to obtain a bachelors degree. Since then, he has amassed over a decade of professional experiences in political and policy advocacy; issue and electoral organizing; and program/campaign development and administration at the local, state and national level. Currently, he serves as the Community Impact and Learning Specialist for ALL in Education based in Phoenix.
Danny also continues to mobilize Arizonans by sharing his story as a diversity, equity and inclusion speaker and facilitator. Danny is a Marine Corps veteran turned organizer, having lobbied directly for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Danny’s story — which helped shine a light on the injustices facing LGBT service members — was featured in NPR, CNN, Washington Post, Univision and others, and included in the book “Our Time.”
Irene McKisson is the cofounder and Principal Executive of Arizona Luminaria. Before that she spent 18 years in local news at the Arizona Daily Star where she started as a designer and copy editor and became the General Manager of Niche Audience Development, co-founding and editing #ThisIsTucson. She is a past ONA speaker and member of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator cohort; a participant and speaker in Google News Initiative programs including the Google Audience Lab, GNI Innovation Challenge and GNI Startup Boot Camp with LION; she is a GNI fellow in the 2022 class of the Media Transformation Challenge at Poynter and among the recipients of a 2019 Tow Center for Digital Journalism research grant. She has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Arizona for six years teaching editing.