BOARD & STAFF
Philip LentzInterim Chair
PHILIP LENTZ retired after thirty years as a senior manager with the Boeing Company and its various subsidiaries. He served as the Mayor of Greendale, Missouri and on several non-profit boards including the University of Missouri Alumni Association, the Arizona Quality Alliance, the Harris Park Homeowners’ Association and the FFRF Valley of the Sun Chapter in Arizona. He was a volunteer with the Valley Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization and an adjunct professor for the National Graduate School. Philip holds an MBA in technology management, a bachelor of science in physics, and a bachelor of fine art in design.
RT JusticeVice Chair
RT Justice is a 5th generation Arizona native and a 4th generation member of the management team that owns and operates the Justice Brothers Ranch in Waddell, Arizona. He is active in agricultural advocacy, serving as a delegate during policy conferences. R.T. is a graduate of the University of Arizona, with bachelor's degrees in business management and entrepreneurship. During his studies at the University of Arizona he was an active member of the local Secular Student Alliance affiliate, and served as Events Coordinator from August 2013 to January 2015. A member of Secular AZ's Board since 2016, he looks to continue serving the Arizona secular community.
KEIRSTEN ANDERSON was a civil rights investigator for sixteen years at the Davenport Civil Rights Commission, and recently moved to Arizona. Keirsten has been an ardent supporter of secular government since she was shockingly exposed to school prayer and Bible discussion at her elementary school in Illinois. She has volunteered for several organizations in the past, and she is excited to explore what endeavors need her time and talent in Arizona. She also volunteers for ACLU of Arizona’s Smart Justice Campaign.
JOE BLANKENSHIP has been a Board Member of Secular Coalition for Arizona and Secular Communities (the 501(3)c affiliate of the Secular Coalition) for nearly three years. He had a successful career as a business professional with responsibilities for Strategic Planning for two Fortune 500 companies. He was CFO of a subsidiary of one of the Fortune 500 companies. He was also the President and CEO of a public company that addressed recycling and recovery of household and commercial waste. With the Secular Coalition, he has recruited speakers for the successful Secular Studies program presented at the Arizona Legislature. Joe writes on public policy issues and presents his conclusions to interested audiences. Current topics of interest are Quality Education and Separation of Church and State.
Aaron ConnorMember at Large
AARON CONNOR has focused his career in solving complex business problems with technical solutions. He currently works as a systems administrator for a mortgage company. His 24 years’ experience working in technical support and solutions has allowed Aaron the opportunity to work in financial services, renewable energy and education. Previously he has run for Maricopa County Assessor and feels a strong sense of duty to help his community grow. He is a supporter of helping organizations that support the separation of church and state and embrace science. Aaron was raised to do the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do. His inner drive and sense of service were handed down from his family. His mother was a nurse, his father was a police officer and they have raised their son with a strong commitment to community and family. He lives in Phoenix with his wife Sondra.
Luke DouglasMember at Large
LUKE DOUGLAS is a community organizer, activist and the Executive Director of the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. His passion is to facilitate community dialogue among people of all faiths and no faith at all and educate the public on the separation of religion and state.
Linsay EvansDirector of Development
LINSAY EVANS is Secular AZ's Director of Development. She is committed to — and passionate about — the benefits that secular values offer for all, with a special interest in the areas of education, reproductive rights and non-discrimination. Linsay holds a master's in library and information science and a master's in social anthropology; her research focused on the effects of religiously driven population policies on women's access to reproductive health care in the Global South. She's worked in development for non-profits and foundations, as a copywriter, and in community relations.
Mary GanapolMember at Large
MARY GANAPOL's interest in Arizona politics was cemented when she attended her first Secular Day at the Capital in 2018, part of a group of Freethought AZ members who brought a busload of Tucson folks to Phoenix. That day, Mary also found out about Period.org at the Planned Parenthood table and was inspired to start a Tucson chapter. Mary describes herself as an enthusiastic, optimistic volunteer who closely follows both local and national politics and understands how being vocal about local issues is critical to the political process. Now retired, Mary sees this chapter of life as a time to give back and be of service to the community. In addition to delivering free hygiene products to agencies throughout Tucson, she is passionate about bringing a death with dignity law to Arizonans through her work with the all volunteer, nonpartisan, non-sectarian grassroots organization Arizona End-of-Life Options.
Darrell HillMember at Large
DARRELL HILL is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Arizona. Darrell's work includes legal and non-legal advocacy in the areas of LGBT rights, the First Amendment, Equal Protection, Due Process, education law, voting rights, police practices, prisoner rights, criminal records and public records. Darrell has successfully litigated numerous case on behalf of the ACLU, including cases concerning Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act, public records law, and the First Amendment. Darrell has also provided testimony to the Arizona Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding voting rights and assisted the ACLU’s Demand to Learn campaign in creating a report concerning barriers to enrollment in Arizona charter schools-Schools Choosing Students. Darrell’s casework includes ongoing litigation and direct advocacy efforts in the areas of education law, voting rights and the First Amendment.
Whitney "Whit" JohnsonMember at Large
WHITNEY "WHIT" JOHNSON has held secular values his entire adult life. Even before he discovered there was a label for his belief system—Humanism. He was an early member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the AHA, and recently the Secular Coalition for Arizona. Whit is a retired Air Traffic Controller and currently owns two small businesses in Phoenix: JCN, LLC an independent Apple Consulting technology company, and HighGround Images, LLC, the first FAA sanctioned drone videography/photography company in the Phoenix area.
Robert PeoplesMember at Large
ROBERT PEOPLES is founder and Chair of Affinis Humanity Coalition (AHC); a nonprofit organization that normalizes Humanism one narrative at a time. He is a New Jersey native and currently resides in Tempe, Arizona. Prior to establishing the AHC, Robert operated a successful secular apparel line; making it to the semi-finals of “Phoenix Raw: natural born artists” fashion show. In the greater Phoenix area, he operated as a contract policy writer for the Department of Economic Security (DES). He also functioned as a corporate Diversity and Inclusion trainer for one of the largest behavioral health companies in Arizona. Through photography, video campaigns, and school presentations, he has reached national and international communities to bring awareness of the benefits of Humanism.
Dr. Gerae PetenMember at Large
DR. GERAE PETEN has decades of experience in education, starting out as a teacher, to an assistant principal to a principal, to a construction manager, to consultant, and finally retiring as a School District Superintendent. With a lifetime of experience in and around education and the industries that support it; NOW is the time for me to capitalize on my experience and education to benefit the COMMUNITY. The credentials that I bring to serve our communities include an earned a Doctorate in Education (Curriculum and Instruction), a Master of Science (Construction Management), a Master of Arts (Supervision and Administration) and a Bachelor of Arts (Vocational Education); all of which means I can relate to the struggles of the unskilled worker or the college graduate, the administrator wrestling with a budget or even the electrician trying to deal with new city codes. Now is the time for me to give back to our community the expertise and lessons I have learned from decades as an educator, 12 yrs. of active political engagement, a founding member of Legislative District 4; founder of the WV-NAACP, as well as being an Arizona State Representative for 3 years.
Dianne PostLegal Director & Member at Large
DIANNE POST received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. She was a family lawyer in Arizona for 18 years, representing mostly battered women and abused children, before beginning a career in international law primarily doing gender-based violence work. On the international level she has worked for the U.S., O.S.C.E., and the U.N. in Russia, Mongolia, Algeria, Cambodia, Kenya and other places. She coordinated the group in Russia that drafted the first trafficking law and worked with the former head of the Constitutional Court in Kenya to create a manual to train prosecutors to prosecute cases of sexual violence against children.
Tory RobergDirector of Government Affairs
TORY ROBERG is the lobbyist for Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ). She is a regular face at the Arizona State Legislature and works only for clients with missions and issues close to her heart. As a member of the Phoenix Atheist Meetup Group, Freethought Arizona and the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, Tory believes in the work of Secular AZ and considers it an honor to be the voice for Arizona's secular community. A former social worker, Tory’s political career began in 2005 when she was hired as a budget analyst for Governor Janet Napolitano. She has a history of working with various nonprofit issues-based advocacy groups in the state, most notably the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, where she has been responsible for crafting and implementing public policy and community outreach programs for seniors and retirees statewide. Her background also includes board development, strategic planning, grassroots issues campaigns, social media marketing, and direct and indirect lobbying. Tory holds a masters in Public Administration from Arizona State University and a bachelors in Family Studies from the University of Arizona. She is also a graduate of Emerge Arizona. Tory lives in Phoenix with her two very active children. She volunteers with Girl Scouts Arizona as a Brownie troop leader. In her spare time, she is an avid triathlete, and can often be found running, cycling or swimming.