Sawana Grimmett Rep. Debbie Lesko and Christopher Gonzalez

From left are Sawana Grimmett, The Salt Spa and Anthem Area Leadership Academy program co-director; Rep. Debbie Lesko; and Christopher Gonzalez, loanDepot and academy program co-director.

Rep. Debbie Lesko visited the Anthem Area Leadership Academy to kick off its class of 2021. 

Lesko spoke at the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce and said she strives to stay connected to the community, directly and through her office staff. This was the second time she visited the academy and the chamber. 

During her presentation, Lesko shared her personal story of how curiosity drove her to get involved in politics. Her path began with volunteering in the district and, as she learned more about how the government works, her interest grew. 

In between stories, she encouraged the audience to get involved in the community. She recommended attending the district meetings and running for the local school board. 

The event was open to academy members as well as the board of directors. Nearly 15 community members arrived to meet Lesko and two members of her outreach team. 

The representative’s office is an Anthem Chamber of Commerce member, and she is regularly represented at events by Austin Roe.

The mission of the Anthem Area Leadership Academy is to empower aspiring leaders with the tools, experiences and networks necessary to address local and regional challenges and make a sustainable impact on social, community, and economic development. The academy launched in 2018, making this the third class.

The class of 2021 is Mark Atkinson, reverse mortgage specialist; Chuck Finzer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties; Natalie Gilliland, Poppies Flower Shop; Ryann Bader, Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce; Tatum Elliott, Speak Life Social Media Marketing; Jeff Huff, Desert Elite Group – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties; Mary Ellen Twohey, Uncorked Media Group and Vendvana; and Amanda Miller, Ink & Quill Communications. 

The academy program co-directors are Christopher Gonzalez, loanDepot, and Sawana Grimmett, The Salt Spa.