In 1967, while working for the Head Start Program, Dr. Arnold wrote the first PPEP, Inc. grant proposal submitted to the Tucson War on Poverty Program, which was initiated by the Presidents Kennedy/Johnson Administrations. The initial funding was for $19,000, from which he bought a 48 passenger 1957 Chevrolet school bus known as “La Tortuga” (the tortoise). Dr. Arnold was the driver, mechanic and school teacher imparting practical educational teachings to help the Bracero farmworkers prepare themselves to be productive in our society. Having lived in Mexico, he understood first-hand what it was to live and study in an unfamiliar society with a different language and culture.
From PPEP’s humble beginnings aboard La Tortuga 49 years ago, Dr. Arnold, the PPEP Board of Directors and dedicated staff have sought to carry out the dreams to “improve the quality of life” of the farmworkers and rural poor whom visited the bus in those formative years. His work has been cited as national models 10 times in U.S. Congressional Records, including citations by U.S. Congressmen Udall, Kolbe, Pastor, Grijalva, Giffords, and Senators: DeConcini, McCain, Kyl and Enzi of Wyoming. His programs have been honored twice at the White House, among numerous other recognitions nationally and internationally. US Congressman, Ed Pastor wrote “It is your vision and energy that transformed ‘La Tortuga’ into a major force for ‘Improving the quality of life in Arizona and the world”. US Senator, Mike Enzi wrote, “you may be the most innovative person I know. It’s always fascinating to learn of your new and intriguing advances, plus being a voice for the migrant farmworker and their kids.” Senator McCain stated “Ultimately much of our future depends on programs such as PPEP” www.ppep.org.
Barbara Coronado joined the PPEP administration in 1999; bringing over 20 years experience in finance for non-profit organizations. Prior to joining PPEP, she was a Contract/Audit specialist for Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, Inc. In 2002, Barbara was appointed Director of Finance for PPEP Inc. responsible for the overall financial operations of the organization. In 2006 she was named a Chief Administrative Officer and appointed to PPEP’s Management Team.
In 2012 Barbara was appointed as PPEP’s Chief Operations Officer, responsible for the daily operations of all PPEP office functions and managing the organization’s day-to-day operations and reporting them to the Chief Executive Officer. Barbara also works to ensure the ongoing maintenance and updating of various information systems and infrastructure to provide accurate and relevant programmatic and financial information.
Barbara was awarded the PPEP Employee of the Year in 2003. A native Tucsonan, she is active in her community and volunteers by providing accounting services and assistance to various small businesses.
In July of 1987, Kari began working with PPEP, Inc. Kari has been with the organization going on 33 years. She holds the position of Deputy CEO and oversees eight of the program divisions and staff for the corporation. She Kari holds a BSB in Business Management, graduated with honors Lamda Sigma Delta Mu Delta Honors Society for International Business and held the position of Chapter Vice President for 2 years.
Kari is involved in two regional associations to include the Rocky Mountain HI Association and the Western Alliance of Farmworker Advocates, is on the Executive committee of the National Association of Farmworker Opportunities Program and sits on the National Board for YouthBuild USA. In Arizona, she sits on the WIOA workforce board in Pima County and is involved as a partner with Yuma, La Paz, Cochise, Maricopa, Pinal, Graham/Greenlee, and Santa Cruz workforce boards. Kari has participated and been involved with the Marana Prevention Alliance to educate on topics to decrease underage drinking and drug use, and a part of other community coalitions and programs supporting youth and adult initiatives in Arizona. She has worked to develop sustainable partnerships in the creation of innovative training programs, to include an Aircraft Structures program in partnership with Bombardier and Pima County Workforce, providing career pathways in demand occupations and a pipeline of trained individuals for industry.
Kari is a lifelong learner, an avid reader, an advocate to those who are less fortunate and advocates for staff development in areas of understanding trauma based behaviors, motivational interviewing and pathways to progress. Her motto: “Dream Fearlessly, for your desire to succeed to should be greater than your fear of Failure”. Her mission: “We Change Lives” and incorporates that in all that she does and in the programs she operates. Her goal is to become an independent consultant, develop programs that promote opportunity, deal with at risk populations, and provide an avenue encompassing economic development and self-sustainability.
Roxanna Gonzalez, MA, LISAC, LAC is the Executive Director of PPEP Inc. Integrated Care division. She oversees the Behavioral Health and Intellectual Developmental Disability programs and services provided by PPEP, Inc. Reporting to the C.E.O., she is a key member of the PPEP, Inc. executive management team.
Roxanna has been employed with PPEP for a combination of 14 years as the Behavioral Health Clinical Director and Clinician. She has many years of management expertise included in her 20 years of providing clinical services to individuals and families in Arizona. She was previously employed as a supervisor with Southeastern Arizona Behavioral Health services where she managed outpatient clinics. In addition, her behavioral health management experiences included employment at Native Images and with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. She is an Arizona Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), holds a Masters from the U of A in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from U. of A. with emphasis in child disorders. She received Certificate of Achievement from the U. of A. Hispanic Association, was a four year recipient of the Gebbler Memorial Scholarship and four year honorable mention at the U. of A. Roxanna’s combination of experience, knowledge, licensure and educational achievements in her field, compliment her continued contributions and quality service initiatives she directs. She manages herself and others with the highest level of ethics, integrity, exceptional boundaries and embraces cultural competency and diversity.
In June 2016 Jacob (Jake) Herrington was named Executive Director of Property Management, New Construction, New Development, Transportation and Property Insurance for PPEP, Inc.
Jake Herrington began his career in the multifamily property management industry in Tucson. Over his twenty five years of on-site management, Jake was privileged to work with two of the most esteemed property management firms in Tucson, both Accredited Management Organization® (AMO®) firms. He was charged with turning around troubled assets as well as overseeing large luxury apartment communities. Over the course of his career, Jake was the recipient of many achievement awards, including the Administrative PPEP Employee of the Year in 2012.
In 2008, he was one of two finalists for Manager of the Year awarded by the Arizona Multi-housing Association. Jake has made a difference in each role that he has held and is focused on surpassing expectations in all of his endeavors.
In conjunction with his new role, Jake will continue to serve as a member of the PPEP & Affiliates Inc. executive management team and lead PPEP & Affiliates Inc.’s efforts in corporate planning and operations of Single Family, Multi-Family Housing and New Commercial Development projects and assist in the planning efforts in corporate planning and operations.
Charles “Chip” Foust is a second generation Tucsonan who brings a wealth of Human Resources knowledge and leadership to PPEP. Chip worked for 19 years on an HR team which supported the 1500 employees of a multi-state Social Services agency and most recently served over 700 employees as the HR Manager with the City of Tucson’s Parks and Recreation department. Over his 20 year HR career, Chip has worked in almost every aspect of Human Resources, beginning as an HR Support Specialist and working his way up to HR Director. He earned his Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2011. Chip takes pride in serving as an example for it never being too late to return to school. He graduated from Western Governors University in April 2019 with a BS in Business with an HR focus.
Ms. Bass serves as Executive Director of Prevention for PPEP and is the founder and Director of the Pima County Community Prevention Coalition. She has a Master’s degree from ASU College of Public Programs, with a Policy, Administration and Community (PAC) major. Having 23 years’ experience working in youth and family services in positions as facilitator, coordinator, trainer, manager and director, Ms. Bass has effectively managed multiple grants from the local, county, state and federal levels and programs and projects covering a broad reach of the community. In 2006, Ms. Bass began the Pima County Community Prevention Coalition through a SPF-SIG grant from AZ GOYFF, which continues to thrive and serve as Pima County’s largest prevention coalition. In 2007, Ms. Bass started the Drug Free Communities Coalition in Amado, AZ and over the past 11 years, brought multiple funded projects in to serve this rural community. Ms. Bass writes grants to maintain the prevention programs and oversees all PPEP youth substance misuse prevention operations. Ms. Bass also serves as the field supervisor for ASU Social Work Interns and serves as an adjunct faculty for the ASU School of Social Work. Her passion lays in creating collaborative partnerships to prevent underage drinking and other drug use among youth to prevent addiction and its negative impact on individuals, families and the community.
Wayne Tucker is the Superintendent of PPEP TEC High School, a network of six alternative high school campuses stretching across Southern Arizona. The mission of PTHS is to provide innovative, high quality educational opportunities to students whose needs have not been met by traditional schools and who are at risk of disengaging from the educational system. Wayne began his academic career as a biology student in his home state of Florida but transferred to Bennington College, in Vermont, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, concentrating in epistemology and cognitive systems. Some years later, he earned a Master of Secondary education degree from the University of Arizona and has been devoted to the study of Alternative Education throughout his entire teaching career.
Wayne was a member the first teacher team at Buena High School’s Alternative Learning Center, located in Sierra Vista, AZ, which was subsequently designated an Exemplary Program by the Arizona Department of Education and included for national replication in its Dropout Prevention Toolkit. He has turned around high school programs in Douglas and Bisbee, where he served as a Lead Teacher and Department Head, respectively. He is also a board member of the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium and has been appointed by the Arizona State Board of Education to its Alternative Accountability Technical Advisory Committee. Since moving into the role of Superintendent of PTHS, Wayne has committed himself to developing leadership capacity within the sites and fostering a culture of safety, support and intellectual challenge.