About Us

The Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition Board of Directors reflects the diverse communities in the area.

Celestino "Tino" Flores
President
Melissa Rabago
Vice President

Melissa Rabago is employed by Resolution Copper as a Community Advisor. Melissa joined Resolution Copper in April of 2006 after several years of employment with Pinal County. Her responsibilities include management of social investment programs and employee volunteer programs as well as supporting outreach to local residents and community groups. Melissa also serves as company representative to some local civic groups and organizations.

Cathy Melvin
Secretary

Cathy Melvin is employed by Gila County as an Executive Administrative Assistant to District III Supervisor Woody Cline.  Cathy worked in social services for many years, for the most part in job training providing education and training for eligible participants in Gila and Pinal counties.  Her experience also includes proposal writing in several areas including housing, economic development, and job training.  In her current position she works with community groups and municipalities on a variety of projects addressing local concerns and initiatives.

Maria Muñoz
Treasurer
Michael Carnes
Board Member
Jake Jacobson
Board Member
Lillian Martinez
Board Member

Lillian Martinez is the Executive Assistant for Pinal County’s District 1 Board of Supervisors. Her daily interactions with the community, County partners and colleagues play a pivotal role in management of the office. Lillian was born and raised in the Dudleyville area, which makes local expertise invaluable to Pinal County. After spending nearly two decades working within local government, Lillian recognizes the value of leadership thus dedicates her spare time to the Dudleyville Fire District Board. In addition, Lillian serves as a board member for the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and is a certified public notary. Lillian is also an alumni of the Hispanic Leadership Institute, which promotes the development of advocacy on issues affecting the Latino community. Lillian’s dedication to her community is apparent by the overwhelming amount of individuals who recognize and appreciate her service within these roles. Lillian is wife, mother and grandmother.

In addition to the Board of Directors, the team supporting  the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition includes:

Mila Besich
Executive Director

Mila Besich-Lira was elected as Mayor of the Town of Superior, AZ in 2017. Mila served on the Superior Town Council from 2013-2017.  She also has served as a member of the Superior Unified School District Governing board since 2010. Mila serves the Executive Director of the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and is the Advertising Director and a reporter for the Copper Area News publishers. For the past 10 years, she has run her own company, Miracle Executive Services. She is the Executive Director of Legends of Superior Trails. Mila is currently Vice-President of the Superior Optimist Club and a member of the Superior Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Karalea Cox
Grants & Supplier Portal
Mary Karlin
Copper Corridor Food Hub Coordinatior

Mary Karlin promoted gourmet cooking through retail, cooking and teaching in Sonoma, California for over twenty years. She is a founding staff member of the award-winning Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma, CA. She developed culinary tours, winemaker and brewmaster dinners, and large-scale special cooking class events. She also worked with the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau for three seasons as Coordinator for the three-month long Sonoma Valley Olive Festival. Mary is a popular Cooking Teacher, Food Educator, Cookbook Author, Freelance Food Writer, and Recipe Developer. She is the author of three acclaimed cookbooks (Wood-fired Cooking, Artisan Cheese Making at Home, Mastering Fermentation, all Ten Speed Press). A community food activist in Superior, Mary is the Co-Owner of Brick House Bakers in Superior, a founder of Community Harvesters in Superior, and a team member of Regenerating Sonora, a locally-based non-profit. She has lived in Superior, AZ for 10 years.

James Schenck
Housing Rehab & Blight Remediation

Jim served over ten years with the Peace Corps both as a volunteer and as staff in Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. As the Country Director for Global Communities in Guatemala he led the Communities in Transition project. Jim taught non-profit management at the INCAE/ Costa Rica graduate school. He was the Sustainable Development Manager at the Marlin Mine in Guatemala and, later, Goldcorp Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Central & South America. He has consulted in the extractives industry in the US, Canada, Latin America and Saudi Arabia. Jim served as the Community Manager at Resolution Copper in Superior, Arizona. Jim works with Rebuild Superior while still maintaining a consulting business and a historic commercial building. He participates in Superior civic organizations, including the Legends of Superior Trails and the Rotary Club.