The Unified Arizona Veterans, Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame (AVHOF) Patriotic Luncheon is an annual event that pays tribute to Arizonans supporting our military and veterans. Each year they recognize four “copper” awardees, and this week we will feature two of the 2022 Awardees.
Copper Star: The Copper Star goes to a legislator who supports veterans and this year’s recipient is Kingman Mayor Jen Miles. The Hall of Fame says Miles is proud to be a champion for the city and the progress the city is making to improve livability and regional economic prosperity. Throughout her career, Mayor Miles has worked with others to cultivate projects, services, and programs that uplift lives and provide opportunities to advance. She has partnered with numerous organizations and individuals to “get things done” and ensure that often under-served populations, including veterans, youth, and those in need, are not overlooked. Mayor Miles’ early career provided her with a corporate and small business background associated with degrees in engineering (Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University) and business management (MBA, Stanford University). However, her passion for being fully engaged in the community and economic development led her to Kingman twenty-nine years ago. Since then, she has worked for Mohave Community College and Mohave County in county-wide positions ranging from Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Director to VicePresident of Applied Sciences and Technology and for the County, Workforce Programs Administrator. As Mayor, Ms. Miles currently serves on several state and local entities, including the state Workforce Arizona Council, WACOG Executive Board, Mohave Health Coalition, Greater Arizona Mayors Association, and Tri-City Council. She is a recipient of the Kingman Women Making History Award in Public Service.
Copper Shield: J.D. Mesnard J.D. Mesnard is this year’s AVHOF Copper Shield awardee. Mesnard is in his second term as State Senator from District 17 (Chandler, Gilbert, and Sun Lakes). He previously served in the Arizona State House of Representatives for eight years, including as Speaker of the House for the last two years. Mesnard is a small business owner, investor, and consultant and has always sought to be an active participant at all community levels. He works with charities, churches, and non-profits, including veterans. He is adjunct faculty at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College, where he has taught courses in political science for over 15 years. J.D. is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of ASU with a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition. He also holds two master’s degrees, one in Business and the other in Public Administration. His compassion for those less fortunate—who struggle in places outside of the greatest country on earth—led him to help establish Voices of the World, a non-profit Christian charity whose mission includes providing humanitarian aid to the poor in Africa.
Next week we will feature the two additional copper awardees. You can learn more about the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame online at https://avhof.org/.