The daughter of an IBEW lineman for APS, Michelle was raised in Buckeye, Arizona, spent summers on her family’s Iowa farm, and graduated from Buckeye Union High School in 1988. In 1990, she enlisted in the Air Force and attended the prestigious Defense Language Institute, one of the premier language schools in the world.
She spent nearly 22 years as a Russian and Serbian linguist and ultimately advanced to become the second female Airborne Mission Supervisor in Air Force History aboard the Air Force’s premier reconnaissance platform, providing time-sensitive and strategic intelligence to assets on the ground and around the world.
She held a Top Secret / Special Access clearance throughout her career, was highly decorated, and, post-9/11, spent much of her time deployed to the Middle East and Central Asia. Michelle retired as a Master Sergeant.
Since returning to her home town in 2013, Michelle has continued to serve by finding ways to support her local community. She joined a liaison group for residents, organized regular Coffee with the Chief sessions with Buckeye PD, and ran a public safety campaign aimed at reducing speeding drivers in residential neighborhoods.
When water bills spiraled out of control, Michelle founded and chaired a community group and intervened at the Arizona Corporation Commission, ultimately achieving a landmark decision to consolidate pricing and districts across the state and saving the community millions of dollars each year. She is also a member of Buckeye’s Revenue Study Group.
Most of all, she’s focused on building relationships at all levels to improve the way we all work together. From the City Council to the Police Department, to local businesses, Michelle believes that bringing people together is the best way to address and solve problems.