Phoenix Indian Center announces recipients of annual Leadership Awards Recognition

November 2, 2018


Patricia Hibbeler 

Phoenix Indian Center 


October 17, 2018 – Phoenix, Arizona – The Phoenix Indian Center has announced the recipients of the 2018 Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards. For 36 years, the Leadership Awards has recognized individuals, companies, and organizations for their excellence of work, innovation in approach, and impact in the American Indian community.


“The honorees represent outstanding leadership in Arizona and across the nation,” said Patricia Hibbeler, Chief Executive Officer of the Phoenix Indian Center. “Each of these individuals are exemplary advocates who are dedicated to the advancement and wellness of Indian country through their unique expertise. It is my honor to congratulate and recognize them for their contributions,” added Hibbeler.


The 2018 honorees are:

Kent C. Ware Lifetime Achievement Baje Whitethorne, Sr (Navajo), Renowned Artist

Phyllis J Bigpond Lifetime Achievement Delia Carlyle (Ak-Chin Indian Community), Tribal Council Member and former Chairwoman

Man of the Year Gabriel Ayala (Yaqui), Classical Guitarist

Woman of the Year Dawn Melvin (Navajo/Hopi), Tribal Tourism Relations Manager, Arizona Office of Tourism

Business of the Year KUYI Hopi Radio

Volunteer of the Year Phoenix Indian Medical Center Auxiliary

Friend of the Community Eve’s Fund for Native American Health Initiatives, Barbara Crowell Roy - President

Female College Student of the Year

Jennifer Jones (Navajo), Senior – Arizona State University

Male College Student of the Year

Lyndon Guy (White Mountain Apache), Junior – University of Arizona

Male High School Student of the Year

Adam Cardona, Jr (Gila River Akimel O’odtham), Senior – Cesar Chavez High School

Female High School Student of the Year

Jowun Ben (Navajo), Senior – Camelback High School

KJ Bowen Scholarship Awardee

Netawn Marsoobian (Navajo), Senior – Chandler High School


The Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards dinner will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona, dinner and program begin at 6:00 p.m. Individual tickets can be purchased for $60. Sponsorship and table purchase opportunities are available.


For details and to purchase tickets, visit