March is Women’s History Month and we are proud to recognize the amazing women who work at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Women’s History Month got its start as a small one-week celebration in 1978 in Santa Rosa, California. Over time, the “Women’s History Week” movement spread across the country and in 1987, Congress passed a resolution to proclaim each March as Women’s History Month.
Maricopa County made history this past year by appointing Allister Adel to be the first woman to serve as its County Attorney. Allister began her legal career at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office where she was an award-winning litigator, prosecuting felonies and advocating for victims’ rights. During her more than seven years as a Deputy County Attorney, she served in the Vehicular Crimes, Gang, and Drug Enforcement bureaus. She also served in many leadership roles for the State of Arizona and led the Maricopa County Bar Association for two years.
Allister brought with her other women leaders to serve as leaders in the office. This team includes a former chief of staff for a County Supervisor and later Mesa’s Mayor to serve as her Chief of Staff, an Arizona Supreme Court administrator to be her Deputy Chief of Staff, and a communications leader for the Tempe Union School District to serve as Communications Director. Over 60% of MCAO’s employees—prosecutors and administrative staff—are women including half of senior management, which includes Division Chiefs and Bureau Chiefs, and two-thirds of supervisors.
Not only are the women at MCAO accomplishing great things here in the office, but they are also accomplishing remarkable things out in the community, too. MCAO Finance Manager Kristine Christian volunteers with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop; Chief of Staff Candice Copple leads a young woman’s group with her church and Legal Support Supervisor Jolie Panyon runs half marathons.
Human Resources Analyst Heather Daigle is a regular classroom volunteer with both her son and daughter’s school; First Responders Bureau Chief Sherry Leckrone is the Vice Mayor of Fountain Hills and serves on the Town Council; Legal Management Assistant Erlinda Parrish and Legal Support Clerk Rosemary Guzman both care for their senior parents and Legislative Liaison Rebecca Baker participates with and supports children’s cancer charities.