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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

Meet The Tortolita Alliance Board of Directors & Officers

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

The Tortolita Alliance (TA) was formed in the fall of 2019 in response to a proposal by the Town of Marana (Marana) and Arizona State Land Department to reconfigure and rezone the Tortolita Preserve (TP).

TA started with 5 Dove Mountain residents and quickly grew to over 350 members. We attended Planning Commission and Town Council meetings in force and were able to convince Marana that TP is one of its greatest assets and should be conserved. Accordingly, the Make Marana 2040 General Plan was adjusted and TP is protected.

The founders of TA agreed that we could not let this happen again and we decided to continue our work as an official group. On January 31, 2020, TA obtained certification as an Arizona Non-Profit Corporation.

We now have 7 Board members with a wide variety of expertise including engineering, science, education, finance, law and communication.

We are fortunate to have such an energetic and collaborative group. Please meet the TA Board of Directors and Officers!

Dave Barker-Secretary

Dave Barker is a resident of the Highlands and moved to the area in 2014.

His professional career consisted of management positions at two seasonal resorts in UT, then switched to instructing fifth graders. Dave has two Bachelor’s degrees; one in business from Westminster College, Salt Lake City, the other in elementary education earned from Utah State University in Logan, UT.

He is an active hiker, trail runner, bicyclist (road and mountain) and pickleball player. Dave serves on the Board of the Board of Friends of Ironwood Forest, a non-profit group devoted to the preservation of the Ironwood Forest National Monument.

Tom Hannagan-Director

Tom Hannagan is a resident of the Highlands and has been active in the Town of Marana since 2006. He retired from the banking industry, working with quantitative models of risk-based financial management. Tom has published works in the Journal of Risk Management and the Journal of Financial Accounting. He has degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of Illinois.

Tom is active with the Highlands Hiking Club and the Dove Mountain Hikers, and also enjoys golf along with road and mountain biking. He is President of the Board of Friends of Ironwood Forest, a non-profit group devoted to the preservation of the Ironwood Forest National Monument.

Mark Johnson-President

Mark Johnson is a resident of Del Webb Dove Mountain and moved to the area from La Quinta, CA in July, 2019.

Mark retired in late 2016 after a 40-year career in the water utility industry, most recently serving as Director of Engineering for the Coachella Valley Water District. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering.

Mark is and avid hiker and golfer and community volunteer. He received the Pillar of the Community award from the City of La Quinta in 2019.

Alyssa Page-Treasurer

Community activist, focusing on public involvement and education regarding natural open space, well-balanced design in development and water policy. Beginning in the fall of 2017, she pursued understanding the many different facets of urban growth and natural resource conservation in the NW Tucson metropolitan area. Topics researched include; Arizona Preserve Initiative (API),  Arizona State Land Department, Oro Valley’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance (ESLO), water policy, storm water conservation techniques, development trends, Make Marana 2040 General Plan and local politics. 

Alyssa attended Brigham Young University, and has a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Photographic design, with a minor in Communications. Alyssa’s training has helped her to be able to communicate with others whether in visual or literary forms.  Alyssa’s teaching background has been helpful in community outreach and and community education. Previous to moving to Arizona, she enjoyed teaching photography at Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University and Oklahoma City Community College.  

When not working on the issues above, she is the mother of four busy children and wife to Jay Page. The Page family has been in Arizona for about ten years.

Jim Tripp-Vice President

Jim Tripp is a resident of Sky Ranch and moved to the area in 2017. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oregon State University. Prior to retirement, Jim was employed as a Federal Regulations Analyst for Wisconsin Power and Light and as a Research Scientist at UC Santa Cruz and Berkeley National Labs. He has over 30 scientific publications to his credit. 

Jim has actively participated in public meetings and hearings relating to all aspects of Arizona State Land Department development in Oro Valley and Marana. He has published several opinion pieces in the Let Oro Valley Excel blog, and in the Your Voice column of Tucson Local News.

Thom Rossa-Director

Thom has been a resident of the Highlands since 2010. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (1963). Thom then served on active duty principally on nuclear submarines through 1970. He then transferred to the Naval Reserve for over 16 years. He retired in 1986 at the rank of Captain.

Thom graduated from the University of Utah Law School graduating (1973).  He has had an extensive legal career appearing in over 30 trial and appellate courts all over the US including the US Supreme Court.    Thom worked primarily in intellectual property as a registered patent attorney. He is a senior of-counsel member of the law firm of Hayes Soloway, PC in Tucson enjoying limited working hours.

David Howe-Director

Dave moved from Spokane, WA to  Del Webb Dove Mountain in September of 2019.  In the 1990's, he was known as "Commander Dave" on a televised science program designed for elementary and middle school students called "Young Astronauts."  Dave taught in the public schools for over thirty years, developed over a dozen different innovative science and engineering summer camp programs for elementary kids, and was the elementary and secondary science methods instructor at Gonzaga University.  Dave has also developed a website called "How About Science?", which is designed to support teachers and parents who need science education resources and training opportunities. 

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, with degrees from the University of Missouri, Washington State University and Pacific Lutheran University, Dave is an avid naturalist, hiker, and mountain biker.   


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