Board

Board Members

Joe Bill, Co-Chair
Joe has been a resident of Fountain Hills since 1987. He actively participated in the effort to obtain voter approval for incorporation, which led to his appointment to the first Town Council in 1990. His professional career was in health care administration and he has served in many different volunteer leadership roles in Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. He served as an Adjunct Professor at ASU and taught strategic planning in their masters program, authored the book Climbing the Ladder Less Traveled, and claims that his 15 minutes of fame was when he was bitten by a rattlesnake. Ever since his first telescope as a Christmas present in sixth grade and his later attendance at astronomy camps, he has appreciated the wonders of the nighttime universe and the beautiful skies above Fountain Hills. In October 2017, Joe was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association, one of only five named internationally per year.

Nancy Bill, Co-Chair
Nancy has always appreciated being able to see a beautiful night sky whether it was while growing up in Wisconsin, living in the country in Minnesota while working at Mayo Clinic, camping in the Southwest, or living in Fountain Hills for 30 years. Although her careers as a lab manager and later as a CPA kept her busy, she usually found time to volunteer for various organizations and causes such as co-chairing the effort to bring a high school to Fountain Hills . Now that she is retired, she is devoting her time to her love of the dark skies by helping to preserve them in Fountain Hills and by frequently enjoying night viewing. She loves being reminded that no matter what happens during the day, the wonders of the universe are there every night. In October 2017, Nancy was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association, one of only five named internationally per year.

Ted Blank
Ted began to be passionate about amateur astronomy when he first saw the moons of Jupiter through a telescope from the high, clear air of the Sierra Nevada mountains. He is a past President of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society and is currently a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. He was the first to receive the 250-hour award pin for public outreach from the Sidewalk Astronomers of America, a nationwide public service organization. After purchasing a home in Fountain Hills, he co-founded the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club and continues to help organize their monthly public viewing sessions in Centennial Circle.

Clayton Corey
Clayton is a new resident of Fountain Hills who moved here from the brightly lit city of Providence, Rhode Island. It wasn’t too long until he discovered beautiful Fountain Hills, and fell in love with the small town feel away from the hustle and bustle. The limited commercial and street lighting were a huge plus in his decision to move here. Clayton is an IT Manager for CVS Health, and sits on the board of the Fountain Hills Toastmasters Club,  the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy, Out & Equal Arizona, and the committee for Fountain Hills Relay for Life. He enjoys volunteering his time in the community and meeting new people. Visit him at ClaytonCorey.com

Amberleigh Dabrowski

Amberleigh is a 5 year resident of Fountain Hills, and currently a Planning & Zoning Commissioner. Our community’s dark skies is one of the main reasons why she chose to move to Fountain Hills; there is nothing more serene and quiet than looking up at the darkness and seeing the wonders of the universe at night. She participates in the Dark Skies of Fountain Hills Association with hopes to preserve the serenity for each night ahead and to help all residents appreciate the special significance and value the Dark Skies certification can bring to the community.

Mark Derksen
Mark grew up in Phoenix and Tucson, moving to Fountain Hills in 1997 to teach junior high at New Life Christian Academy. He went on to become Principal, and later became Administrator. He currently works for Demand Drop, a company started by a family member that helps businesses acquire energy efficient lighting through SRP and APS rebate programs. When Demand Drop began doing business in Flagstaff, Mark became interested in learning about lighting that met Dark Sky standards. Living in Fountain Hills and learning classical astronomy with his children developed his deep love for the night sky. He is committed to helping preserve our dark skies in Fountain Hills for his children and future grandchildren.

Vicky Derksen
Vicky grew up under the dark skies in the panhandle of northern Idaho where she remembers frequently seeing the Northern Lights and the trail of the Milky Way. She moved to north Phoenix in 1995 where the only remarkable thing she remembered seeing in the sky was Comet Hale-Bopp. Vicky moved to Fountain Hills with her husband in 1997 to teach high school at New Life Christian Academy. After the birth of her children two years later, she became a homeschool teacher when her kids started pre-school, and continues to the present day by teaching them their high school classes. Vicky has served as the Secretary of the Fountain Hills Christian Home Educators, our local homeschool group, for five years. During the 2015-2016 school year, she taught a classical astronomy class to the homeschool students of FHCHE, giving them a deeper understanding and passion for the night sky. She graduated from the inaugural class of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy in 2016. She joined the board of the Fountain Hills Cultural & Civic Association in 2017, as well as joining an educational committee currently being put together by the River of Time Museum. Vicky loves hiking and particularly enjoys Full Moon hikes hosted by the nearby county parks.

Craig Gimbel
Dr. Craig Gimbel is co-founder of the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club. He donated part of his vast telescope collection to the Fountain Hills Library to be used by the library lending program, which resulted in the library winning a prestigious national award. Dr. Gimbel is an Assistant Research Professor at a leading dental school, specializing in lasers and optical light-based imaging. He would like to see an observatory ultimately built in Fountain Hills for education and astro-tourism commerce. With his medical and optical background, he definitely knows the detrimental effect of wrong light waves that are dispersed into the atmosphere and visually seen directly by the retina.

Paul McElligot
Dr. Paul McElligott is an instructor, professor and technology coach to high school and college students. He has won numerous state and national awards and recognition such as the Insight Teacher of the Year, State Science Teacher of the Year, “Hall of Fame” and Governor’s Award on Innovation. He has expertise in technology as a former research director, teacher negotiations as an education association president, running small businesses as a CEO, and winning over $75,000 in cumulative grants in the last five years. He runs clubs that include: robotics, chess club, research, automotive clubs and Academic Decathlon. I have mentored students in the National Automotive X-Prize, five “World Robotics” competitions and national science and engineering technology fairs such as the Intel Competition and AAPT International Competition. He is passionate that students experience hands-on STEM projects to create their future.

Jackie Miles
Jackie was born in Denver and attended the college of music at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1955-56 where she met her husband Jerry. When their son and daughter were in the upper grades at school, she completed her college education at California State University, Northridge, earning a Master of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders in 1983. Upon moving to Fountain Hills in 1990, Jackie became involved in the community, founding the Arts Council (which later merged with the Civic Association to become the Fountain Hills Civic and Cultural Association) and starting the In-Home Concert series and the annual Poinsettia Tree program. She is an Elder in the Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church, is a past president of Noon Kiwanis, serves on the board of the Sister Cities Corporation, and is treasurer of the Fountain Hills Auto Club. Jackie is hopeful that the beautiful Town of Fountain Hills will soon achieve a Dark Sky Community designation.

Jerry Miles
Jerold L. Miles was born in Rocky Ford, Colorado in 1936. After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder, he graduated at the top of his class from the UCLA law school. When he retired from the practice, he was one of the premier real estate lawyers in the State of California. In 1990, shortly after putting together a partnership to buy and rebuild the Saguaro Lake Marina, Jerry and his wife Jackie moved to Fountain Hills. Jerry was mayor of Fountain Hills from 1996 to 1998. He has served as an officer or director of the Golden Eagle Foundation, the Sunridge Foundation, the River of Time Foundation, the Senior Services Foundation, the Civic Association, the Library Association, the Cultural and Civic Association, and the Fountain Hills Sister Cities Corporation. Early in 2016, Jerry and his wife Jackie joined the Dark Skies Committee.


Jay Schlum
Originally from West Bloomfield Michigan, Jay Schlum moved with his parents John and Dawn to Fountain Hills in 1977 when he was 12.  The Schlums were early day real estate pioneers and Jay followed in his parents’ real estate footsteps by being a licensed Realtor® since 1992.  Jay served as Mayor of Fountain Hills from 2008-2012 and previously served as a Fountain Hills Councilman from 2004-2008. In addition to being an elected official Jay has volunteered and served as Chairman of the FH Chamber of Commerce; Church President, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran; Board Member and Executive Committee member, Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors SAAR; Board Member, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC); President Four Peaks Rotary Club; and many other committees, commissions and boards.