On Wednesday, Jan. 4, community leaders and residents gathered at the Mesa Arts Center's (MAC) Virginia G. Piper Theater to witness the swearing-in of Mesa's newly elected City Councilmembers. Councilmembers Jenn Duff, Alicia Goforth, and Scott Somers representing Districts 4, 5, and 6, respectively were elected to serve four-year terms.
District 4- Councilmember Jenn Duff:
Elected to the Mesa City Council in November of 2018, Councilmember Jenn Duff began her first term representing District 4 in January 2019. She was named Vice Mayor of Mesa on Jan. 11, 2021.
A Mesa native with British family roots that go back to Falcon Field during World War II, Duff is very active in the Mesa community. She spent six years on the Board of Directors of the i.d.e.a. Museum. She has served on the City of Mesa Planning and Zoning Board and co-founded the Retail, Arts, Innovation, and Livability (R.A.I.L) Community Development Corporation. In 2015 she was awarded the Mesa Community College Hall of Fame Alumni Achievement Award. In 2021 Duff received the LISC Phoenix Annual Exemplary Advocate Award for her work supporting the Downtown Mesa community.
Duff is the President and Owner of Jef International, Inc., an import/export trading business specializing in sport fishing tackle. She started the business in 1990, following six years as a Professional Bass Angler. She was recognized as the top woman pro bass angler in the Southwest and is the only American woman to compete professionally in Japan. Duff lived in Japan in 1989, competing and promoting the sport. Duff is also the former owner of Lobina Lures, which manufactured and distributed Rico brand topwater bass fishing lures since 1991. Before her career in sport fishing, Duff worked as a buyer for Goldwater's department store for six years.
Duff graduated from Mesa High and earned her Associate in Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Mesa Community College. She completed the Mesa Leadership Training and Development in 2012, Neighborhood Works Leadership Training in 2012, the Mesa Chamber Leadership Development Program in 2018, and the Mesa Fire and Medical Inaugural Citizen's Academy in 2018. She is currently part of the second class of the Smart Growth America Complete Streets Champions Institute.
District 5-Councilmember Alicia Goforth:
Alicia has lived in Mesa for 15 years with her husband and three children.
Before moving to Arizona, Alicia practiced law at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a member of the Corporate, Finance & Banking division and participated as outside general corporate counsel for several multinational clients, providing advice on various corporate matters.
After taking a leave of absence to live in New Zealand and Australia with her husband, Alicia joined Cerner Corporation (Oracle Cerner) as in-house corporate counsel, overseeing the negotiation and management of the company's third-party software license agreements. Alicia is admitted to practice law in Arizona, Missouri, and Kansas.
While living in Arizona and raising her three children, Alicia made volunteering in their schools a priority, assisting the teachers and administration. She championed several in-school and after-school programs to promote intercultural understanding and respect, facilitated partnerships with local cultural organizations, and assisted with developing the program curriculum. Currently, she spends time as a Volunteer Liaison for AFS Intercultural Programs, providing support and resources to international exchange students and their host families.
For the past seven years, Alicia has been active and involved in her local community of Las Sendas. She served on multiple committees, acted as Chair of the Community Planning Advisory Group, and was elected to the Board of Directors, where she served three years as Secretary and Vice President, helping to create a long-term vision for the community.
District 6- Councilmember Scott Somers:
Scott Somers was elected to return to Mesa City Council to represent District 6 beginning in January 2023. His priority for his new term is to work toward realizing the vision and expectations set for the District - ensuring the city is fiscally responsible; focusing on attracting quality jobs and economic activity; and building vibrant neighborhoods that are safe, sustainable, and facilitate social connections.
Somers served two terms on Council from 2006 to 2015, including two years as Vice Mayor. During this time, Somers spearheaded efforts to prepare the District to become a hub for better-paying jobs and redevelop the former GM Proving Grounds into award-winning communities.
Somers quickly became a recognized regional and national leader representing Mesa in several organizations, including chairing the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority and serving on the Board of Directors for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Visit Mesa, the Mesa United Way, and Mountain Vista Medical Center. Somers chaired the National League of Cities Public Safety and Crime Prevention steering committee and represented cities on the National Homeland Security Consortium. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation twice appointed him to the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.
Scott and his wife, Janell, moved to Mesa after their US Air Force service. They raised their two children in the Superstition Springs neighborhood and now live in Eastmark. Scott and Janell are proud grandparents to their two grandsons.
The council terms for Councilmembers Duff, Goforth, and Somers run through January 2027. Both Goforth and Somers will be eligible for re-election