Board of Directors


Brian Golding

Brian Golding, Sr.
YCNHA Chairman
Quechan Indian Tribe

Brian Golding, Sr., is an enrolled member of the Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation of Arizona and California, and has nearly twenty-five years of direct experience assisting Native American tribal governments, organizations, and people with their development, planning, and financing.  In 1989, Brian earned his B.S. degree in City and Regional Planning at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and later pursued his M.S. degree in Community Development at U.C. Davis.  In 2002, the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, awarded a J.D. degree to Brian, with a certificate in Government Affairs.  Brian is a member of the State Bar of California and the Quechan Tribal Bar.  Since June 2004, the Quechan Indian Tribe has employed Brian, and he currently serves as its Director of Economic Development.  Brian’s main areas of responsibility include administering agricultural and commercial leasing of Tribally-owned land, entrepreneurship development, enterprise attraction, business permitting, transportation and transit program administration, and infrastructure and facilities development, including significant involvement in the development of the Quechan Casino Resort.  Brian also played a key role in the development of the Yuma East Wetlands and helped secure long-term operations and maintenance funding for the conservation area.  Before working for his own Tribe, Brian worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, as a Tribal Operations Specialist.  Brian also worked for the Pinoleville Band of Pomo Indians of Ukiah, California, as a Tribal Planner/Economic Development Specialist.  In 2007,

Brian was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Corporation, and currently serves as the Board Chairman.


Bruce GwynnBruce Gwynn
YCNHA Vice-Chairman
Sanguinetti Museum

Native of Yuma AZ (Family has been in Yuma County since 1858)

Educated in Yuma schools systems

University of Arizona, College of Agriculture

Bachelor of Science, Animal Science, 1970



2014 – Current – Executive Director, Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association

2009 – 2014 – Manager Helena Chemical Company

2007 – 2008 - Area Business Manager Makhteshim Aghan of North America

1997 – 2007 – General Manager of the Dune Company

1978 – 1997 – Sales Representative for Gowan Company

1976 – 1978 - Barkley Company Arizona – Sales representative

1970 – 1976  - Manager, Mill Iron Cattle Company


Current Boards:

  • Yuma County Historical Society, (Past Pres. And Treasurer)
  • Rio Colorado Chapter, Arizona Historical Society (Vice Pres.)
  • Yuma Union High School Governing Board (past president)
  • Arizona Western College Foundation Board
  • Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Board (City of Yuma Appointment)
  • Yuma County Cooperative Association


Past Boards:

  • Arizona Department of Agriculture Advisory Board (Appointed by Janet Napolitano)
  • California Agriculture Pest Control Advisors, Desert Valleys Chapter
  • Arizona Crop Protection Association (Past President)



  • Yuma County Citizen of the Year (2011)
  • Creator and chairman of Redondo Days Dinner and Auction, in seven years raised over $240,000.
  • Initiated creation of the Master Plan for Arizona Historical Society, Yuma Campus.
  • Initiated IGA between City of Yuma and Arizona Historical Society


Thomas Rushi

Thomas Rushin
YCNHA Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas D. Rushin is a Yuma, Arizona native who has had a life long interest in the history of our community, and he is a Youth Advocate.  Tom has over 50 years of experience in the field of education. He has been a teacher, coach, principal, associate superintendent, consultant, superintendent, and retired as the superintendent of Yuma Elementary School District Number One in 2008.  In addition to serving on the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Board of Directors, Tom currently serves on the following boards and commissions: The City of Yuma Historic District Review Commission, The Arizona School Facilities Board, The Rio Colorado Chapter of the Arizona Historical Society, The District Committee of the Boy Scouts of America, and The Association of Learning Environments Southwest Region.  His passion for improving learning environments for future generations has led him to use his leadership skills and prior experience to plan schools that meet the needs of learners in the 21st century.


Chris Wheeler
YCNHA Board Member
Prison Hill Brewery



Julie Engel

Julie Engel
YCNHA Board Member
Greater Yuma EDC

Julie Engel is the President/CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation. In her tenure with Greater Yuma EDC, she has been directly involved in the creation of over 4000 new jobs, over 1 million square feet of new industrial space and a capital investment to the region that surpasses $1.5 Billion. Julie is a Past President of the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED) and has served on multiple committees for AAED.  In 2012 Julie was named the Economic Developer of the Year for the State of Arizona and in 2014 was named the Yuma County Athena Award recipient.

  Julie’s career in Economic Development follows five years of local government leadership and eight years of federal government leadership and policy regulations. Julie serves on the Yuma Workforce Investment Board, serves on the Yuma Regional Medical Center Board and the Yuma National Heritage Board. Julie was appointed by Governor Ducey to serve on the Arizona Mexico Commission and the Rural Advisory Council for the State of Arizona. 

Julie is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute for Certified Economic Development.  She obtained CEcD certification in May 2009.  Julie is a member of the Economic Development Research Partners and most recently served on the “Data Analysis” task force.


Yanna Kruse

Yanna Kruse
YCNHA Board Member
Arizona Historical Society

Yanna Kruse is the Vice President of Guest Experience for the Arizona Historical Society, managing the Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens in historic downtown Yuma.  Formerly the Vice President of Marketing for AEA Federal Credit Union.  Yanna is a lover of the art and science of marketing, honored with numerous awards for innovations in marketing.  With support from the Yuma County Historical Society, the Sanguinetti House Museum was awarded Visit Yuma's EGRET Award (Expression of Gratitude in Recognition of Efforts for Tourism) and the Arizona Governor's Tourism Award.  Yanna lives on a small ranch in Yuma County with her husband Ronald Kruse, and a herd of animals including miniature donkeys and horses, goats, geese, dogs, fish, and one chatty cockatiel.


Shelly Mellon
YCNHA Board Member
R.L. Jones Ins. & MVD Services

Upon graduating, from the University of Arizona with a degree in Business Administration, Shelley became the 4th generation to follow in her family’s business, R.L. Jones Group. Her husband, Colin Mellon, is a 3rd generation Yuma produce farmer. Currently they own their own farm and are active in the management and operations of Mellon Farms, Inc., and a ground application company. Shelley owns and operates the three locations of RL Jones Insurance & MVD Services.  Shelley serves as Chair of the Southwest Arizona Town Hall, Board of Trustees for the Yuma Regional Medical Center Foundation, Chair of the Yuma Education Advocacy Council, Board Member of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Corporation, Director of the Yuma Youth Leadership Council, Director of Yuma Youth Town Hall, CEO Council of Expect More Arizona, Chair of the Yuma Union High School District Bond Campaign and Yuma Union High School District Governing Board Member, Board Member of Yuma County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, S June Pallack Award Council, Officer of Yuma Up Mentoring Program, Board Member of the Benesche Collection (YRMC Art Heals), volunteer and advocate for Healing Journey, Board Member of Journey Church, Board member of Arizona Town Hall, past Board Member of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, past Board Member of Rio Colorado Commissions, past Board Member of Expect More Arizona, past member of the Arizona Mexico Commission. Colin and Shelley have three children: Tanner-Graduate of Purdue University, Masters Krannert School of Management, Mckenna-Cornell University, and Walker-Gila Ridge High School. 


Mayor Nichols

Mayor Doug Nichols
YCNHA Board Member
City of Yuma

Douglas Nicholls was reelected as the 27th Mayor of the City of Yuma, Arizona in August 2017, to begin his second term in January 2018 after serving his first term from 2014. Mayor Nicholls is committed to the Yuma community through the belief that quality communities are developed when opportunities to success are open to everyone through quality jobs, superior education and robust quality of life.

Mayor Nicholls is spearheading many efforts to enhance and grow the Yuma community. His efforts include the campaign to increase civic pride and tell the Yuma story in the United for Yuma campaign. He also leads efforts to develop economic development advancements throughout the greater Yuma community through enhanced regional coordination and the 4FrontED coalition to work with partners within Yuma County and our neighboring cities in Mexico. His vision for higher education in Yuma in the University of Yuma Campus concept is invigorating the discussion and planning for greater higher education in Yuma. Recently, he spearheaded the collation of mayors along the Colorado River communities called Colorado River Mayors Association, bringing together eight Arizona mayors of river cities to address items of regional significance.

He was raised in Yuma and attended Yuma High School. In 1994, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Arizona State University and continued post-baccalaureate studies in Transportation Engineering. He married his high school sweetheart, Danette, in 1995. They have grown their family to four children.


Lynn Pancrazi

Lynne Pancrazi
YCNHA Board Member
County Supervisor

The Honorable Lynne Pancrazi is returning to Yuma to serve as the District 5 Supervisor after completing 10 years in the Arizona State Legislature. She spent 6 years as your State Representative and 4 years as your State Senator. Lynne is a retired Yuma County Elementary Teacher and holds a current substitute teaching certificate and substitutes when available.

Lynne is also a licensed Realtor in Arizona. (inactive) As a 2nd generation Yuman, she attended Palmcroft Elementary School, Woodard Junior High and graduated from Kofa High School in 1972. She received her bachelor's degree from Point Loma Nazarene College and her master's from Northern Arizona University. Lynne has been married for 39 years to Mike Pancrazi and has a step-daughter, son in law and two beautiful grand kids. She has many additional family members in Arizona, California and New Mexico, far too many to list.

In December 2016, she was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for Hospice of Yuma. She is a member of the National Teacher's Association, Arizona Teacher's Association (retired). She also belongs to the Arizona Historical Society and served as a member of the Heritage Park Advisory Committee. Lynne is a member of Elk's Lodge 476 here in Yuma, the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club, NAACP and Yuma County Farm Bureau.


Senator Lisa Otondo
YCNHA Board Member
Arizona Senator


Brent Range
YCNHA Board Member


Emilia Cortez
YCNHA Intern Board Member
Girl Scouts of America

Emilia Cortez is a member of the Yuma Regional Partnership Council. She serves on the regional partnership council as a representative of the health community. Emilia is currently the Director, Yuma County Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona. She is known for being an energetic and effective community volunteer, an enthusiastic advocate for early childhood education and youth development. Emilia served as a Dental Health Program Coordinator for University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, which hosts the First Smiles Program funded by the Yuma Regional Partnership Council. Emilia strongly believes that having leadership in thought and vision is not enough to make one a leader. It is the small personal gestures that indicate a true concern for both a person’s coworkers and a commitment to the overall goals of a given work group. She has more than 10 years managing experience in organizational leadership and relationship building with clients and team members. Experience in working with avid diverse youth development, with local youth clubs for ten years.


John MacDonald
YCNHA Intern Board Member