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CYNTHIA HENRY

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Honored By

Donor names:   First Friday & Friends
Date submitted: February 25, 2010
Gift: Brick Paver - large
Location on plaza map: B4
 
Cynthia L. Henry was born in Louisa, Kentucky on the banks of the Big Sandy River about 70 years ago. We know that because she just celebrated her 70th birthday surrounded by 70 or so of the many of the friends she has collected over the years. . .something she does with great skill. If you go shopping or to a movie with Cynthia, before she leaves, she will have bonded with the salespeople or with the ticket seller and the woman in the row behind her.

She moved to Arizona early enough to have worked in downtown Tucson before it died. She has great stories about the “good old days” at the Southern Arizona Bank (an early iteration of some current institution) with the infamous Jimmy Douglas (who never quite lived up to his pioneering family’s high standards).

Cynthia has always been ahead of the curve. A “green” thinker before environmentalism really caught on, she spent some years with Arizonans for a Quality Environment and worked with Southwest Environmental Services, an organization that can be credited with getting Governor Bruce Babbitt to create Catalina State Park. Babbitt, of course, is one of the many stellar state leaders Cynthia helped elect by heading up phone banks or walking door to door (and whose security detail she bonded with after the elections).

Cynthia had a 20-year career in marketing for architects and engineers. While working for Carollo Engineers in Phoenix, she assisted the firm in obtaining projects ranging in value from $5 million to $80 million. In addition to the Arizona marketing, she provided marketing skills for the Las Vegas and El Paso offices.

As you can see, Cynthia has been a quiet partner in many important additions to our state’s successes ranging from marketing water and wastewater services during her “engineering firm” years spent commuting to Phoenix to her current position with the Pima County Department of Transportation where she is the Adopt a Roadway Queen. Over the years, Cynthia served on the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors, mentored young girls in the Arizona Women’s Political caucus leadership program, served as an Elder and later Moderator of the Deacons at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church and so forth. At the present, after being appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano, she serves on the State Board of Appraisals, a regulatory board, and whose work entails many hours of preparation each month.

Before moving to Arizona, Cynthia attended Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia (now Mary Washington University) and then the University of Kentucky, where she belonged to the modern dance honorary. However, she earned her BA in Political Science at the University or Arizona, signing up as one of the early Women’s Studies pioneers shortly after Myra Dinnerstein created the not-quite-yet-department 40 or so years ago. While only a minor was available in Women’s Studies, Cynthia was fortunate to attend classes taught by Dinnerstein, and also has fond memories of Pat McCorquodale’s courses.

Cynthia reared three liberal minded Democratic youngsters, whose early involvement in politics (walking from door to door, dropping literature, and doing mailings with their mom) stuck with them as adults. With active mothering pretty much behind her, Cynthia now devotes the bulk of her personal time thinking about, talking to or talking about her three absolutely perfect grandchildren. Eldest daughter Jennifer, lives in Minneapolis with her partner and their two girls, Elise and Franny; Ellen and her husband are in the Tacoma area with grandson Leif and Cynthia’s son Matt lives in Tucson, playing the favorite and fabulous uncle to her grandchildren.

Information Sources:
2009 Cynthia Henry