Board of Directors
2020 - 2021 Elected Officers
President & Equipment Manager
Desiree Simmons is one of the members of the AZDBA who, over her 15 years of service, has done almost everything for us. While not on the board she works at American Express and is also the Festival Director every March. And she starts that job the day after the previous year’s festival finishes.
Vice-President, Website Manager & Public Relations Manager
Ash Lagazo has been a member of AZDBA for the past six years and currently paddles with the Arizona Gila Dragons and AZ MonGi. She previously served on the Board of Directors, from 2016-2018 and held the position of Vice President of AZDBA from 2017-2018. She is the Co-Founder and Head Coach of AZDBA’s first and only youth dragon boat team, the CrAZy Cuddlefish.
Ash has served on the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival Committee for the past three years and is the current Out-of-state Teams Coordinator, Social Media Manager, as well as the creator and designer for our festival awards. Ash is an Air Force Veteran and current educator, who is extremely passionate about our sport and our organization. She consistently strives to promote the sport of dragon boating throughout our community, as well as networking with other dragon boat organizations throughout the world.
Laura Rasmussen has been a dragon boat paddler for eight years and was introduced to the sport through a breast cancer support group. She paddles with Phoenix Desert Dragons. Laura is a professional bookkeeper, and does paid consultancy for two non-profit entities, but she also donates her time to other non profit organizations. In addition to these clients, she also works with over half a dozen other non-profit organizations doing financial verification of expenses for their events. Laura loves to volunteer her time to good causes, and has been involved in various capacities with a number of other organizations from Susan G Koman to Ironman to the Girl Scouts.
Secretary & Membership Coordinator
Michele Laye has been a member of the Arizona Dragon Riders for about 3 years, assisting with their administration and team planning. She has also volunteered on the AZDBA Festival committee for the past 2 years coordinating the Corporate teams’ registration, communication, practice scheduling, and coaching and steering – at practices and during race weekend. She is the head coach for AZDBA’s Team Blue, an adaptive group of veterans and civilians that practices once a week. She has also served as an assistant coach to CrAZy Cuddlefish and has steered for them also. She loves to paddle, she loves the water, and she loves all that AZDBA has to offer. She plans to utilize all of these skills to continue to expand and grow AZDBA during her time on the board.
Additional Board Members
Tyman Eng, AZDBA member since 2006. Boardmember from 2007 through 2017. USDBF Race Official Course 2010. Masters Certification in Project Management 2018. Certified steersman since the inception of the certification process. Finish line race official AZDBA Festival. Portland dragon boat Start Line race official. Paddles with Arizona Gila Dragons
Danica Tuxbury, an environmental advocate, educator, and now homeschooling mom, has been a member of Team Blue and AZDBA since 2018. She loves being outdoors and on the water and spends much of her free time gardening and taking care of her small urban orchard. For over a decade, Danica has enjoyed volunteering for non-profits in the valley as a board member, bookkeeper, and organizer and is excited to help AZDBA become more resilient and organized in the years to come.
Safety & Compliance Manager
Scott Johs works in Finance for a major Defense Contractor in Scottsdale. For the last 10+ years, Scott has been part of AZDBA. Volunteering for Tempe festival, and paddles with AZ Gila Dragons. He has coached multiple corporate teams who are preparing for the Tempe Festival. Scott also currently serves on the Board of Directors for a one billion plus dollar Arizona based non-profit and has been a volunteer with several other local charitable organizations.
Captains & Coaches Liaison
June Hammer spent 36 years in the Copper Mining Industry in the Source, Milling, and Accounting departments. She has worked at various mine sites around Arizona, including Bagdad, Green Valley, and Globe. She recently retired in 2015. June started dragon boating in June 2016 with the BCS team Phoenix Desert Dragons and loves the camaraderie, travel, and the exhilaration from the physical activity. June advocates for the sport, actively recruits new members for AZDBA, and loves meeting new people.
Tom Broderick has been a member of the AZDBA for 2 years and has practiced and competed with AZ Riders and ACSE Corporate teams, among others.
He is a mostly retired utility industry executive. He has served as a Director or Officer for a number of non- and for-profit organizations and companies, including for the mentally handicapped and for Arizona’s economics profession.
He is interested in supporting the continued success of AZDBA.
Debi Chatfield has been a member of AZDBA since 2017 and paddles with Team Blue, SunGi, and the Gila Dragons. She is a US Air Force veteran and served on active duty both stateside and abroad. Due to a degenerative eye disease, Debi became totally blind later in life, but she doesn’t let that slow her down. One of her passions is travel, and learning the history, cultures, and customs of other countries. In her free time, she volunteers for numerous local non-profit boards and committees, and was previously appointed by the Governor of Arizona, to serve on the Governor’s Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment, as well as serving on the National Federation of the Blind’s State Affiliate Board of Directors. In addition, Debi is a co-founder of an online community which brings blind people together virtually, from around the globe. For the past thirteen years, Debi has devoted much of her time supporting a membership of that organization of over 1,200 in number, by helping manage its day-to-day operations, events, resources, and presentations. She is an enthusiastic and energetic participant in our sport—and enjoys working together with others as a team to make AZDBA, the best it can be!
Mary Ma started her dragon boat career in 2015 through the AZDBA festival as a cooperate team member. Found great passion in the sport and its community. Currently paddles with team SunGi and Gilas.
With fluency in Mandarin & English, and background in the sport and Chinese culture, she wants to help in AZDBA organization and preparation for any events.
Cheston Lee, a St Louis Native, but have been in Arizona since 2010. He has been involved in the Dragon Boat Sport for almost 2 years. He is a member of Team Blue and Gilas, both awesome teams. He hopes to serve the sport both on the water and behind the scenes by being an effective board member.