Meet Our Board members
JOE BILL, President
Joe has been a resident of Fountain Hills since 1987 when he moved from Rochester, MN to help open Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale. As a new resident, he actively participated in the effort to obtain voter approval for incorporation, which led to his appointment to the first Town Council in 1990. Although his undergraduate and graduate studies were physics and math, his professional career was primarily in marketing and health care administration, mostly with Mayo Clinic. He authored the book Climbing the Ladder Less Traveled and taught strategic planning in the masters program at ASU as an Adjunct Professor. He has served in many different volunteer leadership roles in Rochester, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. A life-long appreciation of the wonders of the nighttime universe began when he received his first telescope in sixth grade. Later, attending adult astronomy camps furthered his desire to preserve the beautiful skies above Fountain Hills. In retirement, he helped form and lead the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association in its successful goal to have Fountain Hills receive its prestigious designation as the world’s 17th International Dark Sky Community and in 2017, he was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association.
TED BLANK, Vice President
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. In October 2018, Ted was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association.
NANCY BILL, Treasurer and Secretary
Nancy always appreciated being able to see a beautiful night sky 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 over 30 years. Although her careers as a medical lab manager and later as a CPA kept her busy, she always found time to volunteer, often in leadership roles. Nancy co-chaired the bond campaign to build a Fountain Hills high school and chaired the Strategic Committee for the Fountain Hills incorporation effort. She also volunteered time as a McDowell Mountain Conservancy steward and as an officer of the PTO Board, Library Board, and Golden Eagle Foundation. Over the past several years, she’s been devoting her time to help preserve Fountain Hills’ unique dark skies and has enjoyed frequent night viewing at Star Parties. She loves knowing that no matter what happens during the day, she can marvel at the wonders of the universe at night. In October 2017, Nancy was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association.
SCOTT ADAMS, Board Member
After completing a 31-year career in petroleum exploration with Chevron Corporation, Scott and his wife Diana retired to Salida, Colorado in 2006. There, he volunteered on local theater, radio station and science organization boards, and for five years managed a collaboration with the Colorado Symphony (Denver) to bring classical music to Salida. In another “universe,” appreciating the sensational night skies of rural Colorado, Scott took up the hobby of astronomy, purchased telescopes and volunteered as an evening astronomy host at a local viewing site. He enjoys sharing “backyard” astronomy experiences with the public. Scott and Diana moved to Fountain Hills in May 2018 to be closer to family and grandchildren in Phoenix. Fountain Hills’ status as an International Dark Sky community was a key factor in choosing this community. Scott is enthusiastic about the mission of the International Dark Sky Discovery Center and is honored to be a Board member.
JERRY BUTLER, Board Member
Jerry is a retired engineer, who during his 40+ year career became a principal in two design firms (one small, one national) and was instrumental in leading both to new heights. Following retirement, Jerry moved to Fountain Hills full-time in 1999 to enjoy the ambiance provided by its dark skies. Since then he has tirelessly applied his design experiences to advance a variety of community causes. Recognizing that success begins with careful planning, he immersed himself in the Town’s 2005 strategic planning process, later serving on its first Strategic Planning Advisory Commission. In 2018 his many Fountain Hills’ accomplishments were acknowledged when he was inducted into the Lower Verde River Hall of Fame. In addition to being on the Board of Directors to promote and develop the Dark Sky Discovery Center, Jerry also serves on the Board of Directors of the Fountain Hills Cultural and Civic Association and the Fountain Hills Sanitary District.
JEFF ESPOSITO, Board Member
Jeff retired in 2017 after 38 years in the field of building technology automation. Originally from the Chicago area, his career opportunities allowed him to live in a half dozen US locations. Always interested in the night sky, each move (mostly west) seemed to give him a little better view of the stars and a rising interest in knowing more about them. But it wasn’t until he moved to Arizona in 2006 that the heavens really opened up. So much so that he soon made his first astronomy investment by purchasing a 6” SCT. Entertaining family and friends with the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter is always great fun and Fountain Hills is the perfect place to do that. He and his wife Barb arrived here in 2012 and love the town’s commitment to preserving the dark skies. Currently active with a number of local organizations including Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association. The International Dark Sky Discovery Center is an amazing project and he is honored to be a member of the board and to share his past experience in commercial design engineering and construction.
WALT FRANKLIN, Board Member
Walt is a retired former owner of Cheese and Dairy Products Ltd., a sales and marketing company based in Arizona. A graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, Walt has had several national sales and marketing responsibilities in the home furnishings and environmental control industries. The Franklin Family has lived in Fountain Hills for over 40 years where their children attended district schools. Walt has always been actively involved in local civic matters and positions he has held over the years include President of the Civic Association, Trustee and President of the Joint Powers Road Districts, Trustee of the Sanitary Commission, Founder and President of the Community Center Advisory Commission, Founder and President of Vision Fountain Hills, and Member of Fountain Hills Hall of Fame. Walt believes Fountain Hills deserves an impressive, nationally recognized reputation and that the International Dark Sky Discovery Center will be key to attaining that goal.
ALAN MAGAZINE, Board Member
Alan’s career was in Washington, DC where he retired as CEO of the Health Industry Manufacturer’s Association. Prior to that he was President of the Council on Competitiveness and served as Director of Intergovernmental Relations at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, Magazine served on various US and regional governmental commissions and was on staff at the International City Management Association. From 1971-1979 he was an elected member of the Fairfax, Virginia County Board of Supervisors while earning his PhD from the University of Maryland. He was recently re-elected to his second term on the Fountain Hills, Arizona Town Council. In retirement, Alan is an award-winning nature photographer and is happily married to Cynthia Penrose Magazine.
CHANDRA MERICA, Board Member
Chandra is a long-time Fountain Hills resident, and she fondly remembers many nights viewing the sky with her family. She is the proud mother of two sons and a rescue greyhound from Arizona Adopt-a-Greyhound. Chandra is actively involved with and/or supports many charitable organizations including Foster your Future, Golden Eagle Education Foundation, Fountain Hills Sister Cities, Friends of the Library, and many more. Chandra is a graduate of ASU and continues to be a self-learner on many topics and hobbies. She has held multiple senior leadership positions in the healthcare industry with well-known organizations including Aetna-HDMS, Banner Health, and Dignity Health/Tenet Healthcare owned Arizona Care Network. Currently she is happy to contribute to the success of Equality Health’s vision of removing barriers to good health and creating healthy communities.
TONY PISTILLI, Board Member
Staten Island NY native Tony Pistilli began his interest in astronomy during his university studies, graduating from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1973 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering & Applied Mechanics and later a Master’s in Business from Rensselaer Hartford in 1980. After his wife Sandy bought him a telescope—a Criterion 6” Newtonian Reflector with Clock Drive— he began exploring the night skies in Vernon, CT on COLD, minus 20-degree nights, shooting his first photos of the planets. Tony’s career path next moved to Phoenix with an assignment to help America West Airlines build its maintenance program and manage their fleet expansions into the Pacific and European markets. During this time, Tony’s love for astronomy grew. Upon retiring to Fountain Hills in 2007, Tony picked up his 10” Orion Newtonian Reflector and began serious viewing of our Dark Skies and converted his home to Dark Skies standard lighting. Tony has always been an active volunteer in his communities. Here in Fountain Hills, he volunteers with Junior Achievement and the Boys and Girls Club and is a current and past president of the Rotary Club of Fountain Hills. Tony is also a “Purple Jacket Navigator” at Sky Harbor Airport and a member of Mesa’s Commemorative Air Force.
PAST BOARD MEMBERS