Hartman, Rice continue Project CENTRL tradition


Maricopa resident Betsy Rice and Dale Hartman, who grew up on the family’s farm in Maricopa, are among the newest Project CENTRL class members, continuing a long tradition of Maricopans’ participation in the state-wide rural leadership program.

Rice has lived in Maricopa since 2003 and said she was honored to be selected to Project CENTRL’s (Center for Rural Leadership) Class XIX.

“This rural leadership development program has an outstanding reputation and former classmates have left a strong legacy for our class to build upon,” Rice said. “I am looking forward to everything the next two years has in store.”

Rice is the public information officer for the city of Casa Grande and Hartman manages Santa Cruz Farms.

They commenced their two-year journey last month at an event at Grace Inn in Ahwatukee that also celebrated the graduation of Class XVIII and the organization’s 25th anniversary.

“What started as an idea among a few visionary founders has evolved into today’s premier leadership program,” said Everett Rhodes, Project CENTRL’s executive director. “Approaching 500 Alumni, Project CENTRL has truly come of age in providing effective and responsive leadership to meet the growing needs and challenges facing rural Arizona.”

Rice and Hartman continue a long-standing tradition of participation by Maricopans. Scott Bartle, publisher of inmaricopa.com, was among the Class XVIII graduates, and he was preceded by Councilman Kelly Haddad (Class XVII) and Councilman Edward Farrell (Class XVI). Mayor Kelly Anderson (Class III) and former superintendent of schools Alma Farrell (Class XV) are also alums.

Project CENTRL was founded in 1983 and its mission is “to assist highly motivated leaders improve and expand their leadership skills to become more responsive and effective in meeting the needs of rural people in public affairs.”