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Meet the 2023 Men of Chandler!

Meet This Year's Group of Amazing Men

One of my favorite parts of this publishing role is connecting with and championing a few of the best when it comes to the Chandler Men’s Issue. I love this opportunity to recognize those in our community who are making a difference—the businessman, family member, teacher, doctor, coach, friend, volunteer, or neighbor doing awesome things to make sure we are all a little bit better. They are movers and shakers, builders, and makers. They are both seen and unseen. Their service, dedication, and attention to what’s important in life show us something about service that can’t be seen or understood any other way.

An inspirational man has the incredible power and privilege of shaping, inspiring, and mentoring those around him to grow and mature in a multitude of ways. Whether it was someone pushing us to be a better version of ourselves, someone we look up to for guidance, or perhaps someone we don’t personally know but inspires us by the example they set.

We can all probably think of a man in our life that has had a big impact on us at one time or another. Take time to think about the men in your life who deserve recognition, and take a minute to brighten their day by reminding them how much you appreciate them. It matters when we notice.

Lt. Michael Prendergast

Chandler Police Department

Chandler native, US Marine veteran, and Lieutenant with the Chandler Police Department, Lt. Michael Prendergast is a model of everything a law enforcement officer should be. His father, a Vietnam veteran, and a retired police officer, inspired Lt. Prendergast to find ways to serve.

“He spent his entire life in service to others, and I am proud to follow in his footsteps,” he says.

His nominator writes, “Prendergast is a recognized leader in our department who has earned the respect of his peers by setting high standards for himself, as well as those around him. Growing up in Chandler and coming from a police family, he has a vested interest in the community and strives to make our department the best it can be.”

In tandem with his police responsibilities, he will find those in need and work with churches, schools, and community leaders to get them the local resources that can help change their lives.

“I am firmly rooted in Chandler. I was born, raised, and educated here. After the military, I moved back, married, and bought a home. All our children were born, raised, and educated here, as well. Chandler has always been my home, and I hope it always will be,” he says.

Something you may not know?

“I am a decent artist!” 

Dr. Hemant Pandey

Neurologist, Brain and Spine Center

The stroke program at Chandler Regional Hospital (CRH) was the catalyst for many journeys Dr. Hemant Pandey has taken. He came to CRH from MD Andersen Hospital in Houston to build a stroke center, and received the first primary stroke center accreditation in the East Valley.

A robust network was built that spanned from first responders (EMT) to the ER team to a very skilled stroke team to finally the rehab team that could bring a stroke patient to the CT scanner in the ER within 30 minutes.

“As the program was built from inception, I was given a team of very accomplished and dedicated staff and community board members. It etched in me a deep sense of service and made me realize how tight and committed the community was,” he says.

Dr. Pandey is widely known for his expertise in diagnosing and treating various forms of dementia, and is associated with various organizations that provide support to dementia patients. He especially enjoys the patient support groups as it allows a very close interaction with the struggles that the patient and their loved ones face daily.

“To be able to be of service brings me true joy—either as a neurologist, a scout dad, a teacher in Chinmaya, or even as an Indian hosting large festivities at home—and is something I feel privileged about.” 

Dwayne Earl Dobson

Retired Rancher

Dwayne Earl Dobson is a third-generation farmer and rancher whose family has called Chandler home since 1892. After attending the University of Arizona, Dobson returned to Chandler to run the Dobson family agricultural business. He built the farming operation from a few hundred acres to several thousand and maintained a herd of 4,000-plus ewes (sheep).

Up until very recently, Dobson and the Dobson family were the only ranchers who walked their herd back and forth across the Heber-Reno Sheep Trail Driveway from the Salt River Valley to the White Mountains, a tradition that they kept for 83 years and which has shaped the agricultural roots of the Chandler community. 

Dobson has been an active leader in the community, with decades of service as a founding member of the Chandler Compadres, past president of the Chandler Rotary, and serving 40-plus years on the board and council of SRP. He is in the AZ Ranchers Hall of Fall, coached Chandler Little League, and was a member of countless agricultural organizations—the Arizona Farm Bureau and Arizona Cattle Growers Association, just to name a few.

Now in his early 80s, Dobson is still very active in the community. Many of his four children and over 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren also call Chandler home, and are following his legacy by giving back to Chandler in their own unique ways.


Jeff Reynolds

VP, Commercial Services & Philanthropic Programs

CertaPro Painters

Jeff Reynolds loves finding new ways to give back to the Chandler community, and he is—literally—everywhere supporting great causes and local events. He has served on the boards of For Our City Chandler and Chandler Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, as community manager and board president for Chandler Neighborhoods, as commissioner for the City of Chandler Housing and Human Services, and two terms (six years) on the City of Chandler Parks and Recreation Board.

Through his work with CertaPro, Reynolds has been able to regularly sponsor local community causes and events, including the Chandler Film Festival and The Ostrich Festival.

Reynold's passion for film led to his role as founder, CEO, and director of Jeff Reynolds Productions, a production company specializing in feature and documentary films, which is planning several new projects for 2023. In this role, he is a partner with the Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival and a judge at the annual Chandler Film Festival.

He also owns a cabin in Pinetop, which serves as a sanctuary retreat center for artists and filmmakers, and other wellness programs, and where he is also philanthropically involved.

Something you may not know?

“In 1994, I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain,” he shares.

John Bratcher

Retired, Volunteer

John Bratcher moved to Chandler with his family in 1969 when his father was stationed at Williams Field Air Force Base. He is a product of Chandler Unified School District, graduating from Chandler High, and later, Arizona State University. He started his 45-year career with Dignity Health as a teen, where he was first hired as a janitor. Ultimately, he retired as a supply chain director for nine Arizona hospitals.

He also volunteers at DSquared Homes for the Homeless, a Chandler-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the immediate and long-term needs of those experiencing homelessness, with a strong focus on the seriously mentally ill population.

“There is no doubt in my mind that there was some sort of mix-up in my past, and I was blessed with much more than I deserve in life, so I’ve always been acutely aware of the struggles of others and feel compelled to help, not always in big ways but in general by treating everyone with dignity and respect, like I would a close friend,” he says.

Something you may not know?

“When I was younger, I rode in a performing unicycle basketball troupe. We did parades, half-time shows, and the county fair.” 

Jon Lyons

Retired, Volunteer

After retiring from Honeywell, Jon Lyons was ready to be more involved in his community, so he joined the Sun Lakes Rotary Club and the Chandler Business Alliance, a group of local businesses committed to the development of Chandler’s business and nonprofit segment of the community. As president of the Rotary from 2020-2022, they completed 45 service projects with a focus on education and literacy, providing scholarships and STEM projects, as well as supporting a multitude of local charities.

Through both of these organizations, Lyons enjoys leading and seeking ways to improve processes and service projects to best meet the current needs of many local charities on initiatives and direct funding. He feels both organizations have not only given him the opportunity to give back, but also meet and work with many great people. “Seeing the faces and smiles of the people that receive our support lets me know that each act of kindness is bringing peace to others,” he shares.

What are his words to live by?

“Show up every day, work hard, have fun, and be kind to others.” 

Dr. Radi Rahiminejad

Co-Founder, CEO

Backfit Health & Spine

The first Backfit Health & Spine location opened in Chandler and now has grown to 12 offices with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyles and educating the community on the preventative measures that can be taken to ensure wellness.

“This was never more needed than when coming out of the pandemic. We felt obligated to help as many people we could,” Dr. Radi Rahiminejad says.

For more than two decades, the company has donated time and treasure to many local organizations, schools, companies, and nonprofits.

To Dr. Rahiminejad, Chandler is home.

“There are so many amazing opportunities for people and families here. The continued growth of this town makes it such a great place to start or raise a family. Or start a business. I love that this community really steps up and helps one another out.”

Dr. Rahiminejad is a member of the Chandler Compadres, and along with his sister, founded BackFit CARES, a nonprofit dedicated to their late mother with a mission to improve the lives of underprivileged children by offering natural options for physical and mental health and wellness.

Something you may not know? In the middle of the pandemic, Rahiminejad continued to invest in Chandler when he became co-owner of PITTFitness three years ago.

“YES … I bought a gym during the pandemic when all gyms were forced to be closed. LOL.”

Peter Bugg

Visual Arts Program Manager

City of Chandler

Peter Bugg moved to Arizona in 2006 for grad school and thought he would leave right after graduation. Almost 17 years later, he’s still here.

As the Visual Arts Program Manager for the City of Chandler, Bugg oversees the Vision Gallery and the Gallery at Chandler Center for the Arts. He also administers the city’s public art programs.

Under his leadership, this program has flourished and helped to create meaningful spaces in city buildings, around Downtown Chandler, and throughout the community. From colorful murals along the Commonwealth Canal and in many neighborhoods to vibrant traffic control boxes on street corners to creative outdoor shade structures, Bugg has helped the city further define itself as a community that values not only the arts, but also the quality of life for its residents.

“I try to make Chandler a more beautiful, interesting place to live through the many public art projects and other programming we are able to put on,” he says. 

Something you may not know? His favorite food is anything made by somebody else! 

Dr. Greg Peterson


Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Since joining Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) five years ago, Dr. Peterson has worked closely with the city to elevate the college and Chandler as a national leader in developing workforce programs and semiconductor technician and artificial intelligence programs. He also launched an internship program specifically for city jobs and an embedded advisor program with CUSD high schools. CGCC also partners with many local nonprofits and provides thousands of hours of service each year.

Dr. Peterson also works with his team to better coordinate the basic needs of students and community members on campus, including prioritizing the college’s food pantry and fresh produce distribution and partnering with Gila River to host a national conference.

"I have always believed in the power of education, seeing the hope and positivity that it can provide. I am energized when individuals see more possibilities in themselves and the world around them, motivating them to have a positive impact in the lives of others," he says. "I am inspired by the burgeoning economic landscape of Chandler and the diversity of the communities it boasts. Chandler is a driver for the East Valley, and I see its success as critical to the success of the county and our state.”

Tony Alcala

Principal, Galveston Elementary

“This is my city! I grew up on Dugan Dairy Farm off Dobson and Germann, playing in alfalfa fields, jumping off haystacks, swimming in irrigation canals, and attending CUSD schools,” Tony Alcala says.

Alcala’s inspiration comes from growing up in a working-class home with strong values taught by hardworking, loving parents. And, from teachers that set high expectations for him and showed him how great it feels to experience success.

“I remember being told as a kid that growing up in our neighborhood came with the expectation that we needed to one day return to give back,” he says.

And he has done just that!

Alcala attended Galveston Elementary and is now its current principal. He feels honored that 30 years later, he is working with an amazing staff and community to completely rebuild the 60-year-old school so that the students have the very best technology and resources available.

“I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to return as a leader in education in my own neighborhood,” he says. “Optimism has gotten me through hardships and has led me to many successes and recognitions I never dreamed I would reach. I take on difficult tasks with a positive attitude and approach negativity with a smile. Things are going to be ok in the end, and we can always learn from even the toughest days.” 

Capt. Allen Blaine

Chandler Fire Department

There aren't many areas of the Chandler Fire Department (CFD) that Capt. Allen Blaine doesn't impact. Whether it's activities out with his crew, Swat Medic, Union trustee, video editing, Honor Guard, teaching at state fire school, or ladder training, he strives to build camaraderie amongst all the ranks.

His nominator writes, “He always is willing to answer the call for any of our members and assist them in any way possible, on or off duty. Allen is by far the most welcoming and accepting member of CFD. He dedicates 100% of his time and effort to the department and to the community, and his contribution to CFD and the city is second to none.”

Inspired by his father, a US Marine and retired Chandler police officer, Capt. Blaine reflects, “He was always invested in his community and his department, and that obligation for service inspired me.”

Capt. Blaine finds his true joy serving his fellow firefighters.

“As firefighters, we spend a lot of time in our community outside of running emergency calls. This has allowed me to make relationships with citizens young and old, as well as business owners and organizational leaders. We work with these partners to improve our city, working together on charity events, acts of service, or supporting existing community programs.”

Seth Tucker


Price Mortgage

As a native of Chandler, Seth Tucker does all he can to raise his family, conduct business, and give back to make his community stronger. For Tucker, Chandler is home.

“Once you get to know this city, you recognize how beautiful the dichotomy is with a gorgeous downtown area, beautiful neighborhoods, and even some country farms and cows left.”

Tucker serves on the boards of the Chandler/Gilbert YMCA and the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, and is a past board member of the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley.

“Once I stepped foot inside the Boys & Girls Club, I saw the need on the kids’ faces and I haven’t been able to say ‘no’ since! I want to help provide for those in need whenever I can,” he says.

He also serves on the East Valley Mayors Prayer Breakfast Committee.

Something you may not know? He is fluent in Spanish and has an “out-of-this-world” salsa recipe. He has also spent 15 years training and as a sparring partner with Muay Thai Kickboxing.

“I always had a day job, so I never had a single sanctioned fight.” 

Jacob Schmitt

President, CEO

Arizona’s Children’s Association

Jacob Schmitt has more than 20 years of experience in providing and overseeing social service programs in both public and private sectors and has dedicated his professional career to serving the children and families of Arizona. In his role as CEO of Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA), he particularly focuses on legislative bills that will affect children and families engaged in the foster care and behavioral health systems. He is passionate about bills that affect marginalized populations in our community. 

“I really enjoy seeing the results of the work we do at AzCA—whether it is seeing a child breakthrough in finding a new, healthy coping mechanism as part of our behavioral health program, or providing our dedicated foster parents training and resources to support a child just entering the foster care system, or seeing a young adult who is aging out of the foster care system get the resources they need to enter college and start their new chapter of life.” 

Schmitt is quick to share all the wonderful things Chandler is doing to support the community and focuses on encouraging individuals and organizations to “rise up” and take action to better the lives of our children, youth, and families.

Leonel Martinez Jr.

Site Lead, Hartford Elementary


Growing up in a single-parent home, Leo Martinez is a product of Chandler public housing and knows what it is to struggle. He attended ICAN and the Compadres Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs from third grade through his senior year of high school, both as a student and a staff member, so he also knows the value of giving our youth today opportunities that they might not otherwise get. From his experience with these organizations, he soon learned that he loved working with kids, and giving back to his community became a priority. In 2017, he was awarded the City’s People’s Choice Award for volunteering over 1,000 hours of community service.

“I feel like this city built me, and I want to do the same for other youth growing up in our community. My gestures may not be grand, but a little goes a long way!” he says.

His nominator writes, “He continually holds a high standard for the kids, teaching them respect and kindness to others. He is so patient with the children, taking into consideration their own struggles at home and helping them come up with solutions to their problems.”

Something you may not know?

“I want to become a bull rider and own a ranch!” 

Craig Paschich

CEO, Majestic Theaters

Soon after moving his family from Texas to open a dine-in theater in Chandler and quickly growing to three locations, the pandemic shut the theater down. Despite the adversity, Craig Paschichdecided to stay in our community and, with creativity and hard work, was able to eventually re-open his theaters under the Majestic name.

“Having our business remain vibrant today after all the challenges we’ve faced is definitely my greatest success, and it’s one I share with everyone who has helped us along the way,” he shares.

Paschich values connecting with local business owners and supporting local needs, including those of Chandler Unified School District, local nonprofits, and causes that improve education and opportunities for first responders and the military.

“As a business owner in Chandler, I understand firsthand how critical a vibrant economy is to quality of life. Being part of that economic engine has definitely influenced my commitment to supporting this community, whether investing economically and or from a social perspective, and by dedicating time and treasure to causes that help advance Chandler’s growth.”

His nominator tells us, “Craig is always the most positive person in the room, even when fighting Covid outbreaks, studios pulling films, and the supply chain issues for food and beverage products. He is an amazing mentor, coaching the team to a higher level.”

Something you may not know?

“I raised a grand champion sheep in high school.”