The central mission of Elevate Southwest is to foster strategic collaborations between the academic sphere and industry, with the overarching goal of cultivating a highly skilled workforce and amplifying the attainment of academic degrees and certifications. Establishing synergistic partnerships constitutes a pivotal element in achieving success, drawing upon local and regional stakeholders' active involvement and engagement. Elevate Southwest is committed to forging cooperative relationships with neighboring colleges and universities.
Mr. Jerry Cabrera, a native of Yuma and a resident of Somerton, brings a distinguished background to his role. He served as the City Manager for the City of Somerton from 2019 to 2022, and his educational credentials include a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from NAU-Yuma and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix. Before assuming the responsibilities of City Manager, Mr. Cabrera held positions of employment at the Regional Center for Border Health and the Somerton Elementary School, where he ascended through the ranks to Assistant Superintendent.
Mr. Cabrera's active involvement extends beyond his professional positions, as he has been an engaged participant in numerous Yuma County boards and committees. His contributions have been notable in organizations such as the Yuma Community Foundation, Yuma County Food Bank, Somerton Rotary, Yuma HOME Consortium, Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, and various other committees dedicated to community development. Additionally, Mr. Cabrera maintains a portfolio of certifications, including but not limited to his Elementary School Certification, Mediation Certification, MBTI Trainer Certification, and Student Hearing Officer accreditation, which further exemplify his commitment to enhancing the educational and civic landscape of Yuma.
Nazzer Mendez was born in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. He earned a bachelor’s degree in International Business at Universidad Estatal de Sonora – Hermosillo Campus and an associate’s degree in Marketing at Phoenix College.
Nazzer has developed a professional career in the public and private sectors in the so-called Arizona-Sonora megaregion. He has solid experience in international business, consular services, economic development programs, cultural and educational promotion, community affairs, radio, conferences, and digital platforms, among others.
Nazzer has previously provided his professional services in the following institutions:
- Consulate General of Mexico in Nogales, Arizona
- Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix, Arizona
- Grupo Socoada in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora
- Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
- Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona
Nazzer was appointed Executive Director of 4FrontED in April 2019 and Program Coordinator of Elevate Southwest in March 2023, both based in Yuma, AZ. He is responsible for strengthening the ties of collaboration between authorities and leaders on both sides of the US-Mexico border.