President & CEO
Dick Foreman brings to ABEC unprecedented knowledge, expertise and credibility that he has built during his much accomplished 37-year career in public affairs and in developing public policy. He also brings to ABEC a wide array of experiences while serving on business, education, and community governing and advisory boards throughout his career. His passion, however, is and always has been public education.
After 27 years, Dick left a very successful career with Southwest Gas Corporation where he was the Director of Corporate Public Affairs for what he calls his “dream job,” to lead ABEC. At Southwest Gas, he was responsible for state and federal legislative affairs, special corporate and regulatory initiatives, franchise negotiations, state and municipal relations, and consumer and community affairs. Prior to Southwest Gas, he led the state legislative affairs for Salt River Project and also served as a research analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives, where he began his career in public policy. Throughout his distinguished career, Dick has created professional relationships with countless elected officials as well as business and civic leaders at the local, state and national level.
No stranger to education, Dick served ten years as a governing board member for the Tempe Union High School District and also served on the school boards of two charter schools – Tempe Preparatory Academy and Great Hearts Academies. He understands that Arizona public schools need resources, and as such, has chaired/co-chaired eleven public school finance campaign initiatives (i.e. school bonds, M&O overrides) over the span of 25 years.
He is also an active leader in the business community, having served on the boards of the Arizona Tax Research Association and its Foundation, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry and its Foundation, and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. He is a proven leader, respected by the business and education communities alike.
Dick graduated twice magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master of Public Administration degree. In his spare time, he is a community and contributing columnist for several local newspapers and has even authored and published a contemporary Western novel, “A Distant Fire.” He enjoys basketball, writing children's short stories, hiking the White Mountains of Greer, Arizona and exploring the coastline of Oregon with his wife Kate, three children, four grandchildren, and one GREAT grandchild!
Karen joined ABEC in March 2007. She brings to ABEC extensive experience in the information technology and customer service industries.
Karen's professional expertise focused on project development and management of business applications for large corporations including Federal Express, Schering-Plough, American Express, and Motorola. She has received numerous awards from her employers for bringing outstanding integrity, dedication, and excellence to her work in both project management and customer service.
Along with her valued knowledge of the business sector, Karen brings much professionalism to her position with her excellent organizational and event coordination skills, impeccable attention to detail, clarity in direction, and great customer service.