National United Way council adds Merrill

University of Arizona optical scientist Catherine D. Merrill has been named to the United Way National Women’s Leadership Council.

Merrill, a member of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona board, will be Arizona’s only representative on the council, a formal advisory board of volunteers who provide strategic recommendations to United Way worldwide and support the work of local United Ways in women’s philanthropy, advocacy, volunteerism, mentoring and leadership.

Merrill was lead systems engineer and deputy program manager for the OSIRIS‐REx camera system, OCAMS. She is now project manager for the UA’s Giant Magellan Telescope Primary Mirror Segments.

SARSEF promotes Baker to dep. director

Liz A. Baker has been named deputy director of SARSEF, the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation. Baker was most recently the foundation’s director of research and directed the annual SARSEF fair held at the Tucson Convention Center.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, Baker obtained a master’s of science degree from St. Andrews University, Scotland, and served in a research position with the Gorilla Foundation. She was an intern for the Jane Goodall Institute, after participating in primate research through SARSEF.

Planning Center adds office and principal

The Planning Center, a multi-disciplinary planning and landscape architecture firm operating in Southern Arizona for more than 30 years, has opened an office in Tempe.

Jessica Sarkissian has joined The Planning Center as a principal to lead the new office.

Sarkissian sits on the Mesa Planning and Zoning Board and the Arizona Planning Association Board. Previously she was a Mesa Board of Adjustment member as well as a Gilbert planning commissioner and zoning hearing officer.

Clinical director Holt joins Sabino Recovery

Peggy A. Holt has joined Sabino Recovery as clinical director.

She most recently facilitated development of a mood disorder program at a major treatment center and also served as a primary therapist there.

Holt co-authored “The Everest Principle,” a book on peak performance for all populations. She is a licensed professional counselor trained in hypnosis, equine therapy, therapeutic recreation, biofeedback and EMDR.

Casteel, Little open real estate group

Raena Casteel and Danny Little have created the Casteel Little Real Estate Group.

Members of the National Association of Realtors, Casteel and Little have teamed up through real estate broker Tierra Antigua to serve multiple client types.

Casteel is the founder of La Paloma Academy, serves as the charter holder of seven charter schools throughout Arizona and is experienced in the financial sector of education. Little ran a large rescue mission which created more than 100 jobs through outreach.

Moussa returns to Tucson as an exec chef

Issa Moussa has joined The Lodge at Ventana Canyon as executive chef after a brief time away from Tucson at Hammock Dunes Country Club in Florida.

Moussa previously spent 35 years at Skyline Country Club. He is a two-time winner of a chef of the year award, is certified by the American Culinary Federation and has been inducted into the Southern Arizona Chefs Association Hall of Fame, and is an active volunteer in the community .

Riggs joins sales team at Contents Interiors

Contents Interiors, 3401 E Fort Lowell Road, announces the addition of Julie Riggs to its sales team. Riggs has 15 years of experience in the home furnishings industry and is a longtime resident of Tucson.

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