Each month, Cadence at Gateway recognizes Arizona leaders who are working to improve the East Valley region in the business, education, government, non-profit and our faith based community. Cadence presents: east valley champions, local heroes in the east valleyThis month’s honoree is Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo. Deanna is the Community Engagement Director for Maricopa Community Colleges, a long-time Mesa resident who has been serving our community for more than 20 years. Professionally, Deanna has extensive experience in facilitating strategic planning and training for large and small education, non-profit and public institutions. She has the ability to bring diverse or dissenting groups together and lead them to solutions that make sense as they work to achieve both short and long-term goals. These skills have proven incredibly valuable as she’s volunteered for local educational, community-based and human services organizations. Deanna serves as the board chair of the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens, was the immediate past board chair of A New Leaf, is on the board for East Valley Partnership, and is a former board member for Mesa United Way and the United Food Bank. She is a natural leader, with the skills and tenacity to tackle any community challenge. Deanna was recently named the City of Mesa’s Woman of the Year for her tremendous service to our community. Thank you Deanna for being a Cadence East Valley Community Champion as you make our region a better place to live, run a business and raise a family. Know an individual or organization improving life in Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Chandler or Queen Creek? Send your Cadence Community Champion nominations to info@CadenceAZ.com  Photo credit Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo