Three local women play important roles in helping the economy thrive

Right in the heart of Prescott, three local women are helping the local economy thrive. Through their work at the Northern Arizona Council of Governments’ (NACOG) Economic/Workforce Development (EWD) office, Teri Drew, Leah Clickavage, and Anita Payne run the programs that offer training, services, and resources to help people find and retain quality employees and help businesses run smoothly.

Based in Flagstaff and incorporated in 1975, NACOG is a non-profit regional coalition of the Apache, Coconino, Navajo, and Yavapai Counties. The NACOG umbrella encompasses many aspects of everyday life in Northern Arizona, including aging, children’s services, adult services, community services, housing, and workforce and economic development.

At the helm of NACOG-EWD: Teri, who is the Regional Director of NACOG and Yavapai County Workforce Development Board Executive Director. She started her career with NACOG in 1976 and is a multi-award-winning leader with local, regional, state, and national influence in economic and workforce development. Teri has a passion for assisting women in non-traditional occupations and previously served on the Governor’s Commission for Women. Teri is the current Chair of the Arizona Workforce Association (AWA) and is a Past President of the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED). She is an active member of the United States Workforce Association (USWA). Teri was named Prescott Area Leadership (PAL) Woman of the Year in 2012. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. Teri’s longstanding motto: “The only thing we have to offer is an opportunity!”

Leah, the NACOG-EWD Operations Manager, can testify that opportunity is available within the ranks of the organization, too. Leah went from private sector management, public relations, and customer service, to work as a Program Specialist in workforce development at NACOG in 2007. She advanced through the ranks to her current position in 2015. Leah’s passion is to offer a hand-up to individuals seeking to develop a career and take the steps to succeed and become self-sufficient. Professional affiliations include Arizona Workforce Association, Arizona Association for Economic Development, Yavapai County Youth Council, ARIZONA@WORK-Yavapai County One Stop Committee, PAHRA member, and past Yavapai County Workforce Development Board Member.

Anita takes the lead of the Workforce Development Board (WDB). A long-time board member and five-year chair of the private sector-driven Executive Committee, Anita is a strong influence for workforce development with an understanding of the need for a highly-skilled workforce in Yavapai County. Under Anita’s leadership, the WDB averages more than 500 job placements annually. Her responsibilities include oversight of four state and federal workforce development programs serving more than 10,000 individuals each year. Anita understands the importance of workforce development in our current economy and has actively participated in national workforce leadership development forums in Washington, DC over the past three years. A graduate of the University of Phoenix, Anita’s expertise is in electrical engineering designs and construction, where she has more than 40 years of direct optimum policy-making and direct services. Anita is also known for her service to many councils, boards, and committees in the area.

The Northern Arizona Council of Governments Economic/Workforce Development office is at 221 North Marina Street in Prescott. Learn more at or by calling 928.778.1422