Meet Us

Foundation Staff & Board

Our staff and Board members are dedicated to the health of Wickenburg, generously giving their time and skills to further local, quality healthcare. Our Board is all-volunteer, and each year we are grateful for their full participation in annual donations and fundraiser planning.

Our Staff

Erika Braaksma

Erika Braaksma

Foundation Executive Director

Erika was born into a military family and lived in several states before settling in Hawaii. She loved every moment of growing up there but moved to Colorado and raised a family with her husband, Chad, and their children, Jake and Joe. Family brought them to Arizona in 2019. They lived in Wickenburg and thoroughly enjoyed their time there.

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Erika received her undergraduate degree in Journalism at the University of Hawaii before working in many newsrooms in Hawaii and Colorado, winning two regional Emmy awards for her work. Erika’s career path shifted from television news to media relations and communications in higher education and healthcare. We all have a story and Erika looks forward to hearing and sharing as many of those stories as possible.

Claudia Summers Wickenburg Hospital Foundation Staff

Claudia Summers

Grant Writer
Claudia is from Detroit, Michigan where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Business, resulting in a career as Special Project Manager for Ford Motor Company. Claudia is the recipient of a Telly Award (the marketing equal to an Oscar) for producing, directing and writing a non-commercial video for Ford Motor Company.
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Claudia has been recognized by Who Who’s and the American Women’s Business Association. She is also a Certified Lead Auditor in Quality and Environmental Systems, and has presented at the American Society of Quality.

Today, Claudia’s goal is to support opportunities for Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation to identify, apply and maintain Grant funding ensuring continual improvement at a world-class facility, with the latest equipment for their health care today and in the future.

In her spare time, Claudia embraces experiences from off-road and street motorcycles; to off-shore, high-performance race boats and pleasure yachts traveling the Atlantic Ocean. Soaring higher was achieved when she became a licensed private pilot and flew through the Bermuda Triangle.

Richelle Crook Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Staff

Richelle Crook

Senior Accountant
Richelle moved to Arizona in 2017 after living in seven states throughout various parts of the country. She was born and raised in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Virginia Commonwealth University where she majored in accounting. After working for more than a decade as an accountant, Richelle went to work for the airlines, traveled the world, experienced different cultures, and met new people. After being furloughed from the airlines, she returned to finance and started working for a video game development company in California.
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Richelle volunteers at St. Mary’s Food Bank. She is married to her best friend, Terry. They love traveling, dogs, and football.

Our Board

Jay Farquhar Wickenburg Hospital Foundation Board

Jay Farquhar

Foundation Board Chair
Jay retired to Wickenburg two-and-a-half years ago after having three different careers in ocean container shipping, software and technology, and as a small business owner.

As he was climbing the corporate ladder, Jay had ever-increasing responsibilities with jobs in Chicago; New Orleans; Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, UAE; Edison, NJ; Washington, D.C.; London, England; Berkeley, CA; Alameda, CA; San Jose, CA; Los Gatos, CA; and Redding, CA.

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In 2003, Jay moved to a small community to see if he could make a difference, and bought a printing franchise which he sold 15 years later. While in Redding, he became very active in local charities including the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Redding, and Make-A-Wish, and was asked to join the boards of Make-A-Wish of Northeastern and Central California and Northern Nevada and One Safe Place. This is where he gained knowledge and understanding of the non-profit world.

Jay is very happy to be on the board of the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation. He is also on the board of the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts Center, and the board of the Rotary Club of Wickenburg where he is the current Treasurer and the President-Elect for the next year.

Hunt Spear Wickenburg Hospital Foundation Board

Hunt Spear

Foundation Vice Chair
Hunt has been a resident of Wickenburg since 2011, moving from the Carlsbad area. Hunt has lived in Maryland, Nigeria, Jamaica, El Salvador, Guam, Florida, Colorado, California, and Arizona. After working in banking, sales and personnel, he went to work in information technology for the federal government where he remains today.
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Soon after arriving in Wickenburg, Hunt began volunteering for many different organizations. He spent two three-year terms on the board of the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation serving three years as Chairman of the Board, one year on the board of the Wickenburg Citizens Patrol, three years on the board of the Wickenburg Elks Lodge more recently returning for another three-year term with the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board of Directors.

Hunt is also a twelve-year volunteer of the Amigos Trail Ride and Drive, as Chairman for five years.

Hunt is excited to be on the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board and looks forward to supporting our local community. His life these days involves work, volunteering, and motorcycling.

Christine Angeli Wickenburg Hospital Foundation Board

Christine Angeli

Foundation Board Director
Christine has been a resident of Wickenburg for one and a half years. She served on multiple non-profit boards over the last 20 years in Orange County including;

All The Arts For All The Kids Foundation, The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, & The National Charity League. She has spearheaded fundraising efforts in these organizations raising over $1,500,000 for children’s art programming, cultural programs, and philanthropic organizations.

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Christine recently retired from education. Her experience includes K-8 education, adjunct professor at Whittier College, five years on HGTV, five years with art education with Princess Cruises, and author of eight art books. She is excited to share her passion of making a difference with the Wickenburg Hospital Foundation.

Ed Buscis Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board

Ed Buscis

Board Member

Ed retired in 2004 from his thriving distribution and manufacturing business, and has an educational background in mechanical engineering. Ed’s mother once spent time at Wickenburg Community Hospital for over a month and was treated “in a manner that was so extremely special.”

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He currently volunteers at the Peeples Valley Fire Department, and is motivated to be a part of future initiatives connecting Hospital services with our surrounding rural communities.

Ernest James Dale Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board

Ernest James Dale

Board Member

Ernest has lived in Wickenburg since 2016, and has 45 years of experience in executive, business and technical management. His senior executive roles have included leadership at Computer Sciences Corporation, CAP Gemini Sogeti and Electronic Data Systems. He also founded E.J. Caimen, which over 20 years became the largest manufacturer of shelf merchandising strips for retail chains. 

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His interest in serving on the Foundation board lies in assisting with the development and improvement of facilities and operations, because “the quality of medical services available at Wickenburg Hospital is important to the community and to me.”

Josh Jones Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board

Josh Jones, DMD

Foundation Board Director
Dr. Josh Jones is honored to be part of the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Being from a small town, he believes that being an active part of your community is important. Dr. Jones moved to Arizona to attend dental school, where he met his beautiful wife Miranda. They have been married for 11 years. After dental school, Dr. Jones completed a military-based hospital residency at Camp Pendleton where he treated Navy and Marine Corps service members and their families. He served two more tours before deciding it was time to come home and raise his already-growing family.
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Dr. Jones works in Wickenburg and his children, two daughters and a son, attend school here. His family is one of the reasons he wanted to serve on the Foundation Board — to make Wickenburg better for his family and the entire community.
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Ward O’Doherty

Board Member

Ward is proud to be a member of the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation board. He graduated in 1992 with dual degrees in Theatrical Production and Business. Since then, he’s spent time living in New York, Los Angeles and San Diego County, CA.

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Ward now provides financial needs analysis in the areas of retirement, estate planning, employee benefits and retention, and business continuity strategies.

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Jerry Riggins

Foundation Board Director
Jerry has lived in Wickenburg for 12 years. Upon retirement in 2010, Jerry and his wife, Vicki, wanted to get back into a small-town environment. Their realtor suggested they look at Wickenburg and they were smitten.

Jerry was born in Wyoming and his family moved around the country following his father’s work in heavy construction. They settled in a Los Angeles suburb called Sierra Madre. Jerry went on to attend the University of Santa Barbara and eventually graduated from UCLA with a degree in Economics. It was at UCLA that he met Vicki. They married in 1972 and moved all over the country while Jerry pursued a career in the savings and loan industry. He worked for Merrill Lynch and Fidelity Investments before starting a consulting firm working with small businesses on their customer and contact management systems.

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Jerry and Vicki got involved as soon as they moved to Wickenburg. Vicki volunteered on the boards of some small organizations. Jerry first became involved with the Desert Caballeros Western Museum as a gallery guide and docent, then served a short time on the Cowgirl Up committee. Jerry and Vicki had an interest in the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, and Jerry was invited onto the Board of Directors as a member of the Finance Committee. He soon became treasurer and then had the fortunate opportunity to be elected as incoming President beginning in 2023. Three months ago, Jerry was invited to join the Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board and sits on the finance committee.

Lea Way Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation Board

Lea Way, FNP-C, PA-C

Board Member

Lea has been practicing medicine for over 30 years. Her career began serendipitously as a nursing assistant at Wickenburg Community Hospital. While working, she also completed Nursing School at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona. Then she entered the Primary Care/Emergency Nurse Practitioner Program at Maricopa County Hospital and became a Physician Assistant.

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Lea believes medicine and care go together, and all patients should have a voice in their care.

Hunt Spear
“Wickenburg is my home and I am in a position to give back to my community. It’s the right thing to do.”

– Hunt Spear, Foundation Vice Chair