15 Questions with Nicole Stanton

By Maritza Lopez, Community Correspondent

1.  HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN ARIZONA

I’ve been in Arizona since 1995.  I lived in Tucson from 1995 to 2000 and have been in Phoenix ever since.  

2.  HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MARRIED? DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN? 

I have been married for 10 years as of February 19.  Greg and I have two children, Trevor (8) and Violet (5).  

3.  WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER? 

I am a business litigation attorney at the law firm of Quarles & Brady.  

4.  WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS FIRST LADY OF PHOENIX?

I love the ability to make a difference (even if it is small) in a person’s life.  And, it is wonderful to meet so many different people in our community from all walks of life who are doing great things to move this city forward.  

5.  HOW DO YOU JUGGLE YOUR DUTIES AS WIFE, MOTHER, PROFESSIONAL-- AND FIRST LADY?

I have LOTS of help.  Not only does my mother have a home here in Arizona (she retired a few years ago and moved here from Utah), but we have a steady group of very dedicated babysitters who have been with us for years.  

I also triage -- I have to figure out what needs my immediate attention most.  

6.  WHICH OF YOUR HUSBAND’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PHOENIX MAYOR ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

That is a hard one.  Probably a tie between being the first city in the state to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance and the gun “buy back” he pushed for the city to do in 2013 (before the law changed to preclude gun buyback programs).  And, I will be incredibly proud when he is successful in leading the effort on Proposition 104 to expand transportation options in the Valley (including getting expanded light rail and other improvements in South Phoenix).  

7.  YOU’VE MET MANY PEOPLE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, WHAT ARE THE TOP CONCERNS THAT PHOENIX RESIDENTS HAVE?

There are two -- education and the economy, which really go hand in hand.  We can’t have the kind of economy we want long term if we don’t properly educate our children.  

8.    SOUTH PHOENIX HAS SEEN A RISE IN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO RAISE THEIR FAMILIES IN SOUTH PHOENIX?

I think there are really three reasons for this.  First, who wouldn’t want to raise their family in the shadow of one of the largest municipal parks in the country (maybe world) -- South Mountain.  It is beautiful.  Second, I think the proximity to downtown is a bonus for people living in South Phoenix.  Third, I think development spurs other development and it is a cumulative effect we are starting to see.  The more things that are developed there, the more development we will see.  

9.    LAST MONTH, YOU WON THE POSITIVELY POWERFUL WOMAN AWARD FOR YOUR PHILANTHROPIC LEADERSHIP IN ARIZONA.  WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GET INVOLVED AND GIVE BACK TO THEIR COMMUNITY? 

That is an easy one.  Phoenix is a wide open city.  You don’t have to “be someone” or “know someone” to get involved.  Find what you are passionate about and then just make a call to an organization that works on that issue.  It is my experience that they will welcome you with open arms.  Phoenix is thirsty for leadership.  

10.    TELL US ABOUT YOUR ANTI-BULLYING INITIATIVE, “STOP BULLYING AZ”. 

In 2012, when Greg became Mayor I decided to take on an initiative of my own.  I chose the issue of bullying.  My brother, who died of AIDS in 1991, was bullied as a child and I wanted to do something to honor his memory.  Since that time we have been focused on providing advice to parents, kids and schools on best practices surrounding bullying prevention.  We hosted an all-day summit on the topic in 2012 where we brought to ASU, the world’s leading expert on bullying prevention, Dr. Dan Olweus.  We are truly focused on making sure that the programs going into schools have evidence to back up their effectiveness.  In October 2014, we joined forces with ASU and are now part of ASU -- including a name change.  We are now the Dion Initiative on Child Well Being and Bullying Prevention at ASU.  Our mission remains the same: to keep kids safe and provide them with the best possible learning environments.  

11.    WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN PHOENIX?

In addition, I love our quality of life.  It is an easy place to live.  Rich with diversity 

12.    WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES ON A TYPICAL WEEKEND?

Mine are usually kid related.  We love the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Science Center.  We also like to go “hiking” at Dreamy Draw Park.  And eat…. See Answer to question 13.   

13.    WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN PHOENIX?

It depends on the type:  I love the pizza at the Parlor.  I love El Bravo for Mexican Food.  Who doesn’t love Postino for that carb festival from their bruschetta?  I just tried a new Thai place called Reign of Thai on Cave Creek Road that was excellent.  For a great hamburger, I prefer Zinburger -- Sam Fox is a genius!  For a special night out I like to go to Bink’s.  In short, I LOVE FOOD!  

14.    WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN SOUTH PHOENIX?

I love The Farm at South Mountain.  We just spent Mother’s Day there.  

15.    YOU ARE A BIG FAN OF PHOENIX MERCURY BASKETBALL.  DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE A CHANCE AT TAKING THE CHAMPIONSHIP AGAIN?  

I have my fingers crossed!  Despite all of their challenges this year, they are off to a good start.