In 2007, the National Community Education Association (NCEA) Board Members were asked to start or expand State Associations in their regions. Region 7 was comprised of six states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming), of which only three had started associations.
Arizona had a long standing networking group that met on a regular basis to discuss Community Education and facility rentals. In March 2009, over 20 members came together to work on creating the Articles, By-Laws, Mission Statement, and Operations Manual which would define the Arizona Community Education Association (AZCEA). The Minnesota State Association served as the model.
On September 11, 2009, the first official AZCEA Board was elected into office. The inaugural Board was comprised of Josh Glider-President, Jessey Johnson-Vice President (replaced by Michael Linn, September 2010), April Moloney-Secretary, Cathy Verdugo Saldate-Treasurer, and Martha Petty-NCEA Member at Large. On February 04, 2010, AZCEA obtained an Employer Identification Number, and on March 04, 2011, AZCEA received its 501(c)3 charitable status. The first annual Vendor Fair was held on March 4, 2011, which, in conjunction with membership dues, helped fund the first group of scholarships which were distributed in June 2011.
On April 26, 2014, the association was thrilled with the turn out of over 300 attendees at its first annual state conference. The participants received five hours of Community Education professional development! This inaugural event was so well received, it set the stage for the AZCEA to annually offer a conference for its members. This paved the way to seeing the Association grow, while positively influencing the communities and stakeholders it serves. The annual AZCEA conference continues to grow and thrive, providing quality professional development opportunities for Community Educators, drawing a crowd from around the state of Arizona and beyond.