Trista Guzman Glover is an alum of Phi Chapter at Arizona State University (2008-2010). She earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master’s degree in public administration. She has served in leadership roles within her chapter and on the national team and continues to serve as a member of the Omega Iota alumni chapter. She’s currently a candidate for City Council in Mesa, Arizona, and will be up for election this coming fall. 

Check out our Q & A to learn more about Trista!

*Disclaimer: These responses are paraphrased and depict participant responses from the interview.

Q: What inspired you to join OPA?

A: I was initially so reluctant to join a sorority. I had a friend from high school in OPA who kept asking me to join but I kept saying no because I wasn’t interested in a sorority even though I did enjoy doing service. At the end of the day though, I ended up going to the first informational meeting because I was sold on the service which I’ve been passionate about my entire life. Once I walked into the room and saw that I was surrounded by so many like-minded individuals talking about service it just resonated with me. I knew then that I had found my group of people because they cared about the things I cared about. I just wish I hadn’t resisted it so much and decided to join earlier. 

Q: Did you hold any offices during your time as an active?

A: I was Membership Director, which I loved since it was such a fun position. I had a great pledge mom and since then I knew that that role was the job for me. I still talk to people who were pledge babies under me and enjoy continuing those friendships. It was always a joy for me to bring up the next generation of OPA sisters. 

Q: Have you served on the national level?

A: I was on the board of directors in many roles before it became the national executive board. I was the vice president of leadership development, vice president of chapter support, vice president of administration, a traveling leadership consultant, expansions director, and chair of the nominating committee. 

Q: What is one of your favorite memories as an active sister?

A: I have so many good memories of being an active, so it’s hard to choose just one. The overall feeling I got being an OPA sister is what really stuck with me.  I just made friends with these women so easily and there were times when I could rely on my sisters for big events during my life such as dating my now-husband. I think the overall active experience just going through those formidable college years with people who care for and love you was the biggest thing. I think back to those fond memories with all the amazing women who made such a big impact in my life and that’s what stays with me now, just that overarching feeling of home.

Q: Tell me about your current job. 

A: I work in the governor’s office and have been here for over 10 years. I’ve served in a variety of roles but my current role is director of boards and commissions and policy advisor for regulatory affairs. I’m kind of dispersed in many areas of politics. As a policy advisor, I advise the governor on anything related to regulatory affairs such as bills, policy development, and licensing. I’ve been in this position for two years and I love it! I love that I get to talk and network with people, and get to be part of something bigger than myself. I work with genuinely great leaders who care about their jobs which makes it that much better. Additionally, I’m a candidate for the city council in Mesa, Arizona where I will run for election this fall. I’m really excited about that opportunity and will be throwing myself into my campaign starting in February. 

Q: What is your favorite part about your job/career?

A: I think my favorite part is just knowing that what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis makes a difference in somebody’s life. I wouldn’t want to do a job where I wasn’t making a difference. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the majority of people who are elected to office want to do the right thing which is why they were elected. At the end of the day, I appreciate governor Ducey and have worked for him the entire time he’s been in office the past seven years. I know he goes into his job every day thinking about the best thing to do for people and that’s how I look at my career.

Q: How did you choose your career path? What inspired you to run for the city council and be involved in politics?

A: I was inspired to run for the city council after I had my son last year. People had always asked me if I had an interest in running for an office and I was always like “absolutely not!”. This is corny to say but after I had my son, I felt this huge desire to give back and make my community a place he’s proud to be from. I’m running because I want to be a voice for people in my community. I feel like I’m a pragmatic leader and have had a lot of good experiences where I’m at. I love local government because you impact people’s lives so much more than on a state or federal level. I’ve always been passionate about civic engagement and politics so it just felt natural to me since I’m a public servant at heart. 

Q: What obstacles do you face in your career?

A: That’s a great question. I think one of the biggest challenges was going back to get my Master’s degree. While it bettered me in the long run, it was tough going to school full time and working full time. Other than that, getting through the past two years with COVID has been really rough! There’s no handbook for how to get through a pandemic and we had pretty limited guidance from the federal government so that was definitely a challenge. However, just being confident in my abilities and how to manage challenges as they arise has helped me get through the difficult times.

Q: How has your experience in OPA influenced your life and/or career?

A: The same general theme of service is what I’ve taken from OPA into my career. That’s who I am as a giving person. I would also say that the relationships I made have influenced me, you know I like to say “I came for the service and stayed for the sisterhood.” I have so many sisters that support me and genuinely care about me which really keeps me going. Regardless of how active I am in OPA, I know these people will always be there for me. I really thrive on seeing other people succeed and I want to see people succeed so that’s really how OPA has influenced me. 

Q: What’s one accomplishment you’re particularly proud of?

A: Oh man, wow that’s difficult. I think being on the national team, one of my biggest accomplishments was just helping OPA grow so much. I served on the vision 2020 team to help determine our strategic plan for the next five years for what our organization would look like. We really tried to modernize OPA and set up the organization for success in a new structure.

Q: What advice can you offer to your fellow sisters?

A: I like to tell a two-pronged thing. One, never underestimate who might be overhearing what you’re saying. The only reason I have my job in this office is because someone overheard me talking about my dream to work in government/politics. People can hear the tone in your voice, so staying positive and talking positively is key. It’s kind of one of those “fake it until you make it” kinds of things. So pay attention to what you’re saying and be kind! The other thing is simple, work hard. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without hard work. Really immerse yourself in your work because people recognize hard work. 

Q: Tell me about your personal life. Family, pets, hobbies, interests? 

A: My husband and I have been married for over 4 years and we just had our first son last year in June, his name is Fitzgerald. We also have two dogs, Kennedy and Teddy, again with the presidential theme going on. I don’t do a lot in my personal time right now just because I work full time and am raising a young child. However, my husband and I like to travel which we’ve really missed the past few years due to COVID. We look forward to sharing that with our son and making sure he’s well-traveled in the future. 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself?

A: I love OPA, I love my job, and I love giving back!