District 5 Staff
The District 5 staff is here to serve the needs of residents. We answer questions, refer residents to city departments and take suggestions from residents. Please do not hesitate to call or email us at any time.
Staff after the Inauguration ceremony (L to R): Aaron Searles, Vania Guevara, Councilman Valenzuela, Wendy Villa
Wendy Villa, chief of staff
Prior to joining the District 5 Office, Wendy served as director of government and media relations for a Phoenix-based public affairs firm, where she oversaw community outreach, fundraising, strategic planning, campaign messaging and media relations for elected officials, business leaders and other clients. She also gained experience in constituent relations as an intern for Congressman Ed Pastor's district office. Wendy graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Santa Clara University. She earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration and graduated with the highest honors from Arizona State University. Most recently, Villa was selected to serve as a judge for the 2010 Pollie Awards for the American Association of Political Consultants. She is also a co-founder of the newly formed Young Government Affairs Professionals. She serves as a board member on the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation Board and a founding member of the Maricopa Community Colleges Emerging Leaders Program. Wendy also has served as a volunteer for Junior Achievement and teaches real-life applications of business and economic principles to high school seniors at her alma mater St. Mary’s High School. She is a 2005 graduate of the Hispanic Leadership Institute and served on the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise board. She also completed a leadership program hosted by the California Latino Caucus Institute.
Aaron Searles, research analyst
William Aaron Montaño Searles is an Arizona native, born and bred. He has a diverse educational and professional background with degrees from the University of Arizona in International Business and Spanish Literature. His global studies include attendance at the International School of Brussels, the University of Chile in Santiago and the International Study Program in Guanajuato, Mexico. During his college years he was a member of MECHA, Si Se Puede and also attended the César E. Chávez Leadership Institute. Aaron also is an alumnus of the prestigious Center for Progressive Leadership program. Professional experience includes work in WashingtonD.C.for a U.S. Congressman, and as a council aide and community affairs specialist for two city of Phoenix Councilmembers. Aaron also worked with the National Farm Workers Service Center as a housing development project manager and La Paloma Family Services as a behavioral health technician. His professional background in government includes work in community issues such as education, public safety and health. Aaron’s personal interests also are diverse and include tennis, reading, strength training, boxing and skiing. His experience with individuals of different cultural backgrounds underpin his appreciation of the needs of diverse populations. He brings strong passion for public service and improving conditions for all individuals to his work in Councilman Valenzuela's office.
Vania Guevara, council aide
Vania Guevara graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in International Studies from the University of La Verne in Southern California. She is currently a second year graduate student in the MPA program at Arizona State University. Previously, Vania interned for former Congresswoman Hilda Solis providing constituent services. She also recently served as a volunteer coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul. Vania’s passion for community service is shown through her commitment to engage and inform people on local issues that affect their daily lives. Along with a team of young West Phoenix community leaders, Vania has served as a volunteer in the Maryvale community assisting residents in leadership workshops. In this role, she also has lead civic engagement training sessions on becoming more involved in public meetings. A native of California, she considers Phoenix to be her home now, and is inspired by the diverse communities within Phoenix. Vania’s dream of public service is now becoming a reality by serving the constituents of District 5.
City of Phoenix
Councilman Daniel Valenzuela’s Office, District 5
200 W. Washington St., 11th floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003