Who We Are

Our mission

BCA is about bridging the border and fostering community through education, collaboration and cultural exchange. We do this in the Nogales region of Southern Arizona/Sonora Mexico.

We are a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization. We have no religious or political affiliations. We depend on donations and grants for funding. Incorporated in the state of Arizona, our board members reside in southern Arizona. Our advisory board consists of people from across the globe. We are based in Tubac, Arizona, a community forty miles south of Tucson and twenty miles north of the US/Mexico border.

  • We believe in social investment, not charity.We seek to listen and learn from each other, rather than presume we know it all.
  • We respect the cultures and traditions of both Mexico and the US.
  • We value working together with like-minded organizations and individuals on both sides of the border.
  • We welcome participation in our programs regardless of one’s viewpoint of immigration.


The Border Community Alliance grew out of relationships with people who wanted to promote bi-national relationships between non-profit organizations. They sought to encourage a more balanced narrative about Mexico to replace the media’s narrow focus on drugs, violence and immigration.

From the beginning BCA had a close relationship with FESAC, a Mexican NGO similar to a community foundation. Through this and other partnerships the Cross Border Tour program and the Internship Program were created, prior to BCA’s incorporation in 2013. Classes and events such as Michael Dear’s presentation on his book Why Walls Won’t Work have been occasional offerings of BCA from the beginning.

Bob Phillips is BCA’s founding Executive Director. In the fall of 2015 Bob transitioned into the role of Founding Director and Senior Consultant and in January 2016 Jerry Haas became Executive Director and Co-Chair of the Board with Marty Bronstein.  The Border Youth Tennis Exchange was conceived by Charlie Cutler as he completed the summer Internship Program in 2015. You can learn more about our history by clicking here.

In 2016 BCA initiated a new program for young people under the leadership of Charlie Cutler. Charlie had been a touring tennis pro before returning to academia for a master’s in international human relations. Eager to learn about the border, Charlie interned with BCA and began to reach out to kids through tennis. The Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE) was launched, with young people from both sides of the border participating in sport and academic education. Two years after it began, BYTE is now in becoming its own 501 c 3 non-profit organization. You can learn more about BYTE by clicking here. BCA celebrates with Charlie and Stephanie (his wife and co-director) their initial success and wishes them all the best for the years to come.

Cross Border Tours

BCA offers cross border tours from Nogales, AZ, to Nogales, Sonora, MX for anyone interested in learning more about the area and the realities of community and life in the border region.

Board of Directors

BCA is organized and managed by an all volunteer board of directors.

Current Board of Directors:
Jerry Haas, Executive Director and Co-Chair, Green Valley, AZ
Marty Bronstein, Co-Chair, Tubac, AZ
Diane Brooks, Secretary, Tubac, AZ
Robert Reid, Treasurer, Tubac, AZ
Nancy Bennett, Director, Rio Rico, AZ
Marjorie Holmstrom, Director, Green Valley, AZ
Pat Trulock, Director, Rio Rico, AZ

Read more about our board members by clicking here.

Founders, Consultants, Advisors & Partners


Alma Cota de Yanez, E.D., FESAC
& Jerry Haas, E.D. Border Community Alliance


Bill Neubauer, Dan Anderson, Sherry Mullins, Steve Teichner, Russ and Blyth Carpenter, David and Janet Little, and Marilyn Townley


Russ Carpenter, Blyth Carpenter,
Eva Maldonado, Zulma Barrios,
Eduardo Robinson, Alma Cota de Yañez,
Luis Torres, Michael Dear


Alma Cota Yanez
FESAC: www.fesac.org

Alma Cota de Yanez was born in Cd. Obregón, Sonora, and graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the Technological Institute of Monterrey (ITESM). Alma began working with NGOs as a part time translator for Save the Children during her university studies.   Since January of 2003, Alma has served as Executive Director for Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense AC, Nogales. (FESAC Nogales Chapter). Since taking charge of this position Alma has overseen FESAC becoming the local leader in mobilizing resources and education in philanthropy for donors (individual and corporate), government agencies and NGOs.  FESAC works to promote civil society, philanthropy, culture and a NGO network.  As a result of this work, FESAC has helped Nogales, Son. to work towards the objective of improving the quality of community life. FESAC works in close partnership with the Border Community Alliance in Arizona on a variety of cross border programs. www.fesac.org

Robert Phillips, MA
Senior Consultant and Founding Director

Robert T. Phillips is the Founding Director for the Border Community Alliance and continues to serve as BCA’s Senior Consultant. He currently is Director for the Non-Profit Learning Institute based in Green Valley, Arizona and run through the Greater Green Valley Community Foundation.  Prior to his selection as ED for BCA in 2013, Bob was Executive Director of the St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic in Nogales, Arizona. Before moving to Arizona Bob served for 25 years as Chief Executive Officer for Health Projects Center in Northern California. He has taught at Stanford, the University of Miami and on the faculty of Elderhostel. He received his undergraduate degree in Government from Dartmouth, and continued on to Stanford University where he earned his Master’s Degree in Political Development and International Relations.  He also attended the American University of Beirut as a Stanford Exchange Scholar.