People > Pacer Reina, Two Waters Spokesperson

Pacer has been with the Community Relations department for ten years and worked with the SRPMIC for eleven years. Born in Phoenix in 1970, he is married and the father of five children, ages 11 to five months. “I was born in Phoenix but moved back to the Community when I was eight years old,” said Reina whose grandmother’s grandfather was Antonito Azul, the last chief of the Au-Authm. Educated in the Mesa Public School system, Reina graduated in 1988 from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army to become a para-trouper. He was assigned to the famed 82nd Airborne Division.

“Yes,” he smiled, “I liked to jump out of airplanes. My earliest memory as a child was jumping off rooftops.”

After the Camp David Accord, Reina’s division was chosen as one of the Multinational Forces and Observers. He served six months in Egypt and also served Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

During his military service, Reina had the opportunity to visit 16 different countries. “When I was off duty I went to Mt. Sinai and scuba dived in the Red Sea,” he said. He traveled extensively in Egypt, seeing the pyramids and other sights. “I have always had a fascination with ancient cultures,” Reina continued, adding that he is an avid reader of ancient history.

After completing his service, Reina returned home. When he broke his ankle in a car accident, it ended his para-trooper action. “I thought at the time that it was the worst thing in the world that I could not jump out of planes any more,” he said. In 1992, he enrolled in Scottsdale Community College where he met his wife, Nellie, and took a career development course that led to his position as a Community Relations Specialist.

Reina said that what he likes most about his work is learning about his culture and language as well as learning new skills such as videography and photo archiving. “It’s something different every day,” he said. “Off duty” time is spent with this family. Since he and his wife decided they want to teach their children about their own culture and other cultures, the family seeks out international restaurants, festivals and programs. Reina also started taking language classes at the Community.

Faith is another very important part of Reina’s life. A member of the L.D.S. Papago Ward Church, he also practices his O’ odham culture, a balance that he takes in stride.

Since service to his country and community is important to him, Reina was happy to assume another responsibility as a “face” and “voice” of the new tribal offices, administration and government complex. “As a Community, we never had the means to give a strong first impression,” he said. “This new complex will reflect our culture and our people. As former President Makil used to say, ‘We have a simple culture but we are not a simple people.’ We put a lot of thought into how we do what we do and why we do it. This building complex will reflect that.”

Currently Pacer Reina is completing his Associates degree. He plans to continue his education in public administration. Although his priority remains his family, the concept of service is deeply ingrained in him. Service to the Community is clearly in his future.

[PHOTO - Pacer Reina]
Pacer Reina, Two Waters