Patti Wortman was in law school in Tucson before coming to Payson. So, she has devoted her life's work to the community and the Rim country.
Wortman has served as a deputy Gila County Attorney in Payson for 12-and-a-half years. She currently has the title of 1st Chief Deputy Gila County Attorney.
She is almost an Arizona native. Her family moved to the Phoenix area from Wisconsin when she was 12.
"My dad was tired of shoveling snow," she said.
They lived in Phoenix for a couple of years, then moved to Scottsdale.
"I was in the last graduating class from Scottsdale High," Wortman said. She went on to attend Arizona State University, and then the law school at the University of Arizona.
Living in Scottsdale, she and her family had visited Payson over the years before she made it her home. The biggest change she's seen?
"The Beeline's busier," she said.
As for her favorite change, Wortman said, "The movie theater's the best change. We have more options and it's more affordable than driving down to Phoenix. And we don't have to drive there."
And her least favorite change?
Wortman stopped herself twice before responding, explaining, "I'm way too opinionated for my own good."
Then she offered the observation, "The town has expanded so much and there are so many working families. There are so few activities available at night. A bigger town needs to accommodate all facets of its population, not just the retirees and stay-at-home moms."
She mentioned no evening swimming classes for the children of working parents as an example.
When Wortman is not prosecuting cases or keeping up with all the paperwork the job demands, or taking care of her family, she likes to read, "I like law enforcement-related fiction." Right now she is reading James Patterson's Cat and Mouse. She is also a fan of Sue Grafton's private investigator novels and Sidney Sheldon.
For the future she sees herself staying in Payson, she wants to raise her daughter in a small town.
"I see myself staying in a small-town setting, but I also want to stay in prosecuting, so my options are limited."
She made the choice to be a prosecutor while in law school. Wortman said she did an internship which included trial practice classes. The first one was with a prosecutor, the second was with a defense attorney. When all was said and done, she felt as a prosecutor she could make a difference, "I make our community a better place to live. And I've always been law enforcement-oriented, so it made sense to be a prosecutor."
As a successful career woman, a wife and mother, what advice does Wortman have for young women making decisions about their futures?
"Set goals first. Focus on them. Work toward them and don't let anything interrupt that. They have to make up their minds about what they want and keep their eye on the ball and not let anything interfere. They can accomplish anything they want."
Name: Patti Wortman
Occupation: 1st Chief Deputy Gila County Attorney
Employer: Gila County Attorney
Birthplace: Monroe, Wis.
Family: Husband, Ken; daughter, Heather; step-daughter, Michelle; step-sons, William, Chris and Kyle
Personal motto: Stick with it!
Inspiration: My family.
Greatest feat: Passing the Arizona Bar Exam.
My favorite hobby or leisure activity is reading and playing volleyball.
The three words that describe me best are honest, hard-working, dependable.
I don't want to brag, but I make the best strawberry pretzel salad.
The people in history I'd most like to meet are my grandfathers. They both died before I was born.
Luxury defined: Flying first class.
Dream vacation spot: Hawaii.
Why Payson?: It's a great little town. No pollution, four seasons, not much traffic. Great place to raise kids.