Richard Picciotto, Valley Forward Association 42nd Annual Lunch

9/11 Firefighter Richard Picciotto To Speak At Valley Forward Luncheon

The highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse and the last fireman to escape the devastation, Richard “Pitch” Picciotto, was on a stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors of the North Tower when it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Picciotto is coming to Phoenix to speak at Valley Forward Association’s 42nd Annual Lunch on Dec. 9, 2011, and will provide an outspoken account of that indelible day.

His inspirational presentation to some 500 business and community leaders in attendance will address how to lead effectively and achieve optimal teamwork to help organizations achieve their goals; the training, preparedness, risk management and decision-making know-how necessary to tackle any problem; and how hope and positivity can emerge out of tragedy and adversity.

An FDNY battalion commander, his is the harrowing true story of an American hero, a man who thought nothing of himself and gave nearly everything for others during one of our nation’s darkest hours. Picciotto will share the positives that can emanate from a major disaster.

Picciotto’s book, Last Man Down, is a tribute to the 343 firefighters and 2,400 civilians who lay dead in the rubble that surrounded him on that day. Moreover, it is a heartfelt remembrance of a day of infamy and profound humanity. The book was an immediate New York Times bestseller upon its release in May 2002. He will personally autograph copies of his book for luncheon attendees.

Sept. 11 demonstrated the power of the human spirit, revealing a nation united and tenacious, saddened but resilient. Life has carried on even in the face of unthinkable loss. We may never understand the whys of what happened, but we can use our collective energy to create a stronger America.

For more information about Picciotto and the Valley Forward’s 42nd Annual Lunch, visit


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About Diane Brossart

Diane Brossart has a longtime connection with Valley Forward Association, having first joined the non-profit public interest organization 20 years ago. Brossart served on the Valley Forward Board of Directors for several years and was named President of the association in 1991. As President, Brossart oversees a staff of four and manages a host of committees, which focus on such issues as land use planning and desert preservation, transportation and air quality, water concerns and environmental education. Under Brossart's leadership, Valley Forward has received widespread recognition for its role in addressing environmental and quality of life issues in the Valley. Awards include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9; Award of Distinction from the Western Mountain Region of the American Institute of Architects; and first-place honors from the City of Phoenix Mayor's Environmental Awards Program. Brossart also received the Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America's Phoenix Chapter in 2008, in addition to the 2009 Champion of Sustainability Award through the Phoenix Business Journal's Green Pioneers program. She is also involved as a member of several civic organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Valley Partnership, Friends of the West Valley Recreation Corridor and Phoenix Community Alliance. Prior to her work with Valley Forward, Brossart was Vice President of one of the Valley's largest public relations agencies, serving as a marketing consultant to Valley Forward and several commercial accounts. Brossart received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wayne State University in 1979 and began her professional career as a reporter for a daily newspaper in metropolitan Detroit.