Tag Archives: Arizona Community Foundation

charitable trust

Arizona Gives Day Raises Amost $1.4 million

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, along with presenting sponsor FirstBank, announced that the 2014 Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online initiative encouraging Arizona residents to recognize and financially support the efforts of various nonprofits, raised $1,392,292 (up from $1,019,650 last year) for the nearly 1,000 registered organizations statewide, a 36% increase. In total, 13,856 unique donors took the time to make 18,080 total donations in support of this statewide initiative.

“Our state rallied again this year and demonstrated what tremendous power individual donors can have for our state’s nonprofit community,” said Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Whether they had a favorite cause or not, Arizonans rose up and explored the many missions of our participating nonprofits and helped show our state’s generosity to the world.”

Thanks to a financial commitment FirstBank and other incentive-prize sponsors, Arizona Gives Day encouraged competitions throughout the course of the day that allowed nonprofits, who reached certain milestones – to receive additional funding. Those winning these incentive contests will be gifted prizes from $1,000 to $18,000 in additional funds, which will be verified within the next 60 days.

Arizona Gives Day received additional financial and in-kind support from a variety of organizations throughout the state including:

Arizona Community Foundation
Arizona Republic/AZCentral/12News
AZ Family
BHHS Legacy Foundation
Clear Channel Media Entertainment
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Cox Communications
Eight – KAET PBS
FirstBank
Flinn Foundation
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation
HAPI
Hickey Family Foundation
HMA Public Relations
Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
St. Luke’s Health Initiatives
The Thunderbirds
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

According to Marissa Theisen, president and CEO of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, “Gives Day initiatives across the country continue to see success and provide much-needed financial support to countless nonprofit organizations. Arizonans have much to be proud of in our second year.”

Press Conference_Fresh-Express

Discovery Triangle Launches Healthy Initiative

The Discovery Triangle Development Corporation is launching a fresh food initiative that will bring a mobile produce market to underserved neighborhoods located in the Discovery Triangle. The “Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle” will sell fresh, affordable and high-quality fruits and vegetables out of a donated, retrofitted Valley Metro bus.

A launch event was held on February 25 at the Brunson-Lee Elementary School in Phoenix. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell jumped off the bus with bags of apples for the kids. The mayors and community partners spoke at the event. The bus, stocked with fresh produce, was available for tours.

“The Fresh Express is another example of Phoenix finding innovative ways to address problems and improve the quality of life of residents,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Tempe children and families in need in this area will be well served by the new service,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is a great – and truly fresh – idea to make our community even stronger and healthier.”

The Discovery Triangle, which facilitates redevelopment in Phoenix and Tempe, developed the initiative after examining the lack of accessible grocery stores in the area, considered a “food desert,” and seeing a need to enhance the health of residents. Providing a mobile option is key since many of the residents in the area depend on public transportation.

“As civic entrepreneurs, the Discovery Triangle brings partners together to solve issues impacting the region. We believe increasing the accessibility of affordable, healthy food and health education will boost the region’s economic development opportunities,” said Don Keuth, president of the Discovery Triangle Development Corporation.

Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle will begin selling produce in March with a pilot program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Routes will include schools, senior centers, parks, churches and other gathering places throughout the Discovery Triangle region.

Chase Bank, the founding sponsor, provided seed and operations funding to help launch Fresh Express. “Many people in the Discovery Triangle are dependent on public transportation to get to a grocery store. Now residents will have more options with the Fresh Express bringing affordable fruits and vegetables to convenient, walkable locations,” said Paul Groves, who heads the JPMorgan Private Bank in Arizona.

The bus also will offer on-board community health resources including nutrition education and health screenings. Produce will be sold at affordable prices. All forms of payment will be accepted including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

FRESH EXPRESS PARTNERS AND SPONSORS

Several local organizations are partnering on the initiative:

· Discovery Triangle Development Corporation – Managing the initiative

· Valley Metro – Coordinating bus operations and in-kind donations

· Peddler’s Son – Providing fruits and vegetables

· ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation – Offering health screenings

· UMOM New Day Centers – Providing training and staffing

Sponsors whose donations have made the bus possible:

· Chase (founding sponsor)

· Valley Metro

· Junior League of Phoenix

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

· Arizona Community Foundation

· St. Luke’s Health Initiative

· eeko Studio

· Blue Media

· First Transit

· Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority

· UA College of Medicine

· Southwest Gas

· Creative Bus Sales Arizona

· ThermoGuard

· Custom Made Gas Tanks

· Safeway

· Phoenix I

JoAnn C. Holland and Linda M. Herold

Holland Named To Lead 2 Women's Groups

JoAnn C. Holland is the new leader for Central Phoenix Women and Women of Scottsdale, two established women’s organizations in the Valley founded by Linda M. Herold.  The transition has been in the works and Holland will take over leadership as president and CEO effective January 1, 2014.  Additionally Holland will launch a new organization, East Valley Women, in Spring 2014.   Herold will assist Holland with the launch and development of East Valley Women.

Holland will be the president and CEO for each organization.  Holland has substantial experience in corporate and nonprofit organizations in a wide variety of business areas from public relations, sales and marketing, leadership development, project management, finance, customer service, management training and event coordination for the past 28 years with companies such as Wells Fargo, Border Trade Alliance, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Hyatt Hotels and Dun & Bradstreet.  Her previous role as Vice President, Community Affairs Manager for Wells Fargo’s Arizona region provides her a wide bandwidth of contacts and community resources.  In addition, Holland has served the community in numerous roles such as chairing community events, serving on boards and volunteering for numerous nonprofits such as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Sleep America Charities, Arizona Community Foundation, Diocese of Phoenix, Xavier College Preparatory, Arthritis Foundation and many others.

During comments made at the November meetings Herold said, “I am confident that JoAnn’s dynamic leadership style, vision for the future, and excellent management skills will benefit these organizations.  My involvement will continue as founder and official ambassador and fairy godmother.  I look forward to enjoying many creative endeavors and my community partnerships.”

Women of Scottsdale, founded in 1998, celebrates the “Spirit of Scottsdale” in the refined setting of an elegant reception and luncheon the third Friday of every month at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Business and professional women, community leaders, and women from all walks of life are welcome.  www.womenofscottsdale.org

Central Phoenix Women, founded in 2006, meets monthly at The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix.  Central Phoenix Women is an organization for women who have established themselves professionally and demonstrated their commitment to the community.  Members are individuals who wish to enhance their leadership by connecting with like-minded women to share information, ideas, contacts and opportunities. www.centralphoenixwomen.org

Herold founded three distinguished women’s organizations in the Valley, Women of Scottsdale, West Valley Women, and Central Phoenix Women, all three are thriving today.  West Valley Women, founded in 2005, is led by president Lisa E. Platt.   For over 15 years Herold was an active journalist in the Valley covering society, philanthropy and culture. Herold is the founder of Society of Chairs, an impressive annual dinner honoring nonprofit leaders and their volunteer chairs.

JoAnn C. Holland and Linda M. Herold

Holland Named To Lead 2 Women's Groups

JoAnn C. Holland is the new leader for Central Phoenix Women and Women of Scottsdale, two established women’s organizations in the Valley founded by Linda M. Herold.  The transition has been in the works and Holland will take over leadership as president and CEO effective January 1, 2014.  Additionally Holland will launch a new organization, East Valley Women, in Spring 2014.   Herold will assist Holland with the launch and development of East Valley Women.

Holland will be the president and CEO for each organization.  Holland has substantial experience in corporate and nonprofit organizations in a wide variety of business areas from public relations, sales and marketing, leadership development, project management, finance, customer service, management training and event coordination for the past 28 years with companies such as Wells Fargo, Border Trade Alliance, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Hyatt Hotels and Dun & Bradstreet.  Her previous role as Vice President, Community Affairs Manager for Wells Fargo’s Arizona region provides her a wide bandwidth of contacts and community resources.  In addition, Holland has served the community in numerous roles such as chairing community events, serving on boards and volunteering for numerous nonprofits such as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Sleep America Charities, Arizona Community Foundation, Diocese of Phoenix, Xavier College Preparatory, Arthritis Foundation and many others.

During comments made at the November meetings Herold said, “I am confident that JoAnn’s dynamic leadership style, vision for the future, and excellent management skills will benefit these organizations.  My involvement will continue as founder and official ambassador and fairy godmother.  I look forward to enjoying many creative endeavors and my community partnerships.”

Women of Scottsdale, founded in 1998, celebrates the “Spirit of Scottsdale” in the refined setting of an elegant reception and luncheon the third Friday of every month at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Business and professional women, community leaders, and women from all walks of life are welcome.  www.womenofscottsdale.org

Central Phoenix Women, founded in 2006, meets monthly at The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix.  Central Phoenix Women is an organization for women who have established themselves professionally and demonstrated their commitment to the community.  Members are individuals who wish to enhance their leadership by connecting with like-minded women to share information, ideas, contacts and opportunities. www.centralphoenixwomen.org

Herold founded three distinguished women’s organizations in the Valley, Women of Scottsdale, West Valley Women, and Central Phoenix Women, all three are thriving today.  West Valley Women, founded in 2005, is led by president Lisa E. Platt.   For over 15 years Herold was an active journalist in the Valley covering society, philanthropy and culture. Herold is the founder of Society of Chairs, an impressive annual dinner honoring nonprofit leaders and their volunteer chairs.

JoAnn C. Holland and Linda M. Herold

Holland Named To Lead 2 Women’s Groups

JoAnn C. Holland is the new leader for Central Phoenix Women and Women of Scottsdale, two established women’s organizations in the Valley founded by Linda M. Herold.  The transition has been in the works and Holland will take over leadership as president and CEO effective January 1, 2014.  Additionally Holland will launch a new organization, East Valley Women, in Spring 2014.   Herold will assist Holland with the launch and development of East Valley Women.

Holland will be the president and CEO for each organization.  Holland has substantial experience in corporate and nonprofit organizations in a wide variety of business areas from public relations, sales and marketing, leadership development, project management, finance, customer service, management training and event coordination for the past 28 years with companies such as Wells Fargo, Border Trade Alliance, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Hyatt Hotels and Dun & Bradstreet.  Her previous role as Vice President, Community Affairs Manager for Wells Fargo’s Arizona region provides her a wide bandwidth of contacts and community resources.  In addition, Holland has served the community in numerous roles such as chairing community events, serving on boards and volunteering for numerous nonprofits such as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Sleep America Charities, Arizona Community Foundation, Diocese of Phoenix, Xavier College Preparatory, Arthritis Foundation and many others.

During comments made at the November meetings Herold said, “I am confident that JoAnn’s dynamic leadership style, vision for the future, and excellent management skills will benefit these organizations.  My involvement will continue as founder and official ambassador and fairy godmother.  I look forward to enjoying many creative endeavors and my community partnerships.”

Women of Scottsdale, founded in 1998, celebrates the “Spirit of Scottsdale” in the refined setting of an elegant reception and luncheon the third Friday of every month at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Business and professional women, community leaders, and women from all walks of life are welcome.  www.womenofscottsdale.org

Central Phoenix Women, founded in 2006, meets monthly at The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix.  Central Phoenix Women is an organization for women who have established themselves professionally and demonstrated their commitment to the community.  Members are individuals who wish to enhance their leadership by connecting with like-minded women to share information, ideas, contacts and opportunities. www.centralphoenixwomen.org

Herold founded three distinguished women’s organizations in the Valley, Women of Scottsdale, West Valley Women, and Central Phoenix Women, all three are thriving today.  West Valley Women, founded in 2005, is led by president Lisa E. Platt.   For over 15 years Herold was an active journalist in the Valley covering society, philanthropy and culture. Herold is the founder of Society of Chairs, an impressive annual dinner honoring nonprofit leaders and their volunteer chairs.

childbirth

Arizona Community Foundation awards $25K to AFHP

The Arizona Community Foundation has awarded the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP) a $25,000 grant to implement a statewide public awareness and education campaign for young women about the importance of taking B vitamin folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent birth defects.

Research consistently shows that the highest rate of unintended pregnancies is among women 18 to 24, a population with the lowest awareness of the benefits of folic acid and its role in preventing birth defects.  Folic acid has been proven highly effective preventing birth defects known as neural tube defects (NTDs), which affect the brain and spine.

AFHP will use the funds to activate the Project B Aware campaign, first piloted in 2010 in Phoenix-area high schools by the March of Dimes Arizona Chapter and the Arizona Department of Health Services through a one-time federal grant.

The result of the pilot program was a 50 percent increase in knowledge about folic acid among participating high school students.

“Young women, particularly those who are low-income, are at high risk of unplanned pregnancies and at higher risk of having a baby born with an NTD due to their lack of knowledge about folic acid,” said AFHP CEO Brenda “Bré” Thomas.  “Despite being described as an ‘astounding public health silver bullet’ by a 2008 Gallup poll, only 39 percent of women ages 18 to 45 take folic acid daily.”

Research shows that lack of awareness and lack of advice in recommending foliate supplements before and during pregnancies is the primary reason young women don’t take folic acid.

“This important funding from the Arizona Community Foundation will enable us to use the previously created March of Dimes Folic Acid 400 curriculum to reach a much broader statewide audience with this critical health information,” Thomas said.
AFHP will use the March of Dimes-developed curriculum that has been adapted for teens.
The Project B Aware program includes a folic acid pre-test administered to all students and teachers, a PowerPoint presentation about folic acid with interactive student participation, a post-test, a list of foliate-rich foods and information about the importance of taking folic acid daily, and a survey to assess the presentation.

AFHP will recruit and train folic acid educators, identify and coordinate program presentations at specific high schools and administer the pre-and-post tests.  The program ends in April 2014.  AFHP will partner with Kappa Delta Chi sorority to provide the folic acid education.

AFHP expects to complete presentations to approximately 1,400 students.
For more information about the Arizona Family Health Partnership and Project B Aware, visit www.arizonafamilyhealth.org or call (602) 258-5777 in Maricopa County and (888) 272-5652 outside Maricopa County.

Jennifer Verma (left) and Anita Verma-Lallian (right).

Vermaland creates Verma Charitable Foundation, Donates $1.2M

Verma Legacy Trust, a subsidiary of Vermaland, LLC, recently made charitable donations of real estate valued at $1.2 million.  The donation was made through the Verma Charitable Foundation at the Arizona Community Foundation. The gift will be used to establish scholarships for underprivileged students and to build a religious retreat center in the Phoenix metro-area.  The retreat center will include yoga and meditation, to promote a healthy and balanced life style.

Kuldip Verma and Binu Verma are trustees of the Verma Legacy Trust.  Their daughters, Anita Verma-Lallian and Jennifer Verma established the Verma Charitable Foundation in honor of their parents.   Jennifer had the initial idea in business school as she was studying the charitable efforts of other large companies.  With this donation, they continue their family’s charitable tradition and company’s reputation for community involvement.

Jennifer Verma holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and a Masters in Business Administration, which she earned with honors from the University of Southern California.  Anita Verma-Lallian holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and is the Director of Marketing for Vermaland.

Vermaland is among Arizona’s largest land owners. Its development portfolio includes high quality commercial, residential, and agricultural parcels as well as utility scale renewable energy projects.  Vermaland has been in business for more than 10 years as a wholesale buyer and seller of land and currently have the largest holdings of 50-1,200 acre parcels in Metro Phoenix.  Visit the website at www.vermaland.com for more information.

Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. ACF is among the top 25 community foundations in the nation with more than $500 million in trust and endowment assets

Brossart Diane final 9314 5-29-12

Valley Forward Exands its horizon

Timing is everything, even when it comes to Mother Nature.

“In 2010, we got an $85,000 grant to look at some federal issues on sustainability,” says Diane Brossart, president and CEO of Valley Forward, which brings business and civic leaders together to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities. “We were asked to target Arizona’s Congressional delegation and get them up to speed in regards to understanding a sustainability agenda for Arizona and what that meant.”

What grew from that seed was an initiative that had actually been germinating for more than a decade, Brossart says: taking the successful Marocopa County-centric Valley Forward and giving is a statewide focus. In August, Valley Forward’s board voted unanimously to to move forward with a business plan that will transition Valley Forward into Arizona Forward in January.

Brossart says the state is facing some serious issues related to the environment and the livability and vitality of Arizona’s cities and towns will be impacted by upcoming decisions related to:
* Land use planning and open space,
* A balanced multi-modal transportation system,
* Improving and maintaining healthy air quality,
* Solar and renewable energy technology,
*  Managing our water resources, and
* Protecting wilderness, parks, national monuments and other natural areas for Arizona’s tourism economy.

“As Arizona and the country recover from the Great Recession, a statewide dialogue is more important than ever,” says William F. Allison, a shareholder at Gallagher & Kennedy. “The issues impacting us – water, energy, transportation, land use – involve the entire state rather than only the Valley. Arizona Forward will provide a forum to think outside the box and beyond the Valley.”

To get Arizona Forward to have its greatest statewide impact, Brossart and her staff connected with nine companies that had influence on communities along the Sun Corridor — the stretch of freeway that connects Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott and Flagstaff — to become charter members of Arizona Forward.

“The leaders of those companies have become our tour guides as we go into Pima County and Northern Arizona,” Brossart says. She points to Kurt Wadlington, employee-owner of Sundt Construction in Tucson, for opening doors for Arizona Forward to spread its wings into Southern Arizona.

“Southern Arizona already has a very strong environmental focus, but struggles with areas that are dependent on statewide engagement from both a funding and advocacy perspective,” Wadlington says. “(Valley Forward’s) shift (to a statewide focus) will provide Southern Arizona with added resources to coordinate its future growth in the larger context of the Sun Corridor.”

Experts agree that now is the perfect time for Valley Forward to shift to a statewide focus statewide because Arizona is at a turning point, economically and environmentally.

“There are major issues that affect the state like transportation; managing resources; and protecting the wilderness, parks, and national monuments,” says Alfie Gallegos, area sales manager for Republic Services. “These are not just environmental issues, but are issues that have an effect on Arizona’s economy statewide. I think Arizona is ready to start having more positive statewide conversations about finding ways to grow our economy in a manner that can be sustained and is environmentally friendly.”

Brossart says that while Arizona has had countless groups that have focused on making their communities better, Arizona Forward will be looking to help educate legislators become the glue that brings those regional organizations together in a spirit of cooperation and unity.

“So much of our goal is to drive a political agenda to the middle and bring folks on both sides of the aisle together,” Brossart says. “The issues that we focus on are sustainability and environmental. Everybody needs clean air, clean water, open space and parks. Those are the things that make a community viable, healthy and liveable. We all want that. Those aren’t political issues. But they do fall into a political arena that sometimes clouds the issues. But if we can be a reasoning voice of balance like we have been successfully in Maricopa County, if we can bring that statewide, it will be really good for Arizona — economically and environmentally.”

Valley Forward members expect the transition to Arizona Forward to foster additional collaboration and conversation on statewide issues, bring additional viewpoints on key issues and allow for a more global conversation.

“My hope is that we can, over time, have a collective vision that regardless of our own regional filters, we’re all in this together and need to find ways to move forward as one sustainable, economically successful state,” says Iain Hamp, community affairs representative, Wells Fargo Team Member Philanthropy Group.

Brossart says one of the biggest messages Arizona Forward will be trying to communicate is that making sound decisions about issues surrounding sustainability and the environment are good for business.

“If we make a case that shows the economic impact of parks and open space on the tourism industry, the business community will take notice and they are uniquely poised to deliver of that message and be heard,” Brossart says. “Parks groupies are great and they are important. But when the business community gets involved, people listen.”

Where Arizona Forward could have its biggest economic impact is on growth industries that rely on the state’s amazing natural resources.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of solar energy, as the clean, renewable energy source is experiencing massive growth and helping the state and country achieve greater energy independence,” says Patricia Browne, director of marketing and communications for SOLON Corporation in Tucson. “And Arizona has been at the center of this growth. This has been made possible not only by the companies developing the solutions, but by the state and local officials, Arizona-based businesses and individual residents who recognize the importance that solar plays in a number of ways such as a cleaner environment, economic development, and energy price stability. However, there are still challenges in making the adoption viable on a large scale, and Arizona Forward helps bring together the right players to help make this happen on a state level.”

Richard Mayol, communications and government relations director for Grand Canyon Trust in Flagstaff, says Arizona Forward will give members in northern Arizona the opportunity to not only have a voice in discussions that affect the state today, but in decisions that impact what Arizona will be like 20 years from now.

“We hope it will help create an economy that provides the opportunity for prosperity without sacrificing the environment,” he says, “and makes northern Arizona an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

And that is what Arizona Forward’s mission is all about: bringing business and civic leaders together in order to convene thoughtful public dialogue on statewide issues and to improve the environment and sustainability of Arizona.

“All areas of the state will benefit, from urban to rural and suburban areas in between due to a coordinated and planned strategy for such essential elements as affordable energy, water, transportation, affordable housing, and a wide band of employment opportunities,” says Janice Cervelli, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. “All geographic, economic, and environmental sectors of the state will increasingly become part of a larger, interdependent, connected system.”

GOALS OF ARIZONA FORWARD

* Establish cooperative relationships with like-minded Arizona conservation organizations and facilitate collaboration on sustainability initiatives.
* Bring business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues and to improve the environment and sustainability of Arizona.
* Increase awareness of and interest in environmental issues initially in the Sun Corridor and then beyond, statewide, building on an agenda of land use and open space planning, transportation, air quality, water, and energy.
* Support efforts to promote the Sun Corridor as an economic development area incorporating sustainability and smart growth principles.
* Serve as a technical resource on environmental issues through Arizona Forward’s and Valley Forward’s diverse membership of large corporations, small businesses, municipal governments, state agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

ARIZONA FORWARD CHARTER MEMBERS
Arizona Community Foundation
First Solar
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
National Bank of Arizona
SOLON Corporation
Sundt Construction
The Nature Conservancy
Total Transit
Wells Fargo

FOUNDING MEMBERS: Access Geographic, LLC; Adolfson & Peterson Construction Company; APS; Arizona Conservation Partnership; Arizona Department of Transportation; Arizona Heritage Alliance; Arizona Investment Council; Arizona State Parks Foundation; Arizona State University, Global Institute of Sustainability; Aubudon Arizona; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona; Breckenridge Group Architects/Planners; Caliber Group; City of Tucson; Environmental Fund of Arizona; Fennemore Craig; Gabor Lorant Architects; Gammage & Burnham; Godec Randall & Associates; Grand Canyon Trust; Guided Therapy Systems; Haley & Aldrich; Intellectual Energy, LLC; John Douglas Architects; Jones Studio; Kinney Construction Services, Inc.; Lewis and Roca LLP; Logan Halperin Landscape Architecture; Pima County; RSP Architects; Southwest Gas Corporation; SRP; University of Phoenix; TEP / UNS Energy Corp.; The Greenleaf Group

Arizona Forward, State Park Issues

Arizona Forward Enhances Awareness of Arizona’s Park Issues

Arizona Forward Enhances Awareness of Arizona’s Park Issues

Arizonans value their parks and open space, consistently ranking them as key quality of life indicators. A recent survey conducted of residents statewide shows that 87 percent visit a park or recreation area at least once a year, with 23 percent doing so on a weekly basis. In addition, parks and open spaces create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue.

Multiple land ownerships and funding mechanisms have produced parks and open space issues that are complex, confusing and sometimes controversial. In fact, the telephone survey conducted by WestGroup Research further revealed that most residents (80 percent) rate their knowledge of how state and local parks are funded as very low or in the middle range. Meanwhile, a depressed economy and recession has impacted parks negatively at every jurisdictional level from federal and state to county and municipal governments.

Recognizing the need for public education on the subject of parks and open space issues, Arizona Forward, a new statewide environmental/business coalition launched by Valley Forward earlier this year, developed a comprehensive report to provide unbiased facts, background information and answers to frequently asked questions about state and federal lands as well as county and municipal parks.

Designed to enhance awareness of and interest in solving Arizona’s parks issues, the primer is among Arizona Forward’s first projects towards its mission to promote cooperative efforts to improve the livability, sustainability and economic vitality of cities and towns across Arizona. Readers can sort out how much open space is available in the state, who is responsible for it and the challenges facing various jurisdictions of government. The user-friendly reference guide is described as ‘parks and open space 101’ and can be downloaded at arizonaforward.org.

While the primer doesn’t take a formal position on how to solve funding issues relating to parks, it communicates the economic impact of recreational and open space amenities and why Arizonans should care about these natural resources.

Charter members of Arizona Forward include: Arizona Community Foundation, First Solar, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, National Bank of Arizona, Solon Corporation, Sundt Construction, The Nature Conservancy, Total Transit and Wells Fargo.

For more information about Arizona Forward, visit arizonaforward.org.

The Arizona Chapter of FEI held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter Of FEI Held Its 4th Annual CFO Of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards on Nov. 4. FEI Arizona presents the CFO of the Year Awards to financial professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. The nominations and awards recognize exemplary financial management in all types of businesses: public, private and nonprofit. An impressive set of independent judges from local business and academia selected the winners based on their contributions to their respective organizations and their involvement in the community. The following CFOs were honored at the event:

Nonprofit CFO of the Year

Mary Jane Rynd Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Virginia G. Piper Charitable TrustMary Jane Rynd
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

 

The talent and drive that Mary Jane Rynd put into becoming the first female partner of a national accounting firm in Arizona is now benefiting one of the state’s largest nonprofits.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Rynd she oversees the investment management of the approximately $500 million endowment of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. She also supervises the trust’s investment consultants and staff in the investment committee of the board of trustees.

For more than a decade before Virginia Piper’s death, Rynd served as the philanthropist’s tax adviser. As a result, Rynd has a full understanding of Piper’s approach to her philanthropy — and translates that every day into the work and spirit of the trust.

“I think I’m really lucky, because the people that I work with are highly motivated, extremely good professionals,” Rynd said.

Among her achievements at the trust is the identification, purchase and complete renovation of the nonprofit’s current offices. Over the past four years, she also has managed the diversification of the trust’s investment portfolio.


Private Company CFO of the Year

Tim Einwechter Chief Financial Officer Ascent Healthcare SolutionsTim Einwechter
Chief Financial Officer
Ascent Healthcare Solutions

 

In his 13 years as chief financial officer, Tim Einwechter has guided his company from a small startup to the $160 million corporation it is today.

When Einwechter began his tenure at the company that was then known as Alliance, he had to deal with cash shortages and other various financial struggles. He aggressively pursued investment capital that allowed the medical device company to take advantage of opportunities in its market. He also initiated a merger in 2005 that allowed the organization to continue growing, and played a key role when Stryker Inc. acquired the company, now known as Ascent Healthcare Solutions, in 2009.

“Life as CFO is not one of simply saying no,” he said. “Rather, it is one of bringing sense of reason to the discussions, understanding the business drivers and supporting what is important to drive the success of the business.”

Beyond the financials, Einwechter is committed to maintaining the ethics that make Ascent a success. In fact, the company’s mission statement of “Results, Integrity, and Quality” was coined by him. Einwechter’s understanding of what makes a business successful, along with a strong focus on ethical behavior, has created a shared ownership of the company’s commitment to integrity.