Tag Archives: philanthropy

Backpacks, GPE, WEB

GPE Philanthropy Provides Critical Supplies to Valley Nonprofits

Twenty-thirteen marked GPE Companies’ 40th anniversary, and to celebrate, the company mounted a yearlong campaign of giving, called 40 for 40. The effort resulted in a cornucopia of critical supplies delivered to multiple Valley charities.

“The community has supported us wholeheartedly throughout GPE Companies’ 40 years, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to give back,” said company President David M. Genovese. “With so many deserving charities in the Valley, selecting ones to support was difficult.”

Each month, employees set a goal of collecting 40 items particular to the chosen organization. They exceeded the goal every time.

For St. Mary’s Food Bank, an array of food items will satisfy the hunger of needy families. AnySoldier.com received boxes of everyday essentials to send to troops in Afghanistan. The rescue pets waiting for adoption at HALO and Friends for Life now have refreshed supplies.

Children participating in Salvation Army’s Kinder Ready program will have new backpacks to carry their books. Mentally and physically disabled residents of Ozanam Manor, a temporary home, received 40 cases of bottled water. Central Arizona Shelter Services received blankets to keep residents warm. Children with an incarcerated parent touched by Angel Tree, a Christian-based program that spreads religion to inmates and their families, received new toys.

“GPE values being a part of and contributing to the community in which we live and work,” said Genovese. “We hope in small way the donated items will make a difference.”

Robin Milne

Robin Milne – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Robin Milne – Executive director, Phoenix Suns Charities

Milne said her job is “a dream” because she can combine her passion for sports and philanthropy. Milne works with the organization’s board of directors to raise and grant more than $1 million annually to programs in the areas of education, health, human services, the arts, rehabilitation, sports and recreation.

Surprising fact: “In college, I was a ‘lock’ on the scrum of a women’s rugby club. We were the Phoenix ‘Squash Blossoms‘ — our name said it all.”

Biggest challenge: “The organization took on a first-time initiative to ‘adopt’ Central High, in an effort to significantly increase graduation rates. We brought in ASU Teacher’s College’s iTeach AZ graduating teachers to mentor Central High teachers and its students to deliver that individual attention needed.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Mane Attraction Salon logo

12/12/12 Deals At Mane Attraction Salon

One time only, on a day that happens only once every 100 years, Mane Attraction Salon in Phoenix is offering the following three specials:

  1. Book your next hair appointment for Wednesday, December 12 at Mane Attraction, and receive $12 off — whether it be a haircut, color or style.
  2. For those who haven’t booked an appointment yet, the 12th caller to schedule a service that day will receive a free haircut and a deep conditioning masque.
  3. And, lastly, the 12th client to check in that day will receive all of his or her booked services for free.

12/12/12 at Mane Attraction Salon

When: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 3156 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Contact: (602) 956-2996
Web: maneattractionsalon.com

sharon.harper

Plaza Companies’ Harper honored for philanthropy

Sharon Harper, president and CEO of The Plaza Companies, will join other Arizona leaders in being honored for their excellence in philanthropy at the 28th Annual Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Arizona Chapter Philanthropy Leadership Awards Dinner. The signature event will be held Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

Harper is being recognized for her excellence as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser 2012. She has served with numerous organizations in the Valley including Banner Health, AZ Community Foundation, and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

The annual awards ceremony and event serve to recognize and celebrate Arizona’s finest fundraisers, volunteers, philanthropists, corporations, and media who serve our community through their dedication of resources, time and generosity. This year’s event is particularly significant as the President and CEO of AFP International, Andrew Watt, will be attending as a special guest.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Andrew Watt this year,” says Mark Walker, AFP Greater AZ Chapter President. “I have worked with Andrew for over 10 years on AFP’s International Committee, so it’s terrific to have him here representing the global nature of this event.”

In addition to Harper, this year’s event honorees include Frys for Outstanding Corporation, Carlos Galindo-Elvira from Valle del Sol for Outstanding Fundraising Executive, and John and Dee Whiteman for Outstanding Philanthropists.

“Decisions about how to use discretionary time, talent, and treasury to assist those in need are strategic decisions that impact our community. The people and companies honored at the Philanthropy Leadership Awards Dinner have gone above and beyond to make that difference,” says Event Co-Chair, Jackie Palmenberg, CFRE.

To purchase tickets or for sponsorship information, visit http://afpgreateraz.afpnet.org/.

banner alzheimers foundation - brain research

Banner Alzheimers Foundation Launches $40 Million Campaign

Banner Alzheimers Foundation (BAF), the philanthropic resource for Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), announces a $40 million campaign to advance some of the most challenging yet promising research to stop Alzheimer’s disease. The BAI Breakthrough will support cutting-edge studies aimed at treating and preventing the disease, state-of-the-art brain imaging and an unparalleled model of patient and family care.

The campaign will designate $15 million to help fund the groundbreaking research that BAI recently announced in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and others. This prevention trial, which will span two countries, will test an amyloid immunization therapy and is the first ever conducted with cognitively healthy individuals who are certain to develop Alzheimer’s because of their genetic history.

The campaign’s remaining $25 million will support additional studies of both the preclinical and symptomatic stages of the disease; critical technology for a new 18,000-square-foot imaging center; and expansion of BAI’s comprehensive model of care to serve as the standard nationwide.

The BAI Breakthrough officially launched this spring with a $6 million gift from the Stead Family Foundation. Mary Joy and Jerre Stead are long-time supporters of BAI and chairs of the campaign’s leadership cabinet. He is also chairman of the BAF board.

“We absolutely believe prevention of Alzheimer’s will become a reality through BAI’s research efforts,” Jerre Stead says. “Yet, not only is BAI working on behalf of future generations, it is taking care of individuals and families dealing right now with the impact of this devastating disease. Mary Joy and I feel privileged to be a part of this effort and encourage others to get involved.”

About 5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, a debilitating and incurable disease of the brain. By 2030, that number could exceed 7.7 million, and by 2050, as many as 16 million Americans could have Alzheimer’s. The disease takes an enormous physical, emotional and financial toll on individuals, caregivers and families.

Dr. Eric Reiman, BAI executive director and CEO of Banner Research, applauds the role that philanthropy is playing here in advancing research and care.

“We could not be more grateful to Jerre and Mary Joy Stead for their leadership, passion and extraordinary support—and to so many people who provide the resources needed for us to fulfill our ambitious goals,” Reiman says. “Their support makes it possible for BAI to provide hope and help, research and care, and to give us the chance to make a transformational difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.”

The campaign is a collaboration between a team of renowned scientists and clinicians and an outstanding group of individuals, corporations and foundations dedicated to funding the breakthrough that could change lives for generations to come.

More information about Banner Alzheimers Foundation and The BAI Breakthrough or the work of BAI can be found at www.banneralz.org.

wells fargo given summit award

Wells Fargo Receives United Way’s Summit Award

Wells Fargo & Company has received a 2012 Summit Award from United Way in recognition of its outstanding record of volunteer engagement. United Way presented the award to Wells Fargo at the organization’s Community Leadership Conference in Nashville on May 3. Wells Fargo was one of six companies, and one of two banks, receiving Summit awards. Wells Fargo received Summit awards in 2005, 2009, and 2010.

“I am proud of the generosity and compassion that our team member volunteers have demonstrated in the work that they do in their communities each year,” said Jon Campbell, head of Social Responsibility for Wells Fargo. “Last year alone they volunteered a total of 1.5 million hours to 28,000 organizations; that’s an increase of nearly 11 percent over last year. We are honored to have this recognition from United Way, and proud to be a partner with them in the important work that they’ve been doing in so many communities for so long.”

More than 3,200 Wells Fargo Arizona team members volunteered almost 100,000 hours in 2011.  “Community support is at the heart of Wells Fargo’s Vision & Values and we have had a long history of support for United Way both financially and through team member volunteerism,” said Pam Conboy, regional president for Wells Fargo Arizona. “Our team members take great pride in serving their communities and our customers know about our community support, and they tell us it’s one of the reasons they choose Wells Fargo.”

The United Way Summit Award is part of United Way’s Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, the organization’s highest national honor. For 20 years the program has recognized corporate citizens that set the example in terms of employee and community engagement. The Summit Awards honor company excellence in three areas: community impact, volunteer engagement, and philanthropic engagement.

“When it comes to investing in communities to create lasting impact, Wells Fargo is a national leader,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “The company and its employees give more than $200 million to nonprofits and are United Way’s largest campaign in the U.S. In addition to this incredible generosity, Wells Fargo and its team members have stepped up to give their time as well, providing more than one million volunteer hours to nonprofits large and small in communities across the nation.”

United Way is a global network of volunteer-led nonprofit organizations supporting a variety of initiatives that promote education, income stability, and community health.

For more information on the 2012 Summit Award presented to Wells Fargo, visit United Way’s website at unitedwayla.org.

Matt Owens Ad person of the year

Matt Owens Earns Phoenix ‘Ad Person Of The Year’ Award 30 Years After Father

Matt Owens, partner at Owens Harkey Advertising, was awarded the highly sought-after J. Terry Groener “Ad Person of the Year” award by the American Advertising Federation’s Phoenix Chapter. Owens Harkey Advertising is a full-service advertising agency in Phoenix. Owens was recognized with the 47th annual award for his many years of providing advertising industry excellence and his ongoing dedication to making a positive impact throughout our local community.

“It was an incredible experience to look at the list of names and see his. It blew me away.”

To be eligible for the “Ad Person of the Year” award, recipients must contribute to the betterment of the advertising industry, be active participants in philanthropic involvement in the community, and be currently active in advertising, marketing and communications.

Matt Owens’ late father, Bill Owens, received the award in 1982.

“This has moved me deeply as my father won the same award thirty years ago,” said Matt Owens. “It was an incredible experience to look at the list of names and see his. It blew me away.”

Owens grew up in the advertising industry and has been in the business for over 25 years. Owens knew from a young age that he wanted to follow in his father Bill Owens’ footsteps, who founded the long-time Valley advertising agency Owens & Associates. Owens & Associates touted a range of clients including the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Tropicana.

After graduating from Woodbury University in Los Angeles with a degree in marketing, Matt Owens worked for Owens & Associates for many years, including a stint as general manager of the firm’s Albuquerque office. He then moved to the Pacific Northwest to work in the e-commerce and dot-com industries.

In 2001, Owens inherited Owens & Associates from his father. He has since partnered with long-time friend and media expert, Scott Harkey, to build Owens Harkey Advertising – the kind of agency he’s always envisioned. As partner, Owens’ core responsibilities lie in marketing strategy and advertising planning, media services, account supervision and creative direction.

In 2011, Owens Harkey Advertising grew by over 500 percent, with the help of Owens’ revolutionary branding strategy system. Owens has also made a commitment to working with nonprofits and currently sits on marketing committees and boards of directors for many local organizations and charities.

For more information on Owens Harkey Advertising, visit Owens Harkey Advertising’s website at owensharkey.com.

Arizona State University Tech Pioneer Honored

Arizona State University Honors Tech Pioneer As Executive Of The Year

On April 19, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Incorporated, will be honored by Arizona State University for his incredible accomplishments that vaulted us all forward in the technology we use to communicate.

Qualcomm is a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services. The company’s portfolio includes thousands of U.S. and international patents on many of the most important inventions and innovations in wireless and related technologies.

“We’re proud to honor Dr. Jacobs for his amazing achievements that link us together through technology and communication,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “He is a visionary, who was a key player in satellite communications as far back as the 1960s, but his greatest impact began when he met with colleagues in his den in the 1980s to talk about forming a new company. Today, that company, Qualcomm, is one of the greatest American technology stories — and a publicly traded, Fortune 500 firm.”

Jacobs will become the 29th Executive of the Year chosen annually by the Dean’s Council of 100, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business. At the awards luncheon, he’ll speak to a Valley audience about his legacy – moving from a professor to an entrepreneur and greatly influencing a world that now has more than 6 billion cellular connections.

In addition to his immense success at Qualcomm, where Jacobs served as chairman and chief executive officer for 20 years, he is also known for his generous contributions to education, the arts and the environment. He and his wife, Joan, took the “Giving Pledge” — along with billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others — to give away more than half of their fortune to philanthropy. He has also been involved in global efforts to support small business growth and better health care in emerging economies.

Jacobs taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, San Diego. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, plus honorary degrees from seven other universities. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received many industry, education and business accolades, including the National Medal of Technology, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the Financial Times Lifetime Achievement Award for 25 years in telecommunications, the IEEE and Royal Society of Edinburgh James Clerk Maxwell Award, and the Marconi Society Prize. He currently chairs the National Academy of Engineering and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The event to honor Dr. Irwin Jacobs will be held Thursday, April 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale. The W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council of 100 chose Jacobs to follow previous winners, including Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc.; Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company; and Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.

The event is part of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 965-6568, e-mail dc100exec@asu.edu or visit wpcarey.asu.edu/dc100.
Entrepreneurs Can Reach High Levels Of Success - AZ Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

The Entrepreneurs Of Today Can Reach High Levels Of Success — And Impact The World

In today’s fluctuating economy, the notions of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial leadership and entrepreneurial decision-making are receiving increased attention by citizens, academics, managers and politicians on a global basis. The current global financial crisis has put added pressure on creating new ideas and bringing these to the market, resulting in financial fruition, economic development and employment.

Being an entrepreneur and creating value by establishing a new organization in both the profit and nonprofit sectors in business, as well as the arts, impacts economic and social conditions. This creation process takes more time and effort than one can imagine and is by no means easy, with a high failure rate reaching more than 70 percent in certain countries.

Since entrepreneurs are found in all professions — education, medicine, research, law, architecture, arts, engineering, social work and distribution — the definition of entrepreneurship in my book, “Entrepreneurship,” is relevant: “Entrepreneurship is the process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic, and social risks, and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence.”

Global entrepreneurial leaders create visionary scenarios that assemble and mobilize participants, who become committed by the vision to discovery and creation of sustainable value. They have a wide variety of attributes, including being a visionary, having a passion for their idea, being a risk-taker, having perseverance, building a team, recognizing opportunities and needs, solving problems, and giving back. Let us look at a few examples:

Leonardo Da Vinci — In addition to his many other titles, Leonardo Da Vinci should be labeled as one of the great global entrepreneurial leaders of all time. It is, in fact, the breadth and depth of his work, his wide-ranging skills and his lasting impact on both the arts and society that reflect the strength of his entrepreneurial vision. He created many new and different pieces of art, devices and ways of thinking that were ahead of their time.

Edward Teach (Blackbeard the Pirate) — From 1716-1718, Blackbeard the Pirate ruled the seas and also was an entrepreneurial leader who flourished in his trade. The pirates who joined Blackbeard’s command often came from the lowest classes of society, or were former members of the British Navy, who found the conditions and treatment they received better than life on farms or plantations. All booty taken by the pirates would be divided evenly among the crew, one part each, save the captain’s two.

Peter the Great — Peter I ruled Russia from 1682 until his death in 1725, bringing about major modernization to his country. His global entrepreneurial vision and leadership gave Russia a new position of power as the country was transformed into a Western empire. Educators, military personnel and businessmen were invited to Russia; the army was modernized; a strong navy was developed; and arts and education flourished.

John D. Rockefeller — John D. Rockefeller was an extraordinary American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Through hard work, determination and a strong competitive nature, he became the world’s first billionaire. Rockefeller chose to change his entrepreneurial pursuits away from making money toward giving it away. From his equity position in Standard Oil, a company he co-founded, he felt the need to disperse his wealth to those less fortunate and formed the Rockefeller Foundation; this started the rise of American social philanthropy.

Madam C.J. Walker — Entrepreneurs often find opportunities and success in spite of great odds and obstacles. Madam C.J. Walker was one such person who identified a gap in the market — hair care products for black women. Walker became the first self-made, female black millionaire in the United States. At one point, she employed more than 3,000 women, and had a wide range of hair and skin care products.

Muhammad Yunus — Muhammad Yunus is an example of a selfless global entrepreneurial leader. After seeing the impact of his first micro-loan and the way in which he was repaid, Yunus began to envision a model that could work anywhere. He found that the poor would often quickly repay their loans with few problems. By the early 1980s, Yunus had expanded to other developing countries, and in 1983 formed the Grameen Bank, the institutional home of his micro-lending practices, both of which were honored with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Bill Gates — Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ entrepreneurial skills are varied. His company revolutionized the computer industry, helped to usher in the Internet age, and had a deep and profound impact on the daily lives of people around the world. Because of this persistence and risk taking, he shaped the evolution of the information age, making him the world’s richest man in 1995. In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was founded with the goal of alleviating many of the problems that are afflicting the world’s poorest people. It has grown into one of the premier philanthropic organizations in the world.

The role of global entrepreneurial leaders throughout history indicates the diversity in backgrounds, mindsets and goals that spawn entrepreneurial actions, decisions and leadership. From public sector to private, for-profit to nonprofit, in science, arts, religion, medicine, politics and business, and across industries, the variety of forms that entrepreneurial leadership takes is clear.

For the contemporary entrepreneur who actually starts his or her own business, the experience is filled with enthusiasm, frustration, anxiety and hard work. There is a high failure rate due to poor sales, intense competition, lack of capital, or lack of managerial ability. The financial, social and emotional risks are high, as are the rewards. As history has shown, the individual’s reward can easily set the stage for an accelerated impact on the larger community, region, country or even the world.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Four women hanging upside down in yoga harnesses

Yoga Studio Is “Blissful” About Expanding And Being Eco-Friendly

Expanding in a recession and going green – impossible?

Not for Blissful Yoga in Glendale.

The yoga studio is establishing three new studios in the next year while utilizing renewable materials and sustainable designs throughout the company.

“In this economy, who knew, right?” says Carrie Clark, the operations manager and a yoga instructor at Blissful Yoga.

Blissful Yoga’s owner, Rosa Rendon, says she had lots of people trying to dissuade her from expanding in the middle of a recession, but she stood her ground.

“I’m really passionate about yoga and bringing it to everyone,” Rendon says.  “I truly thought, even in this economy, I truly thought if we had something really good to offer people would embrace it.  I just went with my heart really.”

The grand opening for Blissful Yoga’s new studio at The Shops at Norterra is Sept. 1, but Rendon isn’t waiting until then to start yoga classes.  The studio is officially open and ready to work out the body and relax the spirit the first week of August, says Rendon, who owns Blissful Yoga with her husband Moises (both pictured below).

With a new studio opening next week, Clark says Blissful Yoga owes its success to the sense of community and philanthropy and a commitment to enjoying life that the yoga studio champions.

“I’m truly excited (about) the welcoming we’ve had from our communities,”  Rendon says.  “We make a point of knowing everybody’s name and welcoming everyone at the door… Even though we’re growing, still our focus is knowing everybody’s name.”

Not only does Blissful Yoga give back to the community with a monthly donation-based class for various charities, but it also tries to give back to the environment by using green products and carrying out green practices.

“(Being eco-friendly) was my first priority when I started talking about building a yoga studio,” says Rendon, whose commitment to being green stems from her desire to provide a better world for the next generation.

The original Blissful Yoga studio, located at 19420 N. 59th Ave., is floor-to-ceiling green.  The floors are made of renewable bamboo and the paint on the walls is low-emission paint, Clark says.

“Every decision (the owners) made, they took that into consideration all the way down to the towels that are in the bathroom are recycled, (and) the paper they print their schedules on is all recycled paper,” Clark says.

The three new locations, The Shops at Norterra, Scottsdale Quarter and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, will also be “green,” Clark says.

The St. Joseph’s location came about when the hospital contracted them to teach yoga in a new studio built for Blissful Yoga in the hospital as an added benefit to employees, she says.

Blissful Yoga offers around 20 types of yoga for beginners to experts including prenatal yoga, Vinyasa, Yen and classes on a Yoga Wall.  Most of the yoga instructors are YogaWorks trained and Yoga Alliance certified.

Rendon is excited and proud that Phoenicians are embracing what Blissful Yoga has to offe

r.

Photos courtesy of Blissful Yoga. | www.blissfulyoga.net

Minnesota flag

Adding Leverage To Going Green At Arizona Businesses

Minnesota is kicking our butt. No, I’m not talking ice hockey or the fact that they have 10,000 lakes — yes, it’s not just their state motto. Rather, I’m talking about their killer support for their environment — hey, they have 10,000 lakes to keep pristine remember? But seriously, Minnesota is leaving us in the dust when it comes to supporting the environment through workplace giving. What’s that you ask? Workplace giving is just that – where employees in companies, cities, counties, universities, or really any organization can give to charities through their workplace, usually via payroll deduction.

For decades, the United Way has been the biggest player on the block. But more recently, other groups, called federations, have joined in looking for an equal piece of the workplace giving pie, representing other nonprofit sectors including the environment. EarthShare is the granddaddy of environmental federations and has 19 state affiliates across the country. There are however a few of us ‘rogue’ independent greenies, like our own Environmental Fund for Arizona, but the Minnesota Environmental Fund is one that we Arizonans would be wise to emulate.

In a little over 15 years, MEF has established itself in 140 campaigns across the state, including private companies as well as cities and counties, and now brings in on average $900,000 in donations annually for its 25 environmental group members. No matter how you slice it, that’s a nice chunk of change for MEF members to help continue their missions.

Now contrast this to how Arizona is matching up…or not. Just 17 workplaces across the entire state currently include a ‘green’ choice in their workplace campaigns. For those of us who connect the environment, smart growth, and sustainability to the health and vitality of Arizona’s future, not to mention who believe in the ‘spirit of philanthropy,’ you’d think offering an environmental choice to workplaces would be easier. It’s not. Unfortunately, sometimes long-standing tradition trumps common sense and cool ideas.

Why is ‘giving green’ at work so darn great and why should Arizona take notice? I’ll tell you. Not only does it introduce hundreds, if not thousands of folks to smaller environmental nonprofits who might not have access to companies themselves, but do amazingly cool work for our environment, but it allows Arizona employees to learn about the significant variety of environmental issues being tackled across the state, and helps them to get involved. Think Sonoran Institute and their work with Superstition Vistas. Think Audubon Arizona and their recent opening of the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, the gateway to a lush Sonoran riparian habitat used by over 200 species of birds and other wildlife. And don’t forget Grand Canyon Trust. They’re our champions of Arizona’s – and the nation’s – spectacular treasure, the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau. These are just three of 29 organizations that make up EFAZ. Here’s another reason — one that is ridiculously obvious. Arizona is pushing ‘green’ in a big way, no not just to save the planet but for more practical reasons, like recharging our state’s economy with green jobs. Solar energy, water issues — we’re all over it. Why wouldn’t companies, cities, counties, and universities welcome a green choice into their campaigns?

So, what’s the moral of the story? Let’s not let Minnesota keep kicking our environmental butt. Aren’t the Grand Canyon and the Sonoran Desert worth saving? I say ‘wake up Arizona and smell the organically-grown, fair trade coffee.’


www.efaz.org
www.mnenvirofund.org

Valley Forward: Colin Tetreault

Colin Tetreault
Master of Arts Student
Arizona State University, School of Sustainability
schoolofsustainability.asu.edu

As a student at the Arizona State University School of Sustainability, Colin Tetreault is exploring ways for the business community to play a greater role in enhancing the global environment.


It’s a natural blend of interests for Tetreault, who is pursuing a master’s degree in sustainability and has a bachelor of science degree in marketing from the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business, as well as a minor in sociology. He has a diverse business background and skill set tempered in marketing, business development and philanthropy. His goal is to integrate his business acumen and cutting-edge knowledge of sustainability.

When ASU President Michael Crow said, “Sustainability is a way to grow and prosper while reducing the stress on the planet,” and asserted that sustainability would be a hallmark at ASU, Tetreault says, “I knew this was absolutely something that I not only wanted to pursue, but I felt compelled.”

Tetreault’s background led him to the field of sustainability.

“I grew up hiking and climbing and having an appreciation of the outdoors,” he says, “but my parents are both business individuals. My mother was a professor of marketing and my father was a business executive. I loved being outside, but I also loved what business can do. Business can accelerate change and can act as an advocate for it.”

Some individuals may view business as being unfriendly to the environment, and with some justification, Tetreault says.
“Admittedly, in certain instances they may be right, but now business has done more than ever for the environment and can act as an advocate for the world,” he says. “It marries two areas that I love — a synthesis of business and the entire global perspective of sustainability, which is not just hugging trees and savings animals.”

Sustainability will provide a “meaningful, productive and just way of life,” Tetreault says, adding that it is vital to save the trees and have clean air so humans can live on this planet.

“Sustainability is paramount to that, to help achieve economic viability and a robust society,” he says. “Everything is connected. Our actions have a direct impact on us now and in the future and on everything around us. I feel this is my calling.”

Tetreault, who joined Valley Forward this year, hails the organization for its role in preserving the environment and for being “not only an aggregator of information, but also an advocate for positive change.”

“Valley Forward embodies those type of ideals,” he says.

Celebrity Fight Night

Nonprofits And Corporations Continue To Work Together As The Economy Falters

Ravaged by the effects of a devastating disease, boxing legend Muhammad Ali can still draw a crowd. Fans who remember the former heavyweight boxing champ in his prime as the handsome, graceful pugilist with the mile-a-minute mouth, still flock to catch a glimpse of this now frail man.

That’s helped turn the annual Celebrity Fight Night into one of the most successful charity events in the Valley. The creation of Jimmy Walker, president of Walker Financial, an estate planning and wealth management firm, Celebrity Fight Night has raised millions for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute.

Celebrity Fight Night is a perfect example of where corporations and philanthropy intersect. However, that intersection is now threatened.

Corporate philanthropy pumps millions of dollars into Arizona nonprofits every year, but there is concern that a troubled economy will result in some restraints on giving.

Cutbacks could occur, even though businesses see philanthropy as a win-win: Organizations that benefit from corporate generosity are able to continue to do all the good things they do, and at the same time, corporations reap the benefits of good PR. They are seen as good citizens giving back to the community. Of course, tax write-offs generally enter into the philanthropic picture.

Even though corporate donations that support myriad causes are estimated at about 20 percent of the total, with individuals giving by far the lion’s share of philanthropic dollars, nonprofits agree that they couldn’t survive without corporate help. Which means it will be up to nonprofits to be more creative and innovative in telling their story.

Robin Dunn, CEO of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Arizona and president-elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Arizona Chapter, cannot emphasize enough the importance of corporate philanthropy.

“We have a lot of corporate alliances,” Dunn says. “Our brand is one that companies like to use for cause-related marketing. As a result, quite a bit of income comes from corporate philanthropy.”

Make-A-Wish’s mission is to grant the desires of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“It lets the community know that a company is helping a charity, which ultimately helps the company,” Dunn says. “We could not do what we do without corporate philanthropy.”

Despite that, Dunn says cutbacks in giving are a distinct possibility.

“I think it’s obvious to think people are being more frugal and maybe a little more tentative,” she says. “I think it’s too soon to say whether that’s going to impact overall giving, but I think there’ll be some impact.”

Patricia Lewis, senior professional in residence at the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University, expects a slowdown in corporate philanthropy.

“So much of our community is tied up with the financial markets, so it’s bound to have an impact. I think we are already beginning tosee a decline in support for nonprofit events and activities,” says Lewis, who is a former president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “That includes direct support, as well as support in buying a table at an event. The economy is having an impactful trickle-down effect.”

Perhaps the fundraiser with the most star power is Celebrity Fight Night. Since its inception in 1994, it has raised more than $52 million, primarily for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Sean Currie, executive director of the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, says the event last spring pulled in $6.5 million.

Ali clearly is the draw. Entertainers, including Celine Dione, Garth Brooks, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart, are among those who have performed at the fundraiser. Some 50 to 60 celebrities attend each year.