Tag Archives: T.W. Lewis Company

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TW Lewis Foundation hires executive director

SParra T.W. Lewis Foundation is pleased to announce Stephanie Parra as its executive director, a new position for the organization.

Parra brings valuable experience in education, social work and non-profit management to the Foundation, which supports a wide array of education and family-focused non-profits with a common goal of strengthening the community.

As executive director, Parra will oversee the Foundation’s annual giving budget with a focus on education, children and families. This work will begin immediately with the review and selection of the annual T.W. Lewis Scholarship Program recipients to Arizona State University’s (ASU) Barrett, The Honors College. Parra also will work closely with the Foundation’s non-profit partners to determine areas of need, allocate funding and further develop the organization’s overall giving strategy and vision.

“Adding an executive director to the Foundation will enable us to maximize the impact of our giving,” said Tom Lewis, owner and CEO of T.W. Lewis Company and founder, with his wife Jan, of the T.W. Lewis Foundation. “Stephanie’s experience, demonstrated leadership skills and passion for education and child welfare make her the perfect fit for our new role. We are excited to welcome her to the team.”

Parra began her career as a social worker for Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona. During her four years in social work, Parra saw first-hand how education could transform life opportunities for children. After earning her masters degree from ASU, Parra worked at the university in a number of different roles, all with a focus on entrepreneurship and leadership. Most recently, Parra was the Manager of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Teach For America, where she coached entrepreneurs on pitching investors and donors.

“It is an honor to join T.W. Lewis Foundation, an organization that shares so many of my core values and goals,“ said Parra. “My previous roles have prepared me for this position and I look forward to supporting programs that will have such an impact on young people and families in our community.”

Parra is an active member of the community, affiliated with the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA), the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO). She is currently a Governing Board Member for Phoenix Union High School District, where she works toward fulfilling the mission of preparing students for success in college, career and life.

One of the first in her family to go to college, Parra holds a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Education in Higher and Postsecondary Education from ASU. A first generation American citizen, Parra was born and raised in Yuma, AZ and has lived in the Valley for 13 years.


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T.W. Lewis Foundation awards scholarships

The T.W. Lewis Foundation and Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University have established a partnership to help honors students develop strong leadership skills. Together they are creating specialized classes to enhance the honors curriculum and better prepare students for their chosen careers. The focused classes are under development and will be available beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year. The T.W. Lewis Foundation began supporting Barrett through its scholarship program, which awards academic scholarships to Maricopa County high school seniors who are planning to attend Barrett. The Honors College currently has 25 T.W. Lewis Foundation Scholars within its program.

T.W. Lewis Foundation is the only partnership of its kind within Barrett. The importance the foundation places on leadership, career development and community involvement complement the vision of the Honors College. The financial support provided by T.W. Lewis Foundation is also essential for most students within the program, as up to 95 percent of Barrett students receive merit-based aid while 40 percent have need-based financial support in addition to their merit-based assistance.

The T.W. Lewis Foundation Scholarship Program began in 2002 and, to-date, has committed more than $2.6 million helping 130 Maricopa County high school seniors. Each of those scholars has received a $20,000 four year academic scholarship. Focused specifically to help the local students, the program has narrowed its efforts since it began 13 years ago, and is now solely supporting students that are attending Barrett. By having all the students at one school, it allows the scholarship to offer more things to students like special classes, conferences and career counseling.

“The purpose of the T.W. Lewis Foundation Scholarship Program is to provide high potential student leaders with self-awareness tools, career counseling, learning opportunities and financial aid so they can reach their potential and have a positive impact on the Valley and beyond,” says Tom Lewis, owner and CEO of T.W. Lewis Company and founder, with his wife Jan, of the T.W. Lewis Foundation. “Through the scholarship program and our partnership with Barrett, we are identifying tomorrow’s leaders now, then helping to prepare them for a life of achievement and service.”

The class of 2014 T.W. Lewis Scholars are from all areas of the Valley, reaching from Gilbert to Peoria. Applications are accepted each spring with recipients selected based upon leadership qualities, entrepreneurial potential, strong personal character, academic achievement and financial need. The 2014 recipients are:

• Ruth Hicks, Higley High School
• Carolina Loera, Marcos de Niza High School
• Crystal Loza, Metro Tech High School
• Thomas Murphy, Mesquite High School
• Malachi Payne, Marcos de Niza High School
• Troy Penny, Centennial High School
• Audrie Pirkl, Bourgade Catholic High School
• Kaitlyn Selman, Desert Vista High School
• Shimoli Shah, Corona Del Sol High School
• Spencer Wilhelm, Perry High School

Barrett is a unique experience for 5,000 students at ASU. While the university has an enrollment of more than 75,000 students, Barrett delivers a small, intellectual environment by providing its own housing, as well as a place to dine and study. In addition, it offers its students enriched academic courses and events. The new honors courses developed through the partnership will explore and enhance personal and professional development and include themed topics like: Life Lessons; Values, Character and Leadership; Decision Making and Risk Taking; and Success.

“It is meaningful for us to work with an organization like the T.W. Lewis Foundation that shares a common goal of cultivating young leaders to positively impact the community,” says Lexi Killoren, Director of Development at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. “At Barrett, we often say this is where ability meets opportunity. Because of the time and financial resources Tom and Jan Lewis have invested in our program, our gifted students are able to garner much more than academic discipline during their time with us. They gain a deeper appreciation by interacting with corporate and
community leaders, delving into career opportunities and giving back to the community.”

From left: Tom Lewis, Gary Karlowski, Terry Burns, Pat Adler, Gerad Zacchio, Sam Buchanan, all from T.W. Lewis Co.

Lewis Receives National Housing Quality Award

T.W. Lewis Company Founder CEO Tom Lewis has been recognized as the first inductee into the National Housing Quality Award Hall of Fame. Lewis is being recognized for his overall contribution to the housing industry and for his overall impact in the field of quality homebuilding.  The award was given by Professional Builder Magazine and the examining judges of the National Housing Quality (NHQ) Award.  The NHQ Award is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (which recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education and nonprofit sectors for quality achievement) and represents the housing industry’s highest recognition for achievement in total quality management.   T.W. Lewis Company received the NHQ Silver Award in 1998 and the prestigious NHQ Gold Award in 2009.

“This is a tremendous honor.” Lewis said.  “I am very pleased that our commitment to quality homebuilding is being recognized in this way.  This award was achieved over many years through a strong commitment by all of our employees that have taken great pride in every T.W. Lewis home.”  T.W. Lewis Company is an Arizona-based homebuilding company. For more information, please visit http://www.twlewis.com.