The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Arizona Chapter has announced the recipients of its Leadership Awards following a three-month nomination process.  

The honorees will be recognized at the 35th Annual National Philanthropy and Leadership Awards Luncheon. The celebration, presented by The Fiesta Bowl Charities, will be held at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

2019 Leadership Award honorees are:

• Outstanding Philanthropists: Susan and Bill Ahern

Nominated by: Desert Botanical Garden

• Outstanding Corporation/Foundation: Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation 

Nominated by: Catholic Charities Community Services

• Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Kevin Robinson 

Nominated by: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern AZ

• Outstanding Fundraising Executive: Jerry Diaz, CFRE

Nominated by: The Kur Carr Group

• Outstanding Student in Philanthropy: Eden Sapien

Nominated by: The Phoenix Rescue Mission

Event Co Chairs Patty Barney from Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Julianne Simendinger from YMCA have selected a theme of “I am an Arizona Fundraiser” to showcase the amazing work and impact of the nonprofit world in greater Phoenix. 

“We are the fifth-largest city in the United States and are fortunate to have an abundance of first-rate volunteers, philanthropists, corporations, foundations and fundraising professionals to allow our community to support the arts, education, human services, animal welfare, environmental and health care nonprofits that meet the needs of Arizonans,” said Barney. 

Simendinger is grateful to the panelists who took part in the nomination process: Ashley Schick, Bashas; Pamela Keefe, National Bank of Arizona; Jacki Grainger, BOK Financial; Cheryl Ruggiero, Thunderbirds Charities; Katie Campana, Wells Fargo; Lisa Notaro, St. Mary’s Food Bank; Kristina Chumpol, Fiesta Bowl Charities; Kelly Lane, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition to this year’s honorees, the event will highlight award recipients dating back to 1985. For a complete year-over-year review visit

The annual event, in collaboration with a nationwide day of philanthropy, will also honor recipients of the Spirit of Philanthropy Award. Organizations wishing to highlight an exceptional supporter who goes beyond the call for its organization, and is deserving of recognition for their passion and dedication can submit a Spirit of Philanthropy form at through September 30, 2019. The nominations include an award and a table of 10. 

Other NPD Luncheon sponsors include: Gold Sponsors:  Scott Allen Creative,  GiveSmart by Community Brands; Silver Sponsors: Auction Event Solutions, Ameripark/Reef Parking, Russ Goldstein/Bank of America Private Bank, Wells Fargo,  Powers & Young, Black Starr & Frost; Bronze Sponsors: Phoenix Business Journal, Cascolate Philanthropic Consulting, Patrick Irvine/Fennemore Craig PC, VisionLynk.

This year’s event will be co-emcee’d by Hospice of the Valley Director of Community Engagement Lin Sue Cooney and Channel 12 News Anchor Mark Curtis.

Established in 1985, AFPGAZ celebrates National Philanthropy Day® because of the extraordinary impact of the charitable activities in our community. The AFP Greater Arizona Chapter has been recognizing leaders in our community for 35 years, honoring an exceptional philanthropic community at the AFP Award Luncheon.