In honor of the hundreds of SRP employees who devote thousands of hours to worthy causes, six employees have been chosen to receive the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award.
The award recognizes employees and retirees who are leaders in volunteerism and who serve as examples of the power of caring.
“One of the truly remarkable aspects of the SRP employee family is the unwavering commitment to volunteerism that spans the entire organization,” said SRP President David Rousseau, who added that SRP employees and retirees, with help from their friends and families, donate thousands of volunteer hours a year to their communities. “I’m very proud to be part of a company that has so many employees that give so freely of their time and talent.”
The 2016 SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award honorees and the nonprofits they assist are:
Glendale resident Jeff Fantin – Child Crisis Arizona
For the past 15 years, Jeff Fantin has donated countless hours of IT expertise to ensure that Child Crisis Arizona, whose mission is to provide hope and services to vulnerable children and families, has the technology it needs to be effective in the community. Fantin consults on all the IT functions and oversees contract management, vendor negotiations, budgeting, planning and project management to ensure day-to-day support of the nonprofit’s network, desktops and servers. By providing IT support, Fantin helps Child Crisis Arizona reach more people and enhance its services through the use of tablets, smartphones and social media; technology is now helping the organization collect donations online. What began as setting up and supporting a couple of computers in 2001 turned into Fantin managing and overseeing the IT integration and merger last year of Child Crisis Center with Crisis Nursery to become Child Crisis Arizona. Every dollar saved on IT services for the organization goes directly to helping kids.
Laveen resident & KFA Award recipient Sheryl Heier – Friends of the Phoenix Public Library, Cesar Chavez Branch
Sheryl Heier and her dog, Orlagh, spend every Tuesday evening at Cesar Chavez Library allowing emerging and reluctant readers to practice reading to a big yellow dog. The Read to Orlagh Program creates a relaxed atmosphere where children can read out loud without feeling self-conscious like they do when reading in front of classmates. The goal of the program is to support reading readiness and grade-level reading by the third grade, but it has attracted young and old readers as well. Since 2014, 425 children have read to Orlagh. Heier enjoys being a part of the literacy program at the library, particularly because she and Orlagh are helping at-risk children. She is also the recipient of this year’s Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award (KFA Award) for her wide-ranging, beneficial volunteer work in the community. Heier spends much of her time supporting a number of organizations including Operation Purple Camp; the Arizona Burn Foundation; the Patrick Andler Annual Fire Investigation Seminar; and the Phoenix Zoo. Until recently, she also volunteered with Gabriel’s Angels and Papago Toastmasters.
Phoenix resident Karilee Ramaley – Association of Arizona Food Banks
In 2009, Karilee Ramaley joined the Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB) Board of Directors and served as chair from 2011 to 2015, longer than any other in the nonprofit’s history. The AAFB works to make food banking better by developing food resources, advocating for public policy changes to help hungry people and fostering cooperation among food banks to eliminate hunger in Arizona. When Ramaley first joined AAFB, she was part of the Finance Committee and helped with board recruitment. She then joined the Executive Committee and an ad hoc committee for succession planning. As board chair, Ramaley helped lead the AAFB through a national CEO leadership search. Now the immediate past president, she has dedicated nearly 1,000 hours of her personal time to help the AAFB navigate budget, personnel and leadership issues. Ramaley is credited with helping guide the organization through some very uncertain times.
Phoenix resident Ron Harrison – Arizona Autism Charter Schools Inc.
As the co-founder of Arizona Autism Charter Schools Inc., Ron Harrison helped launch Arizona’s first tuition-free public charter school in 2014 for children with autism. The goal of the school is to provide high-quality, specialized education to empower students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to reach their full potential through individualized programs. Harrison is the current board treasurer and was instrumental in developing the financial statements used in the state application and several fundraising applications to secure the necessary funding to launch the school. He assisted with community outreach, facility acquisition and staff recruitment so the school could open and serve 90 students in its first year. In 2015, enrollment grew to 108 students. Prior to the charter school opening, parents with an ASD child could expect to spend more than $40,000 in private school tuition to receive the same level of programming they receive for free at Arizona Autism Charter School.
Scottsdale resident Beatriz Antelo – one·n·ten
Beatriz Antelo uses her design expertise to strengthen and promote one·n·ten’s outreach and fundraising efforts. This nonprofit is dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight allies (LGBTQA) youth and young adults by providing social and service programs to help in the areas of self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices. Antelo was introduced to the nonprofit by a co-worker in 2013 and has since volunteered year-round to create brand and promotional pieces to support one·n·ten’s sustaining donor program, special events and advertising efforts. In 2015, she created a full-page ad that was published in the Phoenix Business Journal. By creating professionally designed materials, Antelo is helping the nonprofit create community awareness while also attracting sponsors. In addition to lending her design skills, she has volunteered 460 hours since 2014.
Tempe resident Ed Baker – Tempe Community Action Agency
The Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) works to alleviate hunger, poverty and homelessness and is a lifeline for the disadvantaged in Tempe and south Scottsdale. For the past 11 years, Ed Baker has volunteered with the TCAA and in that time has served the nonprofit as an event planner, board member and fundraiser, while lending his marketing and digital web expertise to create a new logo and website for the organization. As a member of the First Crush fundraising committee for the past two years, Baker helped triple contributions for this TCAA signature event. He currently serves as secretary of the TCAA board and is in line to become board president in 2017. Baker is extremely dedicated to this organization and, through personal giving, SRP Dollars for Doers and Ed and Heidi’s TCAA Charity Bocce Tournament, has directly raised or contributed more than $35,000 to benefit the nonprofit.