Make-A-Wish Arizona is sad to announce the retirement of Elizabeth Reich, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish Arizona.
Elizabeth has led the chapter for more than 10 years, starting with the organization when it was on a probation dictated by its national foundation, Make-A-Wish, for its lack of wish granting and fundraising.
Working on the culture first, Elizabeth took a high-turnover, negative culture that was underperforming on all metrics and turned the chapter into one of the leading chapters in the 59-chapter organization.
During Elizabeth’s tenure, Make-A-Wish Arizona has gone from underperforming in revenue and wishes to year-over-year double digit revenue and wish growth (pre-pandemic). It moved into a new Wish House that was funded by a single donor, allowing the chapter to sell its old location and use the funds as reserve.
She focused on building a passionate staff, who collaborate through peer-to-peer sharing, and support hyper-transparency both from leadership and between departments. She also helped to build a dynamic Board of Directors, whose influence and fundraising success typically accounts for 35 percent of the chapter’s annual chapter-generated cash revenue.
“As Board Chairman and a member of the board for the past four years, I have seen the commitment and caring that have marked Elizabeth’s leadership of Make-A-Wish Arizona,” said Andrea Tazioli, current chair for the Make-A-Wish Arizona Board of Directors. “In leading our search team, we will look for another leader who upholds such high standards and also has a caring heart for all our wish kids and their families go through before they receive the hope of a wish come true.”
As a leader in the Make-A-Wish organization, Elizabeth serves on countless national task forces, interviewing panels for new chapter CEOs, and represents the organizations largest chapters on the Leadership Council Leadership Team. She was also requested on the Reemergence Taskforce, helping to guide the organization out of the pandemic.
The chapter has been recognized as a Best Places to Work in the Valley by the Phoenix Business Journal annually since 2014 and a Top Companies to Work for in the Valley by BestCompaniesAZ.com since 2017. It is now a BBB Accredited Charity and a three-star Charity Navigator annually.
Elizabeth will continue in her role during the CEO search process to help transition the chapter.
“This is truly the best job of my career,” said Reich. “I wouldn’t change a thing about the past 10 years. Even the challenging times allowed me to learn and grow and better serve our wish families. I have faith the Board will find a successor who will be dedicated to the mission and will appreciate that they are being gifted with one of the best professional opportunity in Arizona.”
Make-A-Wish Arizona recognizes her persistence, resilience and indomitable spirit. We know Elizabeth has positioned the Arizona chapter for success for years to come and left a legacy of excellence for the staff, board, volunteers and donors to follow.