Fiesta Bowl Friday with Ramey Peru
In the weeks leading up to the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, which will take place on Saturday, December 31 at State Farm Stadium and serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal Game, AZ Big Media is sitting down with a member of the Fiesta Bowl family every Friday to shine a light on the event itself but also all the ways that the organization drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans during and outside of college football Bowl Season.
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Today, we sit down to talk Bowl memories and impact with Ramey J. Peru, 2022-2023 Yellow Jacket Committee Chair and senior vice president with the AZ LandSource Team at Colliers, specializing in the sale of land.
AZ Big Media: When did you begin volunteering for the Fiesta Bowl?
Ramey Peru: Unofficially since I was a kid. Throughout my youth, I attended and helped at events with my father, Ramey G. Peru, who was a Yellow Jacket Committee member. Officially, I joined the Yellow Jacket Committee in 2010 and was named Committee Member of the Year in the 2011-12 season, one year before my father joined the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors in 2012-13. Incidentally, I also met my wife, Kelly, through the Yellow Jacket Committee as she has also been a member for more than 10 years.
AZ Big Media: What is your role as the Yellow Jacket Committee Chair?
Ramey Peru: I am leading the fundraising and participation efforts of this year’s committee, which consists of 120 community leaders. These volunteers work with sponsors, volunteers, staff and the board of directors to support the Fiesta Bowl and its numerous events throughout the year. The committee annually raises $3 million or more and helps to successfully execute all Fiesta Bowl events and charitable giving efforts.
AZ Big Media: Is this your first leadership role within the Fiesta Bowl organization?
Peru: I’ve been honored to serve in the past as new member commissioner, sales coach, and the engagement commissioner. I’ve also served as a game operations committee member, chair of the Hole-in-One committee and worked for six different Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl games as a team liaison before being Yellow Jacket Committee Chair-Elect last season.
AZ Big Media: What has been your favorite Fiesta Bowl game to date?
Peru: Easy. The 1987 Fiesta Bowl, which also served as the National Championship Game that year, between the No. 1 ranked Miami Hurricanes and the No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State won, 14-10, but it was most memorable to me as that was the first-ever game I attended. While I was too young to understand all the surrounding hype and backstories, it was the moment I got hooked on the Fiesta Bowl and college football forever.
AZ Big Media: Any memorable moments while working the Fiesta Bowl game itself?
Peru: It was beyond special to ride in the Fiesta Bowl Parade with my niece and nephew in the back of a Ford Mustang Convertible as the 2011-12 Fiesta Bowl Committee Member of the Year.
AZ Big Media: Why is volunteering as a Yellow Jacket so important to you?
Peru: I’m an Arizona native, so I enjoy being a part of an organization whose mission is to raise the profile of and give back to the community. And given my dad’s role within the organization, I grew up going to the game and also taking part in the parade, golf tournament, duck race and more. It has been full circle hearing my father talk about the friends, memories and positive impact he has been able to make through this organization, and now today my wife and I do it too, carrying on the legacy.
AZ Big Media: Let’s talk about some of the impact the Fiesta Bowl makes in the community. Tell us about one of its key programs.
Peru: In October, Fiesta Bowl Charities, along with partners BHHS Legacy Foundation, PNC Bank, Lerner & Rowe and KABOOM!, built a new, innovative playground and multi-purpose sport court in Fort Mohave, while also planting a new football field. Located in the Colorado River Valley, this is the 12th site for a Fiesta Bowl Charities playground legacy project over the last five years. More than 100 volunteers from Fiesta Bowl Charities, BHHS Legacy Foundation and KABOOM! came together to build the state-of-the-art playground and sport court for more than 800 children in the Fort Mohave community. In addition to the newly built structures, the Fiesta Bowl dedicated a new 70,000+ square foot field that was the playing surface for the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bowl between Minnesota and West Virginia. Before receiving the new play space, residents faced a 20-minute commute to nearby Bullhead City just to get to a playground. With play being so important for kids, the Fort Mohave community now has a safe space to gather, foster relationships and promote healthy lifestyles for their children.
AZ Big Media: Tell us something interesting about you outside of work and your Fiesta Bowl role?
Peru: I am a sixth-generation Arizonan. I was also a four-year punter at the University of Arizona, graduating in 2004.