How Impact Maker is Living Up to Its Name in Arizona

October 07, 2020 | ,

What would happen in Arizona if Valley Leadership alumni were mobilized, along with members of the community and partners to find solutions to some of our most pressing issues? It was a question Valley Leadership asked two years ago as it considered how it could better serve the community and make a difference.  

The answer became Impact Maker, an initiative of Valley Leadership that works to fuel long-term impact on Arizona’s most pressing issues by bringing together VL alumni, community champions and Arizona organizations to collaborate and find solutions together.  

Read on to see the impact they’ve had so far, and join us on Thursday, Oct. 29, at our 71st Annual Man and Woman of the Year (tickets are complimentary; RSVP here) to hear from VL alumni who are leading Impact Maker. 

5,000 N-95 Masks. Our Covid-19 Response Team was able to facilitate a donation of the Honeywell masks to Tuba City Regional Health Care, a clinic serving Navajo Nation. The team is likewise creating a database of vetted PPE (personal protective equipment) and sanitation vendors. 

4,000+ Bags of Produce. The Health: Food and Nutrition Team has worked with its partners to support volunteer efforts on for a fresh food program that has fed more than 200 families in South Phoenix each week since April.  

2,500+ Books. The Education: Early Literacy Team has led an effort to restock Little Free Libraries across the Valley – placing more than 2,500 books in 110 libraries, with more than 95% placed in “acceleration zones” identified by our strategic partner, ReadOn Arizona. 

10 CASA Community Champions. The Child Well-Being: Child Welfare Team is working to engage more Court-Appointed Special Advocates to advocate on the best interests of foster children in the child welfare system – support that not only helps them through that system but leads to better educational outcomes. To spread the world about CASA and engage more volunteers, the team has been trained to become CASA Community Champions. If you’re interested in learning more about CASA, contact one of our Champions for a presentation. 

3 One-Stop Resources. As the teams have gone out into the community, one discovery has been that awareness of resources – or a centralized location for them – may not yet exist. Our team has worked to solve that issue on two important issues. On the education front, they created a toolkit for educators and counselors to help students complete FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – and are rolling out a similar toolkit for employers. Meanwhile, our Health Team is building a website for employers who want to adopt more informed and compassionate policies and procedures in their workplaces related to opioid and substance use disorder. Our Jobs and Economy Team is working with education and industry partners to create the first statewide career exploration, training and employment support solution for students and job seekers, while providing employers of all sizes and industries with the talent pipeline they need now and for years to come. 

Learn more about Impact Maker here or help underwrite its work.  

We thank the Impact Maker Team members, contributors and partners who fuel this work: 

  • Child Well-Being

    Chair: Jeanine Bashir

    Leads: Melinda Borucki, Jeanine Bashir

    Team Members: Bradley Cosman, VLI Class 41; Jenna Panas, VLI Class 41; Jonathon Gonzalez, VLI Class 39; Joyceline Elliot, VLI Class 41; Laura Capello, VLI Class 25; Laurie Buczek, VLI Class 40; Leslie Barakat, VLI Class 34; Sarah Gonzalez, VLI Class 38

    Contributors: Cierra Hughes, VLI 2019; Daniel Morehouse, Arizona Army National Guard; Dawn Craft, Arizona PBS; Jacqueline Cruz, VLA 2019; Jael Rodriguez, VLA 2019; Joe Atkielski, VLA 2019; Joyce Medina-Harper, VLI Class 32; Marcy McMacken, VLI 2019; Ylenia Aguilar, VLI Class 39

    Partners: Arizona State University, CASA of Arizona and Maricopa County, First Things First and VOICES for CASA Children.

  • Covid-19 Response

    Chair: Clint Houston

    Leads: Clint Houston, Penny Allee Taylor, Thomas Barr

    Team Members: Aman Kumar; Barbara Chatzel, VLI Class 35; Carolyn Vasos, VLI Class 41; Catherine Alonzo, VLI Class 41; Charles Lucking, VLI Class 41; Debbie Dicarlo, VLI Class 40; Erin Hart, VLI Class 27; Gregory Puckett, VLI Class 41; Joe Garcia, Chicanos Por La Causa; Kat Proffitt, VLI Class 41; Kelli O’toole, VLI Class 41; Molly Ho, VLI Class 41; Ryan Corry, VLI Class 40

    Contributors: Marilee Dal Pra, VLI Class 25; Adrian Ruiz, VLI Class 35; Alison Cook Davis, ASU Morrison Institute; Andrea Whitsett, ASU Morrison Institute; Danelle King, VLI Class 41; Jenny Holsman Tetreault, VLI Class 31; Kelley Murphy, Arizona Early Childhood Alliance; Kristen Merrifield, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits; Kristi Tate, Center for the Future of Arizona; Kyle Pottinger, VLI Class 41; Lindsay Post, ADOT; Liz Shipley, VLI Class 41; Michael Trailor, Native American Connections; Zachary Hall, VLI Class 40

    Partners: Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Chicanos Por La Causa, Local First Arizona and Valley of the Sun United Way.

  • Education

    Chair: Erin Hart

    Leads: Erin Hart, Karla Robles

    Team Members: Adam Mcanally, VLI Class 36; Charles Lucking, VLI Class 41; Chris Mendoza, VLI Class 41; Dawn Craft, Arizona PBS; Dawn Gerundo, Read On Avondale; Heather Kivatinos, VLI Class 39; Jake Adams, Southwest Human Development; Karina Ruiz De Diaz, VLI Class 41; Kim Gathers, VLI Class 41; Lorenzo Chavez, VLI Class 40; Marlee Mauvis, VLI Class 41; Nina Targovnik, VLI Class 36; Shereka Jackson, VLI Class 39; Stephen Flaaen, VLI Class 41; Tim Valencia, Read On Phoenix; Soilo Felix, VLI Class 39.

    Contributors: Lauren Arndt, VLI Class 41; Vicki Fiorelli, VLI Class 41; Chiko Swiney, VLI Class 41; Cylee Gutting, VLI Class 40; Dawn Craft, Arizona PBS; Jael Rodriguez, VLA 2019; Jenny Holsman Tetreault, VLI Class 31; Joe Atkielski, VLA 2019; Julie Sainz, Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education; Julie Trujillo, VLA 2019; Kyle Pottinger, VLI Class 41; Leslie Benner, VLI Class 38; Liz Scott, VLI Class 37; Matt Morales, VLI Class 41; Melissa Boydston, VSUW; Miguel Fernandez; VLI Class 38; Paul Perrault, VLI Class 40; Rachel Yanof, Achieve60AZ; Richard Mahrle, VLI Class 10; Ryan Delaney, VLI Class 41; Sarah Richardson, GLSEN Phoenix; Victoria Theisen-Homer, VLI Class 40; Wendy Johnson, VLA 2019; Ylenia Aguilar, VLI Class 39; Zachary Hall, VLI Class 40; Heidi Doxey, College Success Arizona; Amy Corriveau, First Things First; Deena Lager, Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education.

    Partners: Achieve 60, Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, Arizona PBS, Be a Leader Foundation, College Success Arizona, Expect More Arizona, Helios Education Foundation, Opportunities for Youth, Read On Arizona, Southwest Human Development and Valley of the Sun United Way.

  • Health

    Chair: Dr. Nick Vasquez

    Leads: Debra Stevens

    Team Members: Ariel Reyes, VLA 2019; John Koch, VLI Class 41; Dr. Nick Vasquez, VLI Class 33; Emma Viera, Unlimited Potential; Greg Brownell, VLI Class 32; Justin Brandt, VLI Class 41; Mai-Ly Duong, VLI Class 41; Mary Budinger, VLI Class 17; Megan Benson, VLI Class 41; Julie Garcia, American Heart Association; Rhonda Bannard, VLI Class 20; Rogelio Monzon, VLI Class 41; Shannon Taylor, VLA 2019; Tawsha Trahan, Spaces Of Opportunity Farmers Market; Wyatt Buchanan, VLI Class 41; Darryn Jones, VLI Class 41; Maria Valenzuela, Esperanca.

    Contributors: Ryan Corry, VLI Class 40; Kenneth Steel, Pinnacle Prevention; Nicole Olmstead, American Heart Association; Adrian Ruiz, VLI Class 35; Angela Kenzlowe, VLI Class 41; Charles Lucking, VLI Class 41; Chiko Swiney, VLI Class 41; Christine Bracamonte Wiggs, VLI Class 41; Danelle King, VLI Class 41; Elizabeth McNamee, VLI Class 7; Jeff Brodin, VLI Class 19; Jennifer Holba, APS (Retired); Jenny Holsman Tetreault, VLI Class 31; Jessica McCaffrey, VLA 2019; Kat Proffitt, VLI Class 41; Lisa Elowson, Community Medical Services; Molly Ho, VLI Class 41; Serena Unrein, Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities; Stephanie Walsh, VLA 2019; Sebastian Miller VLY 15; Mary Thomas, VLI Class 26; Debbie DiCarlo, VLI Class 40.

    Partners: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Community Medical Services, Fresh Connections, Health Improvement Partnership of Maricopa County, not MY kid, Pinnacle Prevention, Spaces of Opportunity, Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation and Valley of the Sun United Way.

  • Jobs and the Economy

    Chair: Mary Foote

    Leads: Melanie Burm and Mary Foote

    Team Members: Art Fairbanks, VLI Class 41; Carolyn Vasos; Chris Mendoza, VLI Class 41; Cindy Erwin, Center For The Future Of Arizona; Dave Bolman, VLI Class 30; Gregory Puckett, VLI Class 41; Jared Shintaku, VLI Class 41; Justin Brandt, VLI Class 41; Katy Reno, Scitech Institute; Matt Morales, VLI Class 41; Michael Marsh, VLA 2019; Patricia Ewanski, VLI Class 41; Salvador Bretts, VLI Class 41; Troy Pottgen, VLI Class 39; Devina Williams, VLI Class 40; Marisol Miller, VLI Class 25.

    Contributors: Ian Turner, VLI Class 41; Adrian Ruiz, VLI Class 35; Cylee Gutting. VLI Class 40; Freddy Saavedra, VLI Class 41; Justin Hockmeyer, VLI Class 40; Kyle Pottinger, VLI Class 41; Lauren Arndt, VLI Class 41; Liz Shipley, VLI Class 41; Mickie Lara, VLA 2019; Molly Ho, VLI Class 41; Natalia Ronceria Ceballos, VLI Class 40; Nicolle Karatinos, Realty Executives; Rachel Yanof, Achieve60AZ; Richard Mahrle, VLI Class 10; Sarah Richardson, GLSPEN Phoenix; Shawn Neidorf, VLI Class 40; Darryn Jones, VLI Class 41.

    Partners: Center for the Future of Arizona, Maricopa Community Colleges, PipelineAZ and SciTech Institute.