AZ Philanthropic Leaders Renew $1M+ Investment in VL’s Innovative Impact Model

June 23, 2023
News and Announcements

This new round of funding will continue to support reimagined programming and leadership activation across the state. 

Five years after the launch of Valley Leadership’s “Pivot Towards Impact”, leading philanthropic partners have renewed their investments totaling over $1 million in the organization’s evolutionary shift on how it develops a culture of leadership steeped in values, action and engagement of more leaders. 

Since the Pivot launched in late 2018, Valley Leadership has evolved from a traditional, nine-month leadership program to a strategic and leveraged portfolio of programs that prepares 100+ leaders annually for action in their communities. VL’s reimagined programs are Catalyze, Explore and Summit which all culminate in the Impact Maker, a collaborative space to solve challenges together. 

“As part of Impact Maker, our leaders roll up their sleeves and get to work right away – drawing on the values, skills and perspective gained from their VL experience.  Joined with strategic partners and community champions, Impact Teams chart a path toward thoughtful, strategic solutions on the issues that matter most to Arizona,” said Dave Brown, Valley Leadership’s CEO. 

“Our goal with the PiIvot was to activate the immense pool of talent, creativity, intelligence, and caring in the VL network while creating a pipeline of leaders committed to meaningful results on the most pressing issues in Arizona. I’m proud to say that we’ve gone from paper to practice with this goal, and the results are clear in the work of the Impact Maker,” he explained.

Catalyze Class 2 Graduates

The Impact Maker teams work alongside those already working on the pressing issues across our state to create clear, measurable and lasting impact. The Impact Maker currently has 72 VL alumni and about one dozen strategic partners working on 10 to-dos across six teams addressing issues ranging from education, workforce development to child care, housing and many more.

Helios Education Foundation, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust all renewed their multi-year investment in Valley Leadership’s work. Additionally, the Garcia Family Foundation has made a three-year commitment and VL continues to receive year-over-year support from the Arizona Community Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Foundation, BHHS Legacy Fund, Carstens Family Funds, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Molina Foundation, Salt River Project, Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation, Vitalyst Health Foundation, and Wells Fargo.

“Helios Education Foundation is proud to support Valley Leadership as it continues to make a difference on the most pressing issues in our state through its Impact Maker model,” said Paul Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Our investment will support the Education Impact Team’s work focused on chronic absenteeism and postsecondary access among Arizona students. We think improvements in these two areas will help increase student achievement and college enrollment.”

“Known for its ability to empower, leverage and mobilize leaders for meaningful impact, Valley Leadership’s Impact Maker program takes leadership development one step further by providing a collaborative space for these leaders and strategic partners to create solutions to community issues in Arizona,” said Gene D’Adamo, president and CEO of Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. “We are proud to support such innovative work.”

“Arizona, like many others, faces a number of substantial, but solvable challenges. We’re very pleased to be working with and to support Valley Leadership in taking actionable steps toward several of those solutions,” said Jon Ehlinger, President, Garcia Family Foundation.

“With the renewed investment from these leading community organizations, Valley Leadership will continue to build a broad spectrum of Arizonans who can work together to create long-term impact on the issues that matter while setting the example on leadership,” said Paul Komadina, Valley Leadership board chair and Catalyze Class 1 graduate.

About Valley Leadership
Valley Leadership gives Arizonans the tools to solve challenges together. We do that by empowering Arizonans to lead through our learning opportunities and mobilizing them to make a difference on our state’s most pressing issues through our Impact Maker. With a track record of over 40 years of strengthening Arizona leaders, we are working to provide more opportunities than ever before to engage and empower Arizonans to lead. The Impact Maker gives us a unique opportunity to partner with the community on our greatest challenges and find solutions together. Learn more at

About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation exists to support postsecondary attainment for Latino students, Black students, and students from low-income backgrounds in Arizona and Florida. Driven by our fundamental beliefs of community, equity, investment, and partnership, Helios has invested more than $319 million in partnerships and initiatives focused on improving third grade reading, college-going and postsecondary attainment in the two states we serve since 2006.

About the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life, primarily in Phoenix and Indianapolis. The Trust has awarded nearly $375 million in grants and student scholarships since its inception in 1997. For more information, visit

About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $700 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. Learn more at

About the Garcia Family Foundation
Founded in 1996 in Phoenix, the Garcia Family Foundation is committed to serving and solving the challenges of those living in poverty in Arizona.  The Foundation currently focuses on homelessness and the prevention of homelessness, child welfare, and providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, with an additional emphasis on strategic partnerships, collaboration and technology across all program areas. For more information, contact Jon Ehlinger at

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