Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Announces 2023 Class of Piper Fellows

Front Row:  Ryan Corry, Carmen Guerrero, Torrie Taj, Shelby Pedersen, Steve Zabilski (Piper Trust president and CEO).  Second Row:  David Roche, Kate Fassett, Matthew Kasper, Monique Lopez, Dr. Kris Volcheck. 

Nine Piper Fellows selected for their leadership and impact in Maricopa County—all receive Fellowships for study, reflection, and growth.



PHOENIX, Ariz.—Nine inspiring Maricopa County nonprofit leaders were selected for Piper Trust’s 2023 Class of Piper Fellows. The Fellows are:

  • Ryan Corry, chief philanthropy officer, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (serves individuals and families in central and northern Arizona through facilities across the state; its main campus is located in South Phoenix).
  • Kate Fassett, chief advancement officer, Valleywise Health Foundation (serves predominantly the underserved population in Maricopa County, AZ; its world-renowned Diane and Bruce Halle Arizona Burn Center serves the entire Southwest region).
  • Carmen Guerrero, executive director, Cultural Coalition, Inc. (serves all of Maricopa County, AZ).
  • Matthew Kasper, artistic and general director, Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras (serves all of Maricopa County, AZ—with its youth musicians representing 61 ZIP codes).
  • Monique Lopez, chief operating officer, UMOM New Day Centers, Inc. (serves all of Maricopa County, AZ).
  • Shelby Pedersen, CEO, ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth (serves underserved communities in eastern Maricopa County, AZ, and specifically the downtowns of Chandler and Mesa).
  • David Roche, Dickey Family director and CEO, Heard Museum (located in Phoenix, AZ, and serves local, national, and international audiences).
  • Torrie A. Taj, CEO, Child Crisis Arizona (serves children, youth, and families through multiple locations in Phoenix and through statewide programs).
  • Kris Andrew Volcheck, DDS, founding president and CEO, Brighter Way Institute (located in downtown Phoenix and serves all of Maricopa County, AZ).

The newly selected class becomes part of the larger and enduring Piper Fellows network that is now a community of 111 Fellows. The 2023 Piper Fellows will participate in self-designed professional development “sabbaticals” focused on strengthening leadership skills and exploring renowned programs that can help nonprofits become more effective and resilient.

A Fellowship supports professional development, study, and travel for the Fellow, including an intentional respite activity that allows the Fellow to reflect on learnings. Additionally, the Fellowship supports related professional development for the staff and/or board of a Fellow’s organization. After completing the Fellowship, the Fellow is eligible to apply for an Organizational Enhancement Award to implement learning or programming that emerged as a result of the Fellow’s study. In total, a Piper Fellowship provides up to $90,000 in potential grant awards for a Fellow’s organization.

“Our commitment to supporting nonprofit leadership extends beyond financial contributions. By offering fellowship sabbaticals and access to the robust network of Piper Fellows, we aim to create a life-changing culture of care and empowerment within the sector,” said Steve Zabilski, president and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. “We envision a future where nonprofit executives can lead with vitality, embracing challenges with fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.”

The 2023 Piper Fellows applications were reviewed and selected for recommendation by an external committee, this year comprised of: Darlene Newsom (2011 Piper Fellow; founder of Newsom Nonprofit Consulting), Edmundo Hidalgo (2008 Piper Fellow; community advocate and nonprofit consultant), Julia Patrick (CEO and founder, American Nonprofit Academy), and Brian Spicker (president and CEO, Maricopa Community College District Foundation).

“I was awarded a Piper Fellowship when I was CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, a 2008 Piper Fellow and now community advocate and nonprofit consultant. “The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to dream and think strategically—it was a transformational springboard that helped take me and my organization to the next level. I still draw on the experience today and remain active in the Piper Fellows community,” Hildago said.

Applications will open for the 2024 Class of Piper Fellows in spring 2024.

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 $717 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. For more information, visit | X/Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn. For Piper Trust’s Annual Financial Report: Fiscal Year Ending March 2022, visit FY2022

Media Contact:

Karen Leland, | 480-556-7125
Chief Communications Officer, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

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News and Info for Nonprofits: Why Mentoring Matters for Arizona Youth

Why Mentoring Matters for Arizona Youth

By Karen Johnson, President & CEO of New Pathways for Youth, and Laura Capello, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona

Being a kid should be the greatest time of life. With a world of opportunities ahead, young people can focus on their education, build friendships, embark on new adventures, and explore what they want to be when they grow up. 

Yet in many cases, our youth face challenges to a carefree childhood. According to the 2023 Kids Count Data Book (, 17% of children in Arizona live in poverty and 36% live in single-parent households. They struggle in school, with 69% of fourth graders not proficient in reading and 76% of eighth graders not proficient in math. Post pandemic, the teen suicide rate has increased by 30%, and we know our young people are dealing with loneliness and depression (

The data has a bright spot, however. Studies from the CDC and Kaiser Permanente have shown that the strongest intervention for young people who have experienced high levels of adversity is a stable nurturing relationship with a caring adult ( Mentors can make a real difference in the lives of youth. 

As the leaders of New Pathways for Youth and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, we have seen firsthand the benefits of mentoring. Young people who are matched with a dedicated adult learn how to build healthy relationships and make positive lifestyle choices; school attendance and academic performance improve; self-esteem and self-confidence grow; communication and interpersonal skills are developed; and risky behaviors are reduced.    

January is National Mentoring Month. We encourage every adult in our community to consider becoming a mentor for a youth, a “Big” to a “Little.” The job description is simple—you need to show up and you need to care. We provide the training necessary and give you any support you may need along the way. We connect you with a young person who needs someone in their life they can count on for guidance and support. 

Ask any of our volunteers what benefits they received from the program and their answers will likely be the same: they got more back than they gave. Mentoring offers you the chance to make an impact, to build connections in the community, to create friendships with fellow volunteers, and to explore all the fun things our Valley has to offer. Perhaps the greatest joy of mentoring comes when you realize you have made a difference in a young person’s life. We can promise you, there is no greater achievement than being the reason that a young person finds their purpose and achieves their full potential.

Ask any of our volunteers what benefits they received from the program and their answers will likely be the same: they got more back than they gave. Mentoring offers you the chance to make an impact, to build connections in the community, to create friendships with fellow volunteers, and to explore all the fun things our Valley has to offer. Perhaps the greatest joy of mentoring comes when you realize you have made a difference in a young person’s life. We can promise you, there is no greater achievement than being the reason that a young person finds their purpose and achieves their full potential.

If your new year’s resolution was to do something meaningful for another person, this is your opportunity. The kids in our community need more mentors. Both of our organizations have long waiting lists of youth who need a caring adult. They need you. The time is now. Become a mentor and help change a life.

To learn more about our organizations, visit or

Karen Johnson,

Laura Capello,

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News and Info for Nonprofits: Calling all Arizona Nonprofits, participate in a family event!

Costume parade, activities, movie, and more!

Local nonprofits are invited to apply to become vendors at the upcoming Tempe Parks & Recreation event, Boo Bash! 

Friday, Oct. 27; 6 – 10 p.m.
Kiwanis Parks – North Soccer Fields

The City of Tempe is looking for local groups and nonprofit organizations to host games or food booths at their annal Boo Bash! The event provides families and children of all ages with an enjoyable evening of a costume parade, carnival games, food, entertainment and a screening of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG).

Come join in the fun and at the same time help raise money for your organization! It’s simple, have your organization create a fun interactive game that patrons can participate in. Instead of tickets this year and cash handling on premises, we ask that each nonprofit have a digital form of payment. A 10’ x 10’ booth, which includes a tent and lighting, is provided for each booth reserved.

Learn more by reading the interest letter. Applications are due by Friday, Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.


 Find more information at to learn more.

News and Info for Nonprofits: Maricopa County Public Health – Sanitation and First Aid Items Available for FREE

Maricopa County Public Health Giving Away COVID Pandemic Prep Items for FREE

Submitted by: Maricopa County Public Health

Throughout the COVID pandemic, Maricopa County Public Health has provided PPE to long-term-care, physicians, schools, charitable organizations, etc.   We’re currently in the process of demobilizing and need to empty our warehouse.  We have a variety of both current/unexpired and expired items that can still be used, depending on their intended purpose.   As during the pandemic, all items are free of charge, though we MAY ask you to send someone to pick up at our warehouse.   

List of available items: 


  • N95s NIOSH approved (L-188 folding style and L-288 rigid style).  Exp April-June, 2025.
  • Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes (packages of 1200 wipes).  Exp 12/23.*

*These require a dispenser, which we do not provide (approx. $60).  Note: a single pack of wipes is c. $50.  Price ranges vary depending on supplier. You may view online pricing here.

No Expiration: 

  • Sharps Containers (various sizes), including 2, 3, 8 and 9 gallon.  
  • Band-aids (basic 3” plastic adhesive strips). 

Expired items:

We also have a large volume of expired items, which we’re unable to distribute for medical use.   Facemasks can still be used for general purposes, such as patients, visitors, schools, but not for medical procedures specifically.  We still distribute a large volume of masks to long-term-care for patients/visitors.  Certain items come in a variety of units per case, so we can provide specifics upon request.  All items are in original packaging: 

  • Level 1 medical gowns.
  • Facemasks (3-Ply and ‘surgical’), generally 2000 per case.
  • Touchless infrared thermometers.
  • Face shields.
  • Chemistry-class-style goggles.
  • Uline safety glasses.
  • Zinntex sanitizing wipes (for countertops, etc), 24 cannisters Per Case.
  • Various alcohol-based hand sanitizer that’s beyond its “best by date”.   They come in communal sizes (office size) to keychain style, 1.7 oz pocket bottles, great for distributing at various events.   

If you or any organization you know of is able to take any of the above items, please me know and we’d be glad to help!

For more information please contact:


Image of the Maricopa County Public Health logo in all capital bold lettering with an orange cactus symbol in place of the letter "I" in Maricopa.

News and Info for Nonprofits: Valley Leadership – Apply for Catalyze Class 3 by June 2nd

Leadership Development Opportunity: Catalyze Class 3 – June 2 Deadline

Submitted by: Valley Leadership

Our partner, Valley Leadership, has opened up applications for the third class of their Catalyze program. Catalyze sets up Arizonans to take action in the community, and will help you build a foundation to better understand yourself, your leadership skills and the issues facing Arizona. The program is virtual with in-person events as well. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and make a difference in your community. 

During the program, participants will:

  • Connect (virtually and in-person) with fellow Arizonans who are passionate about the community.
  • Expand their knowledge and perspectives of the issues facing Arizona – and explore them with the people working on them each day.
  • Participate in unique experiences to help navigate challenges in their personal, professional and community life.
  • Engage in personal reflection and development activities to help them understand their personal motivations and skills in context of what they can do for Arizona. 
  • Make a plan for how they’ll make a difference going forward – personally, professionally and as part of VL’s Impact Maker work.

Register for an information session or apply today. The application deadline extension is June 2nd.

We’d love to schedule a time to share more about Catalyze with your organization. Please schedule a time with our Director of Strategic Programming to learn more!

Square image with photo of a group of people smiling. Under the photo the words, VL Catalyze, Connect with Fellow Arizona Leaders Today, displayed in white text on a black background with light blue swirl elements.
Bold VL letters with a teal-colored element, followed by the words Valley Leadership in bold black letters.

Kema Charles Lights Camera Discover

How has your career benefited from being a member? ——— I love being a member, it has allowed me to connect with people that have been able to assist in our growth Any tips or advice for new members? ——— Take advantage of the classes and the luncheons. What do you like most about being a member? —— being able to collaborate with so many like-minded people What’s a project you’re working on right now? Why is it meaningful to you? with our new space we now have a venue and a space big enough for a place for nonprofit leaders to meet unwind and relax. Sometimes being a nonprofit leader sometimes you just need to talk with others who are going through or been through what you are right now. How is your organization impacting your community or customers? we are offering a creative space for the youth in our community. Headshot and title of the organization’s representative. Kema Charles Founder/Executive Director Any tags you’d like included in the post. #lcdphx #lcdprograms #youthsteamprograms 

Web address for more information. :

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