Vice President for Advancement | Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix
Chris Tawney is Vice President for Advancement for the Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix, who works with Arizona families to plan their legacy and to support the organizations and ministries that matters most to them.
Chris believes that fundraising today is about learning what is most important to donors instead of the other way around. “It’s not about your organization – It’s about the donors’ desire to support the things that matter most to them.”
Chris has helped raise more than $75 million in contributions in support of low-income students, and currently oversees all advancement efforts for one of Arizona’s largest community foundations.
Chris is a California native who has lived, studied and worked in Arizona for over 35 years. He is a die-hard UofA fan and he and his wife are parents of two current Wildcats.
Director of Community Engagement | Hospice of the Valley
Lin Sue Cooney is Director of Community Engagement at Hospice of the Valley. She oversees outward facing departments: business development, fund development, volunteers and creative services. It’s her passion to connect valley families with the many tender and compassionate services offered by one of the largest not-for-profit hospices in the country. The agency cares for those with chronic illness and dementia, in addition to providing end-of-life care.
Prior to her work with hospice care, Lin Sue spent 31 years as a TV anchor for 12 News. She enjoyed covering breaking news, reporting the day’s headlines and interviewing newsmakers in hercommunity. But her favorite stories are those about everyday heroes who make our world a better place with their extraordinary courage and kindness.
She grew up in Great Falls, Mont., graduated cum laude from Willamette University in Salem, Ore. and received her MSJ from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
She is most proud of her four beautiful children and one spoiled standard poodle, who also happens to be a pet therapy dog for Hospice of the Valley.
Publisher | FrontdoorsMedia.com
Principal, Event Planning | Evans Communications
Andrea became the publisher of FrontdoorsMedia.com in February 2017 and is dedicated to celebrating the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of her community. She launched an event consulting business in September 2003 following a successful career as a full-time event planner for two of the Valley’s largest non-profit agencies.
She has served as a political fundraising expert with a distinguished list of clients on the local, statewide and national level. Along with her experience with fundraising and nonprofit events, Andrea also has extensive event experience with corporate conferences, meetings and seminars. Andrea is a graduate of Valley Leadership, and volunteers with a number of nonprofit and community groups.
She was named as an up-and-coming Valley businesswomen in February 2004 in The Business Journal’s annual “40 Under 40” publication. She is married to Tom Evans and the proud mother of two children.
President and Chief Executive Officer | Mile High United Way
Christine Benero is President and Chief Executive Officer of Mile High United Way, the first United Way in the country. For nearly 130 years, Mile High United Way has worked to advance the common good and believes all children, individuals and families should have the opportunity for success. Last year, Mile High United Way proudly invested over $33 million in the Denver metro area.
Christine is the former Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, in Denver, Colo. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Christine was the Director of the Office of Public Liaison for the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, DC. She served in two Presidential administrations working for both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Christine has served as Vice President of the National Civic League, and as a Community Affairs Corporate Program Officer for Target Stores in Minneapolis, Minn.
Christine serves on the Boards of HealthONE, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Community Wealth Partners, Colorado Society of CPA Board of Director’s, Denver Public Schools Foundation and EPIC. In 2015, Christine was asked to serve as co-chair on the Denver Public Schools Community Planning Advisory Committee by Superintendent Tom Boasberg. She was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to the Denver Education Compact Board and currently sits on the National Professional Council for United Way Worldwide. Christine was named the 9News Leader of the Year in 2007 and in 2009 received the Community Leader Award by Goodwill Industries and was named by both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post as one of “Nine to Watch in 2009.” In 2010 she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Colorado and in 2011 received the “Las Madrinas” award from Centro San Juan Diego. In 2012, Christine was honored nationally by Girl Scouts of America as one of “One Hundred Distinguished Alumni” in honor of Girl Scouts 100th birthday. In 2013, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and presented with the Urban League’s “McKinley Harris Distinguished Warrior” award and in 2014 she was a finalist for CEO of the Year by ColoradoBiz magazine. Most recently, Christine was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s 2016 Outstanding Women in Business.
Christine is a past President of the Association of Junior Leagues International, a past chairman of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Coalition for America’s Children and the Kiwanis International’s Young Children: Priority One Advisory Board. She was a delegate both to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in 1997 and to the NGO Forum at the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
Christine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Boston University, a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education and was selected as a 2007 Gates Fellow for the Senior Executive Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
President and CEO | B:CIVIC
Su Hawk is the President and CEO of B:CIVIC, an association for business leaders who are as passionate about giving back as they are about running successful companies. Launched in November of 2014, the organization leads initiatives and provides resources to increase the value and amount of business philanthropy and corporate social responsibility throughout the community.
Prior to B:CIVIC, Su focused nearly ten years in transforming CSIA, a small software association, to become the Colorado Technology Association, one of the largest and most influential associations across the U.S. During that time, she built a community of more than 5,000 companies and led issues important to technology companies across the state. For a previous nearly ten years, she was the Vice President at the Denver Metro Chamber when DIA opened and the International Summit of The Eight was held in Denver, and then as SVP at the Southeast Business Partnership. She also has been President/CEO for other organizations, and led communications and marketing divisions for various companies and agencies. She was also an instructor of marketing and communications at DU’s University College.
Nonprofit service has been a cornerstone of Su’s life ever since she first started volunteering at 14. In her current position, B:CIVIC serves as a catalyst to encourage businesses to increase philanthropy and align business goals with social responsibility. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Blind Institute of Technology, and as Steering Committee Chair for JobberTechTalk. Previously she served on Monfort School’s Business Advisory Council, CSU’s ISTeC Advisory Council, the Technology Executive Council of North America, and Boards including Colorado Enterprise Fund, Girls Count, Colorado MESA, YWCA, and Open World Learning. She is the past Board Chair of Colorado PRSA and Family Tree.
President and CEO | Community First Foundation
Marla J. Williams joined Community First Foundation in November 2010 as president and CEO. Community First Foundation has been helping generous donors and innovative nonprofits come together to improve the quality of life and create positive change in Jefferson County, the Denver metropolitan area and beyond since 1975. Under Williams’ leadership, the foundation has grown from $50 million to over $380 million and a signature program, Colorado Gives Day, has grown from $8 million to over $38 million. Williams led the foundation through a strategic planning process that identified mental health and wellness as a funding priority and quickly established the foundation as a trusted and innovative funding partner. During her tenure, the foundation also purchased its new home in Olde Town Arvada and remodeled it to allow the foundation to offer free, high quality meeting space to the nonprofit community.
Prior to joining Community First Foundation, Williams was a partner with the law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, where she represented nonprofit clients in all aspects of their business. She also served as president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and continues to serve as an Honorary Trustee. Her accomplishments at The Women’s Foundation include undertaking the first-ever study of women and technology in Colorado and partnering with the University of Denver to build the Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women.
Williams earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her A.B. from Indiana University. She is the past president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and received its highest honor, the Mary Lathrop Award. She has also received the Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction award and the Woman of the Year award from Business & Professional Women of Colorado. She is especially proud that the work of Community First Foundation has earned many awards, including Outstanding Foundation in 2013.
Williams has served on many boards, including SCL Health, a multi-state hospital system. Currently, she is chair emeritus of the board of the Colorado Association of Funders, board member of the Chambers Family Fund, and board member and audit committee member of Sturm Financial Group, the holding company of ANB Bank.
Jean Sazevich is a philanthropy consultant with more than 25 years of experience in both grant making and fundraising. Jean began her career in corporate giving for The St. Paul Companies where she was able to fully apply her love of St. Paul’s amazing neighborhoods and creative civic leaders.
She was Executive Director of The Sheltering Arms Foundation for seven years where she expanded the foundation’s commitment to being engaged in policy advocacy to benefit Minnesota’s economically disadvantaged children and families. For the past 15 years, Jean has primarily worked with families to help craft and implement their philanthropic giving strategies. In addition to her work with families and family offices, Jean currently manages the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative, a group of foundations and other funders committed to preventing and ending homelessness in Minnesota.
She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, David, and enjoys the many cycling trails and regular Saturday stops at the Mill City Farmers Market where she serves on the board and Chairs the Market’s new charitable fund.
Chief Financial Officer | Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Naomi Horsager is Chief Financial Officer of the grantmaking entities under the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies umbrella: Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, and Anne Ray Foundation. As CFO, Naomi is responsible for each organization’s financial activities including accounting, financial reporting, fiscal planning, grantmaking support and tax planning and compliance. She also oversees the enterprise risk management activities of the Philanthropies.
Naomi joined the Philanthropies in 2007 after serving them as an external consultant for a number of years. In those early years she was privileged to meet with Ms. Cargill over time to document her philanthropic goals and values for future generations at the Philanthropies.
Naomi joined the Philanthropies with more than twenty years of public accounting experience, focused almost exclusively on advising charities. She assisted exempt organizations with tax planning and compliance, entity restructuring, governance design, and operations planning.
Naomi holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is active with professional organizations including having served as a past member of the AICPA Exempt Organization Tax Technical Resource Panel (2004-2007) and Chair of the AICPA Form 990 Redesign Task Force in 2007.
Director | Private Wealth Management, Robert W Baird & Co.
Jerry’s career in financial services has spanned over 35 years; from the First National Bank of Minneapolis, to Piper Jaffray and Hopwood, to UBS Jerry has been been engaged in providing client-centered advice focused on the purposeful management of wealth for individuals, families, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. In addition to the CIMA® designation, he has earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. Jerry’s commitment to fiduciary practices and professionalism, combined with his depth of investment experience have made him a valued board member for a number of local nonprofit organizations.
Jerry currently serves on the Board of NET Ministries, is Chair of the Advisory Board of the American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas, Chair of the Nativity of Our Lord Endowment Committee and Parish Trustee. He is past Vice-chair of the Board and now an active member of the Investment Committee and Governance Committees of the Catholic Community Foundation in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Jerry is a member of The Investment Management Consulting Association (IMCA), the Financial Planning Association and past president of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council.
Jerry lives in Saint Paul with his wife, Cathy Clifford Brennan; adult daughters are Abby and Kerry.
Chief Executive Officer | Community Foundation of Utah
Alex brings more than 20 years of nonprofit and for-profit leadership experience to the Community Foundation of Utah. She previously served as CFO for the Girl Scouts of Utah. In addition to her executive leadership experience, she has deep financial and investment management expertise, including nearly a decade with Goldman Sachs. Alex also served as Director for the National Epilepsy Support Foundation in Harare, Zimbabwe.
She has served on the Board of Directors for the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and the Lawndale Art Center. She has also served as a mentor and volunteer with Management Leaders of Tomorrow. Alex earned her B.A. in Humanities from the University of California at Berkeley and completed studies in the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of South Africa.
President & CEO | Volunteers of America, Utah
Kathy is from upstate New York where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from the State University of New York at Brockport. She initially worked with emotionally disturbed children, runaway and homeless youth, and homeless families.
After moving to Utah more than 30 years ago to ski, she continued her work with homeless people, expanding into the areas of addiction and subsidized housing. Kathy completed her master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah in 1998. She has worked for Volunteers of America, Utah, for 19 years, primarily in program operations, and for the last nine years as the president and CEO.
Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization providing social service programs and opportunities for community involvement. In Utah, they employ 180 people, operate six service locations in Salt Lake County, utilize more than 3,000 volunteers per year, and serve close to 7,000 people. Social service programs assist individuals and families who are struggling with homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. To support this work, Kathy participates in the county and state homeless coordinating committees, Substance Abuse Provider Network, Utah Nonprofit Association and is a commissioned minister of Volunteers of America. In 2014, Kathy was nominated for the Social Services Entrepreneur Year by EY. Volunteers of America, Utah, was selected as the second-place winner of the Resourcefullness Award from Eide Bailly in 2017.
Chief Executive Officer | Utah Nonprofits Association
Kate Rubalcava, a Utah native, has over a decade of community development, organizing and education experience. She has primarily worked in and served underserved and underrepresented populations; including low-to-moderate income individuals and racial minorities. Over the years Ms. Rubalcava had the opportunity to blend her learning of social justice, educational equity, and adult/college student development theory with practical knowledge and experience in her work with local nonprofits, school districts, government agencies, local municipalities, residents, and businesses in a way that enhanced her experiential knowledge of communities.
Ms. Rubalcava’s career includes leading a statewide coalition to provide Earned Income Tax Credit outreach, free income tax preparation, and asset development. She has established community schools, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the sister island nation of St. Kitts-Nevis, and promoted higher education and worked to increase community and resident leadership.
To restore balance she can be found running along the Jordan River Parkway, the 9 Line or the Porter Rockwell trail systems.