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PhilanthropyMatters focuses on the "who, how and what" of philanthropy. This programming accentuates the ASU Lodestar Center’s role as a regional, national and global knowledge leader in nonprofit and philanthropic themes. Learn about past events.
Our fifth PhilanthropyMatters program was an interactive presentation on how women are accelerating social impact through philanthropy.
October 23, 2018 | Cattle Track Arts Compound, Scottsdale, AZ
Women have always been philanthropic, giving of time, talent and treasure throughout American history. But their stories have not always been part of the narrative. That is changing rapidly.
Juanita F. Francis has extensive background and interest in healthcare and education. She is a licensed RN and holds an MBA in healthcare management. Francis was a women’s health nurse in Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts before she moved to Arizona in 1998. She has worked for the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Hispanic Center of Excellence and Phoenix Children’s Hospital before she retired to become a full-time volunteer.
Beyond her professional career, she has a long history of philanthropic and community involvement. President of the F2 Family Foundation, she currently serves on the boards of the University of Illinois Foundation, the Arizona State University Foundation and Enterprise Partners, Planned Parenthood Arizona and is Chair of the Board for Maricopa Health Foundation. She and her husband Philip, retired executive chairman of PetSmart, have four children and eight grandchildren and a dog called Scruggs.
Jackie Norton, as President and CEO of the Rodel Foundation, promotes the vision and develops the strategies for improving Arizona’s public education system. Rodel is currently transitioning from a program-based improvement model to one based on public policy advocacy. To promote the systemic change necessary to improve Arizona’s entire K-12 system, Rodel is collaborating with the Arizona Community Foundation and other organizations who share its vision.
Prior to joining the Rodel Foundation, Norton served as vice president of the Arizona University Foundation. She is a lawyer by profession and was a partner in the Phoenix law firm Gallagher & Kennedy. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from ASU. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a number of education-related organizations.
Cindy Watts is co-founder, with her husband, Mike, of Sunstate Equipment, a highly successful equipment rental company that began in Arizona in 1977 and has expanded to ten other states. In October 2018, the Watts made a $30 million gift to ASU's public-service college, which was renamed the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. They have also made leadership gifts to the Maryvale YMCA and endowed the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety at ASU.
The Watts have been engaged with the university since 1988 and are lifetime members of the ASU President's Club. In October 2015, they made a transformative investment to name the Watts Center for Academic Excellence and Championship Life, an initiative within Sun Devil Athletics. In addition to these ASU commitments, Cindy also has served as co-chair of the Women & Philanthropy program at the ASU Foundation for A New American University and currently serves as vice-chair of the Trustees of ASU, an advisory body for the university and ASU President Michael M. Crow. In February 2018, the ASU Alumni Association honored Mike and Cindy Watts as Philanthropists of the Year at its annual Founders’ Day event.
Moderator: Amy Gibbons
Amy Gibbons has been involved with the nonprofit and sports community for over 40 years. After 18 years, she recently retired as the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. Prior to serving with the Clubs, she held leadership positions with the Southern California Tennis Association, LA84 Foundation, the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation, Super Bowl XXX and the YWCA of Maricopa County. She currently serves on the Leadership Council of the ASU Lodestar Center.
PhilanthropyMatters was developed to continue advancing the Center’s Philanthropy portfolio. This programming accentuates the ASU Lodestar Center’s role as a regional, national and global knowledge leader in nonprofit and philanthropic themes, building on its growing reputation as the “go to” resource for those seeking understanding about philanthropy and its effective practice.
1 | Philanthropy Forums and Summits
The Center hosts convenings on topics of great interest to the philanthropic sector. These events range in size from intimate salon gatherings to large-scale events. Speaker are nationally- or internationally-renowned and will draw attendees from across the field of philanthropy. The Center also partners with various other stakeholders to create leading-edge programming and promote dialogue on contemporary topics that demand discussion by those in the field.
2 | Philanthropic Research
The ASU Lodestar Center fills a unique research niche as a philanthropic center located in the southwestern United States. The ASU Lodestar Center is developing signature research projects in conjunction with other university partners.
For more information about PhilanthropyMatters, please contact Jill Watts, Director of Capacity Building Initiatives, at 602-496-0189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.