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x o F A y l i m Fa

e p i c e R

Food, fun and philanthropy are the right ingredients


if given the chance, would you help create a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared?

Gateway for Cancer Research is dedicated to investing in next generation breakthroughs in patient-centric cancer treatments and cures. Our mission is to fund meaningful and innovative clinical trials that help people living with cancer to feel better and live longer, as we seek to end cancer as we know it.


vino con stelle

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Through Gateways commitment to our mission and our adherence to high-quality evidence-based clinical trials, we can fund real science that is having a direct, measurable impact on cancer patients.

$85+ 170+ 99¢ MILLION CLINICAL of every dollar

directly funds clinical trials






if given the chance, would you help create a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared?

Gateway for Cancer Research is dedicated to investing in next generation breakthroughs in patient-centric cancer treatments and cures. Our mission is to fund meaningful and innovative clinical trials that help people living with cancer to feel better and live longer, as we seek to end cancer as we know it.


vino con stelle

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020 | SCOTTSDALE HANGAR ONE GATEWAYCR.ORG/VINO | TICKETS: 866-932-4208 Join Gateway for Cancer Research for an evening amongst distinguished wine makers and exciting entertainment all in support of funding transformational cancer clinical trials. Hosted by the Vice Chairman of Gateway and Gateway’s Founder and Chairman, Dr. Stacie J. and Mr. Richard J Stephenson, all funds raised will benefit breakthrough discoveries in vital cancer research trials worldwide.

Through Gateways commitment to our mission and our adherence to high-quality evidence-based clinical trials, we can fund real science that is having a direct, measurable impact on cancer patients.

$85+ 170+ 99¢ MILLION CLINICAL of every dollar

directly funds clinical trials








Karen Werner

Andrea Tyler Evans



Neill Fox

Jillian Rivera



Tom Evans

The Sparkle Bar



Lesley Kitts

Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix



Julie Coleman Shoshana Leon Judy Pearson Carey Peña Catie Richman McKenna Wesley

Marion Rhoades Photography

On the Cover Noah, Emily, Sam and Chloe Fox

Photo: Marion Rhoades Photography

Beyond Print Our roots are in ink and paper, but our work goes far beyond the traditional.

We’re strategists, creatives, campaign developers and producers. From concept to implementation, we provide innovative marketing solutions that go above and beyond.


All Things All Things All Things Print Print Print

Web-to-Print Web-to-Print & Web-to-Print & & Custom Custom Integrations Custom Integrations Integrations

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All Things All Things All Things Print Print Print

Web-to-Print Web-to-Print &Web-to-Print & & Custom Custom Integrations Custom Integrations Integrations

Grand Grand Grand FormatFormat Format

Strategic Strategic FieldStrategic Field Field Integration Integration Integration

Data Analytics Data Analytics Data Analytics & Mailing & Mailing & Mailing

Fulfillment Fulfillment Fulfillment

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Data Analytics Data Analytics Data Analytics & Mailing & Mailing & Mailing

Fulfillment Fulfillment Fulfillment

your key to the community GENERAL INFORMATION & PRESS RELEASES 3104 E. Camelback Road, #967, Phoenix, AZ 85016 480-622-4522 |

Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier.

602 243 5777 |

TABLE OF CONTENTS {march 2020, volume 18, issue 3} EDITOR’S NOTE...............................05 KIllin’ It 10 QUESTIONS WITH...............08 Jason Franklin, co-founder of Sportiqe BOOKMARKED.................................11 What are you reading?


OFFICE DOORS...............................12 Cathy Kleeman of the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation


CAREY’S CORNER.......................18 The Canvas of Your Life COVER STORY.................................22 A Fox Family Recipe NEXT DOORS......................................29 Working Toward a Solution STYLE UNLOCKED......................32 Best Buys for Spring A 2ND ACT.................................................35 MIracles from the Street CHARITY SPOTLIGHT............38 Go With the Flow KITCHEN DOORS..........................42 Let’s Eat!


CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS.....44 Renee Parsons, Jennifer Moser, Jill Krigsten Riley and Mari Lederman


+ Make-A-Wish

+ Fresh

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Start Women’s Foundation + Glendale Works + Go With the Flow


OPEN DOORS.....................................46 Arizona’s “Antiques Roadshow” Treasures Revealed!


+ St.


Joseph the Worker

Make sure to check out

EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}



y interview with Sam Fox and his family came quickly, sandwiched between his many business trips and a family jaunt to the Super Bowl. To say the guy is busy is an understatement as he balances restaurant openings, a new hotel venture and an out-ofstate supper club with a celebrity partner whose name I can’t divulge (but you’ll hear about soon). Though the food world has been abuzz about this guy for some time, luck seemingly smiled down on him big-time last year, when he sold his Fox Restaurant Concepts to The Cheesecake Factory for upwards of $350 million. So I was curious to visit the home of the man whose restaurants are notoriously stylish as well as meet his family, who must certainly be as polished as his staff. I was happy to find them altogether approachable as they greeted me warmly at the front gate. Though the kids were shy, they were beyond polite. 16-year-old Noah spoke so eloquently about his family that I wondered how my own similarly-aged son would fare in the same situation. Sam’s wife, Emily, sat on their living room floor, curious how her kids would answer questions. Meanwhile, Sam would gently prod them to brag on their accomplishments a little bit more. This was a family, I thought, with a lot of love between them. They were just killing it at life. That’s true for a lot of folks in this issue. Take Demetra Presley, a passionate young probation officer, who was so moved by a Facebook video that she started her own nonprofit. I’d heard about her efforts with Go With the Flow and had put it on a list of organizations to track. But then a colleague

called me to say, “I just met a woman who is doing amazing things. She distributes period packs to young girls and she’s a real superstar.” Yep, someone else who is killing it. The same goes for Jason Franklin, the co-founder of Sportiqe, a comfort-wear line produced in Tempe. Though his incredibly soft clothing is a hit with A-listers from David Beckham to Kim Kardashian, he remains dedicated to improving the lives of kids in crisis. He’s another guy who’s slaying it. In this issue, Carey Peña introduces us to someone else on a roll. Niki Woehler gave up her career running an ad agency to follow an urge to make art. Today, she is a successful contemporary artist whose paintings are in private collections all over North America — all because she followed her instinct to stop at Michaels to pick up canvas and paint. I find it inspiring to hear about people like these who are rewarded because they follow their passion to do, create and give back. It makes me think about the times I may have squelched a desire to pull over at a craft store, or not act on a Facebook video that brought me to tears. Maybe we can all learn a little something from the folks in these pages, so that good fortune smiles down on us just a little bit more.

Karen Werner EDITOR



kittens & kiddos, veterans & veterinarians, ranches & rescues, corgis & cactuses, single parents & seniors, the homeless & the hungry, future farmers & first responders, students & stargazers ... WHICH CAUSE WILL YOU SUPPORT ON APRIL 7? Arizona Gives Day is an annual day of online giving that’s raised $17.1 million for Arizona nonprofits since 2013. Find your cause today.


10 QUESTIONS {fascinating people}

JASON FRANKLIN Co-founder of Sportiqe

1. What is Sportiqe? Sportiqe is a modern American comfort-wear brand that, at its core, wants to make people feel more comfortable in their everyday life. We started it because we realized that there was a displaced customer going to events, concerts and just traveling that wanted to be more comfortable and fashionable.

2. The NBA was one of your first clients. Can you talk about your roots as a ball boy? The NBA and the Chicago Bulls, in particular, were my happy place growing up. My favorite childhood moments were as a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls. It only made sense that as Sportiqe set out to revolutionize the apparel industry, we start working with a client — the 8  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020

NBA — that gave us our first opportunity. It was sort of like coming home again.

3. You were an awkward teen, but somehow Scottie Pippen drove you to the mall for your first date. Can you share that story? I was an awkward teen, for sure. I didn’t feel comfortable around my peers. I always felt more comfortable around adults. My first game working for the Bulls, Scottie and I hit it off right away. Scottie and the rest of the team looked at me almost like a little brother. I’d like to think what Scottie did for me was what most older brothers would’ve done for their little brother. In this particular case, my older brother happened to be one of the most famous people in the world.

Jason Franklin (center) hopes Sportiqe can not only clothe people, but inspire them. “If you have a dream and you work hard enough at it, you can make it happen,” he said.

4. Sportiqe’s corporate culture is centered on supporting charities and organizations that help kids in crisis. Why is that part of the company DNA? We believe that EVERYONE deserves to be comfortable. We know there are a lot of kids growing up in some really challenging situations. Maybe their home life is difficult, or they’re going through an illness. At Sportiqe, we believe that if we can help kids be more comfortable, no matter their situation, we’re giving them an opportunity to be their best possible selves.

5. Your best-selling hoodie, The Olsen, stems from a childhood memory. How did that happen?

Teammates for Kids Zones, including the Zone at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

7. Why is giving back so important to you? Helping kids is something we enjoy doing because, in most cases, the child can’t help himself or herself in the situation they’re in. It’s become a cornerstone of our brand.

8. Lots of celebrities sport your clothes. Can you name some names? We’ve been very fortunate that some of the biggest celebrities in the world have worn Sportiqe: Jay-Z, Beyoncé, LeBron James, Justin Bieber, Prince Harry, Kim Kardashian and lots more.

As a child, I was in some tough situations. In these moments, I would dream of having a protective layer I could put on that would protect me and make me feel more comfortable. When I first tried on our Olsen Hoodie, I immediately had that “AHHHH” moment. It was the hoodie I had dreamed of in my youth. It’s the deciding factor in any of the pieces that Sportiqe produces. When deciding if a new style makes the Sportiqe collection, if it doesn’t give us that “AHHH” feeling, it doesn’t make the collection.

9. With all of your success, why do you still call the Valley home?

6. You support a lot of local charities. Can you talk about some of your most significant relationships?

You can always find our products online. However, in Arizona, you can also find Sportiqe collaborations at a lot of the most prominent tourist locations in the state: Arizona Snowbowl, Four Peaks Brewing Co., MIM, Valley Ho, Little Miss BBQ, Chula Seafood and Matt’s Big Breakfast.

I love what we’re doing now with the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation. We’re taking the profits from our collaborative hoodie and donating to help fund the music therapy programs for kids at all of the Garth Brooks

I’m tired of hearing that New York and L.A. are the fashion hubs. Why not Arizona? Waking up every morning and seeing the sun and the mountains is so inspiring. The people in Arizona have been so receptive to Sportiqe. Arizona will always be home to us.

10. Where can people find your products?

To learn more, go to MARCH 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  9


BEHIND THE DOOR {the caniglia group}


Steve Caniglia

Shelley Caniglia

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EXPERIENCE STATELY LIVING in this Lash McDaniel designed contemporary, nestled on an impressive 2.14 acre lot in the heart of the prestigious Bartlett Estates. Expansive floor to ceiling windows looking out to lush green lawns and spectacular water feature leading to the sparkling swimming pool. Huge walls for the most precious canvases of Contemporary and Traditional art and open spaces for dramatic sculptures. Jaw dropping master suite with floor to ceiling windows showcasing the park-like backyard, 360 degree inside/outside fireplace, his and hers bathrooms and multiple closets. The pictures tell the story. Sophisticated and truly a one-of-a-kind in one of the most coveted neighborhoods of Central Phoenix!

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Shelley Caniglia: 602-292-6862 | Steve Caniglia: 602-301-2402 |

BOOKMARKED {what are you reading}

DENNITA SEWELL Professor of Practice at the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


“Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit” by William Knoedelseder


“This book starts with the Earl family’s trip across the Great Plains on a covered wagon and moves through the profound changes that the automobile made on American culture with their grandson, Harley Earl, at the center. I gained a greater understanding of the aesthetic inspirations, big-risk business strategies and manufacturing challenges behind some of his iconic automobile designs, including the 1950 LeSabre, the 1953 Corvette, the 1955 Bel Air and the era-defining 1959 Cadillac. But it was author William Knoedelseder’s portrait of Earl’s strongwilled personality and struggles as a keen visionary that made it hard for me to put it down.”


OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}


Vice president of development at Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

As told to | Julie Coleman



I still love to read the newspaper, so I start my day by reading the paper and eating breakfast. And then I head to the gym to work out for about an hour, run home and shower. At home, or on the drive to work, I am on the phone with our volunteers as I manage three different boards: the executive board; an auxiliary board, a relatively new and young board that organizes a fantastic event called Wine Women & Shoes in September; and a men’s board that manages an annual golf tournament. Fresh Start is privately funded, and that has a lot of perks. Because we don’t receive federal funds, we can see what’s going on in the community, what the women need, and then morph to meet those needs. On the other hand, with private funding, you start at zero every year, and it takes a little over $3 million to run the Center.



I spend some time going through my emails, and then at 9:30 a.m., meetings begin. Right now, we’re in the countdown to gala mode, which is our largest fundraiser in March and what keeps the doors to the Center open. I want our gala donors to be engaged by seeing firsthand what we do at Fresh Start. After we tour the Center, I answer donors’ questions and try to find out what touched their hearts. We do so much, and I want to make something customized to what makes that person’s eyes light up.


Before joining Fresh Start five years ago, I thought I knew all the answers because I had been a board member for nine years and chaired several events. And then I came in and realized

this is not as easy as I thought! When I first got here, we were event-heavy, with 85 percent of our annual revenue coming from events. I knew that was not the place we wanted to be. You can’t change that overnight, but approximately 60 percent of our revenue is now from events. What’s cool about that is the revenue has increased every year while we also do other things right. One thing that has been fun is spending a lot of energy on growing tax credit donations because that’s such an incredible way to get new donors engaged. We have a strong follow-up program, and we’re hopeful that if someone supports us in this way, they know how much that donation means to us.

NOON >> THE THREAD OF CONNECTION With the personality I have, I like to be out of the building for lunch. I love connecting with people and finding out what makes them passionate. I thoroughly enjoy this part of my job. Right now, with gala around the corner, I have working lunches about specific event details, such as the entertainment.

2 p.m. >> A RUNWAY TO EMPOWERMENT We received a large grant from Thunderbirds Charities to build the Thunderbirds Family Law Center here at Fresh Start. This support enables us to help more women get their documents

prepared the way the court wants, or their case can be dismissed or delayed. One of the things a lot of people don’t know is that in Arizona, 85 percent of women go to court with no legal representation. In Arizona, you can go to court with only documents, but document preparation is costly. So, a lot of women who are being abused put off finalizing their documents because they can’t afford to have them prepared. The cost to do this starts at $349, which is a lot of money for an unemployed woman, and it involves a pretty arduous process requiring six visits. We’re partnering with Community Legal Services because they have wonderful pro bono attorneys our women can work with.


I often have meetings or events at the end of the day. Last night, we had our Founders’ Award dinner, where we recognize a woman in the community who has gone above and beyond to do something that helps women’s issues, women or their children. Many people don’t realize that 80 percent of the women we serve have children. It’s so much more than just helping that woman. It’s also making sure that her children have a chance at life. CONTINUED

Cathy Kleeman (above right) with Amy Videan (above left) in front of the floral installation at the 23rd Annual Fresh Start Gala, which supports classes and workshops at the Resource Center (middle) as well as Treasures Within, a resale boutique that provides women with free and low-priced clothing for job interviews, work, court appearances and more (right). MARCH 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  13 


No matter where you are in your business journey, Eide Bailly can help you make confident decisions. Whether you’re looking for state and local tax assistance, technology consulting or other specialty services, Eide Bailly has the resources to keep you moving forward.

What inspires you, inspires us. 602.264.5844 |

Thank you to our incredible sponsors and guests for the outpouring of support during our 2020 Welcome Home Gala, held February 8th at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Together, we raised more than $200,000 in support of stable homes, safe children, and strong families! Join us next year at The Montelucia on February 13, 2021! From our family to yours, thank you!


Above: Cathy Kleeman (middle) with the 2019 Wine Women & Shoes co-chairs, Lindsey Della Donna (left) and Allison Davis (right). Right: Kleeman with her husband, Jim Kleeman.

We act as a landing pad as there are more than 140 agencies that refer clients to us. We create an individualized plan for each woman. Some know exactly what they want to do, but a lot of women are paralyzed and need to know where to begin. We break it down and make sure she has a successful experience while she also helps herself. This is what Fresh Start is all about. If you don’t have a fresh start, you don’t stand a chance.

9 p.m. >> LIVING AND LOVING BEYOND FASHION I try hard to achieve work/life balance and think I’m pretty good at it. When I get home, I love to hang out with my husband, and we always recap the day. I love to read as it helps me unwind and chill. I read a book a week because I’m not a very good sleeper and get up during the night and read a little bit. I tend to read mysteries and just finished “The Banker’s Wife” and have many more books queued up. To learn more, go to


Help us make a difference for adults and children with disabilities, and save on your Arizona Income Taxes.





Deadline is April 15, 2020, Tax Day, to make these contributions and submit your forms to get your tax credit when you file.



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CAREY’S CORNER {carey peña reports}

THE CANVAS OF YOUR LIFE Ad exec-turned artist follows signs to pursue work that she loves Carey Peña | Contributing Writer

Imagine for a moment that you have a massive canvas in front of you the size of your living room wall. It’s blank. Close your eyes and envision what it might look like to paint your life. What colors and materials would you use? What would the painting say about your life experience? For Niki Woehler, the colors are mostly bright and beautiful, with many layers, representative of the fascinating life she’s lived. Woehler ran an advertising agency called Flavor marketing. She had big-name clients and was the picture of success — until she wasn’t. The agency was doing well, but Woehler lost her passion for the work. That’s when she decided to become a full-time artist(!) “The universe always has my back. I think when you are doing something with the right intent, and the right head, and the right heart, doors always

open for you,” Woehler shared on my podcast, Carey Peña Reports. For many years, Woehler gravitated to the world of art. But as a career woman, wife and mother of three, she didn’t have the time nor the energy to chase the dream. After she and her husband of 17 years divorced, Woehler began to think more about the canvas of her life.

THE UNIVERSE ALWAYS HAS HER BACK To understand Niki Woehler’s life transformation, we have to rewind for a minute. When she was in her 20s, Woehler worked at a bar in Scottsdale called Buzz Fun Bar. During our interview, she shared an emotional story about one of her co-workers named Michael. He had traveled to Las Vegas for a weekend CONTINUED


Niki Woehler’s joy for her work is clear in everything she does. She says her skill comes from a spiritual place rather than from formal artistic training.



getaway, and on the way back to the Valley, fell asleep at the wheel and died. After Michael’s heartbreaking funeral, Woehler remembers driving in her convertible, listening to music, and enjoying the wind in her hair. She happened to drive past a craft store and heard a voice in her head telling her to pull in: Michaels Craft Store. She bought canvases, brushes and paint. Woehler found (and others recognized along the way) that she had a natural talent. But she didn’t pay a lot of attention to her considerable artistic ability for 10 years or so. “After having three children, when the stress of life came bubbling up to the surface, I pulled out the canvases and the paint,” she said. The universe, she felt, continued to send her signs. Six years ago, Woehler made the courageous decision to close her agency and work on her art fulltime. She gained the courage to reach out to galleries, museums and interior designers and learned how to get her work seen.

WHEN YOU GIVE UP TO $800 TO DUET, YOU GET BACK UP TO $800 ON YOUR TAXES. Your donation to Duet delivers compassion, dignity, and hope right here in our community to homebound adults, family caregivers, faith communities, and grandfamilies. Duet is a Qualifying Arizona Charitable Tax Credit Organization. •

Donate to Duet and keep your donation receipt

File AZ Form 321 with your tax return

Receive a dollar-for-dollar Arizona tax credit; individuals can receive up to $400 and couples filing jointly up to $800

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“We brought our grandchildren into our home so they could be safe and healthy. We try to provide as many activities and as normal as a life as possible, and Duet gives us the tools and support to do that. — Stanley, a grandparent raising three grandchildren

“For me, there were some huge turning points. It was a milestone when Roche Bobois hung my art in their stores. And a gallery in Aspen, Forré Fine Art Gallery. Hanging next to some of the biggest names in art, like Warhol,” Woehler said.

FASHIONABLY FEARLESS For one of her recent art events, this ad executive-turned artist came dressed in a black slip dress. She paid $25 for the dress, a modest amount, in part because she doesn’t care as much about clothing and “things” anymore. Plus, she was going to be splattering paint all over the room. Snapshots of Woehler wearing that basic black dress while throwing paint say a lot about her life today. She is fearless, happy and her life is simplified. She’s also well on her way to becoming one of the best-known contemporary artists in Arizona while building a loyal following around the country. “Can you imagine a world full of people doing what they truly loved for a living?” she asked. For Niki Woehler, doing what she loves has created a clear vision for the canvas of her life: “It would be gold, silver, rose gold, black, white, green gold, blue and orange,” she said. “The metals represent so much for me. Rose gold is everything beautiful. Gold is love and hope. Silver is the mettle in my soul. Black is for the contrast that’s shown me what is most beautiful and how I want to be and live my life. White represents the light and magic all around me. Blue is peace, my family and friends. And orange is sheer joy. Green gold is the growth and grounding, but it shines with gorgeous warmth, like the lessons we learn along the way.” To see more of Carey’s reporting, visit


It’s easy to make a difference right here in your community. You can direct some of your Arizona State tax liability to help foster children, and those served by Catholic Charities, have a better future.


to Catholic Charities and help those in need in central and northern Arizona.


your taxes and claim the Foster Care Charitable Tax Credit by using AZDOR Form 352. USE QFCO CODE: 10000


the amount you owe the State of Arizona by up to $500 for single filers and $1,000 for joint filers.



CONTRIBUTE at This is not intended as professional or legal advice. Please consult your tax professional.

COVER STORY {by karen werner}

x o F A y l i m Fa

e p i c e R

Food, fun and philanthropy are the right ingredients

Bonding on vacation is one of the ways the upbeat brood stays close. “I feel like our lives are so crazy that it takes us getting away to have true family time and make memories,” the children’s mother, Emily Fox, said. The Fox family lives in a picture-perfect house in Arcadia, in a neighborhood surrounded by their father’s restaurants. The Henry is just down the street, as is Doughbird and Flower Child. Blanco isn’t far away and neither is Culinary Dropout. Sam Fox, the thirdgeneration restaurateur, has kept a breakneck schedule opening restaurants for more than two decades.


rchie, the 7-month-old Cavapoo is romping adorably through the yard, while his family watches and smiles. “He’s everyone’s favorite,” said Noah Fox, a freshman at Brophy, as he watches the fluffy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Poodle mix bound about.

It’s a sunny Saturday morning and the family of four is talking genially with a reporter about their life and success. Noah and his younger sister Chloe Fox are incredibly polite, especially considering they have friends upstairs in their house still snoozing after a sleepover the night before. In addition to hanging out with their friends, the kids have typical teenage interests. Noah is an avid sports fan and played freshman football at Brophy this year. Chloe, an eighth-grader, recently took up tennis. As a family, the Foxes enjoy playing games of Sequence and spending summers in their house in Coronado, California. They’re also building a place in Montana, where they hope to spend more time. “Traveling kind of bonds us together,” Noah said.

It’s in his blood. His maternal grandfather was in the restaurant industry, as was Sam’s father. His parents had some restaurants in Chicago and moved the family to Tucson when Sam was 5. So it’s no wonder that the business came naturally to him. “I was working on a real-estate finance degree at the University of Arizona and struggled at school. I just didn’t love it. So it was an easy path for me to get into the business,” Sam said. He used the remainder of his college savings to open his first restaurant in Tucson when he was 21, and then followed it up by opening Wildflower in 1998. Little did he know it would be the start of an improbable culinary ride that has included partnering with Dr. Andrew Weil on the

It’s in his blood. His maternal grandfather was in the restaurant industry, as was Sam’s father. MARCH 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  23 

“We’ve realized we’ve been so blessed that it’s important for us to give back.”

True Food Kitchen restaurants and cookbook, swapping recipes with Justin Timberlake and being named a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur a whopping 11 times. Last year, in a move than shocked the foodie world, his Fox Restaurant Concepts was acquired and became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Cheesecake Factory. The deal was worth more than $350 million. But back in the 90s, Sam’s goals were more quotidian. “It really was to make sure my first restaurant stayed open and I could pay my bills,” he said. “I spent a lot of time early in my career just trying to survive. That’s a great foundation for who I am and how I run my business today.” What also laid a great foundation was his marriage to Emily, who he met in his restaurant when she was in college. They were at different points in their lives at the time, but he kept running into the vivacious blonde around town. “She worked at a golf course as a golf cart girl, and her boss was someone who worked for me for a while, so we had a lot of crossovers,” Sam said. Finally, 24  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020

when Emily was ready to graduate, Sam asked her on a date. They will have been married 22 years this May. The couple moved to Phoenix in 2000, in part to be closer to Emily’s family. Emily grew up in Phoenix and attended grade school and high school here. She’s one of six kids in a close-knit family. “My parents are still in the house that I grew up in,” she said. “I have a brother who lives four doors down and a sister who lives on the same street. Being around family and cousins was important to us, especially as we were starting to have kids.” Fast-forward to today, when they’re doing their level best to raise those kids to become quality people. As parents, Sam and Emily stress the importance of getting good grades, making good choices and staying motivated. Philanthropy also comes high on the list. “We’ve realized we’ve been so blessed that it’s important for us to give back,” Emily said.

For Sam, it again goes back to the family business. “I mean, it’s real easy. In our company, we serve people every day, so we have that philosophy as a family as well,” he said. “We’ve been very supported by the community, so we find it fortunate that we’re able to support the community that we live in ourselves.” One of the organizations the Foxes give to is Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, affectionately known as PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers). Since its founding in 1999, PANDA has raised more than $15 million to improve treatments and find cures for devastating childhood diseases as well as fund and recruit top pediatric physicians and scientists to Arizona so families can access the most cutting-edge care. PANDA’s entirely volunteer board is comprised of more than 150 women in the Phoenix area, including Emily’s sister and sister-in-law. Each year, PANDA holds a benefit fashion show, which the Fox family supports. In fact, Noah and Chloe walked the runway seven or eight years ago, and the family has attended the shows ever since. A few years ago, PANDA approached the Foxes and asked them to be the first title

sponsor. “Yes came out of our mouths super quickly,” Sam said. “The women of PANDA have silently dedicated their lives to fight for children and families affected by disease.” So, after Fox Restaurant Concepts was acquired last year, the Foxes wanted PANDA to know they weren’t going anywhere. FRC and the Fox family made a threeyear gift to the organization, which will bring their total contribution to more than $1 million. “We are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support and commitment to our mission,” said Tammy Ryan, PANDA’s board president. “They are funding groundbreaking research at the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center and touching the lives of so many people.” “For us, it checks a lot of different boxes,” Sam said. “Obviously, we’re fond of children’s charities. And geographically, it’s a good fit too. The Steele Center is in Tucson, where I grew up, and it has a connection to the university and the amazing things they’ve done down there.” That’s the kind of thoughtful approach — connecting business to life and family — that Sam and Emily want to instill in their children. “It’s important that our kids see that we give back so that they have that in their blood and their bones and realize the importance,” Emily said. Chloe is in the National Charity League and tutors kids after school at CASA Academy, and Noah sits on the teen board at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

A few years ago, PANDA approached the Foxes and asked them to be the first title sponsor. “Yes came out of our mouths super quickly,” Sam said.

Still, Sam and Emily want to balance high expectations with a desire for their kids to be unburdened by them. “There might be a little more of a spotlight on us,” Sam acknowledged, “but with that, there are opportunities to shine.” The kids feel the pressure a bit. “But it motivates you at the same time,” Noah said. “My dad has such an insane story — it’s, like, one in a million — so you strive to be like him, but you also realize you have to be yourself and do your own thing.” Indeed, Sam’s unlikely story keeps unfolding in interesting ways. Even with the company acquisition, his day-to-day life looks remarkably like it always has. He’s still in Phoenix, running his company, and opening new restaurants at a rapid pace. FRC opened 19 restaurants last year and is on schedule to open about 15 this year. They just signed a deal for Doughbird in Austin, Texas, and are continuing to grow Flower Child and North. They’re also working on a couple of different locations

PANDAs Love People


s the research arm of UArizona Department of Pediatrics, the Steele Children’s Research Center is the state’s only academic pediatric medical research center. The dual role of researcher and physician there is also unique in pediatric medicine in Arizona. The Steele Center’s physician-scientists bring their research from “the bench to the bedside” and examine complex children’s medical issues to improve children’s health. “To be successful in life you must have a purpose and that purpose must be driven by passion. I am passionate about creating and propagating knowledge to improve the health of children all over the world,” said Dr. Fayez Ghishan, director of the Steele Center. The Phoenix Women’s Board works to support processes that lead to improved treatments and cures for devastating childhood diseases. 26  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020

Dr. Fayez Ghishan, director of the Steele Center, with young models at a PANDA fashion show.

The board believes that discovering answers to childhood diseases comes from taking action, which led them to adopt the name PANDA — People Acting Now Discover Answers. For two decades, PANDA has funded pilot projects and early-stage research that has fueled millions of dollars in grants. Now entering its third decade, PANDA will continue to fund medical research to produce new ideas, novel treatments and cures for very sick children. To learn more, visit

of The Henry, have a Culinary Dropout and Blanco under construction in Denver, and are doing four or five existing brands in the Valley. “We haven’t stopped. In fact, I think we’re working even more,” Sam said. “I built an amazing company and love leading it every single day. I’m not ready to retire.” As if that weren’t enough, Sam is also working on a couple of big side projects, including a hotel at 44th and Camelback and a three-level supper club in Nashville called The Twelve Thirty Club. The kids clearly idolize their dad and, though Noah has shown an interest in the family business, Sam doesn’t want him to see it as his only option. Still, Sam recognizes that the business can teach a lot of valuable lessons — “how you treat people, how you want to be treated. It’s a good exposure to life,” he said. So Noah and Chloe spend a fair share of time in the Fox restaurants. Noah has bused tables, and Chloe has worked in the marketing department. “Sam and I both grew up working,” Emily said. “I started working when I was 13 and worked throughout high school and college. I think it’s important that we show our kids not to take anything for granted, that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that life doesn’t come easy.” But all in all, life is good for the Foxes. They enjoy traveling and games and spending time with one another. “We’ve been fortunate,” Sam said. “We can expose the kids to a lot of things that maybe I didn’t have growing up.”

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Of course, many of those things include the family business. “We love riding our bikes to Olive & Ivy for brunch,” Sam said.

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NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}


Glendale Works is helping homeless individuals restart their lives

Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

It’s no secret that homelessness is a critical problem right now. You can see it as you go around the Valley. The homeless population is increasing, and so is the enormity of the task of addressing the issue. Just one data point — in 2014, only 18 percent of homeless people in the Valley were forced to live unsheltered and outside. In 2019, the number was up to 48 percent. “Those people tend to be the hardest to serve, and their issues are most acute,” said Nathan Smith, director of community engagement with Phoenix Rescue Mission. “We need more intensive services to meet them where they are at and find some sustainable solutions.”

In 2014, only 18 percent of homeless people in the Valley were forced to live unsheltered and outside. In 2019, the number was up to 48 percent.

Thankfully, there are many great nonprofit organizations and community leaders working to address homelessness. You could write a book about all of the work being done in cities like Phoenix. It’s a big, complicated, expensive problem that involves helping people with significant MARCH 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  29 

Glendale Works offers meaningful solutions to people experiencing homelessness by instilling them with a sense of dignity and self-worth while also giving neighborhoods a cleaner, safer appearance.

challenges find a path back into society. It could not be harder work, and we’re fortunate that so many in our community are doing it, and doing it well. I’m here this month to spotlight just one of those efforts. It’s a new program taking place in Glendale that’s moving the needle with the homeless population while providing a vital public service and changing people’s lives in the process. It’s called Glendale Works, and it’s more than just a homelessness program — it’s a workforce development program that provides homeless individuals day-work cleaning city property. “The mayor of Glendale was doing some research on his own and coming across different models. At the same time, we at Phoenix Rescue Mission caught wind of a TED Talk the mayor of Albuquerque gave about an initiative there called A Better Way,” Smith said. “We showed it to my boss, and he and the mayor started having conversations because we were looking at the same problem from different angles.” Glendale selected Phoenix Rescue Mission — a faith-based organization that provides a broad spectrum of services to homeless individuals and families as well as those suffering from hunger, trauma or addiction — as a partner for the program.


Phoenix Rescue Mission engages potential participants to perform the work, which includes five-hour shifts for a daily cash rate of $55. The participants receive a meal after their shift as well as transportation to and from the worksite. They can also connect with a Phoenix Rescue Mission case manager, who will help them find behavioral health services, job training, health care, housing opportunities and other resources. The results have been immediate and noteworthy. More than 250 homeless individuals engaged in the program the first year, with a significant number finding housing as a result of the money they earned through Glendale Works. The participants helped augment efforts to clean and maintain Glendale parks, and the program resulted in less panhandling and other blight. “This program is getting a lot of people straight from the streets into permanent housing,” Smith said. “People have also used the funds they have earned to pay down fines that prohibited them from getting driver’s licenses, or other issues that have stopped them from getting full-time employment.” There’s a significant human element to the program as well, and lives that have changed as a result. “We had a man who unfortunately lost one of his best friends on the street,” Smith said. “He was

drinking heavily and doing damage to himself with drugs and alcohol, and he had to go into the hospital for a week. During that time, his best friend died of an overdose. “When he got out of the hospital, he realized that he had lost his friend and was not there for him when he was in need. So he decided he was going to stay clean. He and his daughter agreed that if he got clean, he could move back in and look for a more stable job. He ended up finding a full-time job and a permanent place to live because of the program. He used this and the inspiration from losing his friend, and the funds helped him to restart his life,” Smith said. Glendale Works has been a win-win-win. The city of Glendale gets cleaner parks, the individuals in the program get a chance at a new start, and the overall homeless population starts to decline. “The undeniable benefit is that the parks look nicer, and I think the city would be the first to tell you that,” Smith said. “We’re significantly increasing the work that the Parks Department can do at a site on a given day. The passersby are thankful, and people are using the program as an opportunity to get off the streets.” Smith said that Phoenix Rescue Mission hopes other communities will duplicate the program, either with the organization’s help or with other nonprofits that work in homelessness. And he anticipates that Glendale Works will expand within the city’s boundaries as well. “It’s a program that was started to get people off the streets, but it’s truly an innovation in that space,” Smith said. “It’s a homelessness program with an innovative model and an excellent way to help people that also has other tangible benefits.”

Help our neighbors in need

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STYLE UNLOCKED {living fashionably}

THE BUBBLY BLONDE’S BEST BUYS FOR SPRING It’s time to stow away your winter coats and heavy sweaters because SPRING is almost here. Our Arizona weather is sensational and most of us are already enjoying it. Think about dining al fresco while wearing the new fashion trends. Currently on the runways are loads of vibrant colors. Think hot pink, beautiful corals, all shades of green, rich blues and lots of purples to freshen your spring wardrobe. Read on, because I’m going to share some fun spring buys, whether a statement piece or an amazing bargain. McKenna Wesley | Contributing Writer

BIG BUCKS BUT WORTH IT FENDI Peekaboo Iconic Large | $7,200 One of the big colors for spring is green and, trust me, this large Fendi Peekaboo Bag is a statement all on its own. This green leather handbag is made with two compartments divided by a stiff partition, twist lock on both sides, a single handle and a detachable shoulder strap. The stunning bag features woven strips of lambskin leather and calfskin, and it’s finished with metal. Made in Italy, the bag is guaranteed to make heads turn when you walk into a room. I envision it with a great white blazer and skinny jeans or, for the fashion-confident, with one of the vibrant colors of spring.


BUY IT NOW CULT GAIA Meta Slide Sandal | $428 Cult Gaia designs beautiful heirloom pieces that will live in your closet forever. These sleek slide sandals have barely-there clear straps and balance on 3½-inch stacked stone heels. They will pair beautifully with everything in your spring wardrobe from sleek pants and cocktail dresses to dressy shorts.

BRILLIANT BARGAIN 2BE BELLA Maxi Dress | $40 2Be Bella is a chic online boutique that’s based here in the Valley. Its colorful coral maxi dress is a great, inexpensive find that can be worn casually or dressed up for any occasion. Pair it with heels, a great belt and delicate jewelry and it will take you anywhere. Or toss on a denim jacket and flat sandals for a casual day look. Plus, this maxi dress will be a terrific transition piece as spring turns into summer.




A 2ND ACT {helping is healing}

MIRACLES FROM THE STREET A saint, a statue and a mission Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

Brent Downs knew the Bible stories from his Southern Baptist upbringing. He knew that Joseph was the father of Jesus and that the Bible paints him as a man who was not afraid of hard work. But it took several decades before Brent’s life would also teach him that Joseph was the patron saint of workers. That journey put Brent in the perfect place, at the ideal time. A successful Atlanta businessman with a solid education and a good family background, Downs left the business world at 33. Three years later, he was homeless, with a severe substance abuse problem. He woke up one morning and found himself in a dumpster, zipped up in a body bag. “I was just grateful it wasn’t garbage day,” Downs said with a wry chuckle. It’s that chuckle, and the sparkle in his eyes, that everyone loves. After his homeless wanderings brought him to Phoenix, Downs ended up in a transitional living

space. Looking around him, he realized that a place to live was only the first step off the streets. Having employment was the real way out. His business background gave him an edge and ultimately landed him at St. Joseph the Worker, a 30-year-old Valley nonprofit. “Homelessness is not a state of life; it’s an experience. No one chooses to be homeless,” Downs said. “I look our clients in the eyes and see myself. I can honestly tell them, ‘I know from experience, the hardest thing is trying to get out.’ And it’s my great honor to make that happen. Last year, we helped 3,681 homeless individuals go to work.” MARCH 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  35 

For 30 years, St. Joseph the Worker has transformed lives through employment by helping homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged individuals become self-sufficient.

“I look our clients in the eyes and see myself. I can honestly tell them, ‘I know from experience, the hardest thing is trying to get out.’ And it’s my great honor to make that happen. Last year, we helped 3,681 homeless individuals go to work.”

There are plenty of jobs available — 50,000 of them today in Maricopa County. But having the necessary tools to take and keep a job is the challenge. That’s what SJW does; it’s the only thing they do, and they do it well. “Living on the street makes you invisible,” Downs said. “You lose your dignity. We restore that, and employers get it. We help our clients with their job searches and their résumés. We prep them with the 10 most-often-asked employment questions, focusing on the hardest one: employment gaps. We work with clothing nonprofits (Tailor Made for men and Dress for Success for women) so our clients have appropriate clothing for their interviews and their jobs.” 36  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020

Safety boots for construction, non-slip shoes for waiters and bussers, the cost of pre-employment testing, and transportation to interviews and jobs are just a few of the hard costs covered by SJW’s fundraisers and donors. Plus, they’ve just opened their first Mobile Success Unit. After a 39-foot RV was gutted, the living room became a computer lab for clients to look for work. The dining room became the employment desk, and the bedroom is now a clothing closet. Once they’re ready, SJW clients meet prospective employers at a job fair, where 96 partners discuss their job openings. Every time someone lands a job, they get to ring the bell in the SJW office. Downs gives them a hug, a McDonald’s gift card — SJW provides lunches until clients get paid — and his business card that includes his cell phone number. That has resulted in some amazing calls. “Five years ago, a client got a job, rang the bell, and I gave him the gift card and my business card,” Downs said. “I get a call from him at 6:30 a.m. a few days later. He tells me he doesn’t feel like going to work that day. I tell him to call me when he gets there. I want him to meet a friend who was also homeless. My buddy drives a McLaren, the car with wings for doors. He tells the guy about his own first post-homeless job.


The Mortgage



MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS SPIKE /// “Our client got the message. He’s now the vice president of logistics for a large local company. He called me a while back to tell me, while he could afford his own car with wings, he needs an SUV. He and his wife just found out they’re expecting twins,” Downs said. As with any business, Downs has experienced tough stretches while at SJW. He had left another nonprofit job to take over the executive director position at SJW. The organization was struggling financially, and he wondered how wise that decision had been. Downs asked God the purpose of sending him to a job with an agency that might have to close its doors. “And then the phone rang,” Downs said. “The woman on the other end said, ‘You don’t know me, and I just heard of you. We were trying to sell a house we owned in Desert Mountain but hadn’t had a single offer. I learned about the custom of burying a statue of St. Joseph in my yard and praying for a sale.’ “She told me they sold that house for full price, and were giving St. Joseph the Worker all the money. That was my God moment. He listened, and we’ve continued to keep putting people to work ever since,” Downs said. To learn more, go to

Mortgage applications soared by 30 percent the week of January 10 over the previous week. With interest rates in a free fall due to economic slowing and growing fears of the Coronavirus outbreak, refinance transactions are anticipated to set records. The refinance rate index was 109 percent higher than the same week last year, according to With increasing concerns about the global economy and the rising fears of a U.S. recession in 2020, interest rates are expected to stay low for the foreseeable future. This will fuel refinance transactions and home buying demand. Despite economic woes, the housing market remains very strong.


This might be my favorite theme yet. I genuinely feel these two things go hand in hand. I can never turn down a good reason to dress up and give back. Some of my favorites include Man & Woman of the Year Gala, The Hope Gala, and 20-30’s VIVA (which is May 8, and yours truly is chairing this year). A perfect example of fashion and philanthropy was our second KNOW Book Phoenix launch party last month. Some 130 of the most fashionable women got together to be recognized as the movers, shakers and givers of our community. And let me tell you, we all dressed the part. #BOSSES!

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CHANGING THE CYCLE Go With the Flow is there when girls need it By Karen Werner

THE STORY In 2017, Demetra Presley saw a Facebook video that changed her life. The video showed how a teacher, who was often approached by students asking for menstrual hygiene products, reached out to her social network to collect makeup bags, pads and tampons to make “period packs” to give to her students. “The video was shocking to me,” Presley said. “I didn’t know this was a need students had, or something that schools struggled to provide adequate resources for.” After seeing the video, Presley felt compelled to find out if this was an issue in Arizona. She


The public is encouraged to become part of “the tampon tribe” by donating menstrual hygiene products, attending a period pack party, coordinating a donation drive, or spreading community awareness.

Your conscious life

contacted friends who worked in schools or had middle or high school-aged children to ask if they knew whether feminine hygeine products were provided at their respective schools. She was frustrated by the answers she received. “I learned some schools don’t provide period products at all; some schools charge students for them; or — what’s most common — schools do have a budget for buying pads and tampons, but it’s not enough to meet student needs,” Presley said. As a result, school staff often pays for the products themselves or has to ration products they give. That means a student can receive a single pad or tampon, but not enough to get through a day or an entire cycle, making girls susceptible to things like toxic shock syndrome or resorting to using unsanitary items like toilet paper or socks. Some girls skip school altogether. “Go With the Flow was created to fill this gap because we believe that students should not have their dignity compromised or their education interrupted because they lack access to a basic hygiene item,” Presley said.



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THE CAUSE Presley, a federal probation officer by trade, has donated period packs to more than 150 schools through Go With the Flow, the nonprofit she started. Go With the Flow currently provides supplies to schools in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal Counties and has donated more than 20,000 period packs since January 2018. Schools decide which items they want, whether they be tampons, pads or panty liners. “We leave it up to the school to decide because they know best what products their students are asking for,” Presley said. “We want to be sure the products provided to a student are ones she will actually use.” The packs can make a massive difference in girls’ lives. “Partners have expressed seeing their students’ eyes light up at being given a fun bag that has multiple supplies in it, instead of just one,” Presley said. “It’s opened the door for open

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Demetra Presley (second from left) believes that if something as simple as free pads and tampons can keep a student attending school and engaged in education, it is an investment worth making.

discussion about periods with respect to menstrual health and the larger issue of period poverty.” Students hold onto their bags and bring them back to school so they can receive additional supplies. There’s no limit to how many period packs a school can receive or how many times they can seek a donation. “For our community partners, being provided period packs has allowed them to have a consistent supply available, or provide a resource that they either hadn’t thought about or didn’t have the means to provide themselves,” Presley said.

THE FUTURE Go With the Flow recently opened its first office, which serves as a donation and period resource center. It’s the Valley’s only site dedicated solely to providing free menstrual supplies to community members who need them. (While shelters, food banks and clothing closets provide menstrual supplies, they often don’t have an ample supply because pads and tampons are some of the most underdonated items.) Going forward, Presley plans to expand Go With the Flow’s outreach and develop educational materials for schools and community partners. “One of our priorities is to challenge the perception that menstruation is something embarrassing or disgusting,” Presley said. “We’re excited to start working on materials that are not only educational and informational, but empowering and positive.” 40  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020

Presley also hopes to get more of the community involved. Because Go With the Flow is donationbased, the more donations the nonprofit receives, the more it can provide supplies to community members who need them. “Donations can be made in the form of monetary contributions or product donations, with our most-needed period supplies being thin pads and regular absorbency tampons,” Presley said. “Another way community members can support us is by word of mouth. As a newer nonprofit, people may not know we are a resource, and we aim to be in as many schools as possible.” Presley thinks part of the reason Go With the Flow has grown so rapidly is that it rallies the community around a problem that can be solved. After all, providing feminine hygiene supplies to students or low-income or homeless community members isn’t something that requires extensive legislation or millions of dollars. Go With the Flow has been able to address it at a grassroots level, simply by bringing attention to the issue and providing community members an easy way to help. “Community members can pick up an extra box of pads or tampons while they’re doing their grocery shopping, host a donation collection with their friends, or donate products they no longer use, knowing that every one of those donations will go right into the hands of a community member who needs it.” To learn more, go to

CONNECTING WOMEN WHERE THEY WORK, LIVE OR PLAY Join us where you live, work or play to connect with like-minded women to share information, ideas, contacts and opportunities. Learn more at: | |

KITCHEN DOORS {let’s eat!} Photo by The Parlor





THE PARLOR 1916 E. Camelback Road | PHOENIX “We opened in the midst of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression,” said owner Aric Mei, who opened The Parlor in May 2009. “We knew that the only way we would survive was if we put an extraordinary focus on value. That strategy paid off and we have held onto it tightly.” The Parlor is located in what was Salon de Venus for more than 50 years. “Throughout the restaurant, there are elements of the old salon. During the renovation, a large portion of the old building was demolished, and the salvaged wood was repurposed into several elements around the dining room, including the tables, host stand and front doors,” Mei said. In addition to the decor, the food is a standout. The Parlor’s Salsiccia pizza was named the best pizza in Arizona by the Food Network. “The star of this pizza is our sausage recipe that dates back to our relatives in Tuscany,” said Mei. “The sausage is paired with grilled radicchio, fresh sage and a drizzle of saba to add some acidity and sweetness.”

Chef Beau MacMillan is known for his larger-than-life personality, appearances on Food Network and as executive chef at the breathtaking Sanctuary Resort in Paradise Valley. He’s also very involved with local charities. “I’ve been lucky enough to be the chef representative for the Arizona Cardinals at Taste of the NFL for the last six seasons,” MacMillan said. “The Kick Hunger Challenge takes place throughout the football season and 100 percent of the funds raised are donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank. This year we set a record. We could not have done that without the support of this amazing community.” MacMillan also created menu items for the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Mission Possible Café. “I went to the café to see their program and work with the staff and I was blown away,” he said. “They’ve changed people’s lives and given them hope through food. It was an honor to be involved.” In 2017, MacMillan created the Nirvana Food and Wine Festival, which takes place April 16-19 at Sanctuary, and benefits the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). “C-CAP is a special place that provides students with skills and scholarships in the culinary arts field. Nirvana gives these young chefs the opportunity to work with professional chefs,” said MacMillan, who donates his talent and time to several charity events across the Valley.


MacMillan is passionate about giving back to the community. “I’ve been blessed to have one of the greatest stages in Arizona to cook,” he said. “I have an incredible team at Sanctuary. I cut my teeth in this city, met my wife, had five kids and it’s more home to me than any place has ever been. I’m so grateful and will continue to give back as much as I can.” For more information, visit

The Parlor works with several local producers and suppliers to get the freshest ingredients. “We offer high-quality handmade cuisine, a serious beverage program, detail-oriented hospitality and beautiful decor, all while never losing sight of affordability,” Mei said. For more information, visit


Photo by Debby Wolvos

MODERN MEXICAN Arizona offers a wide range of Mexican food from traditional to upscale. Two restaurants that opened in 2019 feature a unique take on Mexican dishes.


Photo by Debby Wolvos

8390 E. Via de Ventura | SCOTTSDALE

Photo by Brad Burkett



“Agave del Scottsdale serves dishes that are found in several areas of Mexico, including the Yucatan, Mazatlan, Puebla, Vera Cruz and Mexico City,” said Hector Soto, the restaurant’s general manager. “Many of the recipes belong to the owner’s family and have been passed down through the generations.” Some of the regional dishes on the menu at Agave del Scottsdale, which opened in June 2019, include Mole Poblano served over roasted chicken and enchiladas, which is from Puebla; Tlacoyos de Huitlacoche, blue corn masa stuffed with black beans, from Mexico City; and Halibut ala Veracruzana with bell peppers, green olives and capers. “We have a beautiful dining room and aim to provide the best, warmest service,” Soto said. “The menu features several types of ceviche, fish entrées, steaks and two types of mole. We pride ourselves on making everything in-house and from scratch, using the best ingredients we can find.”

218 E. Portland St. | PHOENIX Josephine opened in a 1919 bungalow in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Arts District in January 2020. “We love being in the heart of such a thriving, beautiful arts district,” said Carol Daniel, vice president of restaurant operations for True North Studio Lifestyle. “We love the idea of mixing old world charm with new world cuisine.” Executive Chef Ryan Pitt, who was previously at Café Monarch, has created a globally inspired menu with shareable dishes including lamb samosas and chicken satay with a Balinese marinade. “We wanted to create a unique dining experience where guests can enjoy flavors from around the world in an approachable yet elevated way,” he said. Popular dishes on Josephine’s menu include Crispy Maine Lobster a L’Orange, New Orleans Cajun Spring Rolls and Green Curry New Zealand Lamb. Like the food, the cocktails at Josephine feature unique ingredients. The Noir is a take on a Manhattan with rye whiskey, Italian vermouth and a touch of blackberry Ramazzotti Amaro. The Toulouse-Lautrec is a spin on a Negroni Bianco with gin, Midori and chartreuse. Behind the restaurant is Coup de Grâce, a speakeasy-style lounge. “It’s dark and mysterious with risqué art and murals,” Daniel said. “The drinks are more spirit-forward and include creative twists on classic cocktails, along with some of our own inventive concoctions.” Josephine is a distinctive addition to the downtown Phoenix culinary scene. “It’s all in the details, from each special ingredient and the female-focused artwork to the curated beverage program and stunning interior space,” said Daniel. “They all work together to bring our guests an unforgettable dining experience.” For more information, visit

TOCA MADERA 4736 N. Goldwater Blvd. SCOTTSDALE Toca Madera opened near Scottsdale Fashion Square in October 2019, offering a stunning space, ingredient-forward cuisine and farm-to-glass cocktails.

Photo courtesy of Toca Madera

“Dining at Toca Madera is a sensory experience. From the intricate decor to the curated music and live entertainment, we seek to transport guests into another world. However, it all starts with our signature modern, organic Mexican cuisine,” said Tosh Berman, CEO and co-founder of the Madera Group. “We pride ourselves on changing the perception of traditional Mexican food with a versatile menu that caters to a variety of dietary preferences, including paleo, vegan and keto.” Popular menu items include premium proteins such as Wagyu and white prawns served on a hot lava stone, and raw bar items like Mexican sashimi and Ceviche Blanco with Chilean sea bass. For more information visit and



Society of Chairs } Why do you support Make-A-Wish Arizona? JILL: Make-A-Wish Arizona creates life-changing wishes for children dealing with a critical illness. It gives children facing those illnesses something positive to look forward to. When they are going to treatment, they have the pot at the end of the rainbow to think about. And positive thoughts lead to a healthier outcome. JENNIFER: What Make-A-Wish Arizona is doing for children gives them something happy to look forward to, which changes their lives and makes an impact on not just the child, but their families.

Describe this year’s event.

Renee Parsons, Jennifer Moser, Jill Krigsten Riley and Mari Lederman Co-chairs of Wish Ball 2020 benefiting Make-A-Wish Arizona

RENEE: This year is really special for Make-A-Wish Arizona as we celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary. During the event, we’ll be reconnecting with Wish Kids from the past four decades and giving the audience an opportunity to hear and see firsthand how wishes have impacted their lives. MARI: We are honored to celebrate the fact that the very first wish was granted right here in Arizona when a 7-year-old leukemia patient experienced what it was like to be a police officer. Forty years ago, this wish was the inspiration for Make-A-Wish today, and it is now in countries all over the world.

Why do you feel so strongly about the organization? Brought to you by

Custom Logo Gifts to Brand Your Cause and Define Your Event

Thank you to our March Runners-Up: Libby Cohen & Lisa Portigal Independent Woman Luncheon Co-Chairs Friends Of Homeward Bound Rooftop Event Co-Founders Lisa Grant & Ann Rathwell Kino Border Initiative Dinner Co-Chairs Mandy Holmes & Courtney Beller Compassion with Fashion Co-Chairs Darlene Keller-Price & Lisa Molina Arizona Foundation for Women Awards Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Pettorossi & Karen Phelps Happily Ever After League Fairytale Tea Co-Chairs

JILL: I was not able to have a child, so my goal in life is to leave a legacy of helping kids and their families to better health and happiness. Make-A-Wish does just that. Through granting a child’s wish, we give them hope, something to look forward to. Then when they are sharing their wish with their family, it brings such happiness to their lives and such wonderful memories. Happy and healthy memories live, no matter what the future brings. JENNIFER: Seeing the excitement and energy in a child that is granted a wish changes everything. Knowing all of the struggles the child and their family endure, it is so special to be part of granting a wish and seeing the happiness and memories created for the family. RENEE: A wish isn’t just about the tangible experience or object; it’s a gift that harnesses the power of hope to transform lives. This reality hits home for me every year as I get to know the Wish Kids and follow their journeys.

Tell us a fascinating fact about the organization. MARI: One thing Frontdoors readers would be surprised to learn is about the professional wrestler and actor John Cena. John is the first celebrity to grant more than 600 wishes, more than any star in history. I am a huge fan!

Join us for Society of Chairs on Wednesday, April 29, 2020! Visit for details. 44  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020







Thanks to your generosity, on February 22 Treasure House raised more than $520,000 to help young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities!

For more information on Treasure House, visit

OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}


It’s finally time to see the three episodes of “Antiques Roadshow” that were filmed at Desert Botanical Garden back in April 2019. I was honored to visit the set during filming, bring a beloved family heirloom of my own, and chat with the team that makes the magic happen.


THE EXPERIENCE Lucky ticket holders for “Antiques Roadshow” events are permitted to bring two items to a filming. Upon arrival for your assigned time slot, you check in to determine which appraiser you will be meeting for each item. From there, you wait in line for your turn with the specialist to find out more about your piece. If your item is something special, a producer is called over and you wait to have your appraisal filmed. The flow is a well-oiled machine under the direction of longtime executive producer Marsha Bemko.

Frontdoors publisher Andrea Evans with Marsha Bemko, “Antiques Roadshow” executive producer.

MY ITEM When I got married, my dad, Tom, brought a special gift to my rehearsal dinner: a fourpiece Christofle silver coffee and tea set with beautiful teak handles. It was a wedding gift to him and my mom from an aunt who lived in the Bay Area, so we suspect it was purchased from the iconic store Gump’s in San Francisco in 1969. I met with the very charming Sebastian Clarke of Rago Arts & Auction Center to show him the coffee pot and learned some amazing things about my precious gift. It turns out that the set is silver-plated (not sterling silver), which was determined by the mark and the weight of the pot. That being said, Christofle is considered one of the most valuable producers of these types of gifts at the time as everything was made in France. The value? He estimated I could get about $500 to $1,000 on the secondary market with a full appraisal of the condition. There’s no way I am selling, but it was fun to find out more about my beautiful set.


Appraiser Sebastian Clarke filming a segment with a guest.

WHEN TO WATCH Arizona PBS on Channel 8 will roll out these episodes on the following Mondays at 7 p.m.: March 23,March 30 and April 13. Tune in and let me know your favorite find from the Grand Canyon State!


OPEN DOORS CONTINUED Photo by Meredith Nierman for WGBH,© WGBH 2020

Appraiser Arlie Sulka (right) appraised a Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. table lamp circa 1925.

A BIG FIND What will you see when you tune in to the first episode that will air on Arizona PBS on March 23, 2020? Here are three sneak peeks: a collection of Neil Armstrongsigned Apollo 11 moon landing photos, a René Vincent “Porto Ramos-Pinto” poster from around 1920 that was purchased by the guest at a Parisian flea market for $30 in 1972 that appraiser Nicholas Lowry calls “a masterpiece of graphic design,” and a collection of 1993 “Magic: The Gathering” Beta cards that include the valuable and sought-after “Power Nine” cards. One of those treasures is appraised at up to $100,000. I can’t wait to find out which one is the big discovery! Happy spring,

Andrea Andrea Tyler Evans PUBLISHER

@AndreaTEvans 48  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MARCH 2020

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Frontdoors Magazine March 2020 Issue  

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