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Dr. Stacie


Doctor, author and philanthropist talks wellness, philanthropy and living with vibrance


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TABLE OF CONTENTS {mar/apr 2021, volume 19, issue 3}

WHAT YOU’RE SAYING....... 08 Reader feedback


EDITOR’S NOTE...................... 09 Digging into the Season 10 QUESTIONS WITH.......... 10 Tricee Thomas, founder of The Garment League BOOKMARKED....................... 13 Nate Rhoton, executive director of one•n•ten OFFICE DOORS...................... 14 Jeff Meshey, president and CEO of Desert Financial Credit Union KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE.... 18 Are face workouts for you? A 2 ACT.................................. 23 Barro’s Pizza gives back, one slice at a time ND


COVER STORY....................... 26 Dr. Stacie has advice FURRY FRIENDS.................... 35 Resource Directory NEXT DOORS.......................... 43 A jail program thinks big STYLE UNLOCKED............... 46 The fashionable travels of Abby Leadon CHARITY SPOTLIGHT........ 53 Gesher Disability Resources KITCHEN DOORS.................. 56 Let’s Eat! CHEERS TO THE CHAIR...... 61 Kenny Farrell OPEN DOORS......................... 62 Time to walk! And breathe!


+ Gesher

+ Arizona

Tails Animal Welfare League + Desert Financial Credit Union + Fix.Adopt.Save. + The Garment League + Gateway for Cancer Research

+ Maricopa

Disability Resources County Sheriff’s Office Animal Safe Haven (MASH) + one•n•ten + Power Paws Assistance Dogs

WHAT YOU’RE SAYING {reader feedback}

Piper Fel lowsh ip [pie-per-fel-oh-ship]

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1. An opportunity for nonprofit leaders to reach, retool, and revitalize. 2. A Piper Fellowship can be transformational for both the leader and the nonprofit organization.

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Sentence: “It gave me perspective; my Piper Fellowship was life-changing.”

“Thank you for doing what you do each day. You make us a better community.” — STEVE ZABILSKI

Learn more at pipertrust.org/Fellows21 © 2021 Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Send Your Comments To: publisher@frontdoorsmedia.com

EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

DIGGING INTO THE SEASON I’m not sure if it was the pandemic, but something told me to get outside.

•S  traighten up. The glorious weather offered a chance to meander. I dusted off pots, hosed off the patio and staged new plant vignettes. It felt great to make my world look and function better while letting my mind run loose.

• Try something new. Remember what I said about beautiful plants dying? It happens. And it doesn’t mean I won’t try new things. So I’m planting passion flowers in front of my new trellises and hoping for the best.

After all, time is fleeting and summer is hot, so I heeded the call to enjoy the weather while I could. While finishing this issue, I did the unheard of (for me): I paused every afternoon to spend an hour or so in the garden. Now, I am no master gardener, but I feel like I cracked some code on arid gardening (and life!) while I watered and weeded and dug. • Repeat what works. Over the years, I’ve planted a lot of beautiful plants. Most of them have died. But my hearty firestick, brittlebush, elephant’s food and aloe keep not only surviving scorching summers but thriving. So guess what I seeded, divided and repotted?

•D  itch what doesn’t. I usually hem and haw over what to plant and what to pull. Not this year! I cut back overgrowth and pruned and deadheaded with abandon, and it felt awesome. •N  ourish. Last year, I grew a bumper crop of limes and one, lonely clementine. Vowing to do better (go, lemons!), I fertilized on time and crossed my fingers.

The theme of this issue is Spring Philanthropy, so yeah, maybe these thoughts are off-topic. But are they? Is there a skill, project or relationship you can nourish with a little care? Something you can cut back on to lighten your load? A new thing you can try? Me, too. So let’s dig into the season — and the issue — looking to grow good things. P.S. Please be sure to check out the special Furry Friends Directory on page 35. It’s a helpful guide, whether you want to adopt from, volunteer at, or support local animal organizations or businesses, or if you’re simply an animal lover! Karen Werner | EDITOR



MAR/APR 2021

10 QUESTIONS {fascinating people}


Founder of The Garment League


When did your interest in fashion begin?

My entire family has always loved fashion, but I was inspired by my grandmother. At the age of 4, I would play dress-up in her wardrobe and jewelry and thought it was the best thing in the world. I just knew it would be my life. Today, I am an active designer and continue to launch a collection each season.


Tell us how you came to found The Garment League.

I’ve always had it in my heart to give back. In 2017, I began speaking with Greg Stanton, the former mayor of Phoenix. I would tell him my vision of bringing fashion to downtown Phoenix. He was very supportive and because of my ambition to give back, he was actually the one who suggested going into the nonprofit sector.

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What is The Garment League’s mission, and why is it important for Arizona?

The Garment League’s focus and mission consist of providing scholarships to fashion- and art-related college majors. We also aid in continued education with fashion residencies, creative workshops, business planning, consulting, imaging and branding, technical specifications, manufacturing, as well as wholesale and retail trade. I feel that Arizona has so much untapped talent and that it serves a melting pot. It’s very important to emphasize what we have right here.


How big an economic driver is the fashion industry for our state?

It is not a huge driver, as it is in some of the other fashionable areas. However, we are continuously growing. With the help of TGL and other phenomenal fashion organizations in our state, we will soon be a force to be reckoned with.


What do you do on a typical day?

I design apparel, I create and implement fashion — and art-related events and programming as well as mentor emerging fashion talents. I get overjoyed mentoring creatives to be successful in their brand and business.

The Garment League finds unique ways to invest in and empower Arizona’s fashion and art communities.


The Garment League offers scholarships to students studying fashion or arts. Is Arizona attracting more young people interested in the arts?

Yes; there is a large amount here that love it! We also have great schools in Arizona that offer amazing fashion programs. I’m excited about the future of the Arizona fashion industry.


How has COVID-19 affected your work, and how have you showcased fashion since the start of the pandemic?

Our organization has truly been blessed. We are located in Park Central and are a partner organization to Artlink. Both have been extremely supportive in our events and programming. We are able to utilize the grounds to properly maintain mandated guidelines. Since Park Central was the first mall in Phoenix, we got creative and produced a “window-shopping experience” with live mannequins wearing local designers’ garments in each storefront. It was amazing! We continue to create innovative ways to enjoy fashion and celebrate local designers while being safe.


Can you tell our readers about your Industry Summer Camp?

The Industry Summer Camp is a youth fashion camp that covers every aspect of the fashion industry with hands-on training. We are planning to have it this year. Currently, we are offering virtual and onsite workshops.


Anything you’d like readers to know about you or The Garment League?

We are a small but mighty organization that cares about, supports and believes in our community.


What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I’m usually working! No seriously … I love spending time with my family because, at the end of the day, that’s the true blessing.

To learn more, go to thegarmentleague.org.


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MAR/APR 2021

Helping nonprofits to build, change and sustain. Empowering leaders to diversify revenue, develop teams and thrive. Experience — Becky has served at the executive level in the three major sectors: corporate, association management and nonprofit. Leadership — Becky has revitalized struggling organizations with her deep expertise in succession planning, team development and capital campaigns. Wisdom — After being a bank president and the CEO of four nonprofits and a chamber of commerce, Becky knows what works, what doesn’t and how to tell the difference. Schedule a free 30-minute assessment to learn how Becky can help you or your organization. Go to: becky-jackson.com

BOOKMARKED {what are you reading?}

NATE RHOTON Executive director of one•n•ten


“Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown

H I S TA K E “‘Brave work. Tough Conversations. Whole hearts.’ Brené Brown explains strategies in her book with real tools to immediately employ with your teams and, quite frankly, even your family. At a time when leading has taken on a very different look and feel, I wanted to refine and further develop my toolkit and become a better leader for our staff at one•n•ten, a Valley-based nonprofit. “Difficult conversations are even more challenging in a virtual environment. In Brené’s words, ‘Integrity is choosing courage over comfort. It’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy, and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them.’ Our teams deserve to hear the truth with respectful, honest feedback rooted in our organizational and personal values. Read this book and find out how you can better support and communicate with your teams … and your significant other.”


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MAR/APR 2021

OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}

A DAY WITH JEFF MESHEY President + CEO of Desert Financial Credit Union

As told to | Julie Coleman

4 a.m.


The first thing I do every morning is my daily devotionals, immediately followed by exercise. Fortunately, my wife and I have an exercise gym in our basement, including two bikes, a treadmill and an elliptical. I ride eight miles on the exercise bike almost every day. It’s just one of those things. If you don’t feel like it, too bad; get your butt on there and do it. I feel better if I do it. After I’m done working out, I check emails and social media as I’ve made it a habit of not having my cell phone in the bedroom at night. Once in a while, I’ll miss an important text or call, but I’ll get it the next morning. When you get up at 4 a.m., it’s kind of easy.

8 a.m.


I like to schedule all critical meetings in the morning because that’s when I’m at my best. I have five direct reports and try to let my people run their own departments, so I’m pretty hands-off but do like to have a sight line to what’s going on.

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I consider myself a servant leader, so my questions for my team are, “What can I do to help you? What do you need from me to be more effective or do your job better?” I feel like I work for our 1,100 employees. I know I’m still the boss and so there are times when I have to make calls, and I’ve had to make a lot of those this past year. The one thing I always try to do is never let anybody see me sweat, because that’s not what you want to see out of your leader. Sometimes that’s hard and your stomach’s churning and you’re feeling stressed, but I try never to let that show. We have to be confident and put on an optimistic face because that’s who we are as leaders, and that’s who we want leading us. I work on this as it doesn’t always come naturally. When I was younger, servant leadership was not my leadership style. I have evolved to where I am now, in part, because I was the long-time number-two person at my company. That allowed me to get involved in every aspect of the business and be ready to jump in and help wherever I was needed.

9:30 a.m.


There are two main charities I am heavily involved in right now. One is Valley of the Sun United Way, which is near to my heart as I have been a donor since I started my professional career. I am on the board and currently chairman of the Tocqueville and major gifts committee. I say this is the “show me the money” committee with a focus on fundraising and reaching out to people to bring in funds. I’m proud of what we’ve done since I’ve chaired this committee, as we have improved our fundraising efforts. The second charity is the American Heart Association as the 2021 Heart Walk chair. We cannot have a physical walk so it’s going to be virtual again this year. I’m in the midst of raising $1.5 million and getting the word out about the importance of heart health. COVID has highlighted the need to focus more on heart health because these people have a much greater risk of dying. The credit union has 26 employee teams this year that are all soliciting donations and will walk virtually that day. My family and I have mapped out our route where we will walk in our neighborhood.

“At the end of the day, I ask myself, ‘What did you do today to make a difference? Whose life did you improve?’ I think if everybody takes a moment to think that way, you start thinking of things you can do.”

1:15 p.m.

Above: A hands-on leader, Meshey frequently volunteers alongside the Desert Financial team. Below: The executive management team, Ron Amstutz, Jeff Meshey and Cathy Graham, make frequent visits to the 1 Darn Cool School at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, funded by Desert Financial.


Desert Financial has a long history of supporting Phoenix Children’s Hospital. We are currently organizing our annual golf tournament that raises $500,000 and completely funds “1 Darn Cool School,” a program that allows kids to keep up with their schooling while they are in the hospital. I enjoy fundraising and find it fun when you have the right purpose behind it. I like a challenge and seeing a plan come together and being successful. I look at it as, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” It is similar to baseball in that the more at-bats you get, the more hits you’re going to get. So, go out there, be ready to swing and good things generally happen.


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MAR/APR 2021

3 p.m.


The first year we participated in “Bring Your Kid to Work Day,” one of the children asked me a question that stopped me. They said, “Mr. Meshey, what’s your favorite thing to do?” I listed three or four things because I couldn’t pick. But I was ready the next year and explained my favorite thing to do is give big checks to charities.

We have a strategy at Desert Federal we call “give and grow” and feel the more we give and put ourselves out there, the more people will look to us for their financial needs. And we had our biggest growth year by a mile last year. We try to be as generous as we can and pick things that make the most significant difference in the lives of people who live in our community. This highlights our desire to share success, so that people know our hearts. At the end of the day, I ask myself, “What did you do today to make a difference? Whose life did you improve?” I think if everybody takes a moment to think that way, you start thinking of things you can do. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary, but to that person, it might have been great and needed at that moment.

5 p.m.


My wife and I remodeled our kitchen before COVID, which turned out to be a godsend. I cannot tell you how many dishes I have washed since eating out doesn’t occur anymore! I really enjoy having dinner with my family. It’s a good way to unwind, talk about the day and check in with everybody. It helps me recharge my batteries and makes for a soft landing to the day. To learn more, go to desertfinancial.com. Desert Financial Credit Union has awarded scholarships to high school seniors in Arizona for 17 years. Here, Meshey gives out a Community Service Scholarship to Steven Trinh.


NonProfit Tip of the Month “Pivot Beyond Covid”

Transformational leadership in a “post-pandemic” world will require a Pivot! Consider a gaps analysis of your organization to lay a foundation for pivot plans to include growth, change, or managing through a crisis. The world has shifted. Have you?

Vikki Scarafiotti, MPA, Scarafiotti Consulting, LLC scarafiotticonsulting.com MAR/APR 2021

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and help foster kids like me. The qualified charitable foster care tax credit is one opportunity for you to help Arizona foster children. Arizona law allows you to contribute up to $500 individually and $1,000 jointly to Child Crisis Arizona as a Qualifying Foster Care Organization and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit against your 2020 State tax liability through April 15, 2021.* *Please consult with a tax advisor. The tax credits are available only to individuals who file taxes in Arizona. QFCO code: 10012. Tax ID#: 86-0324144

will you join us? Together, Child Crisis Arizona and our community of supporters, play an important role in ensuring all children are safe.


childcrisisaz.org • 480.834.9424

KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE {what’s trending}


According to Hi, skin’s director of esthetics Hallie Villemez (above), face workouts can help create tightened, toned, healthy skin.

Spring is a time of rejuvenation, and skincare is no exception. With beautiful weather and plenty of outdoor activities, spring can inspire you to step up your exercise and skin routines. Hallie Villemez, director of esthetics and lead esthetician at Hi, skin in Uptown Phoenix, offers advice on shaping up skin with facial workouts and other skincare trends.

FACE WORKOUTS Despite the name, face workouts are a service more than actual exercise. “A face workout is a treatment that lifts, sculpts, tightens and provides tension relief to the face using a series of massage techniques, tools and modalities,” Villemez said. “We employ different hand movements and skin tools and technologies to target specific muscles and contours of the face.” The treatment that started in Europe made its way across the pond and has made waves in other parts

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of the country. But Hi, skin is currently the only place to offer it in the Valley, according to Villemez. “Facial massage has been used for years to improve skin health, but face workouts offer increased benefit with deliberate techniques that target specific muscles in the face — think of it as a deep tissue facial massage,” Villemez said. What makes this service different from a massage is instead of being performed strictly for the “feel good” aspect, a deeper pressure and more targeted movements are used to stimulate the 40+ musCles in the face, similar to how people work out the rest of their bodies. According to Villemez, face workouts provide multiple anti-aging and health benefits, including fine line reduction, lifting, TMJ and tension relief, and it gives the skin an overall glow. It’s particularly appealing if you are looking to skip the needles and knife and the recovery time that comes with them. “Face workouts are like a noninvasive facelift. It needs to be done a bit more frequently than a facelift,

Photos by Jillian Rivera Photography

but you do see instant results and it feels — it’s an enjoyable treatment!” Villemez said. With both restorative and preventive benefits, face workouts are fine for all ages. “It’s a great treatment for everyone. Because it’s so preventative, start as early as you can. With no crazy downtime, no side effects —there’s no reason not to,” said Villemez. Like any workout, the more you do it, the better the results. Villemez recommends getting a face workout treatment at least once per month. “It is also something you can incorporate into daily and weekly routines — there are great techniques you can do at home between appointments!” Villemez loves using tools for the best at-home results. For those dedicated and willing to splurge, she swears by the PureLift face-sculpting tool. It applies EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) to the muscles in the face, causing them to flex and contract. It releases tension, similar to a bicep curl, causing a tightening effect. But Villemez said not to worry, it’s not going to muscle-up your face, just tone and tighten. Other favorites that beauty buffs may already own are Gua Sha stones for lymphatic drainage and sculpting as well as textured rollers, ice globes and ice rollers. “You can also use your own hands. Once you know the movements, you can absolutely do it at home. It is something I teach my clients to do pretty often so they can keep up their appointments,” Villemez said. To learn more, go to hiskin.care.


PRODUCT PICKS MULTI-TASKERS: A popular trend is products that can be used in several ways, like serum balms that double as treatment masks or “all-in-one products” that focus on multiple concerns like dryness, antiaging and hyperpigmentation. “People are busy and on budgets, so it’s nice because it provides multiple benefits in one or a couple of different products instead of a 10-step routine,” Villemez said. “We are seeing a lot of brands finding ways to create products that do more than one thing.” Two products she recommends: Leland Francis Melting Balm ($38) and VENN Skincare Age Reversing All-In-One Concentrate ($84). ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: Spring is all about calming care. “A lot of it has to do with weather changes, dryness and mask-wearing. We are seeing irritation,” said Villemez. She said to look for products with CBD, because it’s calming, soothing and beneficial for all skin types. Vitamin E, chamomile and turmeric are also great soothing, regenerative agents. SUN CARE: Here in Arizona, we spend a ton of time outdoors in the spring, so it is essential to wear SPF daily. Villemez’s current favorite is C-Shells by Sundaze. “It has amazing skin benefits and applies like a dream,” she said.


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MAR/APR 2021

Your tax dollars can alter the course of troubled lives.

$800 $400 sends 10 kids to a Saturday interactive workshop

sends one child through a 9-week after-school photography mentoring program

Kids in Focus mentor-based programs are proven to build kids’ resilience, self-confidence, trust, and hope, enabling them to become happy, caring, and productive adults. It’s a win-win because Kids in Focus is a Qualified Charitable Organization, so you’ll receive a dollar-fordollar reduction of your Arizona state income taxes!

Please make your gift before April 15th at kidsinfocus.org/give.

With our world-class care and programs, Help Our we embrace all Families with children and their Your AZ Tax families as they Credit By navigate life limiting April 15th or end-of-life journeys. Make Ryan House your Qualifying Charitable Organization (QC0) state tax credit recipient today! Your gift supports Arizona’s most medically fragile children and their families. Receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit* QCO Code is 20088

Donate at:

ryanhouse.org/donate or 602-200-0767

A 2ND ACT {helping is healing}


Barro’s Pizza gives back, one slice at a time Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

Below: Gina Barro with her three brothers, Bruce, Mike and Ken.

“We’re Italian, and food is love!” Gina Barro said enthusiastically. From its roots in Italy with Grandmother Angelina to the 40 locations spread across Arizona today, award-winning Barro’s Pizza carries on that tradition. But love from the Barro family goes far deeper than a thick and fluffy crust, topped with a tangy sauce. The lesson in love began with Gina’s parents, the business founders Doran and Angelo. “They wanted to give back and provide food for people,” Gina said. “My mother was always helping, always giving. She wasn’t about the money or the business or the company worth. She gave personally, always asking if there was anything more to be done.” And just like that, the seed for “Barro’s Gives Back” was planted. Left: Grandma Angelina in the kitchen with great-grandchildren Josh and Bostyn Barro.


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The Barro’s Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway has awarded more than $85,000 to students in Arizona since 2012. Here, Bruce Barro (middle) presents a check at the McDowell Road Barro’s Pizza location.

Their pizza night fundraisers have been a community staple for decades. Schools and organizations select a date, and 20 percent of all pizzas purchased that day is donated to them. But the idea of feeding people in need was close to the family’s heart. So in December 2012, Barro’s teamed up with St. Mary’s Food Bank, donating 100 percent of all the stores’ entire day’s proceeds. The event’s goal is to help reduce the number of Arizonans battling hunger during the holidays. In 2014, Doran died of stomach cancer rather suddenly. The family renamed the event the Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight, appropriate as Doran had created it. Still held on the first Tuesday of every December, the event has raised more than $1.8 million.

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The year their partnership with St. Mary’s was born, another idea bloomed. Barro’s partnered with Dr. Pepper for an annual Tuition Giveaway, awarding one lucky Arizona applicant $10,000. To date, they’ve given more than $85,000. Of all the recipients, Gina remembers two especially well. “One year, the winner was a single mom, divorced with three children. She dreamed of a career in healthcare but didn’t have the funds to support her family and go to school. And then there was an amazing 18 year old who wanted to study fitness. His dream was to own a training center, but he realized he needed to begin with an education. We’re excited to watch his career growth,” she said. And the list goes on. The Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children reached out to Barro’s in 2016. Together, they brainstormed the idea of a lunch giveaway. As with St. Mary’s, Barro’s donates 100 percent of lunch proceeds over four days each June to support the foundation. The more than $140,000 they’ve raised helps families with the high cost and challenging logistics of caring for a child with cancer.

“The foundation sends us photos and cards, all with smiling children,” Gina said. “I feel like those smiles reach out from the pictures and hug us. More importantly, they’re reminders of the good we’re able to contribute to our community.” Angelo died of Alzheimer’s Disease just six months after Doran. Last fall, Four Peaks Brewing Company honored him with Angelo’s Ale, a golden ale brewed specifically to pair with the flavors found in the Barro’s secret family recipe. As you might expect, a percentage of every pint sold is donated to the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Gina loves her family’s philanthropic tradition. But there’s one more message she thinks is important. She’s third in birth order, with two older brothers and one younger. The boys helped their parents grow the family business, and as a young woman, she worked with them all off and on. But once married, she turned her attention to raising her children. Once they were grown, she started working in the office with her mother. After Doran died, Gina jumped in with both feet, at the age of 52. “Many women still think that business ownership exists only in a man’s world,” Gina said. “I think it’s important to understand it doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, how old you are, or your circumstances. I want women to know it’s never too late to follow their hearts.” After all, big hearts are in no short supply in the Barro family. To learn more, go to barrospizza.com/ barros-gives-back.

We create new futures for communities around the world Out of 21,137 nonprofits in Arizona, one stands out as being committed to learning from epidemics and helping those in need — HEAL International. Since 2010, HEAL International’s work has included: • Educating and developing public health leaders at Arizona State University. • Working to eradicate HIV and AIDS in Arizona and Tanzania. • Empowering young women who have been sex trafficked.


And now, HEAL International has joined the fight against the coronavirus, including involvement in contact tracing, case histories and vaccines. An investment in HEAL International is an investment in a healthier future. Visit HEALINTERNATIONAL.org to learn more.

COVER STORY {by karen werner}

MAR/APR 2021

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Photo at left: Michael Franco Photography Additional photos: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design

Dr. Stacie



Dr. Stacie Stephenson has some advice for you. Quite a bit, actually, as she has taken her decades of experience in lifestyle medicine and turned it into a program designed to help you “get energized, own your health and glow.” And let’s get this straight; she does glow. Her shiny red hair cascades around her face, which is dewy and unlined. She sits bolt upright, her tiny frame animated by conversation. But more than how she looks, it’s how she interacts that is truly vibrant. With a hearty, full-throated laugh and a way of talking that draws you in, Dr. Stacie (as her patients call her) is like a vivacious, successful friend. FRONTDOORS MEDIA

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MAR/APR 2021

A pioneer of functional and integrative medicine, Dr. Stacie Stephenson has dedicated her life’s work to helping people prevent chronic disease and recover from illness naturally.

She grew up with all eyes on her, a competitive figure skater from the age of 6. “I grew up on the ice,” she said, describing a childhood spent moving through ever-more competitive training levels with the ultimate goal of making it to the Olympics. “That was the only goal I could think of,” she said. Skating kept Stephenson on the road, which exposed her to new places and ideas. One thing she knew for sure: She would not be staying in her hometown of Champaign, Illinois. “I thought, what about the world?” she said. “This was just where I happened to be born. I knew I wouldn’t stay there.” Yet, when the time came to pick a college, Stephenson stayed in Champaign to attend the University of Illinois, where she could maintain her training standards and go to school. Over the years, she had seen fellow winter athletes delay college to focus on their sport. “They rarely got back to their education,” Stephenson said. “Thankfully, I saw it. I don’t know how I did at 17 or 18.”

And then, after a skating career untouched by injuries, Stephenson suffered a string of setbacks during her sophomore year. Rheumatic fever, strep throat and mono — she got them all in the span of a year. Plus, she tore her Achilles tendon and sustained some other injuries. Exhausted, depressed and sidetracked from skating, Stephenson reflected on her go-for-the-gold mentality. “Only one person wins that Olympic gold, and they’re not necessarily an American. You have to have a life after athletics,” she said. From then on, she decided to focus on her education, because that would be her future. “Moving through university, I became enamored with medicine, I think, because of my injuries and my illnesses coming together,” she said. However, despite being supported by a team of sports physicians and psychologists, she remained despondent. “I was thinking, ‘I’m 20 years old, exhausted and medicine has nothing to offer me,’” she said. “They healed me up a bit, but it didn’t help me feel better. The energy and vitality weren’t coming back.” Stephenson began what has become a lifelong quest to understand the elements of good health. Early on, she attended a lecture on diet and nutrition by Jeffrey Bland, PhD,


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The Stephensons devote a large share of their time to improving cancer treatment and driving positive change, supporting local and regional causes in Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and more.


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In 2019, Stephenson was chair of the 60th anniversary Drive the Dream Gala for Childhelp, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit advocating for abused and neglected children. She helped raise $4.3 million to support its mission.

that opened her eyes. Bland is known as the founder of functional medicine — which focuses on discovering the root causes of sickness, rather than focusing on symptoms — and his presentation highlighted how science-based nutrition aligns with both the current medical literature and traditional Chinese medicine and other forms of traditional medicines. “It changed my world at a very young age,” Stephenson said. With her training in allopathic medicine, she recognized that this was real science. “This field — lifestyle medicine, functional medicine, integrative dietary nutrition, whatever you like to call it — it’s not only real, it’s good medicine. And it’s vital. We miss it in our Western world,” Stephenson said. Eager to learn all she could, Stephenson amassed training and credentials to have more tools to help patients. In addition to earning her functional medicine and anti-aging board certifications, she became a certified nutrition specialist, acupuncturist and doctor of chiropractic medicine. She championed a whole-person approach to health and emphasized lifestyle, natural medicine and personal empowerment. Stephenson spent nearly 15 years running an independent medical practice in Indiana before

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becoming chair of functional medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Giving up daily interaction with patients was a difficult choice, but it allowed Stephenson to impact more lives by designing and developing programs that integrate holistic therapies over CTCA’s five hospitals. The job change meant another massive transformation for Stephenson. She went on to marry the founder of CTCA, Richard J Stephenson, who created the network of cancer care and research centers following the death of his mother from cancer. No longer a single doctor practicing solo, Stephenson stepped into a more public life with a partner in life, business and philanthropic work. All three areas — personal, professional, philanthropy — converge in Gateway for Cancer Research, one of the family’s cancer-research philanthropies. Gateway is dedicated to funding breakthrough cancer research and early-stage clinical trials. “Let’s say you are suffering right now. You’ve gone through all of the normal standard of care, and there’s nothing else for you. That’s what we want to fund — research trials that are ready to get to the bedside,” Stephenson said.


Avid outdoor sports enthusiasts, Stacie and Richard enjoy western and English riding and are particularly fond of their Haflingers, a breed known for their flaxen mane and tail.

Gateway seeks out the most promising research trials, wherever they come from. “We don’t care if it competes with Cancer Treatment Centers of America — we hope it competes. Because there’s no shortage of cases and it’s immoral to compete from a business standpoint, particularly in cancer,” Stephenson said. Stephenson serves as vice-chair of Gateway and proudly points out that of every dollar the public gives to the nonprofit, 99 cents goes directly to clinical cancer trials at leading research institutions. To date, Gateway has provided more than $90 million in funding for more than 190 clinical trials worldwide. But that’s not the only area where Stephenson gives. She works actively with the American Heart Association, and both she and Richard are committed to funding organizations in the areas of children’s health and wellness, poverty and education. They have a history of providing transformational support to organizations like Childhelp and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though much of the Stephensons’ fundraising has centered on Chicago, it has shifted more to Arizona in recent years. “We started cultivating here in the Valley more and more as my husband and I were spending more time here, because I love it,” Stephenson said. “I really, really like it here.” She finds the local philanthropic community “dynamic” and appreciates the mix of people coming from all over the country. And rather than checking a box to be a good corporate citizen, people here are giving for more personal reasons. “I find the philanthropic community here exciting, welcoming and engaged — and that’s made me want to do more,” Stephenson said.


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BERRY BEAUTIFUL PARFAIT Prep time: 5 min. Serves 4

Here’s a not-so-small secret. Dr. Stacie doesn’t love to cook. “I love food, but I’m not the girl that loves to be in the kitchen,” she said. However, knowing that recipes are critical to nutritional success, she packed “Vibrant” with 40 healthy, approachable recipes, such as this one for a simple but special berry parfait. INGREDIENTS: • 2 cups mixed raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, divided Blending exquisite wines with live entertainment and exciting auction experiences, “Vino con Stelle” is Gateway for Cancer Research’s signature fundraising event.

One way she has done more is to create her major philanthropic offering, “Vino con Stelle,” a high-end wine and culinary fundraising event for Gateway. “I never expected I would be an event producer, but I am. And I turned out loving it,” Stephenson said. “Probably my skating background. Everything is a production.” To unwind, the Stephensons spend time at their Illinois estate. An avid equestrienne, Stacie loves spending time with their horses and taking romantic carriage rides around the property with Richard. She’s come a long way from her college days, when she felt depressed and hopeless. So far, in fact, that she formed a new health and wellness venture, VibrantDoc, to share what she’s learned about wellness over the course of her life and career. MAR/APR 2021

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• 4 cups unsweetened coconut (or other non-dairy) yogurt of choice, divided • 4 teaspoons slivered or sliced almonds • 2 teaspoons unsweetened coconut shavings (optional) • Honey for drizzle INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Divide 1/3 of the berries between four glasses. 2. Divide half of the yogurt between the glasses, spooning it on top of the berries. 3. Repeat with another layer of berries, another layer of yogurt, and a final layer of berries. 4. Top with almonds and coconut, if using, and drizzle with honey, if you like.

About two years ago, Stephenson started working on a book, “Vibrant,” which she calls the culmination of 25 years work in healthcare. “I wanted to bottle up the consistent concepts that I found myself teaching in my practices over and over again,” she said. “I wrote it for everyone, and want it to be completely digestible, palatable, motivational. I consider it a health motivation manual more than a health and wellness book.”



As far as food and drink go, the book comes with 40 recipes, a meal plan and practical constructs readers can put to use right away. “It is the essence of what you could implement into your health and wellness, without preaching, without creating a fad program — things that are truly foundational,” Stephenson said. Stephenson likens wellness to a stool with three legs — diet, movement and relationships. Diet and exercise are critical, of course, but so are your connections with the world. Without the balance of those three legs, the stool is going to tip over. Stephenson believes integrative medicine can help to keep that stool upright, and she is anxious to share advice for optimal wellness with anyone interested in taking charge of their health. “I really hope that this book meets everybody at their stage of health development,” she said. “I would hope that you don’t feel overwhelmed. And most of all, I hope you feel motivated.”


OUTPATIENT CLINICS INTEGRATED MEDICAL CARE PHARMACY SERVICES OPIATE TREATMENT AUTISM CENTER DAY TREATMENT INPATIENT CRISIS SCHOOL-BASED SERVICES YOUTH PREVENTION PROGRAMS • COMMUNITY LIVING • HOUSING • RESIDENTIAL LEVEL II & III Donations to Southwest Behavioral & Health Services qualify for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit (QCO: 20125). Up to $800 for married filing jointly filers or $400 for single, married filing separately, and heads of household filers. Visit www.sbhservices.org to make a donation today!

3450 N. 3RD ST., PHOENIX, AZ 85012 (602) 265-8338 · WWW.SBHSERVICES.ORG

INSPIRATIONS 2021 Fashion Show, Auction & Luncheon

Color Me Happy

Expect fabulous silent and live auctions, engaging raffles and an extraordinary experience with our cancer fighter models and their siblings! This uplifting and unique event is not just any fashion show, but rather a chance for you to celebrate survivorship with our families. Inspirations is a wonderful way to experience the warmth and community of Children’s Cancer Network! 35 young cancer survivors and their siblings will strut their stuff in fashions they choose from Macy’s that reflect their personal styles while the emcee shares their hopes and dreams, interests and talents! We look forward to sharing the experience with you! Learn how you can participate in this fantastic hybrid event.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

BONUS: The first 150 fifty guests to register at any one of the three options will receive a free entry in our First Come, First Serve Raffle!

CCN2021.GIVESMART.COM Children’s Cancer Network is a Qualified Charitable Organization for the Arizona State Tax Credit.

Frontdoors Media

Furry Friends


FRONTDOORS MEDIA Photo courtesy of Arizona Humane Society

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Tito’s Handmade Vodka IS THE

Bettering the lives of pets and their families far and wide






@vodkafordogpeople VODKAFORDOGPEOPLE.COM *Net proceeds constitute an average margin of at least 25% of the retail price of products, excluding the cost of shipping and tax on the purchase.

Furry Friends


The Frontdoors Magazine annual ode to our Furry Friends in the community is back with a twist! Introducing the 2021-2022 Furry Friends Resource Directory. After three years of highlighting animal charities throughout Maricopa County, we are proud to debut this new mini-publication. Whether you are looking to adopt, volunteer or support local organizations and businesses, the Furry Friends Resource Directory has the place for you and your fur-kids. If your organization or company would like to be added to our next edition, let us know! Andrea Tyler Evans, Publisher publisher@frontdoorsmedia.com

ARIZONA ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE Saving more than 4,000 lives each year and over 100,000 homeless animals in our 50-year history, the Arizona Animal Welfare League strives to be the community’s leading source for pet adoptions, affordable veterinary services, volunteer opportunities, humane youth education, and expertise in animal welfare. As Arizona’s oldest and largest no-kill animal shelter, AAWL provides excellent care, protection and loving compassion for the life of the animals entrusted to us, while providing veterinary services to the public through our low-cost clinic, MD Petcare and humane education programs and camps for the next generation of animal lovers.

25 N. 40th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034 (602) 273-6852 AAWL.org

ARIZONA HUMANE SOCIETY The Arizona Humane Society saves the most vulnerable animals and enriches the lives of pets and people. As the safety net for our community’s sick, injured and abused pets, AHS saves lives through some of the most innovative programs in the country: aggressive spay/neuter initiatives; comprehensive medical care in AHS’ Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™ and intensive care units; rescue and cruelty investigations by AHS’ Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™ and a Pet Resource Center that helps keep pets in loving homes. The life of every pet saved is the direct result of gifts from thousands of friends, partners and donors.

1521 W. Dobbins Road, Phoenix, AZ 85041 (602) 997-7585 azhumane.org FRONTDOORS MEDIA

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SERVICE WITH A SNIFF Power Paws Assistance Dogs takes ‘man’s best friend’ to a new level By Danielle Davis Photos courtesy of Power Paws Assistance Dogs


very parent’s nightmare is not being able to keep their child safe. That’s what happened to Katja Hissler when her son Sami was diagnosed at age 4 with Type 1 diabetes. His erratic glucose numbers needed to be continuously managed. Katja needed to find an additional way to keep him safe, especially at night, as blood sugars can crash without warning. “Our family was looking for ways to better protect Sami, but also to find a new way of family life where diabetes is not always the limiting factor,” she said. That’s when Power Paws Assistance Dogs came in and provided a unique safety measure for Sami — Taylor, a diabetic alert dog. As one of only two agencies in Arizona accredited by Assistance Dogs International to train and place service dogs for the disabled, Power Paws has been a lifeline for families like Katja’s. The organization places highly skilled assistance dogs for children and adults with Type 1 diabetes, mobility impairments and people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In Sami’s case, he needed a diabetic alert dog to signal when there is a change in his glucose levels.

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How? It’s all about the smell. These specially-trained dogs can actually smell a person’s glucose levels and alert the owner if they sense a suspicious change. Taylor will search the home until he finds Katja and then bow or nudge with his nose or paw until she goes to Sami to manage his care. “Training for each client is customized to mitigate their challenges,” said Power Paws executive director Elaine Starks. “We also add extra tasks for dogs, including the retrieval of medication or even pressing a 911 alert if a client is alone and falls into a state of unconsciousness.” Before a service dog is placed with a family, there is a comprehensive vetting and training process. A client’s physician must first verify the diagnosis and agree a service dog would improve the quality of life. Once a match is identified, a client will come to the agency for a three-week training session to learn how to handle a service dog. With a 98 percent success rate and the remaining 2 percent of dogs placed with programs serving veterans or special needs children, Power Paws is truly continued >>>


Furry Friends


DOOLITTLE’S DOGHOUSE Our philosophy is simple: All dogs and cats deserve to be treated like family when their owners are away from them. We offer in-home pampered pet care nothing short of fabulous! Whether in our homes or yours, your furry children are in good paws with us.

Serving all communities in greater Phoenix. Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (480) 907-6400 doolittlesdoghouse.com

FOOTHILLS ANIMAL RESCUE Foothills Animal Rescue is a cage-free, adoption-guaranteed rescue located in the heart of Scottsdale. Working to ensure that homeless dogs and cats receive the shelter they deserve, Foothills Animal Rescue is dedicated to saving lives through the rescue, care and adoption of homeless cats and dogs.

10197 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 488-9890 foothillsanimal.org

HOSPICE OF THE VALLEY PET THERAPY PROGRAM Hospice of the Valley’s pet therapy teams bring smiles to the faces of our patients and families with their unconditional love and comfort, cuddles, tail wags and wet kisses. Our teams visit homes, group homes, independent and assisted living communities, inpatient care homes, nursing facilities, trade shows and expos. Suitable pets include dogs, cats, bunnies and mini horses that have a current pet therapy registration.

1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 (602) 636-6336 hov.org/volunteer/pet-therapy


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Power Paws service dogs help people with a disability increase independence and improve their quality of life.

leading the pack. Volunteers are critical to the agency’s success as they are the ones who foster and train the dogs over a 16-month period. “Their investment of time and financial support is key to our success and ability to keep costs low for our clients,” Starks said. For 20 years, volunteer and donor support has been the catalyst for Power Paws programming. Clients pay a $10,000 fee for the initial three-week training with an immediate six months of “aftercare.” What makes Power Paws so unique is that ongoing training for the life of the dog is included at no additional cost. Since the actual cost to train each dog is approximately $30,000, the agency must fundraise for the difference. In 2018, Power Paws decided to retool its volunteer

process, which drives its mission. Under the Arizona Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, an entity that works with nonprofits to examine their volunteer program infrastructure, Power Paws evaluated the process, developed a strategy and changed its volunteer program entirely. The generosity of dedicated staff, individual donors and three major gifts totaling $130,000 helped move the agency forward. Thunderbirds Charities supported the volunteer program infrastructure, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust funded a dedicated volunteer coordinator position and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona supported the canine training program. But there’s always more that can be done. COVID-19 greatly affected Power Paws’ revenue streams. The needs are more significant than ever, and the impact on clients is immeasurable — just ask Sami’s mom. “The extra cushion of safety Sami has with him is one more ‘nose’ to watch the crashing sugars,” Katja said. “Oh yes, it IS worth it.” To find out more about this Arizona nonprofit or to donate, visit azpowerpaws.org.


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Furry Friends


PHOENIX ANIMAL CARE COALITION PACC911 brings together more than 100 animal welfare organizations throughout Arizona to create a potent animal rescue community that works together under a unified umbrella. We provide education, adopt-a-thons, medical grants for rescued animals and have a pet-food pantry for low-income families.

3841 E. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix, AZ 85032 (602) 992-4779 pacc911.org

POWER PAWS ASSISTANCE DOGS Providing highly skilled assistance dogs to people with disabilities; education and continuing support for working assistance-dog teams; and serving as a community resource for people with disabilities.

8250 E. Rose Lane, Ste. B, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 (480) 970-1322 azpowerpaws.org

TWO PUPS WELLNESS FUND Financial aid from the heart for the care and health needs of the four-footed friends who give us their hearts.

4130 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 490-7136 twopups.org

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash


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any Arizonans do not realize that the Valley has become one of the most collaborative and innovative places in the country when it comes to increasing access to affordable spay/neuter programs for the community. We can attribute reduced intake at animal shelters to the success of those initiatives. So how has the pandemic affected these efforts and what can we learn from them moving forward? Frontdoors Media went to the experts to find out. Sonia Hernandez has been serving as the project manager for Fix.Adopt.Save. since 2015 and is at the forefront of this complex issue thanks to significant funding by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. After years of steady progress with Fix.Adopt.Save. project manager their seven nonprofit Sonia Hernandez partner organizations and a focus on community spay and neuter, the initial COVID lockdown put their efforts at significant risk. Misconceptions by those who needed to spay or neuter their pet included an assumption that all vet clinics and programs were closed when, actually, nearly all of them reopened as essential businesses with CDC requirements within two weeks of the initial shutdown. So, the Fix.Adopt.Save. team quickly adjusted their outreach to contact-free efforts throughout lower-income areas across the Valley to curb the effects of having an increased population of animals in need of these critical surgeries. They also have several mobile units for direct reach into these communities. What’s the current state of their programs? “We are still unable to provide our large-scale public events at this time like Fix.Adopt.Save.’s Annual Free

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Spay/Neuter Weekend and our monthly Community Pet Wellness Clinic, which provides free vaccinations and microchips,” Hernandez said. “We are hoping that we will return to these special events in late 2021 or early 2022. Despite these challenges, the program has been able to provide 3,440 no-cost spay/neuter surgeries through 85 mobile clinics in 2020, resulting in a total of 5,200 no-cost surgeries through non-partner organizations.” Hernandez said they are on track to meet or exceed those numbers in 2021. Frontdoors Media also found an organization that was able to increase their efforts in 2020. Altered Tails, the preeminent low-cost spay/neuter nonprofit clinic with two locations (Sunnyslope and east Mesa), has reported 24,090 total surgeries for 2020, including surgeries for other rescue organizations, outperforming its 2019 total by 2,756 animals. Dr. Nellie Goetz, Dr. Nellie Goetz, veterinarian executive director and executive director of Altered Tails and veterinarian, attributes this growth in services during the pandemic to several decreases in other areas. “Many full-service veterinary clinics were forced to concentrate their efforts on urgent cases, creating a void in available spay/neuter in the area,” Goetz said. “Additionally, many spay/neuter clinics were hit with COVID-related closures. Altered Tails was very fortunate to only have to close down in 2020 due to the Governor’s request to conserve PPE for human cases, and our staff across both clinics has been rising to the occasion of increased capacity ever since.” Goetz also attributes their ability to work with partner organizations across the county to help “get the word out” as a way to share these available resources with people who have been hit hard economically. Thanks to the leadership at Fix.Adopt.Save., Altered Tails and many other partner organizations across the Valley, the years of success have built up to ensure that our community remains a leader in the animal-welfare sector, and will be primed for continued growth post-COVID. To learn more, visit fixadoptsave.org and alteredtails.org.

NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

A JAIL PROGRAM THINKS BIG Sheriff Paul Penzone wants to create a safe haven for animals while helping to reduce recidivism


Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

ere’s something you might have never thought about before — if someone commits a crime, what happens to their pets? It might seem like a random concern, but the answer might surprise you. In many cases, pets are part of a crime scene, if not victims of a crime themselves. At that point, as transactional as it may sound, they become evidence. “I don’t think most people have a clear understanding of the role law enforcement plays when it comes to investigating crimes against animals,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone. “For a lot of folks, they don’t realize there’s such a direct link between animal abuse and the abuse of people. So

law enforcement has that legal obligation to investigate crimes against animals, and when we do, they are deemed to be evidence. Which sounds kind of callous, but that’s just the reality of it.” So in the case of Maricopa County, that means the Sheriff’s Office has to keep them, often for an extended time — sometimes as long as two years. Many of these pets are victims of trauma and are afraid of human contact. Dogs, cats, reptiles, even horses become wards of the county in these circumstances, and can’t just be re-homed like they might at a regular animal shelter. Penzone said they get hundreds of animals a year in such a circumstance. Many people would think this is all incredibly inconvenient for MCSO. But Sheriff Penzone FRONTDOORS MEDIA

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The MASH unit provides care, feeding and shelter for “evidence” animals that have suffered in abuse and neglect cases.

sees it differently. He sees an opportunity that could end up being his legacy project. Right now, these unfortunate pets are housed at the MASH facility — MSCO’s Animal Safe Haven — located in a former jail facility in central Phoenix that was shut down because it wasn’t suitable for humans. Full disclosure, I got to know Penzone when I worked on his first campaign for Sheriff in 2012. When he was elected in 2016 and first saw the MASH facility, he knew that they could do more with it. Female inmates from Maricopa County jails were given the opportunity to work in the MASH unit to care for the animals. MSCO found that by providing a connection to the animals, MASH was creating an incentive for participants to have new hope. “I’ll give you an example of a real-life story, and it was a spontaneous one,” Penzone said. “We brought potential funders in to give them a tour, and there happened to be a female inmate there … and she started to share her story. She was a single mom. And her story started off as ‘Listen, I just wanted to get out of my jail cell, so I signed up for this. Then I started missing the interaction with the animals. Then I started worrying about the animals. And then I felt such a close bond that it hit me — I have two children at home and I’ve never given them the love and attention I’m giving to this animal. And that’s what it takes to be a mother.’ “So if she learned that skill and is able to overcome her challenges, when she goes back home to her

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children, she understands that’s the priority, and that’s where the sacrifice needs to be to make a sustainable home life for her children.” The existing program is helping inmates find a new way of thinking, but it’s also helping the animals. In 2019, the MASH program successfully rehabilitated more than 200 animals and led to 180 of them being adopted by new homes. “We work with them to develop that trust bond again so that when they are adopted out, they can go into a loving home,” Penzone said. Penzone sees this success and wants to expand on it. So he formed a nonprofit to raise funds for a new MASH unit that would allow for the expansion of the program to new inmate populations — incarcerated mothers, veterans recovering from PTSD, juveniles and those fighting substance abuse. “It gives the inmates a chance to do something constructive and productive,” he said. “They can learn about care and compassion, they can reduce their stress and anxiety, maybe even adopt an animal, and when they leave here, they leave with a different perspective on what it means to be a responsible person.” The new brick-and-mortar building is the key, and fundraising for it is well underway — but has a long way to go. Penzone has pledged to get the building built through philanthropic efforts, and once it’s done, MCSO can fund its day-to-day operations. When the pandemic hit, the effort went on the back burner to other priorities

and causes. But with a light at the end of the tunnel, Penzone believes now is the time to push for the new MASH facility’s completion. Penzone’s vision for the facility includes more appropriate kennels for the animals, a dog park, a classroom for inmates to learn how to care for the pets, a vet clinic onsite and a locker room for employees. “Kind of like the movie — if you build it, they will come,” he said. “If we can fund the bricks and mortar for the facility, I believe we will take this organization and the reputation of MCSO from pink underwear and Tent City to one that is really invested in the reduction of recidivism. Not just talking tough, and not just acting like you care, but putting your money where your mouth is and having a program that gets people out of jail cells and gives them a form of love that is maybe unfamiliar to them.” Penzone could have just kept doing what had been done for years, but he feels the opportunity is too great to ignore. “I’ve always been one that wants to get outside of the box, not because I want to do something that’s beyond our mission and unreasonable, or burden the taxpayers. It’s because I truly believe there is a great value that’s being missed,” he said. “And the value is having a program where animals that are your responsibility and inmates that are your responsibility come together and do something you know is special. “I just think that if we’re going to do something, do something that truly is a legacy and has meaning, and for me just checking the boxes and going ‘OK, we house dogs and we adopt dogs out’ — that’s just showing up. We’re going to be better than just showing up. We’re going to make a difference.” To learn more about MCSO’s Animal Safe Haven program, visit mcsomash.org.



HUD EXTENDS COVID-19 FORBEARANCE FOR FHA LOANS The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development extended COVID-19 foreclosure and forbearance moratoriums for FHA and USDA loans to June 30, 2021. It also extended the deadline for the first legal action and the reasonable diligence time frame to 180 days. This announcement follows FHFA action to extend moratoriums for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The measures announced by HUD include: • Extending the timeframe for homeowners to request the start of a COVID-19 forbearance from their mortgage servicer through June 30, 2021. • Expanding the COVID-19 forbearance to allow up to two forbearance extensions of up to three months each for homeowners who requested a COVID-19 forbearance on or before June 30, 2020. These extensions are designed to provide relief to homeowners who will be nearing the end of their maximum 12-month forbearance period and have not yet stabilized their financial situation. Expanding the use of FHA’s streamlined COVID-19 loss mitigation home retention and home disposition options to all homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments by at least 90 days. This expansion will require mortgage servicers to assess more homeowners for a streamlined waterfall of loss mitigation home retention options, starting with FHA’s COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim. Mortgage servicers take steps to support borrowers amid COVID-19. According to the agency, eligibility for the extension is limited to borrowers on a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of Feb. 28, 2021. The FHFA said other limits may apply to the extension.


One of my favorite philanthropic events kicks off this spring. On March 11, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Presents Man & Woman of the Year, a philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research among a group of dedicated individuals in communities across the United States. Candidates form fundraising teams and compete in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors. The man and woman who have raised the most funds during the 10-week campaign are awarded the prestigious title of Man or Woman of the Year in their community. The man and woman who have raised the most across the entire U.S. will be recognized as the national Man & Woman of the year. Good luck, candidates. I can’t wait to see how much you guys raise.

16930 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 NMLS #1467650


KIESHA MCFADDEN | 480.252.9365 Kiesha@TolisMortgageUSA.com NMLS #198458

STYLE UNLOCKED {living fashionably}


TRAVELS OF ABBY LEADON A cousin looks to her early style inspiration McKenna Wesley I Contributing Writer

All Leadon’s favorite perfumes: Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Prada and Flower Bomb.

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This article has a special place in my heart. As we look forward to spring and summer, I wanted to feature a traveling fashionista. The first person who popped into my mind was Abby Leadon. Abby is my cousin and has been involved with many of my important life lessons. When I was 3, she taught me to roller skate. At 4, I was given her fabulous rabbit-fur coat. And when I was 14, she took me shopping for my first designer handbag. To say that I have looked to Abby for fashionable inspiration would be an understatement. And Abby is much more than a fashion role model. She’s a wife, mother of two, business owner and always ready to show her support for the community.

Photos by Jillian Rivera Photography


Dress: La Linge New York


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Right: Abby’s daughter, Olivia, is wearing Dolce & Gabbana. The dress was a gift from her namesake, a dear friend named Olivia, who sent the dress and other items from a boutique in Monaco when Olivia was born.


Left: Baby Kai sports an outfit by Andy & Evan.

Now, come with me on a little journey into the life of Abby. When arriving at the Leadon household on a sunny Arizona day, I was greeted by Abby, wearing a familiar dress. “This is the dress I wore when Kory proposed to me!” she said. Since their romantic wedding four years ago, life has changed in many ways for Abby. For starters, there are now four members of the Leadon family. Darling Olivia Rose arrived in 2019 and the adorable Kai Zane made his appearance a few months ago. Their household is busy and full of happiness. As I walked into Abby’s fabulous closet (while 2-year-old Olivia showed me she could twirl like a big girl), I was excited to hear about her fashion choices in recent years. Abby’s fashion philosophy is an evolving expression of who she is, trends that resonate with her and her stage in life. Her earliest memories of

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After several years of change, Leadon loves her new life. Here, the happy mom wears the BCBG dress she was wearing when Kory proposed to her on the Hotel Splendido balcony in Portofino, Italy, in 2016.

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I had the opportunity to travel a lot with my family growing up and I truly think it broadens your horizons and teaches you so much about life, other cultures and the beauty in our world.

Bring hope and healing to children with special needs through the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. Don’t miss this opportunity to receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on your Arizona income taxes when you donate.

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being a little girl include shopping trips and dressing up. This all led to a career in fashion as a buyer for a high-end boutique for 10 years. “I loved knowing what the next trend would be before it hit the stores,” Abby said. During this time, she pushed the envelope with her personal style, and it helped to have such immediate access to the hottest looks. Now that she’s a mom of two, Abby said, “I am a bit more toned down and tend to stick to more of the classics, with a few fun trends thrown in.” Abby has created a tradition of acquiring many of her most treasured items while traveling. She says looking at each piece in her closet brings back memories of the trips and vacations with friends, family and, now, her husband and children. Her favorite? “The Celine bag I got in Monaco while on my honeymoon, or the Valentino clutch and shoes I got in New York while dating my husband.” She will also seek out special items when traveling. “If I know a designer or store is based in a country I am visiting, or if they have a one-of-a-kind item I can only get there (or can get a better deal on), I will look up where those stores are and make sure to put them on the itinerary. A few of my faves are the Louis Vuitton store in Paris on the Champs-Élysées, Harrods in London, and the Dior store and cafe in Saint-Tropez.” Abby admits that this past year has changed everything, as it has for us all. For her, 2020 included quarantining, staying home, being pregnant (her son was born in November) and living in athleisure wear.

Her go-tos include the Lululemon Align pant and Lorna Jane tops and sports bras. To dress it up over the summer, it was flowy maxi dresses, which Abby calls “always a favorite!” She summed up the situation well: “I often joke that the rest of my wardrobe and shoes must wonder what happened to me this year.” Post-baby, Abby prefers a crisp white shirt or t-shirt, her favorite Mother jeans and pieces to dress up if needed — strappy sandals, a cute blazer and a crossbody purse do the trick every time. Looking forward, Abby can’t wait to travel again. The good news is that she is headed to Maui in April with her husband and children and will be meeting up with friends and family. She said, “I had the opportunity to travel a lot with my family growing up and I truly think it broadens your horizons and teaches you so much about life, other cultures and the beauty in our world. I’m so grateful that my husband shares my love for travel and am excited to continue this tradition with Olivia and Kai.” I can’t wait to see what she comes back with.

Leadon loves this Celine bag from the Celine store in Monte Carlo.


When Abby Leadon looks in her closet, she sees memories of past adventures. For instance, this Gucci bag and Valentino and Christian Louboutin shoes conjure a girls trip to New York, while other items recall Christmases and anniversaries.


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HERE FOR THE FUTURE Toxic Shock Syndrome Advocate Lauren Wasser in Sacai

2446 E CAMELBACK ROAD | 602.955.8000



DISABILITY RESOURCES Supporting individuals with special needs in the Jewish community and their families so they can lead fuller lives By Karen Werner

ORIGIN: ORGANIZATION: Gesher Disability Resources

LEADERSHIP: Executive director: Amy Hummell Board co-chairs: Wendy Horwitch and Nora Schaefer


Formed in 1985 as the Council for Jews With Special Needs, this agency was created to meet the special needs of children and adults with disabilities who were unable to participate in typical activities of Jewish life in greater Phoenix. The original programs were for special education assistance and summer camp inclusion. These were followed by support groups for parents, grandparents and siblings, an active disability awareness outreach program, information and referral services, and sign language interpreters in Jewish settings. The agency changed its name in 2017 to Gesher Disability Resources, to reflect more accurately the


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programs and services offered. Gesher is Hebrew for “bridge,” a word that brought the vision of creating bridges to bring all communities together. Today’s agency is all about inclusion in the classroom and in the community, growth of its programs and membership, and bringing together the worlds of the disabled and the typical. Gesher Disability Resources serves children and adults affected by a disability through inclusion assistance in the classroom, resource referral, residential support and social groups. The agency now engages a larger percentage of the disability community and benefits more than 3,000 individuals through its events and services.

VOLUNTEER WHO MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Gesher is blessed to have

many creative, generous and loyal volunteers. One example is Mari Jenefsky-Titus. After attending her first Gesher fundraising gala, Jenefsky-Titus offered to help promote the event. After attending her second gala, she presented an idea to bring some friends who traveled in a singing group after college together to write a theme song for Gesher. It was something new that took advantage of the online world of 2020. The result is “Build a Bridge,” all thanks to Jenefsky-Titus’ creative idea and friends.

KNOWN FOR: Over the years, the agency

added social groups and continuing Jewish studies for teens and adults with moderate to severe disabilities as well as educational forums on disability-related topics and two supervised Jewish homes for adults with developmental disabilities. A monthly Sabbath morning service called “Simchat Shabbat” that was added to the program list won the Belle Latchman Community Service Award in 2008 and won again in 2018 for Gesher Model Seder. In 2015, the agency was accepted as a Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO) for the State of Arizona’s tax credit program.

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At Gesher, inclusion is a way for others to see people with disabilities as they see everyone else, which pushes society to keep adapting to provide meaningful lives to those with disabilities.

EMPLOYEE VIP: Gesher’s longest-serving

employee is Jill Wilson, director of education and programs. While Gesher has had great success with weekly ZOOM Rooms and Sunday Game Days, not all Gesher members have internet access. Others do not feel comfortable going online. So Gesher has offered individual sessions to review how to get onto a ZOOM call, but the challenge of anxiety is sometimes too strong.


The biggest challenge has been keeping Gesher members and their families safe while providing social group opportunities. The answer was moving programming online. While Gesher has had great success with weekly ZOOM Rooms and Sunday Game Days, not all Gesher members have internet access. Others do not feel comfortable going online. So Gesher has offered individual sessions to review how to get onto a ZOOM call, but the challenge of anxiety is sometimes too strong.

FUN FACT: 2021 is Gesher Disability Resources’ 36th anniversary. In the Jewish community, the number 18 is “Chai” which translates “To Life.” That makes this year “Double-Chai,” which is a special milestone for the organization. To learn more, go to gesherdr.org.

MY NAME IS CARL I have dreams. And I have potential I haven’t even discovered yet. I don’t need a hand out—just a hand up.

Together, we can help our neighbors experiencing homelessness get back to work. Your support of Phoenix Rescue Mission helps people like Carl thrive.

3 WAYS TO GET INVOLVED: • Donate • Volunteer • Help Provide Jobs

Go to PhxMission.org/catalog or call (602) 233-3000 today.

KITCHEN DOORS {let’s eat}

TAMMIE COE EXPANDS TO PIZZA Tammie Coe has been one of Arizona’s most prolific pastry chefs for nearly two decades, known for her

“I wanted an accessible concept,” said Coe. “Everyone loves pizza. Customers are enjoying it and have been coming back,” she said. Hot Daisy’s popular pizzas include pepperoni, the Italian Stallion with several types of meat and red onion, and the Elote pizza with roasted corn, cotija cheese and chipotle oil. Customers can also build their own pizza with a variety of toppings, including spicy giardiniera, artichoke and egg. Coe likes to get creative with daily specials. A native of Virginia, Coe has lived and worked in the Roosevelt Row neighborhood for many years. She is thrilled to see the Arizona culinary community’s growth and the explosive increase in new businesses and restaurants in her area. She believes strongly in the synergy of the local restaurant community. “We all support each other,” she said. “It’s about everyone working together. More busy restaurants in the area are good for all of us. I’m not worried about competition. There’s enough room for everyone.” To learn more, visit hotdaisypizza.com.

Photos courtesy of Tammie Coe


iconic fondant cakes, cupcakes and sugar cookies. PROUD Her baked goods can be shipped nationwide and are MEMBER OF: available at AJ’s Fine Foods. There is an artistic quality to Coe’s culinary creations. “My mom is an artist, and I’m influenced and PROUD by color, design and nature. My work as a chef inspired MEMBER OF: is a creative outlet for me,” she said. In February 2021, Coe opened “I’M NOT Hot Daisy Pizza, offering slices and pies WORRIED ABOUT to go in the Roosevelt Row neighborhood, COMPETITION. along with her cakes, cookies and THERE’S ENOUGH cupcakes. She has been working on ROOM FOR this concept for a few years and is EVERYONE.” encouraged by the response. continued >>>

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You are cordially invited to join us in person or virtually as we recognize those who chaired charitable events and boards this past year, the organizations they serve and the partners that make philanthropy in the Valley possible.


Billie Jo Herberger Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | 5:30 pm Broadcast live from

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts with limited in-person seating

Cocktails | Dinner | Awards Virtual guests will receive a special catering delivery to their home

Award Sponsorships Now Available

Go to FrontdoorsMedia.com/SocietyofChairs for details Virtual tickets go on sale March 17, 2021 Society of Chairs is Produced By

Proceeds to Benefit TGen via The Sauce Foundation The charitable arm of Frontdoors Media, dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer and creating the storytellers of tomorrow.

KITCHEN DOORS (continued)



early on in life and it is one that we have valued the most over the years,” said Serrano. “We have long-term charitable partnerships with a handful of causes that are dear to us.” The Serranos have been serving meals at St. Vincent de Paul’s Mesa dining room every month for the past 17 years. They also host a holiday toy and supply drive for the St. Peter Indian Mission School on the Gila River Indian Community. In 2019, the family lost Stephanie Serrano to breast cancer and made a contribution to the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at HonorHealth in her honor. The Serrano family has long supported first responders. In response to COVID, Serrano’s launched a Burritos for Badges program and created a special breakfast burrito called the First Responder that they have delivered to hundreds of healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters over the course of the pandemic. People can contribute on the Serrano’s website to help support this program. To learn more, visit Serranosaz.com. Photos courtesy of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

The Serrano family has had roots in Arizona for more than a century, opening the Serrano Brothers Popular Store in Chandler in 1919 and evolving into a restaurant empire with several East Valley locations. “We are proud to be the oldest continuously owned and operated family business in Chandler,” said Ric Serrano, president of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. “Our success is owed to the community that supports us and also those who came before us, including our grandfather and our parents.” Serrano’s values are faith, family and food, and community support has always been important to them. “We would not be where we are today without the support of the community, so it’s essential that we give back. Our parents taught us this lesson continued >>>


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KITCHEN DOORS (continued)

THE LEGACY OF TOMASO MAGGIORE, 1947-2021 After more than four decades in the restaurant industry as the patriarch of one of the most beloved culinary families in Arizona, Tomaso Maggiore passed away from cancer in January 2021. Tomaso was born and raised in Sicily. He moved to New York, where he met his wife Patricia and they settled in Arizona. They opened Tomaso’s restaurant in 1977 in the Camelback Corridor. Tomaso and his son Joey, executive chef of the Maggiore Group, opened several restaurants, including Hash Kitchen, the Sicilian Butcher and the Sicilian Baker. The Maggiore family has opened more than 50 restaurants in Arizona and California. The Maggiore family will continue to operate the business. Tomaso’s daughter Melissa plans to open a concept named the Italian Daughter in North Scottsdale. To honor Tomaso, the family is creating the Tomaso Maggiore Culinary Arts Foundation. “My father loved Arizona and the community he served. He knew so many of his guests personally and nothing brought him greater joy than cooking for them. Over the years, they became more than just guests; they became

Photos courtesy of the Maggiore Group

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family. His presence will be missed greatly, but his legacy will live on forever and we plan to serve his beloved community for years to come,” Melissa said. Tomaso loved fine wine and created Luxus Reserva made from grapes sourced from his vineyard in Sicily. To build on the family’s passion for wine, Joey recently debuted his own Cabernet Sauvignon at the Sicilian Butcher. It will soon be available at other Maggiore Group restaurants and select retailers. There are plans to release a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as a line of olive oils and sauces. “Growing up in a big Sicilian family, great wine was always a staple in our home,” said Joey. “My dad really loved wine, and I know he’d be just as excited as I am to see this wine line finally shared with the community. We’ve partnered with some of the best wineries in the world to create unique blends that I’m very proud to have my name on.” To learn more, visit maggioregroup.com.

CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS {Society of Chairs}


Photo courtesy of STK

The latest addition to the Old Town Scottsdale steakhouse scene is STK, which opened in January 2021. The STK concept is branded “not your daddy’s steakhouse,” combining modern cuisine, upscale cocktails and a posh lounge with a DJ for a high-energy dining experience. “We are pleased to start the new year by celebrating the opening of STK Scottsdale. The new restaurant is a perfect complement to the vibrant surrounding area and offers guests a memorable and safe dining experience,” said Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, president and CEO of The ONE Group, which owns STK as well as Kona Grill restaurants. STK has several locations, including New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, London and Dubai. The restaurant’s high-quality steaks are part of the Linz Heritage Certified Black Angus program. They can be complemented with various toppings and sauces, including seafood, truffle butter and chimichurri. Beyond the exceptional steaks, diners at STK can enjoy braised beef short rib, seafood, pasta and decadent sides such as three types of mac and cheese, sweet corn pudding and brussels sprouts with bacon and cider glaze. The dessert menu features apple pie, chocolate cake, cheesecake and a bag o’ donuts. STK’s signature cocktails include the Cucumber Stiletto with vodka and muddled cucumber, Not Your Daddy’s Old Fashioned with hints of brown sugar and vanilla, and Strawberry Cobbler with a graham cracker crust. The daily happy hour offers discounted cocktails and tasty bites, including oysters, jalapeño-pickled shrimp cocktail and beef tartare. STK is open daily for dinner, for lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and offers takeout and delivery options. For more information, visit stksteakhouse.com.


Congratulations to our March Honoree!

Kenny Farrell Chair, Board of Directors Arizona Animal Welfare League To learn more about Farrell and his service to the Arizona Animal Welfare League, go to frontdoorsmedia.com/cheerstothechairs Frontdoors Media is proud to recognize those who volunteer their time, treasure and talents to support local organizations in a leadership role.

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OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}

Time to Walk! And Breathe! Andrea Tyler Evans | Publisher


pring is here, and so is that famous Arizona sunshine. If you’re like me, you need that little nudge to power down the laptop or pause the Netflix and spend more time outdoors. While we are still being cautious and not gathering in large groups, there are many community walks and events that you can participate in, get that fresh air and do a little giving back at the same time. I took a look at the Frontdoors Media event calendar for some inspiration. Here are a few ways to join the fun and get some fresh air for yourself at the same time! 1. SCOTTSDALE ARTWALK Since 1975, the Scottsdale Gallery Association has hosted Scottsdale’s weekly ArtWalk and special events to promote the more than 100 galleries in the Scottsdale Arts District. Pick a Thursday evening and select your starting point for a stroll. The ArtWalk area is defined as Main Street from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard and north on Marshall Way, across Indian School Road to the Horse Fountain on 5th Avenue. For more information on the special Gold Palette ArtWalk events and a list of galleries, go to scottsdalegalleries.com. 2. CHARITY WALKS Pick a cause, sign up, and walk your own course when it’s convenient for you. Some of the biggest fundraising walks are coming up, so grab a friend, the family and/or the fur kids and show your support by preregistering

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and getting that awesome event T-shirt to wear on your walk. The American Heart Association Heart Walk Digital Experience is on March 13. Walk With Me in support of Southwest Human Development and its Easterseals services for children with disabilities is March 15-19. And the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, including a drive car parade, is on April 10. Time to lace up! 3. OUTDOOR ARTS PERFORMANCES Several venues throughout the Valley have set up outdoor stages and are now offering a robust schedule filled with music, theater and entertainment. Check out the new Pavilion Outdoor Stage at Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix to see upcoming groups like Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, the musicians of The Phoenix Symphony and Valley favorite, The Stakes. Do you have other outdoor community events on your calendar? Let the hosts know they can post them on the Frontdoors Calendar at frontdoorsmedia.com/events and we will share them out in an upcoming email news blast. Stay healthy!

Andrea Andrea Tyler Evans | PUBLISHER

Portraits, Events & Commercial MarionRhoadesPhotography.com - 602.677.3985

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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: eastvalleywomen.org | centralphoenixwomen.org womenofscottsdale.org | northvalleywomen.org


LET’S KEEP OUR COMMUNITY MOVING FORWARD No matter where you are in your business journey, Eide Bailly has the resources to help you make confident decisions. For years, we’ve worked closely with the Phoenix business community to help create a more efficient tax strategy, leverage technology and navigate complex financial concerns. With additional specialty services including data analytics, cybersecurity, forensics, technology consulting, wealth planning and more, Eide Bailly has the resources to keep you moving forward.

What inspires you, inspires us. 602.264.5844 | eidebailly.com

Profile for Frontdoors Media

Frontdoors Magazine March/April 2021 Issue  

Featuring Dr. Stacie Has Advice + The Garment League + Skin Workouts + Barro's Gives Back + Furry Friends Resource Directory

Frontdoors Magazine March/April 2021 Issue  

Featuring Dr. Stacie Has Advice + The Garment League + Skin Workouts + Barro's Gives Back + Furry Friends Resource Directory