Frontdoors Magazine May/June 2022

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Community, Philanthropy & Lifestyle


Amanda Garmany talks family, heart health and the power of puzzles FRONTDOORS MEDIA

A Frontdoors Media Publication | Home of The Red Book


MAY/JUN 2022


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SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Lisa Grannis Morgan McClellan Lindsay Green Michelle Schneider Robyn Lambert Deidra Viberg BEAUTY PARTNERS Remedy Salon & Spa The Sparkle Bar PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Foust Studios Studio No 5 FRONTDOORS MEDIA ADVISORY BOARD Latasha Causey Sarah Krahenbuhl Russ Dickey Larry Lytle Rusty Foley Monique Porras Sue Glawe Brad Vynalek SOCIETY OF CHAIRS ADVISORS Deborah Bateman Linda Herold

On the Cover Amanda Garmany Photo by Scott Foust Studios Shot on location at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney’s Resort & Spa

3104 E. Camelback Road, #967, Phoenix, AZ 85016 480.622.4522 |

Magazine Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier.

Caring for neighbors and supporting the community for more than 60 years.

Zero Hunger | Zero Waste

We’re on a mission to end hunger in the communities we call home and eliminate waste across our company by 2025. In 2021, we donated 12 million meals to Arizona’s hungry families and diverted 108 million pounds of waste from landfills through our recycling, livestock feeding and food rescue programs.

TABLE OF CONTENTS { may/june 2022, volume 16, issue 4 }

06 EDITOR’S NOTE What a Season!

08 1 0 QUESTIONS Sandy Magruder, philanthropist and community champion

11 CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS A preview of the Valley’s premier philanthropic events

12 CREATING CULTURE School’s Out for Summer

17 BOOKMARKED Dr. Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean and professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

19 A 2

ACT Painted Perspective ND

23 LUXE LIVING Sunny Getaways

26 STYLE UNLOCKED Walk in Style

31 NONPROFIT PRO TIP Becky Jackson

32 FROM THE ROAD Summer in San Diego


Agape Adoption Agency of Arizona American Heart Association Children’s Museum of Phoenix Cloud Covered Streets i.d.e.a. Museum Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Musical Instrument Museum Paint for a Cure San Diego Symphony Scottsdale Arts Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

36 COVER STORY Zest for Life

50 NEXT DOORS A Splash of Hope

54 OFFICE DOORS Tricia Schafer, founding attorney at Vitality Law PLLC

57 CHARITY SPOTLIGHT Agape Adoption Agency of Arizona


64 LAST LOOK Bejeweled Reality

67 Sam Alpert, Junior Achievement of Arizona

Debbie DiCarlo, Cancer Support Community Arizona

Emily Goble Early, Arizona Museum of Natural History

Carmen Heredia, Valle del Sol

Karen Jayne, Stardust

Nate Lowrie, Valleywise Health Foundation

Laura Magruder, Maggie’s Place Inc.

Regina Nixon, Phoenix Conservatory of Music

Jeri Royce, Esperança

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Celebrating excellence in nine Maricopa County nonprofit leaders as the 2021 Piper Fellows.

© 2022 Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

EDITOR’S NOTE { on the job }

WHAT A SEASON! Each year, as summer approaches, the team at Frontdoors reflects on the recently wrapped philanthropy season. And what a season it’s been! From the return of live arts performances to a chat with Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, we’ve loved sharing stories about the best of the Valley. Here are the year’s top online reads:

KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { from the road }

Community, Philanthropy & Lifestyle


On Point

SOUTH OF THE BORDER Puerto Peñasco can be everything from charming to luxurious

Tom Evans I Contributing Writer


Century of the

Stories from Sandra Day O’Connor’s remarkable life


A Frontdoors Media Publication | Home of The Red Book





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Sandra Day O’Connor (FEB 2022)

Rocky Point Travel (FEB 2022)

Tribute to Judd Herberger (OCT 2021)

Most-viewed issue this season.

Most-read article online.

Most-read story from “The Knock.”

In all, Frontdoors had a healthy 150,000 web views this season. And since August 1, we have sent more than 2.77 million Knock and Join Us emails. Looking ahead, gearing up for summer is chief on our minds. So we’ve equipped you with summer fashions picks, San Diego travel tips, and cool museums for kids. We also celebrate those serving others, such as Leslie and Douglas Reprogle, who cofounded Agape Adoption Agency of Arizona, and Eric Weinbrenner, who started Paint for A Cure. We look at Cloud Covered Streets, a mobile shower and laundry unit that serves those experiencing homelessness, and we talk to Amanda Garmany about the important work she has taken on as chair of the 63rd Annual Phoenix Heart Ball this November. On that note, we can’t wait to see what next season brings! Enjoy the issue, savor the summer, and please keep the suggestions coming. We’ll be back with our next issue in August. Warmly, Karen Werner | EDITOR IN CHIEF

MAY/JUN 2022




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10 QUESTIONS { fascinating people }

SANDY MAGRUDER Philanthropist and community champion honored at the Society of Chairs 2022 Gala

1 Your family is well known for giving. Why is giving back so important to you?

We have been very blessed and feel that “to whom much is given, much should be required.”

2 Do you have a favorite memory of family philanthropy? The year I agreed to chair the Heart Ball, I asked my daughters and sons-in-law how they felt about it because it is a huge job and takes away from the family. All of them were so supportive with their time and treasures.

3 As a grandmother, do you have advice for

ways to get the next generation involved with philanthropy? It is so important to start when they are very young, so they can realize how good it feels to help someone else. Start those habits early!

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4 What philanthropic projects are you working on these days?

I’m currently working on the Ladies of the Court Legacy Luncheon for the O’Connor Institute, honoring the distinguished legacy of the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. And always the Barrow Women’s Board because we are so blessed to have Barrow here in our Valley.

5 What do you like to do in your free time? I love to read and am trying to improve my golf game!

6 Do you have a favorite restaurant? Since I hardly cook anymore, we have a lot of favorites. Hillstone, Tarbell’s and Chelsea’s Kitchen are all about two minutes from our home.

7 Favorite place to shop? We are so blessed to have great shopping in our Valley. I love Neiman Marcus and Saks because they are both so generous in donating and helping our community.

8 Favorite trip? When our six grandchildren turned 11 or 12, we took each one on a trip. Just the three of us, and every trip was very special. I can’t wait for COVID to get over so we can travel again.

9 Do you have a secret talent? Organizing things!

10 What would Frontdoors readers be surprised to learn about you?

I grew up on a ranch in western Colorado and went to a one-room school for eight grades.

W E H O N O R:

Sally Tryhus & Christine Watson Chairs, The Honor Ball 2021-22

Although COVID-19 forced HonorHealth Foundation to postpone The Honor Ball twice, the 45th anniversary of this legendary gala was worth the wait. Through it all, chairs Sally Tryhus and Christine Watson led the committee with good humor, keeping everyone focused on the mission: to raise vital funds to benefit HonorHealth Research and Innovation Institute cancer research programs, the Bob Bové Neuroscience Institute, the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence and the Ellen and Howard Katz Family Patient Assistance Endowment.

Congratulations, Christine and Sally, for your Society of Chairs recognition. And thank you for leading us to a recordbreaking Honor Ball, raising $2.4 million for vital HonorHealth programs.

Sally is a dedicated volunteer, serving on the HonorHealth Foundation Board of Trustees and with other organizations with a focus on advancing health, education and well-being. Christine has chaired The Honor Ball in past years, leading to record proceeds each time. She also focuses her volunteer efforts to improve community health. “HonorHealth is very special to us personally. We can think of no better cause than to ensure that expert care and clinical innovation continue to advance for all at HonorHealth.” Pictured top left to right: Howard Katz, honoree; Todd LaPorte, HonorHealth CEO; Christine Watson; Sally Tryhus; Jared Langkilde, HonorHealth Foundation President and CEO; David Watson, chair, Foundation Board of Trustees

Your gift can make an incredible impact on healthcare in our community. Learn more about the variety of giving options at HonorHealth Foundation.

8125 North Hayden Road | Scottsdale, AZ 85258 | 480-587-5000 | HonorHealth Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization

CHEERS to the Chairs!

A preview of the Valley’s premier philanthropic events and who’s leading these important efforts

Valley Youth Theatre’s VYTal Affair 2022 Valley Youth Theatre EVENT DATE: August 20, 2022 CHAIR: Risa Kostis DETAILS:

Wine, Women & Shoes Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

EVENT DATE: September 10, 2022 CHAIRS: Dominique Ladomato & Samantha Burgett DETAILS:

AN EVENING IN WONDERLAND A Costume Ball S AT U R D AY, O C T O B E R 1 • 6 : 0 0 P M &


A u n t R i t a ’s S i g n a t u re F u n d ra i s e r f o r H I V & A I D S C a u s e s i n T h e Va l l ey

Ti c ke t s & S p o n s o r s h i p s Ava i l a b l e N ow a t w w w. r e d i s t h e n i g h t .o r g

KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { creating culture }

School’s OUT FOR Summer Local museums offer cool fun for kids Zenobia Mertel I Contributing Writer

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ummertime, and the living is easy. That is, until the

pressure to keep the littles engaged — preferably with

novelty of activity-free bliss morphs into, “Mom, I’m

quality activities that fit finicky schedules.

bored!” And there it is, the familiar seasonal battle cry

that turns up the heat for parents. Warning — it’s time to scramble and find something for

Lucky for us all, there is a wealth of culturally rich, familyfocused venues with fresh summer programming awaiting your arrival this summer, ready to remedy those summertime

the kids to do, pronto! Most of us at Frontdoors understand

blues. We have vetted several museums across the Valley,

and may currently be feeling that schools-out-for-summer

homing in on those that keep kids coming back for more.


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KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { creating culture }



Located in downtown Phoenix, the Children’s Museum of

For all those young builders, art lovers and innovators out

Phoenix exudes vibrancy at first glance. Housed within the

there, the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa is not to be missed.

historic Monroe School, the museum consists of hands-on,

New this summer, the museum is debuting an interactive

interactive exhibits for children ages birth to 10, with a focus

and multisensory mural in its updated atrium area. The

on learning through play. This formula translates to climbing,

remodeled space includes a life-size dinosaur that children

sliding, exploring — high-energy activities that burn off

can paint and new musical instruments for visitors to explore.

energy in the comfort of a safe and cool setting.

Summer Camp at i.d.e.a. takes place July 12 to 16, geared

Creative monthly themes coupled with signature

toward ages 6 to 12. The camp focuses on STEAM (science,

exhibits result in repeat visits for many. This June, the

technology, engineering, arts and math) with an emphasis

museum is celebrating “Superheroes” of all kinds. July’s

on innovation.

theme is “Back to School,” while “Music & Sound” rounds out the focus in August.

The Imagine, Design, Build! exhibition is currently happening and features more than 40 artworks by global

A personal favorite seasonal activity, Bubbleopolis is

artists. The exhibit walks visitors through the process of

a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Imagine foamy fun, giggles

building construction, inviting guests to act as an architect,

and lots of summer steam releasing as kids safely run amok

designing and building at the museum using the supplied

outside the museum’s entrance beginning May 21. Pro

materials. The exhibit takes place through mid-August and is

tip: Pack a change of clothes and towel for this interactive

included in the museum’s admission. i.d.e.a. is open six days

and messy activity. A welcomed policy at the Children’s

a week. Admission is $9 per person, and memberships are

Museum: Visitors are permitted to pack a lunch and enjoy it

available. For more information, visit

in designated outdoor eating areas of the museum. Themed summer camps are offered for kids ages 5 to 8 beginning May 30, running 10 weeks straight. And educators, don’t miss out on free admission to the museum for you, plus one in June and July. Learn more at

The museum’s Foam Zone activity — a summertime favorite — is a must-try. MAY/JUN 2022

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Kids can imagine their own building project — whether it is a home, office building or school — then create it with activities at the i.d.e.a. Museum.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM Known in North Phoenix simply as MIM, the Musical Instrument Museum is an excellent venue to add to your must-visit summer list. With the motto, “Music is the language of the soul,” the museum is singing parents’ tune with an array of dynamic offerings in the 200,000-square-foot museum. Classes for kids from birth to grade 12 include an impressive mix of leadership and hands-on programs, such as Summer of Science, where kids discover the science of

Guests at MIM can immerse themselves in the musical traditions of other cultures.

sound with do-it-yourself experiments and lessons about how musical instruments are made and work. For kids in grades 6 to 12, the Junior Museum Guide program is a unique opportunity to cultivate public speaking

interactive Experience and Encore Galleries, where guests can play instruments from around the world. Don’t miss MIM’s family-friendly signature event on

and presentation skills. The program consists of four classes

May 14 and 15. Celebrate Music from Hawaii, E komo mai!,

where Junior Guides train to lead tours while exploring

includes live performances and educational workshops

MIM’s galleries and exhibits.

focusing on the musical traditions of the Hawaiian Islands.

Music classes for littles incorporate lessons on cultures

To learn more, visit

around the world, while MIM’s Mini Music Makers program invites parents and caregivers to engage with kids during set times on various days. With a collection of more than 13,000 instruments and

Suddenly, the dog days of summer seem a bit sweeter now that we are collectively armed with a rundown of familyfriendly cultural offerings across the Valley. Here’s hoping

associated artifacts from more than 200 countries, repeat

that familiar summertime battle cry turns into music to your

MIM visits are a given as there is much to explore. That

ears in the months ahead.

includes tooting your own horn, so to speak, in the popular

See you at the museum(s)!

Our mission is early childhood. Join us. By focusing on the first five years, we are making a difference in the lives of young children, their

First Things First is Arizona’s early childhood agency, with free programs, information and resources to support great childhoods.

families and our communities. Get involved to support Arizona’s young children.

BOOKMARKED { what are you reading? }

DR. BATTINTO L. BATTS JR. Dean and Professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


“Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership” by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal


“This book examines organizational leadership and dynamics through four frames: Structural, Human Resource, Political and Symbolic. My theory is that the process of organizational change faces its greatest threat in the Political frame because of the power of status quo. Changing the status quo often means making people uncomfortable, and lack of buy-in can either blunt or derail the process. I recommend this book for any leader looking to understand and leverage the role of people in the success of their organization.”


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• • • •

Circle the City turns homelessness into HOPE Homelessness is a crisis. JOIN US and be part of the answer. We provide healthcare to people on the street, like Hernan, so they can get healthy and housed. Learn how you can help at or call 602.612.9771 Circle the City... where healing begins.

A 2ND ACT { helping is healing }

After receiving a life-changing diagnosis of ALS, Eric Weinbrenner has found hope by creating paintings and helping others.


PERSPECTIVE Melissa Rupoli-Katz didn’t know the title but was

Painting hope for people affected by ALS

immediately drawn to a painting at the inaugural “Hues for

Catie Richman I Contributing Writer

they enter her Paradise Valley home. On a personal level,

Hope” fundraiser. It wasn’t her typical taste in art, being what she describes as Jackson Pollock-like splatters of vibrant colors, but she instantly felt a connection. The painting is the first piece of art guests see when the painting holds special meaning for Rupoli-Katz. But for guests intrigued by the colorful art, it’s an opportunity for FRONTDOORS MEDIA

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A 2ND ACT { helping is healing }

her to share the story behind the piece and her family friend, Eric Weinbrenner, who painted it. Weinbrenner was never an artist. But on Nov. 27, 2019, just before Thanksgiving, everything changed. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The day after his diagnosis, he turned to painting to

idea how quickly it would change my life.” As the real estate entrepreneur found healing through his creativity, he achieved something more by helping the 30,000 other people living with ALS, with stories like his. “ALS creates so many challenges for patients and their families. Not only will you lose complete mobility and your

cope. “Whenever I am able to throw paint on a canvas, my

ability to communicate, but you also lose all independence.

mind clears and focuses on the piece of work, rather than my

This means that eventually, you won’t be able to work. It’s

disease,” Weinbrenner said.

an expensive disease, and families are often left in financial

Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain cells and spinal cord. It currently has no cure. “People reading this need to know ALS can happen

debt because of it,” Weinbrenner said. He and his wife Jennifer founded Paint for a Cure just two months after his diagnosis to support others affected by ALS. Inspired by Eric’s passion for painting, the nonprofit auctions

to anyone,” Weinbrenner said. “I was 49 years old. I was

art pieces to raise funds to help “cure” the financial burden

healthy, active and full of life. I have two young kids that I

of ALS by providing monetary assistance and medically

couldn’t wait to watch grow up and learn about the world. I

accessible housing for ALS patients and their families.

didn’t know what ALS was until I was diagnosed and had no

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“Eric and Jennifer have taken the positive of ALS,

While Eric Weinbrenner has been busy cultivating a legacy with Paint for a Cure, he has also learned a great deal from ALS, including: • The importance of monitoring your health • Living life to the fullest • The importance of family and community •T he importance of mindfulness and being present • The power of sharing your story

meaning helping other families,” Rupoli-Katz said. “To see

diagnosis. The work they are doing changes lives, and

how Eric and Jen have persevered, the dignity and the pride

Rupoli-Katz is honored to participate in some way.

and the drive and motivation, it’s humbling. It really puts things into perspective.” Though it may have started as a way to support her friend’s

Unfortunately, Weinbrenner can no longer hold a paintbrush, but he now uses his wheelchair and feet as brushes. “I’ll spill paint on a canvas and use my wheelchair

cause, the vibrant painting she procured at “Hues for Hope” is a

as my paintbrush, rolling back and forth over the canvas,”

reminder of that perspective when Rupoli-Katz needs it most.

he said. “It’s quite fun and finding creative ways to paint now

“It’s a grounding piece,” she said. “I don’t even know how to describe it — it gives me a little jolt — that things are OK. That’s why I love that painting.”

is part of the enjoyment!” Just as Weinbrenner has found strength in adapting his creative method, he also has found it in helping others

Contrasting the vibrancy of the first piece, Rupoli-Katz

battling ALS. “Living with a terminal disease, you can either

procured a second black-and-white circular abstract painting

let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you. I

at the fundraiser, which she interprets as the circle of life.

have decided to let ALS strengthen me,” he said. “Paint for a

As with the other piece, she has found significant personal

Cure allows me to focus my time and energy on something

meaning in the monochromatic design. “It’s nice to have that

good and clears my mind of the everyday struggles of living

piece in your home and know you did some good,” she said.

with ALS.”

Funds from Paint for a Cure go to families with an ALS

To learn more, go to


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Sharon Harper Health Innovation Champion Building a thriving health innovation ecoysystem requires talented researchers, inspiring eductators, and dedicated health professionals. Equally important, it requires leaders with the vison to create the environment where they can succeed. Sharon Harper, CEO of Plaza Companies is one of these leaders. Sharon works tirelessly in our community to make life better for all of us. Here are just a few of the community initiatives, organizations, and philanthropic projects that Sharon has applied her time and talents to: Advocate for Public Education Funding Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee Arizona Commerce Authority Arizona Community Foundation Arizona State University Arizona Zanjeros Banner Health Foundation Brophy College Preparatory Creighton University Greater Phoenix Economic Council Greater Phoenix Leadership McCain Institute for International Leadership Phoenix Theatre Company Translational Genomics Research Institute, an affiliate of City of Hope

Congratulations to Sharon Harper Society of Chairs 2022 Health Innovation Champion

Valley Leadership Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation

KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { luxe living }

SUNNY GETAWAYS Planning an escape? Make a stylish debut on your next vacay in these vibrant styles. Perrine Adams I Lifestyle Editor

Printed viscose all-in-one, $248 Reversible bikini top, $78 Scotch & Soda, Scottsdale Fashion Square

SL 537 Sunglasses, $405 Saint Laurent, Scottsdale Fashion Square,


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KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { luxe living }

Orly 50 woven raffia net pump, $725 Jimmy Choo, Scottsdale Fashion Square

Panier tote, $1,490 Saint Laurent, Scottsdale Fashion Square

Baby girl bloomer onesie, from $59 Jacadi, Scottsdale Fashion Square

Cali golf polo, $72 Bad Birdie, Kierland Commons

Delfina cotton pareo cover-up, $95 Pax Philomena

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Beaded seahorse necklace with amazonite, pink coral, turquoise, lapis and 24k beads by Jovanna Poblano (Zuni), $2,100 Heard Museum Shop

Dreamy Day in St. Tropez framed print, $210 Kim Lyon Design

At Remedy Salon and Spa, our goal is to take great care of all who enter and the community in which we live. Located in Scottsdale’s highly desirable McCormick Ranch neighborhood, Remedy Salon and Spa is adjacent to some of the most popular coffee shops and restaurants in town.

International carry-on case, $945 Zero Halliburton

Book online at 8220 North Hayden Rd, C-110 Scottsdale, AZ 85258 480-794-1754

KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { style unlocked }

Walk In

STYLE Valley luxury shoe designer creates chic yet comfortable heels Perrine Adams I Lifestyle Editor

Heel and ribbon stripes draw the eye to the Casey Black shoes when paired with a casual or dressy look. Photo by Megan Allen

Photo by Mark Peterman

shoemakers, Schickling decided to manufacture her shoes in the renowned Italian shoemaking town of Vigevano, located one hour outside of Milan in northern Italy. This collaboration led Schickling to accomplish what she set out to achieve — designing shoes that are equally stylish and supportive. Her line of heels, flats and bridal footwear is arguably the most comfortable on the market — with a sneaker-like impact and gait, and customizable arch — all hidden in luxurious Italian materials and produced with uncompromising craftsmanship.

A CLASSIC BRETON LOOK What also sets Evelyn Ford Luxury shoes apart is their When Evelyn Schickling could not find comfortable, fashionable shoes, she created her own.

elegant and timeless designs. This season, the brand pays


and bows.

or centuries women have sacrificed comfort for fashion — suffering silently in suffocating corsets, skinny jeans and stylish shoes either too high, too

tight or both.

tribute to Brittany, France, showcasing Breton striped heels “I love classic clothes with classic but edgy accessories. That explains the unusual color and texture contrasts in my shoe designs,” Schickling said. It comes as no surprise that

Phoenician Evelyn Schickling spent the greater part of her career in finance wearing painful pumps because the typical comfort shoe was not considered dress-code appropriate. After years of trying to retrofit torturous footwear with inserts and insoles, she took on the challenge of creating the perfect shoe herself. Evelyn Ford Luxury was born from the belief that there must be a way to create fashionable yet comfortable designer shoes. In 2014, Schickling left her corporate life and enrolled in Ars Sutoria, the premier shoe design school in Milan. After successfully completing the program, she collaborated with production experts from eminent luxury brands, including Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa, as well as the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. After unsuccessfully trying to find an American manufacturer capable of delivering the quality of Italian Shoemaking town of Vigevano, Italy.

Coco Chanel was one of the inspirations behind the collection. “I enjoy the classic Breton look. Traditionally a working uniform for men, I think Chanel’s take on the Breton sweater for women just before World War I might have been the first injection of ‘street chic’ into women’s style,” Schickling said. The Evelyn Ford Luxury Casey shoe borrows from shoe silhouettes from that fashion era. The real raffia used in the Casey design reflects the texture of intricate baskets, and the patterns in straw hats and purses from the Brittany region. The striped leather-covered heel and bow are très Breton chic as well.


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The secret behind the Casey shoe comfort is the customizable Dream Arch™ — each pair of Evelyn Ford Luxury shoes is fitted with invisible magnets, ready to click in an optional arch support. A brief quiz determines the size and height of the arch for the selected shoe. They give unparalleled support, taking the pressure off the forefoot and providing even pressure across the foot ... even in heels. Evelyn Ford Luxury designs are available online and at local special events listed on the website. Their price point reflects the craftsmanship that goes into every pair, their fine quality and their unique magnetic insole. Why should women have to choose between ease and style? Evelyn Ford Luxury works on solving this long-standing wardrobe dilemma. As Coco Chanel has been credited with saying, “Luxury must be comfortable; otherwise, it is not luxury.” Let the comfort begin. To learn more, visit

“As my mom liked to say, ‘Always wear a distinctive hat and fabulous shoes and what you wear in between will always look smart.’” — E S

velyn chickling

The red, black and white stripes in the Casey Beige coordinate with the classic colors of summer. MAY/JUN 2022

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Photo by Megan Allen


Magruder Society of Chairs 2022 Honoree

Always Caring, Always Committed and Always a Blessing We love you very much, Mac, Kristine & Shane and Shannon & Joel

e k a m N E M O W


and their , m o d is w their their time, e iv g y e h places, our T k . r h o c w u r u m o , o es mes red ring our ho Women giv e t t ay is hono e b W in d e t s it e n v U in n Su They y by not lley of the it a n resources. V u . m ld r m o o w c r our , ies, and ou supported e v a e in health h g communit n n e a h m o C w y t g igh ny amazin o to create M k r o w r lopment. T that so ma u e v o e g d in e d c r a kfo , but by le n, and wor io t a c u only giving d e , thank you. ss , e y n it s n s u le m e m m r co d ho ring for ou a housing an c in s t s e an who inv every wom

Visit or email to get involved.



President & CEO of Becky Jackson, LLC

“ Level Up!” Is your nonprofit ready to go to the next level? Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and an independent assessment will open that opportunity. A nonprofit Pivot Assessment is a customized tool

Photo courtesy of Karianne Munstedt

that will identify the gaps and tell you and your team where your organization is right now. Once the gaps are identified, through a discovery process, a work plan is created to address and successfully turn those gaps into accomplishments so you can decide where you want to go to reach that next level of success.


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KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE { from the road }

Summer in


Courtesy of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Enjoy new experiences in 2022


EMILY CARMAN I Contributing Writer

an Diego is a quintessential travel destination on the West Coast. With beautiful beaches and stunning architecture, the city is well known for its historic landmarks and fan-favorite travel experiences. But even for the seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to enjoy. Take a look at some of the new experiences San Diego offers in 2022.


museum’s beloved body of contemporary artwork. Set on the edge of the Pacific, the La Jolla museum not only features fabulous ocean views but also boasts a stunning 4,700-piece collection that has cultivated national and international renown. In addition to expanded galleries, the renovation includes a new publicly accessible art park, new terraces that offer dramatic views of the coast and a distinctly new entrance that provides a more welcoming

Following a five-year renovation, the premier location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego reopened in La Jolla in April. The expansion project quadrupled

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the location’s gallery space, which showcases the

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and clear entry from Prospect and Silverado Streets. Enjoy the old made new again by visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. Visit to learn more.

Food & Drink

San Diego is the craft beer capital of the world and a culinary melting pot of food and flavors. It would, therefore, be impossible to recommend any single restaurant or brewery to encapsulate a trip. However, planning a culinary journey of San Diego has been made easier by the opening of two new outdoor eateries, each offering a mouthwatering variety of local flavors in an inviting setting. Get a taste of San Diego all in one place at Old Town Urban Market, home to award-winning chefs, up-and-coming artisans, winemakers and more. Try food

Courtesy of The Loma Club

and beverages from local favorites as you enjoy the incredible Southern California weather. For information, go to If you’re traveling farther up the coast, visit the new Sky Deck at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. The Sky Deck hosts nine restaurants, each offering unique culinary creations from around the world, a central cocktail bar, and three of San Diego’s top craft beer and kombucha brands. To learn more, visit


The Loma Club has been a San Diego landmark for more than a century and stands as a gathering place for locals and travelers to have a good time. The beautiful ninehole golf course is a perfect challenge for both seasoned golfers and beginners, and the Loma Club’s newest attraction, Tappers Mini Golf, allows the whole family to join in on the fun. Tappers offers two mini-golf courses perfect for date night, family time or putting practice. The Loma Club also serves fantastic food and drinks from its new, upscale menu and hosts weekly live music events, making it an awesome spot for non-golfers as well. Visit to learn more.

Date Night

A date night at the San Diego Symphony will be even more romantic at its elegant new outdoor concert venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The Symphony began welcoming audiences to its new bayside venue in 2021, Courtesy of Del Mar Highland Town Center

and the location has already become an iconic, must-see landmark. Enjoy a wide range of concert experiences, from orchestral performances to rock concerts, while taking in the beautiful evening air. The summer concert series includes the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (June 11-12), performances from Boyz II Men (June 25) and Kool & the Gang (July 4) and even live concert screenings of blockbuster films like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Part 1 and Part 2 (July 29-30).

Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

For information, go to FRONTDOORS MEDIA

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MAY/JUN 2022

Courtesy of Comic-Con

Courtesy of San Diego Pride

Big Events

Celebrate San Diego Pride with the return of the hugely popular Pride Parade, one of the region’s biggest civic events. Pride events will take place throughout the summer in San Diego, including the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, the Pride 5K and the San Diego Pride Festival. To learn more, go to Also making a momentous return this year is Courtesy of Comic-Con Museum

Comic-Con International: San Diego, a signature San Diego event with worldwide prestige. This event promises pop-culture nirvana to attendees, who flock to the Con from around the globe. And the excitement doesn’t end there. Fans can enjoy Comic-Con all year with the opening of the new Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park, which showcases superheroes, anime characters, movies and much more. For information, visit and

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COVER STORY { by karen werner }

MAY/JUN 2022

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Zest for Life Amanda Garmany talks family, heart health and the power of puzzles


puzzle sits on the dining room table in Amanda Garmany’s Paradise Valley

home. One thousand pieces are waiting to transform into a New England village scene from the 1700s. “I love puzzles,” Garmany said. “My mother has done them my entire life. I used to get so annoyed with those stupid puzzles on the table. And then probably about 10 or 12 years ago, I don’t know what it was, I just started doing a puzzle.” It’s a pattern Garmany has followed before — not appreciating the family plan and then coming around to follow it herself. Whether it was where she lived or how she worked, it turns out that family maybe knows best. Garmany grew up a self-described “unicorn,” a native Arizonan born at Mesa Lutheran Hospital and raised in the East Valley. Her parents met in Mazatlan when her mom — an ASU gymnast and education major on spring break — met her dad, who was from a small Mexican village nearby. He moved to Arizona when they got engaged. “My parents weren’t wealthy. My mother was a teacher and my father was a construction worker. We never went without, but we didn’t have luxuries,” Garmany said. It was a fun, busy childhood full of activities. Garmany was a competitive dancer, played tennis, rode horses and was a cheerleader. The family frequently traveled to Mexico to visit her father’s family and the East Coast to visit her mother’s.


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Dana Garmany is the founder and executive chairman of Troon. With decades of experience developing and operating golf courses worldwide, he is one of the most powerful and influential people in golf. He and Amanda met at a dinner party 19 years ago, which each was attending with another date. They kept in touch and became many things to each other over the years. “Friendly acquaintances, friends, good friends, best friends, and then we both ended up being single years later,” Amanda said. “I couldn’t tell you our first date because we would meet for coffee every once in a while or a glass of wine just to catch up.” Eventually, when they were both single, they Garmany as a baby with her parents in Mazatlan.

As family-oriented as her childhood was, life in a cute suburban community wasn’t Garmany’s style. “Growing up, I always thought, ‘I hate Arizona. When I go to college, I’m going to go away,’” she said. She researched schools on the East Coast, but her parents couldn’t send her. “Not that my parents didn’t want to, they just couldn’t afford to,” Garmany said. “So I put myself through college. I think it made me work harder, because if I wanted it, I had to go do it myself.” And she did. She funded her Arizona State University

started dating. Fast-forward to when Garmany was volunteering in that ELL classroom in Mesa. She married Dana during that time and, with so much going on, chose to step away from her graduate program. Dana suggested that she volunteer in class instead. That way, she could write her own schedule and travel with him on business. “So I stayed in that classroom and used my Spanish,” Garmany said. Then the pandemic came. “COVID hit and the schools shut down. And then this year, with Heart Ball, I told the teacher, who I’ve been with for the last 10 years, I’ll come back next January,” Garmany said.

education by working as a bank teller and a cashier at Home Depot. She taught cheer and gymnastics to elementary students in after-school programs and was paid to take notes in college classes. Best Buy, Pier 1, White House Black Market — Garmany worked at them all. “I ended up realizing how much I love Arizona,” she said. After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science, Garmany went to work as a paralegal at a law firm. It wasn’t the right fit. “I realized I could be a great attorney, but I didn’t want to do it,” she said. Searching for inspiration, Garmany looked in a familiar direction — home. Her mother had been a teacher Garmany’s whole life; perhaps it was something she should consider. She started working on her master’s in education, doing observation hours in an English language learning classroom in Mesa. “I fell in love with the class,” Garmany said. Suddenly, the puzzle pieces of her life were coming together — Mesa, Spanish, teaching. But there was a critical piece still waiting to be found and fit.

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Garmany knows the value of an active childhood. “I’m glad that I grew up in the generation that did lots of different activities and sports,” she said.

As chair of this year’s Heart Ball, Garmany’s mind is laser-focused on supporting the American Heart Association’s vital work. She joined the Heart Ball Committee in 2015 and is prepared for the responsibilities ahead. “I knew what I was getting into with Heart Ball,” she said. “I’ve watched friends chair over the years, and I was a vicechair for Kristine Thompson. Then I ended up becoming the chair-elect the following year.” Add an additional learning year due to the COVID shutdown and it’s clear that Garmany is ready for the ball. “At this point, I’ve got this down,” she said. Years ago, she and Dana received astute advice from a local friend who is very philanthropic. There are so many great causes, he said, you have to pick a handful that are your passion. For Garmany, heart health ticks that box, hitting close to home. “My mother’s side of the family has very low resting heart rates,” she said. So low, her mother would periodically pass out. “I was her emergency contact, and she would faint and hit her head at school. They’d have to rush her to the hospital,” Garmany said. Bradycardia, or low resting heart rate, can be a serious problem if the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body. That was the case for Garmany’s mom, who had a pacemaker installed six years ago. “She’s feeling better. It has made a night-and-day difference,” Garmany said. A P.E. teacher, Garmany’s mother is fit, so many people are surprised to hear that she was a candidate for heart disease. It’s the kind of a misconception that Garmany wants to correct. “There are so many people who think it’s a man’s disease, but heart disease affects women just as much. It’s the number-one killer of both men and women in this country,” she said. Every year, the Heart Ball chair comes up with her own mission. “Obviously, it’s on heart disease, but what is it that is impactful to you or that you want to raise awareness toward?” Garmany said. Again, she put the pieces together — Arizona, education, family — to create her platform: “Hope for the Future.” With her background in education, Garmany knows that getting to children is critical. So she is working to take the Heart Ball’s efforts beyond the ballroom to deliver important messages about heart health where they are needed. Amanda and Dana Garmany at the 2016 Phoenix Heart Ball.

COVER STORY { by karen werner } Garmany cites a recent study that found as much as a 14-year difference in life expectancy depending on where in the Valley someone lives. “Your ZIP code shouldn’t determine how long you live,” Garmany said. So she is making efforts to target messaging to children in order to change habits while they are young.

Heart Health in Maricopa County

“If you’re obese as a child, the likelihood of being obese your whole life is incredibly high,” Garmany said. “I need to drop a few pounds myself, but I look around this country, and obesity is rampant. There are so many things that obesity contributes to — heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes. We need to communicate that.” Another way that she and Dana are connecting heart health and kids is by donating CPR kits to local high schools so Arizona students can learn this life-saving procedure. “I really want to make a lasting impact, not just a one-anddone,” Garmany said of her Heart Ball efforts this year.

It’s an unfortunate fact. When it comes to life expectancy, the average person born in South Phoenix can expect to live 14 years fewer than the average person born in North Scottsdale. Lack of access to quality healthcare, housing, jobs and healthy food perpetuate health inequities throughout Maricopa County. The American Heart Association has developed a list of policy, system and environmental change opportunities to level the playing field. Its community impact priority issues are: • Blood pressure control • Food service delivery • Culturally relevant nutrition education • Tobacco control To learn more, visit

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Amanda and Dana are helping high school students prepare for emergency situations by supplying CPR kits.

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The Garmanys in Santorini, Greece.

Hence her “Hope for the Future” platform. Not a bad message for a hometown girl who worked her way


through college and is now in a position to give back to the community in a meaningful way. In fact, maybe her humble start makes her a little more in touch with her philanthropy. “I do think that I get it a little bit more than someone who grew up with more advantages,” Garmany said. “When I was in high school, I volunteered at a center out in Mesa called Paz de Cristo. They had a soup kitchen and a resource center where people could get food boxes or clothing. There were many times my mother’s students came through the line.” Garmany hasn’t forgotten her roots. She stays close to her family and is looking forward to returning to that Mesa classroom next year. But she also loves her life with Dana. “We spend a lot of time in France, particularly Antibes. We love it,” she said. “We also love good food, going to concerts and hanging out with our dogs.” It’s a lovely life filled with family, friends, travel and the joys of giving back. And when the stress of chairing the American Heart Association’s signature gala gets to

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be a little too much, you can find Garmany at her dining room table. “If I’m getting wound up and anxious, I’ll go play with my puzzle for a little bit. That’s my little stress reliever,” she said.

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Congratulations to our 2022 Honorees!

Sandy Magruder Honoree Sharon Harper Health Innovation Champion

Jim Bruner Lifetime Service Award

Becky Bell Ballard Exceptional Leadership Award

Sally Tryhus & Christine Watson Honor Above All Award

TGen - Celebrating 20 Years Healthcare Champion

Nate Rhoton Diversity Hero



Gail Eagleburger & Jane P. Evans presented by Linda Herold

Susan Dale presented by Friends in Arizona History


Creighton University 2022 Society of Chairs Host

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M R P B O D Y. C O M

NEXT DOORS { ahead of the curve }

A Splash of Hope Cloud Covered Streets provides a ray of sunshine for people experiencing homelessness Tom Evans I Contributing Editor


obert Thornton grew up wanting to be a

team up with causes that support individuals with special

baseball player, but thanks to injury, his dream

needs, and put artwork created by those individuals on

didn’t pan out. So he ended up, as he puts it,

T-shirts for sale on the company’s website, with proceeds

“stuck in a rut for about seven to 10 years, just

going back to the organization.

bartending and thinking, ‘This isn’t it.’” Then one day, about 10 years ago, he visited his parents

Pretty cool, huh? But there’s more — a lot more. About seven years ago, Thornton was driving around

in California. His mother had gotten a part-time job as a

Phoenix and had what he called “a moment of clarity.” He

bus driver for an organization that served children with

pulled up on an off-ramp and saw “a gentleman who had on

developmental disabilities. On her refrigerator was a drawing

what you could loosely call a T-shirt.” His clothes were worn

by one of the children, given to her as a gift. He ended up

and shredded from being homeless and on the streets.

staring at that drawing on and off for about a day or so, when he finally thought, “This would look really cool on a T-shirt.” That inspired Thornton to start his own clothing company, called Paper Clouds Apparel. The model was to MAY/JUN 2022

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“I just remember seeing him and having a moment where I was like, ‘You run an apparel company. You can do something to help,’” Thornton said. He originally was going to give away shirts with the

Paper Clouds Apparel logo — free advertising, after all — but that idea evolved. He decided to go on the company’s social media feeds and ask people to send “letters of hope,” any words of encouragement he could give individuals experiencing homelessness. Within a couple of weeks, he had hundreds of letters. On Oct. 14, 2015, he went out for the first time to help someone by giving them a T-shirt and a letter. “I had no thought that I would start a nonprofit — it was just something I wanted to do,” Thornton said. The first person Thornton helped started crying on the spot. It turns out the person’s clothes had been stolen a week prior. “I couldn’t grasp that there was someone here in Phoenix, Arizona, that went a week without a T-shirt,” Thornton said. The next time he went out, Thornton took socks as well. Then underwear. Then hygiene kits. He started to give out armfuls of supplies to people he met on the streets. But there was still a need not addressed. “In those conversations, I would always ask them, ‘What is something you really need?’” Thornton said. “And they

treat as less than human, and hopefully change how people

kept saying, ‘I could really use a shower.’”

think about individuals experiencing homelessness.”

That’s how Cloud Covered Streets, now a full-fledged

Thornton saw a synergy between the individuals with

nonprofit, was born. Thornton — now its executive director

developmental disabilities he worked with and the homeless

— decided to build a mobile shower unit with laundry

population. “They’re both portions of the population that

capabilities to help people clean up and give them a

people will ignore,” he said. “So I wanted to make it clear that

sense of being. It was a process that took a few years to

someone does care about them, that they really do matter.”

execute, but they finally were able to convert a cargo trailer

Cloud Covered Streets began to grow and add

into a mobile unit and hit the streets for the first time in

volunteers, including 13-year-old Maddie Andonie and her

August 2020.

mother, Brandy. Brandy is a hairstylist and one of her salon-

Now they go out three times a week. Services have expanded to include serving food, giving haircuts, helping with basic care and hygiene and just helping individuals experiencing homelessness feel better about themselves. “Our goal is

mates volunteered, so she and Maddie decided to go one day — and have been helping out ever since. Maddie mostly cooks food, including sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, nachos — “pretty much everything you can think of.” The Andonies got two barbecue grills donated for their

to build hope

volunteer efforts and raise funds for their meal plans by

in them and let

selling sugar scrubs through social media and boutiques.

them know that

“She’s always had a heart to help others,” Brandy said.

they matter, that

“From the time she was little, she was like, ‘I’m going to

someone cares

have a food truck one day and serve those experiencing

about them,”

homelessness.’ Once we got connected to Cloud Covered

Thornton said.

Streets, she asked if she could serve food.”

“And for those

“I love to give them something that they aren’t able to

outside or who

get out on the streets, like a fresh shower, new pair of socks,

may volunteer,

food, clothes,” Maddie said. “It’s amazing to see the smile

our goal is to

light up on their face and see how happy they are even to

humanize people

get the smallest of things.”

that, unfortunately, the masses like to

Thornton considers many of the people they serve friends now. “Just because they are experiencing


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NEXT DOORS { ahead of the curve }

homelessness doesn’t mean they can’t be my friend, that I can’t be excited to see them,” he said. Cloud Covered Streets is growing and now has a second trailer in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a game plan for growth in other cities. “I want more and more trailers in every city that has a need for it, but it’s been a slow process because I have to make sure it’s the right fit, and that we get the right team set up in each city,” Thornton said. But the biggest goal is to give individuals experiencing homelessness the kind of boost that can help them get back on their feet. “All the things we provide are secondary,” Thornton said. “It’s really about getting them to believe in themselves again. That’s our number-one goal, to connect with as many people as we can.” To learn more, visit

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OFFICE DOORS { valley changemakers }

A Day With

TRICIA SCHAFER Founding attorney at Vitality Law PLLC Julie Coleman I Contributing Writer


Photograph: Studio No 5

Morning tends to be my highest level of creative productivity. I walk around the house, open the curtains and have my coffee. I have notepads in my bedroom, kitchen and on my desk and often have creative ideas about whatever is coming up for the day. I refer to notes I’ve left the night before about what I’d like to accomplish that day. I also reach out to two or three friends via email or phone calls. Many people were isolated during the pandemic, and I feel I have some strengths I can share. One of the joys of living

I have a pattern of breaking up my day by exercising, work, exercising, work. It fuels my creativity and effectiveness with both my oral and written communication. I draft or read something, let it percolate while I go for a run, walk or swim, and come back to it. This is the way I optimally create content and work product.

and working in this community for 23 years is the number


of people who have touched my life. It’s been rewarding

Midday is ideally the time for yoga. I call it my lunch break

to have the emotional and time bandwidth to engage with different people. I work out in some fashion, and this is driven by seasons. If it’s winter and still dark, I’ll hop on the rowing machine or the stationary bike until it gets light enough for me to run outside. If it’s summer, I shift the run to first thing in the morning and then do indoor training during the heat of the day. 9 A.M. >> A HEALTHY PATTERN

I practice business litigation law in many formats — large and small firm, government, in-house counsel, etc. The best way for me to balance everything I do is to intersect exercise and wellness principles throughout my day. My law practice harmonizes principles of exercise, wellness, nutrition, endurance, academics and the rigors of the practice of law. It is the reason for Vitality Law’s name and the branding of how I live my life. It is the most authentic and genuine way I know how to practice law. MAY/JUN 2022

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and let phone calls slide and don’t check my email during this time. Now that public health restrictions have been easing, I also enjoy lunches with business contacts. It’s been a much-needed reward after the past two years. I learn so much from others and always feel enriched and empowered by my time spent out and about socially. 1:30 P.M. >> FINDING COMMON GROUND

Someone asked me during the pandemic if I had ever thought of becoming an arbitrator and mediator. This was interesting because these were the disciplines that drove why I went to law school in the first place. I somehow had lost sight of that goal. Often, when people think of lawyers, they think of going to court. Private dispute resolution forums are a way to resolve disputes outside the public judicial process. After some training, I became an arbitrator and certified mediator. As a mediator, I try to resolve disputes without parties having to go to full-blown litigation. I focus on


listening, reacting and communicating positions from one side to another. I’ve not only applied these principles professionally by launching an alternative dispute resolution arm, but also use them in my community. When I moved to my Scottsdale neighborhood, I instantly fell in love with it and knew it would be my forever home. It created a responsibility for me to be the best neighbor and create the best community, because your home is part of something bigger. The purpose and passion behind mediation are community solutions and peace. It harmonizes nicely with the neighborhood work I do literally in my own backyard. I use my mediation skills when someone has a dog or car issue or needs help, as we did during the 2021 summer floods. You can only control so much of whatever is going on in the world and society. If you have the skill, talent, interest and dedication to make the investment of time in your community, I believe that’s all each of us can do.


I maintain a dual career as a lawyer and personal fitness trainer. It allows me to relate to people on a different level. I’m afraid I would have been a mono-dimensional person had I just remained a lawyer. I celebrate people with dual careers because it shows you don’t have to be boxed in and can be lots of different things. People know that when I need to get in the trenches and try a case, I prepare as a runner would prepare for a Tricia Schafer brings the discipline and determination of an endurance athlete to her law practice.

Tricia (far left) enjoys sharing wellness principles with others.

marathon. I start watching my nutrition and hydration and take optimal care of my health. When you get me, you get the whole me, including all of the preparation and wellness. It’s a life I am incredibly proud of and something I genuinely value being able to share and discuss with people.


I serve on the City of Scottsdale Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, which reviews applications for individuals who wish to serve as judicial officers in the city. This is an important role because it is the first level court citizens are most likely to experience with issues such as parking tickets, neighbor disputes and orders of protection. For some, this may be their first and only experience with the court system, and many of them appear without lawyers. I believe it’s important to serve on commissions and committees when you get the opportunity, as the experience takes the mystery out of how public institutions work.


My evening consists of an activity that’s weather-driven. It may be a swim, hike or neighborhood walk. I get my second wind at about 8:30 p.m. because my brain benefits from the endorphin kick of exercise. I start the next day’s project, so I’m not looking at a blank screen or blank piece of paper the next morning. The end of my day is almost the best part. I listen to wellness-based inspirational podcasts and pump positivity into my brain until my head hits the pillow and I sleep like a baby. I also spend time doing final stretches for the night Photograph: Studio No 5

because I want to be able to run until I’m 80 and that requires a constant process of body maintenance. To learn more, go to


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U.S.VETS – Phoenix is on a mission to end veteran homelessness, and has proudly served more than 10,000 veterans since 2001 by providing housing, workforce development, and mental health services.


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT { giving back }

AN ACT of Faith

One couple’s infertility struggles transform into hundreds of homes for foster children

ORIGIN: “Agape was founded as an act of faith,” said Leslie Reprogle. When Leslie and her husband Douglas Reprogle were unable to conceive, Leslie decided that if she couldn’t have children, she would serve them. She started going on mission trips

ORGANIZATION Agape Adoption Agency of Arizona

LEADERSHIP Co-Founders: Leslie and Douglas Reprogle CEO: Leslie Reprogle Board Chair: Dr. Janel White Taylor

organized by the couple’s church, River of Life Tabernacle. Returning from a trip to Haiti, Leslie heard God’s voice speaking clearly to her heart, telling her she would open an adoption agency. That was a surprise, because she had no background in child or family welfare. But out of obedience, she and Doug talked to the church’s senior pastor about creating a new adoption-agency ministry modeled on a similar one in another part of the country. They agreed the ministry would have to be a standalone business, so Doug and Leslie took out a second mortgage on their house and started Agape.


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Bags of Love contain toys, toiletries and a handmade quilt for every foster child placed in an Agape home.

The Reprogles are proud parents of two sons (above) — James Emanuel, 10, and Jaxson Gabriel, 9 — that they adopted out of Arizona’s foster care system. Leslie is also a “bonus” parent to Doug’s two adult children, and the couple enjoys spending time with their four grandchildren.

is “Agape is a Christian service agency with a passion to empower positive outcomes for children and families.”

MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: In 2005, just as the agency was being licensed,

Although Douglas is a pastor and Leslie was ordained

the number of children coming into foster care in Arizona

and served in women’s and youth ministries for years,

began to climb dramatically. Friends of the Reprogles —

Agape is a faith-based agency that isn’t “religious” in the

pastors with histories in child welfare — advised the couple

traditional sense.

that Agape should become contracted to provide foster

Case in point: Last Christmas, the Voodoo Mayhem

care services for the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

Riding Club contacted Agape, because they had heard

The Reprogles did and received a contract.

about its work with families and children. Though foster

Because of Leslie’s ties with Arizona’s Black community,

parents were hesitant to accept gifts from an organization

the agency initially did most of its outreach through Black

with “Voodoo” in its name, the Reprogles assured them

churches and in the South Phoenix area, where Agape’s offices

there was nothing nefarious about the club, which supports

are located. But as word about the agency spread, families

organizations that care for children throughout the Phoenix

of every faith and cultural background responded. Agape’s

area. As they unloaded an 18-wheeler full of gifts for foster

foster care program quickly became its flagship program.

children in Agape’s foster homes, men and women in the riding club shared stories and wept with the Agape team

KNOWN FOR: Agape is known for being a small, spunky

about the difficult circumstances that bring children into

agency that does what it can to meet all of its clients where

foster care, as well as the ways the community can support

they are, and get them to a better place. Its mission statement

them as they heal.

MAY/JUN 2022

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FUN FACT: Leslie met board chair Dr. Janel White Taylor, or “Dr. J.,” when she was 4 years old. The women’s families attended United Methodist Church in South Phoenix, and the two grew up together. Dr. J is an educator and parent who has spent decades sharing her knowledge about technology and what it can do for children in communities all over the world.

ORGANIZATION HIGHLIGHTS: A highlight of Agape’s service centers around a blanket. “One of our partners provides something called Bags of Love that includes a handmade quilt for each community foster child placed in an Agape home,” Leslie said. The Bags of Love — which are customized to meet the age and gender identity of each child that receives them — provide a carrying case the children can use to pack their possessions into when they return home.

THE FUTURE: Agape’s executive team is currently doing environmental scans to determine where the greatest need to serve families exists. One immediate need they have identified is affordable housing for families experiencing crisis pregnancies. As rent prices have skyrocketed in Arizona, it has become harder for birth mothers to secure housing, so Agape is discussing a fundraising drive to help meet this need. To learn more, visit

Agape has placed more than 1,200 children in safe and loving homes and has seen hundreds of adoptions finalized, both domestically and internationally.

VALLEY OF THE SUN YMCA • 602.404.9622







KITCHEN DOORS { let’s eat }


NEW IN TOWN: CALA BRINGS MEDITERRANEAN VIBE TO SCOTTSDALE Celebrity chef Beau MacMillan and culinary talent Peter McQuaid open a new hot spot When one of Arizona’s most notable chefs opens a new restaurant, there is a lot of excitement. Chef Beau MacMillan, who has been at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain for more than two decades and started the Nirvana Food and Wine Festival in 2017, is the culinary director at Cala at the new Senna House hotel in Scottsdale, which opened in January. Cala means “coast” in Spanish, and the restaurant offers a Mediterranean vibe in its food and beverage with influences from Greece, Spain, Italy and Morocco, as well as in its décor and high-energy atmosphere.

Photos courtesy of Shoshana Leon

like branzino with lentils and a New York strip steak with gorgonzola fonduta. Dessert options include donuts with pistachio crème and espresso chocolate sauce, and a blueberry brown butter tart with lemon gelato. Cocktails are thoughtfully designed to complement the food and atmosphere, including a seasonal Bellini, the popular Bells and Whistles with vodka, red pepper and basil, and the Globetrotter with gin, mezcal, vermouth, kiwi and lime. McQuaid was in high school when he started working with MacMillan at Sanctuary. The two formed a strong bond, working together on several projects. “I want to work with people I have fun with and want to grow with,” said MacMillan, who continues to serve as culinary advisor at Sanctuary. “Peter has the technique, mindset and ability to “Cala is like a Mediterranean escape with coastal cuisine and cocktails,” said executive chef Peter McQuaid. “We focus

be an amazing leader in the kitchen.” MacMillan likes to say that simplicity is perfection. “The

on fresh ingredients, including seafood, handmade pasta and

menu at Cala is focused on quality and flavor with items

pizza dough, and cocktails with bright flavors.”

that can be executed quickly,” he said. “We are evolving the

Shareable plates include white bean hummus, flaming

menu and adding items for brunch and the hotel’s pool bar.

saganaki cheese and lamb kofta. The menu also features

This is an exciting concept for the market and something

a variety of pizzas and pastas made in-house, including

we can grow.”

rock shrimp and sweet pea cavatelli, as well as entrées

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To learn more, visit

ALL IN THE FAMILY Spinato’s Pizzeria focuses on quality and customers The Spinato family came to Arizona from Chicago in 1974 and opened the first Spinato’s Pizzeria in 1984. Today, Spinato’s has six locations and employs more than 300 people across the Valley. Some things at Spinato’s have changed through the decades, but others remain the same. “We always source fresh, quality ingredients, and we take the extra step to scratch-make our items in-house,” said Anthony Spinato, president and CEO. “Our secret sauce has always remained the same recipe, as it is the staple of what we do, and that will never change.” Customer focus is a top priority. “Spinato’s has always been a people-first business,” Spinato said. “We are dedicated to building an experience for each person that walks in the door, and this extends to our staff. If it wasn’t for the staff and guests, we wouldn’t be here today. We are excited to continue to support and grow with our community and pay it forward.” The Spinato family takes a hands-on approach to all aspects of the business. Anthony oversees operations with a focus on empowering staff and building culture. His wife, a graduate of the Arizona Culinary Institute, helped build some of the menu items and now oversees community outreach and brand marketing, including interior design and social media. Anthony’s sister, Nicole,

is the office manager and leads employee engagement. Her husband runs Spinato’s catering business. While the family patriarch, Ken, has moved away from day-to-day operations, he continues to play an important role. “My father now focuses on staff and guest feedback,” Spinato said. “He visits every store at least once a week to meet people and listen to what they have to say. He brings that feedback to our family headquarters to be used in future staff training. He has never taken for granted the soul of the business, which is the people.” In addition to the delicious food, the service and experience keep loyal customers coming back. “The more we support and empower our staff, the more likely they are to pass on a great experience to every person that dines with us,” Spinato said. “We can make more than just pizza; we can make lasting memories and relationships.” To learn more, go to

Photos courtesy of Everardo Keeme


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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: | |

KITCHEN DOORS { let’s eat }

BARK BOMBS OFFER THE ULTIMATE SUGAR EXPLOSION Local cooking instructor launches a line of sweet treats Like many people, Maggie Norris changed her business and her life as a result of the pandemic. Norris owns Whisked Away Cooking School, where she teaches cooking classes in her home. “With the pandemic shutdown, I couldn’t bring students into my home,” Norris said. “The silver lining of COVID for me was spending more time with my family.” As COVID restrictions lifted, Norris was enjoying the balance in her life and cut back to three cooking classes a week. She had a drive to continue to be creative and share her love of cooking.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Norris

Bark Bombs are made with Ghirardelli white chocolate, Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, Oreos, pretzels, M&Ms and sprinkles. There is a peanut butter version with peanut butter chips, peanut butter M&Ms and Nutter Butter cookies. Norris also creates Bark Bombs for holidays and events. “We’ve had great feedback so far,” Norris said. “People love chocolate but are looking for something unique. Bark Bombs are a very versatile product for gifts, holidays and events.” Launching a product business was a new experience for Norris. “Bark Bombs is totally different than running a cooking school,” she said. “There was a definite learning curve with social media tools, packaging and production.” To spread the word about her new product line, Norris promoted Bark Bombs on social media, sent emails to her Whisked Away database and partnered with Instagram influencers. Photo courtesy of Life Created

In early 2022, Bark Bombs was born, inspired by Halloween bark made by Norris’s mother-in-law. Norris created some bark treats for her daughter’s school and launched the business in time for Valentine’s Day. “I wanted to do something new, and working on Bark Bombs gave me the same fire and desire as when Whisked Away started in 2009,” Norris said. “I enjoy having a creative outlet during the day and spending time with my family in the evening.”

Norris is still learning and shares some advice with new business owners. “It is so exciting to start a new business, but it can be overwhelming, so I had to set boundaries,” she said. “I also learned that it’s OK to not be perfect at the start. Give yourself grace to let the business evolve.” Norris is excited about the future of Bark Bombs and plans to launch new products for summer. “I’m taking it day by day,” she said. “I see a lot of potential for growth, and I have so many ideas.” To learn more, visit


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BEJEWELED REALITY In April, the ARTrageous Gala: Luminescence celebrated the best of art and innovation in our community. A one-night jubilee filled with living art experiences and fantastical creations, Luminescence was the perfect mix of art, fashion and cirque-style entertainment by Quixotic. This ultra-sensory evening benefited Scottsdale Arts.

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Image courtesy of Chris Loomis






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