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Phoenix, Biltmore Fashion Park 24 4 6 E AST C AM ELBACK R D. 602 . 955 . 8 0 0 0.


Andrea Tyler Evans EDITOR





Lynette Carrington, Judy Pearson, Carey Peña FASHION WRITER


Jillian Rivera

On the Cover




Nicole King Thurlkill Studios


Thurlkill Studios

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

Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier.

TABLE OF CONTENTS {september 2018, volume 16, issue 9}


EDITOR’S NOTE......................... 05 The Benefits of Diversity 10 QUESTIONS WITH............. 06 Diana Yazzie Devine BOOKMARKED.......................... 10 Who’s Reading What this Month OFFICE DOORS......................... 12 Sam of Detour Company Theatre CAREY’S CORNER................... 16 Diversity Makes Us Better Leaders


COVER STORY.......................... 20 Culture, Concussions and Community NEXT DOORS............................. 28 It’s Not Just About ‘Diversity’ GIVING IN STYLE..................... 32 Suited with Confidence, Hope and Style CHARITY SPOTLIGHT........... 38 one•n•ten KITCHEN DOORS..................... 42 Where We Ate This Month A 2ND ACT..................................... 44 Finding a Rainbow OPEN DOORS............................ 48 Arizona’s John McCain


+ Latina Giving Circle

+ Detour Company Theatre

+ Native American Connections

+ Dress for Success Phoenix

+ one-n-ten


EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

THE BENEFITS OF DIVERSITY In this issue, we explore and celebrate diversity in our community. How do we define it? Not just by traits like race, ethnicity and gender, but by age, sexuality and points of view. People with disabilities are included as well as people of different economic means. There are some obvious benefits to our quality of life from living in a diverse, inclusive society that are supported by data. Plenty of research shows that diverse organizations are more vibrant and versatile. A 2016 Harvard Business Review article, “Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter,” found that not only were diverse companies more profitable, they were also more successful and innovative. It seems that working in a diverse environment combats cultural blind spots and brings new perspectives to the table. From jury panels to stock management teams, diverse groups outperformed homogeneous ones by every mark. Throughout this issue we shine a spotlight on inspiring people within our community. Our cover story profiles José Cárdenas and his son Dr. Javier Cárdenas, two brilliant minds who embrace their culture while working on everyone’s behalf. Tom Evans talks with Oscar De las salas and Mesha Davis about how Arizona is faring when it comes to being an inclusive, accepting place. And diversity of thought, mind and body

is a key message in Carey Peña’s piece about Joelle Hadley and her work supporting inclusiveness. We’ve only scratched the surface, of course. After all, diversity is more than a one-time subject for a special issue. Instead, we hope to continue to integrate more diversity into our pages in an authentic way, making Frontdoors a forum that encourages different viewpoints and people. By valuing inclusiveness, we can showcase and celebrate different members of our community so that we can — finally, wonderfully — see one another. In the end, we hope for two things from our work: professional success and personal satisfaction. When we incorporate the benefits of diversity, we put both goals within better reach. Enjoy the issue.

Karen Werner EDITOR



DIANA YAZZIE DEVINE President and CEO of Native American Connections

1. How long has Native American Connections been around, and why was it created? Native American Connections (NAC) was founded in 1972 by a few Native men who were sober and in alcohol recovery. They were committed to providing a safe, affordable place to live, where 6  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

residents would be supported in their recovery and connect to jobs and community resources. NAC provides cultural and social support to Native people living in the Phoenix metropolitan area. It started with a drop-in center with community education and support, and in 1978 opened Indian Rehabilitation, a 16-bed residential substance-use treatment center that operated at the same site

for 38 years. Since opening that site, NAC has grown to providing comprehensive behavioral health services, affordable housing for families and formerly homeless men and women along with emergency housing for youth, and community development services at over 20 locations, serving more than 10,000 people per year.

not just the problems they presented with — and also acknowledging that substance abuse affects everyone in the family and their community.

2. Has its purpose changed over the years?

The urban Native American community continued to grow larger in the Phoenix area as people were moving to seek jobs, education and housing. So NAC kept growing to meet the needs. NAC purchased its first property in 1978 and has leveraged that single service site into developing more than 20 service sites throughout Central Phoenix, providing a comprehensive range of behavioral health services, both residential and outpatient; over 750 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals; affordable housing for working families; emergency housing for homeless youth; and community development activities that include the 2017 re-opening of the former Phoenix Indian School and the development of administrative space at the Native American Community Service Center in midtown Phoenix, in partnership with the Phoenix Indian Center. NAC owns and operates all of our services sites and continues to leverage our resources to meet the needs of the Native population and the growing needs of low-income families. NAC opened the beautiful 70-bed residential substance-use disorder program Patina Wellness Center in 2016 and within months was at full capacity.

The mission has remained the same: providing safe, affordable places to live — 750 units of housing where residents are supported with healthy life skills and substance-abuse recovery. NAC has expanded from serving Native men to serving women and their dependent children, families and all populations requesting services, with the Native population remaining our priority. Our 200 employees are committed to the mission; many were formerly homeless or involved with the criminal justice system as a result of alcohol and drug addiction.

3. You’ve worked with the organization for nearly 40 years. How did you become involved? I had been working in northern Wisconsin with one of the Ojibwe communities prior to moving to Arizona. When I came to NAC in 1979, I didn’t realize this would become my life’s work. I was the third employee for Indian Rehabilitation. We all did everything, but mostly I focused on running the facility and the financial and administrative work. But I helped with groups and cooking and transporting men to appointments — whatever it took to keep things going. About six months into my employment, the board of directors gave me the title of executive director, but it didn’t really change what I did. Not long after, NAC opened Guiding Star, a residential treatment program for Native women and their children. Then, clients asked for sober living and NAC opened its first transitional supportive housing community. Our treatment philosophy was “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit,” so in the early 1980s NAC already began focusing on the “whole person” —

4. Tell us about the work Native American Connections does today.

5. What are some of the biggest challenges facing Native Americans locally? The impact of historical trauma on health disparities, economic development and cultural preservation. NAC is particularly focused on improving health disparities and addressing the social determinants of health (housing, transportation, education). To ensure we meet challenges, a large portion of our employee base includes individuals who have histories with substance use, the criminal justice system SEPTEMBER 2018 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  7 


and homelessness. Their experience helps shape our approach to working on trauma and creating opportunities for improved health and housing stability.

6. Traditional healing practices such as sweat lodges, talking circles, smudging and drumming are incorporated into your treatments. Why are they important? Traditional healing is incorporated as practicebased services that have been utilized for centuries. Connecting to culture opens the door to a healing and spiritual approach to recovery. NAC approaches substance-use recovery with the importance of healing historical and other traumas that have affected the person and their family.

7. Affordable housing is a big part of your mission. How do your apartments help develop a sense of community? NAC starts with thoughtful architectural design — working along with our architects to design apartment communities that are safe, bring people together, have great community play spaces, community centers and kitchens, computer labs and fitness centers. Since 2010, all NAC properties are either LEED platinum or gold certified, smoke-free, and on the light rail or near major transportation stops. NAC is committed to developing locations that are near jobs, good schools, grocery stores, healthcare and community arts. Resident services are critical to enriching our communities, providing financial education, parenting and life skills, after-school programming, including “Kids Café,” where children can count on a nutritious meal after school with tutoring and social activities. During the summer, NAC offers programs for children. Residents volunteer to run many of the programs,

including reading to the kids, recycling programs, AA and other support recovery programs.

8. What kind of impact has Native American Connections made on the lives of the people it has touched over the years? NAC has numerous stories of people who have been impacted, from Tribal elected officials to entrepreneurs to healthcare employees, all contributing in a healthy way to their families and their community.

9. What’s next for the organization? NAC is moving toward integrated healthcare — behavioral, medical and oral health — opening the door for easy access to care. NAC recently completed a major renovation of the HomeBase facility, now operating as the only youth emergency shelter for youth aged 18-24 in Maricopa County. NAC is also focusing on renovating Saguaro Ki, located adjacent to HomeBase, which will provide much-needed transitional and rapid re-housing services for youth. In addition, NAC has begun developing Patina Mountain Preserve, a 48-bed residential treatment center that will help us meet the growing need for addiction and opioid treatment. Finally, NAC is constructing a 72-unit affordable housing community on 2nd Avenue and Fillmore Street in downtown Phoenix, which will open in spring 2019.

10. How can readers support the work you’re doing? There are numerous volunteer activities and donor drives. Each year, NAC looks for volunteers for our annual Native American Recognition Days Parade as well as the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center alumni reunion, both held in mid-October. To learn more, visit



BEHIND THE DOOR {the caniglia group}


Steve Caniglia

Shelley Caniglia

6738 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

107 W. Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021

One of the most beautiful custom homes on prestigious Central Avenue. Fully remodeled in 2014 to reflect a Santa Barbara style with tons of small details, high-end finishes, hardwood floors, beautiful tile work and custom woodworking. Foyer opens onto great room with breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows and grand staircase with catwalk. Custom iron work fabricated onsite for truly one-of-a-kind doors and stair railings. Home includes 4 bedrooms, 3 baths with 3681 square feet. French doors flank the office with access to the side courtyard. High-end kitchen with stainless steel appliances, island and walk-in pantry. Sunken living room with built-in shelving and window seat. Master bedroom with 2 walk-in closets and a spa-like bathroom with his and her vanities. Sitting on a sprawling 15,603 square foot lot with numerous mature trees, tons of grass for play, sparkling swimming pool, huge wood beamed covered patio, 2 car attached garage and a 2 car detached garage. Excelling Madison schools. This home will not last long and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Custom built home with outstanding features on a gorgeous .95 acre, flood irrigated lot in the North Central Corridor! Classic 2 story home with fabulous balcony in front and circular driveway. Maple cabinets throughout and a spectacular curved staircase in foyer. Vaulted ceiling in living room with impressive, exposed wood beams. Kitchen includes large island and Gibraltar Wilsonart countertops. Large master suite downstairs, 3 spacious bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs and office with built-ins made with Knotty Hickory/Rock Maple wood. Extremely well built home with wood frame/foam/solid sheathing underneath stucco exterior. Block wall surrounding entire back yard for privacy. RV gate/parking and a 5 car garage! Huge covered patio in back overlooking numerous mature trees including, orange, tangelo, grapefruit, apple, peach, plums, apricots and pomegranate. This property is also zoned as horse property with a corral and Dutch barn in the backyard. Excelling Madison schools. Close to everything North Central Phoenix has to offer!

The Caniglia Group

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

BOOKMARKED {what are you reading} Members of the Latina Giving Circle share their favorite books.

JOYCE MEDINA HARPER Chair, Latina Giving Circle and Executive Director of the Dougherty Foundation


H E R TA K E “As I endeavor to raise two Afro-Latino boys, I have much to share with them about their role as men in this society. This book highlights the role that we all play in creating gender roles and how we must teach our boys to

understand that they have a responsibility in ensuring an equal society for all. Through Adichie’s easy storytelling, we see how she has faced inequity and claimed the word ‘feminist’ with her own positive characterization.”

BELEN GONZALEZ Member, Latina Giving Circle


H E R TA K E “As I was making a major professional change last year, this book provided me with insight into following my dreams and visions, guided by my values and integrity. The book’s storytelling made it fun to

read and I can understand why this book is considered a classic. At the end of it, I knew that this journey of mine will be full of adventure and challenges, but it will be mine!”

JANUARY CONTRERAS Member, Latina Giving Circle


H E R TA K E “I read ‘The Nightingale’ twice and loved it just as much the second time. I find myself drawn to the story because it’s about strong women — the triumphs and trials we represent in history, and how leadership can look so different


than the average expectation. It's also about the ability of everyday people and families to overcome dark forces of power and hate. There is some sadness in the book, for sure, but it left me inspired about the power of the individual.”

BOOKMARKED {what are you reading}

READER SPOTLIGHT: MI-AI PARRISH Sue Clark-Johnson Professor in Media Innovation and Leadership at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication In addition to her role as CEO and president of MAP Strategies Group, Parrish received the 2017 Athena Award for Businesswoman of the Year in the private sector. We asked what book she has recently enjoyed.

“A RIVER OF STARS: A NOVEL” BY VANESSA HUA H E R TA K E “This recently released first novel is a beautifully crafted and unexpected Asian-American tale that is resonant about motherhood, personal identity, immigration and the messiness of a modern American.”

Arts & Culture Directory FALL 2018


OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}


Founder and artistic director of Detour Company Theatre Lynette Carrington | Contributing Writer

When Christopher Forrest asked his mother how he could appear onstage like so many other actors and actresses he had seen during his mother’s job teaching at a local school, it was a lightbulb moment that has gone on to illuminate an entire industry in the Valley. Single moniker theatrical powerhouse and activist Sam was recently recognized for her inspirational efforts with a Governor’s Arts Award. As founder and artistic director of Detour Company Theatre, she created a theater company that specifically includes performers with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism and Down syndrome. All adult actors who want to participate are welcome, and performances are free to the public. An early incarnation of the company was formed in 2000 when Sam worked with two other women to create a group called Play It By Heart. Sam enthusiastically embraced the chance to provide a recreational program for people with disabilities, 12  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

but realized she needed to create a little “detour” with the company. “I had come from teaching theater at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and all I wanted to do was teach theater, movement and arts,” Sam said. She realized that if she was going to walk away from her job, she wanted to be advocating for a real arts experience, not just a recreational program. At the time, her son Christopher, multi-brain damaged since birth and living with mild cerebral palsy, had spent time around theatrical productions while his mother was teaching theater. He told his mother that he wanted to have a chance to take the stage, too, and Detour Company

At Detour Company Theatre, Sam works to promote accessibility, family and opportunity by providing participants with an authentic artistic experience.


Theatre was born in 2003. Performers find Detour Company Theatre because of its stellar reputation for a variety of performance opportunities. Participation is maxed out, according to Sam, but there is talk of breaking the main stage group into two parts later this year. “It’s not based on ability. This would allow us to have Show A and Show B, and it looks like that may happen,” she said. The company currently has a main stage group, a summer workshop, an up-and-coming troupe and Detour on Tour that includes seasoned performers that travel and perform. Recently, Sam was awarded the Governor’s Arts Award in the individual category. “I was so surprised, so honored and completely awed by it all,” Sam said. “This is marginal theater. There is Jewish, Black, Asian, LGTBQ theater and those groups are championed and have the ability to write and speak for themselves. My population doesn’t do that.” She feels as though the Governor’s Arts Award recognizes Detour as a legitimate theater company providing an authentic arts experience for a marginalized group. “That’s huge, and that’s the soapbox that I’ve been on for 20 years,” Sam said.

Detour Company Theatre makes sure that every performance is free to the public and that no actor is ever turned away for lack of funds.

Christopher is now 41 and continues with Detour, attending classes ranging from hiphop to improv. He was the catalyst for Detour Company Theatre, but Sam’s granddaughter Kenzie Belanger was further justification for her work. Sam’s daughter had a baby girl born with a rare genetic disorder resulting in disabilities. “I realized I was staring at the face of a new generation of princesses,” Sam said. “There is always going to be a new little one born with a diagnosis. I kept Detour going not just for my son, but because I was inspired that there was a little girl born with a disability that deserved a chance, and whose mommy deserved to believe 14  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

that her daughter could dress up in costume and glitter and be surrounded by magic.” Kenzie passed away last year, before her fourth birthday, and the theater lives on in her spirit. Contemplating her own retirement, Sam still has her theater as top priority. “How do we inspire a younger generation of artists, teachers and creative, heart-motivated, compassionate folks to keep this kind of work going?” she said. Sam’s biggest endeavor now is transfusing her passion into others. “I want to train, invite and encourage a new generation of teachers, directors and designers so they see that theater belongs to all.” To learn more about Detour Company Theatre, go to






2018-19 Arizona Tax Credit

Frontdoors Media will once again be producing its special Tax Credit publication featuring qualified entities for the 2018-19 tax season. With a run time from November 1, 2018 to the April 15, 2019 contribution deadline, it’s a great resource for eligible organizations looking to stand out from the crowd and for individuals looking for the right place to donate.

WHAT IS THE TAX CREDIT GIVING GUIDE? This annual guide is a special publication that includes an infographic and an article on the donations and how they work, citing experts in the finance, education and nonprofit fields to demonstrate how easy it is for donors to participate. The article will provide links to further documentation, including the directory of participating organizations in each of the four tax credit categories, so that readers can have third-party confirmation that their donation is going to a legitimate cause. The goal is simple — to show readers that tax credit contributions are a quick, easy and effective way to support charities without adversely impacting their bottom line. Contact by October 3, 2018 to reserve your space in one of the following tax credit categories: 1. ARIZONA QUALIFIED CHARITY TAX CREDIT (LIMITED TO 50 QUALIFIED ORGANIZATIONS) 2. ARIZONA QUALIFYING FOSTER CARE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION TAX CREDIT 3. PUBLIC SCHOOL TAX CREDIT 4. PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION ORGANIZATION

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CAREY’S CORNER {carey peña reports}

DIVERSITY MAKES US BETTER LEADERS Valley woman teaches how a shift in mindset can boost innovation Carey Peña | Contributing Writer

I had a conversation recently with a woman who I have an incredible amount of respect for. Her name is Joelle Hadley, and she is founder of The Culture Coaches and an expert in teaching emotional intelligence. Hadley appeared on my podcast, Carey Peña Reports, to talk about leadership and a course she teaches called “Lead Like a Genius.” Sitting in our Inspired Media 360 studio, we discussed how great leaders learn and identify their own personal values. How they create a purpose statement, learn empowering language skills, and figure out how to deal with difficult things. She also supplied me with some rather eye-opening statistics: • 71 percent of companies say that their leaders are not ready to lead their organization into the future. • 83 percent of companies say it’s important to develop their leaders at all levels ... but only 5 percent actually do it. 16  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

• Nearly 25 percent of American companies say less than 10 percent of their leadership positions have a ready successor. In a follow-up conversation, we talked about the importance of diversity and how it strengthens us as leaders because it allows for better decision making, and better results. Let’s examine this further.

WHY DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT IS IMPORTANT IN THE WORKPLACE Hadley explained that allowing diverse ideas out into the open is often referred to as a “shared pool of meaning.” This community pool, she said, should be full of ideas so leaders can make the best decisions. The more perspectives, ideas and approaches to a challenge or goal, the more likely there will be quality decisions. The key, however, is creating a safe environment in organizations for diverse ideas to flourish. Hadley emphasized that if employees, or customers, feel like they don’t have a voice, don’t have some aspect of choice, or don’t





feel valued and appreciated, their cognitive problem solving and creative thinking skills can decrease by up to as much as 75 percent. “We can literally shut off our stakeholders’ brains if we don’t allow them to share their voice, ideas and perspectives,” she said. Conversely, Hadley said, when we include people from all walks of life — whether that be generationally, culturally, economically, or in terms of religion or lifestyle — we challenge our own assumptions and predictable ways of thinking. “Diversity is a gray zone. You have to be comfortable with not having things being black and white, right or wrong,” Hadley said. “It’s actually very freeing for all of us. The heart of creativity is freedom. The heart of diversity is freedom — freedom to be included.”

DIVERSITY NEEDS TO BE AUTHENTIC In exploring what makes a great leader, Hadley pointed out that it is more than hiring people with different skin colors, lifestyles or cultural and religious backgrounds. It extends to thoughts and ideas. It has to come from an authentic place. “As humans, we naturally want to stay in our comfort zones,” Hadley said, “so we gravitate toward those who are most like us. It takes effort and discomfort to consciously put people and ideas around us that are different. But, man, when we really begin to understand how others see and approach life that might be different than us, there is this amazing gratitude and appreciation for them.”

“I DON’T LIKE THAT MAN. I MUST GET TO KNOW HIM BETTER.” — ABE LINCOLN A great leader, Hadley pointed out, will set a vision for success and then cast a wide net on how to get there. A leader who is inclusive is always asking people, “How do we do this?” “What are


your thoughts?” “Where are the answers?” “Who else should we be talking to?” “What do you think?” And they ask it with genuine curiosity and non-judgment or defense. Hadley makes a convincing case about why all of this matters. “Leaders who create a diverse work environment cultivate a workplace of respect,” she said. “Respect is a basic human need and dignity. When we provide this, we allow humans to reach their full potential and in turn the organization does as well.” So we have to ask ourselves, why is diversity of thought and ideas so often lacking in the workplace? At the end of the day, Hadley said, it has to do with fear. Fear of being different from others. “But what I have found,” she said, “is that when you truly get to know someone — especially someone who is different from you on the outside — we come to understand we actually are pretty much the same on the inside: wanting to love and be loved. Wanting to belong. Wanting to make a difference and showing up in the world in the best way we can and in the ways we know how.” For Joelle Hadley, traveling and teaching leadership and diversity with her company, The Culture Coaches, is all part of encouraging people, especially in the workplace, to become more emotionally intelligent. We all have the ability to lead like a genius. Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way. To hear my interview with Joelle Hadley, visit



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JosĂŠ CĂĄrdenas commissioned the artist George Yepes to paint a portrait of his late wife, Virginia. Here, he and his son Dr. Javier CĂĄrdenas pose in front of the painting.

COVER STORY {by karen werner}

José A. Cárdenas and Dr. Javier Cárdenas demonstrate the importance of work, the value of family and the commitment to building community.

Dad is general counsel to Arizona State University and the host of a public affairs TV show. Son is a neurologist and director of the Barrow Concussion & Brain Injury Center. Together, they make a formidable father-son duo that is moving Arizona toward a brighter future.

later she met José’s father. The two built a family that included three boys and one girl.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, José Cárdenas came from humble beginnings. His father had a sixth-grade education and moved to the U.S. from Mexico when he was in his 30s. José’s mother was born in a small town in northern Nevada to Mexican parents. Her mother died when she was 6 and she moved with her father and siblings to railroad housing in Las Vegas, where years

After his father was killed in a work accident when José was 15, the teenager wanted to drop out of school. His mother wouldn’t hear of it. Luckily, José also received emotional support from his childhood sweetheart, Virginia, a 5-foot-tall beauty he began dating in ninth grade who became the great love of his life.

“Even though they didn’t have much education, they stressed education and the importance of having an honest job,” José said.

“I started out as an engineering major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas but couldn’t



visualize in 3D,” José said. “Fortunately, I had a history professor who thought I wrote well and took an interest in me. He’s the one who suggested I consider law, even though I had never met a lawyer.”

FATHER KNOWS BEST After UNLV, José made his way to Stanford University with Virginia, now his new bride. There, their family began to grow with the birth of their eldest son, Javier. “I am in the Stanford Law School yearbook, though I was just a baby,” Dr. Javier Cárdenas said with a laugh. After José completed law school, he got an offer from a big firm in Los Angeles. But the more the young family considered their options, the less appealing a big city was. José was interested in criminal law and moved the family to Phoenix in 1978 to work for the firm of Lewis and Roca (now Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie), where he stayed until 2009. During those years, José and Virginia put down deep roots in the Valley. They welcomed two more sons, José Luis and Sergio, and became tireless community champions. “I can’t say that Virginia and I had this grand scheme, but we did try to model commitment to family, to community, to being honest and working hard,” José said. “I can’t say that I was a ‘Father Knows Best’ type of father with profound messages for my children. But I think Virginia and I both tried to model what we thought was good behavior.”

A DIFFERENT ROAD Their approach seems to have worked. Javier graduated from Chandler High School and went on to earn an education degree at ASU. He taught for a year at Tolleson Union High School, but an early career experience ultimately steered him down a different road. As part of a student-teaching session, he went back to Chandler High to train in special education. He spoke with the parents of students he was helping, asking what it was like to raise


a child with a disability. “Something that stuck with me is that their experience with physicians was poor. Either the physician would not speak to the child at all, or the physician would speak to the child in baby talk, or they would blame the mother for the child’s neurological condition,” Javier said. These conversations inspired him to move on from teaching and enroll in medical school at the University of Arizona. From there he found his way to pediatric neurology, where another chance encounter would solidify his path. A 7-year-old named Emily had been riding an ATV and suffered a brain injury from an accident. “It really had an impact on me,” Javier said. “So I thought that I would work to create a program to address brain injuries for those individuals who are discharged from the hospital or go to the ER and don’t have a place to have comprehensive care.” As a result, Javier created the Barrow Concussion & Brain Injury Center, which is the nation’s most comprehensive concussion prevention, treatment and education program. The center works to address brain injuries in all forms, whether they’re from car crashes, sports or domestic violence. “We try to address these injuries in the most comprehensive manner we can. We have a team of neurologists, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists to help address the physical, behavioral and cognitive deficits associated with brain injury,” Javier said. As director, Javier also created the Barrow Brainbook, which Arizona high school students must complete to participate in school sports. It’s the first mandated online concussion education and testing tool for student athletes in the country. More than 400,000 Arizona youths have completed the training since it launched in 2011. Javier is proud of Arizona’s leading role in concussion education, legislation and policy. “We were one of the first states to restrict contact practices in football, and we remain the first to restrict the number of heading practices in soccer,” he said. “We came out with something called the helmet dislodgement rule, which

Father and son have an easy rapport as they share memories of Javier and his brothers’ adolescence.

means if the helmet comes off during a football game the athlete has to go to the sidelines and have it inspected. That was adopted nationally. So we’re doing some amazing things in Arizona as it pertains to concussion.”

SMASHING STEREOTYPES Meanwhile, José is doing important things for the state in his own, well-spoken way. As host of the KAET Channel 8 weekly public affairs program “Horizonte,” he has introduced hundreds of notable artists, scientists and thought leaders to the community. And

it all began with a missed meeting. “The folks at Channel 8 convened a meeting to talk about how they might have better outreach to the Hispanic community,” José said. “I didn’t make it, but one of the things they talked about was a program modeled on ‘Horizon’ that would focus on the Hispanic community and Hispanic community issues. Several names were suggested to audition. Mine was one of them.” Prospective hosts were called in to audition, an experience José didn’t exactly ace. “I



The Cárdenas home is filled with art, including the entryway, which boasts a collection of paintings of Frida Kahlo done by various artists.


was sure that they wouldn’t want me after that disaster,” he said. “But I was wrong.” Fifteen years — and many dozens of interviews — later, José relishes the platform as an opportunity to squash stereotypes and shift perspectives. For instance, he interviewed an internationally known cancer research specialist from the Mayo Clinic who was born and raised in Mexico. “We didn’t make a huge deal out of him being Mexican, but just the fact that he was sent the message,” he said. Whether it’s spotlighting bright young DREAMers or talented artists, José knows the program is increasingly relevant today. “There are still a lot of negative stereotypes, especially in today’s climate. That’s really come to the fore, unfortunately,” he said.

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS They’re successful professionals, sure, but the Cárdenas family has also never forgotten their roots. Virginia spent most of her career working with recent immigrants or their children, first in the counseling department at Chandler High School and later at ASU, where she was an eighth-grade adviser in the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program. For his part, José is actively involved in the community and serves on the board of a number of organizations, including the CALA Alliance (Celebración Artística de las Américas), which promotes Latino culture. He is a trustee of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and served three governors as president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. He also served on the board of Chicanos Por La Causa, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association. Perhaps no service has been as personal as the couple’s longstanding work with Xico, Inc., an ethnic arts organization serving Latino and indigenous artists since 1975. “For well over 30 years we were both involved,” José said. “I’m no longer on the board, but I still run their annual fundraiser dinner and art auction.” Art, particularly Latin American art, is one of José’s driving passions, as it was for his wife before she died of cancer in 2012. Virginia chaired the Arizona Commission on the Arts for a number of years and was a longtime board member of Xico. In her honor, the organization now bestows the Virginia E. Cárdenas Arts Advocate Award.

A MONUMENT TO LOVE The family’s heritage comes to life in José’s warm, welcoming home. Filled from floor to ceiling with meticulously placed artwork, the house is a monument to his love for his late wife. “Virginia and I were both art lovers. We started collecting when I was in law school,” José said. Most of the home’s rooms have themes, though that was somewhat accidental. The couple started arranging pieces and then friends would give them artwork as well. Today, there is a room full of Madonnas, one filled with angels, a room of crosses as well as a Frida Kahlo-themed entryway. There’s a political room, a hallway filled with Día de los Muertos figures, and a room that celebrates Mexico. Virginia’s presence is everywhere, from the kitchen where she cooked to the bookshelves lined with her books in both English and Spanish. The patio SEPTEMBER 2018 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  25 


where she entertained is dotted with colorful murals, including one depicting a smiling Virginia kneeling below citrus trees, holding a book. “She loved to read and was a very good cook,” José said, pointing out framed photos of Virginia throughout her life. Here she is at her first Holy Communion. There, at her quinceañera. There is a shot of the couple on their first date and many of Virginia with her sons when they were young. Scores of photographs celebrate her life, and the family’s life together. Javier and his brothers grew up in this home, absorbing their parents’ lessons. “My parents were always involved in the community, especially in arts programs,” Javier said. “We’d go to events that were largely community-driven and we enjoyed it. It didn’t dawn on me that my parents were volunteering. It was part of our regular routine.” Along the way, the boys picked up some critical learning. “My parents always led by example, meaning that they were always involved in helping others, and especially our community, to make sure that everybody had the same opportunities that we did, and that our community was as healthy as we were as a family.”

PASSING IT ON Now, as the father of three children himself, Javier works to pass on the example to his own kids. In addition to his busy schedule at the Barrow Center, he sits on the National Federation of High School Sports Advisory Committee and is vice chair of the National Football League Head, Neck and Spine Committee. He volunteers for a number of community organizations and serves on the board of directors of the Arizona School for the Arts, where his children attend school, as well as Vitalyst Health Foundation, Arizona Community Foundation, Fiesta Bowl Charities and Chicanos Por La Causa.


When it comes to the values he hopes his children Sophia, 17, Dominic, 16, and Santino, 14, absorb, they are much the same as those his parents taught him: education, health and community. “My daughter is a good example. She’s already volunteered hundreds of hours for Girl Scouts and spent a good chunk of the summer volunteering at Camp Maripai,” Javier said. For the Cárdenas family, much of their work can be summed up in that one word: community. “My community means everything to me,” said Javier. “I’m a very proud Arizonan. And I hope that’s reflected in our community work.”

A TROUBLING TIME Through all of their efforts, a love of Arizona and a respect for community shine through. That’s not to say that commitment is always easy. In his office, José has a framed complaint that his boss, ASU President Dr. Michael Crow, received from someone who thought it was unfair that Dr. Crow “hired a Mexican as his general counsel.” These are troubling times, José said. “I’m distressed. My assumption is that many Hispanics are as well about the demonization of immigrants. It’s saddening that more people aren’t as offended as I think they should be.” So the family continues their efforts on the job, on the airwaves and in our community to champion the people and the state that they love. “My Arizona community is as diverse as my family,” Javier said. “There are opportunities we need to create that can have a significant impact on families and definitely benefit Arizona. Education. Work opportunities. All of these are ways in which our community grows. The state gets a bad rap, whether it’s our politics or something that’s said and done by Arizonans. But Arizona has much to be proud of.” And so does this father and son.

In his home office, José keeps a framed copy of a complaint sent to ASU President Dr. Michael Crow about his hiring.

José was 14 when he went on his first date with Virginia. Framed photographs throughout their home illustrate their life together.


NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT ‛DIVERSITY.’ It's about acceptance. Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

It’s hard to talk about diversity these days without the conversation getting dragged into politics. That’s just the nature of the beast that is the year 2018. But I’m going to try, because no matter where your political preferences lie, there’s a fact coming our way that is indisputable — Arizona is becoming increasingly diverse, and will emerge over the coming years as one of the most culturally diverse states in the country.

But when it comes down to it, as community leader Oscar De las salas pointed out to me, diversity is really nothing more than math. And it means nothing if it’s not accompanied by an acceptance of others. Not “tolerance” — that’s a term that leaves wiggle room, De las salas pointed out. “When it comes to diversity and community, the word ‘tolerance’ defines a way to harbor inner feelings of discomfort, and unpleasant emotions that could be damaging for all. I choose the term ‘acceptance,’ which has a more soulful, driven meaning, and speaks to inclusion,” he said.

Diversity is really ❝ nothing more

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2017 Arizona was home to just over 7 million residents. Of those, 55 percent classified themselves as “white, not Hispanic or Latino,” meaning a full 45 percent of our population consists of minority groups. That’s a 5 percent drop in the Caucasian population from 10 years before. Twenty-six percent of Arizona households have a language other than English spoken in the home.

than math.


De las salas speaks from a unique perspective. He’s a tireless community volunteer, a proud gay man with a loving husband, and a naturalized American citizen of Latin American descent who has called Arizona home for about 20 years. He sees the diversity in the Grand Canyon State,

When it comes to diversity, community leader Oscar De las salas prefers to talk about “acceptance” rather than “tolerance.”

Mesha Davis, CEO of Arizona Foundation for Women (right), works to advance the status of all Arizonans. She is shown here with Kim Hartmann (board chair of Arizona Foundation for Women), Marilyn Seymann (founder of the organization) and Dr. Ken Snyder (dental director of St. Vincent de Paul).

but sees a lot of road ahead until we are a truly inclusive community. “When real data and numbers and percentages are shown about how our state is made in terms of cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, lifestyle and races, you would think that Arizona is a melting pot,” he said. “In reality, the melting pot is simply a bowl that’s never been mixed.” Another unique perspective comes from Mesha Davis, an African-American woman who is CEO of the Arizona Foundation for Women and has worked closely with the LGBTQ community as well. “As far as becoming more diverse, for African Americans, the scale teeters,” she said. “I have encountered many African Americans who move to Arizona but leave within six months to a year. When I asked them why they left, or are leaving, they share that they didn’t feel 30  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

connected to Arizona and those living here, or it was a culture shock due to the lack of seeing other African Americans and ethnic cultures.” But Davis said she has enjoyed some wonderful experiences when it comes to diversity and inclusion in Arizona — despite the trepidation of some about our state’s growth in general. There has been some progress — it’s a process, De las salas said. “Slowly, we have seen the Hispanic community (those who speak Spanish), Latinos (those from Latin America), Native Americans, African Americans, Asians, gay and lesbian people, disabled individuals, veterans, single mothers and many others taking a prominent seat at the tables at which conversations and discussions about their own home are happening,” De las salas said. “All sorts of dialogue, conversations and action-producing meetings are happening


here in the place where they live to help participate in the future of our ‘home.’” Davis said she believes that people from diverse backgrounds are finding their own communities in our state — she mentioned the LGBTQ community and women in our state as examples — but the communities could benefit from more interaction. “Arizona still has a way to go in attracting diverse populations,” Davis said. “Like Minnesota or Washington, we don’t have a great pool of corporate headquarters or tech jobs that attract a variety of individuals. I have not truly noticed or been exposed to many cultures actually coming together, but as individuals of various backgrounds move to Arizona, I do feel they often find others like themselves and continue to build on their personal culture and community.”

At the end of the day, De las salas is optimistic about our state’s future when it comes to being an inclusive, accepting place to live — but with a big “If.” “I believe Arizona will continue to evolve in diverse directions and benefit from the natural enrichment in every corner of society — IF we include everyone, IF we hear what each community has to say, IF we listen, and IF we stop building walls,” he said.



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GIVING IN STYLE {fashion in the philanthropy lane}

SUITED WITH CONFIDENCE, HOPE AND STYLE Dress for Success Phoenix empowers a diverse population to thrive Tyler Butler | Fashion Writer

The year was 2007 and the United States was facing the greatest financial crisis of our time. The country had lost more than 7.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate had doubled — peaking at more than 10 percent. It was during this difficult time that Lisa Doromal, a stay-at-home mother of two, was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show. Doromal was tuned into a segment on Dress for Success, an international nonprofit that focuses on empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools. Having a background in clothing textiles, fashion merchandising and retail, Doromal was immediately drawn to the mission. During the next year Doromal began to consider her own situation and how she herself was not unlike the women that Dress for Success was working to help. As a Latina wife and mother, Doromal recognized that she was only one catastrophic life event away from needing the type of assistance Dress for Success provides.


This epiphany coupled with her knowledge of the fashion industry was enough to motivate her to launch an affiliate of the charity. She researched resources and began to see the potential for Dress for Success to grow outside of its current markets. Nine months later, the worldwide Dress for Success headquarters approved her request for a Phoenix affiliate and Doromal’s dreams of helping women in need became a reality. Much like Dress for Success’s existing affiliates, the Phoenix branch would focus on suiting, leadership, employment retention, job training and career center resources. A local communitybased boutique would be the first step to outfitting women for employment. Connecting to leaders who could advise the women on life skills and job information would enhance their chance for success. The program would also provide strategies to nurture professional growth. And job training would build confidence, improve networking skills and teach work-related topics. Through these foundational programs, the

Dress for Success Phoenix CEO Lisa Doromal addresses the crowd at a recent gala.


Reyna, a Dress for Success client, shows off the type of professional attire that has helped her achieve both confidence and economic independence.

organization empowered women with tools to find and maintain a career. However, the Arizona affiliate expanded on these concepts to include something instrumental to its success in a sprawling urban area like Phoenix: the Mobile Career Center. This resource allowed the organization to serve women who were unable to make it to the organization’s boutique due to transportation barriers.

for Success’s mission and adding another layer of diversity. In collaboration with St. Joseph the Worker, Dress for Success is preparing to launch Tailor Made for Success, a suiting program for men entering the workforce. The group will leverage the same model that has proven successful for the women-focused Dress for Success concept with a goal of aiding every population needing help to become gainfully employed.

“It has been truly remarkable to see the growth and impact our organization has made on women in our community,” Doromal said. “As we get closer to celebrating our 10 years of service and our 10,000 clients, we look forward to expanding our services to all of the communities we serve.”

Dress for Success Phoenix’s director of operations, Mark Teetor, said that “traditionally Dress for Success has been run by females for females and it has been amazing to be a part of this organization’s diversification. Dress for Success Phoenix embraces different individuals coming from all different backgrounds and our team and our clients

Doromal is continuing to grow the reach and scale of the organization’s efforts by taking Dress 34  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

What's Coming - Up Next Join Dress for Success for its annual Shop for Success Designer Sale on Saturday, September 22 at the National Bank of Arizona Conference Center. For information and ticket details, go to

10% Other or Unknown

6% Unknown

1% Asian 7% Mixed Race 7% Native American

19% African American

6% Under 18

17% 50+ yrs.

Dress for Success Phoenix Serves a Diverse Population

29% Hispanic

27% Caucasian

19% 18-24 yrs.

Helping People of All Ages 18% 41-50 yrs.

12% 25-30 yrs.

22% 31-40 yrs. SEPTEMBER 2018 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  35 


A clothing store on wheels, the Dress for Success mobile unit travels the Valley to help more women move forward in work ... and life.

are a reflection of diversity and inclusion.� Dress for Success Phoenix will also be leveraging a powerful partnership with the Lyft for Good program. Through this collaboration, Lyft will utilize its business model and technology to help recipients of Dress for Success resources enhance their employment opportunities by ensuring they have safe rides to interviews.

In all, Dress for Success Phoenix is providing hope by empowering people through professional attire, tools to secure jobs and support to remain employed. And with the expansion of their services in multiple markets, the organization will be making an even bigger impact in the years ahead.






Enhancing the lives of LGBTQ youth and young adults Jamie Killin | Web Editor

THE STORY one•n•ten’s history began 25 years ago, providing a community space for LGBTQ youth to gather in a safe space, where they could be with others that they could relate to. “It mostly functioned as a community space,” said executive director Nate Rhoton. “If you remember the 90s — I graduated high school in ’96 — I didn’t know a single ‘out’ gay person in school. It’s very different now. But back then, you just wanted a space you could go to if you didn’t want to tell anyone you were going.” For a long time, that worked. But as the organization matured, it got to a place where it 38  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

could start responding to some of the community’s other needs. “Namely homelessness amongst LGBTQ youth,” Rhoton said. Programs continued to grow and evolve, prompting one•n•ten to offer professional development programming, education, camp and more. “No matter what, we stay true to our mission, which is pure and simple to help LGBTQ youth ages 11 to 24 be the best that they can be,” Rhoton said. “All of the programs we offer are vehicles by which we’re delivering on that mission, and those vehicles can change.”

one•n•ten empowers LGBTQ youth and young adults by providing social and service programs in a fun and welcoming environment.


THE MISSION one•n•ten provides support services to enhance the lives of LGBTQ youth, aiming to help promote self-expression and self-acceptance as well as develop leadership and life skills — serving more than 900 youths in 2017 alone. The organization’s primary programs include its youth centers and statewide satellites, where youth can enjoy a safe space; the Promise of a New Day Housing Program, which provides housing to homeless LGBTQ youth; QBLC, which provides GBTQ and Straight Allied Youth the opportunity to earn their high school diploma; the YES program, which connects participants to workforce development training; and Camp OUTdoors, an annual camp for LGBTQ youth from across the country. “Seventy percent of the youth in our housing program are homeless or experiencing homelessness because of family rejection,” Rhoton said. “That’s still happening despite the fact that we have these fabulous gay and trans characters on TV. But that’s not the real world.”

While representation and acceptance seem to be rising for the LGBTQ community, Rhoton explains that many LGBTQ youth are still grappling with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, family rejection and other challenges that are not addressed within the school systems. The organization also reports that while LGBTQ youth make up 5 to 10 percent of youth, they make up 40 to 60 percent of homeless youth, with an estimated 21,200 homeless LGBTQ young people in Arizona alone. “Even though it can feel like there’s a greater level of acceptance in some regards, it’s even more difficult in other ways because they’re seeing negative messaging on social media from our political climate, and they’re internalizing that,” Rhoton said. “They’re having a much harder time understanding it and then interpreting it in a way that isn’t negative to themselves.” Rhoton also said that many LGBTQ youth are coming out at earlier ages and finding themselves unable to connect to the resources they need to reach their full potential.

THE FUTURE In a little over a year, one•n•ten has come back stronger than ever after a fire burned down its previous facility. The organization has opened a new youth center and appointed a new executive director — all without skipping a beat in its regular programming.


Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire and contributions from the community, the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust helped one•n•ten open a new facility within a few months. “The community responded resoundingly

with donations of funds, and all kinds of other things. lf you look at our youth center today, all of the televisions, videogame systems, musical instruments and much of the furniture was donated within a month of the fire,” Rhoton said. “If I could do it over again I’d want to be able to react faster to people and let them know how much it meant to us to have that considerable amount of support from all parts of the world,” he said. Now, the organization plans to extend its reach through the establishment of additional satellite locations, the creation of online tools and the production of additional camps. “There are so many small towns. I grew up in the Grand Canyon for three years with only 1,500 full-time residents. I had 12 students in my sixth grade. So if you’re an LGBT person in that scenario, you may be the only one. Opening the door and reducing hurdles to access is something we are very focused on,” Rhoton said.

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KITCHEN DOORS {where we ate this month}

PITA JUNGLE Various Locations Today, Pita Jungle is an Arizona staple for health-food lovers, but in 1994 it was still just the dream of three Arizona State University students — Bassel Osmani, Nelly Kohsok and Fouad Khodr. Needless to say, the Pita Jungle concept was ahead of its time, but its healthy food with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Greek and Lebanese influences was met with adoration at its first Tempe location. Now, there are 20 locations serving up an extensive menu featuring salads, pitas and lots of their renowned hummus. We had the classic but delicious falafel pita, which features a simple mix of tahini, greens, tomatoes, pickles and falafel wrapped into a warm pita. — Jamie Killin

THE DHABA Tempe In India, roadside restaurants called “dhabas” line the highways. Generally offering local Punjabi cuisine, these casual dining spots also serve as truck stops. The Dhaba takes these low-key dining destinations as inspiration, providing rich, robust Punjabi dishes in a warm and simple setting. We enjoyed excellent curries and well-spiced chana masala along with homemade breads baked in the tandoor oven. If you want to take the flavors home, take a spin by the small Indian market adjacent to the restaurant, where you can stock up on authentic spices and other ingredients. Located on Apache Boulevard in Tempe, this friendly eatery is an easy way to sample the dhaba experience. — Karen Werner

SUPER CHUNK SWEETS & TREATS Old Town Scottsdale Super Chunk is the award-winning creation of husband and wife team Sergio and Country Velador. Country, who was the highly celebrated executive pastry chef at Cowboy Ciao and Counter Intuitive, focuses on creating smallbatch, handcrafted treats ranging from pastries and cookies to special-order cakes. The attention to quality shows, with all of the cookies possessing the elusive handmade taste that’s often difficult to hold onto as bakeries gain popularity. While we weren’t able to get our hands on the nationally recognized mesquite chocolate chip cookie (which features Arizona mesquite flower and couverture chocolate!) due to high demand, we were incredibly pleased with their other highly sought-after options — the brownie and cookie baked together and aptly named the ‘brookie,’ the peanut butter, the chocolate chip and the brand-new white chocolate macadamia. — Jamie Killin



Photo Credit: Hana Japanese Eatery

Hana Japanese Eatery Phoenix

Hana is the kind of place that you either know about or you don’t, and if you do know about it, you know it’s excellent. I went with two dining companions one recent evening so that we could sample a broad variety of their sushi and ramen. It’s BYOB, so we ordered a lot, figuring we were saving money on drinks. Anyway, I dug into the sushi and particularly enjoyed the lobster roll, which was perfectly prepared. The

Missus and our friend both enjoyed a bowl of ramen noodles that were hearty (a phrase not often associated with ramen). We split the pork dumplings, which were the perfect setup for the main courses and sushi. Hana has a good latenight vibe (we dined at 8:30 on a Thursday), so remember to bring your spiked beverage of choice and enjoy some of the best Japanese food we’ve had in the Valley. — Tom Evans

Photo Credit: T. Cooks

A 2ND ACT {survivors giving back}

Lorraine Tallman, founder and CEO of Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels, shows the “Amanda Needle” she helped develop.

Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels honors a smile that never fades Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

A cancer diagnosis is terrifying. But being diagnosed as a child brings unique challenges. Even at 9 years old, Amanda Hope realized the problems posed in receiving treatment for leukemia. Nurses needed to access the port in 44  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | SEPTEMBER 2018

her chest to administer chemotherapy, but getting to it around clothing was a problem. Amanda envisioned a shirt that would give children a sense of dignity and control while they received their treatment. And she expressed concern and caring

Comfycozy shirts make hospital stays a bit easier for kids like Daniella (left) and LJ (right).

for the other children in the hospital as well. Throughout her journey, Amanda’s spirits never waned. But sadly, after three years of battling leukemia and then a brain tumor, Amanda died in 2012. In her honor, and because of her concern for her fellow patients, her parents founded Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels, dedicated to bringing dignity and comfort to those battling childhood cancer. They also launched “Comfycozy’s for Chemo,” a brilliant adaptive clothing line designed with zippers, buttons, snaps, pockets and openings to allow nurses to access a child’s port while keeping him or her covered. Hoodies, dresses, shirts, even onesies for infants in a rainbow of colors have been worn by more than 7,000 childhood cancer warriors. Still, Amanda’s mother, Lorraine Tallman, realized there was more they could do. “We wanted to

bring some of Amanda’s sunshine to kids on their most difficult days. So our next focus was to raise funds for free counseling,” she said. “Sounds, sights and smells all trigger fear. Our in-house Comfort and Care team of licensed therapists teaches kids how to cope with their PTSD. And we offer a six-step mindfulness program that teaches breathing skills for pain.” Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels provides familycentered care. From an 89-year-old house in Phoenix turned care center, the organization offers play therapy, parent support and teen counseling, serving families and children from newborn to 20. And, because siblings are often the left-behind population when another child in the family has cancer, brothers and sisters of cancer patients can receive counseling, too. The organization continues to grow. “We want SEPTEMBER 2018 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  45 

Lorraine Tallman spread the word about Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels at the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society Congress.



Two champions at an Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels sports camp.

families to stay together,” Tallman said. “They face so many financial attacks. Sometimes parents have to quit work while the medical bills continue to grow. So we created a financial assistance program. Then we added Spa Days, Craft Days, Meals of Hope and Teen Nights.” Yet another idea popped up as a result of Amanda’s cancer journey. The most recent addition to the work Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels does will help children around the world. Amanda often experienced pain when nurses had to access her port. Chemo needles are large, and positioning them often requires several attempts. It’s traumatic for all ages, and hugely so for children. So Tallman approached the C.R. Bard company, which manufactures and markets innovative, life-enhancing medical technologies, to create the “Amanda Needle.” A plastic stabilizer fits over the port to ensure

Teen Night brings a sense of normalcy to the lives of young cancer patients.

that the needle can be inserted easily on the first try, making injections easier and less traumatic for young patients and their families. Of course nothing can take away a parent’s grief when a child dies. But just like a rainbow brightens the sky at the end of a dark storm, Lorraine Tallman and her family see Amanda’s bright smile reflected in the smile of every child their programs serve. To learn more, visit



OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}

ARIZONA’S JOHN McCAIN A Frontdoors Tribute


My journey with Arizona’s nonprofit community led me to an incredible opportunity to work for U.S. Sen. John McCain from 2007-2009. During this time, I was often in awe of this man, his depth of knowledge and how much he loved his adopted home state. Here’s my story and a little-known fact about his method when it came time to give back to our community. I am the proud granddaughter of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dion “Ted” deBit. His last post before retiring was San Diego, California, and therefore that’s where I was born. From a young age, I recall my grandfather describing himself as a fan of U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater. Who knew that I would someday leave my California roots for Arizona to not only learn more about the Goldwater history but also meet and learn from those who followed in his footsteps. Fast-forward to 2005 when I was assisting several friends with their vision of a Latino Town Hall — a place where they could invite a diverse representation of our community to be part of their discussions to find ways to improve educational and leadership opportunities for their generation and the next generation. McCain’s former state

director, Bettina Nava, was a member of the group and meeting her would change my life. At the conclusion of the Latino Town Hall, I asked her if I could volunteer my event-planning skills if McCain did make a second run for president of the United States in 2008. In my mind, I was fulfilling the legacy my grandfather left when he passed away so many years before. It took until January 2007 for Bettina to take me up on my offer to help, but the twist was that I was offered a position to work for her as part of the McCain ’08 team. While the campaign ended with an election result that was disappointing for everyone who believed in McCain, what I learned along the way are the memories I am most thankful for today. Everyone knows that McCain wrote several books during his career. What you may not know is that he donated all of the money he made from those books to nonprofits. There weren’t any grant applications or press releases issued regarding those funds. In most cases, a check was simply mailed to an organization as a result of a conversation the senator had during an official appointment at his office or while out and about in the community. Since his passing, I received confirmation from staff and

The lessons Andrea Evans, shown here with her son Thomas, learned from Sen. John McCain will forever be with her — including how he gave back.



former staff from MISS Foundation (a community of compassion and hope for grieving families), WHEAT (ending hunger and poverty at the root) and even Ballet Arizona, who described McCain’s chance meeting with their marketing director, who simply answered the senator’s question, “What is your biggest struggle?” There were also many contributions to veterans groups as well as Valley of the Sun United Way. Knowing all this, I was not at all surprised by the recent establishment of the John S. McCain III Endowed Chair in Brain Cancer Research at TGen as the latest philanthropic effort by the McCain family in addition to the continued efforts at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. For more details on these efforts and John McCain’s

lifetime of service, visit With my deepest condolences to Cindy, Doug, Andy, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, Bridget, Bettina, Paul, Wes, Deb, the Harpers and everyone I met along the way … it was my honor to be a small part of such an incredible life and legacy.

Andrea Andrea Evans PUBLISHER


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