Frontdoors Magazine May 2019 Issue

Page 1



Nancy Hanley has built her life on the three


AFTER HOURS COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF MUMMIES EVER ASSEMBLED, AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN. Mummies of the World: The Exhibition features 40 real human and animal mummies and 85 rare artifacts from across the globe. This exhibition provides a window into the lives of ancient people from every region of the world including Europe, South America and Ancient Egypt, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations. Timed-Entry is available from 5–8:15 p.m. Visit for more information and upcoming dates. PRESENTING SPONSORS ELLIE AND MICHAEL ZIEGLER

Generously supported by


On behalf of the Board of Trustees and leadership of Arizona Science Center, we thank Barbara Lockwood for her dedicated service as Board Chairman 2016–2018 and continued contributions as a member of the Executive Committee. Barbara’s impact has been substantial, including leadership of our 2020 Strategic Plan and mission-critical Girls in STEM initiative. For information about Girls In STEM or to become a mentor or volunteer, visit








100 Ye ars

100 Ye ars



Rob and Melani Walton Discuss Philanthropy and Partnerships, From Local to Global


On the Cover Nancy Hanley

Credit: Thurlkill Studios Makeup by: Leiah Scheibel The Sparkle Bar Hair by: Julia Mendez







Karen Werner

Andrea Tyler Evans



Erin Garcia

Ashley Ford



Tom Evans

Lindsay Morris



Judy Pearson Carey Peña Adam Rabinowitz Catie Richman

Jillian Rivera



Lisa Mullavey

Julia Mendez



Tyler Butler

Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix


The Sparkle Bar


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 {may 2019, volume 17, issue 5}


EDITOR’S NOTE......................... 05 A Celebration of the Season 10 QUESTIONS WITH............. 06 Chef Michael DeMaria OFFICE DOORS......................... 10 Barbara Lockwood


CAREY’S CORNER................... 14 Back in Bloom COVER STORY.......................... 18 Faith, Family and Philanthropy NEXT DOORS............................. 28 Castle Hot Springs CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS..... 32 Janae Lethcho Ben-Shabat and Mike Fornelli CHARITY SPOTLIGHT........... 34 Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona KITCHEN DOORS..................... 40 Patio Dining A 2ND ACT..................................... 44 Horsing Around for Good PARTNER DIRECTORY........... 47 Society of Chairs


++ Aunt Rita’s Foundation

++ Phoenix Art Museum

++ APS Foundation

++ Barrow Neurological Institute

++ Phoenix Children’s Hospital

++ Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation

++ Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

++ TGen

++ Arizona Science Center

++ Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

++ Arizona Women’s Board

++ Horses Help

EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

A CELEBRATION OF THE SEASON It’s hard to believe, but here we are in May. School is winding down for Valley kids, and temperatures are ramping up. Another thing that’s winding down? Arizona’s social season. And what a year it’s been! Looking back at the Frontdoors calendar, we recall a plethora of amazing galas, luncheons, charity golf tournaments, races, receptions and community celebrations. All told, these events raised millions of dollars for local charities and led us to several new relationships and more than a few stories. We’re sure we’re not alone in feeling that the past year has been intense, rewarding and undeniably fun. Frontdoors had a lot of firsts in the last 12 months, from our first-ever diversity issue to our new Frontdoors calendar, where nonprofits can submit their fundraising, community and volunteer opportunities for free. In September, the magazine also went back into print. Although the magazine still comes out digitally, we were excited to reintroduce a physical product for people hankering for a copy to hold in their hands. The response has been extraordinary. People tell us it allows them to slow down and really focus on the Valley’s good news.

FrontdoorsTV host Carey Peña, publisher Andrea Tyler Evans, and editor Karen Werner. Photo credit: Jillian Rivera Photography

star, Nancy Hanley, at this year’s Society of Chairs on May 8. Hanley lost her beloved husband Lee to pancreatic cancer seven years ago, and she continues to support the fight against the devastating disease in his honor. In this issue, she talks about her longtime charity work, her close-knit family and plans for her life’s next act. On behalf of all of us at Frontdoors, we want to thank you for your wonderful support over the past year. As we regroup and prepare for our next act, we look forward to winding down, taking a breath and enjoying the festivities together.

Also last year, Frontdoors brought back the Society Cheers! of Chairs Gala, which recognizes those who’ve chaired charitable events and boards during the past year. Proceeds from the event benefit The Sauce Foundation, the charitable arm of Frontoors Media. Named after former Frontdoors editor, the late Mike Saucier, The Sauce Foundation funds pancreatic cancer research as well as scholarships for students at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. We will have the honor of celebrating our cover

Karen Werner EDITOR



CHEF MICHAEL DeMARIA Chief culinary officer at M Culinary Concepts

1. Who inspired your love of cooking? My mother, Connie. Her Neapolitan meatballs in tomato sauce are my first food memory, and I was inspired from day one. They’re off the charts! And she never forgot that scoop of ricotta cheese.

2. How did you start your journey in food? My first paying job was as a busboy at the Scottsdale Hilton at age 16. One Mother’s Day,


I was carrying a tray of water glasses to a table. Somebody bumped me, and I spilled ice-cold water down the back of an unsuspecting mother. She screamed … I screamed … I ran. I couldn’t bring myself to go back to work in the dining room, so I begged the executive chef for a prep-cook job. For whatever reason (probably pity, because he knew what happened) he gave me the job, and the rest is history.

3. What does cooking mean to you? Cooking for me is a craft and an art form. I love

the challenge of perfecting my technique and then deciding which ingredients to add or delete to create new dishes.

4. What’s your favorite meal to make? Meatballs. Any kind of meatballs. My absolute favorite, of course, are my mom’s meatballs — classic Neapolitan-style beef in marinara sauce.

5. Favorite ingredient to work with? It’s a tough call. I’ll give you three — great fish, fresh cauliflower and handmade pasta. The order depends on my mood, and what I’m cooking!

6. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

When asked who he’d most like to cook for, award-winning chef Michael DeMaria chooses Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

A globetrotting fly-fishing guide. My go-to spot is the North Platte Lodge on the North Platte River, just outside of Casper, Wyoming. And my absolute favorite is Wollaston Lake in northern Saskatchewan for giant pike on the fly.

kids to help me. It’s the best feeling to make huge FUN (one of M Culinary’s core values) with those boys and girls.

7. M Culinary caters the Waste Management Phoenix Open for more than 200,000 people. What’s the biggest challenge to catering the world’s largest cocktail party? Finding enough talented culinary staff to cook for more than 200,000 people over six days. Catering chefs have specific skill sets. Sometimes it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

8. What’s your favorite charity event that you participate in, and why? Every year we partner with The Thunderbirds to feed families at Homeward Bound. I get to run the hot dog cart and, for a tubular meat enthusiast such as myself, it’s the greatest job! I even get the

9. Why is giving back to your community so important to you? Feeding people is an intimate experience. It brings people together. For M Culinary and me, we can use food to bring our community together. We envision a community nourished by selfless difference-makers, and we want to be among those making a difference.

10. What big thing is coming up next for M Culinary? We are going to spend the summer driving innovation with our team. New food and beverage concepts. Interactive chef-action stations. Reinvented classics with new twists. The 2019−2020 event season is going to be something spectacular! To learn more, go to



BEHIND THE DOOR {the caniglia group}


Steve Caniglia

Shelley Caniglia

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Prime lot in Madison Groves Estates with 12’ high ceilings throughout. Sought after open floorplan is ideal for entertaining. Beautiful stained glass front entry. Home has been meticulously maintained. 16 inch tile floors, maple cabinets and Corian countertops. Expansive covered patio with large pergola enhancing sparkling, self cleaning Rondo play pool with pop up heads. Kool Deck was added in 2017. Front door security screen and safety doors with screens leading to back yard. Water fountain feature. Lush landscaping front and back with upgraded lighting and block fencing with stucco. Trees include bay leaf, grapefruit and lemon trees. Close to all the fabulous new restaurants that North Central Phoenix has to offer!

The Caniglia Group

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To learn more about our story, please visit:

OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}

BARBARA LOCKWOOD Vice president of regulation for Arizona Public Service and past board chairwoman of Arizona Science Center Adam Rabinowitz | Contributing Writer

As a high school junior discovering her passion for science, Barbara Lockwood never imagined that doing what she loved would lead her to many firsts — including becoming the first woman to chair the Arizona Science Center board of directors.

among women. According to the US Department of Commerce, women hold fewer than 25 percent of jobs in STEM. This prompted Lockwood to take action in nurturing a pipeline of future female leaders in science and technology.

It was during high school that through caring teachers and timely connections, Lockwood became aware of opportunities that exist in the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). For Lockwood, there was no going back — she knew what she was meant to do.

“It’s all about seeing a real-life example of what’s possible, as well as having mentors who will encourage young women to step out and have confidence in their ability to make a difference in the world through science,” Lockwood said.

As she continued on to college and into her professional career, she became aware that her path into engineering was not all that common 10  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

After working in chemical engineering and management roles for more than 10 years, Lockwood accepted a role at Arizona Public Service. In keeping with the company’s strong community

involvement and nonprofit support, Lockwood became an active supporter of the Arizona Science Center, viewing it as a way for her to give back to the community and encourage more young girls to explore science. Since opening its doors in the early 1980s, the Arizona Science Center has focused on its mission to inspire, educate and engage communities through science, offering programming for schoolchildren, teachers and families in every county in Arizona. This includes the half million people who visit the center every year, the 300,000 individuals who participate in outreach programs in schools and community centers across the state, and more than 5,000 educators that participate in professional development. Lockwood joined the center’s board of directors in 2010, and with the support of APS and the APS Foundation, has helped expand the center’s Girls in STEM events, its teacher professional development in rural Arizona, and science education programs for underserved youth throughout the state. Reflecting on her tenure, she is particularly proud of how the center’s Girls in STEM initiative has grown in such a short period of time. Beginning in 2013, Arizona Science Center launched its missioncritical Girls in STEM programming focused on students from grades 4-8, the age range when interest in STEM traditionally drops off. Through this program, young, aspiring female scientists from across the Valley and Arizona now have the opportunity to engage in a variety of hands-on programs and connect with female mentors who can serve as role models. The program has seen no shortage of interest. In fact, attendance has nearly tripled since it was introduced. Lockwood also supported the expansion of Arizona Science Center’s Rural Communities Expansion project, which since 2012 has provided teachers and administrators with the knowledge and training to inspire their students to engage in

Arizona Science Center plays an important role in fostering a community of learners interested in pursuing science inside and outside of the classroom. MAY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  11


STEM. APS Foundation has served as a valuable partner since the beginning of that initiative, providing $2.4 million in funds to date. “The Center continues to push the boundaries of the types of science experiences it offers young learners and expand its ability to connect an entire community — from private companies like APS to rural nonprofits — all working toward the goal of propelling the Center to become a world leader in providing science education,” Lockwood said. In early 2019, Lockwood handed over the reins of the Arizona Science Center board to Kay Corbin, another inspiring female leader in STEM. While Corbin devoted more than 35 years to the financial services field, she holds a BA in biochemical sciences from Harvard University and has emerged as a well-known, respected leader in the community. From serving as past president of the Phoenix Art Museum League and the Golden Gate Settlement Guild to the

Walter, the World’s Largest VW bus.

Osborn School District board of trustees and the Phoenix Mid-Town Rotary Club, Corbin is ready to assume the mantle of providing science learning opportunities for all individuals in Arizona. Lockwood will continue to serve on Arizona Science Center’s board and its executive committee, teaming up with Corbin and the center to realize a long-standing mission: inspire more young women to pursue STEM careers and prepare the next generation of science talent in Arizona. Lockwood hopes her board service to the Arizona Science Center has served as a visible, and valuable, role model for young women in the community, inspiring them to pursue a career in STEM, like her teachers and mentors did for her. To learn more about Arizona Science Center, go to

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CAREY’S CORNER {carey peña reports}

BACK IN BLOOM Floral designer Cathy Graham inspires with her artful life

Carey Peña | Contributing Writer

“I felt abandoned, lost, unloved, heartbroken, Woman Luncheon benefiting Phoenix Art Museum. untethered. I had been living in a protected bubble The event was chaired by philanthropist Char Hubble, and the bubble burst in a moment.” and Graham was the keynote speaker. It was a perfect setting for Graham to take the stage as the luncheon’s When Cathy Graham’s marriage of 30 years signature décor was breathtaking: one-of-a-kind, came to an end, the finality of the announcement themed centerpieces created by top Valley was devastating. Her world, as she knew it, came design firms. crashing down. Graham captivated the crowd with the story of her But as often happens in times of heartache, book “Second Bloom: Cathy Graham’s Art of the there is room for growth. Room to bloom. This is Table,” and how it came to be. She talked openly Cathy Graham’s inspirational story. about the pain of her divorce, and what she learned about herself — and her strength — in the process. Graham is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, from which she holds a BFA in painting, and she studied fashion illustration at Parsons School of Design. For more than a decade, Graham worked with the late floral designer and event planner Robert Isabell, renowned for his lavish and innovative parties. Graham put her incredible talent to use in many ways while also raising her two children. However, at 61, she began to really let her independent light shine. “‘Second Bloom’ for me is my second chance in life to stand on my own two feet and go forward emotionally and creatively. Some flowers have a second bloom in a season, so it became a metaphor for women later in life,” Graham said. SECOND BLOOM I first met Cathy Graham in Phoenix when I had the good fortune to sit next to her at the Independent 14  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

“It turned out I had been so repressed,” Graham later told me. “My self-esteem so beaten down. Having him out of my life released all of this pent-up creativity. I started giving dinner parties on my own, which was scary yet empowering.” At 61, she began to build anew. With the support of her two grown children, Graham found excitement and intrigue in the new life unfolding in front of her. “In women’s lives we are made to feel no longer viable, needed, desirable when we get older. If it be an empty nest, divorce, widowhood,” Graham said, “if it be an unexpected twist and turn that throws you off your path, force yourself to stay positive and move forward. Live in the moment.” Graham has been able to find the beauty all around her, and is on a mission to help others do the same. “Second Bloom” is not only a beautiful

Artist and entertaining guru Cathy Graham is famous for her signature style and gracious get-togethers.



Graham’s sense of beauty is both easygoing and whimsical.

coffee-table piece, but has endless tips on prepping flowers and enhancing home décor. “I love loose, slightly haphazard arrangements that reflect the season or occasion,” Graham said. “My favorite technique, which I show in the book, is creating a garden on the table using single stems, each in their own bottle — the possibilities are endless.” ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES Cathy Graham not only has the ability to inspire people with her talent and skill, she’s also inspiring people with her story. It’s not easy to open up about a painful experience, such as an unexpected divorce. But Graham does it with dignity and wisdom to help others realize no matter the reason or season, you always have a chance to bloom. “It is exciting, sometimes lonely and sad,” Graham said. “But I am so much stronger, more resilient, creative and happier than I have ever been in my life.” And her career is booming (or blooming!). Graham’s 16  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

editorial work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone and New York magazine, and she has been commissioned by Bergdorf Goodman and Estée Lauder. In addition, she has been a contributing editor of Elle Decor and House Beautiful. Graham is also the designer of a line of paper products and has recently launched several collaborations, which include a line of pajamas and textiles, a signature Second Bloom candle with NEST Fragrances, and a line of decoupage home accents with Scott Potter. And she has no plans to slow down. The view from the garden Graham has created with both passion and pride is much too beautiful. To see more of Carey Peña’s reporting on people who inspire, go to



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COVER STORY {by karen werner}


Nancy Hanley has built her life on the three Faith, family and philanthropy. These three things form the foundation of Nancy Hanley’s life. Born in Phoenix to a close-knit family, the wellknown Valley philanthropist grew up near Encanto Park. “It was idyllic,” she said. “We used to play kick the can in the street at night and walk to school with friends in the day.” In the summer before her freshman year, Hanley had an encounter that would change the course of her life. “We went to the local Dairy Queen and were inside waiting to order when we heard a hot rod drive up. I turned around and said, ‘Who is that cute guy?’ And my friend said, ‘Oh, that’s just my brother.’” That brother was Lee T. Hanley, who would go on to become CEO of Vestar Development, one of the


largest privately held shopping center companies in the Western United States, and an icon in the commercial development industry. But back then he was a handsome high school student who would date Nancy a few years later. The two made their way to the University of Arizona. After graduation, Lee was commissioned into the Marine Corps as an officer. So Lee and Nancy married and moved across country to Quantico, Virginia. Two years into his three-year commitment, Lee was sent to Vietnam, leaving Nancy with their toddler, Randy, and pregnant with their second child. Nancy turned to her parents for help. “God bless them, I can’t thank them enough,” she said. “They took in me, their little grandson and my

Nancy Hanley’s passions are many: art, sports, travel and medicine. Though she never actively sought the spotlight, she has often stepped forward on behalf of the many causes she supports.

Family is the bedrock of Nancy Hanley’s life. Her parents (top left) blessed her with strong values and unconditional love, while her husband Lee (top right) was her devoted partner for nearly five decades. They are seen here at the 1995 Heart Ball, which Nancy chaired. Over the years, the couple raised three successful children. Daughters Shelley and Lisa (above) are shown with Nancy at the Barrow Grand Ball, which Nancy co-chaired in 2006.


newborn baby, Lisa.” It was a trying time, and not because of close quarters and 2 a.m. feedings. “It was very scary to have that concern, because Lee was at war. He was not behind a desk. He was out in the field taking fire, jumping into bunkers,” Hanley said. To pass the time productively, Nancy turned to giving back. She got involved in a church group and volunteered in the maternity ward of St. Joseph’s Hospital. “I’ve always felt good about volunteer work, about helping others and serving the community,” she said. Life-changing chapters often begin unassumingly, and this was the case for Nancy. She saw the strength and influence of her beloved mother and emulated it herself. “The hero in my life is my mother,” she said. “She developed severe rheumatoid arthritis at 20, but she never complained. Then we moved in with her and she was watching a toddler while I was volunteering. You can see the thread.” It’s a thread of giving that binds the family across generations. Nancy’s mother volunteered at Goodwill, in her church, and in her husband’s Optimist club, all of which Nancy saw and admired. That prompted Nancy to dive into volunteer work herself, which her own children would emulate years later. Happily, Lee came home from war safely and the young family settled in Phoenix to start Lee’s career. He worked in sales for Xerox Corporation and the couple soon welcomed another child, Shelley. Meanwhile, Lee and Nancy continued their philanthropy, both by volunteering and giving financially. “It was really what was in our hearts and what touched us. We were both very supportive

of what each of us felt was important to support,” she said. As Lee’s career took off and the family matured, their giving evolved as well. Nancy went from volunteering for the Visiting Nurses Association to rocking babies at the Maricopa County Medical Center to joining the Heart Ball committee. “Heart disease was quite prevalent in my family. My father had heart disease, as did my grandfather and several other family members. So that was really a wonderful fit,” she said. Still, Nancy looks back in wonder when she recounts how she cut her teeth in big-stage philanthropy as chair of the 1995 Heart Ball to benefit the American Heart Association. “They were crazy to ask me to do that,” she laughed. “But it changed my life.” Over the course of the following years, other organizations tapped Nancy’s leadership and management skills. “I just want to give of myself. I love people and am gregarious and friendly,” she said, ticking off a list of organizations she has been involved with, including the Arizona Women’s Board and the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Hers was a blessed, meaningful life, as pictureperfect as the Impressionist paintings she and Lee collected. Their 48-year marriage was punctuated by wonderful trips and time spent with her son and two daughters, along with seven grandchildren who call her Nana. So it was a shock and a blow when Lee was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. “It is a devastating disease and it’s often diagnosed at a point where it is too late for a cure,” Hanley said softly. Indeed, Lee was diagnosed in June 2011 and passed away the following August.



During the 14 months he fought the disease, the family leaned on their faith. “There were a lot of low moments for me, but at one of them, when I was asking Lee why God would let this happen, he said something that has given me great peace. He said, ‘Nancy, don’t ever doubt God’s plan for me.’ He did not want us moping around.” With that wish in mind, Nancy moved forward with her life, and continued to carry on her philanthropy in Lee’s honor. “Giving together brought us closer,” she said. “But I have to say, Lee was more generous. He had a true servant’s heart and taught me how to give financially. It made me a better person and made me really think about how I wanted to expand after he passed away, in memory of him.” Lee had served on the foundation board at TGen, the nonprofit genomics research institute based in Phoenix that works to improve disease outcomes. In fact, when he was fighting cancer, Lee’s physician was Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen’s Physician-in-Chief. Today, Nancy funds two trials in Lee’s name for an immunotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer — one directly at TGen and another in partnership with the City of Hope. Another gift in Lee’s honor combines two important elements in Nancy’s life: medicine and faith. When she learned that Phoenix Children’s Hospital was renovating its chapel, Nancy stepped in to fund the renovation and endow a chaplain in perpetuity. A Christian, she asked for Matthew 11:28 to be etched into glass: Come to me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. “I thought that anybody who feels the need and wants to be in the chapel can find some solace


in that scripture verse,” she said. By the chapel door, visitors can find another glass plaque that reads, In celebration of Lee T. Hanley. “When I chose to support the chapel, I knew it was something Lee would have supported as well,” she said. Barrow Neurological Institute, where Nancy is a l7year member of the women’s board and co-chaired the Barrow Grand Ball in 2006, is also the recipient of Nancy’s philanthropy, only this time in honor of her mother. “When my wonderful mother was 62, she died suddenly from a ruptured aneurysm in her brain stem,” she said. “So with that history, Barrow was a great match.” But Nancy does more than write checks; she’s an active participant in the causes she supports. “I’m fascinated with medicine and love to be hands-on. I’ve been in the Eller telecommunications center and watched live neurosurgery on a screen,” she said. “I want to do it again.” Another area of Nancy’s philanthropy is her support of the Phoenix Art Museum, where she serves on the Board of Trustees. Lee and Nancy shared a passion for art and started collecting early in their marriage. “From the first year we were married, we always liked art. If we were somewhere, even if it was street art, we were so happy to have a piece to bring home and hang.” Over the years, their collection — and interest in art — grew and evolved. Lee had been asked to become a trustee of Phoenix Art Museum but declined because of commitments to national boards. Today, Nancy has taken on the mantle for them both. “It’s nice to have a different kind of outlet, and something that we shared. I feel

Team Lee has come together for the TGen Step-N-Out 5K walk every year since Lee passed away. Contributions fund a trial in Lee’s name for an immunotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer in partnership with TGen and City of Hope.

Hanley is embracing her life’s next act. “I think everyone is very happy for me,” she said. “My friends, and even some of the doctors from Barrow, have told me that they can see my happiness.”


With a background in science and a past career in executive management, Ron Eriksson (far left) shares many of Hanley’s interests. The couple is shown here with Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed and his wife Amanda at Evening on the Diamond, which supports the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. Each year, the Lee T. Hanley Community Leadership Award is given at the event.

like I’m doing this for both of us,” she said. As Nancy nears the seven-year mark from Lee’s passing, she is moving forward with her life, just as he hoped. In fact, she has some very big news. A little over a year ago, a friend from Scottsdale Bible Church cajoled Nancy into going on a blind date with a fellow parishioner, a widower originally from Chicago named Ron Eriksson. “Both of us were gnashing our teeth, like why am I doing this?” Nancy said, but they met for lunch and have been dating ever since. Like Nancy, Eriksson had enjoyed a long, happy marriage, having been wed for 52 years before his wife passed away. Together, they joke, they boast a collected 100 years of marriage. And now they plan to marry each other.

of the important things and we’re both just floored that it happened.” The happiness is palpable as Nancy shares pictures of Ron and talks about plans for their new life together. “We’re able to experience this and feel this happiness together, which is God-sent and inspired,” she said. “We talk about his wife Bonnie, and we talk about Lee. We share that in order to come closer.” Nancy is quick to point out that her philanthropy in honor of Lee will go on, and she will continue to have an impact on the Valley and its charities. It all goes back to the trifecta of faith, family and philanthropy that she has built her life upon. “Because if you don’t have those, in my world, you don’t have anything," she said.

“This is a really happy chapter. Both of us never expected this,” Hanley said. “But we share all


Nancy Hanley and Family

“Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure, there your heart; where your heart, there your happiness.� Saint Augustine

Society of Chairs 2019

NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

RISING FROM THE ASHES Castle Hot Springs’ return to glory and luxury Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

Back in 1896, there wasn’t much in the way of luxury in the then Arizona territory. Maybe a couple of decent hotels in the towns of Phoenix or Prescott, but otherwise, the state was still a far outpost from the rest of civilization.

Then Valley businessman Mike Watts and his wife Cindy purchased the property, with big ideas in mind. If the Wattses wanted to simply make money by opening a hotel, they could have built a Hampton Inn. This was a labor of love.

So when Castle Hot Springs opened, it caused quite a stir. Located just north of what is now Lake Pleasant, the state’s first luxury resort became a hot destination, thanks to its hot springs. As the name implies, Castle Hot Springs is home to a geological anomaly — clean, clear mineral water that comes out of the ground at a rate of 200,000 gallons a day and at a consistent 120 degrees.

“We love history and Arizona scenery,” Mike Watts said. “This special place called out for someone to restore it back to life so others could enjoy what many did over 100 years ago. We look forward to sharing it with many.”

Over the years, the territorial governor called it a second home, and it became the location of the state’s first functional telephone. In the 1940s, it was converted for a time to a respite for wounded soldiers returning from World War II — including one John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who lived there for three months. But in 1976, disaster struck. Much of the property was consumed by a massive fire that couldn’t be battled because of the resort’s remote location. For the next four decades or so, it remained closed, eventually gifted to Arizona State University. 28  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

The Wattses launched an ambitious rebuild of the property with the goal of creating one of the most unique and exceptional hospitality experiences in the world. And when the property reopened in February of this year, that goal came to life. “It’s like the whole Greek mythology of the Phoenix rising from the ashes,” said Steven Sampson, director of sales & marketing for Castle Hot Springs. Sampson is as much a docent for the property as a salesperson, and with his long hair and beard looks the part of historian. He’s been there almost since the beginning of the Wattses’ ownership of the property, and has seen many forgotten treasures unearthed.

Natural hot springs welcome guests to this iconic property. Inside, the historic resort has been completely renovated, bringing old-world hospitality to this desert oasis.

If the Wattses spared any expense, you wouldn’t know it. Every feature of the property is either immaculately restored (if historic) or elegantly designed (if new). The grounds are sprawling, and include a large swimming pool, acres of manicured lawn, an extensive garden and greenhouse and a stunning lodge, fully renovated with a bar and restaurant. But about the springs. As I mentioned, the water coming out of the ground is about 120 degrees year-round. It then collects in a series of pools, which get cooler as the water flows downhill — the first pool is about 105 degrees, the second in the low 90s, until finally the water is at air temperature when it reaches the vicinity of the guest rooms. The water is astonishingly clear, and has just a hint of a “heavy” taste due to the presence of a very slight (and healthy) amount of lithium. As a result, the springs have long been considered a tonic for the human body, as well as a luxury. So they’ve been incorporated into the luxurious guest experience as well. The resort boasts 12 modern “spring bungalows” with an indoor-outdoor covered deck and stone tubs that pipe in the spring water, so you can soak under the sun or stars in privacy. The rooms offer every comfort of a

luxury hotel, along with the opportunity to enjoy the stunning natural surroundings. The other lodging opportunities include 17 “sky view cabins” located near a tranquil pond on the property. Each has a wooden deck equipped with a telescope — Castle Hot Springs is located in a “dark sky” area, so the transformation at night is stunning — as well as an outdoor tub pumping in spring water. What you don’t see are a lot of electronics. There’s a TV in the bar (which wasn’t on when we visited), but not in the guest rooms. Castle Hot Springs is designed to be a wellness retreat, and the programming on-site is provided accordingly. Originally, the vision was to have it be a “digital detox” (there’s no cell phone service), but Sampson said that practicality — and the need for guests to stay at least somewhat on the grid — won the day. Sampson said that if the health and wellness aspects of the property were the story in the beginning, that story is quickly shifting. The property’s resident agronomist — think of a formal degree in farming — mixologist and chef work in concert to integrate the crops grown fresh MAY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  29

The large organic farm at Castle Hot Springs produces more than 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including over 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, allowing resort chefs to create incredibly fresh flavors in the resort’s restaurant, Harvest.

in the garden and greenhouse on-site directly into the food and drink menus. As a result, the food is “seed to table,” as Sampson puts it, and the bar is host to a wealth of spirits infused with plants grown on-site. “The story has become the food and beverage,” he said. “The chef we have and what he’s doing, as well as with the farm and with the mixologist upstairs — it’s becoming this culinary mecca. If you get a salad for lunch here, everything has been picked in the last couple of hours.” Castle Hot Springs is a lot to unpack, and it deserves to be seen in person — but if you want to, you’ll have to pay a bit. The property is not open to day visitors, and rooms start at about $700 per night for one of the four rooms in the main lodge and $1,400 to $1,600 for the cabins and bungalows respectively. The prices are inclusive of all meals, activities and gratuities, but not alcohol. But, if you act quickly, the resort is providing a special for Arizona residents that knocks a couple hundred bucks off the price, good between now and when the resort closes for the summer on June 9.


And there’s a lot more to the story as well. The Castle Hot Springs team is brewing beer with the spring water and thinking of opening a brewery. They’re about to expand the garden/farm space to increase its output for the food and drink. They’re marketing to groups in places like New York and Hollywood as a destination wedding location. But if the goal of Castle Hot Springs is to create the premier luxury experience in the region, the big question is, will it work? Well, it does have a few things going for it. “It’s one of the most unique places in the world,” Sampson said. “You can go to a Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton and have this luxury experience, and it’s great. You come here and it’s unlike any other place you’ve ever been before.”



In Honor of Nancy Hanley

Priscilla & Michael Nicholas Believe Nancy Hanley Truly Embodies Billy Graham’s Words

“ God has given us two hands — one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.”

Society of Chairs 2019


Society of Chairs }

Frontdoors is proud to recognize those who volunteer their time, treasure and talents to support local organizations in a leadership role.

Mike Fornelli and Janae Lethcho Ben-Shabat Chairs of Red is the Night

Benefiting Aunt Rita’s Foundation, How long have you been involved with the organization? Mike: When I moved to Arizona in 1989, one of the first organizations I became familiar with was Aunt Rita’s Foundation. At that time, Aunt Rita’s was a humble, grassroots organization founded by three individuals that would hold bake sales to provide relief for those living with, and dying from, AIDS. I’d go to happy hour at a local watering hole called Wink’s and that’s where I had the pleasure of meeting Skip O’Neill, one of Aunt Rita’s founders. Through conversations with Skip and attending fundraising events at Wink’s and other LGBTQ venues in Phoenix, I was able to witness firsthand the positive impact Aunt Rita’s was having in our community. Since then, I’ve watched Aunt Rita’s grow into the impactful presence it is today in helping provide more that $2.7 million to local HIV/AIDS service agencies and promoting awareness and prevention of HIV.

Why do you support the organization? Janae: When I was 13, I lost someone dear to me to HIV/AIDS. It was 1982

The event will be emceed by Andy Feds, an HIV-positive comedian who uses his comedy to educate and eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. Attendees will also enjoy incredible food and libations, hear spotlight presentations, and partake in live and silent auctions that may take them anywhere from an Arizona Diamondbacks game to Puerto Vallarta to an evening with Jennifer Lopez. The sky is the limit while donning your fedora or pearls and supporting an amazing organization.

Favorite movie:

and no one really understood the disease yet. I grew up in and around the LGBTQ community and in the 80’s, I had a front row seat for the fear, suffering, alienation, discrimination and poverty those suffering from HIV/AIDS had to endure. I was lucky to have a mother that didn’t buy into the fear, and when our family friend, Daniel, became severely ill, my mother brought him to our house for care. I was deeply affected by the discrimination of individuals, organizations and family members toward Daniel. If it weren’t for my mother and others, Daniel would have been lost to homelessness and poverty long before he passed from AIDS. I was too young to fully understand the breadth of the devastation this disease would inflict on our communities, but today I can envision a world without HIV/AIDS. I love Aunt Rita’s because they are dedicated to ensuring that those living with, or dying from, HIV/AIDS have access to the resources they need to live full and productive lives.

Janae: Bringing Up Baby with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, or Topper

Describe this year’s event.

Janae: In the past seven years, I’ve studied Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism,

Mike: Red Is the Night will take guests back to the 1920s and the “Age

Christianity, metaphysics, stoicism and more. My studies started as an attempt to better understand my place in the world and evolved into understanding the human ego, my own included.

of Wonderful Nonsense.” In a true speakeasy atmosphere, guests will be treated to two nationally acclaimed entertainers: Nicole Pesce, an award-winning pianist, and Francine Reed, the American blues singer.

with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett.

Mike: Bound. It’s one of those movies that works you up, wrings you out and leaves you gasping. It’s a caper movie, a gangster movie, a love story and a dark comedy all in one. Violet and Corky are pretty kick-ass.

Favorite restaurant: Janae: House of Tricks because they have a solid menu and the outdoor seating is beautiful, inviting and comfortable.

Mike: Pubblico, because I am a good ol’ Italian boy. It’s my favorite Italian food in town … almost as good as mom’s.

Fun fact about you:

Mike: I’ve been squirted by a skunk at point-blank range. Twice.

Thank you to all of our April Cheers to the Chairs! Nominees: M. Preston Clarke & Wes Gullett: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Arizona Chapter (LLS Man and Woman of the Year Campaign)

To Nominate Your Event Chair, Co-Chairs, Honorary Chair or Board Chair, Contact 32  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

In Honor of Nancy Hanley


Being honored at the Society of Chairs gala is a truly well-deserved honor. For decades, you’ve been a quiet hero in our community — generously giving to organizations doing vitally important work that enhances the quality of life for people facing daunting challenges. Thank you for your unparalleled generosity and commitment to helping so many over so many years!


Society of Chairs 2019



Repairing homes, reviving communities Catie Richman | Contributing Writer

THE STORY Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona has been serving Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County since 1985. A locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the nonprofit envisions a world where everyone has safe and secure housing. In fact, more than 1,100 homes have been built or renovated by the organization since it was founded. “Habitat is probably most known for building affordable homes. But over the years, we’ve learned that affordable home repair is also important for families that want to stay in their homes, or maybe don’t need a new home,” said Dusty Parsons, director of marketing and communications. “So we’ve expanded our

portfolio to include affordable home repairs. When you do that in one area, it becomes neighborhood revitalization or stabilization.” Repairs can range from minor to major, including landscaping, painting, roofing and even window replacement for energy efficiency and to help lower electric bills and make houses more affordable to maintain. “It’s a huge economic impact to a family to make some of these repairs,” said Jason Barlow, president and CEO of the organization. “It can also have a health impact. By fixing these homes, kids are healthier and going to school more regularly. And parents have a lot more cash in their pocket.”

THE CAUSE Directly south of downtown sits one of Phoenix’s first suburbs, Central City South. The community has deep roots, with many multigenerational families living in the same houses their parents and even grandparents lived. With an average family income of around $20,000 per year, the neighborhood falls below the poverty line. 34  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

“Our mission is bringing God’s people together to build homes, communities and hope. That’s why this Central City South area fits so perfectly, because it’s not only homes — it’s a larger community,” said Barlow. “A lot of hope is needed down there because residents tell us they felt like it’s ‘the land that time forgot.’” Over the past decades, Central City South residents

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona has announced a long-term commitment to neighborhoods just south of downtown Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity

have watched downtown Phoenix transform. But as the city center thrives, seemingly all investments have halted just a block north, leaving the community in a state of neglect. Habitat has stepped in to restore, repair and revive Central City South and is working to change the cycle that has caused residents to feel forgotten. In 2018, Habitat pledged a long-term commitment to renovate and rebuild 80 homes in the area just south of downtown Phoenix, including Grant Park, Central Park, Matthew Henson and the 7-11 Neighborhood. The positive impact of Habitat’s presence goes

beyond repairing houses to igniting community spirit. As a part of the program, qualifying families pay for their home repairs through “sweat equity.” “They’re out painting, they’re working, they’re helping alongside the volunteers and contractors. They have hours they have to contribute back,” Barlow said. “We like to say Habitat is a hand up, not a handout. So that community is actually working on each other’s homes in this area.” Habitat, along with hundreds of volunteers, has also done extensive work to rebuild community gardens in Central City South so neighbors and families can gather and socialize in a communal space.

THE FUTURE Since March 2018, Habitat has helped more than 50 families in Central City South. As part of its commitment, the organization is planning to build some 30 new homes in the next three years. But the work is far from over — and they cannot do it alone. “The future is trying to find more resources, companies and people that want to get involved in this effort,” Barlow said.

Downtown-based companies like Cowley Companies and WebPT have already stepped up to help their neighboring community and Habitat hopes other corporations will follow suit. “When you’re out in these neighborhoods, you look up at these buildings and it’s such a dichotomy economically and socially between these areas,” Barlow said. “My conviction is to get as many of MAY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  35

With a blend of volunteers and homeowners putting in sweat equity, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is rejuvenating and energizing Phoenix neighborhoods. Photos courtesy of Habitat for Humanity

these businesses in downtown Phoenix to muster support, to come out and help just a mile away.” Habitat hopes that by engaging the surrounding community, they will be able to breathe life back into the neighborhood in less time, so that they can carry out their mission and help other communities in need. “We’ll just continue to move across the neighborhoods because we’re kind of starting in the middle,” Barlow said. “There’s a lot of room to expand west and south to help more neighborhoods, homes and people who need services.” To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, go to


Congratulations Chevy Humphrey THE HAZEL A. HARE PRESIDENT AND CEO AT ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER, FOR BEING RECOGNIZED AS THE 2019 CHAMPION FOR CHILDREN. Thank you for leading Arizona Science Center in giving approximately half a million children and their families each year opportunities to Never Stop Wondering. Never Stop Imagining.â„¢

Society of Chairs 2019

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KITCHEN DOORS {patio dining} Lisa Mullavey | Culinary Writer

DAILY DOSE BAR AND GRILL Scottsdale | Daily Dose Bar and Grill is a popular eatery with a cool vibe and incredible food. I took one of my sons for a late Saturday breakfast and it ended up being our meal for the day. Craving something sweet and savory, I ordered the chicken and waffles, which was off-the-charts good. Dose tops a corn waffle with bacon-encrusted chicken, two eggs, harissa aioli and sweet corn salsa. My son had their peanut butter & jelly waffle with sliced bananas and house-made berry compote, which quickly disappeared from his plate. Daily Dose boasts a large menu with a lot of choices, which will make it easy to please anyone in your group. Eat inside at a table or while watching TV at the bar, though I recommend taking advantage of their pet-friendly, shaded patio overlooking Scottsdale Road and the bustle of Old Town. Daily Dose also has a midtown location in Phoenix.

THE VIG FILLMORE Phoenix | Of their five Valley restaurants, The Vig Fillmore — located within the historic Roosevelt South neighborhood outside of downtown Phoenix — is my favorite. The location greets you with a charming front porch and renovated bungalow that houses The Vig’s main restaurant and bar. To the left of the porch is a large outdoor bar framed by an expansive courtyard with shaded seating. My sister and I met for Sunday brunch and came early to secure an outdoor table to enjoy the morning weather. We started with a few cocktails. She had a traditional mimosa and I tried a Kick Start martini, a beyond-delicious drink made with cold brew coffee, Cutwater Fugu horchata vodka, Crater Lake hazelnut espresso vodka, Amaro delle Sirene liqueur and Más Mole bitters. For brunch, I ordered the Hangover Helper, which is made with pork carnitas layered with tortillas, white cheddar and guajillo salsa topped with pico de gallo, crema and two eggs. My sister had their breakfast sandwich croissant with egg, avocado, tomato, crisp bacon and a spicy chipotle mayo. We liked both entrées so much we ended up eating off each other’s plates and staying for two conversation-filled hours.

TRYST CAFÉ Chandler | Tryst Café prides itself on serving a menu centered around locally sourced natural and organic ingredients with a focus on gluten-free and vegan options. I stopped in before work one morning to get a jump start on my busy day. Having arrived shortly after they opened, I took advantage of the serene setting on their outdoor patio. I ordered a vanilla latte while I looked through their menu. The latte had the perfect level of sweetness and was served in an Irish whiskey glass that kept it nice and warm. I decided to order the Tryst omelet, one of their vegetarian options, made with three organic eggs, fresh mozzarella cheese, roasted tomatoes and pesto. The ingredients complemented each other, resulting in a very pleasing flavor. My omelet was served with perfectly roasted red potatoes and sourdough toast. Tryst Café’s original location can be found west of Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix.


Caffe Boa Tempe | Located just west of Mill Avenue and 4th Street is a delightful European bistro and wine bar known as Caffe Boa. The Caffe occupies a space that was originally the Atwood Hotel. Built in 1894, the hotel was Tempe’s first three-story Victorian-style building. The historic setting provides unique character for the Caffe and a setting befitting an establishment with Valley roots 25 years deep. Caffe Boa is known for using high-quality local ingredients (fresh, organic, wildcaught) and is the only wine bar in Arizona with an allnatural wine list. My husband and I visited for Sunday brunch. We sat at the bar and started with a pitcher of their refreshing house-made red sangria and a trio of bruschetta: (1) tomato, basil, EVOO and garlic, (2) Finocchiona and Stracciatella (fennel salami and

house-made buffalo mozzarella) and (3) egg salad and pickle with a hint of horseradish. All were amazing with the second selection being our favorite. For our entrées, my husband had the egg ciabatta and I ordered the steak and eggs. The ciabatta was topped with an over-easy egg, Gruyère cheese, tomato, wild arugula, Guanciale (bacon made from pork jowls) and finished with a spicy Sriracha butter. Very tasty! My steak and eggs were anything but ordinary. Nebraska flap steak is marinated in pineapple juice with added seasonings, then cooked and thinly sliced. The steak is served with feta garlic dressing, wild arugula and a cream cheese egg scramble. All in all, quite wonderful. You may also dine on Caffe Boa’s outdoor patio, enjoying the shade and privacy of canopies of flowers and greenery.



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4/18/19 9:11 AM

A 2ND ACT {survivors giving back}

HORSING AROUND FOR GOOD Therapy on four hooves Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

Gregg Goodman believes you have to work on yourself in order to work with horses. “Dogs are eager to please and adapt their behavior for humans,” he said. “But horses are intuitive to a human’s emotions, good or bad.” Goodman should know. As a rider for decades, he’s seen a lot of horses. Eighteen years ago, he found his true calling as executive director of Horses Help. The five-acre spread of land in north central Phoenix that Horses Help occupies was a farm turned into a recreational riding business. Goodman, the state chair for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, has led it to become a PATH Premier Accredited organization, serving more than 100 participants a week. Hippotherapy — the use of horseback riding as therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment — improves coordination, balance and strength and works on human emotions. There are always 16 to 18 members in Horses Help’s herd, coming from all walks of life and each living its own second act. Some are retired professional show horses or ropers. Others were donated by families whose kids went off to college, while others are rescues from various situations. But all of them are now partners in healing. The horses are generally 15 hands high and below 44  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | MAY 2019

(60 inches or less, measured from the shoulder) in order for them to be most accessible to a broad range of participant sizes. The staff interacts with the new horse recruits to learn their conformations and movements, and then works to match the breeds with the skill levels of participants. “Our programs run the gamut,” Goodman said. “We have participants with cerebral palsy, autism and more than 50 other types of disabilities. We have foster-care children and trafficked youths in our programs, most of whom have never had pets and haven’t experienced much love — animal or human — in their lives.” When Trystan, a young program participant, first arrived at Horses Help, he had a tough time keeping his emotions in check. His equine partner, Buddy, reflected the nervousness and other raw emotions back at him. Over time, Trystan become more aware of his emotions, which in turn taught him how to better manage them. Buddy taught Trystan confidence as well. Horses need a confident leader. They want to know where they’re going, that there’s a sure plan and a cool leader at the helm. That’s exactly what Trystan became. Horses Help also offers special group programs. “We created Operation Unbridled for military and first responders,” Goodman said. “And in conjunction with ASU, we developed the Family HERD program

Using a unique collaboration of horses and people, Horses Help serves the special-needs population, one stride at a time.

to explore family dynamics as seen through the eyes of a horse.” While some of the programs involve riding, others are all ground work, with no riding involved. And that work extends from the paddock to the stables. There’s tack to take care of, feeding to be done and grooming schedules to be doled out. Throughout, participants work with both certified instructors and volunteers. Iraq War veteran Jeremy suffered a traumatic brain injury stateside. Among his challenges, his speech is difficult to understand. But Jesse, Jeremy’s fourlegged partner in healing, understands him perfectly. Jeremy also has the opportunity to groom and walk Jesse, responsibilities that allow him to feel valued and more “normal.” Of course when you have a herd of horses, you also have a lot of horse manure. The Horses Help team came up with uses for that as well. The first step was to create gardens as a part of the therapy program. Learning to care for plants that eventually produce edible bounty is a great learning tool. And bonus: a use for composted manure. Next came hydroponic gardening. Plants are grown in water, completely without soil, while being supported by gravel and special platforms — another bonus usage of the composted manure.

Probably the most clever use for the composted manure are the 10-pound bags of it available for purchase. Cleverly called Thera-Pooh, they’re excellent fundraisers at practically no cost. Horses Help’s new project is aptly named the “Dream Big” project, which will allow them to expand their programs and better utilize their space. “It’s not a matter of ‘If you build it, they will come.’ It’s really a matter of, ‘They’re here, we better build it,’” Goodman said. To that end, plans have been drawn up for a $6 million building project. They include repurposing some of the buildings and spaces while completely reconstructing others. The Horses Help programs, and the horse heroes at the center of them, are truly magical, serving both special-needs and at-risk communities as well as providing unique therapy and recreational opportunities. And that’s just plain horse sense. To learn more, visit



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