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BizHONORS

Champion for Creating Change for Women & Girls By Elena Acoba In projects modest and grand, Wanda F. Moore has personally touched innumerable individuals in her drive to better lives. Moore, whose work focuses on women and girls, is the 2017 Luncheon Honoree of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona. Her praises will be sung at the 24th annual WFSA event on April 26. “The Women’s Foundation proudly selected Wanda because she is a champion for creating change for women and girls in our community,” said Dawne Bell, WFSA’s CEO. “We’re thrilled to recognize not only Wanda’s professional achievements, but her leadership in the health community, her volunteerism with the foundation and other nonprofits, as well as her mentorship and guidance for so many women and girls.” Moore said her mother laid the groundwork for her service to others. “My mom really influenced my work,” said the Georgia native. “If the family next door needed food, she was going to split our food to give it to them. She got such joy out of giving to others. I was going to follow her example.” Moore’s first opportunity came in the 1980s in Los Angeles where she lived with her husband, Jim, and three children. She created the Rainbow Club, a church program for poor girls in the Watts neighborhood. They learned to cook, clean and babysit, did homework, studied the Bible and took field trips “so they would always see a different view from where they live,” said Moore. “I was really happy because I saw the results that they were going to do better.” Moore also attended colleges and law school while working at General Dynamics, where Jim also worked. The family moved to Tucson in 1993 in the relocation of employees with Hughes Missile Systems, which bought 46 BizTucson

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Spring 2017

out General Dynamics a year earlier. The division became Raytheon Missile Systems. Jim continued his engineering career while Wanda networked by volunteering for the Tucson Chamber of Commerce and the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. She found jobs, first as a City of Tucson contract administrator, then, from 1997 to 2003, as the director of supply chain management for Carondelet Health Network. There Moore mentored employees to earn their GEDs, study for the purchasing manager certification and find jobs that advanced their careers. “I just believed everybody had the right to equal education,” she said. “Those that didn’t have the high school education, I wanted to help them.”

WOMEN’S FOUNDATION OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA 24TH ANNUAL LUNCHEON Wednesday, April 26 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tucson Convention Center 260 S. Church Ave. $70 for individuals $700 for table of 10 (520) 622-8886 www.womengiving.org/ annual-luncheon

Moore was elected to the WSFA board in 2001. “I was thrilled,” she said. “I felt like the women’s organization was right down my alley.” The WSFA runs and supports programs that help women and girls improve their social, political and economic lives. Since its formation in 1991, the

group’s grant program has awarded more than $3.4 million to hundreds of organizations. At the luncheon it will announce grant awards of more than $700,000 to efforts addressing issues of health, career development, refugee settlement, domestic violence, access to legal services and more. WFSA’s Unidas program is dear to Moore’s heart. The program gives high school girls experience in leadership, social justice and community service by allowing them to work together to research needs and decide what organizations to award $10,000. “These girls would arrive shy,” Moore said, “but when they left they had so much courage and confidence.” She also is active with WFSA’s WIN Arizona which stands for Women’s Issues Network. It monitors state legislation and provides lobbying suggestions on specific bills. “That allows our voices to be heard on the political issues that impact the quality of life for women and girls,” she said. After retiring in 2003, Moore became a full-time volunteer, accepting two state-appointed positions, and working with the Tucson Urban League, Sahuaro Girl Scout Council, American Heart Association, American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She continued to be actively involved with a variety other community organizations. Moore’s current work centers around the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. She serves on the advisory board, teaches CPR, talks about women health issues and raises funds for the Women of Color Research Endowment to support research on health disparities of people of color. “My greatest passion right now,” she said “is working with women and girls in under-served populations. I go out and encourage them to do preventative health things.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

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