The Arizona We Want Raises $1.375 Million to Fund Action Plan.

New Grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Helps Move the Needle

The Arizona We Want

The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announced today that $1.375 million has been raised from Arizona organizations to fund implementation of The Arizona We Want 2.0: The Case for Action, released in January 2013.

Based on the Gallup Arizona Poll, the 2.0 report identifies eight citizen goals and proposes action steps for how Arizonans can achieve them. The implementation plan calls for a broad-based, statewide effort to reconnect Arizona citizens with leaders in all sectors who actively support taking clear, positive steps in 2014 to move Arizona forward.

“We are pleased to announce that 15 foundations and corporations have provided the initial funding support,” CFA Chairman and CEO Dr. Lattie Coor said. “We are very close to reaching our goal of $1.5 million and are especially appreciative of the $225,000 gift from The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, our lead contribution to date and one that will transform the effort going forward. Support from organizations like The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation helps to reinforce the importance of our mission and the significance of the work being done.”

The action agenda of the 2.0 report addresses the issue of Arizona’s increasing poverty rate by focusing on three fundamental requirements for quality of life: a competitive education, access to healthcare services, and employment that provides the income to meet basic needs. These align closely with the mission of the Parsons’ foundation.

“The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation looks for opportunities to partner with organizations that are positively influencing our community,” said Bob Parsons. “Addressing the immediate needs of our state’s homeless, hungry, abused, under-educated and at-risk population is essential and we are proud to support many phenomenal organizations which do just that. However, we also need to look at the bigger picture – how we inspire lasting statewide change to better serve the public interest and the common good.”

Other major donors include Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Public Service, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, SCF Arizona, Wells Fargo and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

In addition, contributions have been received from Flinn Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, Pivotal Group, Hensley & Company, National Bank of Arizona, Salt River Project, Sundt Corporation and Valley of the Sun United Way. A number of others have also expressed interest in participating in this strategically important effort that will impact the future of our state.

The Arizona We Want 2.0 presents a new model for change driven by citizen goals and their high expectations of leaders for moving Arizona forward on education, job creation, environment & water management, infrastructure, healthcare, young talent, civic engagement and community involvement.

To support the initiative, CFA has established The Arizona We Want Institute with a founding Board of Advisors organized under the leadership of Don Smith, President and CEO of SCF Arizona.

The Advisory Board includes Deborah Bateman, Executive Vice President of National Bank of Arizona; Betsey Bayless, retired CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health Services; Pam Conboy, Regional President of Wells Fargo AZ Community Banking; Ed Fox, Vice President of State and Local Affairs for Arizona Public Service; Jack Jewett, President and CEO of Flinn Foundation; Courtney Klein Johnson, Co-founder of SeedSpot; Jonathan Koppell, ASU Dean of the College of Public Programs; Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona; Lisa Lovallo, Market Vice President for Southern Arizona Cox Communications; Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Foundation; Janet Marcotte, retired Director of YWCA Tucson; Anne Mariucci, Arizona Board of Regents; Judy Mohraz, President and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust; Jaime Molera, Partner, Molera Alvarez Group; Jacob Moore, Managing Partner of Generation Seven Strategic Partners; Julie Pastrick, President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce; Suzanne Pfister, President and CEO of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives; Doug Pruitt, founder of Sundt Corporation; Michelle Rider, CEO of Westmarc; Steve Seleznow, President and CEO of Arizona Community Foundation; Gena Trimble, Associate General Manager of Salt River Project.

The initial focus of the Institute’s work will be the recently launched AZ Advocates initiative. This multipronged effort will build a statewide network of Arizonans who support the spirit and values of The Arizona We Want 2.0 and who understand what it offers: an authentic voice of Arizonans; the only comprehensive set of goals available in Arizona today; and a clear action agenda. A number of lead partner organizations have already committed to moving this effort forward. The next phase will be to mobilize citizens around the state.

“The voice of our community will continue to influence the direction and success of The Center for the Future of Arizona,” said Renee Parsons. “We encourage Arizonans to get involved, to help move the needle and make our state stronger.”

For additional information, visit www.TheArizonaWeWant.org.