Local leaders create lasting legacy of giving amid COVID-19

Local leaders create lasting legacy of giving amid COVID-19

By Alison Bailin Batz

A few months prior to his November passing, Alex Trebek released a memoir titled “The Answer is…Reflections on My Life.” In it, he shared his thoughts on the legacy he hoped to leave.
“I’d like to be remembered first of all as a good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best,” he wrote.
Certainly, he will be remembered for all of those things. In his honor, this month the Scottsdale Airpark News shines a light on members of the community who have been doing the same—helping inspire or support people to perform at their best—through volunteerism, fundraising and other efforts to give back.

Liz Rock, Jewish Family & Children’s Service
As the community braced itself for stay-at-home orders, Liz Rock, director of philanthropy and donor engagement for Jewish Family & Children’s Service, helped establish an emergency assistance fund to ensure the organization was able to strengthen and maintain the quality of behavioral health social services and primary medical care to individuals in need. A proponent of funding, research and treatment for mental health support services, Rock is an advocate for children, families and adults. Last year, JFCS provided much-needed support and counseling to more than 40,000 people in Maricopa County.

Rodney Ott, Quarles & Brady LLP
Ott, an attorney in the litigation and dispute resolution practice group at Quarles & Brady, was recently recognized with the Michael Gonring Pro Bono Award for impactful work he completed amid the pandemic. Among his many good works was his representation of an 84-year-old client who was taken advantage of and denied of her life savings by her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. A Zoom trial was held in early October and the judge awarded the client $213,000.

Lupe Camargo, Perspective Financial Services
Already a member of the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council’s board of directors, this year Camargo accepted the role of board chairwoman, serving a three-year term supporting more than 11,000 Girl Scouts in the region, including over 3,100 across Greater-Scottsdale alone. As part of this role, she also seeks to make scouting more accessible to girls in the Latina community and to help girls continue to take an active role in the community amid the pandemic.

Tom Davis, Pioneer Title Agency
In addition to his work this year as the chairman of the Land Title Association of Arizona, Davis and his team launched a program called Leave Things Better in recent months. Through a relationship with the Arizona Community Foundation, Pioneer Title’s Leave Things Better provides one $10,000 grant each month to a local qualifying nonprofit. To date, the grant program has approved donations to The Arizona Community Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Fund, The Arizona Community Foundation Black Philanthropy Initiative, Child Crisis Arizona and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Heather Genovese, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services
Heather Genovese is a champion for children with high needs, vulnerable adults, and people with addictions. As the vice president of crisis and opioid services at Southwest Behavioral & Health Services, she puts her safety on the back burner, working with some of the most challenging cases of individuals who struggle to be understood and heard. Genovese is a community activist focusing much of her energy on improving connectivity to services for people with opioid addiction. She has compassion for everyone believing that everyone has the ability to heal and lead a positive and functional life.

Mike Brown, WaFd Bank Arizona
In November, Brown stepped up as chairman of The Care Fund, a Scottsdale-based nonprofit that helps families with a critically ill child pay their home mortgage or rent when medical expenses severely limit their ability to meet their monthly housing obligations. Beyond this, Brown helped initiate more than $160,000 in community giving over the past year through the bank’s WaFd Foundation and during the first months of the pandemic led his team through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program, ultimately providing 912 PPP loans totaling $88 million across Arizona.

Barry Chasse, Chasse Building Team
Local father and business owner Barry Chasse worked with his team to help children gain access to education in safer ways. First, they worked with more than 30 schools to financially support alternative graduations, celebrations and other honors last spring. Then, they worked with 13 Arizona schools to install handwashing stations this fall. Each station allows for students to wash while safely separated. Finally, they worked with another four schools to assemble and launch “Little Free Libraries” to provide anytime, outdoor access to books for kids.

Trevor Wilde, Wilde Wealth Management Group
Fellow Airpark father Trevor Wilde not only joined the boards of both Junior Achievement of Arizona and Child Crisis Arizona this past summer to lend a personal hand, but he gathered his entire team to pitch in by providing more than 6,000 meals to local families in need, all available curbside and at no cost to the families or organization through Child Crisis. 

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