When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Erika and Russ Dickey rushed to help, quickly co-founding PPE for Navajo Nation First Responders.
“We heard about the coronavirus crisis on the Navajo Nation and we saw that a friend, who is Navajo, and her husband were making masks to send up there,” Erika says. “We partnered to start sending shipments of PPE, sending three shipments per week. This project really honors Russ’s mom, who passed away in August 2019, because his mom mentored the Navajo woman, Ginger Sykes, to join the Heard Museum Board of Trustees.”
Rushing to help is typical for the Dickeys, though they do so quietly. “Although we serve on many committees and boards, we typically work ‘under the radar’ to encourage and embolden those doing great work in our community,” Russ says.
The couple are also founders of Game Changer Legacy, Arizona State University Athletics; one of the first founding families of Barrow Beyond at Barrow Neurological Institute; members of the ASU Foundation’s President’s Club; part of the 500 Club, Be a Leader Foundation; and VIP members at ASU Gammage.
Russ, who works with the family businesses Verco Manufacturing and Western Golf Properties, is also on the development board of Elevate Phoenix, a board member at Arizona Urban Youth Ministries, and the former Arizona director of Lift Up America.
“Urban youth programs are important to me because I student-taught in urban areas at University of Southern California and that gave me a passion to provide opportunities to those from challenging economic backgrounds,” he says.
Erika, a real estate professional with Sotheby’s International Realty, is passionate about the arts, theater and economic business development issues. She spends her time on the Phoenix Heart Ball Committee, as a University of Arizona Eller College Ambassador and as a Golden PANDA for People Acting Now Discover Answers (PANDA). She also is a founding board member of the Women’s Art Council (WOMAC) for Phoenix Art Museum.
“We are blessed with the time, talents and resources to create a better community,” Erika says. “We want those in our community who are less fortunate to have a chance to succeed.”