First Place® AZ Appoints New Board Member, Officers

Posted By on January 13, 2020

First Place® AZ, a local nonprofit that helps secure housing solutions for individuals with autism and other intellectual or developmental disabilities, has announced the appointment of a new board member and four new officers.

Susan Smith, the director of IT frontline services at the Salt River Project, now sits on First Place AZ’s board of directors, where she will help oversee the efforts of First Place, its Global Leadership Institute and its Transition Academy residential life skills program. A longtime philanthropist and champion for issues affecting women and children, Smith is a former board chair and vice chair of the Arizona Foundation for Women, and she also served as vice chair of the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council and as a committee or board member for the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and the Autism Society of Maine, among multiple others.

New officers for First Place AZ include Sara Dial, of Sara Dial & Associates, Joyce Millard-Hoie, the former executive director of Raising Special Kids, Tess Burleson, COO of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and president of TGen Health Ventures, and Jack Henry, the founder and managing director of Sierra Blanca Ventures, LLC.

In their new roles, these individuals will work to continue the efforts of First Place AZ, which operates an 81,000 square-foot, $15.4 million residential facility with 55 separate resident apartments. In addition to enhancing the independence of Arizona residents with disabilities by enabling them to live independently in their own homes, First Place AZ also assists with life-skill building, professional development and related efforts that help prepare residents for social and professional success.  

For more about First Place AZ, check out

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