10 Questions With…Deborah Carstens

Principal of Carstens Family Funds

Where did you move to Arizona from, and when?
I came here in 1999 from Telluride, Colorado.

What was the first organization you supported in the Valley?
Arizona Foundation for Women, which is still one of my favorites.

Your affiliations and community involvement are impressive. Why do you choose to be involved with so many organizations and projects?
Because there is so much need. I rely on business and nonprofit leaders to guide and advise me.

Did you grow up in a particularly philanthropic family?
My family was generous with their time and talent. We were an upper-middle-class family, certainly
not philanthropists!

You support many women’s causes. What drives your dedication?
I’m a cheerleader for girls and women. I support education initiatives, scholarships and afterschool activities.

How did you come to support the Marine Corps Scholarship fund?
I wanted the best. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. I served on the national board and continue to support the Arizona chapter.

What do you do on a typical day?

I wake up early, drink a lot of coffee and scan about a dozen digital newspapers. After I check email, I may have a short meeting with one or both of my colleagues. I stopped cooking long ago, so restaurant meals are always favorites. I end the day by reading books on my iPad, usually biographies.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my mother: “Trust your instincts.”

What have you done during the pandemic, both for yourself and as a community leader?
I’m not tech-savvy, but with the cancellation of many in-person events, I’ve adapted to new ways of working, including Zoom calls and more reliance on the digital world.

What would Frontdoors readers be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve traveled to all seven continents, and my favorite food is cookie dough. 

About Frontdoors Media

Frontdoors Media celebrates the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of our community. It’s the premier source of information – and inspiration – for those who strive to make the Valley of the Sun a better place to live.

From Frontdoors Magazine

Back to Top