2021 Class of Piper Fellows Named

Recently, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust announced the latest cohort of Piper Fellows. Nine outstanding leaders were selected for their record of impact in Maricopa County to receive a transformational opportunity for study, reflection and growth.

The 2021 Piper Fellows are:

  • Sam Alpert, chief development officer at Junior Achievement of Arizona
  • Debbie DiCarlo, CEO of Cancer Support Community Arizona
  • Emily Goble Early, curator of anthropology at Arizona Museum of Natural History
  • Carmen Heredia, CEO of Valle del Sol, Inc.
  • Karen Jayne, CEO of Stardust
  • Nate Lowrie, CEO of Valleywise Health Foundation
  • Laura Magruder, CEO of Maggie’s Place
  • Regina Nixon, executive director of Phoenix Conservatory of Music
  • Jeri Royce, president and CEO of Esperança

The new class becomes part of the larger Piper Fellows network that is now 90 Fellows strong. The 2021 Piper Fellows will participate in self-designed professional development “sabbaticals” focused on strengthening leadership skills and exploring programs that can help nonprofits become more effective and resilient.

“My Fellowship experience had a direct impact on both the organization I serve as well as my growth as a leader,” said Mary Mitchell, Co-CEO of Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and 2017 Piper Fellow.

The Piper Fellowship supports the professional development, study and travel for the Fellow, offering a chance for them to reach, retool, and revitalize. The fellowship also supports some professional development for the staff and/or board of a Fellow’s organization. After completing the fellowship, the Fellow can apply for an Organizational Enhancement Award to implement learning or programming that emerged during their sabbatical work. A Piper Fellowship provides up to $90,000 in potential grant awards for a Fellow’s organization.

“The Trust’s founder, Virginia Galvin Piper, always emphasized the importance of investing in people — that as people gain more knowledge and strength, they become better equipped to build capacity in their organizations, which in turn launches positive ripple effects that resonate throughout the community,” said Mary Jane Rynd, president and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

Applications will open for the 2022 Class of Piper Fellows in spring 2022.


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