Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Names Successor CEO and New Trustees


Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, one of the largest private foundations in Arizona, has named longtime philanthropy executive Steve Zabilski as its president and CEO, effective April 1, 2023. The Piper Trust Board of Trustees also appointed three new trustees to its expanded board: Lori Higuera, assistant general counsel for employment at Freeport-McMoRan; Paul Mulligan, president and CEO of Catholic Charities Community Services; and Ed Zuercher, former Phoenix city manager and managing director at Ernst & Young.

Zabilski, who has led the local Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the past 25 years, will succeed Piper Trust president and CEO Mary Jane Rynd, who will retire but continue to serve the Trust on its audit and investment committees at the board’s request. Rynd joined Piper Trust in 2001 as its first CFO; she became president and CEO in June 2018.

Zabilski has made an enduring mark in this community thanks to his years of experience and compassionate, dignified service. He helped to advance the mission and services of St. Vincent de Paul, including doubling its health clinic space to treat more people, operating dining rooms that provide meals 365 days a year, and establishing a transitional shelter and resource center. Before his career at St. Vincent de Paul, he was a senior vice president with Transamerica Insurance Group and an audit manager of KPMG Peat Marwick. Zabilski also has served as a Piper trustee for 17 years.

Piper Trust was established 22 years ago with Virginia G. Piper’s $590 million endowment to help nurture communities and individuals in Maricopa County. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, the Trust has invested more than $684 million in local nonprofits and programs.

In line with the Trust’s dedication to strengthening its future and building its next generation of leadership, the trustees also felt the time was right to expand the board. They are thrilled to welcome the three new trustees, Lori Higuera, Paul Mulligan and Ed Zuercher, effective Sept. 1, 2022.

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About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
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