Lisa Urias named Chief Program and Community Engagement Officer at ACF

Lisa Urias

The Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) announced that Lisa Urias will become Chief Program and Community Engagement Officer beginning April 1. She succeeds Elisa de la Vara who plans to retire from the foundation on March 31.

Urias has led two companies and has a long history of both corporate and community leadership. She comes to ACF from Urias Communications, a multicultural marketing and communications agency and CoNecs North America where she served as Managing Partner.

Urias founded Urias Communications in 2006 as a multicultural advertising and public relations agency designed to respond to the growing multicultural markets of the U.S. Southwest, particularly focused on the Latino and Native American markets. Urias’ background includes serving as the Director of International Markets for SRP in the Strategic Planning division.

In her role as a member of the executive management team, Urias will lead the Arizona Community Foundation’s engagements and relationships with diverse communities across Arizona and be responsible for an aggregate annual grantmaking budget of over $30 million. She will oversee ACF’s efforts in the following areas: programs and special program initiatives, including the New Arizona Prize and Philanthropy for All; program spending and related grantmaking; affiliate networks and rural philanthropy; community initiatives and impact; the Community Impact Loan Fund; affordable housing; and immigration and border-related philanthropy. 

“Having served on our Board of Directors for eight years and as Chair of the Board’s Public Policy Committee, we know Lisa well, she knows the community foundation well, and most importantly, she knows and respects the communities we serve,” said Steve Seleznow, ACF President & CEO. “As both a corporate and community leader, Lisa understands the needs and interests of our donors, as well as the issues our donors care most about.”

Urias’ civic leadership includes service on the boards of National Bank of Arizona, Greater Phoenix Leadership, the ASU Morrison Institute, Arizona Supreme Court Judicial Council Public Member, Teach for America, and Charter 100. She was recently named “Most Influential Businesswomen” by InBusiness Magazine, “One to Watch” by the Arizona Republic, and one of the “Most Admired CEOs” by the Phoenix Business Journal. She received a bachelor’s degree from ASU and completed the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Institute program.

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