Board Member: 2016- Present
Ms. Judy Schumacher is an award-winning Fortune 500 executive in the fields of communications, public relations, advertising and board governance. A longtime Arizona resident, she has worked for some of the state’s most prestigious firms. Currently, she is Vice President of Corporate Communications & Governing Board Services for CopperPoint Insurance Companies, Arizona’s largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier. She is responsible for internal and external communications, advertising and community relations as well as governing services for the company’s 6-member Board of Directors.
Most recently, Ms. Schumacher was Vice President of Marketing for Main Street Restaurant Group, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. She was responsible for the marketing, advertising and communications programs associated with 57 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants and 3 proprietary brands located across the U.S. Before joining Main Street, Ms. Schumacher owned and operated a full-service communications consulting company. The firm provided services in the areas of marketing and advertising, public relations, financial communications, consumer and issues research, media relations, employee communications, mock jury focus group analysis.
Prior to Schumacher Communications, Inc., Ms. Schumacher held the position of Director of Corporate Communications for Arizona Public Service Company. As such, she was responsible for companywide communications, managing a staff of 50 and an annual budget of $13 million. Her leadership in issues management, consumer brand repositioning and employee relations garnered such awards as a First Place Telly Award for her deregulation television ad campaign and a Top Ten Award from Andersen Consulting for the best website and intra-net site in the utility industry.
Board member: 2019 - Present
Edwin Knight, J.D., earned a law degree from Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and a bachelor's and master's degree in accounting from Brigham Young University. His recent leadership positions have included serving as the Chief Program Officer for House of Refuge, Inc., the Director of Strategic Initiatives for A New Leaf, Inc., and with the Arizona Community Foundation as the Director of the Center for Planned Giving. Ed's experience also includes audit and compliance, having previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Electronic Data Systems in the Washington D.C. area before moving to Gilbert, Arizona with his family.
Board President 2019
Board member: 2017 - Present
Mary Eden most recently served as the Regional Healthcare Administrator for the Jesuit California Province, in Los Gatos, California. She provided leadership in the development of community efforts directed toward improving the health of the California Province. Prior to that she was a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Tucson, Arizona and the Founding CEO of the Gathering Place, a drop-in center for persons with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.
Mary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology from Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles, California and is a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Board member: 2017 - Present
Vince Yanez is Senior Vice President, Arizona Community Engagement for Helios Education Foundation. In this role, Mr. Yanez works with Helios' staff to engage the community and stakeholders, improve academic preparedness and foster college-going and completing cultures for Arizona students, especially those in high poverty, Latino communities.
Prior to joining Helios, Mr. Yanez was Executive Director for Education & Public Policy at the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF). He oversaw all strategic education grantmaking as well as public policy initiatives. Prior to ACF, Mr. Yanez was the executive director for the Arizona State Board of Education for nine years. In that role, he was the chief advocate and policy advisor for issues impacting Arizona’s K-12 public education system.
Mr. Yanez holds a bachelor’s degree in Government and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University.
Board Member: 2016- Present
Janita has over thirty years of education, public policy and philanthropy experience in foundations, nonprofit and academic institutions. Janita currently serves as the Senior Associate for Campaigns and Fund Development at Girl Scouts, where she is the leading Arizona’s first Leadership Campaign for Girls. A Chicago native, Janita and her family relocated to Phoenix over fifteen years ago to assist with ASU’s Great Community Campaign. Janita served as the Vice President/Senior Director of Development and Marketing for the Ira Fulton School of Engineering. Her expertise in philanthropy evolved when she was appointed to lead Arizona’s Early Education Fund, a public/private partnership a collaborative effort between Arizona Community Foundation and the State School Readiness Board/office of Governor Janet Napolitano. Following her passion to increase the college opportunity of first generation students, Janita also served as the Executive Director of the National Minority Golf Scholarship Association and continues to assist with local efforts to support high school and college students reach their full potential. She serves on the board of Florence Crittenden and is a licensed missionary within the Arizona Jurisdiction for the Churches of God in Christ.
Joyce Medina Harper - Executive Director Email
Joyce has over 16 years of experience in the non-profit, education and philanthropic sectors. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Child Development, and went on to earn a Master's Degree from Baruch College in Public Administration. Most recently, Joyce was the Director of Scholarships and Associate Executive Director of Education at the Arizona Community Foundation.
Joyce serves on the Board of Directors for Valley Leadership, Chairs the Latina Giving Circle, is a member of the Estrella Mountain Community College President's Advisory Council, and serves in the philanthropy seat for the First Things First Phoenix South Regional Council. Among her accomplishments, Joyce was selected as a National Urban Fellow, Class of 2005; Valley Leadership Class 32; Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 Class of 2013; Hispanic 40 Under 40 Class of 2012; National Hispana Leadership Institute ALL-IN - 2010; and a Pahara Next Gen Fellow.