Message from
Board of Trustees and President & CEO

The Road to Resilience

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Throughout the history of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, we have had the privilege of listening to and learning from people who are working to improve the health and strength of our community. We are struck that there are more similarities in the conversations across our cause-centered communities than differences. A cause-centered community is a collective of people and organizations that share common concerns and goals about a community issue or need. Piper Trust believes in the power of working collectively to address pressing community needs that cannot be solved by any one organization working alone. Three themes permeate our work today.

CHANGE. Our world is changing at an ever-increasing rate but our reigning paradigms and tools leave us ill-equipped to navigate a challenging and uncertain future.

COLLECTIVE WORK. Issues are complex and intertwined and cannot be improved or solved by one organization or one viewpoint. The ability to address these issues comes from the community—people, organizations, businesses, agencies, municipalities, governments, networks, groups—working together on changes that improve life at a systems level.

What we see as challenges in Maricopa County require the minds and efforts of all sectors—from case workers to county employees, school nurses to business leaders, service providers to mayors—all working together. This collective action builds resilience. Moving forward in silos is not effective. Single actors cannot change a system. Systems change, and building resilience requires this cross-sector collaboration. While individual efforts can be incremental, lasting change and new solutions need a diverse collective to bridge social, economic, and political divisions. By coming together in revolutionary ways as cause-centered communities, we can build a stronger, more resilient community capable of adapting and overcoming challenges. Who is at the table really matters.

LISTENING, LEARNING, and LEADING. Piper Trust has the ability and commitment to listen, learn, and lead in our community. We listen to those who work every day directly addressing causes and problems—they are the ones who know the challenges best—they have the insight and experience to develop solutions. We combine this with our learnings and best practices in philanthropy so that we leverage our resources with a drive to make a positive difference in the health, well-being, and opportunity for the people in Maricopa County. By aligning with the doers, we lead together.

Piper Trust is taking a long-term view. Creating lasting change requires patience and sustained effort. The Trust’s ability to convene is a powerful way we can support the community. Through the Advancing Community Resilience Partnership, an effort of Piper Trust and the Institute for Sustainable Communities, we are working alongside agencies, private and social profit organizations, and individuals—tapping the strengths of existing relationships and fostering new collaborations to collectively address pressing issues and needs and ultimately, helping build Maricopa County’s community resilience.

An example of this work is how the Advancing Community Resilience Partnership helped bring together organizations, businesses, and agencies that provide utility assistance to limited income individuals and families. This cause-centered community is now working together in unprecedented ways—identifying gaps and limits in a system that causes further chain reaction challenges for vulnerable populations. Together, they are reimagining a new future for the utility assistance system—and building resilience.

Looking ahead, we will be growing our capacity to partner in dynamic ways that advance community resilience. We’re listening…

Warmest regards,

Jim Bruner, Trustee
José A. Cárdenas, Trustee
Paul Critchfield, Trustee
Arthur DeCabooter, Trustee
Laura Grafman, Trustee

Sharon Harper, Trustee
Judy Jolley Mohraz, Trustee
Sue Pepin, President & CEO
Steve Zabilski, Trustee

Financials and Message from

Carey Chambers, CFO
Mary Jane Rynd, Executive Vice President

  • Awarded $19,133,819 (FY15) and $18,059,493 (FY16) in grants and direct charitable activities.

  • Investment portfolio in line with target allocation.

  • Audit Committee implemented managed security protocol.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A significant highlight for Piper Trust during this reporting period was welcoming Carey Chambers as Chief Financial Officer. Carey brings vast and robust experience to the Trust as a long-time executive and auditor with KPMG.

The Trust's target asset allocation remains diversified, which should provide resilience in difficult economic environments and adequate returns in more favorable conditions. We continue to be grateful for the expertise and assistance provided by Cambridge Associates, the Trust’s investment consultants. The investment committee diligently evaluated Cambridge’s recommendations, and reports, ensuring that investment managers continue to perform in accordance with their mandates, operate effectively, and in accordance with the law. We truly appreciate our dedicated investment committee members: Trustees Jim Bruner, chair, Paul Critchfield, Art DeCabooter, and Steve Zabilski along with outside members Dr. Jeffrey Coles, Jacque Millard, and Kent Misener.

We are also grateful for the dedication of each audit committee member: Trustees Paul Critchfield, chair, Jim Bruner, Art DeCabooter, and Steve Zabilski, and outside member Frank Brady. Among many things, the audit committee initiated and has led oversight of the Trust’s managed security protocol over the past two years, which is designed to strengthen the organization’s information technology (IT) security posture.

We are enjoying working together on the oversight of Virginia Piper’s generous gifts.

Carey Chambers, CFO       Mary Jane Rynd, Executive Vice President

Financial Results

Results of operations as reported in our audited financial statements are summarized in the following table. The data is presented on a GAAP, therefore accrual, basis. On a cash basis during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, grants and direct charitable activities were more than $18.7 million, and totaled $60.2 million over the three-year period. Each year operating and grantmaking expenses were in line with the budget approved by the board.

(Accrual Basis) 3/31/2016 3/31/2015 3/31/2014
Total Change ($50,843,052) $7,955,550 $46,393,470
(Accrual Basis) FY2016 FY2015 FY2014

Asset Allocation

Under the guidance of the investment committee, the Trust’s endowment was invested in a diversified portfolio expected, in the long term, to generate returns to adequately support its mission. Actual and target allocations are reflected on the following charts.

Fair Market Value of Investments and Charitable Expenditures

The blue bars illustrate the fair market value of Piper Trust’s investments and the yellow circles show the level of charitable expenditures each fiscal year.

Compendium of Grants
Paid in Fiscal Years
Ended March 2015 and 2016

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Piper Trust concentrates its efforts in six areas: healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. Browse grants by area below.

Arts and Culture

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16


Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16


Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16

Healthcare and Medical Research

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16

Older Adults

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16

Piper Fellows

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16

Religious Organizations

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16


Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY15 Paid FY16

Direct Charitable Activities

A Direct Charitable Activity (DCA) is a program or project that Piper Trust initiates itself to address a complex social challenge. DCAs often involve long-term investments, collaborations, or targeted efforts to fortify organizations focused on solving the specific challenge. Select examples of Piper Trust’s DCAs are below. Direct Charitable Activities paid in FY15: $1,345,034 and FY16: $1,159,162.

Program/Project Description

Historical/Trust Initiated Grants

Grant Type Description Paid FY15 Paid FY16

Virginia G. Piper
Charitable Trust

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is a private, independent foundation committed to honoring Virginia Galvin Piper’s legacy of supporting organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County. Piper Trust concentrates its efforts in six areas: healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations.

The Trust strives to be a vital part of Maricopa County—not only as a source of leadership and financial support, but as a neighbor sharing a lasting stake in the county’s future. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $380 million in nonprofits, programs, and strategic initiatives.

The Legacy of Virginia Galvin Piper

With exceptional intelligence and grace, Virginia Galvin Piper committed herself to the challenge, reward, and vocation of philanthropy, transforming the gift of a single life into an enduring humanitarian legacy. With profound generosity, she led others to realize and to act upon the greatness and charity within themselves.

Through the establishment of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and the dedicated work of its trustees, Virginia’s legacy thrives, illumined by her signature spirit of intelligent stewardship graced by a noble heart.

Read the Full Biography

Piper Trust Officers & Staff

  • Susan M. Pepin, MD, MPH
    President & CEO
  • Mary Jane Rynd
    Executive Vice President
  • Carey Chambers
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Marilee Dal Pra
    Vice President of Programs
  • Anna Bettis, MSUS
    Resident Scholar, 2016 - 2018
  • Alma Cuellar
    Facilities Coordinator
  • Debbie Dickey
    Administrative Coordinator
  • Christina Dyciewski
    Senior Accountant
  • Erin Goodman
    Program Associate
  • Krista Ivey
    Accounting Officer
  • Renée Khoury
    Receptionist/Facilities Supervisor
  • Karen Leland
    Director of Communications & External Relations
  • Terri Leon
    Program Officer
  • Roberta Lind
    Communications & Technology Associate
  • Kelly Matti
    Grants Manager
  • Gary Romero
    Director of Grants Management
  • Michael Sieng
    Resident Scholar, 2017-2019
  • Linda Smith
    Board and Executive Assistant
  • Ellen Solowey
    Program Officer
  • Tim Wilmot, PhD
    Director of Strategic Learning
Special thanks to former staff members, Laurie Callan, Clarin Collins, Lynn Hoffman, Leslee Oyen, Diane Prindiville, and Nick Wenham, for their contributions during the fiscal years covered in this report.


For questions or comments about Road to Resilience, Piper Trust’s FY15 and FY16 Biennial Report, or for ideas about future biennial reports, please contact:

Karen Leland
Director of Communications/External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Report Design: Fervor Creative
Photos: Fervor Creative, Sharon Price, Roberta Lind, Southwest Human Development/Smooth Way Home, Spot 127/Friends of Public Radio: KJZZ and K-BACH