Board of Trustees

Virginia Galvin Piper established the Trust in 1995 and appointed four lifetime Trustees to oversee its work. The Board of Trustees was later expanded to include additional Trustees with varied backgrounds and professional skills, including the appointment of three new Trustees in 2022 to strengthen its future and build the next generation of leadership. Trustees hold unlimited three-year terms. Each brings their unique perspectives to enhance the Trust’s efforts and steward Mrs. Piper’s philanthropic vision and values.


Left to Right, Standing: Laura R. Grafman, James D. Bruner, Judy Jolley Mohraz, Paul S. Mulligan,
Lori A. Higuera, José A. Cárdenas, Ed W. Zuercher, Seated: Sharon C. Harper, Paul N. Critchfield


Board of Trustees

James D. Bruner

Jim Bruner has been active in civic, political, and professional leadership roles in the Greater Phoenix community for over 50 years.

Some of his past activities include serving as Campaign Chairman and Board Chairman of the Valley of the Sun United Way, Chairman of the Scottsdale Healthcare System (now HonorHealth) Board, President of the Scottsdale Boys Club (now Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale), and founding Board Member of both the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and the Scottsdale Cultural Council. He also served as Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Diocese of Phoenix and is a past Chairman of the Arizona State Retirement System. After serving as founding Chairman and for 16 years Chairman of the Board of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, he moved to the position of Chairman Emeritus.

Currently he is a Trustee of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and a Board Member of the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.

Politically he was elected for two terms to both the Scottsdale City Council and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. While serving as founding Chairman of the Maricopa County Stadium District he was instrumental in developing the plan to stabilize the Cactus League and in obtaining a Major League Baseball franchise and stadium for Arizona.

A member of the State Bar of both Iowa and Arizona, he has practiced law with the law firm of Snell & Wilmer. Other professional activities include serving as Chairman and President of Northern Trust Bank and with service to several other financial institutions. He is now retired.

He is a veteran having served on active duty as a Captain in the U. S. Air Force.

José A. Cárdenas

José Cárdenas, Senior University Advisor to the President for Social Embeddedness and Civic Engagement and Special Counsel at Arizona State University, joined the Board of Trustees in March 2005. Mr. Cárdenas has served on a number of other boards, including Southwest Gas Corporation, The Center for the Future of Arizona, Meridian Bank, Xico, Inc., the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and the ASU Foundation.

Paul N. Critchfield

Paul Critchfield, nephew of Virginia Galvin Piper, has devoted over 52 years of leadership and service to corporate human relations and development with a range of organizations including Motorola, Inc., Ramada Inns, Disneyland, Scottsdale Healthcare (now HonorHealth), and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Scottsdale.

In 1999, he retired as Executive Director of the Foundation of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Scottsdale (now the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale) to begin his lifetime administrative Trustee work with Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Mr. Critchfield‘s many board positions and service to local charities have included board secretary of the FBI Citizens Academy, alumni member of the Sheriff’s Posse in Maricopa County, former member of the Scottsdale Rotary Club (30 years), and life member of the Scottsdale Charros (the volunteer public relations “arm” of the City of Scottsdale). In 1974, he received the Chief’s 50 Award at the Pentagon for distinguished service in the Army National Guard recruitment program.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Critchfield graduated from the University of Tampa, Florida. Mr. Critchfield and his wife Claudia reside in Arizona. Of great importance to them, together they provide service to others as they carry out their Knighthood duties with the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem for the past 20 years. He and his wife have also served together in many other charities in Maricopa County for more than 35 years.

Laura R. Grafman

Laura Grafman, a very close friend of Virginia Piper’s, has been a Phoenix resident for over 40 years.

She served as executive vice president of HonorHealth Foundation (formerly Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation) for more than three decades. Her professional activities include membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, from which she received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award and also served on its board of directors. She served on the Board of Overseers of the Phoenix Symphony; chaired the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Advisory Committee (2014-2015); and, she is a founding member of the Friends of the Foundation for Senior Living.

Laura was named by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Valley’s Most Admired Leaders in 2013.

In 2018 Laura retired from HonorHealth Foundation, and created, Grafman & Associates, Consultants in Philanthropy.

A native of Chicago, Laura attended Grinnell College and the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.

Sharon C. Harper

Sharon Harper is Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of Arizona’s premiere real estate firms specializing in medical, bioscience, and commercial facilities, mixed use development, and innovative senior housing. Her strategic leadership activities include trustee chairman for Arizona State University, trustee for Creighton University, past chair and board member for Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Greater Phoenix Leadership, board member for Arizona Commerce Authority, Banner Health Foundation and TGen, past Honorary Commander of Luke Air Force Base, and various leadership roles in political campaigns. A native of Mankato, Minnesota, Ms. Harper graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Lori A. Higuera

Lori Higuera is the Assistant General Counsel–Employment for Freeport-McMoRan, a leading international mining company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. In this role, Higuera provides legal advice and policy guidance regarding the resolution of labor and employment matters; ensures compliance with laws and regulations; provides subject matter expertise on key employment policies; and develops solutions to employment-related matters. Before joining Freeport-McMoRan in 2015, Higuera was a partner with the law firm of Fennemore.

Higuera provides time, thought, and energy to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Desert Botanical Garden Board of Trustees, the Judge Learned Hand Selection Committee, and State Bar of Arizona’s Social Justice Working Group. Nationally, she serves as a state delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates, is an appointed member of the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund Committee, and is an appointed member of the ABA Steering Committee to the Nominating Committee.

Higuera received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and her juris doctorate degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Judy Jolley Mohraz, PhD

Judy Jolley Mohraz served as the first President and CEO of Piper Trust, and in 2012, she was appointed a Trustee. Before joining the Trust she was president of Goucher College in Baltimore. An American historian by training, she was also on the faculty and in the administration at Southern Methodist University. She was a former board chair and board member of, and has served on the boards of the Council on Foundations, Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Greater Phoenix Leadership, and Baltimore Community Foundation. She was a presidential appointee to the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy. She volunteers at Hospice of the Valley in bereavement support and pet therapy. Dr. Mohraz earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her BA and MA from Baylor University.

Paul S. Mulligan

Paul Mulligan has served as President and CEO of Catholic Charities Community Services since 2014. He is currently the Chair of the Executive Committee for the Council of Diocesan Directors for Catholic Charities USA. He serves in various board and council roles with the Arizona Governor’s Office, Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Housing for Hope, and Life Perspectives’ “Institute of Reproductive Grief Care” (San Diego, CA). He completed his role as co-chair of the Diocese of Phoenix Racial Healing & Reconciliation Commission and was recently elected to the Catholic Charities USA National Board of Directors (Alexandria, VA). A fourth-generation Arizonan of Hispanic heritage, Mulligan grew up in Phoenix where he attended K-12 Catholic schools. Mulligan served seven years in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, spent a decade leading pro-life organizations, and led Catholic Education Arizona (Diocese of Phoenix) for seven years.

Mulligan holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, a master’s in theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, and an Executive MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Ed W. Zuercher

Ed Zuercher served the City of Phoenix for 28 years, beginning as a management intern in 1993 and culminating as the City Manager from 2013 until October 2021. He served in many roles for the City of Phoenix, including as public transit director during the most significant transit expansion in the City’s history, and as light rail administrator, overseeing the City’s development of the nation’s longest initial light rail segment. He also served as Chief of Staff to Mayor Phil Gordon, as well as Deputy City Manager and Assistant City Manager with responsibility for budgeting and public safety. During his tenure, Phoenix was named the nation’s most innovative city by Governing Magazine (2017) and received 100% scores in the Human Rights Campaign’s municipal equality index. Phoenix was the only city named by Forbes in the top 500 workplaces in 2021.

Zuercher joined EY US as Managing Director with the Government and Public Sector (GPS) team in 2022 to focus on local government engagement across EY US/GPS offerings. He was appointed a Phoenix Parks & Recreation Board member by the mayor and city council. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Goshen College in Indiana, and an MPA from the University of Kansas.

In Memoriam

Arthur W. DeCabooter, EdD

Art DeCabooter held leadership roles in numerous clubs and organizations, including the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, Scottsdale Rotary Club, the Scottsdale Charros, Arizona Town Hall, Community Celebrating Diversity, and Scottsdale Historymakers. At the national level, Dr. DeCabooter was a member of the board of directors of the National Catholic Educational Association, the Commissions and Councils of Catholic Education, and the National Association of Boards. He was a president of Scottsdale Community College (served from 1978 to 2008) and held degrees from St. Gregory’s Junior College, St. John’s University, and Indiana University.

Robert Williams

Robert Williams, president and CEO of Northern Trust, and a trusted estate planner, Foorman Mueller was Virginia’s attorney helping to establish her estate plan. Robert was chosen as one of the four “lifetime Trustees” but he passed away shortly after Virginia’s death.

Investment Committee

Jeffrey Coles, PhD

Jeffrey L. Coles is Professor of Finance and the David Eccles Chair at the David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah. Previously he has held teaching positions at the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and Arizona State University. Dr. Coles has advised both industry and government. Scientific consulting clients and partners include Institutional Shareholder Services, Utah Power and Light, the Utah State Department of Community Affairs, Arizona Public Service, the U. S. Department of Energy, The Directors’ Council, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pinnacle West Capital, Central Newspapers, Inc., Honeywell, Gradient Analytics, and Verus Research. He served as Co-Chief Scientist of Incentive Lab and serves as an expert in legal actions for Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, Werner & Ayers, LLP, and Gibbs & Bruns, LLP. Dr. Coles has served or also serves as a director on the boards of the Financial Management Association and the Western Finance Association; on the steering committee of the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors; on the investment committees of the ASU Foundation and ASU; on the awards committee of the Financial Executives Institute; and has been elected president of the Financial Management Association. Dr. Coles earned his doctorate degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.

Jacque Millard, CFA, CCM

Jacque Millard is a nationally-recognized investment executive with more than 30 years’ experience impacting healthcare through increased investment returns, collaboration, and leadership. As the former vice president and chief investment officer for Intermountain Healthcare, she was responsible for leading the investment department to invest more than $15 billion across multiple portfolios. She has received awards for innovative investment ideas and has been recognized for her early work in impact investing.

Millard brings her skill sets to foundations, family offices, and private companies to improve their investment performance, governance, and reporting in service of their mission. She is the current board chair for FJI, independent board member and audit & finance committee chair for Ball Ventures, and independent board member and audit committee chair for public company PACS. She is a former board chair for Youthlinc, a small nonprofit helping youth provide international service. In addition to her service on Piper Trust’s investment committee, Millard has served on multiple endowment and foundation boards and investment committees, including Advent Health, Westminster College, and Deseret Mutual Benefit Association. She is an active member of CFA Institute and National Association of Corporate Directors.

Kent A. Misener, CFA

Kent Misener is chief investment officer with Desert Mutual Benefit Administrators (DMBA), managing over $6 billion in assets for various entities associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is also the chief investment officer of Crossroads Investment Advisors LLC, a boutique investment advisory firm. Mr. Misener serves on several corporate boards and committees including the corporate asset and benefits finance investment committees for Intermountain Healthcare, the investment committee for the Community Foundation of Utah, and the board of the CUSO of Deseret First Credit Union. He has served on the boards of ARKONA Inc, as chair of Deseret First Credit Union and on the investment committee of the Utah State Insurance and Reclamation Office. He has appeared as an expert witness concerning market trends and investment returns in state and federal trials. He has also been a guest speaker at national conferences concerning global and national equity markets and has lectured on the benefits of both active and passive investing. Mr. Misener graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and finance; he obtained his master’s degree from Utah State University.


Mary Jane Rynd

Mary Jane Rynd had the great fortune to work with Virginia Galvin Piper, serving as her tax advisor and helping to establish the charitable legacy and Trust that bears her name. In 2001, Mary Jane joined Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust as its first CFO and then became Executive Vice President overseeing all financial and operational aspects of the foundation. In 2018, she was appointed by Trustees as President and CEO of Piper Trust and served in this role for nearly five years, retiring in April 2023. The Trust reached more than $700 million in grantmaking during her tenure.

Prior to joining the Trust, she was a partner with KPMG and also, Rynd, Carneal & Ewing. A CPA (retired), she was a long-time member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants. She currently serves on the Board of Rosenbluth Family Charitable Foundation, the Board of The Phoenix Symphony, and the Audit and Investment Committees for Piper Trust. Throughout her career she served on the boards of several nonprofit and for-profit organizations such as the board and audit committee of Foundation Financial Officers Group, and the boards of Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Camelback Community Bank, Arizona Women’s Forum, Valley Leadership, and Central Arizona Estate Planning Council.

Mary Jane holds a BA in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.