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Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Names 2015 Piper Fellows

December 14, 2015

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Names 2015 Piper Fellows
Six Nonprofit Leaders Receive Transformational Fellowships

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has named its 15th class of Piper Fellows—six nonprofit leaders dedicated to improving and enriching lives throughout Maricopa County’s communities. The newly selected Piper Fellows, chosen via a competitive process, will complete their fellowships in 2016 and become part of the larger and enduring “Piper Fellows community.”

The 2015 Piper Fellows are: Marc Ashton, CEO, Foundation for Blind Children; Tara Jackson, President, Arizona Town Hall; Mattie Lord, Chief Program Officer, UMOM New Day Centers; Jeffory Morris, Curator of Art, i.d.e.a. Museum; Reverend Poulson Reed, Rector, All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School; Dan Schay, Executive Director, Theater Works. Bios and further information about the 2015 Piper Fellows are available here.

“Piper Fellowships provide our nonprofit leaders with opportunities to grow personally and professionally. It is absolutely inspiring to see how Fellows actualize their experiences and build resiliency in themselves and their organizations,” said Susan Pepin, M.D., president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The 2015 Piper Fellows will participate in a Piper Fellowship—a self-designed, professional development sabbatical focused on strengthening leadership skills and exploring innovative programs that can help nonprofits become more effective and resilient.

Fellowships can include study with renowned thought leaders and innovators (e.g., at MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Aspen Institute, Disney Institute, Sesame Street Workshop), immersion programs that expand cultural knowledge and insights, and in-depth visits to best practice sites around the country. Sabbaticals are often transformational for Fellows and their organizations; some examples include: the development of new revenue generating programs, organizational rebranding, streamlining of social services, and reimagining how a health clinic can better serve patients.

Piper Fellows, from all 15 classes, also have the opportunity to meet monthly in facilitated Leadership Circles to share professional issues and challenges common among nonprofit leaders. These monthly gatherings focus on building community among nonprofit leaders. Fellows frequently cite the relationships gained among peer colleagues as the most rewarding aspect of the program—many new collaborations and partnerships have resulted that otherwise would not have happened.

A Piper Fellowship offers each selected organization potential grant awards up to $90,000; the first $30,000 provides each Fellow with expenses for study, travel, and opportunities to visit best practice sites around the country. The Trust also awards up to $10,000 for new or increased professional development for the staff of Fellows’ organizations.

In addition, Fellows are eligible to apply for a $50,000 Organizational Enhancement Award to implement a learning or program developed during the sabbatical.

Up to six new Piper Fellows are selected each year. There are 63 Piper Fellows to date.

A selection committee of four community leaders, including a Piper Fellow, reviewed the applicant pool and made the 2015 Piper Fellow recommendations to Piper Trust’s Board of Trustees.

About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust:
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $347 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @PiperTrust; visit us on Facebook. View Piper Trust’s FY14 Annual Report at:

Further Information about the Piper Fellows Program:

Piper Fellows Program—Brochure
Piper Fellows—Classes by Year and Bios
Stories of Transformation—Video Shorts of Piper Fellows



Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 / [email protected]
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, 1202 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85014