CFSA is thrilled to share that Betsy Bolding is the 2022 Southern Arizona Civic Leadership Award recipient.
Created in 2016, the Southern Arizona Civic Leadership Award honors community members who have gone above and beyond to make Southern Arizona a more inclusive and welcoming place. Recipients have inspired others through their work, volunteerism, and advocacy efforts with diverse or underrepresented communities.
Betsy has gone above and beyond to make a lasting impact in Southern Arizona through her various careers and nonprofit endeavors. Betsy taught high school journalism and English for 15 years in the Tucson Unified School District in her first career. During this time, she also hosted a weekly television interview program, “Women’s Place/Every Place,” which fed her fascination with politics and her passion for women’s issues. In her second career as Special Assistant to Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, Betsy managed the Governor’s Tucson office for Babbitt’s two terms. Recently retired from her third career, Betsy was Manager of Consumer Affairs at Tucson Electric Power Company, where she coordinated the company’s K-8 education programs and facilitated community outreach. She also managed TEP’s programs designed to assist vulnerable families and served as a liaison with local agencies serving at-risk customers.
Betsy is the immediate past chair of SARSEF and continues to serve on SARSEF’s board of directors, as well as on the board of The Loft Cinema and the Women’s Studies Advocacy Council, a member-based community organization that promotes and supports the students, faculty, and activities of the University of Arizona Gender and Women’s Studies Department. She is also an active member of the League of Women Voters and the Black Women’s Task Force. Betsy is a past president of the boards of the Community Food Bank, Arizona Theatre Company, The Loft Cinema, and Prescott College. She is also an Emeritus member of the Arizona Public Media Community Advisory Board and, as such, can occasionally be heard fundraising on AZPM’s radio outlets.
When asked to reflect upon what receiving this award means to her, Betsy shared, “I am completely overwhelmed and deeply honored to receive CFSA’s Civic Leadership Award, but also humbled when I remember not only those outstanding leaders who received this distinction before me but also the many amazing unrecognized civic leaders who hold our community together. Many thanks to the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for this coveted Civic Leadership recognition.”