This diverse group of community leaders bring valuable expertise and a passion for supporting our region to the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.
CLAUDIA JASSO, Chair, has been a pioneering force to harness the power of philanthropy to improve racial equity at the community level for over 20 years. She has uniquely crossed silos to unite grassroots, philanthropic, corporate, and governmental efforts, with the ultimate goal of improving the well-being of the least enfranchised, so that society becomes more integrated and harmonious.
In her early career, Claudia worked in corporate training, where the global nature of her work allowed her to gain broad experience throughout the continental United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia. This also gave her the perspective and expertise to launch Jasso Development & Planning, a development consulting firm where she is Managing Partner.
Claudia is a strong advocate for racial equity and has spearheaded efforts aimed at changing cultural climates. She is the Founder of the Latino Community Fund which supports Latino-led, Latino-serving non-profits that create lasting change in their community through social justice and racial equity. Claudia is an active member of Hispanics in Philanthropy’s national Latino Trustee Circle, which convenes Latino trustees from across the country.
Claudia attended Baylor University and is currently conducting studies at Harvard University. Her professional affiliations include the League of United Latin American Citizens, University of Arizona President’s Hispanic Advisory Council, and Pima Community College External President’s Advisory Group.
Claudia is a featured speaker on topics of leadership and philanthropy, in Arizona (University of Arizona, Arizona State University) nationally in the US (Hispanics in Philanthropy) and transnationally (U.S. – Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership). She is widely recognized for her generosity and is the recipient of Hispanics in Philanthropy’s HIP Giver Award, the Outstanding Community Service Award from the US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation and the League of United Latin American Citizens, and was named one of the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 in Arizona.
SAUNDRA L. TAYLOR, PH.D., Vice Chair, is a retired University administrator and faculty member. Her last position was as Sr. V.P. for Campus Life at the University of Arizona from 1992-2006. Dr. Taylor received her undergraduate degree in psychology from DePauw University in 1963, a masters degree in psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1965, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Ohio University in 1969. She is married to Christopher Taylor and they have two sons Derek and Adam. Dr. Taylor has served on numerous National Boards for Student Personnel and Psychology and has been a licensed and practicing psychologist in the State of Washington (1971-1992).
While in Tucson she has served on the following boards: Girl Scouts, Sahuaro Council (1993-96), Tohono Chul Park Board, (2000-2003), Community Investment Committee at CFSA (2012 to date) and the African American Legacy Fund at CFSA (2012-to date). She has also served as a mentor for the Community Food Bank (July 2015 to date). Dr. Taylor’s interests are in social justice, multicultural approach to management, educational opportunities for African American youth, and improvement in providing services for the poor.
HERBERT J. HOFFMAN, Treasurer, serves as a Principal at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. He has more than 38 years of tax consulting experience. Herbert currently specializes in tax consulting for corporations and partnerships for a variety of industries including real estate, manufacturing, distributors, technology, and service providers. He is a member of the firm’s construction and real estate industry group. Herbert lectures to various groups and state CPA societies around the country as part of CLA’s Tax Advisors Update group. He holds a B.A. in business administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and M.S. in taxation from Walsh College, Troy, Michigan.
CELESTINO FERNANDEZ, PH.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona, Secretary, served as Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona for 39 years (retired July 2015), where he also served in several administrative positions, including Vice President for Academic Outreach and International Affairs. He taught courses and conducted research on various topics pertaining to culture, including happiness. His “Happiness” course regularly enrolled over 500 students (and had a waiting list) and he has lectured widely on happiness, once drawing an audience of over 1500.
Dr. Fernández received both the M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for University of Phoenix.
Dr. Fernández has served on the boards (often in leadership positions) of numerous organizations, including, for example, the Commission on Higher Education, Educational Testing Service, Federation of State Humanities Councils, and La Frontera-Arizona. He has consulted widely with private corporations, government, and institutions of higher education in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Fernández has helped start five schools, including San Miguel High School, a college prep school that serves students from working-class backgrounds.
FAISAL ADIL is CEO of Sunstreet Mortgage, a locally owned and operated company with 130 employees. He has worked for over 20 years in the finance fields in both domestic and international banking. Mr. Adil is a native of Dubai in the UAE and has an undergraduate degree from Queens College in Canada and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. As a married dad of three boys, he makes the time to use his pilot license and spend time with his family.
CHETAN BAFNA from Yuma, Arizona, Chetan was one of the ten leaders of Junior State of America. Now, he is attending the University of Arizona and is majoring in Agribusiness Economics and Management. In addition to being involved with the CFSA, Chetan also spends time pursuing several other ventures. He is a board member of the Legacy of Life Foundation of Arizona, an organization aiming to tackle world hunger by growing low-cost produce in greenhouses. Furthermore, he is the Director of Students for Affordable Tuition at the University of Arizona, an organization that is dedicated to representing student interests for higher education funding. He is also a member of STRIVE, is an intern at Representative Martha McSally’s congressional office, and is passionate about advocacy work. In his free time, Chetan helps his family with their Moringa farming business and loves learning about politics and science.
ANTONIO DABDOUB is the major stockholder and managing director of the DAB Development Group, a family-owned real estate development business in Nogales, Sonora since 1988. He is the State Director of FESAC (Fundacion del Empresariado Sonorense, AC). Major achievements include the construction of more than 2.2 million square feet of industrial buildings for foreign companies; the construction and development of four industrial parks; a commercial plaza; a residential development; and a business class hotel. Underway is a new integral settlement south of Nogales, Sonora; a new residential community; and a new commercial plaza. He is a stockholder in enterprises of the same family business in Arizona, with four hotels in operation and two more underway.
MARCEL DABDOUB has been a real estate developer, financial services entrepreneur, and business consultant since 2008. His real estate projects cover a wide range of industrial, commercial and residential developments. He is also part owner of a car financing business, a title and escrow company, and Nexus Private Capital.
Marcel earned his bachelor degree from Boston University with a double concentration in finance and international management. After working as a financial analyst for a few years after college, he went back to school to earn his JD and MBA. Marcel worked as an attorney for several years with a focus on real estate and commercial transactions before transitioning to business full-time.
Marcel is committed to his community. He serves as board chairman for the Casa Hogar Madre Conchita girls’ orphanage in Nogales, Mexico and the Madre Conchita Foundation (founder), and as a board member of Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Properties, the Pima County Real Estate Research Council, the Catholic Tuition Support Organization, and the Downtown Tucson Partnership.
DARRYL DOBRAS is the President of DBD Investments, Inc., a family owned, privately held investment company that has operated in Arizona since 1975. In 1980, Darryl co-founded Territorial Bank in Tucson, which was sold to Arizona Commerce Bank in 1986. He subsequently acquired an interest in First National Bank of San Diego and was a member of the Board of Directors until the bank was sold in 1994. From 1981 to 1986, he provided vessels to the offshore oil industry in Southern California, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Tidewater Marine, Inc. purchased the company. In 1986, Darryl co-founded Triad Oil and Gas Company based in Ohio. He continues to be an active investor in startup companies through his DBD Fund, LLC.
MATTHEW HARRISON is the founder of Harrison Wealth Management, a company helping individuals and families achieve their financial goals through prudent investment management and comprehensive financial planning. After graduating from The University of Arizona, Matthew began his career as a stock analyst at a hedge fund in San Diego. He later spent several years as a portfolio manager at The Northern Trust Company and M&I Wealth Management. During his time at both institutions, Matthew worked closely with many individuals, families, nonprofits, foundations, and pension plans ranging from the newly retired to the complex business owner.
Most recently, he joined RMH Investment Management as co-Principal until 2016. Matthew taught Applied Portfolio Management to graduate and undergraduate students at The University of Arizona where he remains a frequent guest lecturer. He is also active on the Investment Committee for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, the Finance Committee for Archaeology Southwest, and is the former president of CFA Society Tucson. Matthew and his family are longtime Tucson residents and enjoy family participation in the community as well as supporting the lives of pediatric cancer patients, a cause close to them.
STYNE HILL is the President of Styne Hill & Associates, LLC, specializing in business and information systems’ strategies and integration including providing services for project management, leadership advisor, program integration and design, tools/data integration, process, data and resource management.
Ms. Hill has more than 40 years’ experience in the defense industry, having held many technical and leadership positions within Manufacturing Operations, System Engineering, Member of the Technical Staff: Mathematics, Reliability Engineering, Productivity/Quality, Supply Chain Management, System Analysis and Design, Business Management and Information Technology. Her leadership, technical skills and business experience leading large-scale programs and project management initiatives proved critical to the success of her role as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Raytheon Missile Systems and an outstanding career.
Styne is a strong, respected and passionate leader with a long history of service in the Tucson community working with numerous nonprofit organizations, committees, and volunteer teams including UA President’s African American Community Advisory Council, Arizona Technology Council: Governor’s Call to Action-AZ Health Information Technology, Tucson Urban League, UA MIS Board of Advisors, Educational strategies and committees for TUSD, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Tucson Chamber of Commerce, and many others.
Her recognitions include: Top Women of Color in Government and Defense, Technology awards for Managerial Leadership in Defense, National Black Engineer of the Year Award, UA “Women Who Lead” Award, UA 2005 Phenomenal Women, “Top Fifty Most Important Blacks in Technology” Award, multiple years, by The Career Communications Group (CCG), Career Achievement in Industry Award, Inducted into Black Engineer of the Year Awards’ (BEYA) Hall-Of-Fame for mentoring, career development work and leadership in STEM, Computerworld Premier Top 100 IT Leaders Honoree, Volunteer of the Year Award, Women On The Move Award, CIO Magazine IT Leadership Award.
FATIMA LUNA was born and raised in a rural town in southern Zacatecas, Mexico. She received a B.A. in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of California Berkeley and an M.S. in Agriculture Resource Economics from the University of Arizona. Fatima has experience working with small farm enterprises in Nicaragua and southern Mexico. Since 2013, Fátima has been working at the Sonoran Institute for the Colorado River Delta Program. As the Environmental and Natural Resource Economist, her role in the program is to analyze and evaluate the economic, environmental, social, and cultural impacts of restoration efforts in the Colorado River Delta.
Fátima lives in South Tucson, where she is an active member of her community. She is an advocate for human rights, especially for disenfranchised people including people of color, the LGBT community, women and immigrants. In her free time, Fátima enjoys weight lifting, gardening, and playing Son Jarocho. She and her husband are currently raising three children.
JAN LESHER is Deputy County Administrator for Pima County. She has served as Chief of Staff for former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and then as Chief of Staff for Operations at the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Napolitano. She was Director of Arizona’s Department of Commerce. Jan is an accomplished public servant and recognized as a leader in crisis communications, homeland security, policy, and operations.
Between her tenures of public service, Jan started Lesher Communications, a successful public relations and communications consulting firm in 1990, and served as Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Tucson Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director of the Tucson Community Cable Corporation, and Vice President of Warner-Amex Cable. Jan was named a Woman of Influence by Inside Tucson Business in 2004 and Woman of the Year by the Metropolitan Tucson Chamber of Commerce in 2005. In 2008, she was the Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year in Public Policy and received the YWCA Business Leadership Award.
RONALD MARX, PH.D. is Professor of Educational Psychology and former Dean of Education at the University of Arizona, where he holds the Paul L. Lindsey and Kathy J. Alexander Chair in Education. His previous appointments were at Simon Fraser University and the University of Michigan, where he served as the chair of the Educational Studies Program and the co-director of the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education (winner of a Computerworld-Smithsonian Laureate for innovation in educational technology) and the co-director of the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools (winner of the Council of Great Cities’ Schools Urban Impact Award).
Ronald has raised nearly $40M for research and development projects over his career and has published over 120 scientific papers and articles. His interdisciplinary research focuses on enhancing science education and developing teacher professional development models. His recent work with psychologists, early childhood educators, and public health researchers focuses on early education and school readiness.
CHINWE MARY OKOYE heads the Tucson office of Public Affairs Firm of Scutari and Cieslak. She is well versed in strategically positioning her corporate and government clients to succeed at the state, local, and federal level, by developing winning external relations, critical communications, and advocacy strategies. She has represented the interests of corporate clients such as AT&T, southwest regions. Ms. Okoye graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law and was subsequently admitted to the state bar of Arizona. She also attended the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C., her third year of law school, while interning with the office of Senator Dennis DeConcini. During her career as an attorney, she has worked in private practice, served as a Tucson City Court Magistrate, and was Pima County Public Fiduciary prior to accepting her position with the City of Tucson as Director of Intergovernmental Relations. As the head lobbyist, she coalesced and led teams of public, private, and community leaders in the successful pursuit of hundreds of millions of dollars of federal and state funding opportunities for downtown efforts which included the Modern Street Car project. Ms. Okoye has facilitated Town Halls, Public Meeting, and numerous focus groups on behalf of the Tucson Unified School District. A life long volunteer, passionate about and committed to the Tucson, she currently serves on numerous board including the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Pima Library Foundation.
TIMOTHY A. OLCOTT is a Green Valley trust and estates attorney. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1970 and his J.D. from Emory University, Atlanta, in 1973. In 1987, while practicing law in New Ulm, Minnesota, he first became familiar with the community foundation movement when a client asked him to establish one for New Ulm. Upon formation, he served as its initial advisory board president.
He moved to Arizona in 1990 and established his law practice in Green Valley the following year. Since 2000, he has been certified as a specialist in trust and estate law. In Green Valley, he was president of the Rotary Club of Green Valley and of the Green Valley Community Fund; he was also on the initial advisory committee of the Green Valley Area Community Foundation. In Tucson, he served as president of Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN) and is the immediate past chair of the LGBT&S Alliance Fund, a program of the CFSA.
ETHAN ORR grew up in Tucson and is a fourth generation Arizonan. Currently, he is the Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs and Community Partnerships at the University of Arizona (UA), focusing on applying science to help address issues that face our state. Previously, he served in the Arizona legislature passing numerous bills benefiting southern Arizona; including creating the Mental Health First Aid Program and helping develop the commercial space flight industry. He helped bring over $35 million in additional funding to the Tucson community.
Before working at the UA, he was the Executive Director of Linkages, a statewide nonprofit which helped over 1,000 people with disabilities find meaningful employment every year; he also started a small business helping ex-offenders transition into the workplace. He has served in senior level economic development positions for the City of South Tucson and the City of Tucson.
Ethan started the Empowerment Zone in Pima County, which has generated over $500 million in tax credits for the community and created nationally recognized housing and employment programs. He has a Masters of Public Administration from the UA and has taught at the UA, Northern Arizona University, and Pima Community College for over 17 years. He and his wife Kristen have been married for 18 years and have three wonderful children.
ANNE ROEDIGER is a founding partner at Roediger Hoff PLC, a certified public accounting firm based in Tucson. A fourth-generation Tucsonan, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Arizona. As a member of the Tax Practice Committee of the Arizona Board of Accountancy, Anne keeps abreast of the accounting profession’s high ethical standards and challenges by continually updating her skills with professional education in taxation, accounting standards, and strategic planning. She is also an active member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, the Tucson Tax Study Group, the Arizona Society of CPAs, and the American Institute of CPAs. She has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and has helped many organizations obtain their tax-exempt status with the IRS. In her spare time, Anne enjoys flying airplanes and studying foreign languages.
MARK RUBIN has been practicing law in Tucson for more than 35 years, with a focus on business and real estate litigation, transactions, and counseling estate planning, probate, and fiduciary services legal malpractice, ethics, and state bar discipline and admissions proceedings. He is also a Licensed Fiduciary which allows him to serve as a guardian-conservator, personal representative (executor), or trustee. Mark practices law with Rubin & Bernstein PLLC, operates Southern Arizona Fiduciary Services LLC and is part-time General Counsel for Pima Medical Institute.
Mark has served on and chaired the Steering Committee for B’nai Tzedek in Tucson (a Jewish teen philanthropy group) (2006 – 2011) and the Tocqueville Society of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona (2005 – 2007). He has also chaired the boards of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. He was a founding partner of Social Venture Partners Tucson, a venture philanthropy partnership that funds and assists literacy and life skills providers. Currently, Mark chairs the City of Tucson Supplemental Retirement System Board of Directors. Mark still volunteers, when time permits, with charitable organizations on fund development and governance issues.
RICHARD SIAS, PH.D. is the Tyler Family Chair in Finance and Head of the Department of Finance at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He holds an undergraduate degree in Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate from California State University, Sacramento and a Ph.D. in finance from The University of Texas.
Prior to joining the Eller College, Dr. Sias served as the Gary P. Brinson Chair of Investment Management at Washington State University. He has also taught courses at Bond University in Australia and Cesar Ritz College in Switzerland. Richard has taught courses in investments, empirical methods, and corporate finance at both the graduate and undergraduate level. He has also garnered a number of teaching and research awards. In addition, Dr. Sias’ work has been the focus of a number of popular press outlets including articles in Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and the New York Times.
Dr. Sias’ research interests primarily focus on investments. He currently serves as an Associate Editor at the Review of Financial Studies and previously served on the Editorial Board of the Financial Analysts Journal. His work has been cited over 5,900 times.
BARBARA SMITH is a Senior Loan Officer with Sunstreet Mortgage. Passionate about civil rights and justice, she serves on the Board of Directors for the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund at CFSA and volunteers with Wingspan. Other volunteer positions include Tu Nidito, Community Food Bank, Casa de los Ninos, and Pathways. She is also a volunteer docent at Reid Park Zoo where she handles small animals and speaks about conservation. Barbara studied art and architecture, and upon completing graduate school, designed commercial and residential interiors for Parker and Alford Interiors, Architecture One and California Design Center.
VIRJINYA R. A. TORREZ has been practicing law for 10 years and started her legal career as an associate at a small, general practice firm in Tucson, Arizona. In 2012, Virjinya joined the Tohono O’odham Nation as an Assistant Attorney General where she primarily represents the Nation’s Police, Corrections, Treasury, and Education Departments. She is a 2016 graduate of the State Bar of Arizona’s Bar Leadership Institute, serves on the Executive Council for the State Bar’s Indian Law Section, and serves on Arizona’s State, Tribal & Federal Court Forum.
Virjinya earned both her J.D. and her M.A. in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, and she earned her B.A. in Political Science (specializing in International Relations) and East Asian Studies at the University of Iowa, with certificates in International Business and American Indian and Native Studies.
Virjinya is a member of several legal organizations, and has volunteered in the community through Pima County Teen Court, Wills for Heroes, Lawyers for Literacy, Native Vote, the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and her children’s schools. Virjinya is Cherokee/Seminole/Muscogee
Virjinya is Cherokee/Seminole/Muscogee Creek and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
ALLISON M. VAILLANCOURT, PH.D. serves as Vice President of Business Affairs & Human Resources at the University of Arizona where she is also a faculty member in the UA School of Government and Public Policy. Allison’s portfolio includes Arizona Public Media, the Division of Human Resources, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Occupational Health Office, and Risk Management Services. She also co-chairs the university’s Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee.
Allison writes about career and organizational culture issues as a regular Chronicle of Higher Education columnist, maintains an organizational consulting and executive coaching practice, and provides leadership development programs for organizations ranging from the American Association of Medical Colleges to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She holds leadership roles in several national professional higher education associations and is currently active with the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, Tucson Social Venture Partners, and the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona.
Allison earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado’s School of Public Affairs. Before finding her niche in higher education, Allison was a journalist and a fundraiser.
MARIAN LALONDE, Ex-Officio, is an attorney for the Tucson office of Quarles & Brady, LLP. She is a member of the firm’s Energy and Environmental Practice Group and enjoys a multi-dimensional practice, specializing in civil litigation, corporations (for-profit and non-profit), public land, natural resources, mining, environmental, equine/animal and administrative law. Having graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Agricultural Education and a Minor in Political Science, she received her J.D. from the University of Arizona in 2006. While in law school, Marian lobbied the 47th Regular Session of the Arizona Legislature and secured passage of the Emancipation of Minors law. She was also a member of the 2006-2007 Moot Court Board and participated in the Law School’s Child Advocacy Clinic where she represented children involved in the State Foster Care System. Formerly, Marian worked as a rule writer for the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality. Marian actively participates in local homeless youth and child advocacy efforts. An alumnus of Youth on Their Own (YOTO), she presided as president and is now an ex-officio member of the YOTO board. She has been a presenter and keynote speaker at various seminars and events related to homeless and at-risk youth, foster care, emancipation, and the legislative process. In addition to serving on the Komen Southern Arizona Board, Marian sits on the Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. In 2008, Marian was honored as the Tucson Business Edge 40 Under 40 Woman of the Year. In addition to her community work, she enjoys competing regionally and nationally with her horses, Scarlett, Brooklin, and Bre.
RICARDO PINEDA, Honorary, is Cónsul de México in Tucson, Consul Pineda has served in many high ranking positions in both Boise and San Diego for the Mexican Consulate. He has worked as a political adviser on issues related to the border with Mexico in Washington, D.C. Consul Pineda is considered an expert on international economic policy, particularly as it relates to México and the U.S. He has served as a professor of national security at the Colegio de Defensa Nacional in México and holds an International Relations degree from UNAM, México.