Join the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to learn more about the nonprofits in Southern Arizona that are working to preserve, protect, and restore our local environment, while supporting greater awareness and education about our planet.

We will hear from representatives from Arizona Land and Water Trust, Borderland Restorations Network, Solar United Neighbors, and Watershed Management Group, Inc. about their mission and programs, as well as learn about exciting new work that will be launching at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona on Earth Day 2022.

Meet Our Presenters

Scott McDonald, Arizona Land and Water Trust
Following a varied and rewarding career in the for-profit sector, Scott McDonald became Deputy Director of Arizona Land and Water Trust in 2018.  Since then he has overseen all environmental programs of the Trust as well as Finance, HR and other administrative functions.  Prior to joining the Trust, Scott was Vice President of Marketing for Fluidmaster and ran the Commercial Division of Rain Bird Corporation.  He is a graduate of General Motors Institute and Stanford University Business School.

Kurt Vaughn, Borderlands Restoration Network
Kurt Vaughn (he/him) has been the Executive Director of Borderlands Restoration Network since 2017. He has an educational background in Cultural Anthropology, as well as Physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his doctorate in Restoration Ecology from the University of California, Davis in 2011, focusing on how variations in initial conditions affect the outcome of restoration practices in California grasslands. As a National Science Foundation-funded postdoctoral researcher, he was able to scale up his research to look at how a changing climate may affect future restoration projects. Following his postdoc, Kurt worked with Audubon California’s Working Waterways Program where he managed Sacramento Valley projects across private agricultural lands in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies, nonprofits and organizations

Bret Fanshaw, Solar United Neighbors
Bret Fanshaw is the Arizona Program Director and West Region Director for Solar United Neighbors (SUN), a 501c3 nonprofit organization. In Arizona, Bret manages solar co-op projects that have helped hundreds of people go solar in bulk with their neighbors. He also leads policy campaigns and develops programs to expand solar access for low-to-moderate income households, underserved communities and nonprofit organizations. In his regional capacity, Bret oversees the organization’s state programs in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and Texas. Bret has worked in the nonprofit space on clean energy issues since 2009 and holds degrees in International Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and daughter.

Lisa Shipek, Watershed Management Group
Lisa Shipek has served as the Executive Director of Watershed Management Group (WMG) since 2006, a passion project co-founded with other University of Arizona graduate students in 2003. WMG’s programs and services help connect people to their local environment; in the Sonoran Desert, this work has centered around water harvesting, native and edible landscaping, urban forestry, and river restoration initiatives. In 2013, Watershed Management Group (WMG) launched a 50-year vision to restore Tucson’s heritage of flowing creeks and rivers. Lisa devotes much of her time to fulfilling this vision through WMG’s River Run Network program including education, restoration, and policy efforts. Lisa holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.A. in Latin American Studies. Her specialized skills include fundraising, organization development, experiential education, community engagement, and collaborative partnerships. Lisa gives back to the community through serving on advisory boards, which has included: Tucson’s Environmental Services Advisory Committee, Tucson’s Transit Task Force, Tucson Conserve to Enhance, and the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative (as a co-founder). She fills her free time with playing ultimate frisbee and enjoys Latin dancing, gardening, bike touring, and camping with her husband Catlow.