Civic Leadership Award 2022-2023

Since 2016, CFSA’s Civic Leadership Award has honored members of our community who have gone above and beyond to make Southern Arizona a more inclusive and welcoming place to live. These remarkable individuals have inspired others through their work, volunteerism, and advocacy efforts with diverse or underrepresented communities.

Applications for the 2022-2023 Civic Leadership Award are now closed.

Important Dates

  • October 10, 2022 – RFP Released
  • November 7, 2022 – Deadline for submission, 5:00 PM Arizona time (MST)
  • December 2022 – Award Announcement
  • April 2023 – Award Presentation during CFSA Annual Event

CFSA Announces Betsy Bolding as 2022 Southern Arizona Civic Leadership Award Recipient

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.”

Award Recipients

Past Recipients

  • 2022: Betsy Bolding
  • 2021: Dr. Marla Franco
  • 2020: Shay Beider
  • 2019: Marcia Berger
  • 2018: Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanis
  • 2017: Ray Davis
  • 2016: Martha Ortiz + Noel Matkin
Nominate a Civic Leader

General Criteria:

  • Nominees must live in Southern Arizona.
  • Nominees have inspired others through either their work, volunteerism, or advocacy efforts with diverse or underrepresented communities. This work is not limited to those serving through nonprofit organizations.
  • Nominees must be able to participate in public relations before, during, and after the event and be willing to speak to the attendees at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Annual event.


  • Nominations may be made by anyone familiar with the nominee
  • Before submission, nominee(s) must agree to be nominated; verification is included on the application.
  • Up to three letters of support, no more than 1 page in length may be uploaded along with the application. A minimum of one letter is required.
  • Only fully completed nominations with no more than three letters submitted by the deadline will be considered.
  • A review committee selected by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona shall be appointed to determine the recipient from among the nominees.
  • All nominees will be notified prior to the event.


  • Please tell us about the nominee.
  • Describe why this individual should be nominated and how they have inspired others through either their work, volunteerism, or advocacy efforts with diverse or underrepresented communities.
  • What impact has their leadership had on the community? Letter of Reference (please upload three)

How to Apply:

Applications can be submitted through Common Grant Application. First-time applicants will need to create an account before beginning their application. Returning applicants may log in using their previous account.

Important Dates for 2022

  • January 5th, 2022 – RFP released
  • February 13th, 2022 @ 5 PM – Deadline for submission
  • April 28, 2022 – CFSA Annual Event

Please contact Enedina Miller, Program Manager, Awards Community Foundation for Southern Arizona at 520-209-1525 or for questions regarding this process.

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