Board of Trustees’ Message

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As the title of our fiscal 2014 annual report suggests, the word “continuity” best captures where Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has been and where we are going.

Piper Trust welcomes new leadership in Dr. Susan Pepin (more about Sue below) but we remain as committed as ever to our six core areas of grantmaking—a commitment evidenced by our grant awards made both before and after Sue’s arrival last August. The grants compendium outlines grants awarded over the past fiscal year. As you will see, an impressive array of nonprofits and programs continue to support needs and enrich life in our community.

Of particular note is the Trust’s continued leadership in “the encore movement”—engaging people, age 50+, in roles that combine personal meaning with social impact. Since our last report, we awarded the first $50,000 Piper Trust Encore Career Prize to Mike McQuaid, who made serving the homeless his encore career; he strives daily to end chronic homelessness in Maricopa County. Piper Trust will seek the next Encore Career Prize awardee in the coming months. While Virginia Piper may not have coined the term encore, she certainly had foresight in this area and saw the grand potential of pairing civic engagement opportunities with the wisdom of the community’s older adults.

Then there is Sue. We ended our last report with the announcement that Judy Jolley Mohraz would be stepping down as the Trust’s President in 2014 and that we would be launching a search for her successor. We promised “a smooth leadership transition,” and, more importantly, that “the values of the Trust, grounded in Virginia Piper’s own values of service and stewardship, would remain unchanged.” We kept our promises. Sue Pepin, an educator, clinician, and researcher of national prominence, will, in her own way, be as inspiring and impactful a leader as Judy has been and as committed to the values of the Trust as we are. We express our heartfelt thanks to Judy, who will continue to serve as a Trustee, and we extend a warm welcome to Sue.

We also wanted to share the most concrete evidence of the Trust’s continuity and ongoing commitment to our mission, which is to support “organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona.” The Trust documents originally provided for termination no later than 50 years after the death of Virginia Piper, which would be 2049. While we are confident that much progress will be made in the next 35 years, we also fully expect that the second half of the 21st century and beyond will present new needs and challenges. As such, we want the Trust to be there, continuing to support the organizations addressing those needs and challenges. Therefore, after very thorough and thoughtful consideration, the Trustees of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust voted unanimously to amend the Trust’s charge and ensure that it will continue to serve the people of Maricopa County for the rest of this century and well beyond.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge and thank Piper Trust staff for their dedication and commitment to our community, as well as the many hundreds of grantees with whom we are privileged to work and learn from over the years. Our community is a better place because of these collaborative efforts, for which Virginia would be very proud.

We look forward to the new year, and we thank you for allowing us to be of service—we’re here to stay.

James Bruner
José A. Cárdenas
Paul Critchfield
Arthur DeCabooter

Laura Grafman
Sharon Harper
Judy Jolley Mohraz
Stephen Zabilski


For questions or comments about Continuing the Momentum: Here to Stay (Piper Trust’s FY2014 Annual Report), or for ideas about future annual reports, please contact:

Karen Leland
Director of Communications/External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Report Design: Fervor Creative; special thank you to Adam Butler.
Photos: Sharon Price, Fervor Creative.