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

Message from
President & CEO
Susan M. Pepin, M.D.


  • Drawn and committed to the mission established by Virginia Piper.

  • Inspired by Maricopa County’s collaborative approach to solving problems.

  • Listening and learning from the Trust’s 57 Piper Fellows.

Dear Colleagues and New Friends,

I am humbled by and grateful for the generous welcome I have received to Maricopa County. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked as a physician and administrator on the individual needs of patients and medical students. Piper Trust’s mission spoke to me due to its dedication to the overall health of the community. While my one-to-one work was meaningful, I am excited to play a role in serving needs that embody health more broadly defined.

The collaborative nature of this community’s approach to solving problems is striking—I’m inspired and eager to help serve and lead the next chapter of Piper Trust.– Susan M. Pepin, M.D.
President and CEO,
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Learning about the challenges facing Arizona communities continues to be a key priority for me—challenges in providing outstanding education; in supporting a thriving arts and culture community; in delivering healthcare and reducing disparities, all while considering the importance in all of these areas on our environmental sustainability. Attention to these issues, among others, is critical as we strive to enrich and protect the health, well-being, and opportunity for Arizonans now and in the future.

As I learn more about the people here, I am struck by three distinctive characteristics. The first is the openness of the community. I’m not a native yet am warmly welcomed—often causing me to reflect on the less entrenched ways of the Southwest. The second is the genuine dedication people have, personally and professionally, to helping others. The third, and most striking to me, is the collaborative nature of the community, across institutions and sectors, in its approach to solving problems. I’m energized and truly in awe of the work being done here.

Some have asked if I’ll miss working with patients—without hesitation, I’m quick to share how anxious I am to serve others in new ways by supporting Piper Trust’s initiatives. Through the Piper Fellows program for example, now 14 years strong, the Trust stays close to the pulse of the nonprofit community. I’m listening to and learning from our 57 Piper Fellows and look forward to being part of their continued impact as we enhance the program.

It is an honor to join this community and continue the momentum of Piper Trust’s work with nonprofits, public agencies, and foundations. While we remain committed to our six core grantmaking areas, my arrival allows an opportunity to reflect on our past and consider new possibilities as Maricopa County evolves. There is much to be done and your thoughts and ideas are always welcome. You can connect with me via email ( or Twitter (@SPPiperTrust). I have much to learn but will do my best in leading the next chapter of Piper Trust.

Warmest regards,

Sue Pepin

Financials & Message from CFO
Mary Jane Rynd


  • Awarded $23.6 million in grants and direct charitable activities in FY2014.

  • Investment portfolio in line with target allocation.

  • Returns exceeded benchmarks, returning 12.7% for the year.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Momentum also continues for Piper Trust’s investments. The portfolio returned 12.7 percent for the year, well ahead of benchmarks, and ending fair market value of investments was $554.4 million.

The target asset allocation remained the same and with the able assistance of Cambridge Associates, the Trust’s investment committee worked to ensure that investment managers continued to perform in accordance with their mandates and to operate effectively and in accordance with the law. The private investment portfolio was expanded and after seven years is now in line with its target allocation and generating cash flow. We truly appreciate our dedicated investment committee members: Trustees Jim Bruner, chair, Paul Critchfield, Art DeCabooter, Laura Grafman, and Steve Zabilski along with outside members Dr. Jeffrey Coles, Jacque Millard, and Kent Misener.

The audit committee also continued its dedicated work to ensure that the Trust’s financial operations are complying with best practices and again retained CliftonLarsonAllen as independent auditors. The audit report issued in November contained a clean opinion. We are grateful for the work of each audit committee member: Trustees Paul Critchfield, chair, Jim Bruner, and Steve Zabilski, and outside member Frank Brady.

I’m energized by the momentum I see in all facets of the Trust’s work—including the health of its endowment. As the Trust evolves with its new charge to serve the community in perpetuity, we will continue to be steadfast in our care and oversight of Virginia Piper’s generous gifts.

Mary Jane Rynd

Financial Results

Results of operations as reported in our audited financial statements are summarized in the following table. The data is presented on a GAAP, therefore accrual, basis. On a cash basis during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, grants and direct charitable activities were more than $23.6 million, and exceeded $62.6 million over the three-year period. Each year operating and grantmaking expenses were in line with the budget approved by the board.

(Accrual Basis) 3/31/2014 3/31/2013 3/31/2012
Total Change $46,393,470 $16,249,926 ($31,462,114)
(Accrual Basis) FY2014 FY2013 FY2012

Asset Allocation

The Trust’s investment committee worked diligently again this year to ensure that the endowment is invested in a manner that, over the long term, should result in returns that will support its mission. The private investment portfolio was expanded and is now in line with its long-term target and generating cash flow. Actual and target allocations are reflected on the following charts.

Fair Market Value of Investments and Charitable Expenditures

The blue bars illustrate the fair market value of Piper Trust’s investments and the yellow circles show the level of charitable expenditures each fiscal year.

Compendium of Grants
Paid in FY 2013-2014

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Piper Trust concentrates its efforts in six areas: healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. Browse grants by area below.

Arts and Culture

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14


Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14
*Arizona Community Foundation as fiscal agent
**Tides Foundation as fiscal agent


Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14

Healthcare and Medical Research

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14

Older Adults

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14

Piper Fellows

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14

Religious Organizations

Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14

Direct Charitable Activities

A Direct Charitable Activity (DCA) is a program or project that Piper Trust initiates itself to address a complex social challenge. DCAs often involve long-term investments, collaborations, or targeted efforts to fortify organizations focused on solving the specific challenge. Select examples of Piper Trust’s DCAs are below. Direct Charitable Activities paid in FY14: $1,173,266.

Program/Project Description

Historical/Trust Initiated Grants

Grant Type Description Paid FY14
Organization Title Award Date Grant Amount Paid FY14
*Arizona Community Foundation as fiscal agent

Virginia G. Piper
Charitable Trust

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is a private, independent foundation committed to honoring Virginia Galvin Piper’s legacy of supporting organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County. Piper Trust concentrates its efforts in six areas: healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations.

The Trust strives to be a vital part of Maricopa County—not only as a source of leadership and financial support, but as a neighbor sharing a lasting stake in the county’s future. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $335 million in nonprofits, programs, and strategic initiatives.

The Legacy of Virginia Galvin Piper

With exceptional intelligence and grace, Virginia Galvin Piper committed herself to the challenge, reward, and vocation of philanthropy, transforming the gift of a single life into an enduring humanitarian legacy. With profound generosity, she led others to realize and to act upon the greatness and charity within themselves.

Through the establishment of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and the dedicated work of its trustees, Virginia’s legacy thrives, illumined by her signature spirit of intelligent stewardship graced by a noble heart.

Read the Full Biography

Piper Trust Officers & Staff

  • Dr. Susan Pepin
    President & CEO
  • Mary Jane Rynd
    Executive Vice President & CFO
  • Marilee L. Dal Pra
    Vice President of Programs
  • Laurie Callan
  • Clarin Collins, Ph.D.
    Research & Evaluation Officer
  • Alma Cuellar
    Facilities Coordinator
  • Debbie Dickey
    Administrative Coordinator
  • Erin Goodman
    Program Associate
  • Lynn Hoffman
    Director of Financial Services
  • Renée Khoury
    Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
  • Karen Leland
    Director of Communications & External Relations
  • Terri Leon
    Program Officer
  • Roberta Lind
    Communications Coordinator
  • Leslee Oyen
    Board & Executive Assistant
  • Diane Prindiville
    Assistant Controller
  • Gary Romero
    Director of Grants Management
  • Ellen Solowey
    Program Officer
  • Nick Wenham
    Grants Management Associate


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.