John Graham and Maria Harper-Marinick elected to Board Executive Team to lead local United Way’s MC2026 plan to achieve seven bold community goals
PHOENIX, AZ, October 15, 2021 – Valley of the Sun United Way, a leader in engaging business, nonprofit and community leaders to create solutions for families and individuals across Maricopa County, recently elected officers and new members to its 41-person Board of Directors. Their leadership is essential as United Way launches MC2026 A Five-Year Plan for Mighty Change and builds partnerships to achieve the plan’s seven bold community goals.
John Graham, President and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings, was elected Board Chair, and Maria Harper-Marinick, national education leader and former Chancellor of Maricopa County Community Colleges District was elected Vice Chair. Both have served on the Board of Directors for several years. Graham and his wife Kathleen co-chaired the Tocqueville Society and Harper-Marinick co-chaired the Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion Task Force.
The Board of Directors re-elected Robyn Arnell Brenden, Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting at Leslie’s, to another term as Treasurer. Deloitte Partner Brad Smith was re-elected to serve as Board Secretary.
“Covid-19 reminded us that we are stronger and more effective when we work together. That’s why I’m thrilled to help lead Valley of the Sun United Way, alongside our highly engaged Board of Directors, as we launch the MC2026 plan which aligns organizations, businesses and people to achieve a shared set of bold community goals,” said Graham. “Our new board members bring professional and life experiences to guide the plan, and ensure people in our community not only recover from the pandemic, but have the opportunities to thrive.”
Newly elected Board of Director members are:
Paula Boca-Bommarito, Associate Vice President, Enterprise Brand and Community Strategy, Copperpoint Insurance Company. Her role is to build CopperPoint’s brand by scaling its community giving program in Arizona across 10 states. She also oversees employee community engagement and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts that support the company’s values.
Nona Lee, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Arizona Diamondbacks. In addition to her legal responsibilities, Lee is chair of the D-backs for Change Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council. Lee serves on the Board of Directors and as a Past-President of the Sports Lawyers Association, as well as co-chair of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Strategic Planning, and Nominating and Governance Committee. Lee also serves on the board of the National LGBTQ Bar Association, and co-chairs its Diversity & Inclusion committees.
Anthony Sharett, President, MetaBank Financial Group and MetaBank, N.A. Sharett is nationally recognized as a champion for diversity, inclusion and equity and has served in leadership positions for the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity and is an executive sponsor for MetaBank’s DE&I leadership council. He previously served on the United Way of Central Ohio’s community impact council.
Monica Whiting, Vice President, Customer Experience and Communications, Arizona Public Service, (APS). She is responsible for leadership of customer experience, customer service operations, external communications and marketing. Whiting has spent her career serving on various boards, commissions and industry groups and has a long history of partnering with United Way, including the Pikes Peak United Way and United Way of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. She is a director of the APS Foundation and Chair of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC) Customer Service Committee.
Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO Carla Vargas Jasa said, “We have high aspirations for our community, and our Board of Directors is the perfect group of leaders to guide us in achieving those aspirations. I’m so proud of how they not only represent United Way, but they represent our community and are working diligently to create a more inclusive, equitable environment where every person can succeed with the accomplishment of our community-driven MC2026 goals.”
Valley of the Sun United Way envisions a community where every child, family and individual is healthy, has a safe place to live, and has every opportunity to succeed in school, in life and in work. As we work with our community, corporate and nonprofit partners to implement MC2026, our five-year plan for Mighty Change, we will put all of our efforts toward reaching bold goals for Maricopa County in Health, Housing and Homelessness, Education and Workforce Development. We invite you to join us. www.vsuw.org