Following is a list of current trustee information for the Arizona BPW Foundation:

  • Dusty Bechtel, DVM
    Trustee since 2005
  • Connie Dierks
    Foundation Secretary
    Trustee since 2013
  • Donna Drexel
    Trustee since 2017
  • Theresa Dolan
    BPW/AZ President
    Director since 2013
    Trustee since 1992
  • Linda Duval-D'Adrian
    Trustee since 2017
  • Debra Francis
    Trustee since 2017
  • Katherine Peterson
    Trustee since 2002
    Current Treasurer
  • Katherine Schmidt, Ph.D.
    Trustee since 2010
  • Marcia Simon
    Trustee since 2016
  • Kimberlee Barr-Moreira
    Trustee since 2016

AZBPW Foundation Director's Report 2018-2019

Serving as the Foundation Director continues to be both an enjoyable and challenging experience, and I appreciate the generous contributions of time and talent that each of the Trustees brings to the board.

The Arizona Business and Professional Women's Foundation was established in October of 1989, and during this time, we have awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of women. It has been very gratifying to help our scholarship recipients as they work to further their education so that they can upgrade job skills, retrain for a different career, or re-enter the work force. Higher-paying jobs enable them to provide better lives for themselves and their families.

Our Financial Aid Committee - Katie Schmidt, Chair; Marcia Simon, Rebecca Packebush, and Tracy Hawkins - volunteer countless hours to make sure that Arizona's community colleges and our non-profit partners know about our scholarship program and relay that information to their students. They have also updated the scholarship application and are in contact with our current scholarship recipients on a regular basis. We are very grateful for their dedicated efforts.

Our balanced investment strategy, in conjunction with our fundraising efforts and faithful BPW member base, has allowed the Foundation to continue to award scholarships at a consistently high level.

A very generous unrestricted donation from the Irene L. Doto Trust, has enabled us to expand our horizons. We now offer renewable scholarships of $3,000/year to women attending one of AZ's state universities, with priority given to our community college recipients who have completed their 2-year degrees. We also offer grants of up to $3,000 to BPW/AZ local organizations for educational projects/events/programs that assist AZ women or girls. We added $25,000 to the Phoenix BPW Scholarship Endowment, and $25,000 each for endowed scholarships in memory of long-time trustee/director Jennie Gorrell and Past State President LaVerne Williams.

Our Annual Donor Breakfast scholarship fundraising event was held October 18, 2018, at the University Club of Phoenix. Attendees enjoyed a delicious breakfast in a beautiful setting while hearing the Foundation's story and testimonials from current scholarship recipients. All proceeds from this event benefit the Foundation's scholarship program. We continue to be grateful for the generosity of new and long-time donors who attend the breakfast, and the many others who are not able to attend but mail their donations.

One way our local BPW organizations support the Foundation is by filling up their individual or group Piggy Banks at their local organization meetings and events. The money is collected at every state meeting. This ongoing "Bringing Home the Bacon" project has funded at least one additional scholarship each year.

The AZBPW Foundation participates in the Bashas' and Fry's/Kroger Community Card Programs for charitable organizations. Both of these stores give a percentage of the purchases from anyone who uses these cards to do their regular shopping. It is an easy, ongoing way to help the Foundation. Fry's shoppers can register online, and we always have Basha's Community cards available. If you don't have a card, please get one today.

Our "Workplace Wardrobe" project is in its fifth year and continues to expand. We partner with Regal Rags, an upscale consignment boutique, so that their customers can donate clothing which does not sell within a certain time period at the store to the Foundation. Clothing is also donated by BPW members. These items are then distributed to a number of non-profits and organizations, including Arizona Adult Probation, Salvation Army, Family Promise, UMOM, Central Arizona Shelter

Association, Threadz, Dress for Success, Father Matters, Maggie's Place, and the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe. They give the clothing to women and girls in need of an appropriate workplace wardrobe. Foundation Trustee Katie Schmidt and her husband Randy coordinate the distribution, averaging more than a truckload each month!

For the past four years, the Foundation has helped Child Protective Services in a unique way. Frequently, children have to be removed from their homes on very short notice and are unable to bring anything with them. These children often have to be housed temporarily at CPS offices until a suitable foster care home is found. CPS is usually able to provide necessary clothing, but they do not have a supply of new underwear to give to these children. BPW/AZ members donate newly-purchased packages of underwear (boys and girls, sizes post-diaper to 12 years), and the Foundation gives these donations to CPS. Foundation trustees and other BPW members also donate items and time to the annual Foster Kids & Low-income Family Yard Sale Extravaganza each fall. Proceeds provide Christmas presents to these children and their families.

One of the Foundation's most amazing achievements has been publishing Women Who Made a Difference a three-volume series of books with the dual purpose of recording and preserving the history of the Arizona Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., and telling the stories of hundreds of pioneer women who helped shape Arizona from before statehood to present times. Volumes Il and Ill are still available for sale, and all proceeds benefit our scholarship fund.

We continue to update our brochure and website to attract more interest in the Foundation and its scholarship program. Our website,, provides a history of the Foundation; scholarship information and the current application; Women Who Made a Difference book information and sales form; current trustee information; scholarship recipient testimonials; and many ways to donate to the Foundation. We have opportunities for you to serve as a Foundation Trustee. This is an excellent way to become a "woman who makes a difference." Trustee applications are available on our website.

We all know that education is essential in helping women achieve independence, self-sufficiency, confidence, and the skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive job market. Your generosity is a vital component of the AZBPW Foundation's continued success.

Theresa L. Dolan, Director

AZBPW Foundation