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Leaders and Legends Recap

If you missed the 2015 Leaders and Legends Celebration Luncheon, you missed having lunch with 350 of our closest friends and supporters.  It was bigger than ever.  The food was fantastic and the company even better.

Robert Sarver SpeechRobert Sarver, our Honoree, was recognized for his contributions to improving education in our state.  Robert is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation, one of the fastest growing, publicly-traded bank holding companies in the U.S. Locally, Western Alliance operates as Alliance Bank of Arizona. Also, Robert has been the managing partner of the Phoenix Suns for the last 11 years. During his tenure, the team has produced the fifth-best winning percentage in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Robert also serves on the board of directors of Meritage Corporation, the NBA, the Weil Foundation, and the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona.

Robert surprised those in attendance by announcing that Western Alliance Bancorporation and Alliance Bank will contribute an additional $100,000 in scholarships to College Success Arizona students.  What a great surprise!

Eugene Begay

Eugene Begay from Northern Arizona University’s Education Talent Search was presented with the inaugural College Success Arizona Star Award, for his dedicated support of the students in northern Arizona in helping them reach their dream of a college education.

Gene has been known to get up in the middle of the night and bring students from across northern Arizona to interviews and educational programs in Phoenix, not once, but over and over again.  It’s advocates like Gene that touch the lives of students, going above and beyond, year after year to make sure their students have the opportunities to get to college and succeed.

It was our honor to present the inaugural College Success Arizona Star Award to a man that has criss-crossed the area between the farthest reaches of northern Arizona and Phoenix, ensuring that his students would be where they needed to be, at the time they were supposed to be there, fully prepared for the adventures that lay ahead of them.

The final presentation of the day was the Bob Craves Vision of Success Award.   For those who may not have known, or heard of, Bob, he was a man of great vision and a never ending will to succeed.  He was one of the founding board members of College Success Arizona and also one of the founders of a “small” discount operation named Costco.  You may have spoken with Bob as he brought you into the circle of thousands that he spoke with about his goal of raising $1 billion dollars to help provide scholarships to low income students.

College Success Arizona has created a special award in Bob’s name – the Bob Craves Vision of Success Award.  This is not an annual award, but only given when an individual rises to the merits of showing a similar vision to succeed that Bob showed throughout his lifetime.

Deb Carstens Award

The first ever Bob Craves Vision of Success Award was presented to Deborah Carstens for the unending support she has shown the students of Arizona.

A strong supporter of higher education in Arizona, Deb was the first in her family to graduate from college.  A significant highlight in her’ life occurred in 2004 when she was named Distinguished Alumni of the Year by the College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University (SDSU).

Upon retirement in 2000, Deb and her husband, Bill, moved to Arizona, where she became politically & philanthropically engaged. Within a year she was identified by Phoenix Business Journal as a ‘person who makes things happen.’ Upon Bill’s death in 2006, she became Principal of Carstens Family Funds, established in 2001 and now active in 3 western states: Arizona, California and Colorado.  She has been involved with College Success Arizona since 2005.

If you weren’t there, here are some images that try to capture the spirit of the event.  We’ve also posted several photos of the day on our Facebook page.

New LandL ReducedBe sure to contact us so you can attend next year’s event, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

Thank you again to all of our supporters.  We couldn’t do what we do without you!

2015 Leaders and Legends Major Sponsors:

Dean Sponsors ($25,000 and above)

  • Alliance Bank of Arizona
  • Freeport – McMoRan Foundation
  • Helios Education Foundation

Senior Sponsors ($15,000)

  • Carstens Family Funds
  • Southwest Value Partners

 Junior Sponsors ($10,000)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
  • Phoenix Business Journal

Sophomore Sponsors ($5,000)

  • Arizona Public Service
  • Arizona Science Center
  • Gary M. Johnson (Macayo’s and Fiesta Canning)
  • Meritage Cares Foundation
  • Plaza Companies / Holualoa Companies
  • Preferred Medical Claim Solutions (PMCS)
  • Salt River Project

Freshman Sponsors ($2,500)

  • ASU Foundation
  • Be A Leader Foundation
  • BeachFleischman CPA’s
  • Cutter Aviation
  • De Rito Partners
  • Empire West Title Agency
  • John and Melissa Fees Family Fund
  • Garvin Promotion Group
  • Hines
  • Lewis Roca Rothgerber, LLP
  • Pederson Group, Inc
  • Quarles & Brady, LLP / Downtown Phoenix, Inc.
  • Redburn Tire Company
  • Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
  • Snell & Wilmer, LLP
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