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Benevilla welcomes new board members

Outgoing directors receive thanks

Posted 2/21/23

The leadership and staff of the nonprofit Benevilla welcomed the new 2023 Board of Directors.

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Benevilla welcomes new board members

Outgoing directors receive thanks


The leadership and staff of the nonprofit Benevilla welcomed the new 2023 Board of Directors.

The 2023 Benevilla Board of Directors include board Chairwoman Kim Sterner, Lord of Life Lutheran Church pastor; board Vice Chairwomen Oana Constantinescu, First Bank, senior vice president; board Secretary Brian Laurie, Edward Jones financial advisor; board Treasurer Larry Vering, retired CPA; Chris Arlaud, licensed Medicare broker; Shannon Arriola, MC, Arriola & Associates (Ex Officio); John Bridgford, Merrill Lynch investment broker; Merlyn Carlson, retired secretary of agriculture for the state of Nebraska; Erica Dorward, Banner Del Webb Medical Center CEO; Joe DeBlasi, retired businessman; Alex Juarez, AARP Arizona communications director; Dr. Richard Stuckey, retired executive vice president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology; and Mike Zongolowicz, retired CPA.

Board members who termed off the Benevilla board at the end of 2022 are Lora Johnson, Birt Kellam and Conrad Graff.

Outgoing board members were also praised for their efforts helping Benevilla continually grow and meet the ever-increasing needs of the community. With their direction and dedication, Benevilla officials were able to launch their newest program offering, the Benefitness Adaptive Gym, which ensures physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle is no longer out of reach for anyone.

Unlike a typical gym, Benefitness provides specialized small group and individual fitness programs and classes as well as modified equipment for individuals in wheelchairs, people who have limited motion and those who are differently abled.

“In partnership with Benevilla leadership, the Benevilla Board of Directors is constantly adapting and finding ways to restructure our programs and services to meet the evolving need of our community,” said Joanne Thomson, Benevilla president and CEO. “The opening of the Benefitness Adaptive Gym is another example of how extraordinary the leadership and direction of our Board has been.”

Benevilla was created as a not-forprofit organization in 1981 by citizens of the Sun Cities area out of concern local health and wellness services were not readily available to the community’s residents. Their mission was to promote health and independence by providing supportive services to their neighbors. Beginning as a group of 30 volunteers and a handful of employees helping with errands and home care services, Benevilla grew into a network of life enrichment day programs, multiple support and educational services, a daycare and preschool, comprehensive care-management programs, and social activities — all directed by a caring, dedicated and innovative board of directors continuing to keep Benevilla relevant and a critically important resource in the northwest valley.

Throughout 2022, the Benevilla Board of Directors served more than 800 hours in service to the success of the agency and to the people the agency helps.

Editor’s Note: We’d like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments, pro or con, on this issue. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org.