Joe La Rue - Chair
As Executive Vice President of Sun Health, Joe La Rue provides strategic oversight to senior living communities as well as real estate and property interests owned by Sun Health. Before joining Sun Health, La Rue practiced law for 16 years in the Sun Cities area, with an emphasis in real estate finance and development. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in business in 1985, he earned his juris doctorate from Arizona State University College of Law in 1988. La Rue is a member of the Maricopa County Transportation Advisory Board, representing Supervisory District 4. He also is a member of the Arizona Town Hall Board of Directors and the WESTMARC Board of Directors. Previously, he served a four-year term on the Peoria City Council from 1997-2001.
Rodney Wacker - Vice Chair
As the owner of Celestial Care for the past five years, Rodney is responsible for the overall operations of the company. Working with a highly dedicated and professional team, Celestial Care is proud to be recognized as both a “Provider of Choice” and “Employer of Choice” in the home care industry. Prior to Celestial Care, Rodney was a consultant with Management Action Programs for 18 years. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from the University of Arizona in 1973, Rodney worked in public accounting as a CPA for Coopers & Lybrand and then as a vice president for Arizona Industrial Machinery. He is a current member and past president of Executives Association of Greater Phoenix and has served on various not-for-profit boards in his career.
Edwin Knight, Esq., is an investment advisor, estate attorney and nonprofit consultant. His recent projects have involved roles with the Arizona Community Foundation as a Philanthropic Advisor and Managing Director of Affiliates, as well as the Director of the Arizona Endowment Building Institute program. During his career, he has worked with many donors and their advisors to facilitate lifetime and planned charitable giving. He frequently provides training courses on planned giving programs and is a speaker and presenter for nonprofits and their board of directors. Read More
Patricia F. Lewis
Patricia F. Lewis, ACFRE, serves as Sr. Professional-in-Residence at the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. Prior to moving to Arizona, she served in the faculty position of Nonprofit Professional-in-Residence at George Mason University in Virginia and managed the graduate Nonprofit Management Studies program. Ms. Lewis is a past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) -- formerly known as the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) -- in Alexandria, Virginia. Read More
Russell Johnson - Secretary-Treasurer
Founder and Current President of the Phoenix Herpetological Society, a non-profit reptile education and conservation group. Russ is a past member of the Arizona Herpetological Association acting in the capacity of relocating snakes from private properties. Prior to retiring in 1996, Russ was the owner of Johnson Distributorship, Inc dba Johnson Freightlines an interstate trucking company based in Arizona. The company was a common carrier transporting dry goods with terminals in four states, employing 365 people.
He has 43 years experience in maintaining reptiles including venomous and 33 years experience in the handling and management of large pythons, anacondas, boas and various crocodilians. His excellent management and public speaking skills allow him to conduct off site educational and conservation classes for PHS at schools level K-12, Humane Societies, Law Enforcement Agencies, Fire Department and Corporate entities. Read more