The directors establish policy and annual goals, oversee fiduciary responsibilities and business affairs, and oversee management of the endowment and investments.
John Graham is the chairman and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings. Mr. Graham’s background in asset management, development and real estate investment provides a solid foundation of knowledge and experience in the real estate field. His prior experience included The Koll Company in asset management and development from 1980– 82 and Coldwell Banker in asset management and sales from 1978–80. Mr. Graham has been involved with several community organizations, including the Arizona Forward Association, Banner Health Foundation, Brophy College Preparatory, Fighter Country Partnership and many more. Mr. Graham received his B.A. in economics from Stanford University.
Nita Francis is president of the F2 Family Foundation and member of the Arizona section of the International Women’s Forum. She has an extensive background and interest in healthcare and education. Ms. Francis worked for the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix campus and Phoenix Children’s Hospital until her retirement. She has a long history of community involvement in Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Boston and Phoenix, including Teen Parent Connection, the National Medical Interpreter Project and United Way. She is vice chair of the boards at ASU Enterprise Partners and the ASU Foundation, and a former co-chair of the founder’s executive committee of Women & Philanthropy. Ms. Francis received a B.S. degree in home economics from the University of Illinois in 1970. She is a Registered Nurse with an MBA in Healthcare Management.
Michael Aguirre is a transactional and business law attorney with Coppersmith Brockelman PLC, a boutique law firm in Phoenix. He previously served for three years as assistant general counsel at Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (formerly Harvest Health & Recreation) and, prior to that, was a partner in the Phoenix office of Greenberg Traurig LLP. As an undergraduate student, Mr. Aguirre was a wide receiver for the ASU football team from 1996–2000 and helped establish the then-PAC-10 Athletic Conference’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, before serving on and chairing the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has a deep commitment to community service in his native state of Arizona. Mr. Aguirre currently serves on the board of directors for the ASU Sun Devil Club and the board of directors of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and is a longstanding member of Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association. Prior to joining the ASU Foundation Board, Michael was a member of the ASU Foundation’s Next Generation Council. Mr. Aguirre is a “triple Devil”, having received three degrees from ASU – a J.D. in 2005, an M.Ed. in higher and postsecondary education in 2002, and a B.A. in history in 2000 as a graduate of Barrett, The Honors College.
Lauren Bailey is the CEO & co-founder of Upward Projects, a restaurant development and hospitality company known for one thing – making people feel good. Spanning over 25 restaurants and five brands across five states, Upward Projects is comprised of the Postino WineCafe, Joyride Taco House, Windsor, Churn Ice Cream and Federal Pizza brands. Selected to the Nation’s Restaurant News “Power 50” list of people who represent the best in restaurant leadership, Bailey and Upward Projects are regarded for developing first-rate culture and adapting and reusing historically relevant buildings that are an integral part of the neighborhoods they serve. The company has also been named to the Inc. 5000 list for multiple years as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. Lauren is an ASU alumna and Chair for the Philanthropic Asset Committee of ASU Foundation Board.
Steve Betts became the managing director of development for Holualoa Companies, a real estate investment firm with locations in Arizona, California, Hawaii and France, in August 2020. He is also the founder and president of Betts Real Estate Advisors in Phoenix. Mr. Betts’s other notable roles include serving as president of Chanen Development Company and CEO of SunCor Development Company. He is a director at Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE:TRC), a real estate and agribusiness company. He is the current board chairman of ASU Enterprise Partners’ University Realty and served as senior vice president and managing director of assets for the ASU Foundation from 2012–13. In addition, he is a board member of the Arizona Community Foundation, on the board of Teach for America and a former chairman, and a past real estate advisor and member at First Place AZ, an organization that provides supportive housing for adults with neurodiversities. His other notable board service includes serving on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council executive committee, as past chairman and a trustee for The Nature Conservancy and former chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Arizona District Council. Mr. Betts received a J.D. from DePaul University in 1983 and a B.A. from Augustana College in 1980.
Gretchen E. Buhlig is the Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University. Since joining the ASU Foundation in January 2012, Gretchen has been a catalyst for transformational change by leading the advancement of the ASU charter, generating record-breaking fundraising success and surpassing campaign goals year after year. Under Gretchen’s leadership, Campaign ASU 2020 brought ASU $2.35B and 359,700 individuals, corporations, and foundations (over 213,400 of which were new donors); which served as a catalyst for research, the revitalization of communities, and gave more students access to education through scholarships. Gretchen is a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Council of Foundation Leaders, the Fast Company’s Innovation Council, and the U.S. Education Pathways for Refugee Students Funding Working Group. She previously served as a mentor in the Valleywise Health Foundation Emerging Leaders program. Gretchen holds a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College, a masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University, and a graduate certificate in Authentic Leadership from Harvard University.
Malissia Clinton joined Meritage Homes as executive vice president, secretary and general counsel in April 2022. Prior to joining Meritage, she served as the senior vice president and general counsel at The Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit that provides information on launch vehicles, satellite and ground control systems and space technology. Previously, she served as senior counsel for special projects at Northrup Grumman. She serves on the board of directors of 3D Systems Corporation, City of Hope, and (formerly) Progyny Inc. Ms. Clinton received a J.D. from Stanford University in 1993 and a B.S. in political science from ASU in 1990. She also participated in the UCLA executive management program. In 2020, she earned the Leaders in Law award presented by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Michael M. Crow is an educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar and higher education leader. He became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and has spearheaded ASU’s rapid and groundbreaking transformative evolution into one of the world’s best public metropolitan research universities. As a model “New American University,” ASU simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact. Lauded as the ”#1 most innovative” school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for eight straight years, ASU is a student-centric, technology-enabled university focused on global challenges. Under Crow’s leadership, ASU has established more than twenty-five new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and launched trailblazing multidisciplinary initiatives including the Biodesign Institute, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, and important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.
Ginny DeSanto joined the ASU Foundation in 2005 as the assistant controller before being appointed to controller, and later CFO and treasurer. She was instrumental in leading the organization through a corporate entity restructure that created the parent company ASU Enterprise Partners to provide shared services to five subsidiary organizations. Prior to joining ASU Enterprise Partners, she was a senior auditor at Gainter Bandler Reed & Peters, PLC following service in the same role for Cbiz – Miller Wagner Mayer Hoffman McCann. She received a B.S. in business administration from ASU, summa cum laude. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, former chair, secretary and treasurer for the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, former chair of the National Committee for College and University Foundations, and a graduate of Valley Leadership Class 35.
Dan Dillon, Jr., is the chief executive officer of ASU Enterprise Partners, the resource-raising arm of Arizona State University. As the parent organization of five nonprofits that help ASU extend its reach and advance its charter through philanthropy and development, applied research, technology transfer, realty and edtech acceleration. Dillon supports their overall operations and guides their strategic alignment with the university. Mr. Dillon previously served as ASU’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president for seven years. During his tenure, he launched the ASU Enterprise Marketing Hub, and built and shaped its award-winning staff. His primary focus was to advance affinity for the university, which he and his team accomplished by enhancing the integrity of the ASU brand and implementing innovative and impactful marketing activities across the university. Mr. Dillon is a voting member of several boards and committees including ASU Foundation, Mirabella at ASU, Skysong Innovations, University Realty, ASURE, Barrow Neurological Institute Foundation, Cintana and InStride. Mr. Dillon received his bachelor's degree in marketing from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire and a master’s degree in business from Bentley College in Massachusetts.
Steve Evans is Chairman of Evans Charitable Foundation. Mr. Evans is retired as an executive and Trustee of Equity Residential, one of America’s largest multifamily companies. Before its merger with Equity Residential in 1998, he was CEO and Chairman of Evans Withycombe Residential, a publicly traded real estate investment trust specializing in housing in the Southwest and California. Mr. Evans’ business affiliations have included: Urban Land Institute, Lambda Alpha Land Economics Fraternity, National Multi- Housing Council and National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT). Mr. Evans is the immediate past chair of the Arizona Community Foundation and serves on the Valley of the Sun United Way Board of Directors. Following his college education, he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Mr. Evans received an MBA in 1968 and a B.S. in management in 1967 from The W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU.
Doug Fulton is the chief executive officer of the Fulton Homes Corporation. From 1988-1996, he was president of a multi-store (30) retail chain called Eagleson’s Big & Tall. Mr. Fulton was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona and attended Broadmor Elementary, McKemy Middle School, Tempe High School and ASU. Mr. Fulton served as Honorary Commander of the 56th Fighter Wing L.A.F.B 2004-2006. He currently serves as a National Vice President and advisor to the President of the Navy League of the United States. Mr. Fulton was a board member for the Youth Assistance Foundation (MCSO) from 2009-2014 and currently serves on the Advisory Board. He is a Special Deputy for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and serves as an on-call 24/7 first responder helicopter pilot for Search & Rescue missions throughout the county. He also was a board member for the Memorial Fund MCSO that provides financial relief to families of fallen and injured public servants from 2008-2012 and is now serving on the Advisory Board.
Ira Fulton founded Fulton Homes, a family-owned homebuilding company, in 1975. Mr. Fulton, a Tempe-native, began working as a newspaper carrier for the Arizona Republic at the age of 11. After attending ASU on a football scholarship, he began working at National Cash Register (NCR). From NCR, he went on to form his own companies including auto parts and tire stores, computer companies and an insurance business. In 1974, he became a consultant for Eagleson’s Big and Tall men’s clothiers in southern California. At the time, Eagleson’s consisted of two retail outlets and was close to bankruptcy. Within two years, Mr. Fulton purchased the company, turned it around and expanded it to include 33 retail stores. Mr. Fulton’s wife, Mary Lou, passed away in 2015, and received a B.A. in education from ASU in 1974. He is also an ASU trustee.
Hiroshi Hamada is the chief counselor at ARUHI Corporation, Japan’s largest mortgage bank, where he previously served as the board chair and chief executive officer. ARUHI was founded in 2015 and offers services in banking, comprehensive insurance and mortgage brokering for homes. Previously, Mr. Hamada served in several leadership roles, including COO at HOYA Corporation, globally operating specialty manufacturer of optical glass and medical products, and President of Dell Technologies Japan/Korea/China, where he served for over 10 years. Prior to joining Dell, Mr. Hamada held positions with American Life Insurance Tokyo (formerly AIG), Yamashita-Shinnihon Steamship Co. Ltd. (now Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.) and Clarke Consulting Company California. He was a co-chair of the Thunderbird Global Alumni Network (TGAN) until April 2023 and is a current member of TGAN. He is also a founder of the Thunderbird Japan Foundation. Mr. Hamada received an M.I.M. from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1991 and a B.A. in literature from Waseda University in 1982.
Jay Heiler is CEO and founder of Great Hearts Academies, a chain of non-profit charter schools in the Phoenix area. Mr. Heiler is a public affairs consultant who served on the Arizona Board of Regents from 2012–20. He has been active in Arizona politics for many years, having served as the chief of staff for former Governor Fife Symington and as a member of Governor Jan Brewer’s transition team. From 1986–89, he served as an assistant attorney general in the organized crime and racketeering office of the Arizona Attorney General’s office. Mr. Heiler is the chairman of the Arizona Charter Schools Association. In addition, he serves on the board of Pan Am Education, a for-profit firm that provides online classroom content. While an undergraduate at ASU, he was a Pulliam scholar and served as editor-in-chief of The State Press. He also has coached AAU, high school, and youth basketball for 20 years. Mr. Heiler received a J.D. in 1986 and a B.S. in journalism in 1983 from ASU.
Mary Hentges has served on the ASUF Board of Directors since 2017. She previously served as the Interim Chief Financial Officer of ShotSpotter, a precision policing solutions company from October 2020 to January 2021, and before that as the Chief Financial Officer of YapStone, Inc. from 2012 to 2014, of CBS Interactive from 2010 to 2012 and of PayPal, Inc. from 2003 - 2010. Mrs. Hentges also previously served as the Assistant Corporate Controller of Agilent Technologies, was a Finance Director at Hewlett- Packard and was a Senior Manager at Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young. She currently serves on the board of Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ: UPST), and the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine and is an advisor at Jiko Group. Mrs. Hentges received a B.S. in accountancy from ASU and is a member of the W.P. Carey School of Business Hall of Fame.
Dr. Chris Howard is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Arizona State University. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He also earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Dr. Howard’s military career included service as a helicopter pilot and an intelligence officer, and he was awarded a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan. Dr. Howard was previously president of Robert Morris University, president of Hamden Sydney-College, a vice president at the University of Oklahoma, and also had a successful corporate career with GE and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He is also a former member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. Dr. Howard is a trustee on the Harvard University Board of Overseers and also serves on the Board of Directors of AvalonBay Communities, a publicly-traded real estate corporation. Howard is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Young Presidents Organization, the Aspen Strategy Group and Trilateral Commission, and Sigma Pi Phi, the oldest African-American fraternity in the United States.
Ms. Lisa Loo was appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel effective July 1, 2022. Ms. Loo was in private practice prior to joining the University in 1993. Ms. Loo is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. She is a Fellows member of the American Bar Foundation and of the Arizona Legal Services and Education Foundation. She served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents from 2017-2020 and served as president of the State Bar of Arizona from 2016-17. The State Bar of Arizona recognized Ms. Loo in 2008 for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Equal Opportunity in the Profession, and as the 1993 Outstanding Young Lawyer. Ms. Loo is a founding board member of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association and has served, and continues to serve, on the boards of several community organizations. She obtained her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1985 and her undergraduate degree from Fordham University in 1982.
Anne Mariucci is a private investor, corporate board member and general partner at MFLP, a Phoenix-based family office investment entity. She spent most of her corporate career with Del Webb Corporation, retiring as President following a merger with Pulte Homes in 2001 where she went on to serve as Executive Vice President of strategy. Ms. Mariucci served an eight-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents, during which she was chairperson and held leadership roles such as board director of the University of Arizona Health Network prior to its merger with Banner Health. Her board service includes public companies, Taylor Morrison Home Corp, Southwest Gas Holdings, Berry Corp, and CoreCivic. In addition she is Vice Chair and Board member of Banner Health. She received a B.S. in accounting and finance from the University of Arizona in 1978.
Morgan Olsen became the CFO, treasurer and executive vice president ASU in 2008. He came to ASU from Purdue University, where he served as executive vice president and treasurer. Before he joined Purdue, Dr. Olsen served as the business and financial vice president at three other higher education institutions, Southern Methodist University, Eastern Illinois University and Emporia State University (Kansas). He holds an appointment as professor of practice in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. He is the chair of the board of directors for the United Educators insurance company and is a past chair of the board of directors for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). He is also a past president of the Central Association of College and University Business Officers (CACUBO). He holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota.
Harry Papp is the managing partner and portfolio manager of L. Roy Papp & Associates and has three decades of experience in portfolio management and security analysis. Mr. Papp is past chairman and member of the board of directors for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona. He is also a trustee emeritus of The Phoenix Zoo, board member and treasurer of the Institute of Human Origins at ASU, vice chair of Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, board member of the Board of Investments with the AZ Treasury Office and president of the Arizona Five Arts Circle. Mr. Papp is a member of the Planned Giving Committee for the Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Art Museum and Ballet Arizona. He received an MBA and M.S. in geochemistry from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Brown University.
Denise Resnik is the founder, president and CEO of First Place, a Phoenix-based nonprofit that provides supportive housing and a residential transition program for individuals with autism and for other neuro-diverse populations. She was inspired to start First Place for her son, Matt, who was diagnosed with autism more than 20 years ago. In 1997, Ms. Resnik co-founded the nonprofit Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. She is also the founder and CEO of DRA Collective, a public relations, marketing and communications firm based in Phoenix. Her past board affiliations include the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation and Phoenix Community Alliance. In 2019, Ms. Resnik received ASU’s Founders’ Day Alumni Achievement Award, for her activism in supportive housing and research for individuals with autism. She received a B.S. in business administration from ASU in 1982.
Tony Sarsam became the president and CEO of SpartanNash in September 2020. Previously, he was the CEO of Borden Dairy Company since 2018 and served as CEO of Ready Pac Foods Inc. from 2013–18. Prior to joining Ready Pac, Mr. Sarsam held executive roles with Nestle and PepsiCo Inc. In 2019, he was named one of the Most Admired CEOs in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal. Mr. Sarsam is a member of the Industry Engagement Catalyst in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. As a student, he was a member of the ASU student government and Sun Devil Band. Mr. Sarsam received an M.S. in management from Stanford University in 1997 and a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from ASU in 1985.
Lisa Urias is the Director of the Arizona Tourism Office for the State of Arizona. This role with Governor Hobbs’ cabinet began in February 2023. Previously, Urias served at the Arizona Community Foundation as the chief program and community engagement officer where she oversaw the foundation’s engagements with diverse communities across Arizona. She began her career in international marketing before establishing Urias Communications in 2004 to give corporations and large organizations the opportunity to connect with diverse markets in the U.S. The agency represents corporate and large nonprofit clients including APS, Bank of America, Phoenix Indian Center, Ballet Arizona and many more. She is a board member of the ASU Morrison Institute, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Teach for America, Charter 100, National Bank of Arizona and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She has received numerous awards including Arizona Business Magazine’s “Most Influential Women” and “Arizona’s Most Influential Minority Business Leaders” and Phoenix Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEOs.”
Keith Wirtz has served as Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Union Savings Bank since July 2019. Previously, Mr. Wirtz was a Principal and Senior Portfolio Manager for Walrus Partners LLC, a boutique money management firm based in Minneapolis. Earlier in his career, he served as the Chief Investment Officer for Fifth Third Bank’s Wealth Division and as the President of Fifth Third Asset Management Inc. Today, Keith serves as trustee and Investment Committee Chair for the UC Health System, and as an advisory board member for both the ASU Student Investment Management Fund and the W. P. Carey School of Business Finance Department. Mr. Wirtz also serves as Investment Committee Chair for the ASUF Board. Moreover, he serves as an independent trustee for the F/m Mutual Funds Family. Mr. Wirtz received a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University in 1983 and an M.S. in Investment Management & Security Analysis from Creighton University. He is a CFA Charter Holder and a member of the CFA Institute.
Roger Wittlin has served as head of Wittlin Advisory, a SEC registered Investment Advisor, founded in May 2013. He also serves as Principal for Pacific Coast Capital Partners, a commercial real estate debt and equity capital provider with $20B of assets under management. Mr. Wittlin has 35 years of experience in capital markets and investment management with entities including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Capital Management and Silverlake Partners where he was the founding partner and portfolio manager of the Silver Lake Credit Fund Partners, which focused on opportunistic debt investing. Prior to Silver Lake, Mr. Wittlin was the lead portfolio manager and group head of Sutter Credit Strategies/Wells Capital Management, which managed $3.5 Billion in high yield and leveraged loan credit portfolios. He has served on boards for The Painted Turtle Camp Foundation, Thunderbird School of Global Management, the College Bound Foundation and the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business Professional Mentorship Program. Currently, Mr. Wittlin is a Director for ASU Enterprise Partners and ASU Foundation University Realty boards and previously served as the ASUF Investment Committee Chair. In 2011, he received the W. P. Carey Distinguished Achievement Award. Mr. Wittlin has a dual MBA and M.I.M. from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1978 and a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from ASU in 1976.
Angela Yin Cesal
Commissioner, Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, Taiwan, Republic of China
Election Year: 2016