Gilbert Chamber Foundation Update


The Gilbert Chamber Foundation takes the initiative to encourage collaboration between business, education, and government as we work together to raise up the next generation of leaders.

Your involvement allows your business to make a significant impact right here in Gilbert. Watch Now:

Administrative Update

  • Congratulations! – Barb Dwyer of Highland High School was named the Gilbert Chamber Foundation’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and the Annual Business Awards Luncheon on June 19th. Barb is an original member of the Business & Education committee. Her contributions to this committee and her dedication to a collaborative community make Barb so deserving of this recognition.

  • Bowling For Good – We are excited to bring back our Bowling For Good Foundation Fundraiser on Thursday, August 29, 2019! This event will benefit the many programs of the Gilbert Chamber Foundation, including Partners In Progress, Chamber For Good, and Gilbert Leadership. Bring your colleagues, customers, and friends for a fun evening of bowling and networking! Please visit the event webpage - - for registration and sponsorship information.

  • Event Donations Needed – The programs and services of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and Gilbert Chamber Foundation and possible, in part, because of the funds raised through event sponsorship, admission, and auction. Donations of products, services, gift cards, and/or gift baskets are always appreciated and offer an easy and supportive way for your business to gain exposure within our membership! To donate, please visit:

Partners In Progress

Business Retention:

  • Executive Roundtables – Mayor Daniels and JW Rayhons hosted the final executive roundtable of the fiscal year earlier this month with a discussion focused on the needs of entrepreneurs and home-based businesses. More than 15 businesses were in attendance and the conversation included a revolution of the ways in which businesses solicit and build relationship with one another, the opportunity to explore a large-scale co-working space, the challenges of finding a qualified workforce – especially in trades, the cost of housing, and more.

Business & Education:

  • Tours For Teachers – We are looking for our next class of Tours For Teachers! Designed for teachers, administrators, and staff, this program provides insight and resources to help participants gain a better understanding of the current and future workforce needs and trends within the local economy. The program includes an orientation, three learning days, independent assignments, and exploration. Learn more at

  • Scholarships – The purpose of the scholarship is to benefit students who are attending or plan to attend an accredited vocational, 2-year, or 4-year institution. Recipient(s) must have demonstrated engagement through involvement in the local community. This year, the Gilbert Chamber Foundation received 35 applications for scholarships. Recipients are as follows:
    • Sarah Edmunds, Desert Ridge High School
    • Ashton Flake, Perry High School
    • Kelly Foster, Arizona State University
    • Alyssa Lemere, Arizona State University
    • Lazaro Ortiz, Arizona State University
    • Emily Pearce, Perry High School
    • Haylee Rolnick, Chandler-Gilbert Community College
    • Lexie Struhs, Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Chamber For Good:

  • Back To School Supply Drive – Did you know there are more than 250 homeless students enrolled in Gilbert Public Schools? The Gilbert Fire Department, Banner Health, and the Gilbert Chamber Foundation are teaming up to organize a Back-To-School Supply Drive to collect supplies we can ensure a great start to the new school year. Please donate items before July 22nd – critical needs include reams of copy paper, post-it notes, folders with pockets & prongs, dry erase markers, highlighters, tissues, hand-sanitizer, earbuds, and non-character backpacks. To see a full list of needs and drop-off locations, visit

Gilbert Leadership:

Applications for Gilbert Leadership Class XXVIII will be accepted until July 9, 2019. Learn more at

  • Class XXVII Graduates – The 25 members of Gilbert Leadership Class XXVII celebrated their completion of the program at a graduation ceremony on June 7th. The following individuals make up the members of class XXVII:

Bob Badgett

Maryann Bowersox

Mary Cobb

Chris Curley

Jim DoBrunz

Jeff Ehrlich

Amy Ellsworth

Sharon Fallon

Robin Hall

Jenna Kahl

Dani Kahn

Constance Lemere

Dr. Shane McCord

Kerri Ann Ronquist

Kari Sleezer

Ginger Smith

Chief Michael Soelberg

Steve Tannenbaum

Stacey Taylor

Amy Temes

Katie Thomas

Angela Walker

Trevor Watters

Tiffany Werner

Jennifer Yang

  • Leadership Award – Rudy Apodaca of Dignity Health was named the recipient of the 2019 Gilbert Leadership Award. Through his leadership, Rudy helped bring valuable services to our community including Dignity’s stroke program, Phoenix Children’s Hospital along with programs to help the underserved population. Rudy served two terms on the Gilbert Leadership Board, leading the charge for program technology improvements and he continues to promote the program throughout the community. He is a wonderful example of what it means to embrace a program and make it work for you, your business and surrounding community.
  • Board Representation – Gilbert Leadership has filled the four vacant board positions, beginning July 2019. New board members include Amy Ellsworth of Community Impact Newspaper; Barb Farmer, retired from Dignity Health; Jenna Kahl of Chandler-Gilbert Community College; and Kari Sleezer of Board Developer. We are grateful to the following outgoing board members for their devotion to the program: Past Program Chair, Councilwoman Brigette Peterson; Lori Gauna; Adrianne Lynch; and Rich Vandermolen.
  • Alumni EventPlease join fellow Gilbert Leadership alumni for a social event on Thursday, August 29th from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at Native Grill and Wings, 4341 E Baseline Rd #108, in Gilbert. This event will take place immediately prior to the Bowling for Good Fundraiser – we hope you can attend both! For details and program updates, please join the Alumni Group in Facebook -