Amanda Garcia appointed Arizona director for Take The Lead
Take The Lead, a leading nonprofit dedicated to achieving gender parity by 2025, has hired Amanda Garcia as its Arizona director. Created by Gloria Feldt, Take The Lead provides critical leadership training programs, peer mentoring, role modeling and more to individuals, corporations and groups throughout the country. “It’s gratifying that Amanda is a stellar participant in Take The Lead’s groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change the World in Nonprofits program,” commented Gloria. “This is exactly what I aim to do – elevate women’s leadership skills and intentions. Amanda is well prepared to develop Take The Lead Arizona’s fundraising and volunteer leadership council so we can meet the enthusiastic response from this community for our mission of gender parity in leadership.”
Amanda graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Liberal Arts. She has a decade of nonprofit fundraising, event and volunteer management experience. Since 2014, Amanda has focused on leadership roles that create networks and engage donors in support of Arizona’s Jewish community.
“This new position is a dream come true as it allows me to capitalize on my passion for showcasing and contributing to female leadership and increasing gender parity,” says Amanda.
Paul Rockower named JCRC’s new executive director
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix is pleased to welcome its new Executive Director, Paul Rockower.
Paul is formerly the executive director of Levantine Public Diplomacy, an independent public diplomacy organization. He managed the U.S. Department of State’s American Music Abroad and Next Level programs in dozens of countries. He partnered with U.S. diplomatic posts to run cultural diplomacy programs in countries ranging from Algeria to Zimbabwe.
He previously served as a press officer for the consulate general of Israel to the Southwest, conducting Israel’s media and public diplomacy across the five-state southwest region. He also previously worked with various foreign ministries including India and Taiwan.
Paul was also a journalist and wrote a column “Tales of a Wandering Jew” for The Jerusalem Post about Jewish communities in far-flung places. He has been active with the American Jewish Press Association in supporting the Simon Rockower Award for Jewish Journalism.
After conducting public diplomacy projects all over the world, Paul is quite excited to settle into his new Phoenix home and conduct advocacy and public diplomacy on behalf of the Jewish community of greater Phoenix.
Lila Rose Baltman Public Relations celebrates 10 years
Lila Baltman, owner of Lila Rose Baltman Public Relations, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her Phoenix-based public relations firm this year. For the past decade, Lila has become known for helping Arizona business owners with their local marketing and publicity efforts and getting her clients regularly featured in print, digitally and on television.
A graduate of George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications, Lila’s particular niche in public relations is working with businesses that provide products and services specially designed for babies, children and families. She also enjoys working with pet, health and fitness, and food-related businesses.
“The best part about being a local publicist is helping to share wonderful news and information with lots of people in my own community,” says Lila. “When I know about a terrific, new business, a fun event, special promotion, educational class, or an amazing, new ice cream flavor, I can’t wait to ‘alert the media’ and let thousands of other people know about it too!”
President and CEO Tom McKinney leaves TSO and joins ICS
The Tucson Symphony Orchestra announced that after two seasons as president and CEO Tom McKinney will leave the post March 1. Tom joined the TSO staff in 2015 as vice president of development and was promoted to president and CEO in April 2017. Tom is joining Interfaith Community Services as their CEO on March 2.
Chair of the Tucson Symphony Board of Trustees, Autumn van den Berg, commented: “Tom has been a positive force in the life of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for over three years. His inclusiveness brought us closer to the entire community and his energetic commitment to the TSO’s future propelled each pillar of our mission; programming, engagement, partnership and earning.”
Tom states: “To work with this city’s top music organization was an honor and allowed me to reach back to my roots in Up With People. I am so proud to have had the opportunity to renovate Tucson Symphony Center, increase donor participation and stewardship, and forge a multi-year agreement with our professional musicians. I will always treasure the TSO and the relationships I built here.”
The board is initiating a transition and search process.
Interim school leader named for Tucson Hebrew Academy
Laurence Kutler, Ph.D. was appointed interim head of school for Tucson Hebrew Academy on Jan. 8.
“Over the next 18 months, he will be working to advance the school’s position and implement new programs and curriculum enhancements,” says Neil Kleinman, THA’s board chair. “With his insight and vast relations in the Jewish day school community throughout the country he will also help guide THA through the search for the next head of school.”
Laurence is coming out of retirement from a 35-year career where he headed David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Virginia Beach, VA; and the High School of Jewish Studies, San Diego, CA. In the mid-’80s he founded Akiva Academy Jewish Day School in Youngstown, OH, serving as principal for 12 years.
THA Judaic studies administrator Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz, who has known Laurence for 15 years, says “He has a track record beyond any scope we could have expected to have at THA. We welcome him with open arms.”
Odette Evans joins Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is dedicated to bringing the highest level of service to today’s home buyers and sellers. This tradition continues with the recent addition of luxury real estate agent, Odette Evans, to the Camelback Tower.
“I am extremely honored to join the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty family. After several years in real estate, I have to confess that this is the only company I have encountered that offers its agents the best tools and services available, making every transaction a successful one,” says Odette.
Odette was one of Green Bay’s first licensed women Realtors. Her persistent discipline to ensure a quality home sale/purchase for her clients, led her to become one of the area’s top producers. In the 1980s, after seeing the Valley of the Sun’s beauty, she left the cold of Wisconsin for Arizona’s warmth, where she still lives.
“Odette is an extraordinary addition to our Camelback Tower office,” said Sales Manager, Heather McNamara. “I am thrilled to welcome Odette to our family of real estate professionals. She brings a knowledge and experience base that is second to none. I am excited to be in business with her and so honored that she chose our real estate firm.”