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Craig Pearson

Since 2007, Craig Pearson has been vital in shaping what Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) is today. He has served SARRC in several key capacities: board member, donor, and volunteer.

“I was inspired to become involved after meeting Denise Resnik and Jeri Kendle, and then I helped to make the Vocational Life Skills Academy a reality,” Craig says. “My family sponsored the music and recreation room, and as the needs for adults have changed over the years, it has now become the Social Enterprise hub.”

He is no stranger to making visions into realities. His passion has always been plants. At the age of 8, Craig was already propagating plant cuttings. So much so that he was begging his neighbors for cuttings to start new plants. In 1979, he moved from Nebraska to Phoenix, and soon thereafter, his family relocated to the Valley.

“I packed up 150 plants into a truck, and off I went,” Craig says. “That was the start of what became Pearson and Company.”

Today, Craig’s piece of Pearson and Company—the family business—is Interior Plantscape Design and serves the indoor landscaping needs of business and residential customers. It’s no surprise that he is also a longtime volunteer for the Desert Botanical Garden. For years, Craig’s family has been integral in organizing the Special Needs Day at the Desert Garden’s Great Pumpkin Festival.

“I noticed families with children and adults with special needs were attending, but that it was difficult for them to maneuver at times in the crowd,” Craig says. “With SARRC’s support, we began opening the festival early to serve organizations and families so they could enjoy the event with ease.”

Of his involvement with SARRC, Craig says being a Legacy Circle member will ensure his support continues long after his family is gone and that as SARRC’s efforts to better service the autism community change, the funds will be there.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Legacy Circle member and ensuring the continued vitality and growth of SARRC’s services from one generation to the next, please contact Beth Salazar at [email protected] or 602-340-8717, ext. 1039.