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Diane and Larry Hillwig

Before SARRC, Diane and Larry Hillwig never had a personal connection or experience with autism. When Larry was selected as Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center’s (SARRC) inaugural Chief Administrative Officer in early 2016, they had a chance to understand the impact SARRC was having in the community, as well as autism as a whole.

“I quickly became aware of what autism meant and how it changed the lives of families,” says Larry. “After many years in the private sector, I made an effort to seek out an organization with a cause. I wanted to join an organization where I could apply my broad business background to help further the mission of a nonprofit.”

Since then, Diane and Larry have become committed to autism awareness in the community — participating in events like the Autism Speaks Walk in Partnership with SARRC and the Annual Community Breakfast.

Larry’s broad role as CAO provides an opportunity to be involved in strategic initiatives, projects, and tactics that encompass all aspects of autism. In this way, he can see firsthand how SARRC is making a positive impact on individuals with autism.

“As an employee, it is very encouraging and inspirational to see SARRC’s programs in action week-by-week,” he says. “I have the opportunity to see progress being made among students in our Community School and through our Comprehensive Behavioral Program.”

When Diane and Larry decided to become Legacy Circle members, they wanted to join with other members in ensuring the future mission and sustainability of SARRC’s services — touching the lives of those impacted.

“Making a commitment to the Legacy Circle is a small way to show our appreciation and support for the wonderful things happening at SARRC,” says Larry.

Diane and Larry are actively involved in their church and Diane also volunteers at St. Mary’s Food Bank and The Heritage Assisted Living. Together, they enjoy walking and hiking in beautiful Arizona.

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.