“I believe in giving to good organizations that make excellent use of their resources,” says Tom Kelly, a retired leader in health care administration and finance who now splits his time between Phoenix and San Diego.
That philosophy led him to the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, first as a board member, then getting family members involved and most recently becoming a Multiyear Visionary Partner (MVP).
Kelly grew up in Massachusetts but earning degrees in social sciences and accounting led him to jobs all over the country.
“As a business leader, I feel it is essential to get involved and understand the community where one works to help make a difference.”
A friend who was on SARRC’s board introduced Kelly to the organization’s co-founder Denise Resnik, leading to his board service from 2006 to 2012.
Kelly says as a board member he learned about SARRC’s impact on families here as well as in the broader autism community. While working in St. Louis he served on the board of a high school for troubled youth, many with difficult home lives and affected by poverty. “But looking back, I realized about 20 percent of them had autism and services just weren’t available in traditional school settings.”
While autism hasn’t directly touched the Kelly family, their daughter, Maria, and son Tom became involved working with children on the spectrum, including mentoring Denise’s son, Matt.
“I am proud to support nonprofits that are doing great work and when I was a board member, I supported SARRC annually,” Kelly says. “SARRC has always been a good steward of the funds it receives and I know my gift will make a difference.”
Kelly’s commitment to the community is not limited to SARRC. He serves on the Foundation for Senior Living board as well as several other health care boards. He also is involved with Promise Arizona, a faith-based nonprofit that relies on members and volunteers to help build young community leaders and to create positive change in the state.
And if you ride Valley Metro Rail, you can see more of Kelly’s impact. He helped with the development of empty space around the Tempe line when it was under construction and now is involved in ways to transform the areas along the line from downtown to South Phoenix.
Are you interested in making a difference by becoming a SARRC Multiyear Visionary Partner? Learn more here.