New Executive Director Announced for Desert Foothills Library

In early August, the Desert Foothills Library board of directors announced the appointment of a new executive director, Anne Johnson. She will take on this new role Sept. 21. Following a handover period, the current director, David Court, will retire after 10 years in the role. The appointment follows an extensive search, led by a committee appointed by the board of directors.

Johnson has extensive library experience — her most recent position was deputy director, Public Services at Austin Public Library. Prior to that she was executive director at West Pittston Public Library, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit library, the same status as Desert Foothills Library.

As executive director of the Desert Foothills Library, Johnson will be responsible for all aspects of managing the library, including re-opening of the facility following the COVID–19 closure.

Robert Hindle, president of the Library board of directors said, “David Court has done an excellent job leading the Desert Foothills Library for the past decade. Anne Johnson is a perfect choice to continue that work.”

Johnson noted, “I am so excited for the opportunity to work with the board, staff and volunteers to serve the Desert Foothills Community. I look forward to continuing David’s legacy of focusing on the most important element of library work: the people.”

The Desert Foothills Library is independently funded and serves the entire Desert Foothills community.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit dfla.org or call 480.488.2286.

Meet the New Director: Robin Cochran Joins Foothills Caring Corps

Earlier this year, after 15 years of service, Debbra Determan announced her intention to retire as executive director of Foothills Caring Corps (FCC). An executive search was launched, which resulted in the hiring of Robin Cochran in August.

We caught up with the new director last month and she shared a little bit about herself, what drew her to Foothills Caring Corps, and what is next. So, please meet Robin Cochran, in her own words:

Robin Cochran, pictured here with her puppy, Molly.

I am Robin Cochran, and I live in the Troon North neighborhood. Before joining Foothills Caring Corps, I most recently was the chief development officer at Christian Care, Arizona’s largest nonprofit provider of senior living, which has six communities located throughout the state.

What was the path you took to get to where you are today?

I have a long-time impetus to help others in the community, which was originally fostered by my World War II veteran father and public servant mother. They encouraged my early passion to help others though participation in church and community volunteer activities and service projects, mostly assisting underserved seniors and at-risk teens in my native Mississippi community. The resolve I developed to assist in improving others’ lives and advocate for the underserved led me to obtain a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Over the years, I also developed important charitable organization experience as I organized, planned, and chaired various fund-raising events, nonprofit campaigns and legacy planning programs. This has provided me the ability to recognize and implement effective strategies to help people, as well as to build community awareness.

What drew you to Foothills Caring Corps, and what are its current strengths and challenges?

Robin Cochran (center) and the team at FCC. Submitted photo

My decision to join FCC was driven in part by a desire to become more deeply connected to my local community. Further, I was drawn to the organization’s mission of service to older adults and persons with disabling conditions, to allow them to remain living independently for as long as possible.

I believe the commitment of the organization’s staff and our volunteers to FCC’s mission is our biggest strength.

Certainly, the current public health crisis has created new challenges for FCC on several fronts. First, many of its regular programs have had to be suspended or modified due to safety concerns. The organization’s programs include providing transportation for persons to medical appointments and therapies, a van program for social, exercise class and shopping outings, mobile meals, friendly visiting, handyman services, grocery shopping services, caregiver relief, and a mobility equipment loan closet, among others. Additionally, COVID concerns affect many members of our network of volunteers who are themselves in an at-risk age group, or have underlying medical conditions, which limit their ability to engage in the activities they normally would undertake on behalf of FCC. Finally, FCC’s budget has been impacted by the pandemic-required cancellation in March of its largest annual fundraiser, the Taste of Foothills.

What goal do you have for the organization and how can the community help?

The main goal I have is to serve with integrity, creativity and vision to enthusiastically carry out FCC’s strategic plan and meet the growing and changing needs of our neighbors. I hope to work collaboratively with our staff and volunteers to create a team that can move forward to accomplish our mission.

We are grateful for the continuing support the community has long provided to Foothills Caring Corps. We also hope that anyone who has an interest in volunteering will consider contacting our organization. Please visit our website, foothillscaringcorps.com, for more information, to become a donor, or to volunteer. |CST

Kiwanis Looking to Fund Major Projects — Application deadline is Oct. 1

Pictured: Kiwanis Splash Pad in Carefree. A $135,000 grant was given to the Town of Carefree for its construction. Photo courtesy of Kiwanis Club of Carefree

The Kiwanis Club of Carefree is currently investigating new projects to fund. They are asking organizations, businesses and individuals to submit a request to fund projects of $25,000 up to $1 million. The Project/Funds Committee has been formed to evaluate these requests. The request form can be found online, with the only requirement that the project meets the mission of serving the kids in the Cave Creek/Carefree community. The deadline is Oct. 1, 2020.

President Mike Poppenwimer added, “Kiwanis is looking for your help to find what is needed to benefit the children in this community.”

The Kiwanis Club of Carefree is one of the largest Kiwanis clubs in the world, with roughly 150 members. Its focus is on helping children recognize and develop their potential. The organization supports post-secondary scholarships, summer art programs, special needs support, youth service organizations and more.

To fill out the application visit kiwaniscarefree.org/community-project-request. To learn more about Kiwanis Club of Carefree, visit kiwaniscarefree.org.

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