Community Advisors

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Jacquelynn Dorrance, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Jacquelynn Dorrance

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Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Educated at Ecole International de Geneva, Switzerland where she met her husband, Bennett.

Graduated - University of Arizona in 1969. Has lived in Phoenix ever since.

Early community involvement was through Phoenix Country Day School and Junior League, Board of the Ronald McDonald House, COMPAS, Friends of Hospice, Desert Foundation Auxiliary and Heart Ball.

Served 10 years of Arizona Science Center and co-chaired Arizona Kidney Foundation’s 19th Author’s luncheon.

Currently serving on board of Phoenix Art Museum and PANDA and was honorary Chair of Ballet Arizona Gala, now campaign co-chair for Ballet Arizona.

Very active in Dorrance Family Foundation which supports education and natural resource conservation. Its signature program is the Dorrance Scholarship.

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Ashley Dorrance Kaplan, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Ashley Dorrance Kaplan

Owner & President - Bellisima Ranch

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Ashley is owner and President of Bellisima Ranch, a state-of-the art, full service horse boarding and training facility in Cave Creek, Arizona. Bellisima Ranch employs 6 staff members and serves 50 horses and their owners. Services include training in Hunter, Jumper and Dressage disciplines, and the Ranch offers a menu of professional services including horse therapy, massage, dentistry and chiropractic care. Ashley is also an accomplished equestrian in Arabian and Arabian cross competitions and spent a portion of her professional career as a veterinarian technician.

Ashley currently serves on the board of The Dorrance Family Foundation and the Dorrance Family Legacy Trust. The Dorrance Family Foundation works to improve the quality of life in the community by supporting education and natural resource conservation. She is active with the signature Dorrance Scholarship Programs, grant-making decisions and volunteer service, and supports a variety of discretionary causes.

Ashley serves her community beyond her roles as a board member with The Dorrance Family Foundation. She serves on the advisory board of P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. Center and provides leadership and support for Whispering Hope Ranch. She is active and personally involved with Steele Children’s Research Center and T-Gen, with a special commitment to rare pediatric genetic disorders, animal welfare organizations and other children’s medical causes. Her work and philanthropic focus recently expanded to include California and Hawaii.

Born and raised in Arizona, Ashley now calls California home. Ashley is married to Micheal Kaplan and they have two children. She’s an active parent with Girls Scout Brownies, Seven Arrows Elementary and Little Dolphins Elementary Schools.

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Dianne Goldwater, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Dianne Goldwater

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Grandmother of the Goldwater triplets, born at 26 weeks, Dianne has a personal interest in Children's Feeding Problems.  Her previous community work was with the Junior League of Phoenix, Foundation for the Blind Board, ASU College of Education Dean's Associates Board, The Board of Visitors, and National Charity League. Recently retired from teaching high school English, Dianne still helps in the classroom.  She and husband Bob have four children and are celebrating 50 years of marriage.

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Fred Pakis, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Fred Pakis

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Fred co-founded JDA Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: JDAS) in 1985 and served as President, Co-CEO and Co-Chairman of the Board for various periods of time through 2000. JDA Software was Arizona’s largest software company with over 1,200 employees and revenues  in excess of $200 million (50% of which originated from outside the US). The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona and has 31 offices in major cities around the world.


Fred Pakis' Biography

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Denise Resnik, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Denise D. Resnik

Founder & President - DRA Communications

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Denise is the founder and president of the strategic communications firm, DRA Communications. The agency was founded in 1986 and has been serving clients in a variety of fields including health care, real estate, economic development, education, hospitality and entertainment.

Denise is also the co-founder and board development chair of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC). She is the mother of a 20-year-old son with autism and served as SARRC’s board chairman from 1997-2007. Today, SARRC is an internationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to autism research, education and community outreach and the support of individuals with autism and their families throughout their lifetimes. The 18,000-square-foot Campus for Exceptional Children and 10,000-square-foot Vocational & Life Skills Academy are state-of-the-art clinical centers that serve as models for similar research and resource facilities. Her agency provides significant in-kind support to SARRC and other non-profits.

Denise is a board member of Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a camp and retreat facility for children with chronic illnesses and physical and developmental challenges. In addition, she serves as a board member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (Marketing Committee Chair), Phoenix Community Alliance and the Arizona Community Foundation. Denise is also a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership (Economic Development Subcommittee), the Autism Speaks Family Services and Housing Committees, Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) Steering Committee and the National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism (NARPAA).

Denise has served as a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) of the National Institutes of Health, a member of the IACC Services Subcommittee, the NIH Autism Strategic Plan Workgroup and the NIMH Autism Matrix Review Committee. 

Denise is the editor of Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, a collaborative study by SARRC, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona, the Arizona State University (ASU) Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family and the ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Her list of accomplishments includes the 2010 Phoenix Theatre’s Women Who Care Award; 2009 National Jae Davis Community Service Award by the Organization for Autism Research; 2008 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year; 2008 Golden Heart of Business Volunteer Executive of the Year; 2008 Kappa Kappa Gamma National Alumnae Achievement Award; 2007 Human Relations Award recipient by the Arizona Chapter of the American Jewish Committee; 2007 Evening of Champions Award recipient by the Autism Society of America; named one of L’Oreal’s 2006 Women of Worth; 2005 Golden Heart of Business recipient by Arizona Woman magazine; 2001 Athena Award recipient by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; 2001 Small Businessperson of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; 2001 World of Well-Being recipient by the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council; and 1998 Arts Advocate of the Year by the Business Volunteers for the Arts of Phoenix.

Denise graduated from Arizona State University cum laude and received her bachelor’s degree in business. 

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Judy Schubert, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Judy Schubert

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Not one to shy away from a challenge, Judy has lent her time and talent to many wonderful causes in Phoenix. She has been an active figure in Phoenix philanthropy for over 35 years.  Judy worked as a high school English teacher before she married and had children and eventually become a community volunteer. She co-founded the Phoenix Ronald McDonald House with her good friend Suzanne Hanson -  the Ronald House opened in 1985. She and two friends, Susan Palmer-Hunter and Susie Chester, brought CARE CARD to Phoenix and The Board of Visitors which started in 2000.  Recently Judy has helped develop Citizenship Counts, an Arizona non-profit, with her dear friend Gerda Weissmann Klein and has been Chairman of the Board for the past three years. She is a member of the Barrow Women’s Board, The Board of Visitors, the Founding Board of Ryan House, and the Junior League of Phoenix. Judy and her husband Bill are the parents of three grown children and eight grandchildren.

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Judy Shannon, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Judy Shannon

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Diversified background that includes more than 40 years of experience in fundraising, strategic planning, administration, public speaking, management training and volunteerism.  Excellent business and community contacts in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. Proven director and coordinator for fund-raising activities and special events involving paid personnel and volunteers.  Ability to create/manage annual operating budget, and maintain transaction and record management systems. 


Judy Shannon's Resume

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Debbie Simons

Owner and Managing Director - TRC Strategies

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Debbie Simons is the Owner and Managing Director of TRC Strategies, a boutique-consulting firm that specializes in creating innovative solutions through training, resources and coaching. TRC is proud to work with both for profits and non-profits in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, business and board development, brand management, team building and Emotional Intelligence. Prior to TRC Strategies, Ms. Simons held the position of Executive Director at Ryan House and Vice President of Operations and Development with Fresh Start Women's Foundation.

Before entering the non-profit arena, Debbie worked as the Community Relations Manager for Westcor and its parent company Macerich. During her tenure with Westcor/Macerich she marketed and branded high-end shopping centers, championed non-profits in 78 communities across the country and built a national cause branding program that benefitted over 600,000 women. During her last two years with Macerich Debbie took on the added responsibility of chairing events and raising over 5 million dollars for causes that support women and children, including Fresh Start, Phoenix Children's Hospital, City of Hope and Step Up Women's Foundation in Los Angeles.

Debbie's greatest strengths are her creativity, drive, leadership and ability to access and build dynamic teams. She has mentored numerous young executives and believes it is important to help develop thoughtful future leaders throughout our community. Debbie thrives on challenges, particularly those that allow her to think outside the box, she has an innate ability to connect like-minded individuals and develop long-term business relationships. Her corporate background allows her to guide non-profits to run effectively, be more strategic and focus on return on investment. 

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Ginger Ward, Community Advisor at Feeding Matters

Ginger Ward

Founder and Chief Executive Officer - Southwest Human Development


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Ginger Ward is the Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Human Development, which she founded in 1981 with just six employees serving 175 families. Today, Southwest Human Development is the largest, community-based organization of its kind in Arizona, with 750 employees serving 135,000 young children and families each year.

Under Ginger’s direction, Southwest Human Development has established a national reputation for leadership and high-quality programs and services in the early childhood fields of education, mental health, family support, disabilities services and training. Ginger has made a significant contribution to the early childhood field in Arizona by ensuring that the latest best practices and research are used to create programs and educate parents, professionals and policy makers about the importance of children’s earliest years to later development.

Ginger serves on a variety of boards and committees charged with forming policy on, and improving services for, children and families. Current positions include the Zero to Three National Board of Directors; the American Academy of Pediatrics, Arizona Chapter Board of Directors; Educare Arizona Board of Directors; the Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers; the Arizona State Department of Economic Security Child Care Advisory Committee; the Health Advisory Committee of Children’s Action Alliance; the Healthy Families Steering Committee; and Early Childhood Advisor to Junior League. Past positions have included the Arizona Governor's School Readiness Board and the City of Phoenix Human Services Commission.

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