Join your fellow Corporate Affinity Group members to hear a presentation from Vanessa Ruiz, Deputy Vice President for Outreach at Arizona State University on Leveraging Talent AZ (Leverage AZ), a talent initiative of ASU. Leverage AZ serves as a pathway model to connect diverse talent to postsecondary and career opportunities to match the workforce needs of the new Arizona economy. This is achieved by providing resources to enhance soft skill development and early access to hands-on career exploration.
Must RSVP as seats are limited!
The Corporate affinity group meetings are open to all Arizona Grantmaker Forum members.
Laurie joined the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits following its merger with Arizona Grantmakers Forum in 2022. As chief public policy officer, she is responsible for developing and executing the Alliance’s public policy agenda and engagement strategy. An active member of the senior leadership team, Laurie leads Arizona Grantmakers Forum, bringing vision and strategic thinking to advance its full integration with the Alliance.
Laurie was president and CEO of Arizona Grantmakers Forum for seven years, providing strategic leadership and creating and sustaining relationships with aligned philanthropic, nonprofit and community partners. Before joining Arizona Grantmakers in 2015, Laurie worked to improve policy outcomes for Arizonans for more than 25 years. She began her career as a research analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives before joining the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, where she served as senior vice president of public affairs and as president and CEO, among other roles. In 2014, Laurie was a Washington, D.C. correspondent for Cronkite News, producing more than 30 stories covering politics, immigration and Indian affairs for Arizona news media outlets.
Laurie has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Mass Communication degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She serves on the United Philanthropy Forum board of directors and co-chairs its Public Policy Committee.
A native of the Southwest, Laurie grew up in Tempe, Arizona.
Vanessa Ruiz is the Deputy Vice President for Outreach within Educational Outreach and Student Services at Arizona State University. In her current role, Ruiz leads several teams creating a vision to develop and implement strategic partnerships with non-profits, K-12 schools, foundations, corporate partners, faith-based leaders, and other community stakeholders to advance the educational attainment and economic opportunity for underserved and underrepresented communities. She has also been recognized by The Academy of Television of Arts and Science for special coverage of Sept. 11, and received the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for exceptional integrity, bravery and originality in reporting. Ruiz was born in Miami, Florida and is of Colombian descent. She studied part of her elementary and high-school education in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. She graduated with honors from Florida International University with a B.S. in Mass Communication, a minor in International Relations and holds a Masters in Liberal Studies, with distinction, from Arizona State University.