A Special Message from BBBSAZ President and CEO, Laura Capello

To my Big Brothers Big Sisters Family,

It has been the honor of my life to work with all of you to support the young people in our community! Thank you to our donors for believing in me and the mission of our agency to provide mentors to kids that could use some extra support. Thank you to our volunteers who continue to step up in a BIG way to help guide and support these already amazing kids to believe in themselves and achieve great things. Thank you to our families for trusting us to work with your kids and for working alongside us. It was a very hard decision to leave, but after 20 years, it is just time to slow down a bit. However, this is not a good-bye, but rather a ‘see you later’ as I will always be a champion for this mission and support this organization.

I am working with the board and the transition team as they search for my replacement, and I have complete faith that they will find a person who can take the agency even farther. Thank you again for all your support over the last 20 years.

You are all my heroes,

Laura Capello

For more details, please read the official statement below:

(April 17, 2024 – PHOENIX) After a long and successful career with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (BBBSAZ), Laura Capello, president and chief executive officer, will depart at the end of the fiscal year, effective June 30, 2024.

“Laura has been an invaluable leader, guiding our organization with dedication, vision and integrity for two decades,” said Brian Wood, BBBSAZ Board Chair. “Her contribution has been instrumental in advancing our mission and achieving our goals. We are immensely grateful for her service and wish Laura all the best in the next chapter of her life.”

Capello has been a part of the BBBSAZ organization for a collective 20 years. She joined BBBSAZ in March 1998, where she worked as vice president of marketing and development, then returned to the organization in February 2005.

During her tenure, Capello worked tirelessly to improve circumstances for disadvantaged youth and their families across the state. She enacted the vision of innovative youth mentoring programs and partnerships, as well as wrap-around services to help positively transform the lives of children and families served by BBBSAZ. Capello created a community navigator program to help connect families to vital services, started a mentor collaboration with UMOM and two Boys & Girls Club locations and formed a Parents Advisory Council to engage parents in their child’s mentoring experience. 

Capello also worked at the national Big Brothers Big Sisters level to strengthen the mission of the organization as a member of the Advocacy Committee and as a leader in the network.

“I am immensely proud of the work I’ve done at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona,” said Capello. “Deciding to work in the nonprofit sector is one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my life. While this career was not the easiest path, and certainly not for the weak of heart, it has been remarkably rewarding.”

“As I look back on my career, I truly cannot imagine doing anything else,” Capello added. “Every job has its challenges, but for me to know at the end of each day I made a difference in a child’s life is not something I take for granted and something I will miss wholeheartedly.”

Capello holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She is a graduate of Valley Leadership and the American Express Leadership Academy. She was named a finalist for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Athena Awards, a Sun Devil 100 recipient for six consecutive years, recognized as one of the Most Admired Leaders by the Phoenix Business Journal, and received a “Difference Maker Most Admired Leader” award. 

As an outspoken advocate for children, Capello currently serves on the Board for Young and Empowered Women, the Mesa Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion Foundation Board and the Charter 100 Board. 

The BBBSAZ Board of Directors is currently searching for Capello’s predecessor and according to Woods, is “fully committed to ensuring a smooth and productive transition process for a successful future at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.”

The BBBSAZ Board established a search committee tasked with identifying and selecting the organization’s next thought leader and CEO.

For almost 70 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (BBBSAZ) has provided mentoring for young people in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Big Sisters was established in 1955 and Big Brothers in 1965. The two agencies merged into one in 1986. BBBSAZ is one of the largest Big Brother Big Sister agencies in the country and is a member of the Large Agency Alliance of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. BBBSAZ serves all of Maricopa County, limited areas of Pinal County and Payson in Northern Gila County. For more information visit, www.bbbsaz.org 

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