Benevilla Welcomes 2024 Board Members and Thanks 2023 Board for Their Leadership

January 19, 2024

The leadership and staff of the nonprofit Benevilla extend a warm welcome to their new 2024 Board of Directors and a sincere thank you to their 2023 Board of Directors for helping Benevilla continually grow and meet the ever-increasing needs of our community. “In partnership with Benevilla leadership, the Benevilla Board of Directors is constantly adapting and finding ways to restructure our programs and services to meet the evolving need of our community,” states Joanne Thomson, Benevilla President and CEO.

Benevilla was created as a not-for-profit organization in 1981 by citizens of the Sun Cities area out of concern local health and wellness services were not readily available to the community’s residents. Their mission was to promote health and independence by providing supportive services to their neighbors. Beginning as a group of 30 volunteers and a handful of employees helping with errands and home care services, Benevilla has grown into a network of Life Enrichment Day Programs, multiple caregiver support groups and educational services, a child daycare & preschool, an adaptive gym and more – all directed by a caring, dedicated, and innovative Board of Directors continuing to keep Benevilla relevant and a critically important resource in the Northwest Valley.

The 2024 Benevilla Board of Directors include leadership positions of Board Chair Oana Constantinescu – Senior Vice President with First Bank, Vice Chair Brian Laurie – an Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Board Treasurer Mike Zongolowicz – a retired Certified Public Accountant, Board Secretary Chris Arlaud – a licensed Medicare broker, and Ex Officio retired Pastor Kim Sterner. They will be joined by Shea Boulware-Creed, Senior Vice President Financial Advisor from RBC Wealth Management, John Bridgford an investment broker with Merrill Lynch, Joe DeBlasi, a retired businessman and community volunteer, Erica Dorward, the Chief Operating Officer with Banner Del Webb Medical Center, Dr. Kirby Kennedy, Pastor with First Baptist Church, Bob Suhr, a retired business turnaround consultant and Larry Vering, a retired CPA, CGMA and community volunteer.

Benevilla thanks the following Board Members who termed off the Benevilla Board at the end of 2023 for their service and dedication to the agency and the community – Shannon Arriola, MC, Arriola & Associates, Inc., Merlyn Carlson, Retired Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Nebraska, Alex Juarez, Communications Director with AARP Arizona and Dr. Richard Stuckey, Retired Executive VP of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.
Throughout 2023, the Benevilla Board of Directors served over 800 hours in service to the success of the agency and to the people we help. While many also juggled personal and professional commitments over the year, the dedication of the Benevilla Board always rose to the occasion when help was needed.

Started by the community and for the community in 1981, Benevilla is a not-for-profit family services agency dedicated to enriching the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, adults with disabilities, children, and families. For more information on services, volunteer opportunities, to take a tour or donate to Benevilla, call 623-584-4999 or visit