Valley Business Leader Recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for Helping Thousands of Youth
By Alison Bailin
Valley business leader Steve Schwanz was recently awarded the coveted Jim Hill Award by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. The award, established in 1999 after the passing of former board president and member Jim Hill, is given to an individual who replicates Hill’s extraordinary qualities of dedication to the organization and the now over 17,800 children it serves.
Schwanz was recognized for his dedication – serving 19 years and counting at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and serving 12 years at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. In the process he has helped fund branches and outreach sites located in the greater Scottsdale/Phoenix areas (which includes the Vestar Branch in Desert Ridge) and on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Hualapai Indian Communities.
“Steve has been a driver of the greater Scottsdale organization’s growth for almost two decades – helping us to keep up with the demand for youth services by motivating the community to support Club projects,” says Steve Davidson, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.
In addition to his years of service, Schwanz has also impacted the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale in many other ways including:
• Developed an annual celebrity golf invitational that grew into the Mark Grace Celebrity Golf Invitational, which since its inception has raised $2.5 million for the Clubs.
• Created an annual wine and food event that grew into what is now Live & Local, one of the premiere events of the fall that raises more than $250,000 for the Clubs each year.
• Headed the annual giving campaign for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale which reflects the strong and valuable mentoring members receive from the experienced staff and dedicated volunteers. The campaign, formally known as Angels for Kids, now called GIVE, has raised more than 8 million over the last decade.
“Knowing that you’re helping build on the future wellbeing of the Clubs is something I’m very proud of,” says Schwanz. “My mom was very involved in nonprofit work, so carrying on her legacy and receiving the Jim Hill Award is very humbling and truly an honor.”
A successful business leader, Schwanz heads Franchise Capital Advisors, a boutique investment banking and specialized financial advisory firm in Scottsdale, and understands the value of a dollar. According to a recent study funded through a grant by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, every dollar spent by the Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the Valley generates $19.33 in positive economic impacts for the community.
“Giving back to the community is very important,” says Schwanz. “If you can change the lives of a few kids, and in turn they can change the lives of a few more, over time thousands of kids’ lives can be changed for the better.”