Remembering Marissa Theisen, Founding President and CEO of Arizona Grantmakers Forum

Former and founding Arizona Grantmakers Forum President and CEO Marissa Theisen passed away on Saturday after battling pancreatic cancer. The AGF team and board join Marissa’s family and friends in mourning her loss and celebrating her life.

She led AGF from its inception in 1986 until she retired in 2015 to return to her management consulting business, Win Win Creations, where she provided conflict resolution and philanthropic consulting to government and for-profit organizations.

“Marissa was incredibly kind and gracious to me when I came to AGF and helped to ensure a smooth transition,” said AGF president and CEO Laurie Liles. “She remained actively engaged in and supportive of AGF long after she left, and the team and I appreciated her willingness to be a resource to us.”

During her time at AGF, Marissa grew the organization to 74 members, increased staff from a part-time executive director to two full-time staff, expanded educational programs throughout the year and consistently achieved high member satisfaction rates, among other accomplishments.

Marissa’s philanthropic journey began after graduate school when she worked as a training coordinator for the Conservation Foundation in Washington, D.C. until 1980 when she became a public involvement coordinator for Wirth Associates, a Phoenix-based design firm.

Active in the community, Marissa volunteered on boards and committees of numerous local nonprofits including Child Crisis Arizona, Junior League of Phoenix, Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, Self Employment Loan Fund and YWCA of Maricopa County. She also was a faculty associate at Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and served six months as interim director of the YWCA of Maricopa County.


Monday, October 8, 2018
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Anchor Centre Conference Room and Lounge | First Floor
2201 East Camelback Road | Phoenix, Arizona 85016

In lieu of flowers, Marissa’s family welcomes donations to the Marissa Theisen Family Fund.

Cards can be sent to:

Victoria Theisen-Homer
4111 East Hazelwood Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85018