Laurie Liles
President & CEO

Laurie serves members through strategic leadership of Arizona Grantmakers Forum, creating and sustaining relationships with aligned philanthropic, nonprofit and community partners. She works closely with the Public Policy Committee and board of directors to elevate Arizona philanthropy’s voice through public policy advocacy and community engagement.

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 chief executive officer, 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 is active in United Philanthropy Forum and is a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Cover Kids Coalition and the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Policy Council.

A native of the Southwest, Laurie grew up in various swimming pools in Tempe, Arizona. She loves traveling, watching movies and kitchen-testing new recipes for her ever-forgiving husband. On weekends, you can generally find Laurie with her nose in a book, hiking “rolling hills” on a treadmill with one eye trained on the day’s political news. She tries—with mixed success—to live by the Golden Rule.

Kim Garbacz
Senior Director of Education & Communications

Kim helps Arizona Grantmakers members through thoughtfully crafted learning opportunities and communications. She works closely with affinity groups, committees and community leaders to create highly rated educational programs and foster meaningful member engagement. Throughout the day, she easily pivots her focus among Arizona Grantmakers’ internal and external communications, marketing materials and website maintenance. Injecting cautious optimism in all she does, Kim plays an important role in enhancing value for members and raising the voice of Arizona philanthropy.

Before joining the Arizona Grantmakers team in 2016 as member engagement and communications manager, she was a social media specialist at Digital Air Strike where she developed marketing strategies and content for small businesses. Her interest in the nonprofit sector emerged while working at Arizona PBS as a member services representative and content creation assistant. Kim earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2014. She graduated in 2018 with Class 10 of the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy at ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation.

Kim is a longtime supporter of her local NPR and PBS stations and a regular contributor to various nonprofits on Arizona Gives Day. As a self-described word nerd, she believes that evolving language is essential to preserving the dignity of the communities we serve.

Growing up in west Phoenix, Kim developed a passion for sustainable fashion, sourcing her wardrobe and home goods primarily from vintage shops and thrift stores. If you find yourself at a dog park, record store or comedy show, keep an eye out for Kim; you just might see her there.

Kalisha Bass
Director of Member Engagement & Operations

Kalisha helps Arizona Grantmakers members by being attentive, fulfilling requests, identifying connections and finding opportunities for members to make an impact in their organization. Kalisha supports Arizona Grantmakers’ capacity and sustainability efforts by managing day-to-day operations, recognizing trends and identifying risks and areas for improvement. She leans on her signature leadership talents identified through StrengthsFinder to guide her through her role: analysis, deliberation, input, intellect and responsibility.

Kalisha has been a member engagement professional for nearly a decade. Prior to joining the Arizona Grantmakers team in 2017, she helped One Southern Indiana members and investors recognize the impact of their investments in the community. Kalisha has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University Southeast and completed leadership courses through the Young Professionals Association of Louisville and Leadership Southern Indiana.

Having served on the board of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Indiana (now Impact 100) and Girls on the Run Louisville, Kalisha has a strong passion for helping women and girls. She currently supports the African American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle in Arizona and is a proud member of Arizona Foundation for Women.

Since moving from the Midwest, Kalisha enjoys Arizona’s warmer climate, culture and diverse landscape, which gives her the motivation to practice yoga regularly. While she maintains a 50% pescatarian and 50% vegan diet, her vices include gummy bears, Cheez-Its and soda (or “pop” depending on the region). Her top values are honesty and integrity.