Welcome Rhonda, Taylor, and Justin!

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Arizona Disabled Sports Welcomes New Employees!

 

Executive Director, Rhonda Carlson

Rhonda has worked for The Center for Health Affairs, a nonprofit metropolitan hospital association based in Cleveland, Ohio, for the past ten years, working in progressively responsible operations, business development and account management roles. She serves on the advisory boards for the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Carmella Rose Health Foundation, two nonprofit organizations aimed at improving the health of individuals living in the greater Cleveland area. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from The Ohio State University and recently graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland State University, receiving a master’s degree in public administration with a focus in nonprofit management. Rhonda is passionate about serving others, which inspired her continued education, career goals, and active volunteer involvement in her community. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys playing and watching sports (she is really looking forward to being able to golf year-round!), baking, attending outdoor concerts and spending quality time with her family. She looks forward to serving in her new role as Executive Director so that she can advance the inclusive mission of Arizona Disabled Sports to allow athletes throughout the state to participate in the sports they love and not sit on the sidelines!

 

Program Supervisor, Taylor Wilson

Taylor will graduate from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management with a concentration in Recreational Therapy in August of 2018. She is currently completing a full-time internship at the City of Mesa in their adaptive recreation programs as the last requirement of her course work. She began working for Arizona Disabled Sports four years ago as a part-time staff as a Facility Supervisor of the Broadway Recreation Center as well as a coach for the kayaking, cycling and air rifle programs. In addition, Taylor has also spent the past three summers working for Camp Fiesta, an adaptive summer camp for individuals with intellectual disabilities offered by the City of Mesa. These combined experiences fueled her love for adaptive sports and recreation and inspired a change in her declared major in college from chemical engineering to recreational therapy. She has a deep love for health and fitness and in her free time enjoys hiking, cycling, fishing, camping and any other outdoor recreation. She loves AzDS as well as its community and cannot wait to start her position as a Program Supervisor to oversee and develop adaptive sports and recreation programs. 

 

Program Supervisor, Justin Murphy

Justin is from Kennett Square Pennsylvania where his love of all sports developed at a young age. Justin attended Slippery Rock University where he completed his Masters in Adaptive Physical Activity, as well as his bachelors in Sport Management. During college, Adaptive sports became his true passion working with many different organizations including Special Olympics, Envision Blind Sports, Pittsburgh Blind Ice Hockey, College Goalball and others along the way. Most recently he has worked for Steamboat STARS as an Adaptive Ski instructor. When not working Justin enjoys playing all kinds of sports, exploring new places, and cooking his dinner in a crockpot. Justin believes that everyone should be able to participate in sports, regardless of ability, and believes that there are endless possibilities for the future of adaptive sports.

Fun Facts about Justin:  He’s a PSIA Level 1 alpine ski instructor, an Eagle Scout, and was a member of the 2017 Collegiate Goalball National Championship Team.

 

 

Congratulations Mark Grant and AzDS!

Mark Grant, former City of Mesa Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities employee of 30 years is still giving back to support people with disabilities. He is now the President of the Board of Directors for Arizona Disabled Sports. He was integral in starting the non-profit organization nearly 30 years ago and stays active as a coach, volunteer, fundraiser, and activist.

The Arizona Cardinals Community Quarterback Award recognizes outstanding volunteers in the state of Arizona ages 13 and up. A panel of community leaders determine the award recipients and award a total of $20,000 to the charitable organizations they serve. This program honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication, and commitment to improving the communities in which they live through volunteerism.

Arizona Disabled Sports and the Team Mesa Bulldogs are proud to announce that Mark Grant was one of the finalists this year. Just prior to the game on Christmas Eve, Mark was presented with a big check for $4,000 to be donated to AzDS. Mark is an incredible leader and we are very fortunate to have him on our team! Congratulations Mark!

Award description: http://www.azcardinals.com/community/programs/quarterback-award.html