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Get To Know Oakwood’s Most Wanted Fugitives!
March 7, 2022
Arizona’s most notorious nonprofit mobsters are facing hard time in the Oakwood slammer! Each of these mafia madmen and women has been charged for crimes related to supporting seniors with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other age-related challenges through their work as Oakwood Creative Care’s Board of Directors. Now, these smooth criminals must raise $55,000 in bail funds before they can make a jailbreak during Oakwood Creative Care’s Jail N’ Bail Event on Saturday, April 2, hosted at BKD’s in Chandler.
Have a soft spot for Oakwood’s roughest and toughest board members? Then you can help break these jailbirds free so they can get back to work serving those in need! Read more about their mafia origin stories, then click the button below to donate to their bail funds.

Oakwood’s Most Wanted Fugitives:

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Shannon Heinze - Board Chair:
Shannon toured Oakwood Creative Care in 2015 and has never forgotten the feeling of walking through on that first day – a moment of pure happiness and hope. Shannon quickly realized how much thought had gone into the environment carefully crafted by Oakwood’s team, wherein every room felt like home and offered the opportunity to create, learn, and connect. From the very start, Shannon knew she would be back to visit Oakwood someday. 

No less than a year later, Shannon was encouraged by a business coach to select a charity to become a part of, and Oakwood was the first organization that came to her mind. Shannon felt called to this organization and, during an event in 2016, she approached Oakwood’s President and CEO, Sherri Friend, and long time friend and fellow Oakwood supporter, George Bliss, to share her desire to serve Oakwood in some way. Even though she had not had a family member affected by a cognitive disease, Shannon’s husband lost two grandparents to dementia and knew it was only a matter of time before the disease came knocking again.  

Shortly after, Shannon and her family noticed her grandfather’s memory wasn’t quite right. Looking to the future, Shannon knows her grandfather will benefit from Oakwood Creative Care and sees the potential for others to as well. Shannon full-heartedly believes in the mission of Oakwood, is proud to serve alongside her fellow board members, and strives to continue to support the staff and members in every way.

 

David Hrizak - Vice Chair and Treasurer:
Chicago native David Hrizak joined as a board member for Oakwood Creative Care in 2019 and later began serving on the executive committee in 2020. David first became aware of Oakwood through George Bliss, who invited him to the Oakwood Dignifies events held at the Mesa Arts Center. After attending for about 4 or 5 years, George officially invited David to join Oakwood’s Board of Directors. Having watched his grandmother suffer from dementia, David felt he could not pass up the opportunity to help Oakwood’s team by committing to be the voice and fundraiser for a nonprofit striving to bridge the gaps in the continuum of care for seniors in need. 

When David and his wife moved their family to Arizona in 2012, they couldn’t be happier. After David graduated from ASU in 1994, he moved back home to Chicago to start his career and build his family. After 18 years, David and his wife knew it was time to return to Arizona. As a serial entrepreneur and owner of successful businesses throughout the years, David’s main focus is Streamline Development, LLC., where he acts as a real estate developer, investor, and consultant. Through this company, David has achieved a role within the Phoenix business community that has allowed him to spread the word about Oakwood and bring awareness to its mission and needs.

 

Scott Roney – Secretary:
Scott Roney grew up, attended the University of Michigan, and spent most of his legal career in Illinois (he’s still a Wolverine fan to this day!) until he and his family moved to Arizona in 2014. Scott later joined the Board of Directors for Oakwood in August of 2020 at the urging of his friend, Tim Watt. The Board of Directors had been looking to add someone with legal experience, and Scott was the perfect fit for Oakwood’s team of innovative and brilliant minds. But, more importantly, Scott shared a desire to get more involved in his community, and, coincidentally, Scott’s in-laws were starting to show signs of possible dementia.

Scott now loves being a part of Oakwood’s Board of Directors because of the importance of raising awareness and support for those living with dementia, especially given the rapid increase of dementia in Arizona. He especially appreciates the unique approach Oakwood utilizes beyond being a simple “daycare facility” by tapping into its members’ hidden potential through creating an engaging and dignifying experience. To Scott, the personal relationships held with fellow board members, Oakwood’s staff, and other ministry stakeholders are icing on the cake, making it as enjoyable as it is rewarding.

Scott Roney Jail N Bail

George Bliss – Emeritus Board Member:
One of Oakwood’s “O.G.” mafia leaders, George Bliss, first became involved with Oakwood through his mother, Phyllis, a charter member of the Auxiliary. At the time, Oakwood was still operating under the name Sirrine, and the Auxiliary had been their primary fundraising entity for many years. George joined Sirrine’s Board of Directors in 2003 and has since devoted many years to serving Arizona’s seniors in need, including during the transitional period into the Oakwood Creative Care we all know and love today. 

George’s dedication to supporting Oakwood’s mission has helped make a monumental impact in the lives of our community’s seniors and, in 2018, George was honored with the 2018 Dr. Clifford Harris Oakwood Dignifies award for his involvement in creating valuable, creative, and innovative solutions to costly in-home and institutional care. Oakwood’s mission to spark joy and increase the quality of life for seniors with cognitive and physical challenges is what George loves most, and he says he will continue to serve Oakwood as long as he is able. 

George Bliss Jail N Bail

Carlos Santana:
Carlos Santana – not to be confused with the famous rock legend – joined Oakwood Creative Care as one of its newest board members in January of 2022.  When Carlos was invited to take a tour of Oakwood’s Day Clubs, he was blown away by how much dedication he saw towards enriching the lives of those needing memory care through Oakwood’s various programs and support groups. In Carlos’ own words: “It’s a place where I would send a member of my own family to receive care. Seeing how much passion every employee has for their members is inspiring. To me, Oakwood’s mission means giving back to those who have provided for us. Oakwood’s members are mothers, fathers, veterans, and so much more. They’ve taken care of us, so the least we can do is take care of them.”

 

Carlos Santana Arizona Jail N Bail

Joan Marlow:
Joan Marlow is a passionate leader devoted to providing ways for those within the community to enhance their health and well-being and live their best life possible. As the owner of Peaceful Easy Healing, Joan takes a ‘holistic’ approach towards focusing on self-care to support healing through Reiki, coaching, education, and resources to ‘bridge the gap’ between where you are today and where you want to be for all of your tomorrows.

A passionate champion for helping seniors age gracefully, Joan is OCC’s newest board member who joined the mob in February of 2022 as a transition from The Perfect Place Board of Directors.  Joan was an advocate for joining the two organizations through acquisition to elevate the service capability of The Perfect Place.

 

Joan Marlow Jail N Bail

Ian Anderson:
Ian Anderson, a Region Manager with Easy Roots, joined Oakwood’s Board of Directors in 2020. Born in Des Moines, Ian moved to Arizona in 1992, where he attended school at Most Holy Trinity Catholic School and Bourgade Catholic High School. He later graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology, respectively. Ian has felt honored to be a part of Oakwood’s Board of Directors because it allows him to be a good role model and positively impact the world. Ian’s adopted mother, who passed away last year, started Nightingale Homecare, the largest independent home care agency in Arizona specializing in care for patients with dementia. Ian says his adopted mother instilled the importance of care and compassion for others, especially the elderly.

Stephanie Miller:
Stephanie Miller’s passion for supporting those in need has been a driving force in her role as a board member for Oakwood Creative Care. Stephanie has served as a community volunteer for many organizations, including Make A Wish Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and many other worthy causes. Stephanie’s kind heart often leads her to support friends and family in need of a helping hand; however, it wasn’t until her father was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment that Stephanie found herself taking advantage of the support, training, and education offered by Oakwood Creative Care. She has spent her career supporting nonprofits but is now finding herself needing help. Oakwood’s mission, staff, and services have a special place in Stephanie’s heart and have compelled her to help in whatever way possible. Stephanie says she will do whatever it takes to spread the word about the services and support provided by Oakwood Creative Care.

Stephanie Miller Arizona

Phaedra Earhart:
Phaedra Earhart enjoys being an active force in her community and joined Oakwood’s Board of Directors in 2020. She was drawn to Oakwood Creative Care because of a shared passion for bringing service to seniors within the community. Several years ago, Phaedra’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and her grandfather took great care of her after that. Phaedra says it would have been so wonderful to have a place like Oakwood Creative Care in their lives during that time and is the reason why she feels so passionately about serving on the Board of Directors.

Phaedra Earhart Arizona

Tim Watt:
Mafia madman Tim Watt joined Oakwood’s board of directors in 2018. Before becoming a financial advisor, Tim worked in the biotechnology industry, where he worked closely with a wide range of pharmaceutical companies and teams responsible for developing and manufacturing medicine. Through this position, Tim has had the opportunity to travel and learn more about healthcare resources in other parts of the country.

Tim has been particularly interested in cognitive disease treatments knowing these illnesses are indiscriminate, challenging to treat, and have affected a number of his loved ones. He was immediately drawn to Oakwood Creative Care for two specific reasons. First, Oakwood’s creative care model is unique because it combines art therapy, music, and physical fitness. Oakwood’s teams’ have carefully crafted efficient and engaging curriculums, something he has not seen implemented in any other organizations the way Oakwood has.  

Second, Tim believes the model within Oakwood Creative Care is run exceptionally well in every way. During his time serving with the Board of Directors, Tim has been continually impressed with the dedication, creativity, and focus that the entire Oakwood team has shown. In addition, Tim has seen the direct impact that Oakwood’s mission has had on the local community and is very much appreciative of the opportunity to contribute!

Harry Mitchell
If he looks familiar, that’s because he is! You’ve probably seen a statue of Harry Mitchell standing near Tempe’s City Hall and the Harry E. Mitchell Municipal Complex. An advocate for senior and veteran rights, Harry is a well-renowned political figure, having served as the 30th Mayor of Tempe, Member of the Arizona Senate, Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a caregiver for his wife, Marianne, before her passing in 2019, Harry joined Oakwood Creative Care’s Board of Directors in 2015 with the hopes of giving back to the organization that had given him so much. In addition, Harry is a community ambassador empowering family caregivers to receive the support, encouragement, and resources needed to age successfully and care for their loved ones.

“It’s a place where I would send a member of my own family to receive care. Seeing how much passion every employee has for their members is inspiring. To me, Oakwood’s mission means giving back to those who have provided for us. Oakwood’s members are mothers, fathers, veterans, and so much more. They’ve taken care of us, so the least we can do is take care of them.”

-Carlos Santana

 

Read more about our board members, donate toward their bail, or join us for the fun event!

Oakwood Creative Care Jail N Bail Fundraiser for Board Members

Welcome

We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.


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