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Thomason to leave executive director role at Aunt Rita’s Foundation

Photo of aunt rita foundation executive director Jimmy Thomasson
Jimmy Thomason is leaving the role of executive director of Aunt Rita’s Foundation effective April 15. (File Photos/

Aunt Rita’s Foundation seeks new perspective in executive search

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

After two years of serving as executive director and 17 years involved in the organization in various capacities, Jimmy Thomason is leaving the role of executive director of Aunt Rita’s Foundation effective April 15.

With decades of experience in both corporate and nonprofit work, Mr. Thomason looks forward to new experiences blending both. He will continue to be a supporter of the organization and its vital role in the HIV/AIDS community, he says.

“The landscape of HIV in Arizona is vastly different than it was just a decade ago. Each leader has used our own talents and life experience to the role,” he said. “A new perspective is important.”

During his time as executive director, Mr. Thomason oversaw the organization’s ongoing established new innovative initiatives and helped bring back the organization’s fundraising and outreach events post-pandemic.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation’s Board of Directors will conduct a thorough search for a new executive director over the course of the next 60 days, officials close to the matter say.

All organizational operations and initiatives, including Aunt Rita’s upcoming 35th anniversary event series will continue as planned:

  • Colors of Connection Community Mural Project Open House on February 23, 25 and 26 at Aunt Rita’s Office
  • Aunt Rita’s Bake Sale/Founder Skip’s 66th birthday on March 5 and AIDS Walk Arizona & 5k on March 25 will continue as planned.
  • AIDS Walk Arizona is the largest gathering in Arizona to advance the cause of HIV & AIDS funding and awareness. The event elevates awareness and raises funds through an educational and fun community-wide event. It is the flagship event of the central Arizona HIV/AIDS community, catalyzing awareness, education, and support.

Aunt Rita’s has provided millions of dollars in grant funding in support of critical HIV prevention and treatment programs throughout Arizona.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation’s partner agencies were there for me when I was first diagnosed at 22 years old,” Mr. Thomason said in a prepared statement. “I’m grateful for the opportunity these past two years to repay some of the generosity of time and energy that was given to me when it was needed most.”

Aunt Rita’s partner agencies include Ebony House, The Bill Holt Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, CAN Community Health, Chicanos Por La Causa LUCES Program, HEAL International, HIV Care Directions, Valleywise Health, one n ten, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Southwest Center, Shot in the Dark, Southwest Recovery Alliance, Terros Health, and more.

“We are grateful to Jimmy for his long-standing support of Aunt Rita’s Foundation and his work over the past couple of years as executive director,” said Daniel Sciortino, Board Chair for Aunt Rita’s Foundation. “Aunt Rita’s Foundation is having a greater impact on our community than ever before thanks to the hard work of Jimmy and many others in the HIV and AIDS community, and we look forward to working with our next executive director to continue that momentum moving forward.”

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