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Community Spotlight - Women's History Month 2023

In honor of Women's History Month we are spotlighting four Arizona natives making a difference in our communities.

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Name: Holly Rose

Current Profession(s) Founder, CEO - Check For a Lump

Please describe your role(s) in your profession(s): As a founder of a non-profit, I have worn every hat possible within our non-profit. My passion to empower women with breast health education and assist women with equitable breast health care has fueled my determination to grow Check for a Lump and our programs from a grassroots call to action to a prominent breast cancer non-profit.

Please describe your pathway to your current profession(s): I am an entrepreneur by nature, and started several successful businesses. I took a break from business to take on the best job in the world - stay at home mom! And then, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of thirty-nine. I went through nine months of breast cancer treatment. During my treatment, I was blessed to receive so many acts of kindness that it was life-changing for me. I wanted to give back to my community and I also wanted to create a legacy I could leave behind for our daughters. I founded the breast cancer non-profit Check for a Lump and have been leading our non-profit for fourteen years.

What is your education / training background? I received my B.A. in Psychology from UNLV. The best training for my position came from the diagnosis of breast cancer, battling through treatment, and advocating for my own well-being. I understand the fears women go through and the additional struggles they face within their families while going through treatment. My personal breast cancer journey enhanced my compassion, gratitude, and desire to make to a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

Advice you'd give to your younger self: Don't let fear strip you of opportunities.

Tell us about any challenges that you have faced to get to where you are today: Over the past fourteen years, I was discouraged many times by many people telling me our program, our project, or event, etc., was too big, not achievable, too many programs, etc. I had to stand firm in my beliefs and go for the big dream regardless of what others thought was right for me and our non-profit. I had to have faith in myself, and that can be terrifying sometimes.

Who has influenced you? My parents taught me prized traits of integrity and hard work. The phrase "I can't." was NEVER to be spoken in our home. That belief has carried on in my life and my motto is, "I can!"

Tell us about anything you are passionate about outside of your profession(s): My family! I adore my husband, John, and our girls Hannah and Ivy! I love exercising outdoors – walking, running, hiking, yoga, etc. I will never turn down my husband to dance the night away to live music.

Please feel free to tell us anything else that you'd like to share: Empower yourself with the Check for a Lump breast health education on our website Our magazine is available online and we mail them for free. There is so much information women are not aware of simply because it is not shared often. Check for a Lump provides women with the facts, prevention tips, screening guidelines, guidance, and testimonies - all to help save lives. We also offer our free programs that provide screening mammography and diagnostic testing to underinsured and uninsured women, along with assistance to women undergoing breast cancer treatment with wigs and support.

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Name: Christina Spicer

Current Profession(s): Co-CEO of Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council

Please describe your role(s) in your profession(s): My role is Co-CEO of Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and I help to lead the Girl Scouts of central and northern Arizona.

Please describe your pathway to your current profession(s): I earned my communication degree, and after graduating from ASU, I worked for a small non-profit called notMYkid, and I was there for five years. After that, I earned my master's degree in Non-Profit Management and Leadership. From there, I started working for an organization called Teach for America, where I led their fund development team for six years. After that, I came to Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and have been here for eight years. I took over as leader of this incredible organization with Mary Mitchell as Co-CEO on October 1, 2022.

What is your education / training background?: I received my undergraduate degree in communication with a minor in women's studies and my master's degree in Non-Profit Management and Leadership, both from ASU (Go Devils!)

Advice you'd give to your younger self: Trials you go through in your life will allow you to have a level of empathy and compassion that will lead to great success. There are things we go through as kids that sometimes create a level of grit and resilience that, as adults, help to figure out that it's okay to do hard things. You can stay resilient, and most importantly, your identity does not come from career success. It does come from those personal successes and the relationship with the people you have in your life is really how to measure that level of success.

Tell us about any challenges that you have faced to get to where you are today: I dealt with a life-threatening eating disorder in middle school. One day during my recovery, my eighth-grade P.E. teacher planned a class lesson by coincidence on eating disorders as it was a big topic of the time. However, I was very uninspired by the lesson, so much so that I asked the teacher if I could share my personal story of survival. When I started to do my eating disorder presentations, I had a chance to share my story with hundreds of girls during their P.E. classes. My testimony was so powerful that I spent the next five years – through the rest of middle school and all of my high school years – visiting high schools statewide. This experience sparked a passion for caring for the girls and women in my community. Even after I had moved on from sharing this part of my life story, I continued my love of building community and creating safe spaces for women. So, when I came to work for Girl Scouts, it felt like my whole life had prepared me for this incredible role.

Who has influenced you?: There is a plethora of incredible women who have always stood in the gap with great influence on me. There has never been a time that I can reflect on in my life where I have not had an incredible mentor or woman friend who hasn't stepped in. So, when I think back, it was my grandma in my younger years who was always there for wisdom and love. She really saw who I was going to be, and now I am very blessed to have an incredible group of women who hold me to be the best and want the best things for me.

Tell us about anything you are passionate about outside of your profession(s): I'm deeply passionate about my family, faith, and friendships. If I'm not doing incredible things with the Girl Scouts, I typically do something with my family or friends, so I'm deeply committed to them. In that same space, I am fully committed and passionate about foster care and our kiddos in the foster care system and ensuring they have access to all of the sense of belonging and love they need. That's something that we do at Girl Scouts that is special to ensure that all girls have access to Girl Scouting, especially those currently living in the foster care system.

Please feel free to tell us anything else that you'd like to share: In the spirit of Women's History Month, there are so many incredible women who have come before us. We stand on the shoulders of women with great courage and who set incredible examples. So many of their stories haven't been told, but they're told in all of us who can have a chance to now tell our stories and that we get a chance to live out their legacy. So, during this time of Women's History Month, it's pretty incredible to think about those who have come before, those right now, and the women and girls we are building in the future.

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First Name: Mary Kim Titla

Current Profession(s): Executive Director, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (aka UNITY)

Please describe your role(s) in your profession(s): I proudly and humbly serve as UNITY's executive director, the largest and oldest Native Youth leadership network organization in the country. I work with a small but mighty team at our headquarters in Mesa, Arizona. I've been serving as executive Director for the past 10 years.

Please describe your pathway to your current profession(s): I went through the UNITY youth leadership programs as a young person, and had no idea I would one day come full circle to serve as its executive director. I have served UNITY in other capacities, including as a trustee and youth council advisor. I spent 20 years as a TV news reporter at the Tucson and Phoenix NBC affiliate stations.

What is your education / training background? I'm a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelors degree in journalism. I'm also a proud graduate of the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite school of journalism and mass communication with a masters degree in mass communications. In addition, I obtained a second masters degree in Education Leadership from Arizona State University.

Advice you'd give to your younger self: Stay true to your spiritual beliefs, values, and morals every day of your life. Always pray before making any decisions, no matter how large or small.

Tell us about any challenges that you have faced to get to where you are today: Running a national nonprofit organization is not an easy job. Especially when you move its headquarters from one state to another, which we did in 2013, moving it from Oklahoma to Arizona. Due to a lack of resources, it was like starting over again. There was no staff and no office. Fortunately, the former and late executive Director, JR Cook, founded an organization in 1976 with a wonderful mission and history that is well regarded among the nations Native American organizations, tribal leaders, and government officials. Plus UNITY has a long list of dedicated friends and supporters. This history and support has allowed me to rebuild it to what is now a thriving organization.

Who has influenced you? My parents Phillip and Charlotte Titla overcame poverty and a cycle of dysfunction to raise five children on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. They said college was the key to success. All five children went on to graduate from college. The best part of the story is my parents eventually quit their jobs and graduated with their youngest son from college.

Tell us about anything you are passionate about outside of your profession(s): I'm passionate about sewing, walking, hiking, and painting.

Please feel free to tell us anything else that you'd like to share: I recall a tribal leader who gave a keynote address at an event. I was in college. He said "you won't remember much of my speech today but if you can remember ten two letter words, then that's what is most important. The ten two letter words are "If it is to be, it is up to me." I never forgot those words and I use them today when speaking to young people. Great advice!

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Name: Rae Black

Current Profession(s): Girls Flag Football Coach, Teacher, owner of Rae Black Extensions, and a flight attendant.

Please describe your role(s) in your profession(s): My dad always taught me to have multiple sources of income which is why I took the time to learn different trades. I currently still work as a flight attendant and partial retirement and am a full-time teacher, coach, and run my online hair extension company.

Please describe your pathway to your current profession(s): Currently, I work full-time as a teacher + coach and was working full-time as a flight attendant previously when I decided to make the switch in professions during Covid. Being a teacher gives me multiple things to look forward to daily and lots of children to love, lead, and guide.

What is your education / training background? Bachelors in communication with an emphasis is journalism minor in English, Masters in English, and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Advice you'd give to your younger self: I would tell my younger self to always go with your gut feeling and remember your home training.

Tell us about any challenges that you have faced to get to where you are today: As a single mom, finances are always a challenge and I take my job raising my son very seriously. Which is why I have always continue to educate myself, because education is key to having the necessary skills needed to move up in life.

Who has influenced you? My godmother who has always kept me grounded in Christ, mother who taught me to be resourceful, and father who taught me to never settle and respect yourself.

Tell us about anything you are passionate about outside of your profession(s): I am passionate about finding ways to relieve stress. One of my favorite things to do is go to the batting cages with my son to clear my mind.

Please feel free to tell us anything else that you'd like to share: I have previously competed in Pageants and I plan to do one more before I get too much older.

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Last Name: Tamala McBath

Current Profession(s): CEO - Dress for Success Phoenix

Please describe your role(s) in your profession(s): As CEO of Dress for Success Phoenix, my job is to guide the organization's mission of empowering women to achieve financial independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools needed to help women in our community thrive in work and in life.

Dress for Success Phoenix designs and delivers programs to help women overcome challenges for every phase of their personal or professional journey, whether a jobseeker, an employed professional or someone ready to lead in their community. Through collaborative partnerships, we offer outcome-driven programs to ensure women are getting hired, being promoted, receiving well-earned raises, networking with other professional women, and gaining control of their finances.

Please describe your pathway to your current profession(s): Prior to joining Dress for Success Phoenix as CEO in 2021, I was fortunate enough to have a successful career in healthcare operations and business consulting, including serving as president and CEO of two national businesses. During this time, I was a volunteer for Dress for Success' Professional Women's Group in Cincinnati, where I was mentoring women and helped them overcome the obstacles of securing and retaining employment. At this stage of my career, I wanted to be able to give back in a more significant way, so I committed to devoting more time to the organization. So when the opportunity to become CEO of Dress for Success Phoenix was presented to me, it was a match made in heaven!

What is your education / training background? I graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work, and I'm currently completing my executive master's degree at Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management. I am also a member of the 2022 cohort of Arizona State University's Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER) Fellow Program.

Advice you'd give to your younger self: A professor who I admired once told me to "always follow your glimmers." Glimmers are the things that inspire us, capture our attention and ignite our passion. Embrace periods of transition, as the discomfort that comes with change encourages us to grow as people. Seek the opportunities that you don't mind pouring yourself into; those are the most rewarding.

Tell us about any challenges that you have faced to get to where you are today: I lost my mother at an early age, so going through life as a young adult without her in my life was difficult. My father and extended family surrounded and supported me, but the loss was still paralyzing at times. Eventually, I was able to channel my grief into action. Today, I dedicate my work and service to others in honor of my Mom.

Who has influenced you? My family is my inspiration! I have the best family in the world. My three brothers and an uncle who practically raised me, have been my rock. Then there's my Partner in Service…my husband and my best friend. He inspires and encourages me to be a better version of myself every single day, and I love him for it.

I am also the mother of four beautiful girls and watching them grow into adult women, has been one of my most rewarding accomplishments. They are my inspiration. They are smart, extremely talented, and have a heart for people. My goal as a mom is to raise good citizens in the world who care about others and impact their community. Hopefully the work we are doing at Dress for Success Phoenix helps them see that anything is possible when women come together and support one another.

Tell us about anything you are passionate about outside of your profession(s): Unbeknownst to many, I'm a weather geek. For one of my birthdays, my husband arranged for me to be able to go behind the scenes at one of the local news stations and so I got to watch them do the weather, green screen, everything. I also love to travel and I think along with that comes reading. I am still very old-fashioned and I like the feel of a book.

Please feel free to tell us anything else that you'd like to share: I am so honored and blessed to be recognized among all of the other amazing women who are changing our community for the better.