Local First Arizona Foundation is a statewide organization focused on community and economic development in order to build self-sufficient, healthy, and prosperous communities.
LFA Foundation is the 501c3 nonprofit sister organization to Local First Arizona. Together, we are creating a movement that has proven results across a wide variety of measurables including youth retention, job creation, and economic gains.
LFAF has three key areas of focus:
Healthy Food Initiatives
LFAF works to build healthy food systems including working directly with the producers and growers as well as educating consumers about the importance of eating healthy foods, where to find healthy foods, what’s fresh and in-season, and why it’s important.
Rural Community and Economic Development
LFAF works to provide rural Arizona communities with resources they need to build vibrant, sustainable, and resilient economies. LFAF is the Rural Development Council for the state of Arizona.
Fuerza Local Business Accelerator
A business education program for underserved Latinos that teaches entrepreneurship and the multiple facets of building a sustainable and prosperous enterprise.
Local First Arizona Foundation believes connecting people to the place they live, a strategy called placemaking, should be at the root of all community and economic development, and therefore we work to integrate creative placemaking strategies into all of the programs and events we organize.
Creating an Arizona economy that is sustainable, resilient and celebratory of its diverse cultures.
Local First Arizona seeks to promote, support, and celebrate a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating citizens about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration.
- Economically accountable for all
- Celebratory of statewide diversity, heritage and arts and culture
- Community-centric (focused on the greater good) for urban, rural, and tribal communities
- Recognizes and values creative placemaking, place-based economies and ‘sense of place’ for all communities
- 2013 Winner, Distinguished Citizen Planner Award (American Planning Association, Arizona Chapter)
- 2013 Winner Athena Award (Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce)
- 2014 Winner The Phoenix Award (Public Relations Society of America)
- 2014 Winner Leader of the Year in Public Policy (Capital Times)
- 2014 Winner Citizen Leader of the Year (International Economic Development Council)
To learn more about the 501c6 sister organization visit the Local First Arizona website and our searchable directory of over 2700 locally owned businesses.
Or, to learn more about the Arizona Rural Development Council please visit the website here and learn more about our rural programs.
Board of Directors
Dr. Jonathan Koppell, Chair
Dean, School of Public Affairs
College of Public Programs, Arizona State University
Keisha Tatem, Vice-Chair
State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Jeffrey Brodin, Secretary
Brodin HR Law
Levi Esquerra, Treasurer
Director, Rural Policy Institute
Program Director, Center for American Indian Economic Development
Northern Arizona University
Brand Manager, Quench Fine Wines
Hensley Beverage Distributing
President/CEO, Partnership for Economic Development
Lake Havasu City
Social Investments Manager
Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Foundation
Law Offices of Snell and Wilmer
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Director of Development
The Nature Conservancy
Ruth Ellen Elinski
Northern Arizona Director
Southern Arizona Director
Creative Marketing Director
Rural Program Coordinator
Director of Food Initiatives
Local Foods Development Coordinator
Local Foods Community Coordinator
Small Business Coordinator
Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program Director