Introducing the 2019 LINK Emcee, Katie Thorson!

"LINK is honestly my favorite event to go to each year. It’s high energy, inspiring, and full of passionate leaders doing our best to make the world the way it should be. I’ve been involved with LINK in almost every capacity but I don’t think I’ve been more excited than to have the honor of being emcee" - Katie Thorson, 2019 LINK Emcee

Katie Thorson is a Masters of Education graduate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Born and raised in Minnesota, she moved to Arizona in 2014 to pursue a career in nonprofit. She has had the honor of serving in multiple organizations as staff, volunteer, board and committee member. Among her most proud moments is winning YNPN Phoenix's LINK in 2016. She currently works as the Director of Special Projects at St. Joseph the Worker, using her creativity, energy and passion to help people become employed. In addition to her nonprofit career, Katie is the founder of lookfeeldoPHX, her side hustle that helps to empower people to do their best through makeup.

Join us for the 5th annual YNPN Phoenix LINK on March 20, 2019!

Growing Professionally: How? Where? When? Why?

By Hallie Rexer, Board Member and Programs Chair, YNPN Phoenix









It seems everywhere we look there is a networking event, professional development program, or webinar. Deciding where to put forth time and resources can be difficult. The YNPN Leadership Roundtable on Tuesday, February 26th gave us the opportunity to learn about many of the leadership programs throughout the Valley.

Each of the programs brings a unique value. Depending on your personal goals, you can be certain to find the right fit for you. As many of these programs will have an expense and time commitment, I recommend doing your research before applying. At the YNPN Leadership Roundtable, I was able to chat with each of the presenters from the organizations listed below.

Here are questions I have learned to ask:

  1. Do you have an open event that I may attend to learn more or meet with alumni?
  2. How long is the program?
  3. What are the dates/what is the time commitment? (For example, some programs are once a month 8 am – 5 pm on a Friday.)
  4. How many individuals go through the program each year?
  5. Is there a scholarship available for nonprofits?
  6. How many nonprofit professionals are in the program each year?
  7. Is there a class project?
  8. When is the application deadline? Is there a cost associated?


Please check out our partners below:





A special thank you to our hosting sponsor, Better Business Bureau Arizona!

Our YNPN LINK Title Sponsor: Four Leaf Financial & Accounting

At Four Leaf Financial & Accounting, we know thriving communities are built on strong financial foundations. That’s why we work tirelessly to empower nonprofits and community-focused businesses with the financial tools and knowledge they need to increase their impact on the world.

We believe when you invest in the welfare of others, communities are transformed and lives are changed. We are proud to partner exclusively with organizations, like YNPN, who are working hard every day to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges.

Jenn Dimeck and Jill Foley from Left to RightYNPN Phoenix and the LINK event are pivotal to our story. Jenn Dimeck and Jill Foley are board alums who first met at a YNPN happy hour over 3 years ago. Through many committee meetings, happy hours, and professional interactions, they formed a mutual professional respect and deep friendship. This led to the merger of their individual accounting practices in January 2019.

Jill Foley was instrumental in elevating LINK to the much-anticipated successful event it is today. This was also noticed by the YNPN national board. Jill and former YNPN President, Elyse Guidas, were asked to present a workshop on the event at the YNPN National Conference in Atlanta.

LINK gives the nonprofit community the opportunity that many of our for-profit counterparts take for granted – the opportunity to pitch a cause you are passionate about, telling a room of potential partners and donors why it matters and how they can be invested. But before the pitches happen, the coaching begins. LINK provides professional pitch coaching, giving our participants tools to speak confidently and effectively about their mission.

Like YNPN, Four Leaf is committed to building the capacity of our clients. Changing the world is serious business, and the reality is many organizations simply lack the time, knowledge, or capacity to ensure their financial house is in order. Through our various accounting and consulting services, we equip them with accurate and accessible financial data, so they are empowered to make well-informed decisions and serve to their greatest capacity.

Four Leaf is honored to be a part of this year’s LINK event and to celebrate the event’s 5th anniversary and the birth of our partnership.


Register for LINK today!

It’s Your Right to Speak Up!

By Liz Salazar, Board Member and Communications Committee Member, YNPN Phoenix

All over our country, citizens are looking for ways to be more civically engaged. We have seen unprecedented activism in Arizona, from packing committee hearings at the state legislature to tens of thousands of demonstrators marching on the capitol. There are many ways to make your voice heard in 2019, but Arizona’s Request to Speak system is a great tool that everyone can use from the comfort of their home.

Request to Speak (RTS) is an online form that allows you to weigh in on any bill and go on record with your opinion. Using RTS, you can express that you are for, against or neutral regarding legislation that affects our everyday lives as citizens of Arizona. You can even leave a comment or indicate that you want to provide commentary in person at a hearing.

The best part of RTS is that whether you live in Page, Tombstone, or any other city across our great state, you can have a direct voice on legislation that is debated at the capitol in Phoenix. Request to Speak makes civic engagement accessible to Arizonans far and wide. Another great thing about RTS is that you can see who else has signed in on a bill and view what their positions are, whether they are private citizens, corporations, or advocacy organizations.

The catch is that in order to sign up you have to physically come to the state capitol and use one of the computers in the House or the Senate. So many great advocacy organizations have helped make this easier for us by going to the capitol on our behalf once we have given them permission to do so.

Check out Expect More Arizona’s blog for a video on how to use Request to Speak. There is also web form to help you sign up for an RTS account.

Once you’re signed up, make sure to follow your favorite advocacy organizations to keep track of bills. These organizations will usually send a text or email when an important bill is going to be heard in a committee. Once you’ve decided your position, you can log in to RTS and make your voice heard. Don’t miss this opportunity to let your elected officials know where you stand!

Member Highlight

Liz Salazar

Expect More Arizona

YNPN Phoenix Board Member, Communications Committee Member



How long have you been a member of YNPN Phoenix?

Almost a year.

Tell us about your position on the communications committee.

I just joined the communications committee, so I haven’t been able to spread my wings quite yet. I hope to bring more of our YNPN members to the forefront and tell stories about all the great work going on in Phoenix. I think we have great opportunity to engage our members in a very personal way.

What value have you found from being a member of YNPN Phoenix?

The professional development and cross-sector networking has been great. We often get trapped in the bubble of the causes we work for and need a push to get out there and connect with other non-profit professionals. Bouncing ideas, challenges and solutions off one another is invaluable.

Tell us about one of the most valuable things you’ve learned working for a non-profit.

Collaboration is key. It is really hard to make sustainable change without including diverse voices. I mean diverse in many ways – geographic representation, diversity in expertise, and diversity in political affiliation are all important in finding solutions to our greatest problems. Being collaborative is much more difficult than just paving your own way and trying to be the loudest voice in the room, but it’s always well worth the work.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone new to the nonprofit industry?

Get out there and make connections. Working in a non-profit can sometimes feel like twice the work for half the pay and it is easy to burn out. Connecting with other professionals will help you problem solve, see your work from new angles, and most of all – give you a support network to help during those tough times.

What is one of the most satisfying things about working for a nonprofit?

I am so incredibly lucky to be able to say that what I do every day to pay the bills is also something I am deeply passionate about. It is a true privilege to feel like you spend your day working to make your community a better place.

Favorite Phoenix spot to grab lunch?

FEZ on Central is one of my longtime favorites. Even their side salad is delicious! You can’t go wrong with their rosemary and garlic fries, either. Kisras, burgers sandwiches, salads…all of it is super delicious and their wait staff is amazing!

What are you doing when you’re not making a difference in the community?

I am big fan of Arizona’s growing wine industry. I love to travel to Wilcox and the Verde Valley to take tours, do tastings and learn about viticulture. I am a big music fan, so I love seeing bands downtown or going The Phoenix Symphony. I’ve started practicing screen printing at home, which is really fun and really messy. I also have a poorly kept blog that I intend to work on.

Favorite professional development resource? (book, website, podcast, web series, etc.)

I have to plug the AZ K12 Center’s podcast 3 Ps in a Pod. For those of you who work in the education world, whether you’re a practitioner or an advocate, this is a great source of information.

What other organizations/programs are you involved in?

I mentor with New Pathways for Youth, a program that matches adults with high-risk youth to help steward them through the challenges of life. I am also a member of a book club that has chapters worldwide called the Feminist Fight Club (we don’t actually fight).

Not a member of YNPN Phoenix yet? Learn more about the benefits and become a member today by filling in the donation form on our membership page!