Support VVS

VVS Foundation Board

THE VERDE VALLEY SCHOOL FOUNDATION AND THE ENDOWMENT FUND

The Verde Valley School Foundation (the Foundation or VVSF) is a separate entity from Verde Valley School (VVS). Like VVS, the Foundation is an incorporated, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to financially support the School.

The sole mission of the Foundation is to build and maintain an endowment fund for the purpose of ensuring the School’s long term financial health. The Foundation is governed by an independent board of trustees, although three of its members also serve on the board of trustees of the School.

For so many of us, our lives have been deeply touched by our connection to VVS —  enduring memories, life-lessons, friendships… and the indelible image of those amazing red rocks. The school’s ongoing vision of helping to create useful citizens for an interconnected, cooperative world is more important than ever.

The VVSF endowment fund will both help carry that vision forward and gives to us, friends and family of VVS, a meaningful opportunity to become part of a powerful and important legacy that will endure far beyond our own lifetimes.

Donors wishing to prioritize the School’s immediate needs should give to the Annual Fund of Verde Valley School. The focus of the Foundation is on planned giving to support the sustainability of the school into the future. Planned giving can include bequests in wills, annuities, insurance policies, and gifts of stock. At present, stock gifts will be sold and invested in low cost socially responsible index funds unless the donor specifies otherwise. As the endowment grows, it will be able to provide additional monies for the annual fund or special projects while leaving the principal intact.

If you wish to donate to the Foundation, checks can be sent c/o Business Office, Verde Valley School, 3511 Verde Valley School Road, Sedona, AZ 86351. It is important that the check is made out to Verde Valley School Foundation. 

We cannot currently accept credit card payments but if you wish to make a direct deposit to our Chase account or make a gift of appreciated stock, please contact our business office at the main school number. We always want to show appreciation to our donors and ensure you receive a letter acknowledging your tax-deductible contribution.

Lastly, but very importantly, if you wish to make a bequest to the Verde Valley School Foundation in your will, sample language would be “I leave (specify donation) to Verde Valley School Foundation, 3511 Verde Valley School Road, Sedona, AZ 86351”. Depending on the state you reside in, your attorney may want to include additional language in the gift instrument.
If you wish to further discuss planned giving, please reach out to any member of the Foundation board to discuss the various ways that you can participate. The business office can supply contact information.


Foundation Board Members

Amie Rodnick, '71


Board of Trustees & VVS Foundation Board President

Amie Rodnick is a 1971 four year graduate of VVS. She has two grown sons and lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Larry Smith. Amie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 and the University of Texas School of Law in 1978. After obtaining her law degree, Amie spent five years working as an assistant attorney general practicing nonprofit law. For the past 30 years, she has been in private practice and currently limits her practice to mediation and collaborative law. She is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and holds the highest mediator credentials from the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. In addition to her VVS board chair position, Amie serves on the board of directors of the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, the Travis County Women Lawyers Scholarship Fund, and Jane’s Due Process. She has served as a past board chair of Meals on Wheels, Eanes Education Foundation, and the family law section of the Travis County Bar Association. In her spare time she enjoys travel, downhill skiing, and hiking.

Andy Coville, '76

VVS Foundation Board

Andy is the CEO of Brodeur Partners and develops global communications campaigns for organizations in the business-to-business, consumer products and healthcare markets. Her agency’s client roster has included the American Cancer Society (ACS), IBM, MasterCard, Corning, Phillips, RIM (Blackberry), Bio, Vertex, 3M and GE Plastics.

While she’s been with Brodeur for more than 20 years she claims she’s always harbored a hidden desire to be a veterinarian.  She stays healthy by chasing her socially awkward, escape-prone dog, Duke, all around the neighborhood. In her spare time, she also runs half marathons.

Beth Weber, '78

VVS Foundation Board

Beth (Strausberg) Weber attended Verde Valley School from 1976 to 1978. Now retired, Beth served for more than 20 years in a senior development capacity focused on fundraising, marketing and communications for nonprofit organizations such as The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, The Mental Health Association, Easter Seals, Happy Hearts Fund and the acclaimed French humanitarian organization Medecines du Monde (Doctors of the World).

Beth studied nursing at the University of Arizona with a concentration in women’s health and has taken her passion for social issues to the many organizations that she has worked with over the years.

In addition to her work for nonprofits, Beth has also been active in organizations such as The Morris County Chamber of Commerce and has served in a leadership role in both civic and political organizations including a pivotal role in fundraising for a Congressional candidate during the 2018 midterm election.

Beth resides in New Jersey with her husband Mitchell and dog Charley. She is the Mother of three daughters and has four grandchildren.

Chris Horner, '71

VVS Foundation Board

After graduation from VVS in 1971, Chris attended and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1976 in architecture/environmental design. He worked in Hollywood as a set-designer in film and tv, eventually becoming a production designer (head designer) by 1987. Between ’87 and 2006, he split time between Paris and California, writing and directing non-fiction tv programming for various French tv channels, including a documentary about Tuvalu, a tiny South Pacific nation threatened by climate change. Most recently, Chris has been a consultant on various film, business and environmental/sustainability projects, and is a partner in Cinetransformer International, a manufacturer and operator of mobile digital movie theatres with offices in Mexico City, Miami and Sao Paolo. Chris speaks French and Spanish and has served on the VVS Foundation board since 2013. Chris currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with life-partner Ellen Strickland and miniature labradoodle Minnie, the wonder dog.

Deryn Warren, '62

VVS Foundation Board

Deryn Warren, who grew up at VVS as one of the founder’s five children, has directed feature films and theater. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence and was a directing fellow at the American Film Institute. She teaches and coaches professional actors in Los Angeles, and is the author of How To Make Your Audience Fall in Love With You, recommended by Harvard and UCLA and the head of casting of HBO.

Jim Higdon, '88

VVS Foundation Board Secretary

A 1988 graduate of VVS, Jim joined the Board of Trustees in 2009 through 2013, and later became a Foundation Board member in 2016.  Jim is currently the co-founder and Senior Vice President of Information Strategy for Vendor Direct Solutions, a company that was formed in 2007 to provide technical and staffing solutions for law firms.  He has over 15 years experience leveraging technology within information governance programs based on the concept that a sophisticated and successful information governance program should be built on a framework that emphasizes access, flexibility and usability.

Jim believes he found VVS at the lowest point in his life but left full of confidence and a desire to know the world better; and that VVS saved his life.  While on a VVS Field Trip, Jim lived with a Mexican family and was inspired to become a fluent Spanish speaker and translator in South America.  He met his husband, who is getting ready to practice medicine in the US, in Brazil in 2009. They now both live in North Hollywood enjoying sustainable gardening, animals and the outdoors.

Jim Hurd, '71

VVS Foundation Board

Jim Hurd lives in San Francisco and for the last 17 years has been building powerful strategic alliances. He works with leading start-up companies in breakthrough cleantech, nanotech, and digital startups, partnering with Fortune 100 corporations, investors and with government innovation initiatives. He grew up in Washington DC and has worked with US-China technology and cultural exchanges for the past twelve years.

John Kenney, '77

VVS Foundation Board

John graduated from VVS in 1977 and continued to UC Berkeley and Berkeley Law, including a year at University of Grenoble.  He specializes in development and finance of power projects – wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, natural gas and fuel cell.  Retired in 2014 from partnership in a 30-office, 2000-lawyer firm, John now works about one-third-time on whatever is engaging, including for Pacific Gas and Electric Company on the California High Speed Rail Project, and on assorted renewable-energy deals.

Four excellent kids, the first batch of 3 grown-up and thriving, the 4th in middle school and obsessing on “Riverdale”, whatever that is.  As well, a lovely, talented and funny wife who teaches him the Spanish he didn’t fully appreciate while at VVS.

John is psyched to help launch the Endowment of Verde Valley School Foundation, as perpetual, inviolable, support of the School.  It’s the right time, with the School’s current world-class leadership and vision, and a superb team on the Foundation Board.

Phil Noyes, '84

VVS Foundation Board

Phil has been a Producer/Director in Los Angeles for over twenty-five years, most notably producing over 1000 episodes of the popular PBS series, “California’s Gold”, ”California’s Green”, “Road Trip” and “Visiting with Huell Howser”. He also produced and directed the documentary “Women in Boxes”, which uncovers the secret world of magicians’ assistants.

Phil’s great love is vintage travel trailers.  He wrote and produced a one-hour national PBS special, “Mobile America”, and wrote the books “Trailer Travel, A Visual History of Mobile America” and “Trailerama”. Both the books and film uncover the history of the RV in America. He has three vintage trailers in his tiny backyard and a very patient wife.

Richard Greenberg, '71

President, Board of Trustees & Foundation Trustee

Executive Committee Head

Richard Greenberg is a father of four and the author of “Raising Children That Other People Like to be Around”. A native of Los Angeles, California, Richard attended Verde Valley School from 1967 to 1971. While at VVS, Richard learned the value of community, hard work, and intercultural understanding. Following Verde Valley, Greenberg graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in English and immediately went to work as the personal assistant to Art Garfunkel. Choosing to stay in Los Angeles and marry his childhood sweetheart, Richard became active in the television industry while he and his wife, JoAnn, began building their family. Three sons and one gorgeous, intelligent, and flawless daughter later, the Greenbergs were regularly asked how they got “such good kids.” In response, Richard wrote “Raising Children That Other People like to be Around.” His objective was to offer logical, common sense guidelines for people creating their own families and to help young parents, especially mothers, understand a father’s point of view.
 

Tammy Stanton, '88

VVS Foundation Board 

Tammy Stanton, VVS Class of 1988, is an Executive Vice President at ExED, a non-profit back office provider for charter schools in Southern California. Tammy’s role is that of a full service CFO and she oversees the business operations for select charter school clients. Prior to joining ExED in 2006, she served as the treasurer for Ocean Charter School and was involved in all aspects of budgeting and accounting for the school. In 2012, Tammy joined the Loyola Marymount University School of Education as a lecturer and teaches a graduate level course to education leaders on the knowledge concepts and current practices in the management of business functions in public education.

Wendi Bell

VVS Foundation Board

Verde Valley School is a co-educational, International Baccalaureate boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12.