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The Alliance Staff
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Kristen Merrifield, CAE
Chief Executive Officer

Jacki Presnal
Office Manager & Executive Coordinator

Jennifer Blair
Director of Membership

Carl Jimenez
Communications Manager

Jennifer Purcell
Director of Community Engagement

Robin Hanson
Program Manager - AmeriCorps *VISTA

Kathleen Thomas
AmeriCorps VISTA Capacity Building

Jennifer Blair, Director of Membership 
602-279-2966 x20 

An original staff member of the Alliance, Jennifer re-joins our team after working in the insurance industry for four years. While enjoyable, her time in the insurance industry helped Jennifer re-discover her passion for nonprofits. As the Director of Membership, Jennifer plays a vital role in engaging members, connecting them to our benefits, and deepening relationships with our partner member supporters.

Robin HansonRobin Hanson, Program Manager - AmeriCorps *VISTA 
602-279-2966 x19 

Prior to joining the Alliance, Robin was with Arizona Citizens for the Arts where she managed the Business Volunteers for the Arts program. She spent over 20 years with Prudential Financial managing their employee volunteer program, sponsorships, and grant funding. She has served on the board of directors for Hands On Greater Phoenix, Phoenix Women’s Sports Association, and the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Robin’s first exposure to the VISTA program was in 1965, when two VISTA volunteers were sent to Parker, AZ, and lived with Robin’s family for their year of service.

Carl Jimenez, Communications Manager 
602-279-2966 x16

Carl joins the Alliance with a background in special events, marketing and advertising including stints at the Children's Museum of Phoenix and Radio Disney. A self-proclaimed "Disnerd" (Disney+Nerd), Carl combines his appreciation of a good visual spectacular with his interest in technology to create an animated light show synchronized to music at his north-Phoenix home each holiday season, which he uses to raise money for a local nonprofit. Carl is also one of the most awesome people you'd ever want to know, leaving everyone who meets him proclaiming "Carl Rocks!" Plus, he writes things for the Alliance website, like these bios for example.

Kristen Merrifield, CAE, Chief Executive Officer  
602-279-2966 x14

Kristen brings extensive leadership to the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits through her previous roles at the Arizona Small Business Association, the Arizona State University Foundation and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. She brings over 14 years of association and nonprofit knowledge and expertise to her role as Alliance CEO.

Kristen is an active participant in the business and nonprofit community serving as a productive member and Past President of the Arizona Society of Association Executives; member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); member of the ASAE Public Policy Committee; and member of the National Council of Nonprofits Membership Committee. She holds a BS in Business Management from Grand Canyon University; a Certificate in Association Management from ASAE and the prestigious designation of Certified Association Executive. Kristen is also a graduate of the ASU Lodestar Center’s Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy and the ASBA Executive Business Mentoring Program. She has dedicated her career to serving others and is a respected and well-rounded leader.

Jacki Presnal, Office Manager & Executive Coordinator 
602-279-2966 x10 

As Office Manager, Jacki wears several hats, including day-to-day management of the Alliance Member database of over 600 organizations. She also processes all incoming payments, manages donor data, and more, while providing outstanding customer service to all of our Member organizations. Before joining the Alliance, Jacki spent six years serving Arizona's homeless community by providing training, help desk support, and database management at HMIS, Homeless Management Information Systems. Before working in the nonprofit world full time, Jacki honed her special skill set in a variety of roles at Shurgard Storage where she was instrumental to the success of several large scale projects, including opening a national sales center for this multi-billion dollar company. The Alliance and its members are definitely lucky to have this "Jacki of all Trades" as part of the team.

Jennifer Purcell, Director of Community Engagement 
602-279-2966 x17 

Jennifer oversees the Alliance’s community outreach efforts including capacity building workshops, annual member meeting and fundraising. She is also responsible for managing Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online statewide giving campaign held in April each year. Prior to joining the Alliance, Jennifer was the Community Affairs Manager at BMO Harris Bank where she developed the annual philanthropic strategy and corporate giving program within Arizona, assisted executives with board engagement and built relationships with the nonprofit community. During her 16 years with the bank, Jennifer also organized annual employee volunteer programs, was Chair of its local diversity council and President of the bank’s young professionals group nationwide. Jennifer is a graduate of the Valley Leadership Institute Class 36 and served as Marketing Chair for the Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse (ICAN) during its inaugural years. Currently, she is an active member of the Monarch Council at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Kathleen Thomas, AmeriCorps VISTA Capacity Building 
602-279-2966 x22

Kathleen moved to Phoenix from upstate New York for a year of service through the AmeriCorps VISTA Program. She assists in building capacity for the Alliance. Kathleen recently graduated from SUNY Binghamton where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on marketing and management information systems. She is most excited to learn more about the nonprofit sector as well as further developing her skills.



The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is a proud participant in the Employers of National Service program and encourages other organizations to employ National Service Alumni. For more information visit

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