On behalf of the Duet Board of Directors, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Ann Wheat as Executive Director, effective June 12. We know many of you have been following our leadership transition over the past few months, and we greatly appreciate your support, dedication, and investment in making this transition such a positive one.
Ann was selected for this role after serving as Duet’s interim executive director since March, following the departure of Elizabeth Banta, who retired from the organization after 23 years of dedicated service. An extensive search-and-interview process was conducted by a search committee that received a vast response from the job opening and felt fortunate to have had such a rich pool of qualified candidates. Ann’s deep passion for and understanding of the organization, and her respected partnerships with key stakeholders, paired with her forward-thinking strategic vision, made her the clear choice to boldly lead Duet into the future.
“The Duet Board of Directors is thrilled to have Ann Wheat as our new executive director,” says Board President Patty Park. “The board has invested significant time in evaluating Duet internally and gaining clarity about the leadership Duet needs for its next phase. Ann clearly demonstrated her vision and aspiration as interim, and the board is fully confident in her ability to propel the organization forward as executive director.”
In the executive director position, Ann will be responsible for the overall direction and leadership of Duet and its four service areas. “I feel like all of my professional and volunteer experience has prepared me well for this opportunity,” Ann says. “My personal life experience of living with and caring for aging family members has given me a passion and a sense of urgency for the important work Duet does.”
An Arizona native, Ann’s passion for Duet dates back two decades. She served on the Duet Board of Directors from 1999-2005 and began her position as the Director of Caregiver Services in December 2015. As Director of Caregiver Services for Duet, Ann was instrumental in securing the largest grant in the organization’s history from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Ann also was at the helm growing family caregiver services by 20% annually, even when faced with budget cuts. She says that she is most proud of her work on Finding Meaning and Hope, a video discussion series for family caregivers that is poised to potentially become a statewide-and-national model in family caregiver support.
“I am never happy with the status quo,” Ann shares. “What Duet does is crucial to maintaining quality of life for those we serve—especially family caregivers, grandparents, homebound adults, and the community at large. As the new executive director, I’m excited to work with a team of professionals and volunteers at my side who collectively bring creative ideas and skill sets to help move Duet forward.”
Ann’s career spans public and nonprofit sectors, with a focus on improving the quality of life for underserved populations. She retired in 2014 from the City of Phoenix where she most recently served as Acting Deputy Director. Her philanthropic career began as a volunteer where she founded one of the first summer camps in the nation for children with cancer, Arizona Camp Sunrise, and more recently, Arizona Lost Boys Center, a nonprofit helping Phoenix’s 500 Sudanese refugee war orphans successfully acculturate to life in a modern society. She received Arizona’s top volunteer award, the Hon Kachina, in 2012, and the Martin Luther King Junior Living the Dream Award in 2002.
Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Ann to her new position. We hope you will join us at an upcoming Discover Duet, which is an excellent opportunity to see our mission come alive and hear from Ann about Duet’s vision, in a one-hour tour. Meanwhile, thank you for your continued support. Together, we will soar to new heights in providing compassion, dignity, and hope throughout our community.