A valley native, Thomas Barr currently works for Local First Arizona, a 501(c)6 and 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to strengthen our communities through connecting people to place through the many locally owned businesses throughout our state. Growing up in Glendale, attending high school in Phoenix, and currently residing in Tempe, Thomas is well invested in his community.

After graduating from ASU in 2010, Thomas worked for The Phoenix Zoo for 3 and 1/2 years assisting in managing the zoo’s donor database while working in the membership department. Now with Local First Arizona, Thomas oversees the entire membership process – including managing the database and technical systems, coordinating outreach to over 2500 new and renewing business members and overseeing membership recruitment and retention efforts. Thomas also speaks to different groups throughout the Arizona, presenting the history, mission and impact of the organization, while advocating the importance of the local movement and independent businesses.

Thomas recently joined YNPN – Phoenix to continue to advocate the importance of non-profits in our communities by connecting to other emerging non-profit leaders in Arizona. Locally owned business are proven to give higher percentages of charitable contributions to local charities in Arizona compared to non-local companies – a fact that many times gets overlooked.

Thomas has a huge passion for moving Arizona forward in a positive direction through advocating the cost and long-term impacts of our economic choices. Through his work at Local First Arizona, he hopes to continue to assist in developing a strong Arizona economy, while connecting more and more people to the place we are proud to call home.

What do you wish you knew before, that you know now?

Lot’s of interesting information about how differently foundations operate while still sharing similar functions. The size, structure and management of each foundation represented is very unique and it was intriguing to learn the differences conveyed by each panelist. It was also great to hear the reinforcement of the power of strong relationships being the driving force behind funding – something we all know to be true when doing business with anyone.