Duet: Partners In Health & Aging Welcomes Ann Wheat as New Executive Director
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The board of directors at Duet: Partners In Health & Aging is delighted to announce the appointment of Ann Wheat as the organization’s new executive director. 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.
“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: family caregiver services, volunteer services for homebound adults, services for grandparents raising grandchildren and kinship caregivers, and congregational health.
“I feel like all of my professional and volunteer experience has prepared me well for this opportunity,” Ann Wheat 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. In that role, 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 Wheat 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.