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Friendly House Announces New President & CEO

CEO Announcement Press Release


Friendly House, Inc.

Friendly House Board Appoints Avein Saaty-Tafoya as new President & CEO

Phoenix, Arizona, August 1, 2023.

Friendly House announced today that Avein Saaty-Tafoya has been appointed new President & CEO of the 103-year nonprofit. An experienced nonprofit leader in Phoenix, Ms. Saaty-Tafoya will succeed Jerry Mendoza and assume responsibilities on August 1.

After five years as President & CEO, Mr. Mendoza is retiring. Mr. Mendoza reflects, “It has been an honor working with the team at Friendly House and I am thankful for the opportunity to give back to an organization that helped my family over 50 years ago. My tenure as CEO has been the highlight of my career working for the Community.”

From Friendly House Board Chair Linda Mascari,” We are beyond grateful for Jerry’s strong leadership and guidance, particularly during the pandemic. His commitment to and understanding of Friendly House’s 100+ year impact in the community was evident and not only helped keep this organization stable amidst turbulent times, but also inspired hope to thrive in our next century of service. “

Ms. Saaty-Tafoya has more than 25 years of non-profit leadership experience, with a specific focus on providing integrated healthcare to underrepresented populations. She has a proven track record in providing dynamic leadership, corporate governance and securing impactful funds. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director for the Institute for Mental Health Research and before that, President & CEO of Adelante Healthcare for 13 years. Ms. Saaty-Tafoya holds an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix, and a BA in Biology from Capital University.

Ms. Saaty-Tafoya’s family were refugees, moving from Kurdistan to the United States after spending time in a refugee camp and a brief time in Germany. She brings empathy and understanding from her lived experience to the role at Friendly House. She identifies strongly with the mission of Friendly House to empower Arizona communities through education and human services, possessing a deep understanding and experience working to improve the lives of underrepresented populations.

ABOUT FRIENDLY HOUSE: As one of Arizona’s pioneer social service agencies, Friendly House was first established in 1920 as part of a local initiative to assist immigrants in acquiring the citizenship, education, and literacy skills

necessary to acculturate into the United States. In 100+ years, Friendly House has evolved into a multi-service organization with wide-ranging programs aimed at addressing the pressing needs of our diverse community: Education, Workforce Development, Family Support, Basic Needs, and Immigration.

Media Contact:

Rebecca Swille

Business & Community Development Manager



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