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Two new hires join program & community engagement team


ACF staff member Sarah Liguori.

The Arizona Community Foundation is pleased to announce Sarah Liguori and Nicolas de la Fuente joined its program and community engagement team. Liguori, who started October 11, is the Senior Director of Impact Investing, while de la Fuente joined ACF as a Community Program Officer, specializing in place-based initiatives, part-time, on September 26,. He will begin full-time on November 1.

Sarah Liguori will oversee ACF’s three impact loan programs: the Affordable Housing Predevelopment Loan Fund; Community Impact Loan Fund; and the ACF/USDA Rural Development Loan Fund. Through March 2022, the three funds have deployed more than $28.2 million in recyclable capital across the state. In her new role, Liguori will be sourcing loans, managing the loan application and review processes, servicing loans, reviewing loan underwriting, and other related activities. She will work closely with the ACF Board’s Community Impact Investment Committee to present loans for approval, provide regular status reports on all loan funds, and create detailed financial and community impact reports.

Prior to ACF, Liguori served in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she was the State Representative for Legislative District 28 (now LD 5). She was a member of the Commerce and Government Elections committees where she focused on issues including water/environment, housing, consumer finance protection, education/childcare, healthcare, and equity. Prior to serving as a state representative, Liguori was the Director of Operations for New Way Development where she managed infill redevelopment properties in Tucson and Benson. Liguori also served as a Financial Advisor for BMO Harris Bank and Northwestern Mutual from 2010 to 2017.

In addition to her legislative and financial background, Liguori has a deep knowledge of fundraising and the nonprofit community. She serves on several community boards and volunteers with Local First Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum, Women’s Metropolitan Art Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Salvation Army.

Liguori received her bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Arizona and studied International Studies in Business at Lorenzo de Medici University in Florence, Italy.

Nicolas de la Fuente collaborates with diverse leaders and stakeholders on issues such as food security and comprehensive community wellbeing to further ACF’s impact across Arizona. De la Fuente works across the organization to align grantmaking with programs, initiatives, and donor engagement strategies.

De la Fuente came to ACF from Neuro Strategies, which he founded in 2021. His work at Neuro Strategies included collaborating with the TigerMountain Foundation to manage the Phoenix-based Nina Mason Pulliam Audubon Center along the Rio Salado. He provided consulting expertise for the Arizona Economic Recovery Center, an initiative of Local First Arizona, and launched the first outdoor summit on climate change working with the city of Phoenix, Roosevelt School District, community leaders, and seven leading grassroots and policy nonprofit organizations. He was also the Co-Founder and Director of Spaces of Opportunity, a 19-acre urban agriculture and community wellness project in South Phoenix.

De la Fuente holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University and a Master’s in Human Rights Research: US Foreign Policy in Latin America from Arizona State University, and spent two years working on food security issues in Guatemala with the U.S. Peace Corps.