Spotlight on Success

ONE Community’s annual awards event to spotlight local heroes

By Liz Massey, October 2015 Issue.

Last year, ONE Community’s Spotlight on Success luncheon fell on Oct. 17, the day that marriage equality came to Arizona, and some of the very first legal same-sex weddings in the state were conducted at the event.

Spotlight_Support1This year, according to ONE Community co-founder and president Angela Hughey (pictured), the fifth annual event will reflect on the landmark victories that the LGBT community has experienced and discuss what will be needed to bring full equality to all Arizonans.

The luncheon will take place Oct. 16 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown hotel, and will be followed by a cocktail hour to allow additional networking.

The event will honor six individuals – five who are receiving a “Local Hero” award, and one who will receive the Change Agent award (see sidebar for a full list of the honorees).

According to Hughey, the event’s theme is “faith, family and socially responsible businesses.” Each element of the theme will be demonstrated in the storylines of the honorees, which attendees will learn about through videos that will be played at the event. And as far as faith was concerned, Hughey explained that ONE Community is not just honoring members of faith communities that had shown support for Arizona’s LGBT community, but rather, “It’s the faith that we have in each other to participate in this ongoing conversation about equality that’s proven to be really important this year.”

The revenue garnered from the event will underwrite training and education efforts focused on workplace equality executed by the ONE Community Foundation, Hughey said, adding that such efforts continue to be needed, even though marriage equality has become a reality nationwide.

“Seventy-three percent of Arizonans think we [LGBT people] already have employment protections, but we don’t in most parts of the state,” she said. “We’re having lots of cups of coffee educating municipalities and businesses … we need to take this message to the entire state.”

Hughey believes ONE Community’s programs to foster an inclusive business environment – such as the UNITY Pledge and the Change Agent program – are making progress and that the organization strives to be exceptionally welcoming to all who support the group’s aims. She added that the Spotlight on Success luncheon was significant to advancing workplace equality at the local level for the same reason.

“This is an impactful event,” Hughey asserted. “We can’t continue to work on economic development without the entire community’s support. This conversation is about every single one of us.”

For more information about ONE Community’s Spotlight on Success luncheon, or to order tickets, visit


The 2014 Spotlight on Success luncheon. Photos by Fernando Hernández.


ONE Community’s 2015 Spotlight on Success Honorees

Angela Creedon, associate vice president for community and municipal relations at Arizona State University

Annie Groth, Certified Family Business Specialist at MassMutual

Frank Salls, co-founder of HeartHook

Sharicka NuChurch and Donna McHenry

The Very Rev. Troy Mendez, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Nona Lee, senior vice president and general counsel, and Derrick Hall, President/CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Change Agent Award: Byrce and Sara Cook


A Word From The Winners 

“I am grateful to represent a company that believes there is room for everyone and that your life should be your way and to focus on what you value most!”

– Annie Groth, MassMutual

“While I am deeply humbled to receive this recognition, I accept it alongside the people of my congregation, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, who have worked tirelessly for decades to promote an environment of radical welcome and inclusion for the people of the city of Phoenix. This recognition makes me hopeful of a brighter tomorrow, where the people of Arizona see the intrinsic value of every person, and together we champion non-discrimination practices in every aspect of our common life together. The ONE Community, and all who will gather at the Spotlight on Success Awards continue to demonstrate that our dreams of full-inclusion for all people, including the LGBT community, are becoming a reality. I am truly grateful to all of you. Thank you.”

– The Very Rev. Troy Mendez, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral