We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Padberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nancy, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
For my personal life and business, when we build a family or team on respect, trust and value for one another you create a high performance enivironment. When people live in fear or lack of confidence, you lose creativity, innovation and momentum. Whether leading an organization or a family, I want to create a healthy culture where we all can thrive. We support each other in challenging times and lift each other up in celebration for successes!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Catholic Education Arizona is a non-profit that raises funds from Individuals and Corporations that redirect their tax dollars to help children with education. We are fortunate to be in Arizona, only 27 states have this legislation to help underserved children with education. We jump out of bed each morning knowing we are changing lives, building families, communities and our future Arizona workforce! What sets us apart? Our talented, committed team and Board of Directors. We have had 44% growth in three years because of our high performance team, deep community relationships, digital marketing strategy and innovative technology. There are 65 firms likes ours in Arizona, we are the #1 Catholic school tuition organization and rank #1 or #2 of all sixty-five.

I mentioned innovation. Through digital marketing, data research and digital marketing geofencing we educate executives on how they can build the future work force. One of the best kept secrets in Arizona is our Corporate Tax Credits. Companies such as APS, GCU, Shea Homes, Lumen, Cigna, Earnhardt Auto Centers and hundreds more redirect taxes they already owe the state of Arizona to educate underserved children through Catholic Education Arizona. If you would like to learn more see our Impact Report, Testimonials and Podcasts on our website. www.ceaz.org

Growing up in Iowa, I learned about hard work – detasseling corn in the hot sun. I learned customer service selling Girl Scout Cookies, working at The Dairy Queen, Ellis Park Golf Course and The Iowa State Daily. I learned about team work as a collegiate golfer – how your individual performance affects a team of athletes. The foundation of my success is empathy and caring. I learned this in Catholic schools and reading several influential books when I was a teen: Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, and Viktor Frankl’s, “Man Search for Meaning” In Catholic schools we had service hours – we helped the elderly clean their windows, rake their leaves and shovel their driveways. I learned by helping others it felt good, I felt accomplished and that I made a difference.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the people on this journey with me. Surround yourself with people who care. Success is a team sport. My father always believed in education, from the time I was young. He also had a positive attitude and can-do spirit. Yes, he worked hard, but he also created new opportunities with the relationships he built on trust and talent. My professor in business school where I earned my MBA, Pepperdine University, Dr. Miriam Lacey taught me how to build a healthy culture and high performance team by treating people with respect. My husband, David who is my confidant and trusted advisor on leadership, sales and team work. My daughter Nina, who is wise beyond her years and understands me. My colleague and COO, Deb Preach, who gives wise counsel and sage advice on a daily basis and my Board Chairs the past three years, Melissa Fees and Todd Bankofier, who have spent countless hours with me sharing their expertise, insights and knowledge.

Lessons I have learned, be grateful, be thoughtful, be patient, listen to learn not to respond, think before you speak, stay positive, stay calm, help others reach their goals and dreams. Living in gratitude (and faith) reminds me to appreciate all things, even the challenges. We grow from challenges. If we aren’t growing, then we are going backwards. I also realize I am in a position to affect my associates’ lives – either positively or negatively. I would much rather be remembered for how I helped them grow, stretch and achieve accomplishments they never thought they could.

Lastly, believe in yourself and never give up. If you have a dream or goal, start now. You’ll be one step closer to fulfilling it. From my early days of detasseling corn in Iowa to living and working in media and marketing in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Seattle, San Francisco and Phoenix to CEO. I have built a life I love. It takes faith, education, commitment and sacrifice. The key is to never stop learning and always be grateful.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Favorite places in the city include an evening at The Desert Botanical Garden, golf or spa and lunch at The Arizona Biltmore’s Spire Bar and dinner on the patio or wine cellar at Lons Hermosa Inn. We love to walk in the Biltmore neighborhood, its green and filled with beautiful trees and flowers and lovely golf course winding through gorgeous homes.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dedication to many people along my journey, my father for his belief in education, support of my dreams and positive attitude. To my husband, confidant, advisor and best friend who listens and provides insightful feedback. To my Pepperdine University MBA professors, who taught me leadership. purpose and service while creating a healthy culture. To my team at Catholic Education Arizona, for believing in our mission, vision, my leadership style and healthy culture who give their best each and every day.

Website: www.ceaz.org

Instagram: CatholicEducationArizona

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy1/

Twitter: @NancyPadberg

Facebook: Catholic Education Arizona

Image Credits
Photos on my camera Headshot – Billy Hardiman

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