Gold and Silver Gala

Architects of Change

There are, at the local, state, national, and international levels, individuals, unknown by the masses, whose life’s work has led to positive and transformational change. These architects of change are unsung heroes who are often hidden in plain sight. Their obscurity blinds many, especially young people, to all of the wonderful things that relatively unknown people can do to make our neighborhoods, cities, states, country and world a better place. Whether fighting health disparities, advocating for equity and inclusion, leveraging financial success to aid the less fortunate, or fighting educational inconsistencies, many Americans work successfully on behalf of progress, but their anonymity rarely allows for the replication of their path to success and benevolence.

Gold and Silver Gala

The Architects of Change Gold and Silver Gala will honor those individuals positively impacting their communities and will include dinner, special presentations, entertainment, dancing, and more. The Gala is not to be missed and will emerge as Phoenix's premier event honoring the Unsung Hero!

Vada Manager

Vada O. Manager, Architect of the Year

Having begun his career as a gubernatorial-appointed member of the Arizona Board of Regents that governed the state's approximately $800 million state university system while still an undergraduate, Vada O. Manager has long been respected as a premier strategist and businessperson.

Prior to forming the consultancy in 2009, Manager served as Senior Director, Global Issues Management for NIKE, Inc. with direct and indirect leadership responsibilities in the following areas: NIKE’s brand marketing/corporate communications (corporate & subsidiaries), global sourcing procedures, litigation support, athlete/product/corporate issue and crisis management. In assisting the company's global growth plans, Vada provided consultation to several of the company's key initiatives for on-line commerce ( and new acquisitions such as the Starter, Converse and Umbro brands. During his twelve year tenure, Nike's revenues grew from $6 billion to an $18 billion. Vada was also a member of NIKE'S Corporate Leadership Team - the company's most highly valued team of global executives.

Prior to Nike, Manager served in a similar capacity for Levi Strauss & Co. which also included direct engagement with then Executive Chairman Peter Haas and former Chairman & CEO Bob Haas. Manager has an extensive background in business strategy and sports/corporate/brand communications. His past professional affiliations and/or institutional clients include: former Secretary of the Interior and Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, Governor Rose Mofford, Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly (Washington, D.C.); Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour. He also served as Vice President of Public Finance for Young Smith & Peacock (now Wedbush Securities following a series of acquisitions) a NYSE registered brokerage and investment banking firm.

Manager is also a Senior Counselor with APCO Worldwide, a premier global business/communications consultancy based in Washington DC. He also serves on their International Advisory Council, comprised of former CEOs and senior diplomats -chaired by renowned diplomat Gov. Bill Richardson. Manager also serves on the board of directors for Ashland Inc., a $8 billion Fortune 500 global specialty chemical company headquartered in Kentucky. Manager is also active with the American Council on Germany and is a former member of the Arizona State University Alumni Council.; the Arizona Centennial Commission and the Center for the Study of the Presidency (Fellow). He has also appeared as a guest on CNBC, TODAY Show, CNN, ESPN, FOX and his thought-leading columns have appeared in Sports Business Journal and other publications.

He is the chairperson of a special advisory committee for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and also previously served on the Arizona State University Alumni Council. He is an inductee in the ASU Hall of Fame and was also named Sports Executive of the Year by Rainbow-PUSH.

Manager graduated from Arizona State University where he was inducted in the Hall of Fame (CLAS) in 1999. He also conducted graduate level fee research at the London School of Economics in the UK. As part of his community service, in 2006 Manager was invited to become a member of Sigma Pi Phi (Boule), a distinguished group of accomplished men whose community service includes youth mentorship and public service. He was inducted in the Gamma Mu chapter in Phoenix and now is part of the Epsilon chapter in Washington DC.

2014 Honorees:

Amanda Blackhorse

Roshawndra Carnes

Karen Callahan

Brittney Griner

Oskar Knoblauch

Adolfo Maldonado

RJ Shannon

Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 5:00pm

Talking Stick Resort; 9800 E. Indian Bend Road; Scottsdale, AZ 85250