|Front Office Biographies|
Vice President, Corporate & Community Impact
Debbie Castaldo enters her ninth season with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, overseeing the organization's award-winning community efforts as Vice President, Corporate & Community Impact and Executive Director of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. Castaldo leads the team's industry-leading community relations efforts that have made charitable contributions exceeding $50 million to non-profit organizations throughout Arizona since 1997 on behalf of the D-backs and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.
In 2017, the D-backs will celebrate the impact of $50 million in charitable giving with a community, ballpark and online campaign that highlights the incredible non-profit organizations, projects and programs that are improving our communities and creating opportunities for our most at-risk children and families. In 2016, more than $5 million in charitable gifts were donated to Arizona organizations, making it the largest charitable impact year in team history. An additional $4 million in tickets, experiences, autographed items and team memorabilia were also contributed to support the community.
The D-backs Give Back efforts include the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation alongside team ownership, players, employees, corporate partners and fans.
The D-backs are aligned with corporate partners, players and fans and give back more each year than the combined totals of the other professional sports teams in Phoenix. In 2013, the D-backs were recognized with the Phoenix Business Journal's ACE Award for Community Impact as well as the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Impact Award as Community Champion. The D-backs also received a prestigious service award from the United Phoenix Firefighters for their efforts during the fire tragedy that claimed the lives of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. In 2010, the D-backs became the first professional sports team to win the inaugural 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award.
The D-backs' commitment to the community is demonstrated in unique programs including the D-backs Youth Jersey Program launched in 2014. The charitable program provides baseball jerseys and hats to youth baseball and softball leagues across the state. In 2017, with support from Western Refining, Fry's, and Tide, the D-backs Youth Jersey Program will expand to include nearly 100 leagues and 50,000 players and coaches from across Arizona.
Education is a top priority for Castaldo and the D-backs including the D-backs School Challenge presented by University of Phoenix. To date, the Foundation has awarded $650,000 to 130 winning schools from across Arizona. Additionally, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and Helios Education Foundation have donated more than $1 million to the D-backs - Helios Scholars Program, providing 4-year college scholarships to academically gifted students from economically disadvantaged circumstances. In addition to their scholarship, each student received a new laptop, bicycle, backpack and school supplies. The D-backs Science of Baseball presented by Chase and Insight is a comprehensive STEM initiative that uses baseball as the platform to teach science, technology, engineering and math.
Evening on the Diamond is the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation's signature annual event and has grown to rank as one of the largest fundraising events in the Valley according to the Phoenix Business Journal. The unique celebrity event is credited with raising millions each year to fund important project and programs in the community – including the Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Awards . Through the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, Castaldo and her team have overseen the implementation of more than 63 Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Awards, which are typically $100,000 grants for important community programs such as the Desert Mission Food Bank, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, Ability 360, Centers for Habilitation, GAP Ministries, Florence Crittenton, Kitchen on the Street, SARRC, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and many more. In 2016, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation renamed the Grand Slam Awards for D-backs managing general partner, Ken Kendrick, and awarded $1 million in Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Awards to 12 organizations at the Evening on the Diamond Fundraising event.
In 2012, the D-backs added the D-backs Celebrity Golf Classic which raises critical funds for veterans programs. To date, more than $600,000 has been raised and donated to local veterans initiatives. In 2013, the D-backs added the D-backs Race Against Cancer to an already impressive list of fundraisers. Additionally, the D-backs Give Back 50/50 Raffle, supported by Western Refining raised an impressive $1.55 million in 2016 - with funds supporting youth sports programs and outreach across the state.
During her tenure, community involvement with Corporate Partners has grown to include integrated philanthropic programs with APS, Chase, Dignity Health, Helios Education Foundation, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Sanderson Ford, University of Phoenix, Western Refining, Fry's Food Stores and Safelite Autoglass just to name a few.
Castaldo worked with President & CEO Derrick Hall to launch the Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation in 2014. In 2009, Castaldo worked alongside Luis Gonzalez to establish his "Going Gonzo for Kids." In 2014, she worked with Paul and Amy Goldschmidt to create Goldy's Fund for Kids supporting Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Castaldo, a tenured marketing, community relations and corporate partnerships executive, joined the D-backs prior to the 2009 season after four years at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. As Director of Philanthropic Innovation at St. Joseph's, she was responsible for strategic corporate and community partnerships, e-commerce and innovation strategies for the foundations supporting Arizona's largest hospital. Prior to joining St. Joseph's, Castaldo was the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Westcor Shopping Centers, where she secured a record number of corporate partnerships for the portfolio of shopping centers. She began her career in Arizona with Alltel, heading up marketing operations for the wireless company's Southwest region. As General Manager, Marketing at Alltel, her responsibilities included marketing, advertising, public relations, community affairs, sports marketing and product development.
Castaldo earned a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1992. Crowned Mrs. Arizona America in 2002, she is active in the community, she has served on the board of the Ronald McDonald House, US Airways Foundation, the Harmon Killebrew Foundation, and extensive committee and advisory roles including the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf, Florence Crittenton, Go Red For Women, Anti-Defamation League and many more. In 2011, Castaldo received the Heart of the House Award for her impact on Ronald McDonald House Charities. In 2008, Castaldo was named the YWCA's Woman of Distinction for her philanthropy work in the community.
Castaldo and her husband, Vince, live in Peoria with sons, Jake and Zack.
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