Freedom From Religion Foundation – Valley of the Sun Chapter
Board of Directors
With a professional background in volunteer engagement and a personal commitment to living humanist values, Mars brings their experience supporting progressive nonprofit organizations to the Freedom From Religion Foundation Valley of the Sun Chapter.
After a childhood upbringing in Christianity, followed by a relatively non-traumatic deprogramming, Mars identified as an atheist from an early age. Always a bit of an activist at heart, Mars quickly found a home with the secular community after joining the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix as the volunteer coordinator.
Mars was recognized with HSGP’s Helen Goldsmith Memorial Award in 2020 and now sits on the HSGP board as the Service and Participation director. The recipient of GO Humanity’s Heart of Humanism 2022 Outstanding Leader award, Mars was acknowledged for the community service events and food security projects they support locally. Mars is a member of Secular Coalition for Arizona and a regular volunteer at information tables.
Combining their love for reading and passion for volunteerism, Mars serves as the Professional Development Book Club Specialist with the Association of Volunteer Administrators of Central Arizona. Mars is an enthusiastic participant as Sergeant at Arms in Arizona’s first LGBTQ+ Toastmasters Club, continually improving their public speaking skills to inspire and uplift others.
If Mars isn’t busy volunteering, you can often find them in the stacks of a public library or wandering along a forest creek.
Whit has held secular values his entire adult life. Even before he discovered there was a label for his belief system — Humanism. He was an early member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the AHA, and is currently Chair of the Secular Coalition for Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and philosophy from CMU. He is a retired Air Traffic Controller and currently owns two small businesses in Phoenix.
Janet serves as Secretary on the Board of FFRF-VS. She is new to the secular community having retired within the last year after nearly 40 years as a public servant working initially in social services and the Judiciary in Missouri and for the Arizona Supreme Court. Janet’s most recent position was Clerk of the Arizona Supreme Court. While in Missouri, Janet served as a member of the Jefferson City Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors and was also a Big Sister volunteer. Janet holds a master’s degree in Social Work with an emphasis in planning and administration and is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management.
Philip serves as Treasurer and Governance Committee Chair on the Board of FFRF-VS, and is the FFRF Arizona State Representative. In the past he served as the Mayor of Greendale, Missouri and on several non-profit boards including the University of Missouri Alumni Association, the Arizona Quality Alliance and the Harris Park Homeowners’ Association. He was a volunteer with the Valley Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization and an adjunct professor for the National Graduate School. Philip retired after thirty years as a senior manager with the Boeing Company and its various subsidiaries. He holds an MBA in technology management, a bachelor of science in physics, and a bachelor of fine art in design.
Debbi was on the board of Freethought Arizona from 2017 through 2022. She was also the liaison to the Secular Student Alliance club at the U of Arizona, and handled Facebook for Freethought. She was active in the SSA group for many years, helping with publicity and funding. Though not an official advisor, but was in practice, as the faculty advisors for that time were not active. She has attended two national SSA conferences with officers.
Jarad recently became a board member for our Valley of the Sun chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. While deconstructing his former religious beliefs he came across Dan Barker’s book, Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One Of America’s Leading Atheists. Soon after he joined FFRF, learning from the many resources they offer and participating in its cause. Through volunteering with the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, he became aware of our local chapter and some of the board members. Jarad works as an airline pilot and has a master’s degree in aviation science and a bachelor’s degree in business management. He has been living in Phoenix for five years with his wife, three boys, and their dog.