PIÑA, KARYN

Karyn Piña, 58, passed away on Thursday, October 8, 2020. A third-generation Phoenician, Karyn was born on May 23, 1962 at Good Samaritan Hospital. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert, and is survived by her husband of 30 years, Ronnie, their sons Diego and Adrian, her mother Virginia (John) and brother Scott (Cara).

Karyn was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister and aunt. She was a consummate professional recognized for her elegant style, substance, and tenacity. She built a successful career that reflected her commitment to excellence, strong work ethic and fierce loyalty. She mastered the craft of fund development and capacity building, becoming one of the most nationally respected and admired fundraising professionals in the Latino non-profit sector.

Karyn’s early career included stints at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and the Tomás Rivera Center. She joined her close personal and professional ally, Arturo Vargas, at the NALEO Educational Fund and perfected her skills over the subsequent 25 years rising to the position of Chief Strategy Officer. Her leadership of the organization’s fund development and special events functions earned NALEO a reputation for exquisite taste, attention to detail and efficiency. She mentored and nurtured scores of young Latinas and Latinos and was a role model for many more across the country.

Karyn was a proud ASU Sun Devil where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and was a highly engaged student leader. Karyn departed from NALEO on two occasions to work for her beloved alma mater, most recently serving as an ASU Associate Vice President for Community Outreach and Engagement where she built a number of strategic initiatives and community partnerships advancing educational opportunities for all Arizona students.

Karyn had a passion for music, travel, art and European history. She loved watching football and was most comfortable sitting at home with a glass of wine and spending time with Ronnie.

It is impossible to measure the incredible impact that Karyn had on the lives of her family, friends and colleagues. Her beautiful smile and keen sense of humor could capture your attention and permeate your heart. She was impeccable in her manners and appearance; and carried herself with confidence and grace. Karyn personified the highest standard of integrity and professionalism.

A private memorial service will be scheduled in October. The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and condolences. In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to the NALEO Educational Fund at www.naleo.org. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.

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