SOURCE: Helios Education Foundation

October 05, 2006 21:30 ET

Paul J. Luna Named President of Helios Education Foundation

PHOENIX, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 5, 2006 -- The Board of Directors of the Helios Education Foundation (Helios) today announced that Paul J. Luna will become the Foundation's president effective November 15, 2006. Luna will report directly to Helios Chairman and CEO Vince Roig and provide the overall leadership, vision, direction and strategy for the foundation, its programs, projects and outreach.

Founded in 2004, Helios is a non-profit education foundation that supports initiatives that encourage participation, increase access, and enrich the learning experience leading to the successful completion of post-secondary education for Arizona and Florida residents. Its $600 million endowment, with anticipated annual grant budgets between $20 million and $30 million, makes it the largest education endowment fund in Arizona and one of the largest in Florida.

"Paul Luna is a distinguished and proven leader, whose passion and vision for improving education has already had an impact at both the local and national level," said Roig. "We are excited to bring his expertise and leadership to Helios as we continue to positively change the future of education in Arizona and Florida."

Luna joins Helios from Valley of the Sun United Way where he served as President since December 2001 and managed the organization's more than $50 million budget to meet the growing health and human service needs of Maricopa County, Arizona. Luna also served as the organization's senior vice president of Fund Distribution and Community Affairs from 1995 through 2001. Prior to the United Way, Luna's career encompassed government and corporate positions, including service under Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt's administration and executive positions at the IBM Corporation and Pepsi-Cola Company.

"I am honored by the opportunity to lead Helios and advance improvements in the education systems of Arizona and Florida," said Luna. "This is an unparalleled chance to impact students during the toughest period of their education -- middle school through high school -- and I look forward to enhancing the educational experience for students during this critical time."

In May 2006, Helios invested $10 million in the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation for the creation of the Helios-ACSF Scholars Fund to provide scholarships and mentoring to low income/high potential students to attend Arizona colleges and universities. Helios programs focus on what the Foundation calls "middle years" (7th - 12th grade), early childhood education and post secondary education initiatives. The Foundation expects to open an office in Tampa, Florida in early 2007.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation (Helios) is an education foundation headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, serving the citizens of Arizona and Florida with an endowment in excess of $600 million. Helios is dedicated to supporting initiatives that encourage participation, increase access, and enrich the learning experience leading to the successful completion of post-secondary education for Arizona and Florida residents. Helios is an outgrowth of the February 2004 conversion and reorganization of Southwest Student Services Corporation (Southwest), an Arizona not-for-profit corporation, and its not-for-profit affiliates, Arizona Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (AELMAC) and Florida Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (FELMAC). Southwest was a full service provider of student loan products and services to students, families and schools in Arizona, Florida and nationally. For more information, please visit www.helios.org.

Contact Information

  • For additional information:
    Thom Brodeur
    Brodeur
    (602) 743-7281
    Email Contact

    2415 E. Camelback Road
    Suite 500
    Phoenix, AZ 85016