Our team of Inspired Associates include creatives, strategists and event gurus.

CHIEF CONNECTOR

Rhonda Bannard

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Some have called her “cupid” for her talent in connecting like-minded people, groups and organizations trying to achieve the same results. Making connections come easy when an unrelenting passion for impact backs it up.

This high-energy dynamo offers strategic insights and expertise to social impact organizations and businesses in social responsibility, collaborative partnerships, community relations, marketing, communications, program and event development and coordination, strategic planning, fund development, branding and positioning, media relations, speech and image coaching and board and leadership development.

When life necessitated a change to ensure her relationship with her then two young children was front and center, Rhonda began her entrepreneurial efforts of serving nonprofits, organizations, individuals and businesses. A few years into her business, a variety of client and personal experiences led to a moment of clarity and a rebranding of her efforts. Inspired Connections was born to give a refined focus to what really matters in life and work – relationships.

Rhonda’s passion and commitment focused on helping people and organizations realize the importance of leveraged connections in business and the greater community. It continues with supporting individuals in their personal hopes for success. Whether she’s gathering a group of dynamic business and community women at a monthly gathering she’s been hosting for more than 10 years, or making connections on the fly, her focus on helping others realize their potential impact is front and center.

Tapping the varied experiences of a few decades of work and adventures, Rhonda adeptly meshes her past with her inspired and informed inputs. This creates her unique ability to see trends, connect dots and guide people and organizations down a path that is relevant and workable for their needs. While practical, she never shies from pushing boundaries – and that includes personal comfort zones or business silos. This actually led her to push for and win unanimous support for a unique community gathering place in downtown Phoenix. Creating a platform to showcase all the amazing talent and offerings in the state and focus on demonstrating innovative ideas for the change the community needs was part  of the mix. Despite amassing hundreds of collaborative partners from tech to artists, the city ultimately moved in a different direction.

This kind of unique thinking is embedded in Inspired Connections, taking the traditional marketing and PR efforts and adding in meaningful twists to highlight important relationships to best serve those groups who seek to change leaders. Inspiring social responsibility and enhanced relationship development are central themes.

Before running her own company, Rhonda’s life included supporting the metro-Phoenix business sector at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce where she served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. She was also part of the early urban revitalization of Phoenix’s downtown while at the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, supporting marketing initiatives, retailer needs and public/private partnerships toward the center city’s renaissance. Prior to those leadership positions, Rhonda managed communications efforts for the March of Dimes after kick-starting her early career in the Television news business.

Rhonda devotes a great deal of her volunteer leadership or social time to exploring urban cores or serving on boards. During her stint as board chair of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, she helped launch Arizona Gives Day. She counsels political candidates, CEOs, professional boards of directors, people looking for change in their careers, and other leaders. She is often called on to speak, train, facilitate and emcee on various topics and issues.

Rhonda is a passionate connector, cheerleader, community builder, advocate, nudge, confidante, and dedicated, creative and responsible partner to help you navigate your way to the change your business, organization and the world deserves and demands.  

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Louann Phillips

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Louann Phillips (originally Louann Watson) brings passion, caring and tenacity to her role as Senior Associate with Inspired Connections. Shortly after graduating with BA in Organizational Communications from ASU in 1991, she has either worked for or consulted with nonprofits throughout the Greater Phoenix area.

Louann and Rhonda first met when she took an administrative role at the Downtown Phoenix Partnership while pursuing her Masters. Later she replaced Rhonda in the Marketing Manager position and later joined Rhonda at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce where they tag teamed on all things marketing, PR, while Rhonda also steered all the major events. Their inspired connection was solidified and they’ve worked together on and off since 1994.

Louann has also served as the Events Manager for Goodwill of Central Arizona and is an events consultant at The Phoenix Symphony. She has developed and managed events for nonprofits such as Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE), Association for Supportive Childcare and Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Louann believes events can be a magic elixir for nonprofits if done right. She loves every aspect of the event planning process because every event is unique. And yes, dear Watson, she’s the detail diva you desire when your organizations success is on the line. She thrives on conquering challenges and revels in the successful results with her clients as if it was her own.

In her spare time, Louann loves to frequent local restaurants and shops with her daughters. She volunteers at her children’s school, at her church and if there is still time, she can be found volunteering for a community event.