A Stepping Stone Foundation Blog

A Stepping Stone Foundation hires new Executive Director


PHOENIX, AZ   The board of directors of A Stepping Stone Foundation (Foundation) is honored to announce that Gabriela Jimenez will serve as the nonprofit’s new Executive Director beginning July 10, 2023.  Jimenez replaces retiring Executive Director Cindy Gattorna, whose last day with the Foundation will be September 30, 2023.

Jimenez brings 26 years of experience in the education field to the Executive Director position. She has worked at ASU for 20 years serving the university in various roles, including Financial Aid Counselor, Student Advocacy Coordinator, and Assistant to the Dean of Students. She also ran First Star ASU Academy, a program that provides foster youth the support, enrichment, and resources needed to enroll and succeed in college. Throughout all her professional experiences, Jimenez’s passion has been to inspire and motivate students to pursue and succeed in education as well as coordinate with other areas of the community and the university to promote access to higher education and reduce obstacles for students and their families. Originally from El Paso, TX, Jimenez has lived in Phoenix since 2002.

“Cindy has tirelessly served our community for 22 years and her tenure as Executive Director has proven invaluable to the impact, growth, and longevity of the Foundation,” says A Stepping Stone Foundation Board President, Patricia Davis. “We wish Cindy a well-deserved and enjoyable retirement and look forward to a new chapter with Gabriela as our Executive Director. Gabriela’s skills, experience, and passion will ensure that the Foundation continues to positively impact the lives of the children and families that we serve.”

In her new role, Jimenez takes over leadership of the Foundation’s flagship family literacy program, a robust scholarship program, and much more. Jimenez states, “I am looking forward to joining A Stepping Stone Foundation and continuing the work Cindy has led over the last 22 years. I am most excited to work with the community to provide access and the resources our families need to succeed.”