Robert Sarver – Promoting Excellence & Equity for All
May 13, 2019 by change3media
Robert Sarver, managing partner of the Phoenix Suns, will serve as dinner chair for this year’s 55th Annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Awards Dinner.
Sarver, an Arizona native and Valley resident, is a successful businessman and a committed philanthropist, husband and father with a lifelong passion for basketball, the Suns, the state of Arizona. In 2004, Sarver became the majority owner of one of the NBA’s model franchises and during the last 15 years under Sarver’s leadership, the Suns have enjoyed great success on the court. His tenure includes three appearances in the Western Conference Finals and two of the three 60-win seasons in the franchise’s 50-year history.
Guided by his stated mission, the Suns and Mercury organizations are industry leaders in business innovation and community outreach and involvement. Sarver is a member of the NBA’s Board of Governors, Advisory Finance Committee, and Audit and Compensation Committee.
The Greater Phoenix Urban League is honored to have Sarver as part of our awards event. Sarver’s philanthropic efforts focus not simply on worthy causes but also giving back to Arizona and its local communities, both through Phoenix Suns Charities and his and his wife’s own personal contributions. In 2016, Sarver was presented with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Distinguished Service Award for his economic and philanthropic leadership and contributions to the Phoenix area.
Under Sarver’s leadership, Phoenix Suns Charities has granted more than $20 million to Arizona non-profits. Phoenix Suns Charities focuses on enhancing the lives of Arizona children and families in need, specifically in the areas of education, healthcare and sports. Most notably, Sarver has spearheaded a successful program called “SunsCentral,” through which the team’s ‘adoption’ of a Phoenix high school has dramatically increased the graduation rate from 68 percent to 83 percent. To celebrate the Suns’ 50th season in 2017-18, Sarver and the Phoenix Suns Charities Board of Directors completed a $1 million project to renovate 50 basketball courts throughout Arizona.
Among his proudest accomplishments, Sarver helped to build the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona in memory of his late father, who was among the first to undergo heart bypass surgery. The center is composed of more than 150 physicians and scientists and aims to prevent and cure cardiovascular diseases through the three pillars of research, education and patient care. Pioneering doctors at the center have spearheaded the development of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, an award-winning project that became the world’s first and only total artificial heart to win FDA approval as a bridge to human heart transplant in patients near death from heart failure.
The Sarvers were also instrumental in helping to build the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, located in downtown Phoenix. A $1 million donation from the Penny and Robert Sarver Charitable Foundation aided in the completion of the 70,000-square-foot facility.
Sarver is on the board of directors for the Weil Foundation, established by Dr. Andrew Weil, an internationally recognized leader in integrative medicine.