Have You Met Chris Moeser?
Even though he is a young and active attorney, Chris Moeser has a heart for improving the quality of life of our elderly population. He accomplishes this by his involvement with Duet.
Originally founded by the Church of the Beatitudes in 1981, Duet helps older adults and their families cope with the issues of aging. In particular, they focus on the needs of homebound elders, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and grandparents raising grandchildren.
"I became involved with Duet through a friend of ours, Dosia Carlson. She founded it when it was called the Beatitudes Center Doar. She suggested I help with the organization, and if you know how a respected a person she is, and how persuasive, you can see why I couldn’t say no to her!"
Moeser explains, "The best aspect of Duet is that it is filling a need no other nonprofit or government agency is doing. We help the elderly stay in their homes, and help their caregivers cope with their responsibilities.
We also fill a critical need in assisting those grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Something like 100,000 children in AZ are being raised by grandparents or other relatives. We provide respite care, group support, and outings such as hockey games and amusement parks. We also help grocery shop, making it possible for people to live independently. It’s such a really great organization!"
Both Chris and his wife grew up in Kansas. "Both of our fathers were employed by the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and it still is a very dear place to us.
But my first summer after graduation with a degree in Journalism, I earned a Pulliam Fellowship at The Phoenix Gazette. By the end of the summer I was offered a job and took that instead of going on to graduate school which had been my plan. I ended up working at that paper and then The Arizona Republic for seven years."
He continues, "I knew I wanted to return to school at some point, and the timing was right, so I went to law school at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Today I practice media law, which combines my experience and interests. "His general practice focuses on media and constitutional law, Indian law and commercial litigation.
Chris also assists as an advisor to the Volunteer Lawyer’s Program in Phoenix . "I’m the pro-bono coordinator for my firm. I link attorneys in their specialties and interests with persons in need of legal advice. It may involve immigration issues, or landlord disputes. We’re a conduit for legal services for those who cannot afford it."
Moeser appreciates the outdoor lifestyle and physical beauty of Arizona. "Growing up in Kansas I longed for mountains or canyons! And I think it’s great that in less than an hour I can be hiking in the wilderness. It’s terrific that within several hours we can be at the Grand Canyon, an amazing place."
He comments, "My philosophy is, I’ve been so fortunate in my life, that I’m grateful to be able to give back something to society. Maybe it’s my Kansas upbringing, but I feel an obligation to assist others not as well off as I am. I believe that if you CAN give back you SHOULD!"
What are your local volunteer activities? I serve on the board of Duet and serve as a special advisor to the Volunteer Lawyer's Program/Community Legal Services.
Who inspired you to give back to your community? Richard de Uriarte. Richard invited me to help him coach youth basketball at the Kieckhefer Boys & Girls Club when I first moved to Phoenix in 1993. We coached together for more than 10 years, and I saw the impact he had in kids’ lives.
Whom do you most admire, and why? Theodore Roosevelt, for protecting the Grand Canyon, and Martin Luther King, for changing the country through non-violence.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Jon Hamm
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? Not so handy.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned through the years? Don’t worry about things beyond your control.
What was your first job? Stacker/stocker at grocery store in high school.
What is your greatest indulgence? Enjoying every minute of the NCAA basketball tournament.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Raising my two children.
Favorite books/Writers? John McPhee, Jonathan Franzen, Moby Dick
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Closed-mindedness
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Backpacking and exploring the Southwest.
What would we be most surprised to know about you? I love music.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Speak truth to power.
What are some challenges facing nonprofits? Expanding needs and scarce resources.