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The problem with enumerating George M. Cohen’s contributions to Phoenix is, where to begin? This outgoing and energetic Philadelphia transplant has been a contributing philanthropist for the last thirty years to a wide variety of charitable endeavors. His occupation is Senior Managing Director with American Express Tax and Business Services of Arizona, but he feels the need to give back to the community. Most recently George has been involved with Actors Theatre of Phoenix, following his passion for the performing stage. He is also interested in all the visual arts, serving on the Board of Trustees for Phoenix Art Museum. He has also been a member of the Phoenix Arts Commission. Currently he is Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Society of CPAs, and is a member of the American Express Arizona Philanthropic Foundation Board.

Additionally, George was a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. Previously he served as the president of the Council for Jews with Special Needs, Chair of the Jewish Commission on Continuity and President of the Tri-City Jewish Community Center. George is able to accomplish so much by practicing time management, and says he is immeasurably rewarded by being a community leader.

Growing up in the east, George says he was not particularly a joiner, except for playing high school baseball and being part of a High School fraternity. He enlisted in the Air Force when he was 17, serving 4 years, including one year in Thailand during the Vietnam War. It was during his stint with the Air Force that he developed a more worldly view along with a more outgoing personality. His leadership abilities were also honed in the military setting. After leaving the service, George attended LaSalle University, majored in accounting, and became the president of the university Accounting Association. After earning his CPA, George moved, at age 27, to the Phoenix area, where he knew few others. He desired a warm climate and “the chance to create my own destiny”. Years later George still appreciates the friendly Western attitudes he encountered, “People took the time to introduce me, giving me names and contacts I could make. I was so impressed with the region’s hospitality, I have made it a habit to return the favor to newcomers who seek my help in getting resettled.”

George has been married for 8 years to Amanda Weaver, the Executive Director of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association. Describing her as a “human dynamo”, George says she is passionate about her career and is also active in the community. His two children, a daughter with 5 children and a son with three, both reside in Israel.

Along the way George has been recognized for some of his contributions. He was the Chamber of Commerce finalist for Small Business Person of the Year, and was a Phoenix participant in the Leslie Wexner Heritage Foundation Fellowship Program for Jewish Leadership. In 1993 he was the recipient of the Arts Advocate of the Year Award from Business Volunteers for the Arts.

A major way George contributes to nonprofits is by serving as a motivational speaker for charitable organizations. He promotes and teaches the values of commitment and self- motivation, how to enhance leadership collaboration, and emphasizes the need for fiscal responsibility. Nonprofits couldn’t learn from anyone better than George M. Cohen!

Email: [email protected] Phone Number(s): ofc 602-760-2779 cell 602/448-0897

What are your volunteer activities? Vice Chair of Operations Committee, Chair of Planned Giving Committee and Board Member Phoenix Art Museum; Board Member-Actors Theatre of Phoenix; Member of the AMEX Philanthropic Foundation.

Which social event is your favorite? I enjoy social receptions where I can mingle with the crowd informally and share positive community activities. Or a quiet round of golf with friends.

Favorite Restaurant? Eddie Matney's

Who is your hero and why? Anyone who uses his fame and fortune to give back to the community and help others.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Alice Cooper. I met him in a personal setting and he was one of the guys.

If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? I would like to play the part.

Do you have any pets? 3 dogs-Tax, an 11 year old Pomeranian, Chaplin, an 11 year old Bishon Frise, and Saxon, an 8 month old Norwich Terrier.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? This is a warm loving space where you can be yourself.

What words describe you best? Outgoing, honest, romantic, a gentleman.

What words would you like others to use to describe you? Fun to be around, reliable, honest.

What was your first job? First full-time job was the Air Force. Prior to that I painted houses for a summer, stockboy and paperboy/snow shoveler.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience, not being focused.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Impatience, being less than honest.

What is your greatest indulgence? Food, wine and clothes.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My spouse, Mandy.

What is your current state of mind? Very happy with my stage in life. It seems everything is coming together-health, family, career, marriage, friends.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? A successful marriage.

What is your most treasured possession? What is the quality you most like in a man? Being a gentleman, a patient leader. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Romantic, kind, a leader.

Favorite books / Writers? Spy Thrillers.