Dr. Anthony Simms, PhD
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from the University of Denver, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a PhD in Human Services (specialization: management of nonprofit organizations) from Capella University. Tony is a native Tucsonan, but lived and worked in Denver, CO for 17 years.
Upon returning to Tucson in 2005, Tony was hired by One‐on‐One Mentoring, a local youth mentoring agency, and led the agency from being a one-dimensional mentoring organization to a multi‐service delivery company (Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Network) focused on building collaborations between and amongst local nonprofit agencies.
Founded in 2007, YES Network, a 501(C)(3) organization, positioned itself as an intermediary agency focused on delivering services of coordination, collaboration, capacity‐building, and mobilization of resources into Tucson neighborhoods. The organization brought together residents, schools, churches, nonprofits, businesses, and funders to form Community Action Groups focused on empowering neighborhood youth and families.
In 2010, Tony founded Connecting Communities Foundation, a 501(C)(3) community foundation, designed to serve neighborhoods through social development service grants. The organization provided service grants to neighborhoods focused on decreasing and preventing crime, increasing healthy lifestyles, improving educational success, and increasing job skills and employment. CCF worked directly with YES Network to financially support Community Action Groups and the nonprofit organizations mobilized into neighborhoods to deliver services.
In 2011, Tony founded Good Neighbor Ventures, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, focused on economic development within neighborhoods. The organization had an economic development strategy focused on partnering businesses with neighborhood Community Action Groups to support their collective strategic efforts. This collaborative network approach utilized social and economic development systems to empower neighborhoods in the Tucson community.
In 2012, Tony worked with the board of directors for the organizations and merged them under Good Neighbor Ventures. Today, Good Neighbor Ventures is a leader in neighborhood empowerment and small business and community group support. Tony has focused the organization on serving neighborhood residents, schools, and businesses at the neighborhood and extended community level.
In 2013, Tony joined 4Tucson as the Chief Operating Officer and VP of Domains and Taskforces. He managed the internal operations of the organization as well as its programmatic deliverables to the community. In 2016, Tony took on the task of building 22 taskforces to address 22 areas of focus within the city of Tucson that needed to be improved. Those issues ranged from poverty reduction, education, health & healthcare, to economic opportunity & development.