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Touchdown for Good

Randal Norton and the Fiesta Bowl

Discipline. Empathy. Camaraderie. Perseverance.

“These are just some of the things I learned from my early athletic career in Arizona,” says Randal Norton, whose family moved to the Valley from Minneapolis when he was 13. “Thanks to sports—basketball, baseball, and track—I found my place at Paradise Valley High School, despite being the new kid.”

After high school, Norton went on to play collegiate basketball at the University of Redlands. He moved back after graduation to begin his career in accounting. Once established—thanks in great part to those early lessons—Norton began to get involved in the community, initially by coaching basketball at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix and serving on its board.

“In 2001, a friend encouraged me to look into the Fiesta Bowl,” says Norton. “I was familiar with the game but was inspired to learn that it is also a local organization made up of more than 3,000 business and civic leaders that—through the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl, and its year-round events such as the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe—provide critical support to the community.”

By 2002, Norton joined the organization’s Yellow Jacket Committee. Over the next decade-plus, he served in several leadership roles within the committee, eventually being named to the Fiesta Bowl board of directors in 2015.

Earlier this year, Norton—who is also the lead client service partner and regional managing director with Deloitte, LLP—was named the Fiesta Bowl Board Chair for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons.

In his role, Norton oversees the governance of the board and helps lead and promote the nonprofit organization, its prominent role in college football, and its extensive community efforts.

According to Norton, the charitable efforts are many, including:

·       The Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program, which in November provided $2,500 awards to 400 teachers for a total of $1 million in giving.

·       KABOOM! Playground Builds, through which volunteers from the Fiesta Bowl and KABOOM! come together with community partners to build playgrounds and multi-purpose sports courts for areas in need.

·       The Arizona Milk Producers Youth Football Clinic, a clinic that teaches fundamentals while building confidence, a strong work ethic, and providing motivation that will help kids succeed on and off the field.

·       More than $3 million annually in charitable giving to nonprofit organizations around the state of Arizona that serve youth, sports, and education.

“In addition, each year the Fiesta Bowl awards grants to nonprofits statewide that provide services within our core pillars of youth, sports, and education,” says Norton. “This year, we were able to award grants to 40 organizations, positively impacting more than one million Arizonans.”

FiestaBowl.org

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