Kate Maguire Jensen

President & CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

By Loni Nannini

Kate Maguire Jensen has crafted a wealth of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors into her dream job as president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona. 

“I have had some great jobs, but this is the best job I have ever had because no matter what I am doing every day, I know it matters,” said Jensen. “The work we do here makes life a bit easier for children battling serious illness and their families.”

Jensen earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona. She amassed nearly 20 years as director of community affairs for UArizona’s Steele Children’s Research Center and as the university’s assistant VP for marketing.

“Through my work, I interacted with many incredible people who worked for nonprofits,” Jensen said. “They really inspired me and when the position with Ronald McDonald House Charities opened up. I knew that was my dream job.”

“Some people are very organized in their career planning, but I have always looked for opportunities that are interesting, meaningful and fun,” she said.

Ronald McDonald House Charities offers a “home away from home” for about 500 sick children and their families annually. It also operates Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Banner Diamond Children’s and Tucson Medical Center, which provide respite and refreshments for patients’ families and hospital staff. 

The recently launched Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is taking pediatric dental care to Cochise County and soon, Pima County. Plans are also in the works for a Ronald McDonald Sibling Center at Banner Diamond Children’s to provide supervised care for patients’ siblings.

“We have been very blessed with community support that allows us to expand and invest in new programs to improve children’s health,” Jensen said.

Paul Dias, president and CEO of Dias Management, which operates 22 McDonalds franchises in Southern Arizona, is a longtime board member for Ronald McDonald House Charities. He praises Jensen’s “overwhelming level of compassion.”

“Kate says that the Ronald McDonald House and its programs are magical,” Dias said. “They really are, but she is the lead magician. She cultivates an environment where that magic can happen and manages the most well-run nonprofit in the community, in my opinion.”

Jensen has been active in a number of organizations and is currently on the boards of Children’s Clinics in Southern Arizona and the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button