Philanthropy Runs in the Family

Father and son build a legacy of care

By Erin Thorburn

David Monheit, CPA, PFS, knew at a young age he would either be a baseball player or a CPA, according to a scrapbook his mother Carole Monheit kept.

It appears the latter ruled, and his passion for financial planning beat out baseball. Like his father, Howard Monheit, David built a successful career in financial services and leveraged that success for the good.

Foresight is clearly in the family genes. When Howard hung his first shingle in Sun City, he worked hard to assure clients that the firm was putting down roots in the community. Although the family business has evolved throughout the years, it continues to maintain a solid presence in its current Surprise location.

“Ownership of the building in which our business operates shows stability; that we are here for the long term and that we care about our clients and the greater community,” Howard says.

Today, the Monheits’ passion for volunteering coupled with their financial acumen has paid dividends not only for their multigenerational community-based business but for the many Sun Cities-based charitable organizations they have supported. In addition to Sun Health, the Monheit Frisch firm also supports Benevilla, a West Valley human services agency.

David, who graduated from the University of Arizona and obtained his CPA certificate within two years, was first hired by Price Waterhouse Phoenix. In the late 1990s, he became a partner in the CPA firm Monheit & Zongolowicz CPAs PLC.

In addition to establishing a strong presence within the Sun City wealth management and accounting sector, the family showed a strong commitment to volunteerism. Howard has been chairman of the Sun Health Foundation board on two occasions and served as treasurer and vice chair of the Investment Committee; served on the Board of Development Committee; has been a member at large of the Executive Committee; and later earned a special designation as a Sun Health Foundation Fellow.

“Sun Health does such a great service for the community,” Howard says, “an unbelievable service for this community, and not just for the hospitals but for many other health services benefiting the community.”

Carole also was involved, serving as a member of the Foundation’s Anniversary Ball Committee. So, with his parent’s involvement it wasn’t surprising when David began volunteering in the mid-1990s.

“When my dad was president of the Sun Health Foundation board, I volunteered as a board member, remaining active through 2008,” David says. After a break, David resumed involvement with the foundation in 2016 as a board member and eventually treasurer, a position he currently retains.

“My father not only has a strong work ethic, but he also loves what he does,” David says. “Retirement for Howard is not in the dictionary. He still works full time. That mentality rubbed off on me. And, as long-time professional in the Sun Cities, I continue to be motivated to give back to the community.”

“The community has supported us for almost 50 years,” Howard adds, “and we want to give back to the community to thank them for their support.”

In addition to his second-generation community involvement and Sun Health Foundation service, David and his wife Melissa are passing the family’s predisposition for philanthropy and volunteerism on to their three children.

“My two daughters participate in the National Charity League, and my son participates in the Boys Team Charity in addition to serving at local food banks,” David says.

Is it possible there could be a third generation of Monheits who become involved in the wealth management sector while continuing the family tradition of service to Sun Health Foundation?

David hints at that possibility with his son. “I watched my parents donate their time and resources, which ingrained the same philosophy into me,” he says. “The West Valley was good to my parents and our family and it was important to all of us — and still is — to help the community in whatever way we can.”

For now, David hopes that his knowledge and experience will continue to help Sun Health Foundation and its board meet and exceed the health care needs of the local communities. 

“Sun Health is only a few years older than our founding firm,” David says. “The exhibition of tenure and success from both generations proves that ethics, purpose and intellectual vigor result in positive outcomes. I’m confident that Sun Health has the same vision as Monheit Frisch Group in delivering high-quality results to the community for many years to come.”

Reach Your Sun Health Foundation Development Staff:
Gina Ore, Chief Philanthropy Officer • 623-832-5582

Wendy Nelson, Director of Philanthropy • 623-832-5323

Claudia Vazquez, Director of Philanthropy • 623-832-4323

Bonnie Olsen, Director of Philanthropy • 623-832-5566

Pamela Kohnen, Senior Director of Philanthropy • 623-832-5735

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