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David “Griff” Griffis

After working for over 30 years at Griffis Consulting, David Griffis (aka ‘Griff’) is enjoying a well-earned retirement. Griff has worked extensively with boards and executive teams, focusing on meeting facilitation, complex problem solving and dispute resolution. His projects have included board retreats, planning meetings, mergers and joint ventures.

As founding partners, Griff and his wife Ginnie joined SVP in 2007, after being connected by Mark Rubin. After personally experiencing both the venture capital and philanthropic worlds, Griff believed (and still believes) that the two were a great fit. Griff also strongly believes in SVP Tucson’s focus on literacy (currently expanded to life skills), as he believes “you can track many problems back to literacy deficits as root cause”, which is ideal since he has a self-professed aversion to solving symptoms rather than their root causes. Griff currently serves on the SVP Tucson Board as Secretary/Treasurer.

Griff has given a lot to SVP Tucson over the years, but also believes he has received a lot in return. For example, since joining SVP Tucson, Griff has enjoyed learning, not only about philanthropy, but also about “the skills and experiences of fellow partners, and the local, national, and international landscape of non-profits and non-governmental organizations”.  He also enjoys working with “people trying to do more good”, believing that building strong and vibrant communities requires people working together as a network, both on a local, national and international level. Possibly Griff’s most valuable experience with SVP so far has been attending two of the SVP International Annual conferences, where he felt particularly enriched.

Griff’s journey with philanthropy began as a child where he recalled it being strongly modeled by both his parents and mentors. One of his most powerful early experiences with philanthropy was during his first year after college when the bank he worked for loaned him to the United Way for 6 months. These early years provided the foundation for a lifetime’s passion for philanthropy, including serving on the boards for the Tucson Pima Arts Council, Casa de los Ninos, and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, in addition to being a member of the Tucson Conquistadores.

Today Griff loves nothing more than getting out into the fresh air and cycling, playing golf and fishing. Increasingly he spends his time in Northern Michigan, a refreshing change from the Tucson summer heat, where he enjoys teaching himself to sail and kayak. Wherever he is, Griff’s ideal weekend will include some time spent with his family and grandchildren.

Griff loves quotes, and will be the first to admit he has many favorite ones. One that has stuck with him over the years has been Grantland Rice’s “For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he writes not if you won or lost, but how you played the game”, which hung over the entrance to the gymnasium at his high school.