Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
An entrepreneur experienced in numerous fields, Lew McGinnis has founded several companies over the course of his career, including a car dealership and a real estate investment firm. Outside of work, Lew McGinnis has engaged with a number of civic organizations, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Foundation, where he formerly served as director.
Founded in 1952, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum aims to inspire individuals to live in harmony with nature through exploration of the Sonoran desert. The museum stands out with a unique presentation, with 85 percent of the museum experience occurring outdoors. Located on 98 acres in Tucson, the Desert Museum features a zoo, an aquarium, a botanical garden, a natural history museum, and an art gallery.
The museum’s Art Institute features gallery exhibits and art education in an effort to promote conservation. To this end, the museum also has a publishing division called ASDM Press, which has produced more than 40 guides and books on the nature, history, and culture of the Sonoran Desert. To learn more about the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, visit DesertMuseum.org.
Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry
Lew McGinnis, a real estate investor and lifelong entrepreneur, traces his success to his early teenage years when he began collecting and refurbishing produce boxes. At the age of 16, he sold his business and began a life of investing in real estate and other ventures. Lew McGinnis has volunteered his time and expertise at a large number of charitable organizations and currently is the finance chairman of the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry (CJAMM), an outreach of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church.
People recently released from the prison system face enormous challenges. As they attempt to reintegrate into society, many experience difficulties finding jobs and housing. They also often face ongoing legal struggles and barriers to securing reliable transportation.
CJAMM works diligently to help people overcome these challenges and break the cycle of prison, addiction, and criminal behavior. CJAMM provides basic housing, operating two Exodus House projects.
At an Exodus House facility, newly released individuals can live in fully furnished apartments for six months while they secure employment and adjust to their new lives. The Exodus House staff helps residents reunite with their families and cope with common problems.